If I talked about rolling hills, vineyards, stone houses, and quaint hilltop villages the chances are you’d be thinking of Tuscany.
The fact is, this region of Italy is simply full of these beautiful features and when you add in the coast and it’s larger towns and cities too, you can easily see why this is one of the top destinations in the country, if not the world.
Tuscany really is a wonderful place that has so much to offer, whatever your age. Take the regional capital, Florence, or the equally famous city of Pisa; then there’s Arezzo and Siena with their gorgeous historic architecture.
There’s the culture too, as Tuscany is considered to be the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance after all!
And, on top of all that, you may not even think of the coast when you picture Tuscany, but the region’s extensive coastline is just as stunning as the interior and full of wonderful little
coves with beaches, pretty villages and tree-lined hillsides.
Many of the millions of tourists who come to Tuscany every year come here to enjoy the countryside whether they hike, bicycle, see it on horseback, or tour around in a car.
The quiet country roads just invite you to explore them as you come across vineyards and little villages where you can stop and refresh yourself in the local café or bar.
On the other hand Tuscany offers big cities too; Florence is the capital and has a wonderful historic centre, noted for its Renaissance art, architecture and monuments.
The smaller city Pisa is of course famous for its Leaning Tower, and if you enjoy the medieval cityscape of Florence you’ll love Siena too.
Lucca is another popular town and then there’s Montepulciano which is famous for its wines.
What about the Weather ?
The whole of Tuscany is well known for its long and fairly hot summers with temperatures usually averaging a few degrees hotter inland than they do on the coast.
Florence, for example, has an average high of around 31.5C in July and August whereas in Pisa it’s a couple of degrees lower.
You can expect warm and pleasant temperatures from May through to October, so there’s a long summer season to enjoy.
In terms of rainfall, summers aren’t without rain though there’s a lot less at this time of year compared to autumn and spring, when the most rain falls. November is Florence’s wettest month while October is Pisa’s.
Where is Tuscany?
Tuscany is a region in Central Italy, set on the west coast of the country and stretching inland to the heart of the country. It covers around 23,000 square kilometres and is home to nearly 4 million people, most of them live in the region’s larger cities like Florence.
Speaking of wine, this is one thing that Tuscany is famous for. As well as the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, the region produces great tasting Chianti, Morellino di Scansano, and Brunello di Montalcino, among others.
And the cuisine is actually fairly plain and simple, but this isn’t to say it doesn’t taste good!
Many dishes have peasant origins and contain a variety of ingredients, most notably legumes, vegetables, and mushrooms.
Bread plays an important part in all meals, and you can get some lovely steak and game in Tuscany too. The region is well known for its wild boars, deer, hares, and pheasant.
White truffles are also a local specialty, and if you enjoy desserts you must try panforte and cavallucci.
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