Life Style


Several years ago Hillary Clinton declared that Tuscany and Provence were for her the places on Earth where she could have thought of living better . Recently Jennifer Lopez expressed her desire to live in a small town in Italy, talked about olive trees, a rocking chair, a bicycle , and to buy freshly baked bread .

Sting bought a 16th-century villa, Tenuta Il Palagio, in Figline Valdarno, and he happily spends part of his time there.

Many international stars pass through Tuscany, stay there and dream of living there. This is because Tuscany is one of the most beautiful territories in the world, among the most classic and sweetest. From the hills to the mountains to the sea to the islands to the rivers to the lakes, it is a region that overflows with beauty, art, history, culture. It boasts extraordinary cities such as Florence, Siena, Pisa, Lucca, Arezzo, Pistoia, as well as countless towns and villages, one more fascinating than the other. It has an export lifestyle, reaches excellence in food and wine, and is relatively safe.

If Tuscany is one, it can however be divided into areas, each with its own characteristics, history, and traditions.

The Maremma , for example, by extension a quarter of the entire region, home of the slow-life , is an uninterrupted succession of coastline, beaches, nature reserves, lakes, cliffs, Etruscan and Roman remains, charming villages and extraordinarily beautiful hills.

The Tuscan archipelago , entirely a national park, has 7 pearls of islands, of which Elba is the largest.

TheVal d'Orcia - UNESCO heritage - is the postcard Tuscany (and the films that have won many Oscar awards), the Tuscany of cypress rows, the undulations of ripe wheat, the historic villages. The Chianti is the great Tuscan wine , the great extra virgin olive oil, the great traditions. And then there is the Versilia of the beaches, the green, hilly, Val d'Elsa, the Mugello and the Casentino of wooded silences, the fairytale Garfagnana, and much much more. Because even if we are Tuscan , we never stop seeing it. And to admire it.



                                                                                                        


BIODIVERSITY

Did you know that Italy is a biodiversity hotspot and that Tuscany is the second Italian region in terms of plant species present in the territory?

Theworld is beautiful because it is varied! ". We take inspiration from this proverb to talk about diversity : a distinctive sign, which allows any living being to stand out, to be unique and unrepeatable .

As you well imagine, biodiversity is not distributed evenly on the planet. Italy thanks to its special geographical location, is the guardian of one of the world's greatest wealth of biodiversity .

Yes, you read that right: world heritage!

The aforementioned geographical areas with a high concentration of solar radiation are called hotspots, hot areas, in fact. And where to find biodiversity hotspots , if not in the Bel Paese?

                               

We have repeatedly spoken of the panoramic extraordinary nature that Tuscany offers to the visitor. We are confident that once the emergency is over, our region will once again be a popular destination for tourists from all over the world. Close your eyes and imagine ... If on the one hand we cannot move from our homes, nobody forbids us to close our eyes, and to fantasize that we are in the Tuscan hills . They evoke pure poetry. Imagine the cultivated fields , which at a glance look like a painter's palette, and the hypnotic rows of vines. Continue to the enchanting valleys that extend to the coast and pour into the calm and crystalline waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea. No, we haven't forgotten the enchanted mountains . We could go on for hours!


ART

Talking about Tuscany is talking about art. Art of nature. Art of man.

Difficult to find a territory in the world that contains more art than this region. Only the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, together with the Vasari Corridor, contain an immense quantity of masterpieces: from Raphael to Botticelli, passing through the fundamental nuclei of the works of Giotto, Tiziano, Pontormo, Bronzino, Andrea del Sarto, up to masters the likes of Caravaggio, Dürer, Rubens, and many others.

In the Galleria dell'Accademia, also in Florence, Michelangelo's David - early 16th century, over 5 meters high - is preserved, probably the most important and famous marble statue of all time. A Palazzo Pitti focus the paintings of the sixteenth century and Baroque (from Giorgione to Titian, from Ribera to Van Dyck), but also the nineteenth and twentieth-century Italian. And so the Duomo, the Baptistery, Giotto's Bell Tower, Palazzo Vecchio, the Bargello, the basilicas of Santa Maria Novella, Santa Croce, Santo Spirito, the Convent of San Marco, the Abbey of San Miniato al Monte, themselves art in their pure state, they contain many masterpieces by the greatest masters ever.

