5 Apps That Will Make Your Tuscan Adventure Easier And More Enjoyable

Thursday, February 27, 2014


To Tuscany 2011 photocompetition entry - Alain Hyron
It seems that these days we are never too far removed from our mobile phones. We use them at work (even when we are not supposed to), we use them whilst walking down the street and even when they are sitting on the end of the sofa we can’t go two minutes without taking a quick glance to see how much the world has changed in those short moments. And this also extends to our holidays. These used to represent a time when all devices could be turned off in search of relaxation and total removal from your day to day routine, but these days our phones are with us every step of the way.
So if you are going to have your phone strapped to you at all times whilst you stay in one of our fantastic Tuscan villas; then at least make the most of it by downloading some of these helpful and handy apps. Oh, and make sure you check the charges of using your phone abroad with your provider; otherwise you could return to an astronomical bill.

Gate Guru –
Gate Guru is free to download on the IPhone as well as any Android or Windows phone and could quite possibly be all you need to get you from your home to your holiday destination. It gives you space to store all your flight information as well as an itinerary for the whole holiday if you have more than sitting by the pool planned. It also provides information about where you can pick up a hire car and where the local amenities are on your way to your villa. Once you’ve arrived you can then look back at the stats that it provides about your journey and marvel at just how far you’ve come; literally.

XE Currency –
There are plenty of converting apps on the market but this one seems the most comprehensive. With the latest conversion rates and any currency you could ever wish for at your disposal you can track your spending on holiday and avoid going over budget purely because you’re not sure exactly how much you’re parting with.

Field Trip –
This great app is available on the IPhone and any Android for free and is the best way to find interesting and exciting things to do whilst you’re away. Set the app running in the background and when you happen to walk into an area where something quirky or fun is happening you will receive a notification telling you all about it. You could be walking right past something really interesting and you wouldn’t even know it without this app.

Photosynth –
This is one of the leading photo apps on the IPhone and Windows phone. Most of us know about Instagram but this application is the perfect way to capture the amazing Tuscan landscapes that you’re sure to encounter. Create perfect panoramic pictures and three dimensional images to ensure that your holiday continues long after you have flown home.

FoodSpotting –
As well as rustling up some delicious local delights in your villa’s kitchen; the chances are you are going to be eating out a bit whilst you are on holiday. And when you are in a foreign country it can sometimes be difficult to tell what a certain restaurant will have on the menu, so why not try this app that focuses on dishes instead? Browse the food you are in the mood for and see which restaurants in the vicinity are serving it. You can even use the social side of the app to browse other people’s photos to see what takes your fancy and then upload your own dish of the day just before you polish it off.
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4 Ways To Enjoy A Relaxing Walking Holiday In Tuscany

Thursday, February 20, 2014


To Tuscany photocompetition - Erik Noppe
The region of Tuscany has some of the most beautiful landscape in Europe, if not the world, and so as well as the thousands of holiday makers that flock to this area for a summer of sightseeing there are plenty who come to explore the scenery. But whether you are a seasoned walker or are trying it out for the first time; you need to have a plan of action in order to get the most out of your holiday.
You won’t regret coming to this part of the world and whilst it may take you a few days to get your breath back after the beautiful terrain has snatched it away; you will no doubt be planning your next walking holiday as soon as you return home.
So what’s the best way to get the most out of your time trekking in Tuscany?

Stay In Accommodation Outside Of The Cities –
You won’t be surprised to hear that the most scenic walks can be found outside of the main cities and so this is the best place to base yourself. We have a wide range of villas in different sizes scattered all over the Tuscan countryside which will act as the perfect base camp for your walking adventures. Not only will you be away from the busy tourist areas by choosing to stay in one of these but you will also be in the perfect place to have easy access to the best walking trails.

Plan Ahead –
The best way to get the most from your walking holiday is to plan ahead so that you can fit in as much as possible. Have a look at some of the walking routes before you fly out so that you have a good idea of where you want to head when you get here. This way you can identify the routes that are the right length for you and those that take you through areas you are interested in seeing. Speak to other walking enthusiasts as well to see which routes they would recommend and visit this walking in Tuscany site for more information.

Take A Day To Relax –
Although the main reason you will have come to Tuscany is to explore the natural landscape; do you really want to come this far and not take a day to really chill out? Walking is in itself relaxing but if you really want to recharge those batteries then don’t forget to take a day by the private pool in your villa and enjoy the Tuscan sun as it gently warms your face.

