3 of the Most Popular Hot Springs in Tuscany

Friday, March 28, 2014

Though, it might be surprising to those who think of Tuscany and only envision its rolling hills and vineyards, hot springs are a major attraction in this region of Italy. Throughout Tuscany, geothermal heated springs collect mineral-rich water into pools both small and large. While some of the springs are owned by hotels or medical centers, there are plenty of free pools to visit in the area. You can either make a point to visit springs further afield or choose the one that is closest to your villa rental. Here is a list of the most popular springs that won’t cost you a dime:

Saturnia- Located in the Maremma area of southern Tuscany, the hot springs located here are impeccable and easy to find. The sprawling landscape of wooded hills and valleys make the view truly breathtaking. Waterfalls rush into pools that are etched into rocks. The water is white from all of the minerals including sulfur, carbon, and calcium. If you get too hot, just take a dip in the Albegna River conveniently located near the pools.  

Petrioli – The hot springs found here radiate peace and tranquility. The easy distance from Florence makes these thermal baths some of Tuscany’s most popular. The physical backdrop of the pools is truly enchanting, essentially placing you in the midst of a forest filled with oaks, elms, and strawberry trees (whose fruit is not the same as that of the strawberries that you're probably used to). The most interesting, historical element of this site is that the springs are located right below the ruined walls of original Roman thermal pools.

Bagno Vignoni- This small village isn’t mentioned much in your average trip brochure, but it is certainly worth a visit for its thermal baths. Bagno Vignoni is truly a hot spring dream.  The town “square” isn’t what you expect – it’s literally a huge thermal pool enclosed on three sides by walls. Historically, these baths were used as a stopping point by pilgrims on their way to Rome.


There are plenty of villas for rent in Tuscany that are nearby or relatively close to the hot springs listed above. Treat yourself to the ultimate spa excursion and soak the day away. Best part? You don’t have to pay a thing. You can visit Tuscany’s free natural springs any time. Make sure to bring an old bathing suit though -- the sulfur can be super tough to get out!
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Why Spring is the Best Season to Visit Tuscany

Monday, March 24, 2014

Although you can find enjoyable things to do during any season in Tuscany, spring is an exceptionally great time to visit this beautiful region. When booking your trip, the first thing to do is find a beautiful and unique villa rental in Tuscany. After you’re chosen your home base, it’s time to make an itinerary. To make things a little easier, we have listed 3 of the most popular events in Tuscany this spring:

Scoppio del Carro (“Explosion of the Cart”) – This religious event is a 500 year-old (or older) tradition that takes place in Florence every year on Easter Sunday. An ornate wagon, built in 1622 and standing three stories high, rolls through the city behind white, decorated oxen. The cart begins its trek at Porta al Prato and ends in the Piazza del Duomo. The cart is accompanied by a colorful parade of 150 men dressed as Roman soldiers, a few bands, and local residents wearing 15th century garb. The cart is rigged with fireworks which ignite once it reaches the Piazza, traditionally symbolizing a promise of good harvest and a stable community.


Torciata di San Giuseppe- This ancient, pagan ritual draws in hundreds of tourists each year to Pitigliano and takes place on the streets surrounding the city’s main square. A parade of men, all dressed in traditional long, white hooded tunics saunter through the streets carrying lit cane rods. Ultimately, the men reach a giant structure made of wood and straw which is lit on fire (using the blazing torches) to represent the end of winter. Once the ritual is over, it’s time celebrate with music, wine, and entertainment throughout the city.

Festa dell’Antiquariato- This antique and collector’s fair takes place in Greve in Chianti. Whether you are a collector of antique furniture or just like to explore timeworn artifacts, this fair is a sight to see. Stalls are set up along the main piazza and surrounding streets. Some of the displayed items include glassware and cutlery, ceramics, antique furniture, vineyard artifacts, paintings, and much more. If you are hungry, stop at one of the many food carts set up throughout the streets, which offer all your Italian favorites. 


Now that you know what makes spring in this Italian region so special, you'll want to start looking for your villa rental in Tuscany so that you don't miss out. Which event interests you the most?
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4 Great Reasons that Tuscany is the Ideal Summer Vacation for Young Couples

Monday, March 17, 2014



Traveling as a young couple is unlike anything else. You and your significant other can travel as a unit, experiencing all of the excitement that a truly great trip has to offer together. You can see places for the first time, try new foods and discover something new about yourself and each other. While there are an array of places to do this, what better place to travel than one of the most lush and romantic spots on the planet -- Tuscany, Italy. 

Although the region is a prime vacation destination at any time of year, the most popular season to visit is the summer when the weather is at its warmest. 

Lying on the west coast of the country, Tuscany is well-known for its unique culture, artistic heritage and winemaking. Many also admire it for its natural and breathtaking beauty, delicious cuisine and serene lifestyle. Whether you plan to stay for a week in one of the many villas for rent in Tuscany or want to extend your visit, we've listed four great reasons why young couples should visit Tuscany. 


1. To explore the rich history and culture of Tuscany
Tuscany is regarded as the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance, so spend a day seeing and learning about the rich history of the region. Visit Florence, the capital of Tuscany, where you can see the Duomo and Baptistery. Explore the various museums and art galleries filled with paintings and sculptures. Make your way over to the city of Pisa and see its popular Leaning Tower. 

