Underground Tuscany

Friday, August 31, 2012

Image from www.parks.it
One of the most fascinating aspects of visiting any region is discovering its natural beauties and hidden historic landmarks. In this regard, Italy offers archaeology and geology enthusiasts plenty of reasons to leave their Tuscany villas and head out to discover the region’s many underground landmarks.

From pre-historic caves – the equivalent of Tuscany villas for primitive people - to below-ground tunnels, aqueducts and labyrinths, the Northern Italian region presents countless motives of interest for those wanting to take a geological or archaeological tour.

Some of the highlights justifying a venture outside their Tuscany villas for those interested in the underground include the Antro del Corchia – 60 kilometres’ worth of tunnels rising and dipping over 1200 metres; the Grotta del Vento and the Grotta Giusti (the latter a natural sauna); the labyrinth of Porsenna, with historic and mythological connotations; the Bottini, a still-functioning underground aqueduct taking water to wells all over Siena; and the several mining museums scattered throughout the region.

Fans of ancient history will also not want to miss the Etruscan necropolises between Sovana and Populonia, of which the most notable is perhaps the ‘Cittá del Tuffo’ park – miles and miles of ancient Etruscan tombs, linked to an equally as interesting rock settlement as well as to a Museum of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, at Fortezza degli Orsini in Sorano. All in all, a fixture which is well worth the trip and the modest combined-ticket price of seven euros, for all those seeking for a more cultural, interesting holiday alternative to Tuscany villas, wine routes and eco-turism.

Underground caves, labyrinths and necropolises are just one more facet to add to the increasing list of reasons justifying a visit to Tuscany!
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Your Source for Affordable Tuscany Villa Rentals

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Tuscany is the perfect place for a vacation. With a nice mix of quaint villages and larger towns, there is so much to see and do here. Tuscany is also full of art and history, and many people come to experience this type of rich Italian culture. There are many events that take place here throughout the year, multiple museums and water parks, thermal baths, hiking, cycling, language classes, cooking classes, and excellent cuisine and wine to experience. Sound like a fun vacation? If so, consider booking a Tuscany villa rental.
At To-Tuscany.com, we are proud to serve as your source for affordable Tuscany villa rentals. We have been booking villas for vacationers since 1998, and today, we have access to over 400 villas that are just perfect for your stay. Our villas have either a private pool or a shared pool, and each has a private garden or a terrace. Theses villas are part of wine estates, farm houses, cottages, or even hay barns that have been restored to perfection. You can stay in an apartment or a castle. Because we have such a wide array of Tuscany villa rentals available, it is easy to find a villa that is just the right fit for our customers.
No matter what kind of trip you're planning, we can find a villa for you. You can pick a romantic vacation for two in a cozy villa, or you can take a vacation with the whole family in a larger villa. You can have a fully furnished villa with up to six bedrooms and four bathrooms if you have the need. Some villas are pet friendly, and there are luxury villas available as well. Whatever your needs are, we can meet them.
Visit our website today to discover the endless possibilities on the road to Tuscany.
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Tuscany on Horseback

Friday, August 24, 2012

Image from toscanaonhorseback.com

While Tuscany villas are a perfect base from which to explore this stunning Northern Italian province, tourists visiting both from abroad and from other parts of Italy will no doubt want to extend their reach beyond the immediate area they are located in. And while there are a number of ways to do so, some of them may be somewhat limiting (one’s own two feet), or not sufficiently exciting (a car or public transportation do not exactly make for a unique experience).

Fortunately, the region offers a wealth of other options which are bound to please denizens of Tuscany villas looking for a bit more excitement in their holidays. And in that respect, fans of horseback riding will no doubt be pleased to know that the Northern Italian region provides plenty of opportunities for them to engage in their pastime of choice.

In fact, Tuscany’s many wine trails, country roads, and unspoilt scenic routes should provide more than enough arguments for horse-riding enthusiasts to leave the comfort of their Tuscany villas and head out on one – or more – days of somewhat rougher, but no less enjoyable living..

Some of the most famous dedicated horse trails of this region include the appropriately named Via de Cavaleggeri (Horseman’s Way), which links coastal watchtowers between Pisa, Livorno and Grosseto, and crosses several natural parks; the Horse Trail of the Sacred Forests, which goes by numerous historic spots, such as castles, abbeys and monasteries; the more nature-based Amiata horse trail; or the Jacopo Trail, which follows along more touristy routes and allows riders to visit numerous sites of historical and cultural interest, including Leonardo da Vinci’s birthplace. Finally, the Terre de Siena horse trail proposes a tour through the Sienese countryside, while providing easy access to the region’s main attractions, such as Piazza del Campo or Torre del Mangia.