Be Wary Of Losing Your Way –
Even the most experienced walkers can easily get lost, especially in a foreign country, and so it’s important that you don’t go too far off track. The main routes will be helpfully signposted but it’s still a good idea to purchase a book which details all the trails in the area and you can revert to it if you think you may have taken a wrong turn. Alternatively you can sign up for group walks that are led by someone who will have walked the route many times and so will know where they are going. Technology can be a great help too. There are plenty of apps that will help to get you back on course should you go astray and you can always phone for help if it comes to it.
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Visit Tuscany for Your Destination Family Reunion

Wednesday, February 19, 2014



The Tuscan countryside is a spectacular setting for any major event or celebration. If you’re in charge of planning your family’s destination reunion this year, is there any better place than Tuscany, Italy? Families from all over the world visit this stunning region to sightsee, relax, laugh, eat, and make memories with the ones they love. That is why there are a large number of villas in Tuscany, Italy available for groups of 8 or more. Renting villas is a great way to have the most comfortable accommodations for all of your family members.
There truly is something for everyone, young and old alike, in Tuscany. Many villas in the area have facilities and amenities that will thrill guests before they even leave the grounds; saunas, on-site barbeques, private pools, and other features are included with certain rentals. If your family is looking for the ultimate getaway, you can even find villas that come complete with a maid and cook. Consider whether your family will want to do more sightseeing or relaxing and book your accommodations accordingly. But never forget why you are here -- to catch up with each other! Try to take part in activities and daytrips together.
Even if your family is using this reunion as a chance to get away and unwind, it would be a sin to not do a little sightseeing while abroad. Tuscany is filled with things to do that every member of your family will enjoy. For more information on suggested places of interest, feel free to check out our previous blogs entitled Hidden Gems in Tuscany and 5 ‘Must Dos’ When in Tuscany.  

When you give your family the information about the trip and announce that the reunion will be held in Tuscany, everyone is sure to rejoice. Your family will thank you for years after the reunion because they will forever cherish the memories they made with the family while on the trip. They will think back fondly about the inviting and comfortable villa in Tuscany, Italy they stayed in and the breathtaking view from their room. They will also remember their alfresco dining experiences and relaxing on a secluded hillside surrounded by the ones they love. When planning your destination family reunion, there’s no better place than Tuscany. This is sure to be something you and your family can agree upon.
                                                                                                                   

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Why Destination Weddings are the Way to Go

Friday, February 14, 2014



The term "eloping" no longer means what it once did. Decades ago, eloping meant that a couple would have to sneak away to get married, typically because the family didn’t approve or because they wanted to do things on their own terms. Nowadays, "eloping" is sometimes used to describe a destination wedding. Couples who go this route are kissing tradition goodbye by trading the big formal affair for a personal occasion in a fantasy honeymoon spot. Here are some reasons why destination weddings are a great choice for couples looking to get married in a unique way.  

  • More Time with Family and Friends – When you ask people what they would change about their weddings, many will say that they wish they were able to talk to more of their guests. When you have a destination wedding, your guests typically arrive a few days early, which gives you plenty of time to relax, hang out, and catch up with one another. If Italy is your dream wedding location, check out Tuscany villas for rent so your guests will be comfortable during their stay. 
  • Almost Stress-Free – Ever hear the term “bridezilla?” The stress of planning a wedding can really change a couple and it’s usually not for the better. Everyone wants to give the happy couple their two cents and often offer suggestions on what they should do for their big day. When getting married away from home, you’re choosing simpler plan than a traditional wedding and often a local wedding planner will be handling everything. 
  • You Make the Rules – When planning a destination wedding, the couple calls the shots. It is up to the couple to decide where to hold the wedding and to make accommodations. The only decision family and friends need to make is whether to attend or not. Many couples like being able to do what they want, which leads to an overall better wedding that is much more personalized and meaningful for the couple and those who witness it.
When planning a destination wedding, it’s still important to consider your guests, so make sure to find comfortable accommodations for them. Choosing Tuscany villas for rent will give your guests a relaxing, unique, and memorable place to stay. Remember that your wedding is about who you are as a couple and only make decisions that will make the two of you happy as you start your life together.


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Family Fun Things to Do in Tuscany

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Given the romanticism that is inherent with the landscape of Tuscany, you might think that Tuscany is meant for couples only. We are here to tell you that this couldn’t be farther from the truth. Tuscany is a top destination in Europe to take your family as there is a variety of family attractions and outdoor activities that are available during your stay. Here are some things to keep in mind during your family trip in Tuscany:

Rent a villa rather than a hotel: Luxury villas in Tuscany are homes away from home. You’ll have access to a kitchen, multiple bathrooms, a garden and even a pool. If you have energetic children, we especially recommend getting a villa with a pool. Because your villa will have a kitchen, you can prepare meals that your children like, so they’re not overwhelmed by all of the new foods they’ll find. Sometimes, having a little bit of home on your vacation will allow you to loosen up some more.

