If you are looking for a holiday which is enveloped in Italian history and culture, unspoilt scenery, seemingly untouched for several centuries, then Tuscany might well be just the place to inspire your search. Providing the perfect setting to relax and unwind in a quiet Tuscany Hotel or quaint Tuscan guesthouse, and absorb the many wonders the Tuscany region has to offer.
Known primarily to most for being a famous wine region, Tuscany has so much more to offer than your average tourist holiday. Of course the type of holiday you are looking for depends greatly on the area of Tuscany which you choose to reside. Tuscany over the years has become a popular destination for both American and English expats, as is the case in several European destinations.
If you like to relax of an evening but spend the days exploring, and still enjoy the throng of a packed sight seeing experience then Northern Tuscany, home to Siena, Pisa and Florence, the main art cities, will therefore provide a holiday which is rich in history, art and culture lending itself to being more of a tourist location, with many places to visit such as the leaning tower and the baptistery. Just sight seeing in Florence, visiting the art galleries, historic buildings and museums could take the best part of a weeks holiday.
Southern Tuscany however has in the main, remained untouched by the tourist trade. Our preconceptions of olive groves and vineyards stretching forward as far as the eye can see, cypresses and secular oaks lining roads or dotted on the horizon, small towns popping up on the hillsides overlooking the rolling landscapes of golden sunflower fields and orchards, would not be far wrong.
However, Maremma on the southern Tuscan coast, hides the fact that is was once a malaria-infested backwater, but now the countryside rises to the hills of Monte Argentario, farming land, not only still known for its wines but also for its Maremma cattle, concealing the rather lovely and very ancient town of Orbetello.
It is in the Maremma region where you are most likely to find a real Tuscany hotel offering a real Tuscany holiday. Usually a family run business, a Tuscany hotel will provide a more traditional holiday providing its guests with a real insight as to how life in Tuscany really exists, perhaps even offering the opportunity to help farm the land, harvest crops or take part in producing the many delights which come from the region such as wine and olive oil.
A little Tuscany hotel will open its doors to guests as a means of not only providing people with a more traditional holiday but also subsidising its very existence.
The climate in Tuscany too enhances the reasons why to seek a Tuscany hotel as your holiday dwelling, offering long hot Mediterranean summers rolling into the autumn months, and mild but slightly humid winters with warm damp springs helping the crops along the way.
Should you choose to opt for the more relaxing getaway, but still wish to follow a cultural trail the main art cities are never far from where you reside, sight seeing day trips can be arranged in order to soak up the main aspects of history, famous wine cellars across the northern region become open to the public, vineyards which have existed for centuries or for instance the Saturnia Thermal baths which have been around since roman times are fantastic places to visit.
A family holiday in a Tuscany hotel can provide as much or as little of Tuscan history as you allow, you could be forgiven for just sitting back all holiday, relaxing, absorbing the painting like views, breathing in the scented Tuscan air and loosing yourself, however Tuscany has so much to offer the choice is yours.
Anna Stenning looks at the different holidays on offer in Tuscany; does a quiet Tuscany hotel offer the best location to enjoy the culture of Tuscany whilst relaxing away from mainstream tourism?