With an enchanting backdrop of olive groves, vineyards, rows of cypresses, medieval hill-towns, and artfully sited farmhouses and villas, Tuscany, indeed, harbours the classic Italian landscape we have all seen in thousands of Renaissance paintings. This utterly wealthy and naturally beautiful region with the heart-stopping countryside is, no wonder, a pole of attraction for millions of people that visit Italy every year. Of course, seeing everything Tuscany has to offer on a single trip is practically impossible. Nevertheless, there are a few things that you should definitely add to your list to get a truly authentic Tuscany experience.
1. Taste (or sample) truffles
Dedicated food lovers never leave Tuscany without trying truffles. It comes as no surprise, given that Italian truffles are prized for their flavour and aroma. Now, depending on the season you visit Tuscany, you can find different varieties of these mouth-watering fungi.
For example, White truffles are picked between October and December in the Casentino woods, Mugello, and Val Tiberina, alongside the Siena area and the San Miniato hills. Precious Black truffles with the delicate taste grow from November to March, while the Marzuolo truffle is found in Grosseto, Livorno, and Pisa (among other places) from January to April.
Finally, Scorzone truffles are frequent from May to August and delight with their mushroom-like aroma. You may even sample this pricey fungus in various towns, such as San Miniato, between Florence and Pisa.
2. Visit Cortona
The agricultural plain of Valdichiana is home to the ancient hill-town of Cortona – a major attraction that provides unsurpassable panoramas of the alluvial valley of Valdichiana and Lago Trasimeno lake (4th largest in Italy). This lovely, historic town sits on the top of a hill and impresses not only with its views but also the Santa Margherita Sanctuary, Girifalco Fortress, the imposing city walls, the Franciscan hermitage Le Celle (the 1st monastery Saint Francis of Assisi built in 1211), and, of course, the Tuscan Sun Festival – an annual event that celebrates art. And, let’s also not forget that some of the best red wines in the world are made in this area.
3. Rejuvenate at the Monti dell’Uccellina park
Located within the Grosseto province, Monti dell’Uccellina is a protected environment, a part of the Maremma coastal area, and one of the last pristine shores in Italy. Expect to be overwhelmed by the long stretches of golden sand and the crystalline waters, the wildlife roaming prairies and forest-covered hills, and the many wild animals that live in the mountainous areas, including turtles, porcupines, red foxes, fallow deer, and wild boars. It also provides shelter to hundreds of rare Italian birds. To some people, Monti dell’Uccellina feels like earthy heaven. The Italians must feel this way too, considering their tremendous efforts to preserve these natural reserves.
4. Live in an elegant farmhouse
If waking up to the chirping of birds and heart-stopping views of a glorious rural landscape is part of your dreamy Tuscany holidays, then renting a stylish farmhouse or Tuscan exclusive villa perched in the verdant lands of the Tuscany countryside will tick your boxes for sure. Beautifully remodelled, tastefully decorated, and with a lux factor that is more than impressive, they exude a sense of cosiness, warmth, and grandeur. Ensuring utmost privacy, comfort, and a wealth of modern amenities while being close to major attractions, you also get to live in a house bearing old-world charm and charming traditional Tuscany architecture.
And, if you don’t fancy living amidst lush lands and forest-filled terrains, you may as well pick a mansion near the coastal regions of Tuscany and pamper yourself with captivating sunset views and refreshing dives in cobalt waters!
We are pretty sure that as your days go by in this lovely Italian region, you will keep adding to this (admittedly) super-short list of the must-do things in Tuscany! Although it may sound like a cliché, in Tuscany, the sky is, indeed, the limit when it comes to activities and fun things to do, taste, experience, and see! And, you are about to find it out yourself.