Tuscany and Umbria is an ultimate luxury villa vacation in Italy as these two regions are most centralized on Italy's peninsula. Enjoy over 50 gorgeous luxury villa rentals in Tuscany and Umbria. Known for their landscapes, history, art, fashion, and wine, it is no surprise that Tuscany's capital of Florence is one of the most visited cities in the world. Ten million tourists visit annually to see all the art galleries, cathedrals, and 120 protected reserves. There is so much culture and history to experience with a Tuscany villa rental.
When visiting Tuscany, you must map out which vineyards to visit. In this region Chianti is the most popular. This medium-bodied wine with cherry notes is produced in the Chianti region of Tuscany, and is known around the world. The altitude, soil type and proximity to the Arno River make for the perfect place to grow grapes to create some of the most famous wine from Italy. Other types of great wines you will find here are Montalcino, Morellino di Scansano, and Brunello.
To the southwest of Tuscany there are Umbria villa rentals. This is the only region on Italy's peninsula that is completely land locked. If you are ever passing from Tuscany to Rome, you will have to pass through Umbria. Known as the 'green heart of Italy,' Umbria's capital, Perugia, is home to jazz and chocolate festivals. The wine most famous in this region is Orvieto, a dry fine white wine. Take the opportunity to travel along the Sagrantino Wine Road near Spoeto and Moltefalco where the path is lined with winery's, many of which are open for tastings.
With all villa rentals in Tuscany you have the option of staying in and buying your local produce such as legumes, bread, cheese, mushrooms, olive oil, and wine. Relax and stay in your villa near Siena for some of your nights and make the most delicious meal with the freshest ingredients. On another evening, head out to Osteria Le Logge, located just off the Campo on Via del Porrione, this restaurant offers excellent Tuscan cuisine with an old-world atmosphere. Homemade fresh pasta and delicious desserts, make this a must for a night out.
Visit San Gimignano, famous for its skyline, and Volterra, renowned for alabaster artifacts. The small fortress cities are within easy driving distance of one another, each offering their own special appeal.
Colle Val d'Elsa is famous for crystal manufacturing. However, the old town/historical center, Colle Alta, deserves to be seen. Particularly interesting is Palazzo Campana, which looks like a city gate, or a triumphal arch, and dominates the main street of Colle. The Cathedral shows a rich collection of paintings from the XVII century. Spend a full day shopping at the Mall in Montevarchi where many designers have located their outlets - there you'll find Prada, Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana and many others.
While other parts of Tuscany have developed industries that have done much for the economy and little for the landscape, the "Crete Senesi" area and the neighbouring "Val d'Orcia" have largely remained true to their early agricultural vocation. Today this means local products of outstanding quality, made with traditional methods and skills are handed down from generation to generation. The best-known of these are Montalcino's distinguished Brunello red wine and the Vino Nobile of Montepulciano, both of which are the perfect complement to dishes based on the wild game of the area: pheasant, quail, hare, and wild boar. Likewise, the Pecorino cheeses made with ewe's milk from the Pienza pastures are also in great demand. One of the best food stores in the Pienza area is La Cornucopia (2 Piazza Martiri della Liberta) where you can find sweets, honey and cheeses.
Art is a major influence in Italy, and Florence is the world's most important water colour centre. Florence has the largest display Renaissance art and architecture in the world. The galleries to go to are Uffizi, arguably the most important gallery in Florence, view Michelangelo's 'David,' at Accademia, and Pitti Palace, Bargello. Certainly do not forget about the churches and cathedrals. The Florence Cathedral, Siena Cathedral, Pisa Cathedral, and Collegiata di San Gimignamo, all house some amazing art inside their architecture. Florence is also known as the 'art place of Italy,' so what better way to spend a couple of days discovering some of the most amazing art by the most influential artists.
There are so many picturesque cities and towns in Tuscany and Umbria to discover. Head to San Gimignano and Volterra for medieval small town charm, Pisa for its leaning tower, and Lucca for its olive oil.
Book a Chianti wine tour and visit villages such as Castellina, Radda, and or Gaiole. Spend the day in the vineyards, take a tour of the winery, where you may even stomp your own grapes (September/October).
Siena is a place that cannot be missed on your travels through Tuscany. This preserved medieval city has old world charm that make it unique. Its checkerboard brick, the Romanesque-Gothic Duomo (Siena Cathedral), and the lack of vehicle traffic have tourists flocking to see the architecture and walk the streets of this unique Italian city. The event that draws the most tourists is the Palio (a horse race) that takes place in Piazza del Campo on July 2nd and August 16th.
For Tuscany and Umbria, you can fly to Peretola Florence Airport or Pisa Airport.
Peretola Airport (FLR) which was formerly known as Amerigo Vespucci Airport is located close to Florence, Italy and serviced by major international airline carriers.
Pisa International Airport PSA), formerly Galileo Galilei Airport and San Giusto Airport is located located in Pisa, Italy and serviced by major international airline carriers.
Check the following link for information on flights: www.kayak.com
Passport and Visa Requirements
We recommend that you travel with a passport. A visa is not required if you plan to visit for a few weeks. If your stay exceeds 90 days then applying for a visa is required. You can do at any police station while you are there.
The weather in Tuscany and Umbria is fairly mild in the coastal areas and with more rain in the interior. There can be considerable fluctuations in temperature between summer and winter. April, May, October, and November are the best times to visit, temperatures can reach to 23 degrees Celsius in the day and as low as 8 degrees Celsius at night. July and August are the hottest months with temperatures reaching 30 degrees Celsius.
Time zones: Central European Time, six hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time. Daylight savings time is observed from March to September.