home


Toskana

Toscana

Tuscany

your holiday home in Tuscany
   
your holidays in Tuscany - cottage, room, self catering, holiday house - last minute...
cottages at the sea
farms, holiday areas, agriturism...
holiday rooms, B&B, hotel...
self catering in Umbria
with your pet in Tuscany
weather in Tuscany
olive oil of Tuscany
cuisine of Tuscany
gulf in Tuscany
horse riding in Tuscany
motor biking in Tuscany
 
   

tips for trips

click for enlarge

Vinci
The small medieval town Vinci is best known as Leonardo’s birth-place, one of the largest geniuses of the Renaissance. As contemporary of Michelangelo, Botticelli and Giotto he was not only famous as an exceptionally gifted painter (Mona Lisa), but also far ahead of his time as researcher, inventor, master-builder and engineer.
Vinci’s rural character can be experienced still today. It is surrounded by olive groves at the southern slopes of the Montalbano-mountain range and interrupted by vineyards where the grapes for the incomparable and agreeable Chianti are cultivated.
Accommodated in the medieval castle of the counts Guidi, the Museo Leonardino shows one of the most comprehensive and original collections of machines and models of the inventor, technologist and engineer Leonardo. A few smaller museums and private collections, numerous places of interest such as Leonardo’s birth house in Anchiano, his baptistery Santa Croce and many churches and architectural monuments in the surrounding - being worth a visit - represent diversified excursion destinations. Vinci and its surrounding is moreover an ideal starting-point for going to the most important Tuscan towns of art and culture such as Florence, Pisa, Lucca, Pistoia, Siena, San Gimignano and to the sea. Nature lovers will find magnificent hiking trails and biker routes in the protected landscape of Montalbano and the nearby marshlands of the Padule of Fuccecchio. The town itself offers to you numerous restaurants, bars and little shops with all culinary products desired by the tourists.

click for enlarge

Florence
It is not only the largest town in the Tuscany, but also accommodates most of the overwhelming treasures of art and culture. Above all the cathedral (the third largest of Italy behind Rome and Milan and the fourth largest of Europe) with its impressive dome and the elegant campanile of Giotto is famous. You should not miss to ascend the dome from where you can enjoy a great panoramic view overlooking the town at the river Arno and the surrounding hills. A further must is the visit of the Palazzo Vecchio on the Piazza della Signoria with Michelangelo’s David at the entrance portal and the Neptune fountain. For art lovers it is of course indispensable to visit the Uffizi Gallery, one of the most important collections of art and painting throughout the world. To avoid a culture shock, you should not do everything on one day! Florence is a highly vibrant city with elegant shops, inviting cafés and restaurants, but also with numerous tourists. It is recommendable to go by train to Florence boarding for example in Empoli or Pistoia. If you go by car, it will be the best to use the underground parking of the main station (sufficiently signposted with “Stazione“). From the station the historical city centre with the shopping mall can be easily reached in walking distance within a few minutes. On Sundays and at lunchtime most of the shops are closed.

click for enlarge

Siena
It is a medieval cultural city with cathedral and the famous Campo, a central place lined with cafés and restaurants, where people meet. Twice a year a spectacular horse race, the famous Palio, takes place here. The most known place of interest is the cathedral, which is considered as the most beautiful Gothic monument of Italy. Leaving from spacious parking-places at the gates of the old town – for example at the Fortezza – the historical centre can be reached in walking distance within short. If more time is available, you should not use the express way to go to Siena, but you should go there via the picturesque Chianti. Taking the traditional Chiangiana (SS 222) which starts in the south of Florence, you can experience first-hand the hilly landscape of the Chianti with its vineyards and the home of the Gallo Nero. We recommend you to have a short stop and walk in the lovely Castellina in Chianti. The Chiangiana will directly lead you to the gates of the city Siena.

click for enlarge

Pistoia
More than most of the Tuscan towns, Pistoia has preserved the rather dark atmosphere of the Middle-Ages. The austere beauty of the historical town centre with its numerous squares, churches and palaces is waiting to be discovered by you. Wednesday and Saturday are market days in the old town of Pistoia, while the vegetable market in a small, well preserved square with numerous genuine shops, which mostly offer culinary products, is held every day. Parking-spaces outside the town centre are well signposted and mostly subject to fees.

click for enlarge

Pisa
Who doesn’t know the leaning tower? After many years of attempts to save it from falling over it has now been released again for visitors. But also the other impressive monuments of the historical town centre witness the long history of this trade city which was originally right beside the sea and founded by the Greeks. Today Pisa is a very vibrant university city in which also Galileo Galilei studied in the 16th century. Long sand beaches in Marina di Pisa at the estuary of the river Arno and in Tirrénia invite you to go bathing.

