Tuscany

Monday, July 6th, 2015
certaldo
  Countryside in Certaldo, Tuscany. Ph. flickr/Francesco Sgroi   Certaldo is a town located in the province of Florence in Tuscany, Italy. Certaldo is close to Florence and Siena and spreads over an area of approximately 75 sq km. The main industries in Certaldo are agriculture, wine, furniture and shoe making. According to the various archeological finds discovered in the area during excavations, the history of the town goes back to Etruscan times.  
Wednesday, June 17th, 2015
cycling tuscany umbria
Cycling in the countryside   If you like cycling, you will definitely want to do a cycling tour of Tuscany and Umbria. These fantastic provinces have a lot to offer: the hills, towns and valleys of southern Tuscany and Umbria are a cyclist's dream. Beautiful scenery with rolling hills and waving wheat fields, ancient houses and churches, medieval architecture and awesome views will take your breath away. The charming towns sitting atop hills are a great place to enjoy a warm
Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015
towns of tuscany
   Lucca, Tuscany   The Renaissance Walls, the most significant monument in Lucca, form an intact circle of about 4 km in length, with a series of ramparts, an imposing complex of defensive works, ditches, gun outposts, barriers and large underground chambers, they lost their military value and were transformed into a beautiful public walkway. Duomo of San Martino: opening onto the piazza of the same name, the Duomo is surrounded by beautiful buildings from various periods.
Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015
capalbio
 Artists' Wonderland in Capalbio, Tuscany   Giardino dei Tarocchi, Tarot Garden in Capalbio, Tuscany Ph. Riccardo @ flic.kr/p/eFfFZF   Artists' dreams come true in Italy: having been an artist myself for a long time, I can well imagine how it may be like to be given more than an hectare of land by a friend, free of any charge but that of making your biggest artistic dream become reality. This is what happened to Niki de St.Phalle, a French artist born in 1930, who
Thursday, January 29th, 2015
  Montepulciano, Tuscany Ph. flickr/Lorena Torres Angelini   Montepulciano is a small hill town located in Tuscany, in the province of Siena. Montepulciano is mostly known for its medieval buildings and its natural beauty. The town is located at an altitude of 600 meters, perched on top of a limestone ridge. The town is located quite close to Siena, Florence, Rome and Pienza. Montepulciano's economy is mainly based on agriculture and is known for its beautiful wines
Wednesday, January 7th, 2015
radicofani
   Radicofani, Val d'Orcia in Tuscany Ph. depositphotos/alkir_dep   The small rural town of Radicofani is located in the scenic Val d’Orcia area, within the province of Siena and situated approximately 780 meters above sea level. The town’s buildings are gathered at the base of the volcanic rock with La Rocca (Fortress) at the peak, visible from many kilometers away. The economy of Radicofani revolves around agriculture, dairy products, manufacturing of furniture and
Friday, November 7th, 2014
forte dei marmi
  Forte Dei Marmi and the Tourism of the Rich and the Famous   Forte dei Marmi is a well known holiday location of the Versilian riviera, in the Lucca province of Tuscany. The beauty of the Ligurian sea, the shining sun and the town's own artistic and cultural wealth has made Forte dei Marmi a touristic pole for decades. Forte dei Marmi is a town rich in history and tradition, its golden period starting as early as the 16th century, when large areas around the civic nucleum were reclaimed to
Sunday, September 28th, 2014
sarteano tuscany
  Sarteano, Tuscany Ph. depositphoto.com/clodio   The historical center of Sarteano is a labyrinth of little streets and alleyways, huddling together at the base of the medieval castle, originally built in 1038. The views from the castle are spectacular. You will see the landscapes of Val di Chiana, Monte Cetona and the Umbrian mountains on the horizon: if you visit Sarteano, make sure to bring your camera! The castle is open to visitors between May and December.