2. To enjoy a taste of fine wine
Because of favorable climate of the region, Tuscany has long been famous for its winemaking. It's especially well-known for its popular Chianti. Be sure to make your way to the vineyards and take a guided tour or go wine tasting. 

3. To eat authentic Italian cuisine
While Tuscan cuisine is usually simple, the vegetables, fruits, herbs and spices that are mixed in are what help to give it its authentic flavors. It's also the skill involved in preparing the food that plays a role. Whether you want to try a pastry or a dish, or even something simple like pizza, all foods are prepared with skill. 

4. To see the hills and land
The Tuscany region contains 120 nature reserves, including plains, hills and mountains, making it an opportune place to spend time hiking. You can book a walking tour and take a stroll, or spend a day touring a city. 
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10 Things You Didn’t Know About Italy

Friday, March 14, 2014


Villa Roncovisi
Although it’s not necessary to know much about the place you are travelling to on holiday before you go; it is nice to have some knowledge about the region. Italy is a vastly diverse place that is steeped in history and so it is no surprise that there is so much to learn about this beautiful country. So before you jet off on your Mediterranean break, during which you will surely be staying in one of our highly luxurious Tuscan villas, here are a few fun facts to get you in the mood for your vacation.

1.       Every town and village in Italy has its own kind of pasta; meaning that there are over 500 different varieties produced throughout the whole country. Most are named after the way that they look (e.g. penne means pens) and there is strict etiquette as to which kind of pasta is served with which style of sauce.

 

2.       Italy’s tri-coloured flag is influenced by the very similar looking French banner. The colours are thought to represent the blood-shed during Italy’s fight for independence, the snow on top of the famous Alps mountain range and the green of Italy’s iconic and picturesque landscape.

 

 

3.       The ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, painted by Michelangelo between 1508 and 1512, was originally thought to be dull in colour. This led some historians to believe that this was a trademark of Michelangelo. However, it was soon found to be a mistake when restorers cleaned off years of dust and dirt to reveal bright and vibrant colours.

 

4.       Italian has only been used as a spoken language since the country unified in 1861. Before this it was predominantly written down and was heavily based on the dialect spoken in Tuscany. Many dialects are still spoken in Italy today as well as French, German and Slovene in some parts.

 

5.       Tourism makes up a whopping 63% of the Italian national income and so it is no surprise that they rely on this year in and year out, whilst priding themselves on having some of the best sights to see around the world.

 

6.       A world record truffle was once discovered in Tuscany by a dog named Rocco. The truffle sold for over £200,000.

 

7.       The chocolate spread which is today known as Nutella was created by an Italian during the First World War. When chocolate became hard to come by, a pastry maker by the name of Pietro Ferrero started adding hazelnuts to make his supplies go further. The product was a big hit and is now sold in many different countries around the world.

 

8.       Although Italy is considered a crowded nation with a population of around 60,000,000; the birth rate is one of the lowest in the western world. This has been a worry in the past and the government have even offered rewards to families who have more than one child.

 

9.       The Italian word ‘Pinocchio’ translates as ‘pine nut’ which is thought to be a reference to the type of wood this puppet boy was made from.

 

10.   Italy has a great sporting history having hosted the Olympic Games three times (summer once and winter twice) and won the football World Cup on four occasions. Their football fans are amongst the most passionate in the world with many teams having their own set of die-hard fans known as ‘ultras’.
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How To Choose Where To Stay For The Perfect Romantic Trip To Tuscany

Thursday, March 6, 2014


Capanna di Camporata
When it comes to anniversaries, Valentine’s Day and birthdays finding something really special to do to mark the occasion can be difficult. If you’ve been together for some time you’ll have already done the mini break, the meal out in London, the presents and romantic gestures.  So for a really special occasion how to you up the ‘wow’ factor to really let your partner know just how much you care for them? If you’ve never been before consider a romantic surprise trip to explore Tuscany.

Where To Visit
Tuscany is a great destination for a romantic getaway. This beautiful region in Italy is picturesque, historical and sunny almost all year round, so no matter when your special occasion is you should be able to catch a bit of sun. Before you plan your trip do some research. Think about the kind of trip you want to take- Do you want to spend a lot of time relaxing on the beach? Do you want a holiday filled with exploring and visiting historical sites? Or maybe you want a luxurious holiday with lots of cocktails, champagne and Italian food. Whatever it is you want from your romantic trip, Tuscany can deliver. For a beach holiday have a look at- Versillia, Pisa and Livorno.For a historical/sightseeing trip consider- Florence, Sienna, Pisa Cortona and San Gimignano.For a luxurious visit with a thriving nightlife look into- Grosseto, Pisa, Massa Carrara, Arezzo, Florence and Sienna.

Where To Stay
When visiting Tuscany what could be better than staying in a traditional privateTuscany Villa? A villa offers the perfect romantic setting for your surprise trip. Choose from villas with private gardens and grounds, swimming pools, large luxurious bedrooms and quiet settings. There are lots of villas available to rent across Tuscany so it shouldn’t be a problem finding the perfect accommodation for your trip.
If you are planning on spending a lot of time at your villa relaxing in the gardens and swimming in the pool opt for a quiet villa set in the hillsides. There are lots of villas located off the road in private grounds that are still close to quaint villages and markets so opt for one of these for a relaxing holiday. For a more active holiday opt for a villa just outside the busier towns of Sienna, Pisa or Florence.
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