From a distance, the 13th century tower seems to ride the hilltop alone. A ruin or perhaps an invitation to more, its mystery is finally revealed when a cypress lined road eases to an end. A striking 13th century portal waits, beckoning one to step inside this picturesque, sleepy Tuscan village.  Welcome to Monticchiello, province of Siena. If a gu...

If you want to get away from the tourist traps and experience Florence like a local, Oltrarno is the right place to go. This part of Florence includes panoramic terraces like the Piazzale Michelangelo to beautiful gardens such as the Boboli Gardens. Not to mention the artisanal boutiques, and contemporary art galleries. Palazzo Pitti One of the mos...

It earned its name, "Old Bridge," by surviving a long and exciting history. It's possible that the bridge existed in some form during the Roman Empire, but it was first recorded as being a defensive structure in Medieval Italy. The bridge, built of stone and wood, crosses the most narrow point of the Arno River and connects the City Center to the d...

Prato is the capital of the Province of Prato in Tuscany, Italy. Over the centuries, Prato has mainly been famous for its textile industries, with its products being sold to various parts of Italy as well as Europe. Prato has also played an important role in the slow food movement, which is reflected in its wonderful cuisine. The city, with about 2...

Pisa rises on the east coast of Tuscany, just over 80 km from Florence and easily accessible by car, train or bus. The birthplace of Galileo Galilei was one of the four Italian maritime republics in medieval times. It is rich in history, culture and art. Piazza del Duomo in Pisa stands just on the edge of the urban agglomeration. It is a large squa...

The historical centre of San Gimignano (known as the city of beautiful towers) was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in December 1990 in Banff, Alberta (Canada), because it has preserved its authentic medieval structure in terms of both architecture and urban planning. San Gimignano is in Tuscany, 56 km south of Florence, in the northern tip of...

Secret gardens, public and private parks, and verdant hills, Florence’s reputation for being “green” goes beyond its eco - sustainability efforts.  One of the most beautiful attractions you can discover when you visit the city of Florence, or when you live there, are its historic gardens, especially in the spring, when the beauty of these lush, gre...

Uffizi Director Eike Schmidt said Friday that the Florence museum was seventh-top in the world last year for visitor numbers despite the COVID-19 pandemic. "The pandemic hit extremely hard but the Uffizi Gallery hung in there," Schmidt told the Foreign Press Association of Italy. "In 2020 we had a total of 1,206,175 visitors, 27.5% of the number of...

At a recent tasting of wines from Maremma, I began to think…this region of Tuscany is often compared to Provence, northwest of the area by some 400 miles and around the bend of the Ligurian Sea, but comparisons with Sicily, almost 650 miles due south, bear remarkable similarities. Both see fewer tourists than other Italian regions, yet there are so...

The historical centre of Florence is a Unesco World Heritage Site because of its environment, which has remained unchanged over the centuries, and because of the great works of art it contains. Florence, surrounded by the Tuscan hills and crossed by the river Arno, was born from an Etruscan settlement, later transformed into a Roman colony under th...