Call Inntravel on
+44 (0)1653 617001

+44 (0)1653 617001search
      our holidays > Journeys in SlowMotion > Italy > Tuscany

Journeys in SlowMotion in Tuscany

  • Slow Motion journeys in Italy
  • Slow Motion journeys in Italy
  • Slow Motion journeys in Italy
  • Slow Motion journeys in Italy
42  holidays found view
See for yourself...
  • the Italian region that has it all...
  • glorious landscapes of rolling hills and cypress trees
  • the little-known Maremma, plus an intriguing coast & islands
  • superb food & top-quality wine
  • Florence and Siena – Renaissance riches & world-class art

 

What is the quintessential Tuscan experience? Could it be enjoying an early evening aperitivo on a hotel terrace while watching the sunlight fade over Florence and its resplendent Duomo? Is it a meandering drive from one beautiful hill-top town to the next, beneath a deep-blue sky pierced by the soaring spires of cypress trees? Or might it simply be a convivial meal in a charming piazza – bistecca alla fiorentina (chargrilled T-bone steak), accompanied by a glass of rich Chianti? This region has drawn travellers, writers and artists ever since the Middle Ages, but everyone’s Tuscan story is slightly different, often with a twist in the tale: an astonishing work of art that’s been squirrelled away in an innocuous chapel, perhaps; prairie-like hills out west where butteri cowboys once roamed; or delightful Elba, island exile of Napoleon and scintillating jewel of the Tyrrhenian Sea.

Read on to discover more of what Tuscany has to offer...

Gelato to Die For

The attractions of Florence, Italy’s greatest Renaissance city, are world-renowned, and our walking route guides you around works by Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Raphael – among many other greats. But might we suggest that, amid all this rarefied splendour, you stop to savour the undeniable artistry of Vivoli, too? Known to fiorentini since the 1930s, this is the oldest gelateria in the city, and their delicious semifreddi and ice cream confections (stracciatella ‘choc chip’ and zingy limone are two favourites) are a true tonic for the taste buds in this ‘ice-cream capital of the world’.

Florence From Afar

If Fiesole (pronounced ‘Fi-ess-olé’, with typical Italian panache) occupies one of the world’s most sumptuous locations, overlooking Brunelleschi’s iconic Duomo from a fold in the Florentine Hills, then Pensione Bencistà, once an elegant villa and now a delightfully traditional guesthouse, offers a view to beat them all. The Simoni family, owners since 1925, will guide you onto their panoramic terrace so you can enjoy your prosecco aperitivo while gazing out on all of Florence spread below.

Chianti Country

The road south from Florence has a name as well as a number – Chiantigiana – and is every bit as scenic as you might expect. Once through Strada, named after an old Roman road, you encounter Greve with its arcaded, funnel-shaped Piazza del Matteotti, and then continue through rolling seas of (mostly Sangiovese) vines to eventually reach Radda in Chianti, resplendent on its rugged hilltop and surveying this famous region with benevolent authority. Head of the Chianti League since 1415, Radda is still home to the Chianti Classico consortium whose black cockerel symbol promises leasure to wine-lovers across the globe.

Renaissance Siena

Enchanting Siena, ferocious rival to Florence throughout the Middle Ages, now basks in something of bucolic haze. Its magnificent Campo, one of the finest medieval piazzas in Europe, is just four streets away from olive groves and vineyards, and the three hills on which the city is draped are full of easy-going, verdant charm. Contrast this with the heady elixir of its compact Renaissance centre, a flamboyant ensemble of palazzi and towers that plays host, twice a year, to the daredevil spectacle of the Palio (a horse race and so much more), and you have an intoxicating and hypnotic blend.

The Towers of San Gimignano

San Gimignano, whose 15 medieval towers – some of them over 50 metres tall – loom over the surrounding hills, is a quite fantastic sight. Imagine, then, how it would have looked back in the Middle Ages, when, as la città delle belle torri, it boasted no fewer than 70 of these lofty fortifications, symbols of both status and prosperity during a period of incessant family feuds and neighbourly disputes. Despite this diminution of grandeur, San Gimignano’s charm endures, its beautiful streets, ancient houses and inviting restaurants making it a delightful location to linger.

Cowboys of the Maremma

The Maremma was once a malarial swamp, populated only by migrant charcoal burners, shepherds and tough, Tuscan butteri (cowboys tending the region’s oxen and horses). All this has since changed, and this fertile, now prosperous region (drained long ago) delights relatively low numbers of visitors with attractive hill-top towns like Massa Marittima – boasting a splendid cathedral – and the romantic, Gothic abbey of San Galgano. But folklore still abounds, especially in relation to the butteri and their defeat of Buffalo Bill and his Wild West ‘pardners’ at a cowboy show in Rome.

The Mysterious Etruscans

It’s a truism that the Romans were titans of world history, but plenty of their trademarks – from gladiators to town planning, and from sewers to togas – were inherited from Rome’s nearest neighbours, the enigmatic Etruscans. These ‘first Tuscans’ were an astonishingly enterprising and fashion-conscious people whose civilisation suffered a barely explained decline from around 500 BC. Their cultural legacy, however, has been rich and longlasting, from walled towns and necropolises to the astonishing Vie Cave (deep, sunken lanes) near Pitigliano and the beautiful archaeological park at Baratti Bay.

Saturnia Spa & Serene Relaxation

Little Saturnia proffers a rather grandiose claim, asserting itself to be the first city ever founded in Italy – by the god Saturn himself, no less, who sent a thunderbolt down to earth in his efforts to pacify war-torn mankind, resulting in a magic spring of warm, sulphurous water. The legend lives on in the form of this attractive hill town with its hot springs and thermal swimming pools; and a couple of hours relaxing here, followed by lunch at its Michelin-starred All’Acquacotta restaurant, will more than justify the hype.
To delve deeper and linger longer, we suggest:
Classic Tuscany
Journey in Italy
The most quintessentially Italian region
Savour the fabulous art cities and blockbuster wines on a tour of quintessential Tuscany by car.
read more >
26 Mar-31 Jul & 27 Aug-31 Oct 2016
J
F
M
A
M
J
J
A
S
O
N
D
 
Etruscans, Towers & Cascading Waters
Journey in Italy
Tuscany & the Maremma
Discover Tuscany on and off the beaten track – from Pisa and San Gimignano to rural Maremma, ancient land of the Etruscans.
read more >
22 Apr-31 Jul & 27 Aug-27 Oct 2016
J
F
M
A
M
J
J
A
S
O
N
D