Infallible Firenze

Friday, February 22, 2013

Image source:

Infallible Firenze

Florence, or Firenze to the Italians, lies at the heart of Tuscany and is one of the biggest and most visited cities in Italy. Every year thousands of holiday makers flock to this beautiful city to experience its wonderful architecture, breath-taking scenery and typical Italian atmosphere.

Without a doubt, the best way to enjoy Florence is by renting a Tuscan villa on the outskirts and either hiring a car or hoping on a bus to reach the city centre. Not only does this give you the chance to enjoy the quiet, rich countryside instead of the more densely populated tourist filled areas, but the rest of Tuscany will also be at your beck and call.

Whether you have a week to relax and take in the sights or only a long weekend to cram as much into as possible, Florence has something for everybody. So here’s a - by no means exhaustive - list of what there is to see and do.

Make no missed steak – It may sound like a typical thing for a holiday maker to do when in Florence but having a taste of the traditional Florentine steak should not be missed, especially for all you meat lovers. For a well-cooked steak, head to the Ristorante Riflessi close to the Piazza della Liberta. The steaks are high when it comes to this Tuscan speciality dish but you won’t be disappointed.

Ponte Vecchio and the Duomo - If you pick up any literature on where to go in Florence then you are sure to be directed to these two iconic pieces of architecture. Crowds are likely to be big around these attractions, especially in peak seasons, but that doesn’t mean you should forego these amazing sights. The Ponte Vecchio bridge was created so that the rich didn’t have to mix with the commoners on their way from their palaces to their offices and the dome at the top of the Duomo can also be climbed to give you a stunning view of the city.

Party with the cool kids – For something that is definitely less likely to be teeming with tourists, head to one of the trendy areas for quirky bars and al fresco style dining. The Piazza di Santo Spirito is a great place to start if you really want to experience lively Italian culture, untouched by the holiday making masses.

Gorge on Gelato – All over Florence there are plenty of places to grab a delicious ice cream but with so many different flavours to try, you are going to have to establish a plan of attack. So many of these stalls will be making their own home made Gelato as well, so chocolate at one place may not be the same as the other chocolate flavours; there really is a world of ice cream waiting to be explored. Try to sample as many as possible by having at least too Gelato breaks per day.

An abundance of art – Florence is famed the world over for its rich and vibrant history of art and with so many different galleries and outdoor exhibitions it can be hard to fit them all in. However, just walking through the streets and taking in what you see before you will be enough to get those artistic juices flowing. The Galleria degli Uffizi is perhaps the most famous of the galleries and is home to a vast amount of art from the renaissance period. If you are planning on visiting though, it might be an idea to buy your tickets in advance as it is sure to be very busy. Another gallery that shouldn’t be missed is the Galleria HYPERLINK ""dell’Accademia where you will find the unmistakeable statue of David, arguably one of the most famous pieces of art ever created.
Read more

Breath-taking Beaches Of The Tuscan Coastline

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Breath-taking Beaches Of The Tuscan Coastline

Whether you go on holiday to relax and do nothing at all or whether you like to see and do as much as possible, going to the beach is near the top of everyone’s list of things to do. The beauty of the seaside is that you can lounge around all day in the sun or you can be more active and get involved in some beach side activities; either way the beach is a great place for any holiday goer.

One of the great things about renting a villa in Tuscany is that the majority of locations are outside of the city and so have easy access to the beach. Villas close to Grosseto, Pisa and Livorno will all be in close vicinity to the coast and so they offer the perfect Tuscan retreat for your fun filled beach break. However, with such a beautiful coastline, it’s hard to know where best to base yourself so here are a few opulent options. If you just can’t choose then why not hire and car and spend a day at each of them?

Viareggio – Viareggio is located on the north-west coast of Italy and is just to the north of Pisa. This typical Italian beach is likely to be populated by families and young trendy types and is the perfect place to grab a gelato and relax. It is one of the most popular beaches on the Tuscan coast so it might be advisable to get there earlier in the day to secure an umbrella or lounger. Failing that, just find a reasonable spot, lay down your towel and soak up all this beach has to offer.

Monte Argentario – This beach possesses a more secluded and exclusive atmosphere but still with a family orientated feel. It is situated on a little island just off the coast near Orbetello and is only reachable via three narrow strips of land but does have easy road access. Be sure to check out the Carla Piccola cove; with its rocky landscape and clear blue water, it offers an excellent spot for a bit of snorkelling.

Marina di Alberese – This four mile long beach is probably one to take a romantic walk along more than one to sit in one place all day. Although you will come across the odd group of sunbathers, the coastline here offers a lot more for the nature lover than the tanning enthusiast. It is also a good idea to take a little picnic with you as there is not much in the way of beach bars and snack shacks; the nearest town of Alberese will offer some traditional Tuscan bites for you to sample though. Also, keep an eye out for the sudden appearance of shelters made of driftwood as this means you are entering nudist territory.

