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Essential Advice

We created these pages to help you really Discover Italy. Journalists Donald Strachan, Steve Keenan and Jasmine Boni Ball — who visit several times every year — have gathered a rich crop of local stories and written destination guides to help you make the most of your vacation. As they say in Italy, “Buon viaggio!”

Cooking Classes in Italy: 5 Villas in Tuscany with Culinary Experiences

Want to discover the secrets behind Tuscan cooking? Make your vacation in Italy even more special, and discover the local food and wine that leads many travellers to Italy. These 5 luxury villas in Tuscany all offer cooking classes and experiences right in your own kitchen.

The Best Villas near Florence

Choosing your villa near Florence can be quite tricky – especially if they all come with private swimming pools, air-conditioned bedrooms and stunning views. These handpicked villas near Florence offer all these luxuries, and are located just minutes away from the city centre.

5 Villas for a Family Reunion in Tuscany

Stuck for inspiration for your next big family reunion? These 5 large Tuscan villas will wow your guests. At every one, you will find something for every generation of traveller — from tennis and hot tubs to nearby museums and historic sites.

When is the Best Time to Visit Tuscany?

Wondering about the best times to visit Tuscany? What's on in Tuscany through the year? Or what Tuscany's weather has in store for your next trip? Our month-by-month When to Visit Tuscany guide has it covered.

When is the Best Time to Visit Florence?

Read our month-by-month guide to city crowds, one-off events and typical weather to help you decide when to visit Tuscany's capital. From Epiphany to Christmas, summer highs to winter lows, we've covered the full 12 months in Florence.

6 Reasons You Should Visit Tuscany in 2019

There's lots happening in Tuscany in 2019. Our short guide to the best 2019 events includes a landmark anniversary for a Renaissance genius, free museum days, and another reason to pig out on some of Tuscany's best-loved foods.

Where to park your car in Florence

Guests ask us a lot — and we mean a lot — where to park their car in Florence. We have distilled all our local knowledge into this guide to parking in Florence. From private garages near the centre and navigating the city's ZTL, to overnight parking in Florence, our 101 has you covered.

An Introduction to Tuscany

Whether it’s a silent sunrise in the Val d’Orcia; lunch overlooking vines and olive groves; or the milky-pink sunset of a Chianti spring… At any time of day or year, there is nowhere quite like Tuscany. Our short guide introduces its best towns and cities, shopping and artworks, and of course food and drink.

How to Choose the Right Villa in Tuscany

Here's a secret: there is no such thing as the “best” villa in Tuscany. Only the best Tuscan villa rental for you. Maybe a villa with a pool is an essential, or a one with air conditioning, or even one of our fully staffed villas with maid and chef. We suggest five key questions to ask yourself before you book. Or just give us a call and we'll talk you through it.

Renting a Villa in Chianti

The Chianti hills between Florence and Siena were the backdrop often chosen by painters during the Renaissance, and with good reason. This is the Italian countryside at its most photogenic. Why should you choose a villa in Chianti? And what should you do when you get there?

An Introduction to Umbria

Umbria is more than just “Italy's green heart”. It's also its soul: saints like St. Francis of Assisi roamed its wildflower pastures in spring, and explored its mist-shrouded forests in the autumn. Read our introductory guide for pointers to Umbria's best towns and art, shopping and architecture, food and drink.

Tips for Americans Visiting Italy

Our three US-born expert expats all now call Italy home. Here they share their best tips for any North American planning a visit. Read their top do’s and don’ts, advice on tipping and what to wear, and handy phrases to help you order a glass (or two) of vino rosso using just the right Italiano.

Which Tuscany Wedding and Villa Suits You

Getting married in Italy will be exciting and memorable, but the preparation can also be overwhelming. If you're looking for some fun inspiration, take our dream wedding quiz. It will help you to work out exactly what type of Tuscan wedding suits you best.

The Guide to Getting Married in Italy

Italy has the landscapes, architecture and cuisine — but which area is your choice for the perfect wedding? We look at some options: is it to be a rustic wedding in the Chianti hills, or a barefoot walk down the aisle by the Tuscan coast? Seafood in Pisa, or wedding photos with the ultimate romantic backdrop: Florence's Ponte Vecchio?

How to Spend a Week in a Tuscan Villa

A week may be a long time in politics, but it's actually a fairly short time when you're relaxing among the vineyards in rural Tuscany. Based on decades of experience travelling around and experiencing the region, we offer up pre-trip advice on eating well, getting the right to-do list and generally slipping into the rhythms of local life.

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