Tuscany summer holidaysFind beauty and relaxation during a summer holiday in Tuscany
Tuscany, known famously as the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance, is still renowned as one of the country’s most alluring hotspots. Visitors from around the world flock to Tuscany for its tranquillity, its divine landscape, and its friendly locals. If you’re a fan of wild nature, you’ll see plenty of it by the Ligurian Sea, with its rolling green hills and flourishing farms. If you’re an art and history lover, meanwhile, there are plenty of museums and historical sites throughout the region, all of which pay fond tribute to the Italian Renaissance and an inherent love of artwork.
Tuscany assuredly isn’t for everyone – I’m reminded of a pair of teenagers on a recent trip to the Oskar Schindler Museum, who pierced the air with a chorus of “Boo-oo-ring” – but its cultural and scenic treasures will warm the hearts of those who appreciate such glories. It could be a memorable summer...
Five cities to visit while in Tuscany on a summer holiday
Summer holidays in Florence
Florence is the capital of the Tuscan region and also its most populous city. Nevertheless, the summer crowds are certainly worth bearing: it’s a small price to pay to experience the incredible old-world architecture and artwork particular to the region. Pore over Boticelli canvases, admire Giotto frescoes, then stop off and enjoy an authentic Italian gelato; for a spot of exercise, pedal your legs to storied historical sites like the Duomo and Ponte Vecchio.
Summer holidays in Versilia
If you’re desirous of a summer holiday by the beach in Tuscany, you may well wish to book your stay in Versilia. There are beautiful beaches – well, that's a given – while during July and August, the La Versilinia Festival showcases a diverse range of entertainment amid an atmospheric pinewood setting. For your requisite fix of art and history, visit the quaint coastal town of Pietrasanta; also known, for good reason, as Little Athens. Naturally, with the Apuan Alps nearby, you might opt to go hiking instead!
Summer holidays in Siena
Siena’s cathedrals, ancient government buildings and mighty stone towers loom large over a network of tight, winding streets, creating the impression that you have stepped back in time. Visit the Duomo of Siena, which was originally completed in 1263, with various additions added in later years. And for a unique shopping experience, a wander through the Piazza del Campo, where locals converge to mingle, shop and do business, is a must. You can also get to the top of Torre del Mangia, 88 metres in the sky, to experience spectacular views of the region.
Summer holidays in Elba
Elba is a small Mediterranean island that has long lived in the shadow of other, more famous Italian destinations in the archipelago – I’m thinking, of course, of Sicily and Sardinia. Napoleon spent time here during his exile in 1814, and Elba retains many buildings from his era that attract keen history buffs each year. There is no shortage of pristine beaches to choose from, among them the golden sands of Cottoncello, or paradisal Le Viste, in the shade of the Emperor’s old residence, in Portoferraio.
Summer holidays in Arezzo
Arezzo, one of Tuscany’s most well-heeled cities, has a magnetic quality for those wishing to indulge themselves in architecture, history and art. It’s no surprise that the movie “La Vita è Bella” was filmed here. Visit the historic home of the famous Italian poet, Petrarch, called Casa del Petrarca. There is an antiques fair that will appeal to folk hunting for old treasures, and plenty of museums and churches to explore too. Try one of the city’s many restaurants and sample popular local dishes like Acquacotta and Ribollita.