The Three Rich Sides of Tuscany to Explore
Tuscany is always a favorite destination for travelers to Europe who are lured by the promise of fabulous food, delicious wines, beautiful countrysides and stunning Renaissance art. Indeed, it’s no wonder that this corner of the earth has inspired artists for centuries. With feasts promised for all the senses, here’s our top tips for what to see, do and taste while you spend your days Under the Tuscan Sun.
The Tuscan Seaside
Tuscany, has some of the most beautiful seaside towns across Italy, but one of our favorites is Forte Del Marni. Long stretches of beach framed by dazzling blue seas and a stunning mountain backdrop make this the perfect spot to kick back and enjoy a delicious scoop of gelato.
When we’re looking for a little more activity, however, we like to head to the nearby town of Pietrasanta. Since the 15th century, Pietrasanta has inspired writers and artists, including the great master, Michelangelo, who patronized this very spot to source superior marble for his statues. While you’re here, we encourage you to stop by Locanda di Bruno for a delicious Italian meal and some of the best homemade focaccia we’ve ever tasted.
The Tuscan Mountains
If you love to be out in the fresh air, experiencing the great outdoors, then you’ll love the mountainous regions of Tuscany. Mount Amiata, a dormant volcano, is a great place for long hikes and horseback riding, Alternatively, you might want to take some time to enjoy the mountains of Pistoia, a stunning area that is one of our favorite picturesque picnic stops during the summer.
If you’ve worked up an appetite from hiking through the hills, be sure to enjoy the “Tuscan Chocolate Valley,” a collection of chocolatiers located between the Pisa, Pistoia and Prato areas of Italy. Also in the region is Slitti, an award-winning coffee and chocolate shop in Pistoia—locals are crazy about their candied orange peel dipped in rich, dark chocolate. (So are we.)
The Tuscan Countryside
Picture a Tuscan countryside, and your mind will no doubt wander to the lush vineyards of Chianti. If this is the case for you, we recommend heading to Radda, which is interesting for its rustic churches, castles and rolling hills of green and gold, alone. But the piece de la resistance of this medieval town is undoubtedly Castello di Monterinaldi, a truly Tuscan vineyard.
If, like us, you couldn’t resist picking up a bottle (or a case) of the delicious Chianti you sampled, you might like to pair it with the region’s remarkable cheeses. If this is the case, make your way over to Pienza, in Val d’Orcia, where you’ll get to enjoy the mouth-watering local cheeses amidst a stunning, forested wilderness.
Where in Tuscany do you want to visit?