Tuscany is an enchanting destination with beautiful countryside, fantastic cuisine and immense cultural heritage. Beyond famous historical cities like Florence, Pisa, Siena and Lucca, this region of Italy can offer breathtaking landscapes, from the Chianti wine region to the Appennine Mountains.
Visit Chiusdino, located 70 kilometres south of Florence and about 30 kilometres southwest of Siena, to discover the legendary sword in the stone at Montesiepi Chapel. It was placed there by Saint Galgano Giudotti who lived on Montesiepi as a hermit. The sword that has been stuck in the stone ever since is considered to have been the inspiration for the tales of King Arthur. Several years after San Galgano's death, a round chapel was built there.
Nearby Abbey of San Galgano is another place for everyone looking for extraordinary attractions. These roofless walls of the Gothic style Cistercian Monastery stand proudly in the middle of the countryside. First built in 1200s, in the late 1700s, the roof of the church caved in, and the haunting ruins were left abandoned.
How to get there:
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- JULY: 4-night stay in well-rated Tuscany countryside villa with breakfasts + flights from London for only £145 >>
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In Poggibonsi, we encourage you to stay at 3* Hotel Alcide, with very good reviews. It is located 32 km northwest from Siena. Set in the Tuscan hills, Alcide is ideal for exploring the Valdelsa Valley, the Chianti wine region and both Siena and Florence. It offers free parking and a traditional 160 years old Tuscan restaurant. Wi-Fi is available throughout. Rooms at Hotel Alcide come with pay-TV channels. All air conditioned, they also feature a minibar and a private bathroom with hairdryer.
What to do:
Go to Florence, often compared to a colossal outdoor museum because of its mass of architectural treasures and art masterpieces. Visit some of the main monuments featured in the Dan Brown’s best-seller, Inferno and find the filming locations from the movie adaptation. Go to the Buontalenti Grotta, built in the 16th century amidst the Boboli Gardens. See hand painted Renaissance maps in Palazzo Vecchio and find Galileo’s fingers in the Florence History of Science Museum. Step into Santa Maria Novella, the oldest operating pharmacy and perfume store in the world.
Hire a car to discover romantic landscapes, taste high-quality local food and fine wine on a road trip through parts of Via Francigena.
Get the perfect picture with the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa. Visit Siena, a city that offers its visitors a step back into the Middle Ages with its well-preserved historic centre and medieval horse racing tradition (Il Palio).
Explore the Pinocchio Park, located in Collodi – the small village linked to the life of Carlo Collodi, the Adventures of Pinocchio’s author.
If you want to relax, sail to Elba, the island of the Tuscan Archipelago, best known as a place of exile for Napoleon. Italy’s third largest island boasts more than 150 beaches, from wide stretches of sand to sheltered coves.
Visit Lago di Vagli, a Tuscan lake that hides a 13th century town. The submerged ruins of Fabbriche di Careggine are still visible whenever the waters are drained for maintenance.
Admire the “medieval skyscrapers” – old towers that dominate the skyline of San Gimignano. There you can also visit the Medieval Criminal and Torture Museum.
Go to the charming medieval town of Volterra to see its well-preserved ramparts or head to Montepulciano, full of elegant Renaissance palaces, ancient churches and charming squares.
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