And if Florence is all art, even Siena, Pisa, Lucca, just to mention the most important Tuscan cities, they represent wonderful architectural art (in some cases miraculous, if you think of the Leaning Tower) and in turn constitute treasure chests immense, unparalleled art.

Then there is the art scattered everywhere, that of the many countries, towns, villages, the art of fabulous, mystical buildings, such as the Abbey of San Galgano, the Certosa, of Calci, that of Florence, or the Abbey of Sant'Antimo, in Val d'Orcia.

Stay with us, do not miss our infinite journey into the great Tuscan beauty

WINE AND FOOD

We keep the usual very low profile and say that Tuscany in wine & food would actually have something to say.

Together with Piedmont it is the most important Italian region for wine with areas of choice such as Chianti, Montalcino, Bolgheri and Montepulciano (but Maremma is also climbing fast positions), and with exceptional wines such as Tignanello or Solaia di Antinori (Chianti), such as Masseto or Sassicaia (Bolgheri) - the first produced by the Ornellaia estate of the Frescobaldi family, the

second by the Marquis Incisa della Roccheta in the famous San Guido estate, the first Italian wine from a single winery to have a DOC specially reserved, as happens in France for very few famous labels -, or as the Brunello di Montalcino Riserva of the Tenuta Greppo di Biondi Santi, or the Brunello di Montalcino Riserva of Case Basse di Gianfranco Soldera.

But wine in Tuscany is not only the preserve of the great estates famous worldwide. And then there is food, both as a raw material - Tuscany is one of the most appreciated in Italy for its agri-food offer with as many as 16 PDO and 15 PGI -, and as production - a name for everyone: I l Fiorino Dairy, i n Roccalbegna, one of the number one producers in the world - which as a restaurant: 1 three Michelin star restaurant, the Pinchiorri wine shop in Florence; 4 two stars: Bracali and Da Caino in the province of Grosseto, respectively in Ghirlanda and Montemerano, the Little Prince in Viareggio and Arnolfo in Colleval d'Elsa; 35 with a star. But there are many excellent restaurants in Tuscany. Some advic

LUXURY SHOPPING IN TUSCANY: an amazing experience

When Mother Nature was distributing charm, she must have piled up the goodies high when it came to Tuscany, midway down the Italian peninsula. Known for its fine wine, Renaissance art and gourmet food, Tuscany prides itself on being also a great destination for luxury shopping in Italy.

Milan might be an internationally famous fashion and design capital, but, to many, the real home of Italian style is Florence, gorgeous art-filled, historic city with medieval streets lined with artisanal shoemakers, bespoke clothing shops and historic leather markets.

The most famous and elegant street in town, via de’ Tornabuoni is the home of Salvatore Ferragamo’s first property, as well as top fashion designers’ showrooms, including Prada, Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Armani, Emilio Pucci and Roberto Cavalli. Wandering down Via del Corso you will find an array of innovative boutiques and everyday modern stores, representing both national and local brands. Via dei Calzaiuoli is a popular street in Florence, filled with high-street shopping women’s boutiques and sleek concept shops.

At La Rinascente, Italy’s answer to Macy’s, you can find everything from women’s and men’s fashion to home goods and beauty supplies.

The store in Florence features a rooftop terrace which offers remarkable views of the city.



Luxury Shopping in Tuscany :

outlets South of Florence lies the bargain-hunter’s paradise. More than a few major outlet towns are to be found in Tuscany, where you have the exclusive opportunity to purchase top designer luxury items at bargain prices.

The most famous shopping outlet in Tuscany is The Mall, in Reggello, a thirty-minute drive south of Florence. There are regular shuttle buses that travel from Florence’s SITA bus station, in front of Santa Maria Novella railway station, to The Mall Outlet.

The Mall has a number of luxury brands all in one place, including Salvatore Ferragamo, Bottega Veneta, Prada, Giorgio Armani, Tod’s, Gucci, Alexander McQueen, Sergio Rossi, Valentino and Yves Saint Laurent, just to mention a few. Fendi Outlet is close to The Mall and sells last season’sgoods with 50% discount. Roberto Cavalli factory outlet is to be found in the florentine industrial zone and offers last season’s clothing, bags and accessories.

