Why Tuscany still deserves a spot on your bucket list
Undoubtedly a region suited to the finer things in life, Tuscany is renowned for many things — its artistic, architectural, and gastronomic delights are just part of what makes the rolling green hills and warm climate of this Italian region a place every type traveller should visit.
For culture enthusiasts
In Florence, the Uffizi Gallery provides an unmissable opportunity to take in the works of renowned artists including Botticelli, Da Vinci and Michelangelo. Across town, the Accademia Gallery plays host to the world’s most famous piece of marble — Michelangelo’s iconic ‘David’.
Meanwhile, the jauntily angled tower in Pisa proves that even mistakes and bad planning can lead to excellent photo opportunities. Even with just a few hours to spare, it’s worth a stop to see if you can finally be the one to push it upright.
Within the wider region of Tuscany, the smaller area of Chianti is a haven for wine lovers looking to taste its world-famous wines (more on that later) or for travellers who like an adrenaline rush without needing to get involved — the historic hilltop city of Siena hosts a nail-biting horse race (the Palio di Siena) every July or August.
Pizza, pasta, and gelato are just part of the repertoire you’ll develop on a cookery holiday in Tuscany. Learn to cook regional Tuscan dishes, and wash down your creations with local wine in the company of other food-loving travellers. Regardless your kitchen skills, Tuscan chefs love to share their knowledge and addictive enthusiasm for all things tasty and Italian.
Whether you’re looking to go gourmet, or would prefer a homestay at a traditional Italian farm, you can find an Italian cookery holiday to suit your fancy. Carb-lovers also have options just for them, including specialised pizza and pasta breaks.
If that sounds like more gluten than you could possibly handle, you can still make the Italian classics but on a gloriously gluten-free basis, with a week alongside a gluten intolerant chef who’s redesigned her recipes without sacrificing flavour.
Tuscany’s distinguished wine regions make indulging in some grape-based refreshment a must. If you don’t have long in the area, a day trip wine tasting course gets you sipping ASAP. With more time, you can expand your tasting options to other Tuscan specialities like olive oil and local artisan cheese that complement your glass of vino.
Or, if you want the full Tuscany food experience, try a cooking and wine holiday that gives you the best solids and liquids the region has to offer.
For fitness buffs
Holding chair pose or doing five sets of squats at home may seem like a chore, but with the Tuscan countryside stretching out to the horizon, you won’t want to stop. Plus, after all that pasta and gelato, it’s a great way to re-set.
Surrounded by the undulating Chianti hills, a fitness holiday lets you tone up in tranquil surroundings through hiking, biking, swimming and yoga, while still indulging in fabulous Tuscan food (and even wine!). After all, a balanced diet and happy mind are large factors in overall health, right?
To expand your vocabulary past ciao and grazie, a language holiday is the ticket. You’ll learn as much in one week on an immersive Italian language experience as you would in four weeks in a classroom back home, without being holed up studying. Instead, you’ll live and chat with Italians daily, attend some classes to perfect pronunciation and grammar, and then have free time to explore and practice with the locals.
Even complete beginners can spend a week improving their skills and touring the refined cultural sites of Florence.
Tuscany’s cultural significance, rustic and charming scenery, and range of activities put it on the map years ago. Its ability to indulge any travel style is what should put it on your must-visit list today.