The beauty of Tuscany
Tuscany is one of the most visited regions in Italy and it’s easy to see why it draws visitors from so many parts of the world. You can easily get a flavour of the Tuscan landscape and highlights during a week. Equally, you could spend a much longer time there and still not see all the charms that the region has to offer.
The countryside ranges from the rolling hillsides and valleys that we see in so many films like Room with a View and Bella Tuscany, through to the far more dramatic and mountainous scenery of northern Tuscany and areas like the Garfagnana.
If you’re thinking of visiting the area you can take a number of different starting points to fly into including Pisa, Rome and Bologna.
What not to miss
Places you should really try to see on a first visit to Tuscany include Sienna, San Gimignano and Florence.
Siena is home to one of the most famous horse races in the world – il Palio. Every July, ten horses and their riders thunder around the famous square in Siena, the Piazza del Campo, in the middle of the town. The entrants represent ten of the seventeen contrade, or city wards, so it’s a race that is full of local pride and rivalry. The streets of Siena are mobbed to watch this event, and it can be a little dangerous in the Piazza itself, with the horses sometimes finishing the race riderless, so if you’re there for the race, be careful. The race takes place twice every summer in July and August.
The small walled town of San Gimignano has fourteen of its fairy tale towers that have been in place since medieval times. Located up high on a hillside not far from Siena, it is a beautiful small town that can be seen from several kilometers because of its towers. Once you’ve entered the walled section of the town, you can actually imagine that you’ve stepped back in time.
Florence, of course, has so many things to see and do as a tourist that it’s impossible to mention them all. Things not to miss include taking a climb up the inside of the Duomo of the cathedral; visiting the Uffizi Gallery art museum, the sculptures of the Boboli gardens and strolling along the river and over the Ponte Vecchio.
Where to stay
There are so many places to choose from to stay in the region that you are spoilt for choice. Many people hire self-catering villas and holiday homes, but there are also campsites and youth hostels in the area, so whether you’re flying, driving or travelling with a backpack and tent, you’ll be able to find somewhere enchanting to stay in Tuscany. If you’re planning a backpacking trip, it’s worth investing in a decent pack. Don’t forget that are mens’ and womens’ backpacks specifically designed for each sex and their different builds. Go down to an outdoors store for advice on which pack would suit you best.
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About the author: Jeremy loves heading off to Italy with his friends. They take their tents and backpacks and always find something new to discover about Italian history and culture. This is an article written by http://www.gooutdoors.co.uk/camping/tents