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The Finer Points Of Tuscany

Jul 11, 2008
Tuscany is one of Italy's most visited regions for family holidays, romantic breaks and even relaxing spa excursions. With large hotel numbers and a host of interesting and educational sites a trip to Tuscany is both comfortable and entertaining. But what is there to see and do in Tuscany? What are the fundamental inclusions in any holiday itinerary?

Obviously any trip to this region of Italy should include a visit to Florence. As an example of Renaissance architecture and art it is hard to find a better city anywhere else in the world. The city does however experience large tourist numbers so for those who would like to avoid the hustle and bustle, a hotel in the beautiful Tuscan countryside is advisable. Florence will however fill the needs of those with a love of art, with hundreds of the most famous paintings and sculptures on the planet; it can truly be described as the jewel in Tuscany's crown.

Another destination of note is the town of Siena. With a glorious fan shaped piazza, the Piazza del Campo that acts as the centrepiece for this marvellous medieval hill town. In addition, if visiting in the summer it is well worth seeing the famous horse race that takes place in Siena each year. The horse race brings a fantastic festival feeling to the town and will be enjoyed by all members of the family.

San Gimignano is a city of towers, a rarity in this part of Italy where natural disasters and warfare have led to the destruction of most of the medieval towers. San Gimignano however has fourteen remaining towers that give the town one of the most memorable and beautiful vistas in the whole of Tuscany.

Another city that has wonderfully preserved medieval architecture is Lucca. The wall that surrounds the city is regarded to be one of the best in all Italy making walking or cycling around the perimeter a truly unique experience. As well as the historic attractions, the city of Lucca is well known for the wide array of shops and restaurants that adorn its streets.

Although predominantly famous for its leaning tower, Pisa has much to offer the tourist with lush green parks and astounding architecture making it ultimately relaxing. The one time home of Lords Byron and Shelley, history is ever present and the enchanting river is perfect for strolls on lazy summer afternoons.

Those visiting with the family will almost definitely want to visit Pinocchio Park; a unique attraction that will enthral visitors of all ages. Journeying around the park presents the visitor with wondrous statues of the many characters from the story. Attractions include the regular marionette shows that bring to life the tale of this puppet who wanted to be a boy. The park is located near Collodi, the home of Carlo Lorenzini's mother, the author of the story.

Not all of your time should be spent touring the interior or the area near your hotel. Tuscany can boast some amazing beaches that make ideal family excursions. The beaches are famed for the clean water that laps at the shore making them perfectly safe for bathing. In addition to the beaches the coast of Tuscany has some fabulous small fishing villages where it is possible to gain a true understanding of the Tuscan culture and of course the sumptuous local delicacies.

Tuscany as a holiday destination really does have it all. Whether you want to spend your time visiting the many fine architectural examples, the renaissance art or even the beach, a trip to Tuscany will leave you feeling relaxed and rejuvenated. Fun for all the family, this region of Italy is magical, enjoyable and culturally rich. No matter what you hope to gain from your holiday, Tuscany will supply it by the bucket load.
About the Author
Travel expert Thomas Pretty looks into how with the use of a family hotel Tuscany can be a sublime destination.
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