Tuscany: The Romantic Paradise of the Jet Set

Tuscany is renowned worldwide as the romantic paradise of the jet set, and in particular the famous Chianti area which produces some of the most famous and valuable wines of Italy. Other popular places in Tuscany include Florence, Siena, Pisa and Lucca. The latter is home to the Ponte della Maddalena (better known as the Devil's Bridge) a truly original medieval bridge built around 1080!).

Where to stay in Tuscany

It's best to choose a villa stay accommodation to get the best experience and most authentic experience out of Tuscany. Many villas in Tuscany have been used as movie sets plus staying at a villa means the freedom to enjoy your holiday at your own pace.

The lesser-known areas of Tuscany that are off the beaten are the best locations to choose from for your stay in Tuscany. For instance, the area of the Città del Tufo (the Tufa Cities) offers an excellent opportunity to learn about the Etruscan period, prior to the Roman Empire. Others include:

The Maremma

The southern area, called Maremma, is home to lovely beaches (such as Castiglione della Pescaia) and luxury beach resorts that blend perfectly with the surrounding environment. This area is also famous for its many thermal springs and the provinces of Grosseto and Siena, which boast magnificent fortified towns overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea. Other Etruscan cities in the area are Sorano, Sovana, Pitigliano, Manciano and Volterra (Pisa), which was one of the film locations for the Twilight saga: New Moon.

Val d'Orcia

The Val d'Orcia is popularly known for its cultivated fields and ancient farmhouses , and it's home to many villas with pools to rent. This area in the south of Tuscany is also home to the famous towns of Pienza, Montalcino and Montepulciano, famous in the world for the high quality wines (Brunello di Montalcino e Rosso di Montepulciano) produced there.

San Gimignano

North of Siena, San Gimignano is one of the most fascinating UNESCO sites to visit in Tuscany. San Gimignano, also known as the Town of the Towers, is home to 14 medieval towers, a beautiful Cathedral, a Town Hall, the Pinacoteca museum, the Torre Grossa and the ruins of Montestaffoli fortress. Don't miss out trying out a glass of the local wine there called Vernaccia di San Gimignano.

The area of the Casentino (Arezzo)

The area of the Casentino is one of the less known and less touristy in Tuscany, but it's home to castles such as the one of Poppi, where you can also visit the Parco del Sole, which is the only example of Zoological Park with exclusively European wildlife.

Casentino is also home to stunning churches such as the Pieve di Romena and the Pieve di Socana, as well as numerous monasteries such as Verna, which was founded by St. Francis and the Hermitage of Camaldoli. In the province of Arezzo - on the border with Umbria - definitely check out the medieval villages of Sansepolcro (birthplace of Piero della Francesca), Monterchi and Anghiari, which is perched upon the hills overlooking the valley.

Author: Petra Di Cento is an enthusiastic Tuscany lover, maybe because she’s been living there since she was born. Now she writes for holiday villas in Tuscany for rent by Emma Villas, which is an Italian Tour Operator.