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KNOW BEFORE YOU GO - STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD (foreign office travel advice)

Tuscany

Tuscany Holidays

Those enjoying Tuscan holidays will find themselves an elegant Italian region that is romantic, historically rich and deeply beautiful. Birthplace of the Renaissance and a centre of modern tourism, experiences here redefine your holiday expectations. Fine wines, good food and warm personalities make a visit to Tuscany a must.

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The golden heart of Italian culture

Although Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet was set in northern Verona, it's the region of Tuscany in the centre of Italy that truly speaks of the soul and spirit of this incredible country. Separated from the rest of Italy by a central mountain range, here you'll find Pisa with its famous Leaning Tower, the medieval charm of Siena and the graceful domed basilica of Florence.

Beyond the towns and cities, Tuscany rolls and undulates in great sprawls of sunflower fields, vineyards and sunny meadows, while rivers like the Arno writhe across the map. All of these places and the swathes of countryside in between make Tuscany an evergreen destination in terms of tourist popularity.

Quick Tips

  • Roman Catholic
  • Euro
  • Italian
  • Approx 3.75 million
  • GMT +1

Days by the coast

While areas like the Venetian Riviera and Lido di Jesolo offer a more conventional seaside town break, tradition reigns supreme in Tuscany and its coastal towns are as rustic as they are charming. Don't expect to be left wanting for things to do though, because the beaches here include well-serviced Marina di Pisa, as well as more secluded spots like Cala Violina.

Long stretches of sand mingled in with small pebbled beaches prove consistently popular with both Italian people and tourists. With summer temperatures always a heady 30°C or more, glorious skies are all but guaranteed - just one of the reason that package holidays to Tuscany are so popular. There's also the beauty of the Tuscan Archipelago to consider, which are small yet inviting islands rich in natural beauty off the coast of mainland Italy.

Feast on the finest food around

It doesn't matter which part of Tuscany you're visiting as you can always expect meal times to be a treat. Street-side cafes flanked by sunny tables are the norm in Tuscany, while the local restaurants continue to showcase sleek service in traditional surroundings.

A trip to a gelateria - where Italian ice cream is lovingly served in cones or cups to help you beat the heat - promise to give you a sweet treat to remember. Pizzerias across Tuscany come similarly recommended, if only to allow you the chance to taste pizza as it was always meant to be enjoyed.

Exploring the local countryside

There are two main reasons to get out of the city during a visit to Tuscany, and those are vineyards and bicycle tours. If you can combine the two it's more the better, but either way the rolling hills and lush greens of Tuscany's countryside simply beg for exploration.

If you've never tasted Chianti wine, you owe it to yourself to explore the region that gave that tipple its name. Here you'll find humble family vineyards and old farms mingling among little villages. It's one of the areas where traditional Italian values remain their strongest and, as you hoped, a tour of a vineyard will give you ample opportunity to taste the fruits of local labours.

If fun in the sun is more your style, hire a bicycle or book a guided tour and let the wonderful fields go rolling by. There's an air of freedom and tranquillity about a trip through Tuscany's hinterlands, making bike tours a brilliant way to relax while taking in the sights and culture.

Experience Florence and Siena

In the small yet characterful city of Florence, great minds like Leonardo da Vinci and Lorenzo de Medici created works of art and fathered modern thought. Their legacy lives on today in this capital of the Tuscany region, which houses countless museums, art galleries and, of course, Il Duomo - the famous basilica with its almighty domed roof.

A trip to Siena is also wholly advised during a trip to Tuscany, and for good reason. It's said that the people who first founded the city in the classical era helped to invent irrigation and hilltop fortifications. As such, it became a strong republic in later centuries. Siena's medieval story still lingers in its architecture, which captivates and is utterly Instagram-worthy. From family trips to romantic getaways, Florence and Siena are true must-sees.