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3 Top Tips to Enjoy the Lesser Known Side of Tuscany

Author: Lisa Jeeves
by Lisa Jeeves
Posted: Nov 18, 2014

Booking in one of the fabulous villas in Tuscany is the perfect way to experience a truly magical holiday exploring this delightful Italian region. There are so many attractions and historical sites to visit, but sometimes it's nice to experience some of the lesser-known places. Here are just three suggestions to do that.

Explore Lucca on a Bike

Finding what’s exactly right for your budget and taste for your villas in Tuscany is just the first part of the planning; choosing what attractions you want to explore is another. If you're staying near the town of Lucca, the very best way to truly get to know this delightful town and enjoy the sights is by exploring on a bike. The town is encircled by a centuries-old (dating back to the 16th century) fortified wall, which is now more a tree-lined avenue than a defensive structure. The avenue stretches up around a four-kilometre trail, with plenty of bike rentals, cafes, picnic spots and shops along the way. All you need to do is show up, rent a bike and helmet (rental fees are very reasonable), and then set out to explore. The weather is usually perfect for this, as the great thing about Tuscany is that even in the middle of August the temperature is comfortable enough for a few hours of cycling. To cap it off, head over to the picturesque Torre Guinigi, on top of which sits a gorgeous grove of ancient oak trees and the best views of the surrounding landscape.

Guided Walks Through Siena

Guided walks are a huge attraction of the region for those on a short or longer break in any of the villas in Tuscany – and the opportunities are many and varied. But while such tours are available in most cities or towns in the region, possibly one of the most rewarding are those in and around the wonderful medieval town of Siena. Between World War 1 and World War 2 Siena saw a lot of action and the walls of buildings still bear the scars of that time, which a knowledgeable guide will be able to point out to you. Other than that there are also many other must-see destinations of historical interest, including the Rooms of Memory in the Casermetta and the Asilo Monument. You can also visit the oldest hospital in Europe, or engage twilight photographic excursions.

Visit Film Sets

If you’re a movie buff, you'll have a treasure trove of exciting places to visit in this wonderful Italian region. If you’re lucky enough to stay in one of the villas in Tuscany close to a region where any of the better-known films have been made, do take the opportunity to visit. For example, the town of Cortona is a quaint village standing on top of a picturesque hill that has been the backdrop for a number of famous movies - such as ‘Under the Tuscan Sun’ (starring Diane Lane and based on a 1996 memoir by Frances Mayes) and ‘Life is Beautiful’ (by actor-director Roberto Benigni). The Val d’Orcia Valley was the set for Russell Crowe’s ‘Gladiator’, and Florence provided the setting for classics such as ‘A Room with a View.’

Helen Forbes is from Essential Italy, a company specialising in Italian holiday villas, apartments and hotels. If you’re looking for the perfect villas in Tuscany, it can be made so much easier with our help. Our handpicked villas offer distinctive Italian qualities, great comfort and convenience.

About the Author

Writer and Online Marketing Manager in London.

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Author: Lisa Jeeves

Lisa Jeeves

Member since: Oct 18, 2013
Published articles: 4550

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