In many parts of the world culture is "something extra". Something to do in your spare time. But in Tuscany, the culture is omnipresent. The region offers a unique concentration of magnificent, historic towns, where Florence and Siena are the most important. But it is also full of small, charming mountain villages that have been inhabited since Etruscan times (900-400 BC). You will experience the most picturesque landscapes, some of history's most important works of art, as well as food and wine in a class by itself when you drive around the beautiful Tuscany.
Self-drive holidays in Tuscany offers you the perfect context for a vacation with a focus on experiences, pleasures and relaxation, all with yourself as your own tour guide. Take a detour to a mountain village, and domple your feet in a stone basin from classical times, at a natural hot spring. Or pull over and eat at a traditional, family-run restaurant. Here you can delight your senses of taste with locally produced prosciutto ham, cooked beef in high quality, pappa al pomodoro (tomato and bread in a delicious stew - a Tuscan specialty) and a glass of tasteful Chianti.
In-Italia can help you tailor your self-drive holiday in Tuscany to make it just right according to your wishes.
In almost all towns and villages in Tuscany there is enough to see and do. There are lots of hidden treasures of the lesser known villages, and you are never quite finished exploring this culture rich Italian region. It is also not a problem to find a hotel or another place to stay that fits just you and your family.
Villas for rent; large, rural houses, transformed into modern hotels; cozy Bed and Breakfasts along the picturesque routes, family-friendly campgrounds with all amenities and cozy boutique hotels in cities. Toscana has a string of good options when you need to have a good night's sleep and perhaps spend a few days to take a thourough look at your surroundings.
On the way through northern Tuscany you obviously hold into the historic towns Lucca Florence and .
When you are in the area around Lucca with rented car, you may want to take the opportunity to explore the mighty Apuan Alps. Stop by the little-known mountain village of Barga, one of Tuscany"s many hidden gems, offering stunning panoramic views of the mountains.
The road from Lucca to Pisa farther south is full of unforgettable landscapes and exciting places you can stay in. Pisa is of course a must for most who visit Tuscany.
The town is most famous for its leaning bell tower from the 1100s, healing over to one side, as the foundations of the building were too weak. Pisa, however, like most cities in Tuscany, has much more to offer than its landmarks. In addition you should experience Piazza del Miracoli, Pisa's beautiful historic center, you can admire many interesting monuments of the city.
Take your car and touch Pisa, where you can visit Calci monastery and the Basilica of San Piero a Grado. In this area there are also many natural hot springs.
Siena is Tuscany's second largest city, and a close rival to Florence when it comes to culture, architecture and history. The city is pleasant and cozy, where you can easily spend a day or two on your self-drive holiday. The marvel of Siena's many interesting palaces, for example Spannocchi the overwhelmingly beautiful Piazza Salimbeni. Spannocchi Palace was Siena's first Renaissance palace was built in the 1473rd
The facade of Siena Cathedral is also a sight you should not miss out on. This is also the remains of a church that left work after the Black Death in 1348, which reduced the Sienese population 100000 to 30000. Then the church was completed and it would have been Italy's main cathedral. Sculptures by Michelangelo adorns the church's outdoor setting, and inside you can see the exquisite frescos by Pinturicchio and works by Donatello.
After your stop in Siena, you can take the car and drive in just 20 minutes to arrive in Bagni. On the main road from Siena to Grosseto you find Bagni di Petriolo; natural hot springs, the Romans and later the Medici family enjoyed. There is a sign of courage baths on the road and just follow the picturesque river Farma to find them. The hot springs flows down into a series of small baths, which ends in a big pool where people soothe their sore shoulders by sitting under the running water. The water temperature is 43 degrees, making a visit to the Bagni di Petriolo perfect on a chilly day.
If you prefer to cool down, take a swim in the Farma River. The locals gather mud from the river banks, as they dry and pulverise it. That is, when mixed with water from the springs to the kind of mineral mud spas sell for a fortune, but in Petriolo is for free. Spring water is said to cure everything from colds to arthritis, and it would make your skin softer. It's worth a try. Tuscany has lots of hot springs and you can easily become addicted to take a warm, natural tub amidst the beautiful Tuscan hills. The most famous is Saturnia sources, in the wild Maremma area, about an hour's drive south from Siena.
Many who spend their holidays in Tuscany, forget to delve into what the southern part of the region has to offer. It is, however, with no reason for it is a beautiful area with many sights.
Visit for example the deeply fascinating Città del Tufa, which consists of three different villages that are still inhabited: Pitigliano Sovana and Sorano . These three villages form a triangle around a dramatic landscape where buildings since Etruscan times has been constructed by the porous, volcanic tufa stones.
Pitigliano is the largest of the three villages, and you"d better be careful when you enter here: The city is surrounded by deep ravines on three sides. This has earned it as a natural protection against enemies through the ages, and the protection was complete with a fort to the east. Here in these picturesque surroundings you can take amazing pictures, or just breath in the atmosphere, have a look at the distinctive buildings and breathtaking panoramas in.
Use at least a week or more to explore Tuscany by car, and you will have an unforgettable holiday.
>>> See also our information about rentals and holiday homes in Tuscany .