In Incisa in Val D’arno, near Florence, you will find Dolce & Gabbana outlet, with a wide assortment of past season’s clothing, footwear, handbags, sunglasses, watches and jewellery. A special mention goes to Barberino Designer Outlet, set in a beautiful setting in the Valle della Sieve, north of Florence, and designed to look like a Renaissance town. There are over 100 shops for all tastes here, ranging from iconic fashion brands like Michael Kors, Calvin Klein and Polo Ralph Lauren, to sporting labels like Adidas, Puma and Sergio Tacchini. Non-EU citizens can shop tax free : the paradise for a Tuscany shopping experience

Weather in Tuscany: the Best Time to Visit Tuscany

When is the best time to go to Tuscany?

The climate in Tuscany is generally mild with differences depending on the geography of each area. The coast and valleys tend to have hotter summers than the hills or mountains although the coast benefits from breezes off the sea for cooler temperatures even in those warmer months. Taking the weather into consideration, we would say Tuscany's best travel months (which are also its busiest and most expensive) are April, May, June, September, and October. These months combine the convenience of peak season with pleasant weather. They have sunny days, with some rainy days as well.

The most grueling thing about travel in Tuscany is the summer heat in July and August, when temperatures hit the high 80s and and into the 90s over the last few years. They are perfect for hanging out by the seaside or at your country estate by the pool less for spending it sightseeing in the middle of the day in town.

Baia del Quercetano beach In Castiglioncello in summer time: who doesn't want to hang around here?

Winter offers many sunny, mild days but nights are cold, particularly in hill areas. Just dress in layers, be prepared for shifts between daytime and evening.

The coolest months are January and February, with January being a bit cooler. Temperatures tend to be about 45°F (7°C) along the coast and from 38 to 42°F (3.5°C to 5.5°C) inland. Temperatures in the mountains are below freezing, where snowfall attracts skiers, perfect for a winter holiday on the slopes!

On average, November is the month with the most precipitation but October, December, March and April also generally get a good amount of rain without being super wet. Every year is different so these are just to give you an idea of what to expect.

It is important to remember that the tourism season in Tuscany stretches from mid-April to the end of September with July and August being peak months. The best time to visit Tuscany is really in the quieter part of the season, from April to June and from September to October when weather is usually good, prices a bit lower (often called the mid season) and there are "fewer" tourists to crowd the main sights. This means lines are shorter at the main museums, with a bit

less crowds inside the museums and also shorter wait times to be seated at popular restaurants (where reservations are recommended in any case).

For this reason, many have discovered the advantages of visiting during the "low season" (winter and early spring) as rates are lower and the reduced number of tourists is visible.

The periods around Easter and Christmas are also peak tourism dates as many locals join in to go on vacation (as is the case in August, when many have vacation time). For this reason, expect higher prices during these times and from July through August for both accommodation and many services.

Average Temps by Month Highs Lows

       Average Temps by Month                                    Highs                                                                      Lows

January52 °F (11 °C)
37 °F (3 °C)
February55 °F (13 °C)
37 °F (3 °C)
March61 °F (16 °C)
43 °F (6 °C)
April66 °F (19 °C)
46 °F (8 °C)
May73 °F (23 °C)
54 °F (12 °C)
June81 °F (27 °C)
59 °F (15 °C)
July86 °F (30 °C)
64 °F (18 °C)
August86 °F (30 °C)
63 °F (17 °C)
September81 °F (27 °C)
59 °F (15 °C)
October72 °F (22 °C)
52 °F (11 °C)
November61 °F (16 °C)
45 °F (7 °C)
December54 °F (12 °C)
40 °F (4 °C)

 

How important is it to have air-conditioning in the summer?

Many places (as far as lodging is concerned) might not offer air conditioning: if they haven't needed it in the past, it is likely it really isn't needed. Many farmhouses and villas are strategically located at the tops of hills with trees/woods around and enjoy cooling breezes that make it really pleasant to be there. Many also have really thick stone walls that help the house stay cool in summer, and warmer in winter.

Hope you're enjoying planning to buy your dream house in Tuscany.