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Things to do in Tuscany

This page will provide you with all the information, resources and links you need to plan and customise your Tuscan getaway yourself. Feel like investigating treasures of renaissance art and unearthing fascinating local history? How about shopping for bargain fashions and souvenirs, or relaxing in a luxurious spa? Get active, get lazy, get inquisitive and get comfy – whatever your desires and needs, Tuscany can provide.

We understand the value of carving out your own path and being truly independent. However, to ensure you’re making the right decisions, it’s important to have the right information. Our guide is written, researched and regularly updated by our team of experts and travel specialists. Come and explore the boundless possibilities.

Things to do in Tuscany

Tuscany for children

Tuscany is a great choice for families looking for a fun and relaxing break. There are plenty of attractions here for kids – large and small – enough to fill every day of a villa holiday in Tuscany.

Get their adrenalin going with the thrills and spills of white-water rafting or shooting down the region’s highest slide. Take them to meet the wilder residents of Tuscany at one of Italy’s top nature parks. Help them learn to make ice cream and get crafty at a top museum. Explore cool caverns together beneath Tuscany’s mountains or take a boat out to see the village drowned in a lake. And introduce them to Pinnochio or Tyrannosaurus Rex.

You’ll have no problem keeping boredom at bay on a family holiday in Tuscany.

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Local Events & Festivals In Tuscany

Don’t miss out on the chance to experience some of the festivals and wonderful local events that Tuscany has to offer. Tuscany is home to many historic towns and charismatic cities, both of which hold exciting and fascinating events throughout the year.

Attending a local festival or event will give you a true feel for the real Tuscany and enable you to immerse yourself in the local culture. You will learn more about the history and culture of this artistic and visually stunning region.

Tuscany hosts a wide variety of different events to suit every taste. Attend events such as local markets, food and wine festivals, theatre shows, carnivals, live music concerts and colourful parades.

We have put together a selection of some of the best events in Tuscany that are a stone's throw away from our luxurious private villas. Browse through the events below or check the Italian tourist board for more information.

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Shopping in Tuscany

Love shopping? Then you’ve chosen a great place to book your holiday villa. In Tuscany, you’ll find a mix of shopping experiences, whether you want to buy the latest designer clothes or a chunk of tasty local cheese.

Tuscany is well known for its wine, olive oil, and fresh local produce. It’s also a good place to pick up leather goods, lace and terracotta. Visit a local market early in the morning to purchase the freshest produce. And check out the markets across the region that specialise in artisanal crafts and antiques. The quaint traditional shops found in smaller villages are also a good place to seek out lovely hand-crafted products for a fabulous souvenir to take home.

There are fantastic factory outlets here, too, with many of the top Italian design houses selling luxury items at bargain prices, including Prada, Dolce & Gabbana and Gucci. While Tuscany’s cities – Siena, Arezzo, Florence and Pisa among them – have some great high-street shopping, too.

Check out our suggestions below on where to enjoy a shopping trip during your villa holiday in Tuscany.

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Local Wildlife In Tuscany

The hot sun and long, warm days have encouraged a surprising diversity of wildlife to inhabit Tuscany. Tuscany’s national parks, wildlife reserves, mountains and vast woodland areas provide a habitat for wildlife to flourish.

Not many people realise that Tuscany has some fantastic local wildlife to see. Deep in the Tuscan countryside you may come across European animals such as hare, deer, porcupines, badgers, dormice, red foxes, pheasants, wolves, and even wild boar.

Tuscany is also a great place to go bird watching. A wide range of beautiful birds can be spotted throughout the region. Birdwatching enthusiasts should head to the mountains and marshlands to see birds such as the tawny owl, herons, ring ouzel and the rare glossy ibis.

Read about some of the most common animals found in Tuscany by clicking on the links below and book your Tuscan wildlife adventure.

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Fishing in Tuscany

Tuscans love to fish and in most towns you’ll find a fishing and hunting shop. Call in and tap into their knowledge about good local places to fish and the licences you’ll need.

