Itineraries in Tuscany
ARGENTARIO AND PORTO SANTO STEFANO
The peninsula of Argentario is connected to the mainland by three strips of land one of which is man made and the other two are natural sand. The beautiful lagoon of Orbetello lies between them protecting an infinite variety of birds. There are two small towns on the peninsula, Porto Santo Stefano and Porto Ercole. You reach Villa The peninsula of Argentario is connected to the mainland by three strips of land one of which is man made and the other two are natural sand. The beautiful lagoon of Orbetello lies between them protecting an infinite variety of birds. There are two small towns on the peninsula, Porto Santo Stefano and Porto Ercole. You reach Villa Lividonia about 2km along the Via Panoramica. The town provides every necessity to make your holiday a success: all kinds of shops, supermarkets, hairdressers, beauty salons, etc. Between Porto Ercole and P.S: Stefano there is a brand new Spa, an eighteen hole golf course and a Polo field. Should you wish to vary your swimming you can choose to go to the public beaches of the Feniglia or the Giannella, the two sandy strips that connect Argentario to the mainland. For the more energetic there is the choice of taking one of the paths that go down to the rocky bays along the coast, a tough walk but well worth it for the wonderful swim in crystal clear water. If you like boating you can hire a Zodiac or a "Gozzo", the local small wooden motorboat for the day. There is no danger of tides and currents in the Mediterranean but be careful of the wind, it builds up a sea very quickly! Last but not least don't forget to visit the fish market in the port, it is the richest of the coast.
Monday is market day in Porto Ercole, the summer resort on the East coast of Argentario. A stroll through the market or a walk up to one of the Spanish fortifications that guard the small harbour is a pleasant way of spending a morning before going for a swim on the Feniglia beach. There you can also hire bicycles and ride deep into the umbrella pine tree forest and, with a picnic, choose your own private bit of sandy beach. In Porto Ercole you will find pretty little boutiques full of local colour and shops with the latest fashions, supermarkets and beauty salons and a warm hearted welcome from its inhabitants. To the night birds it offers any number of good bars and nightclubs along its waterfront and by the yachtMarina. While enjoying your cool drink you can watch any number of celebrities doing the same at the next table or strolling along the waterfront with their latest girlfriend.
THE ISLAND OF GIANNUTRI AND GIGLIO
There are daily ferries going to these two islands of the Tuscan archipelago. Giglio, the larger one of the two, has an enchanting miniature harbour surrounded by candy coloured houses. From there you can take a bus or a taxi to go to Giglio Castello, the village built at the very top of the island, where you can have lunch washed down with the famous Giglio wine. To the more energetic we advise a return to the harbour on foot: a lovely walk with magnificent vistas of the coast.
Orbetello lies on a spit of land between the two lagoons embraced by the Feniglia and the Giannella. A delightful town full of history, beautifully kept by its proud citizens and a wonderful shopping centre. Market day here is on Saturday and it’s huge, all along the waterfront, full of gayety and local colour. Orbetello has some very good restaurants and if you get hungry after a shopping spree you can get the most delicious ‘pizza al taglio’ (pizza by the piece) from one of the little shops and munch on it as you walk along the Corso looking, buying, chatting.
Maremma, land of brigands and Butteri (the local cow boys) stretches along the southern coast of Tuscany from Follonica to Capalbio and inland as far as Siena. Mistakenly overshadowed by Chianti, Maremma is an undiscovered treasure from it's coast and it's unspoiled ranges of hills, to it's ancient villages. Seat of the Etruscans, colonized by the Romans and later possessed by the Spaniards, Maremma boasts rich and varied cultural roots.
SOVANA AND PITIGLIANO
You arrive at Pitigliano suddenly, round a hairpin bend, a sight completely unexpected after an uneventful drive through gentle hills. Seemingly growing out of the rock, the village of Pitigliano is one of the most spectacular views of Maremma. Built in the middle ages it has it's own tiny ghetto cared for by the Jewish families dating back to goodness knows when. Underneath the town itself is a warren of passages and caves with huge stone silos' built to keep grain and wine. It is truly worth the fairly long but pleasant drive. From Pitigliano you can drive on to the VIE CAVE of Sovana. These are deep ways cut through the tufo rock by the Etruscans between the 4 th and 8 th century B.C. Sovana itself is a charming village, beautifully restored with a lovely Romanic Cathedral and Medieval Castle.
COSA CAPALBIO AND LAKE BURANO
A walk around the ruins of the ancient Roman city of Cosa above the fashionable resort of Ansedonia is an idyllic way of spending a sunny morning. You will meet deer, see the hoopoes flitting among the century old olive trees and wander through fields of asphodel. From there you can drive to Capalbio for lunch at one of the restaurants on the double circle of medieval walls. For the nature lovers we advise a tour of the Lake of Burano to see the local wildlife as well as the flamingos that winter there.
MONTALCINO, SANT'ANTIMO AND BANFI CASTLE VINEYARD
Montalcino is a charming little walled town beautifully positioned above vine and olive groves. It is famed for it's red wine, the remarkable Brunello di Montalcino. Mingling the sacred with the profane we advise a drive to the peaceful solitude of the Abbey of Sant'Antimo, a breathtaking church founded by Charlemagne. The soaring nave and the translucent alabaster columns are a perfect setting for the Gregorian chants sung by the monks. You can come down to earth again by going to Castello Banfi for an excellent lunch accompanied by their delicious wines. The Castle also has a shop selling all their home grown products.