Located in the northeast part of Italy, Tuscany often gets rated as one of the most beautiful places in the world. Not only is the region famous for its wine and rolling hills but it was also the birthplace of the European Renaissance, houses the Leaning Tower of Pisa and offers epic day trips. If you’re thinking of visiting this picturesque part of Italy, check out the following things you should know before you book your flight.
Luxury Accommodation is Worth the Price
There are several villas in Tuscany. You can find large vacation homes nestled in the hills surrounded by vineyards as well as those closer to the towns with a swimming pool. Anyone who wants to fully appreciate Italy’s Tuscany in style should consider finding a beautiful place to stay.
Rent a Car
Most people begin their holiday in Florence. While the city is full of history, culture and art, it shouldn’t be the only place you visit on your trip. Instead, spend a few nights in the city before renting a car and exploring the surrounding region. Expect long country lanes snaking through vineyards and olive trees as you head deeper into Tuscany. Having your own set of wheels will also make it easy to get further out and explore the other must-visit destinations including both Siena and San Gimignano. There are several unexplored parts and hidden gems that make having a car a priority.
Rent a Bike
Perhaps you want to have an adventure without leaving a carbon footprint. The good news is that this is possible and practised by many. Bicycle rentals are available around much of Tuscany and cyclists often head out into the hills around the country lanes. Few cars combined with incredible scenery make the perfect place to cycle.
Know When to Visit
The best time to visit Tuscany is anytime from late spring to early autumn. Daytime temperatures will hover anywhere from the mid-20s up to the low 30s. Most days will have blue skies and endless sunshine. This is an excellent time of the year to explore the natural beauty and wonders of Italy’s finest destination. It also makes a perfect excuse for a trip to the beach. Visiting at other times of the year will probably come with the bad weather making it less than ideal to explore.
Don’t Neglect the Beaches
Few people associate Tuscany with having world-class beaches and being a prime location for relaxing on the sand. But when you consider that the region has more than 200 kilometres of coastline, it’s easy to imagine why it would be an excellent spot for a beach holiday. The best places along the coast include Elba, Viareggio and Forte dei Marmi. Most are reachable within an hour or two on the train from Florence. Or, if you rent a car it’s possible to visit as part of an extended trip throughout the area.
Enjoy the Wine
Thousands of bottles of high-quality wine make their way from Tuscany onto the shelves of supermarkets and wineries around the globe. When you’re visiting, it’s quite easy to travel to some of the vineyards and take part in wine tasting tours. You can search online and find guided tours departing from Florence on an almost daily basis. Having a guide is a good idea. After all, you can’t sample glasses of wine all afternoon and then drive back yourself. On the other hand, if you do have a designated driver, it does give you more flexibility. Consider going to Salcheto, Capezzana, Biondi Santi and Antinori Chianti Classico.
Plan an Itinerary
Because of the size of Tuscany and the sheer number of incredible places to see, it’s essential that visitors have a rough idea of where they want to go. Consider buying a guidebook to help you plan, and write down the must-see destinations. After you do this, it’s much easier to make the most out of your time. Fail to do so, and you risk missing out on unforgettable experiences. This is especially the case if it’s your first time visiting.
Indulge in Retail Therapy
Milan is famous around the world for fashion, and Italians have a reputation for dressing well and always looking elegant and respectable. The good news for anyone wanting to visit Tuscany is that Florence has a very active shopping scene. Walk through the streets, and you’ll find endless boutiques. Just because it’s not Milan, it doesn’t mean you won’t be able to get a new wardrobe.
Visit as Part of a Longer Italian Adventure
There are hundreds of interesting places to see in Italy from ancient Rome to the romantic canals on Venice. Lake Como and Milan are great tourist destinations too. If you’re planning on spending more than a few days in Italy, why not try to see more than one place? You could find accommodation and use it as a base to explore other parts of the country. An example of an itinerary for a ten day trip to Italy would be to fly into Milan. Explore the fashion capital for a few days before taking a day trip to either (or both) Venice and Lake Como. You could then head down to Florence, rent a car and have an adventure in this part of Italy too.
Knowing How to Have a Great Trip
Future tourists should prioritise spending at least a few days planning their trip to Tuscany to make sure they get the full experience. When you arrive, rent a car and have an adventure. Just be sure to choose the time of the year wisely, sample some wine and make the most of your chance to see more of Italy.