Horse-riding aficionados are well advised that to drag themselves away from their Tuscany villas and head out onto the horse trails this spring and summer will be a worthwhile excursion!
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The Advantages of Tuscany Villa Rental over a Hotel

Friday, August 17, 2012

Vacationing in Tuscany can be much more fun for you and the family when you don't stay at a hotel. Why spend a week struggling to be comfortable in a single room when you could rent a whole house and stay in it for the same price or even less? Skip the hotel and find a Tuscany villa rental to stay in.

When you rent a villa, you get a whole working house to yourself. What that means for your trip is that you will have access to a full kitchen so that you don't have to eat out for breakfast, lunch, and dinner every single day. Save money by buying groceries and making breakfast, having sandwiches for lunch and then eating out for dinner. Also, most rentals come with a washer so that you don't have to pack a ton of clothing for the trip.

With a rental, you can entertain guests and even bring the whole family with you; it's easy to search for a rental based on the number of people that you need to accommodate. The wisest investment you can make is to ensure that you are renting a villa that has enough rooms for everyone in your party. With the right sized rental, everyone can gather easily, but they can also retreat to their private space at a moment's notice, allowing everyone to enjoy the vacation without sitting on top of one another.

When you get a villa, you can even vacation with other families. There are generously-sized rentals that cost a bit more to rent and can house twelve people or more! By splitting the rental fee between you, you could experience the true luxury of a mansion in Italy without the crippling price tag.

Get a Tuscany villa rental now to ensure that you have the vacation experience you want. It beats staying in a hotel, it costs the same amount of money, and it gives everyone the space they need on vacation.
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The “Mystery Tuscany” Tour

Image source: www.sangalgano.it
In 1967, the Beatles took listeners on a “Magical Mystery Tour”; forty-five years later, and a few countries further south, the Tuscany tourism office proposes a slightly differently named, but certainly no less interesting, tour. Designed to present tourists with the “darker”, more mysterious side of the region, the “Mystery Tuscany” tour will no doubt be yet another attracting factor for those thinking of renting Tuscany villas this spring and summer.

The declared objective of this tour is to take foreign visitors away from the predictable, beaten-path Florence-Siena-Pisa trail, and introduce them to those lesser-known areas which nevertheless present exciting glimpses into the region’s culture and history. Backed by a thorough package which includes a short film documentary and an iPhone app, this project feeds into the region’s desire to show that its touristic appeal stretches beyond Tuscany villas, quaint countryside vistas, and good wine.

The idea for this project originated from a 2010 semi-mockumentary about the secrets and legends of twelve places in Tuscany, including an abbey without a roof, supposedly “haunted” castles, and even the abbey of Montecristo. This was later backed up by a map-based iPhone app, as well as a website dedicated to updating interested parties on Tuscany’s most recent “mystery spots”. Now, the film comes to life, as visitors can now take a tour of the twelve locations featured in the documentary, and soak up the mysterious ambience for themselves!

This carefully put-together package focuses on the region’s early history, taking tourists from Etruscan ritual grounds to locations visited by local saint Galgano Guidotti, and even a couple of spots with alleged links to the legendary King Arthur, of Excalibur fame. All in all, it should provide more than enough reasons to make visitors to Northern Italy this spring and summer leave their Tuscany villas and head out into the darker, more mysterious corners of this idyllic holiday region!
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Fragrances of Boboli

Monday, August 13, 2012

Image credits: www.firenze-online.com

Every year, the Tuscan tourist office gives tourists more and more reasons to rent Tuscany villas. From art festivals to cycling events, and from rock concerts to nature treks, the beautiful Northern Italian province has long stopped relying on its beautiful countryside and the rustic charm of its farmhouses, and made a bid for modernity which has, so far, yielded very interesting results.

One of the undertakings sure to populate a few more Tuscany villas each spring is the “Fragrances of Boboli” festival, held in the Florentine gardens of the same name. Hosting its sixth edition between 17-20 May of this year, this festival is dedicated to highlighting artistic traditions relating to the world of botany.

