5 ‘Must Dos’ When In Tuscany

Thursday, January 30, 2014

To Tuscany photocompetition 2013
There are some things that you might like to do during your stay in Tuscany and there are others that you might want to avoid, but there are also a few things that you shouldn’t leave the region without trying. Tuscany is famous for many different things and this means that you are unlikely to experience them in the same way anywhere else in the world. So as you pack your bags and head off to this stunning part of the world; why not factor in a few of these ‘must dos’ into your holiday plans?

Taste The Local Tipple –
Many different wine varieties are grown and made within Tuscany but by far the most famous of these is that from the region of Chianti. This full bodied red wine is produced in the multiple vineyards that line the rolling Tuscan hills and it really would be a shame to not allow at least one of the local wines to pass your lips. Most of the vineyards freely open their doors for tourists to take a tour of their land and no tour is complete without a very comprehensive tasting session.

Immerse Yourself In Art –
Wherever you go in Tuscany there is sure to be the chance to gaze at some interesting architecture or spend the afternoon wondering through a beautiful museum, and so even those who show no interest in art should at least lend their eyes to some of the most ground breaking works. Michelangelo’s statue of David and Botticelli’s Birth Of Venus are just two of said works that can be found and Florence is thought to have the most concentrated collection of renaissance art in the world.

Sample Regional Delicacies And Delights –
There is no doubt that Italian cuisine is loved all over the world, but whilst holidaying in this area of Italy you can surely afford to more adventurous than simply ordering the spaghetti bolognese or a margarita pizza. There is so much to taste and try that you won’t struggle to find a local delight that really gets your taste buds tingling. If you are feeling particularly venturesome then you could either order something you have never heard of from a restaurant menu or purchase some local ingredients from a quaint market stall and cook up an Italian storm in the kitchen of your Tuscan villa.

Leave The Guide Book Behind –
Guide books are great when holidaying in a place that you have never been to before but there comes a point when you should leave it behind and take the unbeaten path for a change. The tourist hotspots should by no means be missed but why not spend at least one of your days away in a place that isn’t over run by people with cameras and pointing fingers. There are many great places that you are unlikely to find in the guide book but that you will be very grateful you found. For some ideas for hidden gems; check out this past blog post.

Find That Postcard Picture –
Wherever you go in this breath-taking region you will find yourself constantly reaching for your camera in an attempt to try and capture your holiday for future moments of nostalgia. With so many beautiful sights on offer though there will be many entrants for your very own ‘best snap of the holiday’ competition. Don’t be tempted to view your whole holiday through a lens though as Tuscany definitely looks just as good through the naked eye.
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Girls' Getaway: Tuscany Escape

Friday, January 24, 2014

If you've already done the whole Napa Valley wine crawl in California with your girlfriends, it's time to take your next getaway to a whole new level. Get your girls together and book a trip to Tuscany, Italy to really get a taste of beautiful wines and breathtaking scenery. While this trip may not be something you can throw together at the last minute, it will certainly be worth planning and saving for. There are countless authentic wineries that will give your palette a treat. Stay in one of the many Tuscany villas for rent while you sample some of the best vintages on Earth.

If you're going to go to the trouble of heading to Italy, visiting the famous wine region of Chianti is a must. The gorgeous rolling landscape is dotted with villas, vineyards and olive trees, all of which are bathed in a hazy yellow light. This is a great area to jump in your car and drive around -- and if you happen upon a small local vineyard or an authentic Italian restaurant while you are at it, so much the better! Below are just a few of the many wineries that you should check out on your trip.

  • Renzo Marinai Winery – This winery is known for its catchphrase "a place where the wine dances." Enjoy reserved wines that have been perfectly aged in oak barrels while you listen to Mozart softly playing in the background.  
  • Colombaia Winery -- This is a smaller winery that is run by a fourth-generation family. They are known for their delicious, hearty organic wines. Your group will enjoy their choice of unique grapes and the homegrown feel of the winery. 
  • Verrazzano Castle & Winery -- The Verrazzano Castle sits beautifully atop a hill known as the first grape and wine producing area in the world. The castle dates back to 1150 and has been wonderfully preserved. Take some time to wander the castle before taking in the famous wines. 
  • Le Fonti Winery – This winery is a small boutique style establishment that specializes in Sangiovese vines, as well as Merlot. This winery pays close attention to the harvesting of their grapes so that they always produce a sophisticated taste. 
Be sure to look into one of the many Tuscany villas for rent so you and your group can rest comfortably after a day of wine tasting. You'll feel like a local, and you'll drink and eat like one too!

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Choose Tuscany To Host Your Sophisticated Hen Do

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Casa Rocchi - Lucca
Your final send off as a single woman needs to be a night to remember. Typically we choose to travel to the nearby party town, or jet off to Ibiza or Magaluf for some fun in the sun. Whilst this is the perfect way to celebrate your last night of singledom for many women, it isn’t right for all of us. If you’re after a slightly more sophisticated send off why not consider hosting your hen do in sunny Tuscany? With beautiful scenery, luxurious hotels, natural spas and peaceful beaches what more could you want?

