Destination: Italy – Tuscany
Tuscany, one of the most famous regions of Italy, is the cradle of an invaluable artistic heritage that has given birth to great artists. The numerous works of art kept here, but also its exceptional and varied natural landscapes have made this region of central Italy famous all over the world: hilly to marine landscapes, passing through the Apennines, fabulous. But that’s not all: with its cities and charming villages that make a sort of kaleidoscope between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, Tuscany is a real open-air museum.
Tuscany is characterized by hills, mountainous and flat areas and more than six hundred kilometres of coast. Furthermore, the profile of this region of central Italy was partly drawn from a deeply rooted peasant culture. You can see it clearly by the presence of farmhouses, vineyards, orchards and olive groves that are well known all over the world.
Characterized by an urban structure of high density, the history of Tuscany is above all the history of its medieval towns, which after the year 1000 contributed to making this region of Italy a very lively place both from an economic and cultural point of view. Long before the Middle Ages, however, the region was part of Etruria; subsequently, under the Roman emperor Diocletian it was united with Umbria under the name of Tuscia. Finally, it went through the barbarian invasions. In the fifteenth century, under the guidance of the de ‘Medici family, Tuscany was first unified into a duchy then into a grand duchy. In 1860, with a plebiscite, the region became part of the newly born Italian state.
Due to the variety of its territory, the climate of Tuscany changes from area to area: it is Mediterranean along the Tyrrhenian coasts, continental in the innermost areas.
What to eat in Tuscany?
One of the reasons that make Tuscany a beautiful place to live and enjoy is the excellent food.
Among the local productions there are at least sixteen PDO and fifteen PGI products. Amazing numbers for excellent quality meats, typical sweets, tasty cold cuts and exceptional extra virgin olive oils and wines. In short, there is really something for all tastes in a region that could live on gastronomic tourism.
As for food, you can taste the ribollita, a soup made of vegetables and hardened bread that is prepared especially in the areas around Arezzo and Florence, the peposo, a second dish based on beef accompanied by the excellent red wines that are born in these hilly areas. The following are also recommended: the Sienese pici, delicious home made pasta from the peasant cuisine which is mostly seasoned with meat sauce; tortelli alla mugellana, another traditional culinary dish made with a potato-based filling; Livornese cacciucco, the well-known soup prepared with thirteen different types of fish; Colonnata lard, a delicacy to be eaten with hot bruschetta or as a dressing for bucatini; the famous Florentine steak; the cecìna and the fettunta.
Once you arrive in Tuscany there are many things to do and places to see. Florence is a must for Renaissance enthusiasts; for those who love the Middle Ages Siena, San Gimignano, Pisa, Lucca, Grosseto are unmissable destinations. Lovers of nature and food and wine can go on a Chianti tour, while those looking for wellness holidays can choose one of the many spas where to find rest and relaxation.
Our Tours in Tuscany
An evocative bicycle tour through the Etruscan and Roman heartlands of Umbria and Tuscany, land of art, nature, food & wine.