Saturday, September 27th, 2014
Anghiari
  Anghiari, Tuscany Ph. depositphoto.com/marcovarro   Anghiari is a small town located in Tuscany, and it belongs to the province of Arezzo. The town rose to fame first when the Battle of Anghiari was fought here in 1440 between Milan and Florence. It was this battle that inspired Leonardo Da Vinci to make a famous fresco in Palazzo Vecchio. The fresco is no longer to be found in the palace now, but it has been replaced by a sketch upon which the fresco was to be
Sunday, September 21st, 2014
Lucca
Square in Lucca Ph. depositphoto.com/alexsalcedo   Lucca is small medieval town located near the Ligurian Sea, where you can get a dose of fresh air and escape the bustle of other parts of Tuscany. One of its most unique features is the 30 foot-wide walls that surround the city. Lucca was founded by the Etruscans and became a Roman colony in 180 BC, which accounts for its rectangular street plan.   The walls in Lucca Ph. depositphoto.com/nexus__
Sunday, September 21st, 2014
Lucca
If there were heaven on Earth, Tuscany would be it. Each one of its towns is better than the other, and Lucca is not an exception. It is an amazing combination of Roman layout and medieval architecture. Its medieval walls are, still today, one of its main tourist attractions.   Piazza dell'Anfiteatro in Lucca, a great place for a drink and a snack Ph. depositphoto.com/boerescul   Lucca is part of our suggested tour of lesser known Tuscany.   The walls have an
Tuesday, September 16th, 2014
siena
  View over Siena Ph. depositphoto.com/zhukovsky   If you dream of getting lost in the winding streets and steps of a city surrounded by lush vineyards,  then Siena is the place for you. The gothic romance of this medieval city has been fiercely protected over the years and, in some ways, visiting Siena is like taking a step back in time. Between the 12th and the 15th century, countless monuments and works of art were added to the natural beauty of the city,
Tuesday, September 16th, 2014
pisa
  Campo dei Miracoli with, from the left: the Baptistery, the Cathedral and the Leaning Tower Ph. depositphoto.com/Lenorlux   Campo dei Miracoli or "Square of Miracles," is an apt name for Pisa's main square. Also known as the Piazza del Duomo, the area features a large, green open space and hosts a group of marvelous monuments that are famous all over the world. The four masterpieces located in the piazza are the baptistery, the cathedral, the cemetery, and
Tuesday, September 16th, 2014
san gimignano
  Panoramic view of the medieval walled town of San Gimignano, Tuscany Ph. depositphoto.com/kassandra2   San Gimignano is a beautiful medieval town located in Tuscany, Italy, in the Siena Province. This beautiful walled, hill town is mainly famous for its architecture dating back to medieval times, and its high towers which can even be seen from the surrounding areas. The town is spread over an area of 138 sq km with the population of close to 7500 inhabitants. According to
Tuesday, September 16th, 2014
siena
The beautiful cathedral in Siena Ph. depositphoto.com/sborisov   The term 'Gothic' has not been a traditional compliment in the imperious lexicon of the most influential schools of thought in Italian architecture. Why bother with a framework when our walls are built to last? The piers, buttresses and arches of Normandy held no charms for visionaries tumid with their hailed glory. Dismissive of art and thought that did not root in their bellies, the rotating powers that subjugated
Thursday, September 11th, 2014
elba
Capo Bianco beach, Elba Island.  Ph. depositphoto.com/masterlu   The  Isola d'Elba, an amazing island situated between the Tyrrhennian and Ligurian Sea, is the largest of the Tuscan Archipelago. It can be easily reached from Piombino with both Toremar and Moby Lines ferries. There is also an airport on the island, Marina di Campo, that is served by Intersky for international flights (to Friedrichshafen, Munich and Zürich),  and ElbaFly for national routes
Sunday, June 15th, 2014
Lucca Duomo di San Martino by hiddedevries, on Flickr   Everyone knows Florence and the Chianti area, but there are lesser known, yet equally breathtaking places you can visit in Tuscany. Let me tell you about one of my favorite itineraries!  Lucca is the first stop of our tour of Tuscany and will be our home base. It is not the most central of all the locations of this tour, but this small city has a haunting, charming beauty, well worth a visit and, why not, a
Sunday, June 8th, 2014
pitigliano
 Pitigliano, the Little Jerusalem, Tuscany Ph. depositphotos/Creativemarc   The town of Pitigliano is located in the Maremma area within the province of Grosseto. The Maremma is an area known for its natural beauty, which is mostly protected by the state through the presence of a national park. Rising about 313 metres above sea level, Pitigliano looks as though its buildings have grown up and out of the cliffs, whilst underneath, many caves had been cut out of the tufa, a
Sunday, June 1st, 2014
maremma
 Tuscany is one of the better loved destinations for both Italians and foreigners. Florence, Pisa, Lucca, Livorno and other towns are well known and certainly worth a visit, but those who want to discover the authentic countryside, symbol of ancient tradition and history, and home to the Tuscan farmers' lifestyle, should visit the Maremma grossetana.   Maremma Grossetana, Italy. Ph. flickr/Dimitri (flickr.com/photos/marzinians/)   The Maremma Grossetana, also known
Saturday, May 10th, 2014
Travel by Bike in Italy Up until now, we have been talking about biking in terms of those big, powerful shiny machines that roar through the countryside. Now I am going to talk to you about traditional biking, that is, on a two wheel vehicle with pedals and transmission chains, that gets you to your destination after a lot of huffing and puffing, and honest-to-goodness exercise. But this is also the form of transport that gives you the time to look around and to savor the silence and beauty
Sunday, April 28th, 2013
