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What is a Tuscan Hamlet?

  • What is a Tuscan Hamlet?

    Picture in your mind the pretty hilltop villages dotted throughout the landscape of Tuscany and Umbria. Tiny collections of buildings perched overlooking the vineyards or working fields of the area. These are the 'Borgo's" (hamlets) of Italy.

    Originally Borgos were a collection of stone barns and farming sheds, connected by winding footpaths with a courtyard in the heart of the buildings, some garden areas and often a small chapel. The occupants of the borgos were share-croppers and their families, who rented the accommodation from the landlords when they were employed to work in the fields gathering crops or harvesting the grapes & olives. The borgos were generally in the heart of the countryside, on top of hills surrounded by fields, vineyards and olive groves so that the workers did not have far to travel to work.

    The industrialisation seen in Italy after the war and the decline in traditional agricultural farming methods led to an exodus of workers from the rural areas of Italy towards the towns and cities, leaving the borgos empty and unused and many fell into decline.

    With the expansion of tourism across the Chianti region over the last 30 years or so, private investment has meant that these tiny borgos have been re-invented into individually privately owned apartments and villas run under 'condominium' status with shared facilities such as swimming pools. Strict local preservation laws forbid any changes to the 'footprint' of the borgos and any exterior walls and window areas must remain exactly where they were. Original materials have to be re-used with tight controls on 'new' period-style materials being allowed in certain circumstances. Interiors, however, are allowed to be altered to ensure that high-quality fixtures and fittings can be installed. What you get today, therefore, is an authentic reconstruction of the borgo with the living accommodations divided to give private self-contained apartments, cottages or villas within the original layout of a centuries old hamlet.

    The hamlets offered by To Tuscany all have a history behind them and often photos of the original buildings can be found within the apartments showing you exactly how things were improved. Each property within the hamlet is self-contained and private with almost every apartment also having some private outside space, either a small garden area or terrace. There are communual areas such as the grounds, shared swimming pools and laundry areas (where available) and some even have tennis courts.  Their positions amongst the fields and vineyards always offer fantastic views over the surrounding countryside for you to enjoy.

Experience an official tuscany tour with

Private Skip-the-Line Florence Highlights and David Walking Tour

Florence with a private guide is the best way to experience and get the feeling of this wonderful city.  Discover Florence with a private professional guide who will reveal all the most hidden spots as well as the highlights that you cannot miss like Michelangelo's David. Discover the main attractions, such as Piazza della Signoria, the Ponte Vecchio and hidden gems of this magic city.

from 219,81 US Dollar

Tour on Natural Film Sets - The Gladiator & the English Patient (Val D'Orcia) !

Tour on Natural Film Sets - The Gladiator & the English Patient

Your Tuscan tour includes:

• Drive through Tuscany’s most famous postcard scenery with your local expert Driver.
• Scenic and photographic tour of the Val d’orcia.
• Visit and free time to tour the town of Pienza.
• Visit and free time to stop to see the famous Gladiator House (Gladiator movie set)
•  Visit and free time to stop to see the famous monastery of S. Anna in Camprena (English Patient movie set)
• Visit and free time to tour the town of Montepulciano.

We will also visit the stunningly beautiful towns of Montepulciano, and Pienza. Apart from being so pretty, each of these towns have another claim to fame; Montepulciano for wine (Nobile) and Pienza for cheese (Pecorino).

from 104,12 US Dollar

Pisa Off-The-Beaten-Path 2-Hour Small-Group Walking Tour

Experience more than just the Leaning Tower. Explore the city! Enjoy a 2-hour guided walking tour of the city of Pisa, exploring the major attractions but also getting to see some of the sites that are off the beaten path and popular with locals. This walking tour will introduce you to the real city of Pisa, right up to and beyond the iconic Leaning Tower.
The tour is on level ground, which makes it wheelchair accessible and the walking at a leisurely pace. This is a unique experience to enjoy this unpretentious university city where you will have the opportunity to learn about the history and the monuments, as well as about everyday life of a small and lively Medieval Tuscan town. You will see the city from a different angle: discover hidden lanes, photograph the city from unusual places, plus see the Leaning Tower and other famous monuments.

from 21,98 US Dollar

Private Pizza and Ice Cream Cooking Class - Food and Drinks included

Discover the delights of freshly baked Italian pizza and delicious gelato with a 2-hour expert-led cooking class near San Gimignano. Learn the story of Pizza, observe a master chef prepare it and learn from them the techniques to make the perfect pizza, tasty homemade tomato sauce and fresh fruit gelato. Finally, sit down to indulge in your creations with your fellow chefs, accompanied by a tasting of Tuscan wines and olive oils.

from 57,84 US Dollar
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