We created these pages to help you really Discover Italy. Journalists Donald Strachan, Steve Keenan, Jasmine Boni-Ball, Sara Sherwood, Sabrin Hasbun, Alicia Peacock, Chloë Sibley— 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!”
From rolling hills to ancient Etruscan landscapes, Umbria is the ultimate destination for outdoor lovers. There’s a reason this landlocked region is known as Italy’s ‘Green Heart;’ it is home to some of central Italy’s finest natural landmarks like the Marmore Falls, Lake Trasimeno and the dramatic peaks of the Apennines. Umbria is home to the Monti Sibillini National park as well as countless regional parks and reserves, ideal for hiking, climbing, cycling and birdwatching.
The largest of the Italian lakes, Garda is nestled into the base of the blue snow-tipped Dolomites. Its picturesque shoreline stretches over 90 miles and is divided between the provinces of Verona, Brescia and Trento. Whilst the narrower northern end of Lake Garda is defined by its mountainous landscapes, hilltop villages and windier climate, making it ideal for sailing, its southern shores are wider, milder and far calmer, with tranquil beaches and harbour towns.
Pisa is renowned for its leaning tower, marble cathedrals and historic piazzas — so the city’s more naturalistic components often become overlooked. Orto Botanico di Pisa, or simply Pisa’s botanical garden, can be found in the city’s centre next to the beloved Piazza dei Cavalieri. From the history to museum, read on to discover one of the oldest botanical gardens in Europe.
Nestled between the great cities of Pisa and Florence, is San Miniato. Often in the shadow of its neighbouring cities, this underrated town is home to an abundance of Italy’s white and black truffles and is a place of prominence for its respective produce. Truffles are one of the world's most expensive foods, but what lies behind this culinary treasure goes beyond that which meets the eye, nose and mouth. Discover Italy’s funkiest of Fungi and what makes them hunting them a Tuscan tradition.
It is dangerous work to deal in superlatives when talking about Tuscany. Around each bend, through the rolling hills, you can expect to discover mesmerising views in every direction. And yet, the Val d’Orcia is something else. It is, in many ways, the essence of Tuscany. Discover what makes this UNESCO World Heritage one of Tuscany’s most beautiful valleys.
Whether you are searching for the wedding villa of your dreams, or simply want a romantic getaway, Tuscany is full of activities that will ignite your passion and demonstrate your love to your soulmate. We’ve curated a collection of our favourite 5 romantic things to do in Tuscany, to help couples create unforgettable memories and experience Tuscan romance.
Whether you are staying in a villa near the Tuscany coast and Maremma, or simply want to explore the area for the day, we have put together a list of our favourite walking trails along the Tuscan coast. Ancient monasteries, intimate treasure coves, turquoise waters and breath-taking views — these outdoor itineraries will put you in contact with the natural beauty of Tuscany. Just remember to bring the right pair of shoes and enough water for the day!
Where can you find the best beaches along Tuscany's long stretch of coastline? Our guide to beaches and beach resorts along the Tuscany coast includes remote, wild sands at Cala Violina and Collelungo, easy Mediterranean island daytrips, and some of Tuscany's snorkelling hotspots.
Among all Italian regions, Tuscany probably has the widest choice of stables and near-perfect topography for riding out. It’s easy to find riding schools for lessons or a short excursion on horseback. There is plenty of choice for day-long guided treks with a picnic, too. Here, we lay out some options, including children's riding.
Pigs or dogs? Oak trees or pine forest? Winter or summer? Read this for advice on finding the king of fungi during a stay at one of our villas. We also recommend a foraging tour, where real experts can let you in on some secrets of the truffle-hunter's trade.
“Without a doubt, central Italy is my favourite destination on a bike,” says David Cleveland, author of "Bicycle Touring in Tuscany". We pass on expert advice from local cycling specialists, covering where to rent a bike, where to go and even where to stop for a picnic, if you want to see the best of Tuscany on two wheels — whether you're a novice or a Giro-wannabee.
Despite Chianti wine, Gaiole in Chianti is also known for its annual bike race, L’Eroica. On a Sunday in October, the rolling hills of Chianti are transformed into a cycling route. This historic cycling event draws over 5,000 participants. Learn about L’Eroica and saddle up for one of the world’s best cycling events.
Italy is a country of art — visit any museum from Turin to Palermo and you are bound to find some of the greatest masterpieces of all time. Italy is also a country of naturalistic wonders — undulating hills lined with olive groves and vineyards, rocky cliffs and quiet coves on the Medietterranean Sea, and emerald lakes at the foothills of the Alps. Take a closer look at the link between nature and art: we’ve collected a list of our favourite open-air museums and art gardens where you can spend the day enjoying the best of both worlds.
You’ll often hear Tuscans refer to extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO) as oro verde (“green gold”). Unlike regular olive oil, extra-virgin is pressed without heat and chemicals, making it the most expensive and desirable oil in the world. From the culture and tradition rooted in the extra-virgin olive oil harvest to the experience of pressing olives at the mill, discover the art and skill behind the production of Tuscany's green gold.