Museums in Florence Florence is renowned  for being the culla del Rinascimento, the birthplace of Renaissance, as well as one of the major art towns in the country. Everybody from "the Boot"- Italy is called so because of its peculiar shape!- knows the famous museums and places of cultural interest of this magnificent city. Churches, squares and palaces represent a must, but if visiting Florence, you must count in a tour to its museums. Here is a list of some of those you absolutely have to
Thursday, November 29th, 2012
Vallombrosa: a natural haven of peace in Tuscany Considering the peaceful and relaxing atmosphere at Vallombrosa, the motto Ora et labora, pray and work, was certainly used by its monks, since the earliest times.   Vallombrosa is actually known for its perfect combination of nature and calm:  the territory hosts one of the most famous and richest arboretum of the country, with more than 5,000 species of trees.  A path immersed in pure, uncontaminated nature, will lead you  to the top of
Tuesday, August 28th, 2012
san miniato
San Miniato: a not so stereotypical Tuscan destination   Panoramic view of San Miniato from the Torre Federico II. Ph. flickr/Jacqueline Poggi   If you have decided to spend your holidays in Tuscany, there are some little characteristic locations you may like to explore. Lesser known yet not less beautiful than the usual, famous destinations in the region.     San Miniato is certainly one of them.     The town of San Miniato   In the
Saturday, August 25th, 2012
Arezzo
  Piazza Grande in Arezzo. Ph. depositphoto.com/scrisman   100,140 inhabitants. Arezzo is a beautiful city in Tuscany, and like the rest of the region it offers a spectacular scenes of medieval buildings and harmonious architecture, right in the middle of four gorgeous natural valleys. Arezzo is actually a very old town, indeed, it is even older than Rome, and the civilisations that preceded it. It was already a settlement during prehistoric times, although the modern Arezzo is
Friday, June 1st, 2012
butteri maremma
  A buttero in Maremma. Ph. wikimedia/Justlettersandnumbers   In the second part of the 1800s, French painting experienced one of its moments of true glory, in that this was the period that saw the birth of impressionism. The works of these artists were among the most important in the world of that time. But also Italian art experienced a moment of glory at that time, although the impact was not as vast as that of the impressionists. This was mostly because the Italian
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Massa Marittima Massa Marittima is a town located in Tuscany, in the province of Grosseto. The history of Massa Marittima goes back to 1000 AD when the seat of the bishop was moved here in the middle ages. The town was under the rule of the Republic of Pisa until it gained its freedom in the 13th century. In the 14th century it was again conquered by Siena and it stayed under their domination until it was made a part of Tuscany in the late 16th century. The economy of Massa Marittima is
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Bicycle tours in Pisa Bike tours around the Central Italy regions of Tuscany and Umbria can be very exciting and adventurous way of exploring the scenic landscape this place is famous for. Moreover, it gives an opportunity to find interesting places on your own and even stop at some nice cafes and restaurants on the way to enjoy some amazing food.  Both Tuscany and Umbria have a fascinating history and culture and a cycling journey around these places can be very challenging and rewarding at
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Livorno Lighthouse Antagonists of immigration and refugees would do well to study 17th and 18th century Italy, for its was during this period that Iberians sought shelter in Italy, and built a harbor that launched the country in to the mainstream of maritime commerce. The indigenous population, for all its most admirable enterprise, acumen and talent, was a silent and passive beneficiary of the economic asset that Jewish immigrants It would have been easy to forgive Tuscany for ignoring its
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Il Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Chiusi is a museum of great significance for the town and it's surrounding area, which is known as ancient Etruria. Chiusi (Clevsin in Etruscan) together with eleven other towns and cities of Tuscany are steeped in Etruscan history dating back to between the 9th and 1st century BC. Many Etruscan tombs and settlements have been discovered over the years which contain amazingly well-preserved items that have since been conserved by the museum and are now
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Super Mario Lucca Comics & Games is the most important event concerning the fantastic world of comics and RPG (Role-Playing Games) in Italy. The very popular event has taken place in Lucca, a very nice city in Tuscany, for forty-three years now. This year, between October the 29th and November the 1st, this event became an even bigger Festival of Comics and Games inspired by the Bicentennial of Darwin's birth. The event is a mecca for everyone and anyone into comics, manga, science-fiction
Friday, June 1st, 2012
mount amiata
   Montelaterone on Mout Amiata, Tuscany Ph. flickr/Carlo Tardani   Standing at 1738m above sea level, Monte Amiata is passed by to many people racing along the old Cassia road between Rome and Siena, and the Aurelia passing Grosseto near the coast. Try to find a day to explore this unspoilt treasure. Mount Amiata is under the province of Siena and the province of Grosseto.   Food If you visit Monte Amiata in October you will be enthralled by the rich colors
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Val D'elsa Barberino Val d'Elsa is located in Tuscany, Italy. The town is located between Florence and Sienna. Barberino Val d'Elsa is mostly known for its medieval look that it has managed to retain over the centuries. Situated on top of a hill, the town looks over the famous Chianti wine territory. The medieval structure of the town is still quite well preserved with ancient walls encircling the town and the center of the town is still quite well preserved. Barberino Val d'Elsa's economy is
Friday, June 1st, 2012
