Fancy a short break, why not try Tuscany. Tuscany is right on the doorstep of one of Europe?s most beautiful regions, a beautiful patchwork of historic hill towns ? notably Siena, Lucca and San Gimignano ? sandy beaches, timeless pastoral countryside, jagged mountain peaks and much more. It provides a perfect short break from the hustle and bustle and, in summer, the sheer heat of Florence.
Tuscany is split into Northern and Southern Tuscany. If you mention Tuscany Southern Tuscany is the region that readily comes to mind, filled with classic landscapes of olive groves, vineyards, cypress-topped hills and poppy-fields, and scattered with elegant villas, pretty farmhouses and countless sun-hazed hill towns. Northern Tuscany is a region of secret corners and little-known towns that are rich and fascinating but are often ignored by visitors anxious to explore the more celebrated sights south of Florence.
Tuscany, as well as Florence, has glorious churches, museums and monuments. The famous landmark of the Leaning Tower of Pisa is found in Pisa?s beautiful Campo dei Miracoli, Northern Tuscany. Tuscany is also home to Siena?s magnificent central piazza and its arc of rosy palaces, which make up one of Europe?s most beautiful medieval squares.
Tuscany has more to offer on a weekend break than sightseeing, what about visiting one of Tuscany?s beautiful vineyards or trying the delicious traditional cuisine. Poverty and peasant traditions have long inspired Tuscan cooking, with the result that the region?s cuisine relies on simple, fresh ingredients and straightforward preparation and presentation. Simplicity is the keynote of most antipasti (starters), which include ham, salamis and crostini (small rounds of toasted bread with mushroom, olive, chicken liver and other p?t?-like toppings).
For more information on Tuscany?s beautiful attractions and tasty restaurants purchase the AA Essential Guide to Florence and Tuscany to get the most out of your short break.