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Tuscany is all about beauty. Whether you’re gazing at its lovely landscapes of undulating hills and cypress groves, wandering through its cities and towns where art oozes from every corner, or contemplating yet another bowl of lip-smacking pasta, a holiday in ‘the art palace of Italy’ is a treat for the senses.
Such is its charm and appeal, Florence is reason enough to visit Tuscany – especially for a short break. A handsome and historic city, you’ll find an abundance of architectural and artistic treats everywhere you look. Priceless artworks can be enjoyed in its galleries and tiny chapels, while the city’s buildings are a hymn to Renaissance creativity.
It’s also prime road trip country. With roads curving through idyllic countryside, driving here is a dream, made sweeter by the staggering scenery: the region is famed for its gravity-defying hilltop towns, rolling vineyards and swaying Italian Cypress trees.
Then there’s the food. Even by Italy’s lofty standards, Tuscan eating is up there with the best. The fertile land has given rise to world-class cuisine, without a shred of pretension. Wheat, olives, truffles, mushrooms all feature in Tuscan dishes, and you’ll find game including wild boar and rabbit alongside pork and bistecca alla fiorentina (Italian steak).
When it comes to wine, while the quality is high throughout, the names to know are Chianti, Brunello and Montepulciano – otherwise known as the holy trinity of Tuscan reds.
Finally, better known to domestic tourists than Brits, the Tuscan coast is perfect for a seaside break, with sparkling waters and beaches that range from the chichi to the untamed. Castiglione della Pescaia and Viareggio won’t disappoint. Off the coast, the island of Elba is a delightful escape.
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