Italy

Tuscany

Shutterstock/16944979/JoschTuscany is quintessential Italy: a land that launched a thousand picture postcards of rolling hills and vineyards, sunflowers and cypress trees, atmospheric alleyways and historic towns. It’s home to the nation’s most celebrated city: Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance, where you can see the world’s richest concentration of artistic treasures – and taste some of the finest gelati. Then there are exquisite hill towns like Cortona, immortalized in Under the Tuscan Sun, and Pienza – one man’s vision of Utopia. Here too is medieval Siena, with its shell-shaped piazza, Il Campo, and dazzling humbug-striped cathedral; Lucca, perfectly preserved inside its ancient walls; and Arezzo, where you can see some of Piero della Francesca’s finest frescoes. The list of world-class sights is endless, from Pisa’s Leaning Tower to San Gimignano’s medieval ‘skyscrapers’. And, if you tire of art, you can follow wine trails in Chianti, party all night in Viareggio, go walking in the chestnut-covered hills of the Garfagnana, or ride horses in the wild Maremma. The trouble with Tuscany, in fact, is that there’s just too much to see and do. Accept that you can’t do it all and allow yourself time to relax as well, for this isn’t a place to be hurried.
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