Holidays in Tuscany. Places, cities, history: Chianti, Florence, Pisa, Siena

Holidays in Tuscany. Places, cities, history: Chianti, Florence, Pisa, Siena

 

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Giusy Hotel
Via Astoria 44
55043 - Lido Di Camaiore
Lucca - Italy
Tel. ++39 0584 610066
Fax ++39 0584 1989024

Skype: francebart1
giusy@versiliaplanet.it

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Holidays in Tuscany. Places, cities, history: Chianti, Florence, Pisa, Siena

Lying on Italy's west coast on the Tyrrhenian Sea, Tuscany is one of Italy's most popular destinations, and not without reason. It was the starting point of the Renaissance and offers a beautiful hilly landscape, often covered in grape vines, olive groves or sunflowers. It also produces Italy's most famous wine, Chianti . The most popular destinations in this region are Florence and Siena, both brimful with art and culture.

Regional culinary specialities include bistecca alla fiorentina (thick t-bone steak), minestrone alla fiorentina (vegetable soup) and Siena's panforte (rich fruit bread). Arguably Italy's finest olive oil is produced here and liberally used in food. A common starter is bruschetta , bread rubbed in garlic and dipped in olive oil. The region's wines are amongst Italy's most well-known. These include Chianti , Vernacchia , Brunello di Montalcino , Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and the dessert wine Vin Santo .

The regional capital, Florence (Firenze), boasts a wealth of Renaissance art and architecture. Visitors flock from all over the world to see Michelangelo's David and the city's magnificent Duomo, to name two of a plethora of attractions. The city's allure does not, however, only lie in its artistic achievements but also in the charm of its position: situated on the banks of the Arno River, at the foot of wooded hills. Florence is host to many music festivals throughout the year and an international film festival in December. The patron saint of the city, St John the Baptist, is honoured on 24 June with a celebration of spectacular fireworks.

The beautiful city of Siena has a number of monuments and museums worth visiting, noteworthy of which is its black and white marble cathedral built in the Romanesque and Gothic styles. It is also famous for its annual medieval Palios , bareback horse races, which take place on 2 July and 16 August. These are fiercely competitive contests between the different local teams which are accompanied by large processions and all sorts of other festivities.

Pisa was once a great maritime city and port, and its claim to fame is its leaning tower. The tower, the Piazza del Duomo and the Camposanto cemetery all survived intensive bombing during World War II. Other towns worth a visit are Lucca , famous for its Renaissance city walls and its churches; San Gimignano , whose towers dominate the Elsa valley in which it is located and leading to its name: the 'city of fine towers'; and Cortona , a medieval town providing excellent views of the Tuscan countryside.

Spas can be found at Montecatini Terme and Chianciano Terme (located in the hills of the southern Valdichiana).

The Tuscan Archipelago is made up of a group of islands scattered between Tuscany and Corsica. Elba is the main island in the group and was made famous as Napoleon's place of exile before his final defeat at Waterloo. It is a mountainous, volcanic island with popular beach resorts. Sailing and diving are among the many outdoor activities offered on the island offers.

 

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Giusy Hotel: Via Astoria 44
55043 - Lido Di Camaiore - Lucca - Italy
giusy@versiliaplanet.it - Tel. ++39 0584 610066 - Fax ++39 0584 1989024