Tuscany: Where Art Meets Nature

4A region in Italy with an area of 22,990 square kilometers, Tuscany is a tourist destination widely known for its beautiful landscapes and artistic legacy. Some of its localities have been established as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, including the historical center of Florence, Siena and Pienza among others. Travelers who decide to visit Tuscany can expect to taste incredible food and excellent local wines, enjoy beautiful beaches and astonishing architecture. There is also a wide range of Tuscany vacation rentals options that vary from expensive hotels to charming and affordable bed and breakfasts and inns to suit any budget.

The province of Arezzo is composed by its capital city Arezzo, and the cities of Castiglion Fiorentino, Cavriglia, Cortona, Lucigano, Montevarchi and Poppi. Travelers spending time in this province will benefit from a variety of entertainment alternatives. Arezzo, the capital, is home to the Arezzo Festival, an annual summer theatre festival where emerging professional and university-based performance groups from all over the world showcase their abilities. If you are visiting Cortona get ready to enjoy magnificent panoramas and visit museums. If you head to Castiglion Fiorentino, don’t miss the tower of the ancient castle, “Torre del Cassero,” and the town’s beautiful medieval walls.

If the province of Florence is in your plans, you will be pleased with the city’s cultural, artistic and architectural feel. The city was the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance and there are numerous museums such as the Academia Gallery, home of the famous David, masterpiece of Michelangelo, and the Institute and Museum of the History of Science. The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, Gotto’s tower, Ponte Veccino and Santa Croce are other popular touristic destinations. If you like outdoor activities, some of the most popular include climbing the Duomo or Campanile, visiting the Boboli Gardens, which provide excellent views of the city of Firenze, and enjoying the street performers by the Uffizi in front of the Palazo Vecchio.

If you enjoy wine and are knowledgeable about this topic, your best bet is to visit the regions of Chianti, Montalcino and Montepulciano.  In the last fourty years, the Tuscan wine industry has evolved significantly resulting in what is called the Super Tuscan Wine. If wine is not your area of expertise but you like cooking, another popular activity in Tuscan is taking week-long cooking classes in the countryside with accommodation in a villa from the 19th century.

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