canyon tuscany hike italy Tucked away on the eastern slopes of the Serchio valley in northwest Tuscany is a nature reserve with the Orrido di Botri as its centerpiece. The Rio Pelago has cut a dramatic gorge through the limestone of the Appenine mountains. This canyon is a mixture of soft greens of trees and the white/grey walls of limestone. The hike is not a long one - perhaps an hour and a half to two hours - but it presents you with the opportunity to enjoy a side of Italy other than the
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Tuscany. ©Depositphoto.com/ronnybas   The painter went on to say "In fact it is something that gives me lots of satisfaction". "Why?" asked the peasant. "Because I imagine that this painting will be displayed in some important exhibition halls and lots of people will see it". "Oh in that case...". In the second part of the 1800s, French painting experienced one of its moments of true glory, in that this was the period that saw the birth of impressionism. The works of these
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Sorano Sorano is a small town and commune located in Tuscany, Italy in the province of Grosetto. Sorano is a hill town that is situated on top of a tuff rock. Sorano was inhabited since the Etruscan times and later on the Romans took over the town. The economy of Sorono is based mainly on the production of cheeses, sausages, crafts like leather and wooden artifacts and pottery. Spread over an area of 174 sq km the population of Sorano is roughly around 4000. In the recent years, due to the
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Chianciano Terme - Panorama Chianciano or Chianciano Terme is located in the region of Tuscany in the province of Siena. The charming spa town is located close to the cities of Siena and Florence. The spa town with its world renowned mineral water which are rich in healing elements is located 550 meters above the level of sea. The climate of the town is pleasant and because of its great geographical location it has become a very popular tourist resort in the last few years. The town is
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Pisa - Touristic Video A popular day trip from Florence, Pisa's famous leaning tower and surrounding buildings that form the Field of Miracles are from the 16th and 17th centuries. Tourists are no longer allowed to climb the stairs to the top of the prized national icon whose adjoining streets are lined with vendors sellings souvenirs dedicated to the monument.  
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Garfagnana: the ideal destination for nature lovers.   Tuscany is one of the most varied regions of Italy, thanks to the different sceneries and geographical areas it offers: sea, countryside and mountains. However, there is an area which may not be on the most beaten of tracks, but is well worth a visit: Garfagnana. Garfagnana is situated near the province of Lucca, between the Apuane Alps and the Tuscan-Emilian Appennines. It includes 16 small villages, the most famous of which is
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Cetona A Tranquil Land Rich In History. The medieval town of Cetona is located in the province of Siena, approximately 385 meters above sea level and situated at the base of Mount Cetona. La Rocca (fortress) built around the 10th century surrounded by cypress and pine trees, proudly keeps watch over it’s town. The area has extremely important Etruscan archaeological sites and is steeped in a long history of wine and olive oil production.   How to get there If you are arriving by air, there
Friday, June 1st, 2012
barga
    Barga in Garfagnana, Tuscany. Ph. flickr/Raniero Corsetti Giusti di Ripalunga   Barga is a small town located in Tuscany, central Italy, which has maintained its medieval roots over the centuries, mainly because it is not yet a major tourist destination. Located in the province of Lucca, Barga is home to around 10,000 people with Pania Della Croche, a mountain of the Apuan Alps, overlooking the town. Barga is still a largely rural town, surrounded by
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Montalcino is a well-known hill town located in Tuscany, Italy. Montalcino is located in the province of Siena and the cities located closest to Montalcino are Siena, Florence and Pisa. It is believed that the area where the town is located had been inhabited since Etruscan times before the rule of the Romans in the area.   Montalcino, Siena, Tuscany Ph. depositphoto/phil_bird   Hippy 500 in Montalcino Montalcino was first mentioned in a document of the 9th century
Friday, June 1st, 2012
  Volterra, a medieval town in Tuscany Ph. depositphoto.com/photodesign   Volterra is a commune and town located in the province of Pisa in Tuscany. The town has been inhabited since Neolithic times and was an important Etruscan settlement. During the rule of the Romans, the town became a municipium and gained much importance. During the 5th century, Volterra became the Bishop's residence and its fame rose in the region.   Volterra is quite a large town, spread over an
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Nature Reserves in the Province of Arezzo Natural reserveThe Province of Arezzo is located on the border between Emilia Romagna, the Marche and Umbria. Though it is traditionally famous for its artistic, culinary and historical culture, it is rich in areas of natural beauty that are little known. For those who love nature, it will be difficult to decide which area to visit. The Monti Rognosi Nature Reserve The Monti Rognosi Nature Reserve is an area of natural beauty and a fantastic place
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Preparing Pecorino Cheese: Ulisse demonstrating I have often wondered how the Pecorino cheese was actually produced, and took the opportunity of joining a slow food tour organised by Lucia Norrito, for a personal insight at a small family-run farm situated between Pienza and Montepulciano, Tuscany. I learnt also, that this is no ordinary farming family, but a family who, 20 years ago, came to Tuscany from Switzerland to commence a new life in organic farming. It was by no means easy. But
