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Tuscany: a rural paradise made of soft hills and hamlets
At a slow pace between art and culture nestled in the beauty of nature
If you want to dive into the natural splendors of the Tuscan countryside we will take you by the hand and guide you among the area’s amazing cultural and natural treasures. Whether by car, on foot, by bike or on horseback, Tuscany offers myriad opportunities: ancient roads can take you to hamlets lost in the soft and green hills, with sweet vineyards and olive groves all around. Moreover, there's an artistic and traditional patrimony you could be interested in.
Montefioralle- Credit:  Shutterstock / Stefano Cellai

This landscape looks like it was drawn by a prodigious hand. This area cherishes beautiful gems such as the small and quaint Montefioralle and Castelnuovo Berardenga. The history of Chianti has always been deeply linked to wine and other first-rate products, making it the perfect destination for a journey through traditional Tuscan food and wine. You can taste the world-renowned Chianti DOCG red wine directly in the cellars. This wine blends perfectly with tasty products such as the cold cuts from the local Cinta Senese.

As for the artistic side, Chianti Sculpture Park connects the beauty of the countryside to creations and installations by artists from all over the world.

Crete Senesi
Asciano- Credit:  Shutterstock / Luboslav Tiles

This fascinating area is characterized by shapes sculpted from an ever-changing sea of clay. Rapolano Terme hides a warm heart made of thermal waters full of therapeutic properties that bubble up to the surface. The springs have been used since the Roman era, especially the Antica Querciolaia and the San Giovanni Terme Rapolano, peaceful places immersed in unparalleled landscapes. Not only natural springs in this area: the truffles of San Giovanni D’Asso are amazingly tasty! Art tips: in Asciano, visit the Civic Archaeological and Sacred Art Museum where you can see boards, wooden sculptures and paintings as well as Etruscans artifacts uncovered from excavations in the surrounding areas.

Val d'Orcia
Horti Leonini- Credit:  Alberto Pescucci

This unique landscape is covered with Oak forests, olive groves and vineyards that produce the famous Brunello wine of Montalcino. From San Quirico - along the Via Francigena - to Pienza - the ideal Reneissance town - to the small Monticchiello, there's much to see. Step to Radicofani and visit its amazing Fortress, take in the sights of the Horti Leonini garden and the Cappella di Vitaleta immersed in a see of hills. For a relaxing stop, move to Bagno Vignoni: the main square of the town is a big pool of thermal water in which the locals used to bath in the past. In a few words, enjoy the beauties of this territory, which is a UNESCO world heritage site.

Bilancino Lake- Credit:  Valentina Dainelli

A pleasant landscape, with an authentic cuisine (try the traditional potato tortelli!), this area - not far from Florence - is also known for its great tradition of craftsmanship, like cutting tools in Scarperia e San Piero or stone cutters who work with pietra serena in the Upper Mugello. Mugello was home to the Medici Family whose art traces can still be visible, for instance at the Villa di Cafaggiolo and Trebbio Castle

The area also boasts plenty of opportunities to take up sports like surfing and canoeing, which can be done on the beautiful Lake BilancinoDulcis in fundo: throughout the month of October in the chaming town of Marradi, at the Chestnut festival, every Sunday you can find countless stalls selling local delicacies such as cakes, jams, marrons glacés and roasted chestnuts.

Vallombrosa Abbey- Credit:  Shutterstock.com / marcociannarel

Its forest extending over 1,279 hectares and ranging from 450 and 1,450 metres above sea level, is a Biogenetic Nature Reserve where visitors can observe some of the tallest trees in Italy, like a silver fir that stands at over 60 meters tall. In this forest there's an oasis of peace abd faith, surveyed by the cross of Pratomagno: the Abbey of Vallombrosa, founded by the Benedectine monk St Giovanni Gualberto. The Abbey is home to important artistic heritage including paintings, frescoes and the extravagant reliquary containing Saint Giovanni Gualberto’s arm.

At this point of our trip we would find ourselves in the municipality of Reggello, famous for its excellent extravirgin olive oil production and for the Masaccio Museum. This treasure trove showcase paintings by the Ghirlandaio school, Santi di Tito and other important artists, as well as a series of beautiful gold-work and liturgical objects.

Lucca area
Villa Reale di Marlia- Credit:  C. D'Aliasi

Lucca is a real jewel, famous for its perfectly-preserved defense walls and for its “100 churches”. The surrounding area, stretching from Versilia to the Apuane Alps, is dotted with stunning villas, immersed in luxuriant gardens characterized by myriad of camelias. One of the most beautiful is the Villa Reale di Marlia, once home to Elisa Baciocchi, Napoleon’s sister. If you're enthusiast of this flower, take a look at the Antiche Camelie della Lucchesia exhibition's calendar. But if you prefer wine you will surely enjoy exploring the small village of Montecarlo, nestled in the hills and famous for the excellent wine.

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