The secret attractions of Tuscany you should know
Tuscany is a beautiful region that attracts many tourists year after year, with its luscious countryside and equally delicious culinary delights. This, amongst many other things that Tuscany has to offer, means that nobody can resist Tuscany holidays! But what if you’ve already been and seen all the top attractions, or want to try more authentic experiences? Here we list the hidden gems that you must visit on your trip to Tuscany.
Parco Naturale de Maremma: The park is a protected wildlife area and offers everything a nature-lover would want from a park. The Maremma National Park is one of the best places for hiking, with organised treks available to the stunning and secluded cove of Cala di Forno, from June to September.
Pinocchio Park: You may not know that Pinocchio originated in Tuscany, with the author growing up in Collodi, a little town in Tuscany. What makes this town even more of a desirable destination to visit is the Pinocchio Park, which is a fun activity for all the family. The park includes obstacle courses, rides, mazes, a museum, playgrounds and Pinocchio puppet shows.
Saturnia Hot Springs: If you’re tired from walking or feeling full from a day of indulging on Tuscan food and wine, relaxing in a hot spring may be the perfect way to unwind. The Saturnia’s natural thermal pools are set in a stunning valley that boasts a beautiful location that will help you relax, and what makes this so perfect is the price tag, it’s completely free!
Bizzarri: This charming shop sits in the heart of Florence, with glass jars that hold ancient apothecary wisdom. This shop will offer you spices and essences. Or if you’ve been painting or taking pictures of the beautiful landscapes Italy has to offer you will find everything you may possibly need for your art in this shop.
‘Le Dieci Castella’ (The Ten Castles): The Valleriana, Pescia consists of ten hilltop villages: Aramo, Stiappa, Castelvecchio, Pontito, Pietrabuona, San Quircio, Sorana, Fibbialla, Medicina and Vellano, all of which were Medieval castles once upon a time. These hilltop towns are perfect places to visit away from the buzz of modern day life. The ancient settlements offer their visitors a perfect peace and tranquillity within its surroundings of chestnut forests and olive trees. Wander through the cobbled streets, take in the breath-taking landscapes and be in awe of the ancient architecture that spans several styles, from Gothic to Renaissance. Try the traditional Tuscan dishes in an authentic setting, in the many family run restaurants and friendly cafes in these towns. It’s not surprising how easy it is to lose yourself in this magical part of Tuscany.
San Miniato: Talking of hilltop towns, one you must add to the list is the medieval hill town of San Miniato that mirrors the setting of classic Renaissance paintings. The architecture, cobbled streets and worldly charm will transport you to another time. San Miniato overlooks the Arno River Valley. If this wasn’t enough to sway you, the town is also the centre of the premier truffle country with many to sample!
Image credit: Simonefiderigo Available under Creative Commons.