Tuscany - rolling hills, chianti and works of art
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To many people, Tuscany is the romantic epitomy of Italy - the land of rolling hills, medieval castles, villas and vineyards, not to mention the epicentre of the Renaissance. It was here that the rebirth of the arts flourished in a way not seen since and Tuscany’s cities, notably Florence, Siena and Pisa, were the force behind the flowering of this creative eruption.
The end result is that Tuscany is unrivalled as a cradle of all-time art, with more World heritage sites than any other place on earth. Truly an amazing feat for a region less than 23,000 sq km in size.
One can find examples of every age and style: from the Etruscan civilization (Fiesole, Chiusi, Volterra, Populonia) to Roman monuments and ruins; from the Romanesque architecture to the impressive Gothic cathedrals, and, of course, to the exceptional artistic explosion of the Renaissance.
Our selection of boutique hotels in Tuscany and romantic hotels in Tuscany highlight this beauty and help make any stay here even more special.
The one drawback to all this is the mass tourism it brings with it and the accompanying commercialism. But hidden away throughout Tuscany are some beautiful little towns where the character still remains true to itself, notably Volterra and Massa Marítima.
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Tuscany - what to do
Culture Florence has preserved its masterpieces and great works of architecture over the centuries. The most important collection of paintings in the world is offered by the Uffizi Gallery; visitors can enter the very interesting Designs and Print Room; the collection of self-portraits. Great paintings can be seen in the Gallery of Palazzo Pitti, with Tiziano’s and Raffaello’s masterpieces.
In addition to art, Tuscany offers outstanding nature sceneries, such as the National Park of the Argentario and the Isola of Elba.
In Siena there is the beautiful Piazza del Campo. In Florence there are the fifteenth-century shops on the Ponte Vecchio. Pisa has the Campo dei Miracoli, with the famous Leaning Tower.
Gastronomy in the Tuscany
The main characteristic of Tuscan cooking is its healthy balance. Being Mediterranean in flavour and style, ingredients such as Olive oil, pasta, fish and first choice meat take pride of place. These are basic ingredients that are simply cooked and retain their original goodness and freshness.