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Della Robbia IL DIALOGO TRA LE ARTI NEL RINASCIMENTO21 FEBBRAIO  2009  –  7  GIUGNO 2009 Set up in the Arezzo State Museum of Medieval and Modern Art and organized by Giancarlo Gentilini and Liletta Fornasari, the exhibition ‘I Della Robbia, il dialogo tra le Arti nel Rinascimento’ intends to demonstrate the versatile and fascinating development of the art of glazed terracotta created by the Della Robbia family, and thus called ‘robbiana’, during the Renaissance: starting from the mysterious
Friday, June 1st, 2012
grosseto
     Grosseto - Palazzo Aldobrandeschi Photo courtesy of GDelhey/Wikimedia   Grosseto, or Maremma as the area is also known, is one of the most unique and interesting places in gorgeous Tuscany. Famous for its potent, unbridled character the landscape of Grosseto is unique and not typically Tuscan. The landscape of the Maremma region is varied, moving from severe to mild and featuring dense forests and olive groves, as well as expanses of flat plains,
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Casale Marittimo, view of the Tuscan Maremma Casale Marittimo is a town in Tuscany, Italy. The town is located in the Province of Pisa and is located quite close to Florence and Pisa. The town of Casale Marittimo is quite small, with an area of only 14 square kilometers. The population of the town is roughly around 1100 inhabitants. The town is located on a hill at a height of 413 meters above sea level and is close to the Cecina River. It is believed that the town was first founded during the
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Arezzo Center Located in central Italy southeast of Florence, the town of Arezzo has a population of 91,600 as of 2001. The town is the center of agricultural trade in Italy. Its industries include clothing, gold, jewelry and machine. Arezzo has been called home by some very prominent people of history and today, such as the botanist Andrea Cesalpino, Guido of Arezzo, famous for development of the music scale writing system, Michelangelo Buonarroti, one of the most fabulous painters and
Friday, June 1st, 2012
saracen joust arezzo
  The Saracen Joust is a historical event which has very old origins: if it did not already take place in 1200, as some assert (documents of that period show how the Aretines were found of jousts and tournaments), it was certainly carried out in 1400. The most ancient document we know, however, is dated 6th August 1535. It is a majority resolution of the Priors (26 black stones v. 3 white stones) stating that the Joust against the Saracen should take place on Sundays with a prize of
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Colleggiata of San Casciano dei Bagni San Casciano dei Bagni is located in Tuscany, Italy in the province of Siena. The town is located close to Florence and Siena. San Casciano dei Bagni is quite a small town spread over an area of just 90 sq km and with a population of approximately 1700. The economy of the area is dependent mainly on agriculture, olives, production of wines and now on tourism. San Casciano dei Bagni is famous for its thermal pools which are known to have existed here since
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Montecatini Thermae - Town Center Montecatini has often been described as a rich treasure chest which is full of culture and art and is considered to be one of the most important tourist destinations in Tuscany. Montecatini is a charming town which is known to be the capital of spas and thermal treatments in the region. Thousands of visitors each year travel to the town to enjoy a rejuvenating and a relaxing vacation. There are several thermal establishments which are equipped with high
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Contrast the above (Tuscan travel I) with the protagonist's impression of the Umbrian countryside near Spoleto and the ancient family home in which she was staying: The difference between the terrain of Tuscany and that of the Umbrian hills was remarkable. All of a sudden, we seemed to have crossed over from a world of rolling, vineyard-covered knolls bedecked with lush greenery to hills and valleys of much more dramatic highs and lows, with vegetation that I imagined resembled that of a
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Il Parco della Maremma: Maremma Park         The area of Maremma is renowned for the preservation of its territory and nature and the Parco della Maremma is certainly one of the greatest results of this policy. In fact, the park keeps untouched nature alive at its purest state. The Parco della Maremma is one of the greatest wonders of the beautiful Tuscan territory, thanks to the several varieties of flora and fauna that it protects. The park is characterized by the
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Pescia Pescia is a small town located in Tuscany, in the province of Pistoia. The town is located between Florence and Lucca and is spread out over an area of 79 sq. km. Pescia is mainly a floricultural and agricultural town and has recently gained much popularity as a tourist destination due to its scenic locations and its many beautiful hills that are covered by olive trees, flowers and citrus fruit trees. One of the most attractive features of the town is that it has still managed to
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Tuscany   Tuscany was founded by the Etruscans in the 11th century BC. The region was originally called Etruria and constituted the majority of the area controlled by the Etruscans. Most of what we know about the Etruscan people was learned from archeological data collected in Tuscany. The complex culture of the Etruscans and their appreciation for art, beauty, and the Greek style of democracy led to peaceful people's defeat. In the third century BC the region came under the power of
Friday, June 1st, 2012
View of Montecarlo Montecarlo is a town located in the Tuscany region of Italy in the province of Lucca. The town is located quite close to the cities of Lucca and Florence. Montecarlo is quite a small town, with an area of just 15 sq km and population of approximately 4500. The town was first founded by Charles V the Roman Emperor in 1333. The town was mainly founded when Florence destroyed the nearby settlement of Vivinaia, the population of that settlement was then shifted to Montecarlo.