The nature of this event, which will focus on outdoor design this year, is two-fold. On the one hand, visitors can come into contact with many of the region’s botany-related arts and crafts; on the other hand, the event also serves as a market, which allows interested visitors and tourists to take a little sample of the wares on display back to their Tuscany villas. Be it a perfume, some spices, a print, fabric, accessories, or even a plant itself, the “Fragrances of Boboli” festival is sure to offer something to please everyone!
In addition to the market stalls, the organisers of the Boboli fragrance festival will also re-build the Speziaria, where spices used to be prepared. As well, in the ten days after the festival (May 20-30), a special path will be opened in the Zoology section of the gardens, where author Giulianno Ghelli will read extracts from “I raconti della luna”.

This festival, which will be open from 10am to 8pm over the course of the weekend, is free of charge for residents of Florence, who only need to display ID to be granted entrance. Those visiting or renting Tuscany villas nearby will need to pay for a ticket, but will be offered value for money: the entrance fee grants access to not only the festival grounds themselves, but also the Gardens, the Silver Museum, the Porcelain Museum, the Costume Gallery in Palazzo Pitti and the Bardini Gardens.
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Tuscan Villa Rentals Offer Many Options and Amenities

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

When visiting Tuscany, you don't want to show up without a hotel room or other accommodations set. The area is popular and has a limited number of rentals available, so you need to make sure you have yours booked before arriving. Of course, you don't want to select any old room just because it is available--you want to truly live like a local and experience the wonder of the Italian landscape and the best way to do that is to check out the Tuscan villa rentals. These locations give you anything you can imagine, allowing you to live in the lap of luxury for the duration of your stay. Whether you are vacationing on your own or checking in with a large group, there is a Tuscan villa rental that is perfect for you.

Many of the Tuscan villas available for rental purposes are actually owned by locals or expatriates and used by them while they are in the area. When they are not staying there, they help to pay the rent by allowing others to use the location. The further in advance that you reserve the rental the better off you are. By planning ahead, you have ample time to find a rental that will suit the number of people that you need to accommodate as well as the budget you have. When using our site, simply enter the time you are arriving and the duration you wish to stay. From there, the website shows you the specific amount of space of each rental and types of amenities available.

Nothing allows you to truly feel like a local better than living where locals live in the manner that they do. With Tuscan villa rentals from To Tuscany, you not only live like a local, but you get incredible amenities that really make you feel as though you are in paradise. So whether there is a pool overlooking a vineyard or olive trees, or a five minute walk into a historic village, you'll enjoy a life that you otherwise might not have even imagined.

Again, remember to book in advance so that you have the best possible options available to you before the trip.  
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Tuscany On The Silver Screen

Friday, August 3, 2012

Image from https://simplesavvy.wordpress.com

Film directors are forever seeking attractive locations that will look good as backdrops for their films; and, with its quaint Tuscany villas, sprawling green fields and rustic towns, Tuscany is a prime candidate for the role of background eye-candy. It comes as no surprise, therefore, to learn that the region has been featured in a number of relatively high-profile films for a number of decades, constituting a favourite for both Italian and international directors.

The region’s main form of accommodation, Tuscany villas, took centre stage in the recent adaptation of novel Under a Tuscan Sun, which centred around a relocated foreigner renovating one of the province’s typical houses. More significantly, Florence was one of the main backdrops for ‘Hannibal’, the high-profile sequel to the classic ‘The Silence Of The Lambs’. In that film, the fabled Dr. Hannibal Lecter spends most of his time in his residence in the ‘capital’ of Tuscany, then engages in a game of cat-and-mouse with Clarice Starling in the streets of the city, allowing the film-makers to display many of Florence’s personable features.

In what concerns home-grown cinema, perhaps Tuscany’s main claim to fame is as the birthplace of Roberto Benigni – he of ‘Life Is Beautiful’ fame and ‘Pinnochio’ infamy. However, many other Italian directors have sought to capture the charmingly rustic appeal of Tuscany villas, towns and countryside vistas on a film reel. Internationally acclaimed directors such as Franco Zeffireli, Federico Fellini and Marcello Mastroiani have included the region in some of their more famous pictures, therefore increasing Tuscany’s exposure to international audiences, and cementing the region’s presence in the world of cinema.

But perhaps Tuscany’s biggest claim to fame is having been featured in the cinematic adaptations of Stephenie Meyer’s hit Twilight book series. The saga’s second instalment, New Moon, took its protagonists – and its viewers – to Montepulciano, exposing this beautiful location to millions of eyes the world over.

In the end, Tuscany’s success as a movie location is not hard to understand: there is just so much natural beauty in this Northern Italian region, that no film director could resist the opportunity to feature it in one of their works!
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