Located on the western coast of the "boot" of Italy, Tuscany is a stunning region known for its rolling hills, wine, arts and culture. The capital of the region is the arts powerhouse city of Florence, arguably the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance. If history is more your thing the area has no less than six UNESCO World Heritage Sites you can explore. When you are looking for an ideal place to stay in Tuscany, villas are an exceptional option that will allow you the luxury of your own place and the advantage of not being bound to a single city. While staying in the region, why not get off the beaten track a bit and visit some of the lesser known cities, such as Grosseto and Montalcino.
Visiting the town of Grosseto, Italy
As the capital of the region of Grosseto, the town by the same name is larger than one would expect to encounter outside of the main centres of Tuscany. Villas rented near here are an ideal way to be able to swing into the town and explore its history. Grosseto’s history can be traced back to the year 801 A.D. and it grew in importance in the area until the plague hit. The town has since remained rather a bit smaller than the others of the region. While you are in Grosseto, you should find the time to see the Medicean Walls, which were begun by a member of the Medici family in 1574 to replace those from the 12-14th centuries. After walking around the city walls in the heat of Tuscany, villas will seem like an excellent escape, but persevere and head to the Cathedral to marvel at its impressive Romanesque design. It was begun in the 13th century and finished in the 15th, however, it’s interesting to note that the Romanesque style is mostly an adaptation from the restorations in the 16th century.
Located only 42 kilometres from Siena, this lovely town is a perfect place to spend a day in Tuscany. Villas are dotted around the area and will allow you easy access, by car or bicycle, to the town famous for its wine: Brunello di Montalcino, which was the first wine to be awarded the prestigious DOCG. Six years later Montalcino’s Rossa di Montalcino wine was awarded the similar protected status of the DOC. Certain sites in Montalcino hint at its having been settled since the Etruscan time, but the first recorded mention of it was in 814 A.D. One of the major sites in the town is the massive Fortress of Montalcino, which was built in the 13th century and sits above the town. The town’s cathedral was built in the 14th century and owes its neo-classical appearance to renovation works done in the 19th century. You also should take the time to visit the Abbey of St. Antimo and the Palazzo del Priori before you call it a day.