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Arezzo Panorama The town of Arezzo, which lies on a low hill of the Poti Alps, opens out fanwise onto the broad, fertile depression in the Apennine mountains, where the upper Arno and Tiber valley, the Casentino, and the Valdichiana meet. The town is the administrative and economic capital of the large province of the same name., and has over the last fifty years been transformed.   Growth has been rapid, enabling Arezzo to become, amongst other things, a major goldsmiths center. The town's
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Leonardo Da Vinci's house in Vinci Vinci is a small town and province located in Tuscany, in the province of Firenze. The town is famous mainly because the legendary Leonardo Da Vinci was born just outside of the town. Vinci is surrounded by the Tuscan hills and there are various vineyards and olive groves around the town which have remained the same since ancient times. The town is spread over an area of 54 sq km and the population is close to 14,000. The economy of Vinci is based on
Friday, June 1st, 2012
The Foreste Casentinesi, Monte Falterona, Campigna National Park Parco Nazionale delle Foreste Casentinesi, Monte Falterona and Campigna is a beautiful area in the Apennine region of Tuscany and Romagna. Established in 1993 the park preserves over 365 square kilometers of gorgeous flora and fauna, as well as several animal species, and a great deal of human history. The park is divided between the provinces of Florence, Arezzo and Forli-Cesena and includes the best preserved and
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Siena & the heart of Tuscany by Rebecca Ford Today, Norm Goldman, Editor of Sketchandtravel.com & Bookpleasures.com is delighted to have as our guest, travel author, writer, and photographer, Rebecca Ford. Rebecca is a contributor to several British newspapers and magazines, as well as some websites. She is also the author of several guidebooks, and is member of the British Guild of Travel Writers. Recently, Rebecca launched her most recent guide- book, Sienna & the Heart Of
Friday, June 1st, 2012
val d'orcia
 Val d'Orcia, Tuscany Ph. depositphotos/zoomteam   The area of Val d'Orcia is a part of the agricultural landscape of Siena, which was developed and redrawn when it was made a part of the city-state in the 14th and 15th centuries. Val d'Orcia's landscape, with its fortified villages and small towns, is typical of the area and had inspired several artists. Named to UNESCO's World Heritage Site list, Val d'Orcia is famous for its representation of the Renaissance's ideal landscape
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Casole d'Elsa Casole d'Elsa is a small town located in the Tuscany region of Italy in the province of Siena. The town is located quite close to Florence and Siena and is located at an altitude of 663 meters above sea level. The town is located on the left side of the valley of Elsa region and the economy here is mainly based on agriculture and marble mining.  The town was conquered by Siena in 1241 after a long siege and was fortified by them at that time. In 1554, after decades of war
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Piazza Grande in Arezzo Ph. depositphotos/karambol   Arezzo is situated in the south-eastern part of Tuscany, encircled by four magnificent valleys: the Val Tiberina , Casentino, Valdarno and Valdichiana.   Arezzo Town A town of culture history and elegance. Arezzo is easy to get to whether you are traveling by car or train. The main station is at the entrance to the historic centre which is accessed by the central via del Corso, the artery of the town. Arezzo can be
Friday, June 1st, 2012
saturnia thermal baths
  Saturnia - Thermal landscape - Ph. flickr/aurelio candido   Saturnia is an ancient village in the south of Tuscany in the area known as Maremma. Although not yet commercialized, it attracts tourists because of its thermal baths which have been of considerable importance since ancient ages. The village is a little out of the way for most tourists but it does have a few good facilities for travelers. There are a handful of good hotels and Bed & Breakfasts and a few good
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Lari (Pisa) Tuscany Lari is a town and a commune located in Tuscany, Italy in the province of Pisa. The town is located close to Florence and Pisa and is spread out over an area of approximately 45 sq km. Lari is located on the left side of the Era River and due to its fertile land the economy is mainly based on cultivation of grape vines, fruits and vegetables. According to the various archeological finds that were excavated from the region, Lari is thought to have been inhabited first by
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Lucca - Borgo a Mozzano - Maddalena's Bridge (The Devil's Bridge) Bagni di Lucca, the name of the town has been so since 1862. Before then the town had been called Bagno a Corsena, the name by which it had been known since the Roman times. The Countess Matilda of Tuscany in 1101 had the Devil's bridge in the town so that she could easily reach the thermal springs located in the town. Emperor Frederick II in 1245 had visited the thermal springs along with all of the courts. The thermal
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Below a Tuscan road How would it be to take a flight of fantasy to the Renaissance in the enchantment of a Florentine evening? Or to witness the legendary Palio? Author Erica Miner reveals this and more in her article: Travels with My Lovers ... An excerpt and exploration by Erica Miner. A good traveler is one who does not know where he is going to, and a perfect traveler does not know where he came from. - Lin Yutang What does Traveling mean? Is it an experience beyond the six senses? How
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Just a 'stone's throw' from well-known towns such as Pienza and Montepulciano, and  close to the borders with Umbria, the small lake of Chiusi sits in a basin between hills, and permits visitors a peek into its tranquil world.  If you happen to be in the area, it is definitely worth stopping by.  If you're a bit of a naturalist, here is an unspoilt, protected lake with as much 'natural goings-on' as you would hope to find.  If you're there at the right time, you may spot
