il Vallone offers panoramic views over the beautiful Val di Chiana. It has been lovingly restored by its architect owner to combine the charms of Tuscan country living with a contemporary sensibility. Original features such as the mellowed brickwork speak of its authentic history and accent its understated decor. Yet for all this history, modern comforts abound: spacious living areas have generous sink-in sofas, the wrought-iron beds have quality linens and the kitchen is fully equipped for culinary feasts. Surrounded by fragrant gardens and woods, il Vallone is the perfect family getaway.
The capital of Tuscany, Florence boasts an impressive array of museums and historical sights. Stroll through The Uffizi Museum to see famous works by Da Vinci and Botticelli or see Michelangelo's David in The Galleria dell'Accademia. Don't miss the Florence Cathedral with its famous domed roof.
For centuries Siena has been the host of Il Palio. Every July 2nd and August 16th ten riders race their horses bareback around the square called il Campo. The wild spectacle attracts thousands of spectators each year. If you are in Siena during this time it is certainly a must see!
No trip to Tuscany would be complete without visiting the world famous Leaning Tower of Pisa. But don't stop there. Take the time to stroll the Lugarno area and visit the shops and restaurants or take a walk along the Arno River.
Tuscany and wine seem to go hand in hand. Sample regional delights such as Brunello, Montepulciano and, of course, Chianti. Try a winery tour on the famous Chianti Classico Route and don't forget to pair it up with the regions equally famed meats and cheeses.
The Tuscan coast has some of the best beaches in Italy, so after sightseeing why not relax? All blue-flagged, some of the best include Maremma and Versilia. A nice coastal sidetrip could include an excursion to the islands of Elba or Giglio.
The Tuscan countryside is dotted with beautiful and charming medieval towns such as Lucca and San Gimignano. It is a delight to wander the narrow cobblestone streets and marvel at the architecture while visiting local artisans and cafes. You never know what you may find around the next corner!
Why not see the gorgeous Tuscan countryside from above in a hot air ballon? In Val D'Orcia you can float majestically over the green fields, rolling hills and endless vineyards. For the kid in all of us - a view not soon forgotten.
The Romans frequented the hotsprings at Saturnia for their medicinal and heeling properties and not much has changed since. The springs area is a fabulous way to spend the day and afterwards you can frolic in the waterfall that cascades into the pools.
Tuscany is replete with fortresses and impressive castles be it in the countryside or in the heart of any city. Many castles can be found in small “borghi” (hamlets) scattered all through the countryside such as Fighine near San Casciano dei Bagni or Meleto Castle in Chianti. Kids can also have fun climbing to the top of famous towers such as Giotto’s Bell Tower in Florence – a mere 414 steps with an award-winning view. History and fun all at the same time!
Gelato! Have fun tasting and deciding which gelato is your very favorite. Try a different flavour every day at a new gelateria in all the places you visit on your vacation – keep a photo journal and descriptive diary so you can tell all your friends. Remember each day of your “vacanza in Italia” with a gelato flavor! Evviva gelato!
If visiting in summer, don't miss the countless fairs and festivals that almost any of the small towns have throughout the season. Usually in the village center, many showcase local artisans, food and games. Of course, no fair would be complete without face-painting and your favourite gelato!
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