Known for its landscapes and its artistic legacy, Tuscany is considered the most beautiful regions in Europe for a holiday home. However visitors come to Tuscany for many reasons. Many come to marvel at the art, from extraordinary paintings and sculpture to frescoes and architectural wonders. Others choose to explore the countryside with its traditional Tuscan holiday homes. Nothing can make one feel more like a Tuscan local than sitting out on the balcony of your Tuscan holiday villa to see the sunset. However more active visitors can enjoy hiking and bike paths along the mountainside. Summer visitors staying in self-catering holiday rental, homes, and villas can enjoy the coasts and islands throughout Tuscany. Tuscany is also ideal for gourmets and wine lovers with its homegrown cuisine and wine.
Florence- As the capital of Tuscany, Florence is home to some of the greatest museums, palaces, and churches in the world. The most popular sites in Florence include the museums, the Uffizi Gallery and the Pitti Palace. The churches of Santa Maria Novella and Santa Croce are also art galleries in their own right, and the library of San Lorenzo is a magnificent exhibition of Michelangelo's architectural work. However be sure to take a break from site seeing and eat some of the best gelato found at Bar Vivoli near Santa Croce.
Siena- Siena is known as the cultural center of Tuscany. The most well known site is the Duomo, a magnificent Italian Romanesque cathedral including the Libreria Piccolomini, Baptistery and Museo dell'Opera del Duomo which includes the famous Maestà by Duccio. The city is also best known for a horse race, Il Palio, held twice each year in the summer. Views of this colourful festival can best be enjoyed from the rooftop of a holiday home in Siena.
Pisa- Pisa is best known for the world famous Leaning Tower, but be sure not to miss the other architectural and artistic marvels of this beautiful city. If you arrive into the city by train, be sure to take the long walk to the Campo dei Miracoli lined with many interesting sights, shops, and restaurants. Pisa is also known for having gorgeous summer nights. Pisa’s holiday homes around the banks of the rivers are the ideal place to enjoy these views.
Tuscany is famous for having many museums with masterpieces by the greatest artists of all time. The Uffizi Gallery is one of the world's top art museums where it houses some of the most important works of the Renaissance, including Leonardo and Boticelli. The Accademia houses Michelangelo's David, one of the most famous sculptures in the world. The Pitti Palace houses several important collections of paintings from Raphael, Rubens, Titian, Caravaggio, and others. Make sure to visit the baroque Boboli Gardens behind the Pitti Palace when the weather is nice.
Visitors staying at Tuscan’s holiday rentals, homes, and villas should also make sure to attend many of the events happening all year round in Tuscany. Many of them take place during the summer, such as the food festivals, which start in early summer and continue on through the fall. One of the most famous event is the Luminara in Tuscany, Regatta and Battle of the Bridge in Pisa to honor Saint Ranieri, the patron saint of Pisa on 16th June. Over 70,000 candles light up the palaces along the Arno river, with a fireworks display afterwards. In Florence, the Calcio Storico Fiorentino celebrates St. John the Baptist, the city's patron saint on June 24. First, there is a parade in historical costume followed by games played while wearing 16th century costumes. Il Palio in Siena is a colourful, horse race round the Piazza del Campo, Siena's main square, that takes place every 2nd July and 16th August. The square is filled with costume parades before the race, and massive feasts of the most delicious food are set up on long outdoor tables that can stretch for blocks on the medieval side streets. Staying at a Tuscan holiday home during these festivals can intrigue all your senses.
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Tuscany weather can be enjoyed all year but the most desirable periods to visit are late spring and early autumn. The days are warm and sunny while the nights stay cool. The spring flourishes with olive groves while the fall is the season of food festivals throughout the province, including a huge wine festival. For the summer, many holiday rentals in Tuscany have swimming pools and hot springs.
The largest airports in the region are Pisa's Aeroporto Galileo Galilei (PSA) and Florence's Peretola (FLR). International travelers can fly to Rome’s Fiumicino (FCO) or Milan’s Aeroporto Malpensa (MXP) to make connecting flights to Pisa or Florence.
Flying time is 2 hours fromLondon(to Milan). The best prices on airline travel can be found on easyJet and Ryanair. By train, look into British Rail. Once in Tuscany, some larger towns, like Florence and Pisa, are accessible by train and many small villages are accessible by bus, but renting a car is a popular option because it is the easiest and most economic way to get around.