I am a self-proffessed Europhile and have spent the best part of the last 6 years touring around the continent looking for adventure, beauty and excitement. A friend of mine from back home was asking me recently if I could suggest a great place for a luxury break for him and his wife. He had wanted to go to a part of Europe that he hadn’t seen before and indulge a little for their anniversary. I didn’t need to think about the answer for very long and pointed him in the direction of luxury accommodations in Tuscany in a heartbeat.
The thing about Tuscany is that it was one of the first places I went to when I started traveling Europe and it is also the only place other than Paris that I have been back to again, and again, and again. There is so much to love about Tuscany and I was able to give my buddy an itinerary which I thought he could follow in order to make the most of the Italian region. I wanted to share the same itinerary with you should you decide to go and see this beautiful part of Europe, in style.
The best place for you to start your luxury break in Tuscany is in the Val d’Orcia or the Orcia Valley as us non-Italian speakers know it. This region is the purest of Italian countryside that you are likely to see, rolling green meadows, quaint towns in between where you can get to the heart of Tuscan cuisine and when you realize that the entire valley is considered as a World Heritage site by UNESCO, you know that you are in a very special place indeed.
One thing that Tuscany does best is wine and you can enjoy a private wine tour of some of the finest vineyards in the Chianti region of Tuscany. Here you will learn about what goes into the win-making process, how the grapes are harvested and if you are lucky then you may even be able to have a go yourself of crushing the grapes that will later go into a beautiful bottle of Tuscan Chianti. Finish your tour in the best way possible, a sampling session and believe me, there are few better places in the World to sample wine than in this Italian region.
Spend a Night in Siena
Siena makes for a perfectly luxurious night, surrounded by gothic and medieval-style buildings with sculptures seemingly on every street corner, the city also makes for the perfect place for a romantic stroll. There are lots of high grade hotels here which will treat you with excellent Italian hospitality and this laid back city will be the perfect place for you to relax for a night and enjoy your partner’s company.
A Trip to Florence
Nothing screams luxury than wandering through fine art museums, taking in the largest collection of renaissance art that can be found anywhere in the World and that’s exactly what you can do in the capital of Tuscany, Florence. A city with so many art museums and so much fine art to see would never be boring and nor is Florence, beautiful architecture throughout the city, large squares filled with Italian restaurants, bars and cafes and the jewel in the crown is the stunning Duomo cathedral. Just being in Florence makes you feel that sense of luxury, it is classy, elegant, artistic and stylish and if possible I would recommend at least 2 nights here.
See The Best of The Coast
The Tuscan coastline is beautiful an I would recommend that you start in Pisa, the city that has become famous the World over for its iconic leaning tower. Pisa offers far more than just its accidentally formed bell tower and in all honesty it feels like a city which has never seen the need to reinvent itself, still offering all of the remnants of when it was a powerhouse in the middle ages. Following your trip to Pisa, head down the coast to the city of Livorno, a bustling port city with some of the finest seafood in the entire country. Livorno is a real classy place for you to stay for a couple of days and has some beautiful coastal walks which you can take, traversing the cliff faces as you watch the ships come in and out of port.
Finish in Style
Livorno is where most ferries leave to head out to the islands on the Tuscan archipelago and of them all I would recommend that you finish your trip in Elba. This island offers beaches, hiking and cycling tours as well as beautiful sea-front restaurants with a backdrop of jagged cliffs and that beautiful Mediterranean sunshine. If you want to finish your luxury trip to Tuscany in style, then Elba is where you should go.