Tuscany: A Local's Guide

Our owner Terry has four properties in Castiglion Fiorentino. He gives us a taste of Tuscany and tells us about the things you cannot miss when you visit.   You probably already have an idea of just how beautiful the region of Tuscany is. Rolling hillsides, fields of sunflowers and poppies, vineyards,  fresh food and great wine, plus the natural warmth of the Tuscan people.   Whether you plan to visit the town of Castiglion Fiorentino with its many festivals throughout the year,  or try some delicious pecorino from Pienza or some of Tuscany’s famous wine or discover the antiquities of Valdarno and Arezzo, the treasures of Cortona, Montepulciano and Siena or the tranquillity that is Le Celle – even a day trip to Florence.   Perhaps a day spent discovering the many wines of the region. The key wine producing areas include Brunello di Montalcino, Bolgheri, Carmignano, Chianti Classico, Chianti Rufina and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. Sangiovese is the main grape for most of Tuscany, producing everything from light and refreshing simple Chiantis to big and powerful Brunello di Montalcino or Chianti Classico riserva. Visiting the vineyards is also a wonderful experience - many are still family run businesses and the warmth and welcome you receive is like an old friend returning.   There are markets and festivals everywhere you go. From fresh vegetables and fruits to the relaxed antiques markets to the classical concerts of Cortona and Montepulciano. Festivals include the famous Falio horse racing events which also take place in some of the smaller Tuscan hill Towns. Castiglion Fiorentino has its Medieval parades, plus Palio in the second week of June which is one of the regions most colourful events.   parade collage   Generally, dining out need not be too costly for good quality and interesting dishes. For the more rugged palate, local Wild Boar or vast Fiorentino Steaks (usually ordered by weight) are very popular, along with the delicious Crostini to start.  Of course, pasta, in a multitude of forms is on all menus and in this area of expertise 'just go with the flow' - you'll very rarely be disappointed.   Ice cream parlours (Gelaterias) have a huge range of flavours that are truly sublime.  Ice cream is a social activity in Italy so don't be surprised to find a Gelateria packed at midnight and we recommend that you never miss the opportunity to enjoy ice cream in Italy, it is the best in the world!     If this article has inspired you to try Tuscany, Terry is now offering 10% off your stay in his holiday homes for bookings in May and June 2015... Il Borgo Tranquillita sleeps 2-4 people Cottage Forno sleeps 4 people Cottage Secca sleeps 4 people Casa Serena sleeps, 4 people    

View our villas in Tuscany