The majority of people who visit Tuscany see Florence and Pisa as the predominant attractions and fail to recognise that the rural localities of the region as a tourist attraction in their own right. This countryside paradise, full of wonderful farm buildings and beautiful medieval towns and villages should form part of any trip itinerary when in Tuscany; it is simply too good to miss. Most consider this to be the real Tuscany, a landscape of rolling hills interspersed by farm buildings, vineyards and terracotta houses.
Holidays spent travelling round the sumptuous Tuscan countryside are relaxing in extremis; allowing visitors to completely unwind and forget about work and life at home. Visitors may choose to watch the world go by sitting at a local cafe sipping the great wine or coffee, or may wish to sit atop one of the many hillsides purveying the glorious scenery. Holidays in this part of the world are all about relaxation and rejuvenation, winding down to the local way of life and simply, taking it easy.
For the chance to sample the fine cuisine and wines of Italy Tuscany is a must visit destination. The Tuscan cuisine is heavily focussed on meat dishes even though the countryside is predominantly used for arable farming. The dishes include steaks and pork cooked in a traditional way and accompanied by fresh, juicy seasonal vegetables. Locals think of nothing of spending hours at the dinner table conversing and enjoying both each other's company and the great food; for travellers, doing the same is a vital experience.
Italy is famed for its wine and has been since at least the Roman age. Thankfully Tuscany is exactly the same and is intensely proud of its wine making heritage. The farm complexes and affixed vineyards in most cases are happy to welcome tourists on tasting trips to sample their wares. A large number of wines are produced in the region although the most famous variety is Chianti. Chianti from Tuscany is considered by many to be the perfect tipple to complement the meat dishes and a great way to understand the Tuscan culture.
The rural regions of Tuscany are in most instances, picture perfect. Rolling hills dotted with quaint farm buildings at the centre of richly coloured farmland. The crops gently sway in the wind while the cypress trees that border the fields give a vista that is impossible to find anywhere else in the world. In many cases it is like stepping back in time for tourists to a simpler, less stressful age. The rural localities can be considered perfect for holidays whether travelling as a couple or as a family. The scenery oozes romance while the wide open spaces give children the chance to play to their heart's content. All this is accompanied by warm Mediterranean sun and glorious blue skies; some may argue that the word paradise simple does not do rural Tuscany justice.
In terms of accommodation there are a variety of choices for holidays. While Florence and Pisa are filled with large hotels, increasingly farm accommodation is becoming popular with tourists as it gives direct access to the marvellous interior. It is not just farm buildings but also castles are being converted into holiday complexes with swimming pools and places to undertake activities such as horse riding and cycling. In most cases these places are run by locals ensuring the warmest of welcomes and service with a personal touch.
The benefits of visiting rural Tuscany are hard to dispute. Tourists are guaranteed to return from their holidays, more relaxed, refreshed and rejuvenated having sampled the best that the region has to offer. So for a unique and interesting holiday idea, consider rural Tuscany as the perfect destination.
Travel expert Thomas Pretty looks at the farm holidays Tuscany option for tourists who want the finer things in life.