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 wine route of La Strada Medicea dei Vini di Carmignano is located in the province of Prato, west of the Autostrada del Sole between Florence and Rome and south of the autostrada connecting the Tuscan capital to the sea via Pistoia.
But if we tell you that this zone was first occupied by the Etruscans and later the Medici, then a reason to go there surely is.
The sweet rolling hills were always famed for the production of 'brillante Carmignano' wine, for its elegance, strong ruby red color and delicate, complex perfume.
The Vasari Corridor (Corridoio Vasariano) or the Prince’s Passage in Florence, links the famous Ponte Vecchio bridge to one the city's finest Renaissance palaces.
This passageway, located above the famed Uffizi museum, not only showcases beautiful and rare views of the city, but also contains over 1000 priceless paintings.
These include self- portraits of many famous artists, such as Rembrandt and Bernini.
Can you come up with a recipe for pollo al mattone (using a brick). Also I'd appreciate any "Italian chicken folklore", if there is such an area, or poultry facts, preferably amusing. For instance, I've always noticed that chickens in Italy are much skinnier than the American variety, especially around the breast.
The nucleus of the Jewish community in Florence dates from 1437 when the first banks opened in the Renaissance capital. Yet, it wasn't long before the former were subsequently confined to a ghetto located near present day Piazza della Repubblica.
Forbidden to join the regular trades guilds, the Jews were only allowed to participate in textiles or second hand trading. It took another four hundred years to 1848 for the ghetto to be opened up and the Jews allowed to live freely in the city.
Today, the Jewish community in Florence has about 800 members and is located in via Farini where there is a kindergarten, Talmud Torah afternoon school for children, youth organizations, rest home and center of Jewish culture.
Our suggestions making up a series of holiday or vacation ideas to keep children and young ones entertained in between your wine tasting cantina visits. in no particular order province by Tuscan province, read on.
Collodi, Parco di Pinocchio; All the classic characters from the story of Pinocchio by Carlo Lorenzini at the town of Collodi, which is also the pen name of the writer. Abetone, The nature Trail; The forest botanical Garden is situated in the high valley of Sestaione at 4000 feet above sea level and covers 3.5 acres. This woodland hosts a wide variety of tree and plant species as well as a stream and all the species of flora present in the mountains of Pistoia.
Prato, Castello dell'Imperatore or the 'Emperor's Castle'; ancient (XIII century), imposing castle built for Frederick II of Svevia.
The waters of the Serchio Valley plummet towards the Lucca Plain to remind you that this is a hilly zone of Tuscany. You can even ski in nearby Abetone. The towns seem to be hidden away around bends in the road and it is sometimes difficult to get your bearings. One landmark, however, is unmissable, the so called Devil's Bridge in the Media Valle del Serchio or mid Valley.
It is located near Borgo a Mozzano just 20km from Lucca, but its seems like 200 and a couple of centuries. The actual Ponte della Maddalena straddles the river with an incredible arch, commonly referred to as a 'donkey back'.
No doubt much local merchandise has been transprted across the river in such a way over the centuyries, but perhaps the first to use it may have been a local pig. The poor porker was used to exorcise the devil who had offered to help complete its construction in return for the soul of the first human who used it.
The following Renaissance Florence menus were indicated to us by B&B Giglio Bianco in Florence. The first is taken from the "De arte coquinaria" by the maestro de Martino di Como in 1450 while the personal chef menu is a modern take on the original.
Bagnoli a Ripoli is a short hop due east from Florence towards the Val D'Arno. In fact, it is close enough to Florence to have been once called 'Quartum', a reference to the Roman miles from ancient roman Florentia of the time. Ripoli refers to the barrages which held back the annual flooding of the River Arno in the zone.
Certainly not recommended in your average UK café, but the Tuscan version of 'reboiled' vegetables and bread is a real find and, for us, is everything Italian food stands for.
This Tuscan classic is comfort food and it's hard to think of any dish that's more intimately associated with Florence than 'ribollita'.
A classic cabbage-and-bean soup that gains body and substance from a healthy infusion of day-old Tuscan bread, the word ribollita literally translates as reboiled.