Tuscany (Toscana in Italian) is one of the twenty Regions of Italy; it is known mainly for its landscapes, which are full of wooded hills, olive tree groves and aromatic vineyards; but even its wines and other agricultural products such as the famous “Fiorentina” steak and the olive oil make Tuscany a famous region.However even Tuscany’s typical products such as leather products and prized marble from Carrara have achieved renown across the world.

Anyway Tuscany, as shows its artistic heritage, is also synonym of culture and creativity, due to the great value of the architectural, pictorial and sculptural monuments placed there and being the birthplace of the Renaissance movement and of great men such as Dante, Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci.

Siena is one of the most beautiful cities of Tuscany; set on three hills, the city is drawn together by winding alleyways and steep steps, whilst the Piazza del Campo stands at its heart, and the Duomo and St Maria della Scala serve as additional cultural landmarks. Famous for the “Palio”, the annual historic horse-races that take place on 2 July and 16 August, it is also home to one of the oldest Universities in Europe, which ensures a vibrant Italian student atmosphere throughout the academic year. Few geographical areas in the world can boast of the variety of environment that surrounds Siena.

To the north, we have the richness of the Chiantilandscape, woven with vines and olive-trees throughout the hills. Here also are beautiful towns like San Gimignano and Monteriggioni with old walls, winding streets and incredible views.
South of Siena, the Arbia valley leads to the hill-top town of Montalcino, home to the famous Brunello wine, and the area La Crete stretches out, amazing visitors with its harsh rock formations and unique landscape. Westwards we head towards the coast, to captivating coastline towns like Castiglione della Pescaia, and nature reserves like the area called Maremma. With such natural beauty within easy reach by car or public transport, Siena is a good place to base yourself for a Tuscan experience. The Chianti area, between Florence and Siena, is one of the most beautiful countryside in Italy and a famous wine production area.

The coastal city of Pisa is found in the centre of a fertile plain in northwestern Tuscany, a strategic geographic position that allowed it to become an important Naval Republic during the Middle Ages.The Leaning Tower of Pisa is without a doubt the monument that represents the city of Pisa in the world, even if not many know that it is the cathedral’s bell tower given its unusual position. The Cathedral and its Tower, the Baptistery and the Camposanto (necropolis) are all found in the Piazza dei Miracoli, (the Square of Miracles) one of the most beautiful squares in Italy and the world.

The city of Lucca is located in a plain in the northwestern area of Tuscany, flanking the southern end of the Apuan Alps. Its historical centre is enclosed by imposing walls dating back to the fifteenth century but which are still perfectly preserved today. It is possible to walk around the entire length of the walls under the shade of centuries-old trees, enjoying an extraordinary view of the city from the higher viewpoint. Walking through the streets of Lucca’s historical center one can still view the city’s ancient layout, and even if the original Roman era paving is no longer there, the narrow Medieval streets and distinctive squares with Renaissance-era buildings remain. Each month, on the third Sunday and the Saturday before, the streets and squares of Lucca are transformed and host the traditional Lucca Antiques Market.

Rio Maggiore, Corniglia, Manarola, Vernazza and Monterosso: these are the five villages that form Cinque Terre, one of the most uncontaminated areas in the Mediterranean Sea. Five miles of rocky coast among two promontories, thousands of kilometres of dry-laid stone walls, five small towns castled up on stone spurs in minuscule creeks. For their history and their position, the Cinque Terre have not suffered a massive expansion. The vineyards, typical of this area, have contributed to create a unique landscape with dry-laid stone walls, winding paths, enchanting beaches between cliffs and clear waters.What Cinque Terre offers is not only the sea, but also beautiful footpaths with take breathing view, churches, oratories and old castles, scuba diving, food and wines of first quality.

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