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In marked contrast to the frenetic cities of Milan and Rome, a break in Tuscany offers a chance to really relax and enjoy the beautiful Italian landscape. Tuscany has something for everyone with its amazing architecture, pretty villages, wonderful art and culture and mile upon mile of gorgeous countryside.

Tuscany sits right at the very heart of Italy, and covers an area that starts at the pretty Tyrrhenian Sea coast and stretches right across to the western edge of the imposing Apennine Mountains. Home to some of the most famous cities in the world - including Pisa and Florence - it can be hard to decide where to explore first. The gorgeous region boasts perfect terrain for hikers and cyclists, and of course sailors can explore the coast (and its many islands) by boat.

Culture vultures will find themselves in heaven. Tuscany is home to a huge variety of museums and art galleries that hold some of the most treasured paintings and sculptures every produced. Pictures by genius artists such as Donatello, Da Vinci, Michelangelo and Giotto are very much in evidence, and the architecture in this part of the world provides the perfect backdrop to the wealth of artistic talent displayed there. To visit Florence is to feel that you have stepped into a picture by one of the great painters, so magical is the light, and so ornate the buildings.

While rolling hills are often the first thing to spring to mind when thinking of Tuscany, it also has a delightful coastline with huge swathes of clean golden sand lapped by crystal clear azure waters, and is a lovely place to stay with a young family as the waters are both warm and safe.

Rome and Milan may be the home to the top fashion designers and shops in the world but if you are looking for a taste of the real Italy, Tuscany is for you. Siena and Florence have wonderful, regular street markets simply bursting with delicious produce, plus traditional arts and crafts that you will want to buy and treasure for years to come.

Whether you crave a ‘get away from it all’ break in the countryside, an active hiking or cycling holiday, a chance to explore some of the world’s greatest art masterpieces, a luxurious break in a centuries old villa or the classic sun, sea and sand combination, you will find everything you are looking for, and more, in Tuscany.

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