When it comes to accommodation Tuscany isn’t short of options. Consider a luxurious hotel complete with room service and free use of all the facilities for the duration of your stay. For a truly rustic experience consider staying in a traditional Tuscan villa. There are villas available that are big enough for your whole party so you can all stay in the same place making organising your trip easier and giving the party a real communal feel. Choose a villa complete with bar and swimming pool so you can really relax on your hen do.

Spa treatments
There is a great selection of spas in Tuscany including natural hot water springs. If you’re after a truly relaxing trip with lots of pampering Tuscany is the place for you. Choose from professional treatments in spas and hotels across Tuscany or take a dip in one of the ancient hot springs. Have a look at-

·         The Saturnia Springs located a half an hour from Siena.

·         The Bagni di Petriolo hot springs are 20 minutes south of Siena and were popular during Roman times.

·         The five hot springs of San Filippo are at an average temperature of 52C all year round and have healing properties.

Your hen do is all about going a little over the top. Treat yourself, relax, eat good food and drink good wine. The Italian cuisine is one of the most popular types of food in the world and Tuscany boasts some delicious local dishes. While in Tuscany book pizza and pasta making lessons and learn to cook like the locals, using locally sourced ingredients and tucking into your dishes afterwards. Try wine tasting too, some of the most beautiful wines are created in the heart of Tuscany.

Imagine your hen do, filled with good food, good wine, sunshine, relaxing spa treatments, friends and luxurious accommodation to crash at after your busy day. Tuscany offers the perfect setting for your hen do with a twist.
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Five Things You Should Know about Florence

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Most of the people who come to Tuscany and look into Tuscany villas for rent will inevitably devote some time to the city of Florence. Florence is the capital city of the Tuscan region and is known first and foremost for its art and museums. The Uffizi Gallery is among the most famous museums in the world as are the Accademia and Bargello, but there are many other museums in the area too that feature works from the most accomplished painters in Italian history. However, beyond the artwork, cathedrals and other things you might have heard of, there’s a lot more to Florence. Here are a few tidbits of information you might not know about the birthplace of the Renaissance:

Travel Is Best in the Spring: Florence is the 72nd most visited city in the world. More than a million tourists will come to Florence in any given year. A majority of these people will come during the summer months. If you want to avoid the crowds but want pleasant weather, Spring might be best. However, even during the winter, the weather isn’t too bad.

You Won’t Get Salt with Your Bread: Like salt in your bread? You won’t be able to get that in Tuscany. Tuscan bread is traditionally made without salt, so you might need to take this into account when eating out.

You’ll Find Something to Wear: The outdoor markets are a perfect place to find that new belt or boots. And what’s more, they welcome negotiations, so you should be able to find something, no matter your budget.

Don’t Call a Bistecca alla Fiorentia a Porterhouse: It’s much more than that; it’s an experience if you can find a good one.

You Won’t Do Everything You Want to: There’s just too much to see and too much to do. If you try to pack it all in, you’ll be missing out on the experience itself. Instead, pick a few things and make it a point to come back again. We’ll be happy to have you as our guests.

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Top Romantic Spots in the World

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

With Valentine's Day quickly approaching, it's time to shine a spotlight on some of the most romantic places on the planet. If visiting these places isn't in your budget today, they are worth adding to your "must visit" list. If you're lucky enough to afford a romantic getaway for this coming holiday, consider any of the following trips. 

Santorini, Greece – This picturesque city was built upon volcanic ashes and features impressive landscapes, such as jagged cliffs and volcanic rock that has been carved out by the ocean. Many people claim that Santorini is one of the most beautiful cities in the world because of the cliff-side villages and breathtaking beaches. The city also boasts fine wineries and luxury hotels that are built out of cave rocks. One trip to Santorini and you may be planning to relocate your whole life there.

Santa Barbara, California – Many people think that you have to leave the United States to find a romantic spot, but if you've ever visited Santa Barbara then you know they're wrong. This is the perfect unique beach town and puts an emphasis on delicious Mediterranean food and luxury spa services. If eating and relaxing isn't enough for a romantic getaway, consider a private hot air balloon ride so you can take in the gorgeous scenery the city has to offer.  

Quebec City, Canada – Many people feel that Paris, France is the romance city of the world, but in our opinion they're wrong. There's no need to leave North America to find French-inspired culture. Quebec City is famous for their romantic horse drawn carriages and quaint cafés. This city is truly a lovers' paradise because there's no wrong time of the year to visit. Each season features something different to do with the one you love. In the summer, you can hold hands at an outdoor wine café and in the winter, you can sit by the fire at a top French restaurant.

Tuscany, Italy – Tuscany proves that Italians speak the language of love. Rent one of the quaint and cozy Villas in Tuscany, Italy to truly get into the culture. Staying in a villa gives you the opportunity to live like a true Italian and use the home as a base from which to see the surrounding countryside and cities. There's nothing more romantic than cracking open a bottle of wine from one of the vineyards you visited that day and cooking up a storm with the one you love beside you.

Use Valentine's Day as an excuse to book a romantic getaway to any one of these amazing places. You and your significant other won't regret it!

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