TuscanHolidays

Where to Stay

We are pleased to offer you a choice of villas and apartments carefully chosen for their excellent locations throughout Tuscany including the most central areas between Florence, Siena and Pisa. Other areas of great interest are offered around Lucca, Arezzo and near the coast.

All but one of our self-catering holiday homes are in, or on the fringes of, that most beautiful area of Tuscany - Chianti - and a good number of these are situated in working vineyards where the owners will welcome you with warm hospitality. There can be few things to compare with the pleasure of sitting outside drinking the wine, which has been lovingly made from the grapes you see in the fields around, whilst you plan your next interesting day in this magical area.

One of the most visited tourist sites in Europe, Pisa is synonymous with the iconic Leaning Tower, which is a free-standing campanile or bell tower associated with the 11th century Gothic Cathedral nearby.

Visitors throng to the famous Piazza del Duomo, also known as the Piazza del Miracole, a beautiful and extensive plane of green punctuated by the imposing masses of the Cathedral, its Baptistery and Camposanto, which is dominated by the leaning tower and many souvenir shops. It should be possible to climb the tower but be prepared to wait and you may have to book tickets.

A visit to Pisa needn't be just for the Tower but can include the villages of the Pisan hills, the natural oasis of San Rossore and the Marina di Pisa.

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Home of Puccini and Pinnocchio, and famous for its olive oil, this picturesque walled town has narrow streets, a beautiful circular 'square' and many interesting shops, cafés, galleries and ancient buildings.

Enclosed by massive red brick walls, built in 1504 and 1645, that shut out the traffic and the 21st century, Lucca is a peaceful city where you can amble about and explore all the interesting byways. Bicycles are a popular way to travel around as it is unusually flat.

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One of the highlights of any visit to Tuscany is a trip to Siena - not to be missed! The city is tightly wrapped around the Piazza del Campo, which every summer on 2 July and 16 August is the venue for the world-famous Palio di Siena, which attracts crowds from all over the world.

The grand shell-shaped square is dominated by the Palazzo Pubblico, one of the most elegant examples of Italian civil architecture in Gothic style. Lunch in the square as you watch the world go by is a fine way to spend part of the day.

Siena has one of the finest cathedrals in Tuscany, built of dramatic black and white marble. The magnificent bell tower is open to visitors and you can climb to the top for wonderful views over the city.

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For a full day out visit the regional capital of Tuscany...Florence is the world's most celebrated storehouse of renaissance art and architecture. It sits on the banks of the river Arno below the wooded foothills of the Appennines. The famous Duomo dominates the city's roofscape, just as the great Piazza del Duomo at its feet dominates life at street level. The square is ringed with cafés and is a popular meeting point. Between there and the river Arno there are many of the best-loved palaces, including Palazzo Strozzi, Palazzo Corsini, Palazzo Vecchio and the Uffizi Gallery.

This is a big city with a fabulous feel, oozing history and culture - enjoy wonderful renaissance buildings, famous galleries and designer shops. You can drive into the city and park in the huge underground car-park next to the railway station from where it is a short walk into the real heart of the city. Train connections are very good and will take you from outside the city into the main station.

Florence is a busy tourist centre and a great place to buy all kinds of wonderful things, including leather goods, clothes, gold and silver jewellery, glass and ceramics and beautiful Florentine handicrafts, such as embroidery and products made from straw.

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San Gimignano is a World Heritage Site steeped in Etruscan history and is one of the best preserved medieval towns in Italy. Known as 'The City of Beautiful Towers' dating from the thirteenth century it boasts beautiful buildings, gorgeous frescos in the cathedral and there's often a musician playing in the cloistered square next door.

Market day in San Gimignano is busy and bustling in the town square and there is excellent shopping - leather goods, ceramics, local produce and the famous wines of the area will tempt you.

Scenes from 'Breakfast with Mussolini' and 'A Room with a View' were both filmed in the old town.

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Situated on a high plateau, Volterra offers superb views over the surrounding hills. The town is famous for its medieval buildings and museums, which house one of the best collections of Etruscan artifacts.

Don't miss the wonderful alabaster, which has been worked here for hundreds of years.

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The town of Talamone lies on a rocky promontory, on the southern border of the Maremma nature reserve. The surrounding area is characterised by the presence of typical Mediterranean vegetation and long sandy beaches, lined by pine trees. Talamone is easily reached from Via Aurelia, and is about 25km from Grosseto and 10km from Orbetello. The local beach of Talamone has become a very popular area for kitesurfing and in 2008 it was one of the sites used for the movie 007 - Quantum of Solace.

On the outskirts of Talamone is the southern entrance to the Maremma Natural Park, from where there are some spectacular nature trails. There are a great variety of animals here: Maremman cattle and horses wander freely and you can often see foxes, badgers, porcupines, wild boar, deer and an immense variety of birds.

Viareggio is a stylish Victorian coastal resort and home to some of the finest yachts in the Mediterranean and Lido beaches, used by the Florentines and residents of Pisa at weekends. Stroll along the promenade or wander along the side of the yacht harbour, spoil yourselves with wonderful ice-creams in the local gelateria or enjoy a spell on the beach with a paddle in the lovely warm sea.

Tyrrenia is an old-fashioned coastal resort just south of Pisa and is loved by locals for its good beach.

Livorno isn't the prettiest place but interesting nevertheless being one of the largest container ports on the Italian coast. This is where all the large cruise liners come in and where passengers disembark for trips to Florence. If you explore the old town you will come across various traditional fish restaurants serving the most delicious fresh fish.

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