The most talked abut and celebrated region of Italy is Tuscany, the land of ancient pre-Roman Etruscans with their hilltop towns and villages overseeing the plains below. It is also studded with abbeys, convents, villas in rural areas hidden among vineyards, pine cedars and umbrella trees.

Tuscany, just like other regions of Italy has distinctive history. In the 14th century, the ruling family, the Medici had to strengthen their territory with castles that served for military defense and as refuges for the local people during troubled times. Later, as the power of the Medici increased, the country side was no longer a battlefield, the importance of the castle outposts diminished and large estates became the norm. The large estates became summer residences of the nobles and provided shelters from the plague as well. The Medici themselves promoted this transformation from military to residential and by the 16th century the grandiose villas were born.

  1. Thanks for a wonderful article about this fabulous area. A great added bonus on a Tuscan holiday is that Tuscany is not only internationally famous for its wines such as Chianti Classico and Brunello di Montalcino but is the home of many of Italy's best known dishes such as bistecca Fiorentina, cheeses such as pecorino and host of tasty dishes made with fresh, natural ingredients which make even the simplest dishs a true work of art. For anyone interested in food and wine, I can heartily recommend a driving tour which include the chance to sample many of Tuscany's
    incredible delights. Have a look at

  2. Happy to be among the numerous visitors of this spectacular website.

  3. we did a family trip back in 97 that soudns like that a is the route we took:landed in Rome. Hired a Car.Drove to Florence (5 days).Drove to Verona (one night).Drove to Venice (4 days).Drove back to Rome (5 days with a very loooong day trip to Naples and Pompai)went back to milan a few yrs later and it was boring. just a large, expensive, industrial city.

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