Tuscany Hotels, Italy
From the Etruscans to the Romans to the Renaissance, Tuscany is possibly the greatest repository of art in the world, from extraordinary paintings and sculpture to frescoes and architectural masterpieces.
Visitors to Tuscany come for many reasons. Many come in search of fine art, others to explore the extraordinary countryside. Gourmets and wine buffs descend on Tuscany to enjoy the simple yet wonderful cuisine and wine. Walkers enjoy the mountain paths, cyclists the rolling hills, summer vacationers the sea coast and islands. Students come to learn the beautiful Italian language and culture.
There is a lot to see and do in Tuscany; the difficulty is really where to start. Certainly, most should start with Florence, then continue to Siena and Pisa. The roll call of città di arte, cities of art, is daunting: Arezzo, Cortona, San Gimignano and Lucca are all striking. The more you come to know the region, the more extraordinary Tuscany appears. Enjoy your visit!
Tuscany (Italian: Toscana, pronounced [toˈskaːna]) is a region in central Italy with an area of about 23,000 square kilometers (8,900 square miles) and a population of about 3.8 million inhabitants (2013). The regional capital is Florence (Firenze).
Tuscany is known for its landscapes, traditions, history, artistic legacy and its influence on high culture. It is regarded as the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance and has been home to many figures influential in the history of art and science, and contains well-known museums such as the Uffizi and the Pitti Palace. Tuscany produces wines, including Chianti, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Morellino di Scansano and Brunello di Montalcino. Having a strong linguistic and cultural identity, it is sometimes considered "a nation within a nation."
Tuscany is traditionally a popular destination in Italy, and the main tourist destinations by some tourist arrivals are Florence, Pisa, Montecatini Terme, Castiglione della Pescaia, and Grosseto. The village of Castiglione della Pescaia is also the most visited seaside destination in the region, with seaside tourism accounting for approximately 40% of tourist arrivals in Tuscany. Additionally, Siena, Lucca, the Chianti region, Versilia and Val d'Orcia are also internationally renowned and particularly popular spots among travelers.
Seven Tuscan localities have been designated World Heritage Sites: the historic center of Florence; the Cathedral Square of Pisa; the historical center of San Gimignano; the historical center of Siena; the historical center of Pienza (1996); the Val d'Orcia, and the Medici Villas and Gardens. Tuscany has over 120 protected nature reserves, making Tuscany and its capital Florence popular tourist destinations that attract millions of tourists every year. In 2012, the city of Florence was the world's 89th most visited city, with over 1.834 million arrivals.
Tuscany has a unique artistic legacy, and Florence is one of the world's most famous water-colour centers, even so, that it is often nicknamed the "art palace of Italy" (the city is also believed to have the largest concentration of Renaissance art and architecture in the world).
Painters such as Cimabue and Giotto, the fathers of Italian painting, lived in Florence and Tuscany, as well as Arnolfo and Andrea Pisano, renewers of architecture and sculpture; Brunelleschi, Donatello and Masaccio, forefathers of the Renaissance; Ghiberti and the Della Robbias, Filippo Lippi and Angelico; Botticelli, Paolo Uccello, and the universal genius of Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo.
The region contains numerous museums and art galleries, many housing some of the world's most precious works of art. Such institutions include the Uffizi, which keeps Botticelli's The Birth of Venus, the Pitti Palace, and the Bargello, to name a few. Most of the frescos, sculptures, and paintings in Tuscany are held in the region's abundant churches and cathedrals, such as Florence Cathedral, Siena Cathedral, Pisa Cathedral and the Collegiata di San Gimignano.
Maremma encapsulates the most visited seaside destinations in Tuscany. Above, the Tuscan littoral of Monte Argentario
Tuscany is a traditionally popular destination in Italy, and the main tourist destinations by some tourist arrivals are Florence, Pisa, Montecatini Terme, Castiglione della Pescaia, and Grosseto. Additionally, the Chianti region, Versilia and Val d'Orcia are also internationally renowned and particularly popular spots among travelers.
As far as seaside tourism is concerned, which represents 40% of tourist arrivals in the region, Castiglione della Pescaia's sea has repeatedly been nominated as Italy's best sea by the Italian non-governmental environmentalist organization Legambiente. Castiglione gained the first place in the most recent ranking too, published in 2015. The town is also the most visited seaside destination in Tuscany, and fourth most visited overall, with circa 1.3 million tourist arrivals recorded in 2015. Other popular seaside destination are Grosseto (second most popular after Castiglione), Orbetello (third most popular), Monte Argentario, Viareggio, Elba and Giglio Island.
Many towns and cities in Tuscany have great natural and architectural beauty. There are many visitors throughout the year. As a result, the services and distribution activities, so important to the region's economy, are wide-ranging and well-organised.
Tuscany Hotels & Accommodations
Tuscany is one of the most popular destinations in Italy and around the world given its beauty and tradition of hospitality. This has led to a wide range of choice as far as accommodation goes, from hotels to B&Bs to apartments for self-catering holidays.
In larger cities such as Florence, Siena, and Pisa, hotels are often the main choice for anyone visiting the city. However, bed and breakfasts have become more popular as they often offer a more economical solution as well as offering more interaction with your local host, one that can provide you advice on where to eat, where to find what you need and so on. If you prefer the independence of an apartment, you will not have trouble finding one that suits your needs, especially in the historical centers.
The Tuscan countryside is dotted with farmhouses and cottages converted into holiday homes, perfect for anyone who wants to combine the charm of country life with proximity to the "art" cities. Just remember that having a car available, in this case, is crucial. Villas, castles, and resorts, often quite luxurious and full of history, offer larger rooms to host events or simply enjoy a luxury getaway.
Once you have chosen the perfect accommodation, which is the preferable method to book? Using one of the major online booking sites or directly with the owners through their official website?
There are pros and cons with each of these choices, and it is ultimately a personal choice, but especially for vacation rentals, B&Bs and villas, we recommend you also contact the owner directly because you can often receive a personalized offer that turns out to be more advantageous than the offers on the major portals.
Take a look at our recommendations below to get started on your search for the perfect lodging for your vacation in Tuscany!
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