click for enlarge

Lucca
Nobody can escape from the morbid, nostalgic charm of Lucca. Thanks to the closed town wall – existing since the 16th century and being the largest, completely preserved town wall of Europe – the historical townscape could be preserved. Today the “town of 100 churches“, in which Puccini was born in the middle of the 19th century, accommodates numerous elegant, mostly touristic shops and boutiques. In any case it is worth visiting the old narrow streets and the Piazza Anfiteatro – a former Roman arena - , where lions were fighting with gladiators. Furthermore you should not miss to climb the Torre Giunigi with its very old evergreen oak on the roof, where you are given a spectacular view to the town and its surroundings. Advice for a particular sightseeing tour: Go by bike on the wide town tall with its beautiful trees. From time to time small streets lead into the town, where it is best to walk or go by bike. You should park the car at the town wall. Bicycles can be rented.

click for enlarge

Prato
The third largest Tuscan town has always owed its wealth and vitality to the textile industry. Although Prato is somewhat in the shade of its famous sister Florence, the town is worth being visited as well. The medieval appearance of the historical old town could be preserved. Apart from accommodating numerous art treasures, it is an attractive shopping city. Motorists are recommended to park their cars outside the town wall.

click for enlarge

San Gimignano
It is known as “Manhattan of the Middle-Ages“ or more appropriately the “town of the beautiful towers”. 25 of the former 72 towers of the 13th century – monuments of power, quarrel and craving for status – were left in the 16th century. Those towers which were still left in the 20th century were partly destroyed by the German artillerists who re-conquered the town occupied by the allies in 1944. In the end 15 of these impressive towers – one higher than the next one – are still available. The medieval townscape of San Gimignano could be preserved till today and deserved to be declared World Cultural Heritage by UNESCO. Every year millions of tourists are flocking to this small town in which only 7000 people are living. Nevertheless a visit is worthwhile as magnificent churches, palaces, museums and squares with fountains are waiting for you at close quarters. The cars have to be parked outside the town walls, mostly subject to fees.

click for enlarge

Volterra
Only 30 km away from San Gimignano you will find Volterra, the defiant medieval town, which is surrounded by a city wall from the Etruscan era. Churches, squares, museums at close quarters are witnesses of a thousands-of-years old history. People interested in history are invited to pay a visit to the eminent Etruscan museum. While the town originally owed its wealth to extensive copper deposits, it is nowadays more known for alabaster which can be bought in all forms – vases, lamps and even Michelangelo’s David in mini-size. Also in case of Volterra the cars need to be parked outside the town wall.

click for enlarge

San Miniato
Due to its close relation to the German history, San Miniato had the surname „al Tedesco“ till the Second World War. Among others, Friedrich II. had an emperor’s castle built, from which only the tower had been left. After a German officer of all people had blown up this remnant from the history-charged 13th century during the Second World War, the town has preferred refraining from the surname. The tower was re-built and now offers a gigantic panoramic view to the surrounding, the Montalbano-mountain range and the valleys of the Elsa and Arno. San Miniato with its exposed position on a hill offers interesting impressions of the past. Examples of the rich history are exhibited in smaller museums. Pretty bars and beautiful restaurants invite you to have a rest there. Every year a truffle festival takes place on the three last November week-ends. At this occasion truffles as well as products and dishes of the regional white truffles are offered.

click for enlarge

Montecatini Terme
Around the turn of the century the “Baden-Baden of the Tuscany“ with its magnificent hot springs and palace hotels represented a meeting-point of the European high society. As the largest Italian health resort accommodates 1,7 million guests every year, hotels and spas dominate the town picture. Attractive spa gardens, elegant shops, cafés and restaurants won’t allow boredom to develop. The medieval Montecatini Alto is located on the hill above the town, granting a breathtaking view. The Piazza lined with bars and restaurants will convey a sense of Italian lifestyle. Montecatini Alto can easily be reached by car. Going by the rack railway, the Funicolare, however, is a very special event.

click for enlarge

Pinocchio-Park in Collodi
The old, picturesque mountain village Collodi is located in the west of Pistoia, near to Péscia. Most of the visitors arrive to pay a visit to the “Parco di Pinocchio“, which is interesting not only for children. The stories of the most famous Italian children’s book were translated into 80 languages and filmed several times. For sure there is nobody who doesn’t know the coloured wooden puppets with the long noses, which can be bought in all possible forms. Walking in the park, the large and small visitors will experience Pinocchio’s adventurous world.

