Truffles Tasting in Tuscany

Friday, October 2, 2015

Truffles Tasting in Tuscany

image from:
Posted by Virginie 02/10/2015

Truffles are one of the world’s most expensive foodstuffs, ranging in price from hundreds to thousands of pounds per kilo. For food-lovers, they are often seen as one of the ultimate gastronomic delights. Tuscany is one of the world’s top truffle-producing regions, so if you’re planning a holiday in this part of Italy, it’s well worth fitting some truffle tasting in while you’re here. Read on for our beginners guide to this most delicious of delicacies.

What are truffles?
Truffles are a type of fungus usually found around the roots of trees. Traditionally farmers have struggled to cultivate truffles, meaning that the only way to produce them was by heading out into the woods to find places that they grow naturally. In recent years, however, growers have had some success with mass producing truffles, but this industry is still in its infancy and many feel the naturally harvested variety are far superior to farmed truffles.

Types of truffles
There are a number of different types of truffles on the market, but the two most common are white and black truffles, both of which can be found in Tuscany. White truffles are generally the more expensive of the two, with the current record being set by businessman Stanley Ho, who paid £165,000 for a 1.5 kilo specimen in 2007. Black truffles, by comparison, are relatively cheap, but will still set you back anywhere between a few hundred and a few thousand pounds per kilo.

Where to find them
Fortunately, the flavour of truffles is so strong that even the tiniest amounts can transform a dish, so you can easily sample their delights in many Tuscan restaurants without having to remortgage your home. Rather than trying to buy truffles yourself for home cooking, we recommend finding a restaurant with the expertise to make the most out of this precious ingredient. Tuscany’s top truffle hot spot is found in the hills around the town of San Miniato near Pisa, with many of the local eateries featuring the fantastic fungus on their menus.
The team here at To Tuscany can help you find the perfect place to stay while you sample all the delights that Italy has to offer. With villas in Pisa, Florence, Siena and through the entire region
Read more

Tuscany’s Best Beach Resorts

Friday, September 18, 2015

Tuscany’s Best Beach Resorts

Posted by Ruth (18/09/2015)
Italy has over 280 Blue Flag beaches and more than 60 Blue Flag marinas, many of which are found along Tuscany’s 250 miles of coastline. These beaches are a mixture of private beaches and free beaches (known as “spiaggia libera”) so it’s important to know which kind you are visiting in advance to make sure you aren’t hit with an unexpected charge when you get there. Here are our picks for some of the top beaches in Tuscany. 

For those looking for a more high-end beach experience, Versilia is ideal. The beach here is very wide and long and is well served by various bathing establishments who provide deckchairs, umbrellas, changing rooms, showers and bars. All of this comes at a price, however, so if you’re looking for somewhere you can relax and work on your tan for free, you will need to look elsewhere.
On the plus side, both the sand and water at Versilia tend to be very clean and there is fantastic nightlife in the surrounding area during the summer months, making this a great place to spend the whole day.

One of Tuscany’s best-known spots, the seaside resort town of Castiglioncello has inspired painters such as the Macchiaioli and was once the favourite beach destination of top Italian film stars like Vittorio Gassman and Alberto Sordi. Head to the north of the town for a series of beautiful sandy beaches or head to the Bagno Lido or Le Forbici beach club with its stunning infinity pool for a more luxurious experience.

Cala Violina
Anyone looking for a classic white sandy beach could do a lot worse than Cala Violina. One of the most beautiful beaches in Tuscany, it has also been rated the top beach in Italy. If that isn’t enticing enough, Cala Violina also has the advantage of being a free beach, meaning you won’t have to pay for the privilege of sunning yourself here.

With that in mind, Cala Violina is actually surprising quiet much of the time and its location within the heart of a nature reserve helps to keep this spot wonderfully unspoiled.
Whether you are looking for a beach holiday, city break or any other kind of vacation, Tuscany has so much to offer. Our villas in Siena, Florence, Pisa and more are the ideal place to stay while getting to know this fantastic part of Italy. If you have any questions about how to make the most of your trip, please feel free to email us
Read more

A trip to Pistoia

Friday, September 11, 2015

A trip to Pistoia
Posted by Sonia (11/09/15)
Just 19 miles from Florence is the beautiful city of Pistoia. Much like other Tuscan comunes, the city is filled with breathtaking medieval architecture and rich culture. If you like the idea of a more relaxing break, then a villa near Pistoia is the perfect destination. But, what to do while there?
Aside from relaxing by your villa’s pool, here are some of the best things to do and see while visiting Pistoia.

Battistero di San Giovanni
While the baptistery in Pistoia has the same striped green and white marble façade as many other religious buildings in Tuscany, its shape is what makes it truly stand out. Built during the fourteenth century and designed by Andrea Pisano, the baptistery is octagonal and can be seen in the Piazza del Duomo.

La Fondazione Marino Marini
If you like modern art, head to Pistoia’s La Fondazione Marino Marini. The museum is dedicated to the works of Marino Marini. There, you can see sculptures and paintings by the artist who was born in Pistoia. During his lifetime, Marini’s work was displaying in New York’s MOMA and he was awarded the Grand Prize for Sculpture at the Venice Biennale.