San Vincenzo - The town of San Vincenzo can be found half way between Livorno and Grosseto and is steeped in history. It has been occupied since prehistoric times and as well as being an important territory for the Etruscans, it was where the Romans built one of their most major roads. Its beautiful beach is about six miles long, is lined with white sand and overlooked by a magnificent pine tree forest. It is great place to experience a piece of Tuscan history away from the hustle and bustle of other tourist packed beaches.
Read more

Tuscan Blockbusters: Three Famous Movies with Scenes Shot in Tuscany

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Quick, name three movies that had scenes filmed in Tuscany!  If most of you could only think of Under the Tuscan Sun don't be discouraged, sometimes it can hard to distinguish movie scenes that were shot on location from scenes that were shot on a lot.  It's pretty rare for films to be 100% shot on location today, a large chunk of a movie's budget goes to traveling costs and filming permits.  It's possible that some of your favorite Tuscany villa rentals could have been in the background of a movie.  It's obvious that films set Tuscany will have a few shots in the city, but you'd be surprised to learn just how many movies had scenes filmed in Tuscany.  Try to spot the Tuscan backgrounds the next time you see one of these films. 

Twilight New Moon

You wouldn't expect that a movie about human/vampire love affair set in the American northwest would have some scenes set in Italy, but thanks to vampire politics the main character's near immortal love interest needs to travel to Italy to speak with a power vampire coven.  Some people thought that the beautiful Tuscan scenery in the movie was CGI, but when you saw Edward Cullen swaggering down the street you saw him walking down the historic streets Volterra.  It's easy to see why Stephenie Meyer had the ancient coven headquarters in Volterra.  The town can trace its origin back to Neolithic times and has breath tasking historic architecture that can date back to the Romans.

The English Patient

This moving romantic drama only had a budget of $27 million, but it managed to make over $200 million in revenue.  A good portion of the film's plot takes place in Africa, but most of the second half of the movie takes place in Italy.  Most of the film's scenes that took place in Africa were filmed in Tunisa, but almost all of the scenes that take place in Italy were filmed on location.  The quaint Italian town that was featured in the film is located in Pienza, and the chapel where the main character Hana studies frescos is the Bacci Chapel located in the Basillica of San Francesco in Arezzo. 


This historical epic won five Academy Awards and focused on a loyal Roman general who was betrayed and forced to participate in gladiator battles.  The film had a budget of $103 million, and it's safe to assume that a good portion of that went to traveling costs.  The opening battle scenes were filmed in the Bourne Woods near Farnham Surrey in England, and the scenes that depicted gladiators training and trekking across huge areas of desert were filmed in Quarzazate, Morroco.   CGI helped make a lot of film's visually striking scenes, but there are two iconic scenes that were shot in Tuscany.  The scene where the main character Maximus rides back home after the war to save his family were shot in the Siennese countryside, and the scene where he dreams of paradise was shot in Val d' Orica. 

Read more

Celebrate Tuscany: Famous Tuscan Festivals

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

If you want to visit a region of Italy that knows how to celebrate and having a good time, you need to book a few Tuscan villa rentals for you and your friends. Tuscany is known for its architecture, cuisine, and fine culture, but the region should also be known for its fun festivals. There are a variety of annual festivals in Tuscany, some last a day and others can last for weeks. When you plan your next Tuscany get away, try to schedule it when some of these unique festivals are going on.

Carnevale, Viareggo 

Who said that Brazil and the US get to have all of the Mardi Gras fun? In Italy Mardi Gras is called "Carnevale", and the infamous festival before Lent actually began in Italy centuries ago. The most famous celebrations are in two cities, Venice and Viareggio. Viareggio held its first Carnevale celebration in 1873 and since its start it has become one of the most famous pre-Lent celebrations in the world. Large paper-mache floats travel along the viali a mare, the sea promenades of the city. The floats can satirize current politicians and celebrate fairy tale heroes. Aside from the parade you can expect to see special menus in restaurants, masked balls held in local clubs, and lots of musicals and plays. The timing of the festival changes every year, but this year parades will be held on February 3rd, 10th, 12th, and 17th.

Frittela Festival, Montefioralle 

Most people know about Montefioralle because it's one of the few towns that is still enclosed within its original medieval walls, but there aren't too many people that are aware of its popular Frittella Festival that takes place to honor St. Joseph. The Frittella Festival has its roots in the Renaissance Era. Many families living in the area would prepare traditional fried rice cakes named frittella to celebrate St. Joseph, but the festival as we know it today has very modern origins. In the 1960s local farmers came together to organize the first festival in the town's square. They built huge frying pots that contained 250 kilograms of oil in order to fry rice cakes. People loved the large frittella fry so much that they still use the large pots to fry the rice cakes for each festival, and they make sure to offer them to visitors. The festival takes place the Sunday before St. Joseph's day, and after you've had your fill of fried food you can enjoy the other sites and sounds of the town.
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