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AREZZO – Home of the famous 15th century cycle of frescoes by Piero della Francesca. A good base for the Val di Chiana, Casentino, Cortona and Lake Trasimeno with its sandy beaches. The area to the North of this provincial capital is mountainous and sometimes remote but intensely beautiful and unspoilt (the Casentino).
CORTONA and the VALDICHIANA – A great location for general sightseeing. Properties in the Val di Chiana are particularly suitable for first-timers to Tuscany as there is good access to Florence and Siena from here. Cortona, just North of Lake Trasimeno, is an Etruscan town in a spectacular position 600m above sea-level. Below it, the Lake with its sandy beaches, swimming and water sports is the gateway to Umbria.
FIRENZE (Florence) – The capital of Tuscany, on the river Arno. Properties in the Florence area are also a good base for visiting the Chianti vineyards, San Gimignano, Pisa.
PISA – Close to the coast, this area is a good base for visiting the beach as well as the famous Leaning Tower!
PISTOIA – This is the province between Florence (Firenze) and Lucca. It is a ideal setting for those who wish to combine their love of nature with day trips to cities of artistic treasure.
LUCCA – North of Pisa, the old town itself is a perfect example of medieval walled architecture.
LIVORNO – Closer still to the coast, a good base for Pisa and Volterra.
CHIANTI and the ARNO Valley – The Chianti area between Florence and Siena is of course renowned for its wine production and its classic scenery of rolling hills and cypress trees which has come to typify Tuscany. The area around Florence (Firenze) can also be high up (Pratomagno) and is spectacular in its natural beauty.
VOLTERRA and SAN GIMIGNANO – Volterra, built on a hilly ridge and surrounded by a double set of town walls, was an Etruscan city and its special atmosphere reflects its artistic heritage. San Gimignano is probably the most famous hilltown in all of Tuscany. Fifteen of its seventy-two towers built during the Middle Ages still remain, giving the town its distinctive profile and the sobriquet ‘medieval Manhattan’.
THE TUSCAN COAST and the ISLAND OF ELBA: The coastline, where Tuscany meets the Mediterranean, boasts sunny beaches, pinewoods, thermal springs, hills, slopes and mountains. The island of Elba is the largest island of the Tuscan archipelago known for its beautiful beaches, crystal-clear waters and contrasting landscapes. It may be reached in about 30 minutes by ferry
MAREMMA – This covers the area South of Siena towards the sea, an unspoilt landscape unchanged by time. It is a place where nature still rules, where cowboys still work with their herds, and animals and rare species of plants live undisturbed. Cornfields, orchards and olive groves give way to denser woodland and scrub towards the coast.
GROSSETO – In the heart of the Tuscan Maremma, the area to the south of Siena. A good base for the Uccellina Nature Park and the coastal resorts of Follonica, Punta Ala, Porto S. Stefano and Castiglione della Pescaia.
SIENA – Home of the famous Palio horse race. A good base also for the Chianti area, San Gimignano, Florence, Montepulciano, Pienza.The countryside around Siena is varied, with wooded hillsides, vineyards, olive groves and the volcanic peaks of Monte Amiata. Wave-like clay formations called “crete” create landscapes full of hills and ravines.
Orcia Valley – part of the agricultural hinterland of Siena.
UMBRIA – Known as the ‘green heart’ of Italy because of its luxurious vegetation. There are many historical and spiritual sites to visit, e.g. Perugia, Orvieto, Assisi and Gubbio. Perugia – Famous throughout Italy for its chocolate (‘Baci’). An ideal base for Lake Trasimeno with its sandy beaches, Assisi, Gubbio, Orvieto.
LAZIO – This is the province which is home to Rome! But the countryside around the Eternal City is beautiful enough to visit in its own right. Lakes, volcanic hills, woods, vineyards and olive groves and of course the prospect of day trips to the capital of Italy await you.
AMALFI COAST The Sorrento peninsula, renowned for its dramatic coastline with small towns and villages clinging to the cliffs and hairpin bends featured in many 1960’s films about la dolce vita! The vegetation here is lush, the tourist resorts such as Positano, Amalfi and Ravello easily accessible and of course ferries to Capri and Ischia are possible. A good base also for a day trip to Pompeii.
SARDINIA Sardinia is renowned for its fantastic landscapes and unique coastline, said to be one of the most beautiful in the world. It’s ideal for those who like to holiday in close contact with nature, and taste local gastronomic specialities such as cheese, wine and the famous “mirto”, a very good myrtle liqueur.
SICILY Sicily is an exotic and luxuriant island with forests, lush vegetation and an architectural heritage which reflects its position over thousands of years as the crossroads of the Mediterranean. It is said that there are, for example, more sacred Greek temples at Agrigento than in Greece itself!
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