The distinctive golden hills and noble Cyprus trees of the Tuscan landscape have seduced visitors to this central Italian province for generations. Impressive brick country houses are also synonymous with the region, and you can find unparalleled tranquility when you stay and relax with one of many Tuscan country house hotels here. Famous for some of the world’s most famous Renaissance art, history, culture, and architecture, Tuscany is a feast for the senses, and a stay in a traditional Tuscan country house hotel makes your perfect vacation all the more authentic.
Country House Hotels: Indulge in Tuscan Beauty
Florence: Witness the birth of the Italian Renaissance
No matter which Tuscan country house hotel you decide upon, a day trip to Florence is an absolute must for anyone interested in Italian history, culture, and architecture. This 14th century city is rich in impressive sites, and its classic red rooved houses and winding alleyways will completely capture your imagination. Visit the black and white Santa Maria del Fiore, a.k.a. the Duomo, where you will be able to glimpse the cultural and architectural impact of Catholicism during Renaissance Italy. Stroll across the famous Ponte Vecchio and admire sprawling city views from a tucked away rooftop bar as the sun sets upon the city. Florence’s Uffizi Gallery is the home of Renaissance art, and houses priceless paintings and sculpture by Leonardo di Vinci, Rubens, and Botticelli. Michelangelo’s arresting David can also be found in the Galleria della’Accademia. Tuscany’s biggest and most influential city, Florence’s majesty is only matched by the countryside which surrounds it.
Pisa and Siena: Magnificent sites in Tuscany’s biggest cities
Florence isn’t the only historic destination to explore while visiting Tuscany. The city of Pisa and its iconic leaning bell tower is a site to behold, but the city has plenty of other attractions to explore as well. The Piazza dei Cavalieri (Knights’ Square) houses a university founded by Napoleon Bonaparte, and the 11th century Santa Maria della Spina church is an exquisite example of European Gothic architecture. Pick up a delicious gelato on the winding old streets of Siena, and spend a say browsing its many stores and attractions. Rich in impressive architecture and century-old tradition, Siena hosts the notorious Palio, a medieval horse race held in the UNESCO World Heritage Piazza del Campo. Ten Contrade’s (or neighborhoods) compete in this intensely emotional and ancient tradition. Siena is also famous for its countless sculptures of Romulus, Remus, and the she-wolf who raised them. It is the symbol of the city, as local legend states it was founded by Remus’ sons, Senius and Aschius, who fled Rome after their father’s death at the hands of his brother.
Tuscany: Where food, art, and culture converge
There is much to discover when exploring the varied terrain and historic villages sprinkled throughout this iconic region. Make base with a Tuscan country house hotel in the rural town of Cortona, famous for its rustic architecture, typical of the province. If the Italian sun isn’t too intense, you could rent a bicycle and explore the various hills and valleys surrounding your Tuscan getaway, stopping off in the gorgeous hamlets of Montisi, Montepulciano, and Castelmuzio. Spend an evening in Pienza, a hilltop town with sweeping views over the dramatic Tuscan landscape. When it comes to food, Tuscany’s quality of Italian fare is second-to-none. Fresh, clay-baked pizzas and a variety of pasta dishes are on every menu, as well as toasted tomato bruschetta drizzled with truffle oil and an array of homemade gelato in every flavor. Indulge in locally sourced olive oil and wine from one of Tuscany’s many vineyards, and enjoy it all in a one-of-a-kind, stylish, and authentically Italian destination.