From the Renaissance wonders of Florence to the vineyards and hills out in the country, the Italian region of Tuscany is full of delights that keep the tourists flocking back year after year. But while the iconic, quintessentially Italian sights and tastes of the region remain part of its enduring appeal, there are plenty of hidden gems across Tuscany still waiting to be discovered.
Food and Drink
The Italian cuisine on display at every market square and restaurant across Tuscany is perhaps its most captivating draw. You can also join the true connoisseurs by meeting the people who produce it at one of the many food and drink festivals across the region. In September you can visit the main piazza of Greve in Chianti, just under an hour south of Florence on the bus, and enjoy the Chianti Classico wine fair. This is just one of many wine faires you can enjoy all through the year, with some providing hundreds of different varieties available to taste.
For something a little different, in May you can check out the Vegan Festival near Lucca. Or, to sample arguably the best cheese in Tuscany, head to the Corzano e Paterno farm near San Casciano and you won’t be disappointed.
In Florence, be sure to pay a visit to Giorgio. It’s a great bar in the Soffano district where, as well as a refreshing drink, you can enjoy a divine fish lunch. For a delicious ice cream, look out for Gelateria dei Medici where you’ll find creative flavours such as the toffee nut brittle Parisienne, which is well worth a taste.
Places to Visit
For a relaxed retreat, head to Cala Violina, or Violin Cove. Tucked away on the road from Follonica to Punta Ala near Grosseto, it is a beautiful secluded powder white beach blessed with sands that make a sound when you walk over them just like the strains of a violin. One of the best hot springs in the region is to be found at Bagno Vignoni, and among the vineyards of Greve you can enjoy some al fresco swimming at their splendid outdoor pool. For great music, check out the summer festival in Lucca where you can enjoy some unforgettable performances out in the open air.
If you’re already a lover of all that is great about Tuscany, then you may be surprised at all the hidden gems you haven’t yet discovered. So, find a special place to stay through a website like Chic Retreats and go discover everything there is to offer in this beautiful corner of Europe.