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Duomo of Carrara Carrara is a city located in Tuscany, Italy in the province of Massa Carrara. The city is located on the Carrione River, located close to Florence. Carrara is mainly famous for its marble quarries from which white and bluish grey marble is quarried. The city is known to have been inhabited since the 9th Century BC when the Apuan Ligures lived here. The marble quarries here were set up by the Romans first and the city was built so that the workers working in the quarries
Friday, June 1st, 2012
giglio island
     Harbor in Isola del Giglio   If you want to enjoy a wonderful vacation on a lovely island around Italy, then Giglio is the best destination. This beautiful island is located across the southernmost corner of the Tuscan archipelago surrounded by blue sea. Giglio lies at a distance of 50 kms towards the southern side of Elba and around 15 kms from the mainland. Its mild climate, crystal clean emerald waters with natural surroundings attracts plenty of visitors
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Murlo (Siena) Tuscany Murlo is a small town located in Tuscany, Italy in the province of Siena, located close to the cities of Siena and Florence. The town is quite small, with an area of 116 sq km and a population of roughly 2500. Located on top of a hill, the economy of Murlo is mainly based on agriculture, cattle breeding and olives.  It is believed that the town was first founded in the 12th century when the castle was built here and then the community of Murlo slowly started inhabiting
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Restaurant in Loggia de Vasari The Strada del Vino Terre di Arezzo traverses the Valdarno characterized by wonderful gentle rolling hills, medieval villages, hamlets, villas and castles. This extensive Chianti sub-zone covers some 675 hectares of vines, 86 producers over15 communes. The Colli Aretini wines have a unique character, which is typified by a bright violet hue due to the slightly acid soils. According to Carlo Ferrini, winemaker consultant to Tenuta Sette Ponti the wines have more
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Radda in Chianti Radda in Chianti is a commune and town located in Tuscany, Italy in the province of Siena. The town is located close to Florence and Siena and is mainly known for its natural beauty. Radda in Chianti is quite a small town with an area of just 80 sq. km and a population of only approximately 1200. Located on top of a hill at an altitude of 800 meters, the town is located between the valleys of two rivers in the region. The main economy here is agriculture, wine, clothes and
Friday, June 1st, 2012
  Giannutri - Photo courtesy of delbene/Wikimedia   The Arcipelago Toscano National Park features seven stunning and unique islands as well as gorgeous mountain cliffs. The marine park safeguards almost 56,766 hectares of sea and more than 17,000 hectares of land. Over the years the national park has labored to preserve the natural beauty of the area for visitors and future generations. The seven main islands in the park are Gorgona, Giannutri, Pianosa, Montecristo, Capraia, Giglio and Elba
Friday, June 1st, 2012
  San Gimignano and Volterra are two Tuscan hill towns, physically close to each other, but very different. You might consider travelling first to Volterra and then on to San Gimignano, planning to arrive there about 5 PM. San Gimignano hosts a LOT of tourists during the day but most of the bus tours leave around 4 PM. After about 6 PM the town is yours to enjoy.   Volterra Volterra Volterra is Etruscan in origin and sits in countryside much different from San Gimignano. It
Friday, June 1st, 2012
pienza
    Pienza, Tuscany Ph. depositphotos/csakisti   Pienza is a town located in Tuscany, Italy in the province of Siena in the region of Val d'Orcia. Pienza was declared a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1999. The town was actually built on the site of an existing village by the name of Corsignano. The rebuilding of the town was done around the 15th century under the guidance of an architect from Florence.   The economy of Pienza is mainly dependent on agriculture,
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Castelnuovo Berardenga Castelnuovo Berardenga is a small town located in the Tuscany region of Italy. The town is located in the province of Siena and is located in close proximity to Florence and Siena. The town in included in the region of Chianti, which is famous for its wine all over the world. The town was named from a castle that was built here in 1366 by the Republic of Siena. The main economy of Castelnuovo Berardenga is agriculture and oil production. However, the town is also known
Friday, June 1st, 2012
tuscan food
  Cooking and baking in Tuscany is still a huge part of everyday life, I'm pleased to report. Having lived in a block of 12 apartments, I know that food, preparation and cooking continues to be a priority, in particular with the older generation. I've seen women return early in the morning from the local shops or the weekly market laden with fresh produce. I've seen them return from their campo (field) or Orto (kitchen garden) with bags stuffed full of fruit and vegetables they've been
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Lucignano (Arezzo) Tuscany Lucignano is located in the province of Arezzo in Tuscany, Italy. The town is located close to the cities of Arezzo and Florence. Lucignano is quite a small town, spread out over an area of 45 sq. km with a population of approximately 4,000. Lucignano is a quite well preserved medieval town located on top of a hill with many of the medieval buildings still intact. For nearly two decades Florence and Perugia had fought over the possession of Lucignano and it was
Friday, June 1st, 2012