Avoid the major attractions at peak hours: One of the worst sounds a parent can hear is that of their child when they are standing in a long line without an end in sight. If you can book a time to see the Uffuzi, it’s recommended that you do.  If not, you should try your best to avoid the main attractions of Tuscany during the peak hours. In addition, there are a few museums that cater to children, including Palazzo Vecchio and Museo Stibbert. The young ones should also check out Mondo Bimbo, which is a play area just for kids.

Check out the walls of Lucca: Lucca has many different historical attractions within walking distance, and the whole city can be explored in a day. The best way to see the city, though, is on top of the walls. You can bike or walk around the city to see it from above. If your children are into more pastoral visuals, Val D’Orcia and the beaches of Forte dei Marmi are great places to check out as well.
For more information on our family Tuscan villas, contact us today
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Budget-Friendly Things to Do in Tuscany

Monday, February 10, 2014



Anyone who has traveled knows that it’s very easy to go over-budget. Whether it’s too many four-course meals or purchasing every souvenir you can find, travel can be quite expensive. And travelling to Tuscany is no different. Although Tuscany and especially Florence do have the reputation for being on the expensive side, there are many ways to make your trip more affordable. Here are some things that come to mind.

Get an affordable place to stay: When you hear the words luxury and villa put together, do you immediately conjure up the image of a depleted bank account? The truth of the matter is that some lodging in Tuscany is on the expensive side. However, it isn’t impossible to find a good deal. In fact, we offer our Price Promise Guarantee on all of our luxury Tuscan villas. If you find a lower price for the same villa at the same date, we will match the price. Our Tuscany villa rentals are the lowest priced in the region.

See art for free: Although we highly recommend that you visit the Uffizi and Accademia, they are a bit on the pricier side. There are discount passes available, but we also suggest that you check out many of the free art all around Florence.  For example, we suggest that you visit the Santissima Annunziata, a church that has been around since 1250. Here you will find the mannerist fountain, the Ferdinando I de Medici equestrian statue and countless paintings from the Renaissance. What’s more, it’s free.


Find cheap, delicious food: For dinner, it might be okay to splurge on a four course meal with plenty of delicious Tuscan wine, but there are many affordable options for brunch and lunch to consider as well. We recommend veering away from the Centre as here is where you’ll find the most expensive menu items. If there is a festival going on while you’re in Tuscany, we recommend making a stop. You’ll often find free local food here too!

Image Citation: Shutterstock 
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Thinking Of Relocating To Tuscany?

Thursday, February 6, 2014


Image by: Justyna Wojcicka
The beautiful region of Tuscany is high up on the list of the dream locations to live. With stunning scenery, warm weather, peaceful beaches and a rich history it’s no wonder so many of us have thought about relocating here. The Tuscan life style is very different to that of places like Britain and America. Typically we are used to a faced paced busy lifestyle but Tuscans choose to live quite differently, embracing life and ensuring they find joy in everyday life. Before you relocate here are things to consider-

Take A Tour
Before you even start to plan your relocation take a prolonged trip to Tuscany working your way across the region. You may have been on holiday already and felt like you could see yourself living there, but where would work best for you and where would you fit in? If you can get away for a while a great way to ensure you choose the right spot to move to is to explore Tuscany beforehand. Each town, village and city you visit make a record of what you liked about it, what you didn’t, pros and cons and why it would or wouldn’t work for you. In most cases you will probably just get the right ‘vibe’ from somewhere and it’ll just feel right, but it’s good to have notes to refer back to to help make the decision.

Accommodation
Once you have chosen the area in which you want to live in it’s time to think about how exactly you will live. Will youbuy or rent a traditional Tuscan villa? Or rent a flat in a new build, or maybe you’ll rent a room in a Tuscan families house? Now is the time to think about budget and while you’re in Tuscany take a look at what you can afford. Narrow down your options and if you can experience living this way for at least a few days. Tuscany is full of beautiful buildings and traditional villas many of which come complete with swimming pools and stunning gardens. Stay in a Tuscan villa in your chosen town and see if this relaxed way of living is right for you.

Meet The Locals
A great way to ease your move and settle into your new life is to make friends with some of the locals before you relocate. Tuscans are typically very welcoming particularly in small knit communities. Get to know some of the locals and get them to show you all the best spots in town- when the food markets are on, where’s good to shop, eat and drink and any hidden gems you might not know of. Knowing you have friendly faces about town and know your way around makes moving much easier.
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