All passionate travellers have a bucket list of must see destinations and it is safe to say that Tuscany comes high on most of those lists. Tuscany encapsulates all that is wonderful about Italy and distills it into one gorgeous and varied region. No matter what your requirements are for the perfect travelling adventure -- sea, nature, art, history, food, wine, hiking, architecture, landscapes, shopping, 5 star hospitality -- Tuscany offers all of these and more. From the rugged promontory of Monte Argentario on the southern coast, through the voluptuous wine rich hills, past the renaissance skyline of Florence and on to the windswept woodlands in the east, Tuscany’s timeless beauty and vast cultural heritage make a visit here truly an experience to treasure.
The glory of Tuscany is well documented in thousands of books and articles dedicated to Florence, Siena, Italian wine, history and art. The thrill of travelling along the iconic winding roads flanked with regiments of cypress trees, overlooking the silvery green leaves of olive trees is the stuff of dreams. All visitors to Tuscany must gaze across the rows upon rows of stunning vineyards climbing the gently rolling hillsides as the grapes ripen, destined to become some of the world’s most sought after wine. However, often unmentioned and overlooked is the warmth and generosity of spirit that exists within the intricate tapestry of this unique region. Of course the famous sights and sounds of Tuscany’s fabulous cities are not to be missed, what would a visit be without the Uffizi Gallery, the Ponte Vecchio, the Piazza del Campo? But imagine delving behind the scenes and discovering the intimate and personal side of Tuscany, and you begin to create more than just a visit. Experiencing Tuscany at this deeply human level elevates a lovely trip to a once in a lifetime adventure.
Visitors to Tuscany who want to indulge their love of wine will undoubtedly tour the famous vineyards and cellars of the Chianti Classico region between Florence and Siena. The Chianti Classico consortium and the Strada del Vino make it easy to enjoy this scenic area and taste a vast selection of excellent wines. Castello della Paneretta in the lush Valley of Elsa takes it one step further and personalizes chianti wine by welcoming guests into their 14th century cellars and allowing them to interact with the wine in a hands on way. Renowned wine expert and sommelier Filippo Bartolotta casts a spell over his guests with his captivating tales about Italian wine and his irresistible enthusiasm. Within moments your senses are seduced by the sight of the barrels, the smell of the grapes and the taste of the wines. You actively join in the magic as it is happening, as you roll up your sleeves and blend your own unique wine to suit your personal taste. Leaving the castle having made your very own chianti wine is an unforgettable way to really feel the soul of Tuscany.
Art and history are undeniably two crucial elements of the Tuscan mystique. Florence abounds with world famous museums and unmissable collections viewed daily by appreciative visitors to the city. Palazzo Strozzi offers you something much more intimate when it opens its doors after closing time. Here you breathe the true spirit of Tuscany’s art and culture as you view the exhibits in private, at your own pace. Stroll in the 15th century courtyard, wander the halls and galleries, and experience the wonder of having a rare collection all to yourself for an evening. Imagining yourself as a resident of the palazzo and a collector of priceless art creates an emotional bond with Tuscany that can never be broken. It could even inspire you to go deeper into the spirit of Tuscany’s treasures and visit the Carrara marble quarries in the awe inspiring Apuan Alps in northern Tuscany. Draw even closer to famous renaissance artists and sculptors by visiting an active sculptor’s workshop, pick up a chisel and leave your own mark on the marble. You will comprehend the power of a sculptor’s creativity and skill in the most personal way imaginable, leaving Tuscany with its unique magic forever imprinted on your heart.