Pistoia Sotterranea and Ospedale del Ceppo
For an amazing historical experience, head to Ospedale del Ceppo. This medieval hospital has a stunning exterior and plenty of history inside. Those visiting can go underground to see all of the 13th century hospital. In the Pistoia Sotteranea (the underground section of the hospital), you can see old surgical equipment, learn about the history of the building, and even see underground rivers.

Pistoia Blues
If you’re planning your next summer holiday, and are a music lover, then you may want to stay in Tuscany during Pistoia Blues festival. 2015’s line-up includes Mumford and Sons, Hozier, and Sting, so it’s bound to draw some great acts in the future.

We have a beautiful range of Tuscan villas in the Pistoia region that make the perfect accommodation for your Italy trip. Take a look at our website to browse our hand-picked luxury villas.
Read more

Take a Look at Lucca

Friday, August 28, 2015

Take a Look at Lucca

Posted by Dympna Docherty (28/08/2015)

Lucca often gets overlooked by visitors to Tuscany, but the small city tucked away in the north of the region has a lot to offer, especially for those looking for somewhere a little less touristy to stay.

Why choose Lucca?
Located about 12 miles North East of Pisa, the city dates back to Roman times, a legacy which can still be seen it the grid layout of its streets. The remains of the ancient Roman amphitheatre can still be seen in the Piazza dell’Anfiteatro which sits at the heart of the city and occupies the same space where the amphitheatre once stood.

Lucca can easily be reached from Florence and Pisa by public transport, making it highly accessible even if you don’t have a car and is only a half hour drive from the coast, including the famous beaches of Versilia. The city is also famous as the birthplace of legendary Italian composer Giacomo Puccini and there is a festival held in his honour every year in nearby Torre del Lago.

Things to see
Like many Tuscan cities, Lucca underwent a massive transformation during the Renaissance. One of the most prominent and unusual reminders of this period are the city walls which once protected the city. Unlike other cities in the region, Lucca’s walls were never demolished and are still completely intact, separating the old town from the more modern parts of the city. The walls now form a tree-lined promenade around the old town which provide a fantastic way to see the city.

Besides its walls, Lucca is stuffed full of historic architecture. The Torre Guinigi is a 130ft tower with a hanging garden at the top featuring an ancient oak tree. Tourists can climb the tower, providing the perfect vantage point. One of the most impressive buildings in Lucca is the Ducal Palace. Dating from the 14th century, the palace was destroyed by the people of Lucca in 1370 before being rebuilt by Paolo Guinigi in 1401 before being restored again in 1578 by architect and sculptor Bartolomeo Ammannati.  Duomo di San Martino a.k.a. (St Martin's Cathedral) is the seat of the archbishop of Lucca, the oldest parts of which date back to 1063. It is famous for the Holy Face of Lucca, a wooden crucifix and image of Jesus Christ supposedly carved by Nicodemus who lived at the same time as Jesus and the labyrinth embedded in cathedral’s portico.

We have a fantastic range of villas in Lucca for you to choose and are always happy to advise you on the best ways to make the most of your trip. If you have any questions we would love to hear from you, so please email us or call +44 121 286 7782.
Read more

A daytrip to Monte Argentario

Friday, August 21, 2015

A daytrip to Monte Argentario

Posted by Mikolaj (21/08/15)
A rarely talked about but breathtakingly beautiful area, the Monte Argentario peninsula is the perfect place for a daytrip or two. Offering fresh sea air and stunning views, visitors can expect to find an atmosphere that is far more relaxed that the busy cities of Northern Tuscany.

Monte Argentario is approximately an hour away from Grosetto and the area makes the perfect day trip if you’re staying in a Tuscany villa in the area. If you like the idea of visiting some Tuscan beaches and visiting the coast while away, then here’s where to go.

 Porto Santo Stefano
The largest town on the Monte Argentario peninsula is Porto Santo Stefano. The picturesque seaport was once prone to attacks from pirates. A Spanish Forte was built in the 16th century to protect the town and is now home to a permanent exhibition called Submerged Memories.
The town is also perfect for nature lovers, especially those who are interested in marine biology, as there are many diving excursions and opportunities to explore the coast. It is best to book these trips in advance and get there early for morning departures.

Porte Ercole
Porte Ercole is smaller than Porto Santo Stefano yet still has lots to offer. With stretches of beach that are great for sunbathing and swimming, you can split your visit to Porte Ercole between activities and relaxing. A visit to Forte Stella provides some spectacular views and another glimpse of 16th century history.

As you drive to visit either Porte Ercole or Porte Santo Stefano, it’s worth stopping off in Obetello. The town is situated in the middle of two lagoons, which offers a beautiful landscape. Visit Laguna di Orbetello for a mesmerising panorama and to see the round windmill that sits in the water, making for a wonderful view.

Whether you’re planning on spending your entire holiday lounging around by the pool or beach, or whether you want to explore everything the region has to offer, To Tuscany has a great selection of villas to choose from. Take a look at our website, or browse our blog for inspiration for your trip.
Read more
Contact Us

Why To Tuscany?

  1. 1) 100s of Hand Picked Villas
  2. 2) Best Price Guaranteed!
  3. 3) Personal Info Securely Managed
  4. 4) We Visit Every Villa We Offer
  5. 5) Personal Local Knowledge

Visit Site

Share on