the ultimate travel guide to

Tuscany

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From its undulating vistas of verdant fields and pin-sharp fir trees to the rustic beauty of the villas that dot the landscape, everything speaks of hazy, hot days under the Tuscan sun and languid nights of alfresco dining and cold prosecco.

 

But first things first. The beating heart of Tuscany is Florence.

 

When you’re there be sure to check out the Galleria Continua in San Gimignano and the Opera Duomo Museum – it’s an incredibly beautiful place with religious art in a modern setting. It’s truly unique.

 

A great place to stay in this part of the world is Vespro. It’s walking distance from the borgo of Settignano and 15 minutes on bus to Florence. Vespro is a quiet retreat with Renaissance riches (plus markets, food and fashion). The stylish, design-savvy interiors of the converted farm building meld classic with just enough contemporary Italian pizzazz – feature wallpapers, edgy colours, fine Italian linens, a hip pool for chilling out and captivating views.

 

If shopping is your thing be sure to check out Luisa Via Roma in Florence. It’s a fashion concept store and is great at showcasing new talent. Both luxury and contemporary all at once, it has everything from fashion and jewellery to skateboards.

 

But the most important question: where to eat in Florence?

 

Fulvio Pierangelini’s cuisine at Hotel Savoy has got the best ingredients, according to locals. For dinner, Coco Lezzone for mascarpone cream with raspberry. For a snack try the truffle sandwiches at Procacci, just off the Piazza della Repubblica; you can have them with tomato juice and they are just exceptional. Procacci is known by every Florentine. Trattoria Cammillo, on Borgo San Jacopo, is a Sunday lunch must – try the spaghetti alla bottarga and fried mozzarella. But be warned – the food is rich, so you have to go for a jog in the hills afterwards.

 

Speaking of food, if you have a car, make the trip out to Antica Trattoria dell’Eremita in Northern Tuscany. It has provided many a visitor with the best meal of their life.

 

Residing in a stunning Tuscan villa is repeatedly on people’s bucket lists. It’s something about the picturesque landscapes and feeling a sense of ownership of your dwellings that has everyone sharing the same dream.

 

Traditionally, a Tuscan villa was a palatial house in the Renaissance style, on a grand property.

 

But these days it might also refer to almost any ‘house’ in the countryside – farmhouse, palazzo, castle, even a converted mill or barn.

 

With so many villas on offer, it can be difficult choosing which is right for you. Lucky for you we have created a comprehensive guide to help you find the perfect venue for you and your companions.

 

No matter what your requirements, Castiglion del Bosco may well be the most idyllic stay in Tuscany. Hands down.

 

Set on 1700 hectares in the UNESCO-protected Val d’Orcia region, Castiglion del Bosco is one of Tuscany’s oldest and most luxurious estates.

 

The property has its own chapel with 14th-century frescoes, two exceptional restaurants, a cookery school, a holistic spa, tennis courts, private golf course, even a winery! But we think its most compelling feature is the heated infinity pool set atop a hill blossoming with lavender and bluebells.

 

There’s a selection of suites and villas, all of which are spaciously designed and feature interiors with warm hues to complement the Tuscan countryside.

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