  Tuscany - Landscape   The region of Tuscany offers something for everyone, from big cities and cultural centers like Florence to sprawling vineyards and small towns in the hills. Famous the world over for its rich artistic legacy as the birthplace of the Renaissance, Tuscany is also well known for its culture and beautiful natural landscapes. The home and birthplace of such luminaries as Puccini, da Vinci, Michelangelo and Dante, Tuscany is a land rich with history and fantasy. There is so
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Capalbio Capalbio Capalbio is located at the southern extreme of the Toscana Maremma. At the beginning of the 1300s the castle was under the dominion of a local family of Lords (probably descendants of Guido di Capalbio cited in an act of 1203), who in 1315 allied themselves with Orvieto against the Aldobrandeschi of Santa Fiora and the Baschi di Montemerano. The political authority of Orvieto lessened, Capalbio was conceded to the republic of Siena between 1339 and 1345 by the
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Come along to Sarteano (province of Siena) in early August and you'll feel the gathering excitement for the town's most important annual event the Giostra Del Saracino. Held every year on August 15th (Italy's Festa day for  the Assunzione della Santa Vergine), the tournament is taken seriously between the five contradas: Sant'Andrea (red and blue), Santissima Trinitá (yellow and violet), San Lorenzo (red and white), San Bartolomeo (violet and white), and San Martino (blue and white). This
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Prato by night Prato is the capital of the Province of Prato in Tuscany, Italy. Over the centuries, Prato has mainly been famous for its textile industries, with its products being sold to various parts of Italy as well as Europe. Prato has also played an important role in the slow food movement, which is reflected in its cuisine. Prato is the third largest city after Rome and Florence in central Italy and the second largest in Tuscany. Another noticeable fact about Prato is the huge
Friday, June 1st, 2012
pianosa island
    Forte Teglia in Pianosa Island, Tuscany. Ph. flickr/Roberto Miliani  While John Milton wrote about Paradise Lost, if he'd been to the island of Pianosa he'd likely have been talking about paradise found. Pianosa is not just a beautiful island but a unique one--singular in its history and location. Visitors to Pianosa have the opportunity to discover the many wonderful aspects of this special place as well as a chance to explore the untainted nature of this part of the
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Peccioli (Pisa) Tuscany Peccioli is a small town located in the Tuscany region of Italy in the province of Pisa. Peccioli is located close to Pisa and Florence and is quite a small town with an area of 92 sq km and population of close to 4300. Peccioli is located on top of a hill and the economy here is based mainly on cattle breeding, agriculture, wine production and local industries like clothes and furniture making. Peccioli was under the jurisdiction of Volterra during the 12th century
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Christmas time in Montecatini Terme Montecatini Terme is set against the backdrop of picturesque hills in the Valdinievole (Valley of Mists), some forty Kilometers west of Florence. I first discovered this elegant and leafy spa resort in the summer of 1998 and was immediately impressed by its elegance and by how green and well manicured the public park and gardens were. Although relatively modern by Tuscan standards, the town has a fascinating historical and cultural background and although I
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Trequanda Treuquanda is a small commune and town located in Tuscany, Italy in the province of Siena. The town is located close to Florence and Siena. Trequanda is quite a small town, spread out over an area of just 64 sq km and with a population of approximately 2200. The economy of Trequanda is based mainly on agriculture, farming, cattle breeding and sheep rearing and packing of some building areas. According to various scholars the town was first inhabited by the Etruscans, however, the
Friday, June 1st, 2012
  Monte Prado - Photo courtesy of Herzi Pinki/Wikimedia If you are looking for stunning natural landscapes then visiting the Appenino Tosco-Emiliano National Park is a perfect option for your vacation. The youngest of Italy's national parks the Appenino Tosco-Emiliano was established in 2001 and encompasses two regional parks and four state nature reserves. Located in central Italy, the park's forest ridges, the Cisa and Forbici Passes, seperate Tuscany from the Emilia region. It is easy to
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Grotta del Vento North of Lucca lies a magnificent valley with peaks of limestone. Where you have water and limestone, caves are soon to follow. The Grotta del Vento is one of those caves. Further up the valley of the Serchio River is the fine hilltop town of Castelnuovo di Garfagnana with its rocca and, just as important, some good restaurants. In the heat of the summer this trip provides an opportunity to enjoy the scenery, have some good food and cool off. You can opt to visit the Grotta
Friday, June 1st, 2012
monteriggioni
  ​ Panorama of Monteriggioni, Tuscany Ph. depositphotos/maumar70   Monteriggioni is located in Tuscany, in the province of Siena. Monteriggioni is located on a top of a hill and is a completely walled medieval town which has managed to retain its ancient roots and its medieval looks over the centuries. Many scholars describe it as one of the best examples of medieval villages in all of Italy. The walled town was originally built in the 13th century by Siena and not many
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Cloister in Castiglion Fioreninto Castiglion Fiorentino is a small town located in the Tuscany region of Italy. The town is located in the province of Arezzo between the two main cities of the province Arezzo and Crotona. Castiglion Fiorentino is located on top of a hill at an altitude of 345 meters above sea level. Scholars believe that the town was first founded around the 4th century BC since they found the remains of an old Etruscan temple during excavation processes. The main economy of