click for enlarge

Carrara
There is hardly any other town name throughout the world which is so closely linked to its product: marble. Without the marble of Carrara neither the leaning tower of Pisa nor the magnificent Italian cathedrals nor Michelangelo’s David would have come into being. Carrara is located in a green basin below the Apuan Alps with its white quarries shining over a long distance. As the nostalgic town centre will be explored within short, there will be sufficient time left to pay a visit to the sea in La Spezia or Viareggio.

click for enlarge

beaches
You will find a beautiful beach at no charge in Migliarino „Marina Torre di Mare“ near Pisa. How to get there: Take the A 11 via Montecatini or Pistoia to Pisa North. At the exit turn left towards Pisa, go straight on for approx. 2 km, then turn right below the railway and go several kilometres towards the sea. Several kiosks and beaches are available there. Another alternative to get there: Take the FI-PI-LI (express way towards PISA), pass through Pisa and then take direction towards Migliarino. Go on as described above. Magnificent beaches are also available in Tirrenia and Viareggio.
As the permission to take dogs to the beach is very often invalidated by the municipalities resp. as the situation is repeatedly changing, we regret to no longer be able to recommend any dog beaches. If it is permitted at all to take dogs, then only at the so-called „beaches at no charge“.
Another wide beach at no charge is awaiting you in Torre di Lago.
Go there via Empoli, take the FI-PI-LI towards Pisa, change to the motorway/A12 towards Genoa and leave at the exit Torre di Lago. In the town turn left at the 1st traffic light, pass the subway and go straight on the main street to the beach “La Pineta“. On the left-hand side parking spaces are available. Alternative route: Starting from Montecatini Terme resp. Pistoia – take the A11 towards Pisa, change to the A12 towards Genoa and go on as described above.
Dog Beach
- Spiaggia Dog Beach San Vincenzo Via della Principessa, 57027 San Vincenzo (Livorno)
This dog beach is equipped with everything required by the four-legged friends and its owner.
Admission free.

click for enlarge

Swizzerland of Pescia
Two mountain valleys called “La Svizzera Pesciatina” are located in the north of Pescia and give a strange impression of the Tuscany due to their dense broadleaf- and conifer forests, hills and mountains, narrow streets and lonesome villages. All characteristic villages in the form of castles – the “Castella“ - , originate from the year 1000. They are surrounded by a wall and located on top of a strategically important hill. Pietrabuona – the starting-point – is followed by Medicina, Fibbialla, Aramos, Sorana and Castelvecchio with its Roman parish church dedicated to Saint Thomas. Following Stiappa you will reach Pontito, the northernmost and terraced castle village with steep narrow stairs and concentrically arranged streets. In Vellano, the main city of the Svizzera Pesciatina, you have a last chance to enjoy the great view to the landscape.

Abetone - mountains of Pistoia
At the Tuscan border to the Emilia-Romagna the Ximeniana (or Strada del Brennero, SS12) leads towards Modena via the Abetone Pass. Taking the SS64 you will arrive at Porretta Terme and Bologna. Since time immemorial these connections via the Apennines have been trade routes and military road – Hannibal is told to have crossed the Apennines with his elephants in the northeast of Abetone.
As the mountains of Pistoia are real mountains – with Cimone, the highest mountain having a height of 2165 m – an important winter sports area has developed here. Abetone (1388 m) at the utmost extremity of the Tuscany is the most famous winter sports resort of Central Italy. Since 1936 when the first skiers had come here, Abetone – international competitions take place here - has developed to a skiing centre with 40 slopes, skiing schools and lifts.
In summer numerous hikers and summer visitors are attracted by this well-forested region to escape from the heat in the lowlands.
Entfernung von Pistoia 50 km, von Pisa 85 km und von Modena 96 km.

Public Swimming-Pools near Vinci
Larciano
An attractive open-air pool, an indoor swimming-pool as well as a modern fitness centre including sauna can be visited in Larciano, directly at the exit of Lamporecchio towards Montecatini.
Empoli
In Empoli at the river Arno an open-air swimming-pool is located close to the stadium; see the signpost “Piscina“.
Pietra Marina
The pretty small swimming-pool in the country-side can be reached via Vinci. At the traffic light take the way to Vitolini and go straight on towards Carmigniano, Poggio a Caiano. On your way you will find the signpost “Piscina“ on the right-side in the forest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

© 2006 - 2018 Toskana Pur

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

deutsche Version

last minute offers
contact
tips for trips
links
property owner
calculate your route
imprint
conditions of rent