Well, if you taking the time and effort (and expense) to come to Tuscany, you probably have a fair idea of what´s on offer. So we won´t preach to the converted.
Needless to say that at Patrignone you are on the doorstep of the greatest concentration of art treasures in the World. I don't doubt you will visit a museum or two, see a stunning church or two, and visit your fair share of beautiful medieval hill-top towns. It goes without saying.
Want a head start? Try these views of Florence...
However, do make sure you spend some time seeing a little of the parts of Tuscany that aren´t crowded with tourists. Go to a morning market and buy fresh fruit and veg, great fresh fish and hunt for those bargain Italian shoes. Take a picnic into our woods, or sit with a bottle of wine out in the olive groves as sun sets, hoping to spot deer or wild boar. Go to some of the open air hot bubbling springs and soak your body in the same sulphurous waters the ancient Etruscans lounged in (many of them free).
In the following sections we hope to give you a seasonal guide to stuff to do that´s a little off the beaten track.
Just don't try to do it all – leave something for next time.
a) Fly to Washington DC for a holiday to the USA, spend a day in the Smithsonian, next day visit the Empire State Building, then the next day take a day-trip to Boston? DO you think you would get a good picture of that Washington DC is like?
b) Fly to London for a UK holiday, spend day 1 at the Tower of London, day 2 at Caterbury Catherderal, day 3 at the Roman Baths in Bath and Stonehenge, day 4 at the <ondon Museums, etc...?
Of course, a lot of people go on holiday and follow exactly these kinds of schedules, crazy as it sounds. They are payiing a lot of money to travel long distances, and they feel like they should see as much as they can.
But they will go home more tired than they left, and they memory of what they've seen will be a blur. Only their photos will remind them what they have seen, and they will take back no memories of local people they have met, no experiences that will touch and enrich their lives.
If you want to come to Tuscany and just see the sights, that's OK. But if you want a deeper experience of Tuscany and all it has to offer, maybe you should talk to us first before you plan your ten-stops-in-ten-days tour.
In this section I am going to try and list the places our guests have raved about that are off the beaten track. We'll add to this as you find your own secret spots...
There are lots of lovely beaches less than a couple of hours away, certainly within easy reach for a day-trip.
If you want a list of our favourites, here they are.
For a more comprehensive list of Italy's blue-flag beaches, try here.
Here is a short-list of some of the things you can do while you are here. If you want more info on any of there, just drop us a line.
Finding things for kids to do in Tuscany ain't easy. We know: we live here all year around and it's not always easy to keep the little tykes happy. Of course, this totally depends on the ages of your kids, and how difficult they are! But here are a few suggestions:
I've put most of these on my GoogleMap and I'll keep this updated. If you have any other suggestions, let me know!
If you are looking to explore the hidden delights of Tuscany on foot, what better way than to join up with some lovely friends of ours who organise 1-week walking tours using Patrignone as their base. See their website for more information.
The weather in Tuscany can vary from dry heat in the summer to icy winds and snow in the winter. The summer months are reliably warm and sunny, and because we are high in the hills, the temperature at Patrignone is noticably cooler than the heat of Florence (usually 2-5°C cooler, 3-9°F). We often get a lovely cool breeze in the evening.
If you are interested in more detailed figures...
If you drive into the historical centre of either town you are likely to get a surprise on your credit card bill in the months ahead. Look for the cameras and the warning signs, and be prepared to back off even if there is traffic behind you. ZTL’s operate in Pisa too.
Here's a list I'm trying to put together, mainly because I love fireworks and keep missing them. Curses.
OK. I grant you this is not a big list yet, but if you have eents I can add, please email them to me. Most weekends I see or hear firework displays (and not little ones either) from a long way off. It would be nice to be a bit closer to them every now and then, but I keep missing them! Help.
See our listing on VRBO