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Golf in Tuscany

Rich in art, history, culture and traditions, Tuscany also has fabulous scenery, great food and superb wine - all the ingredients of a relaxing holiday destination. Add the fact that it has some of Italy's finest golf courses and it makes the region an excellent target for discovery.

Until the arrival of Costantino Rocca, Italy hardly figured as a top golf nation but the emergence of 2009 Open Championship silver medallist Matteo Mannasero and World Cup-winning brothers Francesco and Edoardo Molinari, has sparked many people's interest in the country's golfing future.

Tuscany is widely known for its picturesque landscape of rolling hills and intriguing history and with golf stirring and added passion it seems the perfect place to be. I didn't know what to expect but I was very pleasantly surprised.

Tuscany has some of Italy’s finest golf courses; below we have listed a few of them with some tips from Grant Leggate – Assistant Secretary at Royal St Georges, Sandwich.

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L’Eroica vintage bike event Gaiole Tuscany

L'Eroica is a vintage bike race which takes place at the beginning of October in Gaiole in Chianti in Tuscany, normally the first Sunday. It started in 1997 and aims to reenact historical cycling. It is open to everyone as long as a vintage bicycle is used. The bicycle is considered vintage if it is from before the 1980s and has a metal frame, gears on the frame and cage pedals.

There are various routes that can be done, from 38km to 205km, over both paved and the famous Tuscan 'white roads' (unpaved).
The event is not competitive. During the weekend there is a fantastic historical bicycle market and along the route there are various 'aid' stations which have local products ranging from bread and honey or salami to the traditional Tuscan bread soup (Ribolita). Many participates and volunteers are dressed in historical costumes making the event very colourful.

The route is completely permanently signed and is ideal for avid cyclists to follow throughout the year. For information about this visit: http://www.eroicagaiole.com/

For more information visit the L'Eroica website click here: http://www.eroicagaiole.com/
Our blog: tuscanguru.to-tuscany.com/get-pedaling-theres-an-ice-cream-waiting-at-the-top-of-the-hill/
Have a look at our villas within 10km of the start of the L'Eroica.
Please note that some of the villas have unpaved access roads, check carefully the approach road description if you are planning on biking to the start. 

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Chianti Sculpture Park

The Chianti Sculpture Park is located in Pievasciata, about 10km north of Siena and is the perfect place to sniff out some art in Tuscany while still enjoying its glorious sunshine. It’s a permanent exhibition of 26 contemporary installations and sculptures by artists from all over the world, including a labyrinth, a rainbow, a huge keel and more - all beautifully set within the surrounding woodland. Visitors to the park will enjoy the typical landscape and art in Tuscany at the same time, along a 1 km walking trail. It really is a pleasant walk through art and nature!
The park is also home to an amphitheatre, where concerts and other cultural events take place from May to September in a magical atmosphere.

Chianti Sculpture Park opening hours
Every day from 10am to sunset.
From November to March it’s advisable to call first.
If you intend to visit the Park we suggest you to download the free application ChiantiPark either from Apple Store or Google Play.
How to get to the Chianti Sculpture Park
From the Superstrada Firenze-Siena: Siena Nord exit.
Turn left onto SS222, towards Castellina and then take a right turn after 1.5km towards Vagliagli. Drive for about 8km and then turn right towards PIEVASCIATA. This is a country road and you will find the park on your right after about 4km.

GPS: Long. E. 11° 22' 53" – Lat. N. 43° 23' 36"
Contact
Loc. La Fornace S.P. 9
53010 Pievasciata (Siena)
www.chiantisculpturepark.it
info@chiantisculpturepark.it
+39 0577 357151

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Tennis in Tuscany

While on holiday you might want to continue to partake in your favorite sport especially if you have some extra time for yourself. The following are the tennis courts in Tuscany, Orvieto and Perugia where you can go and play even if you are not a club member. Please note that you should book in advance since they allow club members first and they have tennis lessons all year.

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Self guided walks

We have chosen some of our favourite self-guided walks with the best restaurants to help make your Tuscan walk dreams a reality, the walks are designed for experienced walkers who enjoy being independent. As there's no strict schedule to follow all you need to do is show up.

