Tuscany-map

The rolling hills, luscious farmlands and historic towns of Tuscany are usually swarming with tourists and visitors come the peak summer months, so if you can plan a break to the popular Italian region in March for an early spring break then you’d be foolish not to! Generally quite mild in March, with fewer windows of sunshine and highs of 17 degrees, you won’t have much luck if you are hoping to top up your tan but visiting in this quieter month will save you from the increased tourist prices that are incurred at high season.

The most popular towns in this region are Florence, Pisa and Siena, and the main airport for the region is Pisa, less than hour from Florence by train. Easy to explore by car or bus, you’ll also have the opportunity to soak up the sights of the surrounding hillsides with their blooming wild flowers, traditional rustic houses and impressive Renaissance architecture.

What to bring

To ward off any cooler spells lightweight layers would be best and a raincoat just in case the heavens do open. English is spoken in most of the region’s main towns but you may find you struggle slightly in the smaller villages. If you can find the time to learn a few basic Italian phrases they will leave you in good stead for a travelling tour of the area. The best way to experience the beauty and character of the region is to travel by car and vehicle hire will require proof of travel insurance and your driving documents so be sure to pack these.

Stay at…

There are plenty of welcoming hotels and bed and breakfasts in the famous wine region of Chianti, which is ideally located between Florence and Siena making it a great base for visitors to explore the area. You’ll need to decide whether you want to find accommodation in a village or relax in the rustic charms of a countryside abode, but you can find equally remarkable hotels at very affordable rates in both.

Eat…

Favoured for its simplistic but delicious flavours, Tuscan cuisine is not fancy but strong and wholesome. Start off with traditional bruschetta and a main of Italian spring lamb if it is on the menu, or a bowl of traditional Tuscan Pici whole wheat pasta. Locally grown asparagus and fresh artichokes should also be readily available during this season and the popular Tuscan dish of baccalà – salt-dried cod softened in water and cooked with tomatoes and white wine – is sure to delight.

Explore…

Piazza del Campo, Siena
The main pubic space in Siena, the Piazza del Campo is one of the grandest and largest medieval squares in Europe. Once an open marketplace, the square is now a destination for visitors to come and witness the break taking architectural beauty of the buildings that circle it. The square also houses the monumental Fonte Gaia fountain, carved out of white marble in 1419 by famous Sienan sculptor Jacoppo della Quercia.

The Leaning Tower, Pisa
You couldn’t come to Tuscany and not pay a visit to the famous Leaning Tower. Built on soil too weak to withstand its weight, the tower first began to lean once only 3 of the 8 levels had been completed. A recovery attempt took place from 1990-2001 to further stabilise the structure from complete collapse. If you are planning to visit the tower also stop by the rest of the Campo dei Miracoli to admire the unique Italian design of the sacred building.

Villa Reale di Marlia, Lucca
Constructed in the 15th century, the sprawling gardens of this late-renaissance villa have a heavy baroque influence. Notable sights within the grounds include the beautiful Theatre of Water with its cascading fountains and mosaic decoration, and the ornamental Lemon Garden complete with reclining twin giant statues.

To help remember your Tuscan adventure why not record your travel route on your own personalised map to keep a log of where you’ve been!

For even more great travel and map related gifts visit Map Marketing.

Advertisements