Tuscany should be visited all year round and the many small local realities give the region its continuing fascination. Our latest Tuscany travel articles below.
The famous wine growing zone of Chianti is sometimes difficult to pin down. For example, the annual production of the comune of Montespertoli in the province of Florence used to be designated a third 'Chianti Colli Fiorentini' and two thirds 'Chianti'.
The farro or wheat of the Garfagnana is different from the farro grown anywhere else in Italy. The farro in the rest of Italy is spelt (Triticum spelta) of Roman times which is closely related to modern bread wheat.
The farro of the Garfagnana is emmer (Triticum dicoccum) and is one of the two types of wheat that was cultivated by the first farmers in the Fertile Crescent of the Near East more than 10,000 years ago.
They take their carnival very seriously in Viareggio. And not without reason as it is one of the best and most famous in all of Italy.
Visitors to the seaside town in Tuscany at other times of the year might stumble upon wire meshing and huge clowns' heads lying in back streets, all witnesses to the build up for the all important month of February.
Viareggio has a relaxed charm and stretches along the coast to a quaint port and a mini canal system.
The name comes from a tower which stood on the Via Regia.
The celebrations get under way during February with the election of Miss 'Carnevale di Viareggio' as well as a concert at the 'Teatro Politeama' highlighting the official songs for the carnival.
The Palio of Siena first took place in 1555 as an act of defiance by the 17 armies based the town. They came together to ride for the prize of the 'Drappellone' and to also demonstrate their independence from the forces of the Medici. In the 460 years of the event the 'contrada' with the most victories is 'Oca' or Goose who claim 65. Their colors are green and white with a red trim and their motto, fittingly enough, is 'clangit ad arma' or 'call to arms'.
The whole event is more colorful and lively than you can possibly imagine and a genuinely ruthless race both before, during and after, assuming you are the losing jockey. Of all the annual 'feste' throughout the year the Palio of Siena truly gives a glimpse of how life and entertainment must have been all those years ago.
A visit to the marble quarries of Carrara is perhaps like none other in Italy.
Delicious Italy was invited on a private tour to check out the zone as part of a day which also included a couple of hours on a fishing boat with lunch from the port of Massa.
Unfortunately, due to rough weather, the boat trip was cancelled giving us the opportunity of experiencing the whole territory from the narrow road leaving the town of Carrara all the way to a cloud level view of the whole zone towards Massa.
The territory of Chiusi has been inhabited since the 11th century BC and the early settlers were attracted by the advantageous hill top position looking over the fertile Valdichiana.
The Etruscans didn't want to give up their powerful base and held out until 391 B.C. and the siege by Galli Senoni.
Final submission to Rome came in 351 B.C. In 89 B.C. Clusium as it was called gained an additional strategic position on the Via Cassia.