Following our suggested routes is a great way to slow the pace and opens your eyes to hidden treasures offered up time and again at every turn. We have designed these walks for you, and hope they help to bring you closer to the contemporarily wild and tamed landscape that is iconic and admired across the world.

Our walks are updated from time to time to match your requests, so let us know if you have any questions or suggestions that we can add to our guides.

Email experiences@to-tuscany.com with your ideas.

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Self-Guided Cycle Ride - The Senese Valdelsa Chianti Cycling Tour

Castellina in Chianti (578m) – Castagnoli (427 m) – Bivio Talciona (150m) – Church of Sant’ Agnese (410m) – Castellina in Chianti
Distance: 41km
Time: 4 hours
Road surface: Unpaved for about half the ride, then on quiet asphalt roads.
Difficulty: Requires average athletic preparation. Several steep ascents of medium intensity in the re-ascent to Castellina.
Route: This mountain-bike ride starts and finishes at Castellina in Chianti via the State Road for Poggibonsi. After 2km turn off for the castle at Castagnoli. When the asphalt ends, the wide dirt road descends into lovely countryside, with views across the Staggia and Elsa valleys.

Soon, you’ll come upon several hairpin bends; take great care because it’s easy to lose your balance on the very steep slope and gravel roadbed. Close to Villa Rosa and Gretole, the route appears to follow flat ground yet crosses a ridge with views across the fields. Continue on asphalt until reaching a crossroads signposted for Talciona.

After looking around Talciona, return to the crossroads and head uphill to admire the little presbytery of Santa Maria, which has an architrave sculpted in 1234, bearing a rough but charming Adoration of the Magi. Continue uphill along the little asphalt road that soon becomes a track, in the direction of Villore. The unpaved road meets the State Road from Poggibonsi on a bend. Here, head towards Castellina to finish the ride.

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Self-Guided cycle ride - The source of the Pesa

Fattoria San Michele (847m) – Volpaia (617m) – Dogole (625m) – Badiaccia a Montemuro (706m) – Fattoria San Michele

Length: 14km
Time required: 4 hours 30 minutes
Road surface: Mainly tracks and a short stretch of asphalt.
Difficulty: Average physical challenge. Be very careful on the Volpaia to Dogole stretch, because it is unmarked and becomes tricky near Dogole.
Recommendations and notes: The signposts are old and several segments of road are unmarked. Take a map, preferably to 1: 25.000 scale, and plot the following instructions on it.
Ideal season: All, except very rainy periods, during which the ground becomes very muddy.
The route: From Greve in Chianti, ascend Monte San Michele on the smooth dirt road to the wine estates of Melazzano and Caprolo, enjoying panoramic views of the countryside as you go. Your first stop is the ruins of the medieval presbytery of the church of Santa Maria.

Continuing towards the summit of Monte San Michele (892m), the highest peak in Chianti, cross the road that ascends from Lucolena, climbing continually until you reach the nature reserve at San Michele and the entrance to the estate of the same name.

On leaving the San Michele estate, continue in a southerly direction along the edge of the fields. At the first crossroads, turn off the track and bear left, continuing straight and descending slightly. This is CAI path 30 and 32. At Poggio Sereno you’ll pass through lush pine woods, followed by bush-covered and open terrain.

On reaching a crossroads, continue in the direction of Lamole, ignoring CAI path 30, and head south on the same level as far as Poggio Querciabella. Here, a steep shortcut on the left makes it possible to descend to the dirt road that leads from Panzano to Volpaia, which can be seen amid the crops.

Visit Volpaia then set off along the old mule track to Badiaccia, constantly descending. The route keeps to the left of the valley until it crosses a ditch, then starts to climb through dense woods to the abandoned houses of Dogole. The ancient path here is covered with branches as far as the ditch below the Lungagna house, from where it becomes smooth again, all the way to Badiaccia a Montemuro.

Travel across a few hundred metres of asphalt on the quiet provincial road leading to Lucolena, until the beginning of CAI path 9 appears on the right. Exactly opposite is a track that ascends to roam the southern slopes of Monte San Michele, before returning back to the first crossroads encountered after leaving the San Michele estate.

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