Tuscany has a charm that is unmatched by any other place in the world. The rustic ambience offers a true authenticity that is hard to find now a days when travelling around Europe. I've stayed in and visited many different parts of the Tuscan region, from the main city of Florence to the vineyards of Chianti to the beautiful seaside towns. This province of Italy has so much to offer there is no question why it is one of the most visited places in Italy.
I'll start with Florence as it is the central hub of where this beautiful place began. Florence is the capital of it's region, and has so much history that still stands today. It's architectural style is a mix of the different eras in the history of Florence: Medieval, Gothic, Renaissance and Romanesque. The most famous building of them all is The Duomo of Florence, it's interior is stark and plain while the exterior is covered in multicoloured marbles.
The food in Florence is diverse but predominantly known for meat. They commonly serve large pieces of beef or pork bone in and garnished with olive oil and coarse sea salt. The most incredible part of dining in Florence is that the olive oil is always local and fresh and of course the selections of wine are to die for!
Chianti is an area of Tuscany that is very dear to my heart. The rolling hills, rows of vineyards, olive groves and Cypress Trees are breath taking, I couldn't picture a more romantic setting.
The wine is not good but great and range from light and fruity to bold and oaky. Make sure to do a few vineyard tours and try the different arrays of style, taste and textures they have to offer.
Another huge suggestion I have is to actually stay on a vineyard that also offers accommodation. The views are beautiful and being able to walk through the vineyard at sunrise or sunset is spectacular. The villas will also normally offer a tasting of their own so definitely try the wine and olive oil they produce them selves.
It's truly a way of life for the people that live there, they are so laid back and happy. They all have a great knowledge of their history and where they've come from, it's quite beautiful.
I love every aspect of this magical city and cannot wait to visit again soon.
Here are links to two vineyards I have stayed on that offered accomodation and are absolutely exquisite!
1. Tenuta Di Corsano : LINK
2. Torre E Cona : LINK
Forte Dei Marmi is an extremely chic sea side town best known as a vacation spot for the rich and famous of Europe. The hotels and restaurants are very glamorous and you even have to pay to be on the beach! It is prestigious to say the least and best kept to a maximum of two or three nights as it is predominantly tourists. Although it is quite pricey I did enjoy feeling like a princess, shopping at the high end stores, seeing all the fast expensive cars parked along every street and dining in luxury. We stayed at the amazingly stylish Hotel Goya and were pampered by all the staff, they even offered a chauffeur to drive guests to their daily destinations, it was spectacular.
Hotel Goya : LINK