Time to start planning the next summer holiday? When it comes to travelling, Italy is a destination with plenty to offer and is one of the most popular countries for tourists in Europe. Famous for its excellent art, culture, history and cuisine, the country has much to explore and discover, no matter what you want to get out of your experience travelling. Italy is a country blessed with some of the world’s most beautiful cities and best museums, but for those interested in a little more local culture, the delightful region of Tuscany can be a treasure trove of discovery.
Despite being very famous for its art, architecture, food and wine, Tuscany is also well known throughout the world for its fabulous shopping. The larger cities of Florence and Siena are home to many designer brand boutiques and high street stores, but also to smaller local craft shops and wonderful markets, too. Many big fashion brands were born in Italy and there are countless outlets in Tuscany selling all manner of fashionable items, perfect for the shopaholic.
For those interested in authentic local products, the region has many it can lay claim to, which make great souvenirs to take home. Volterra, in Southern Tuscany is home to many Travel italy alabaster factories and Montelupo Fiorentino is the place to go to buy local ceramics. Scarperia, in the Mugello Valley, is famous for its production of bespoke knives, while in Casetino, you will stumble upon many shops selling the ‘panno casentinese’, the typical orange wool of the region.
Foodies will have a wonderful time while in Tuscany travelling. Italy is, of course, world renowned for its culinary delights, and Tuscany is at the very heart of this. Local markets thrive and it is easy to get yourself lost in the sights, sounds, tastes and smells of any one of them. Florence’s main market is enormous and it is easy to spend a whole morning here, marvelling at the fresh fruit and vegetables, cured meats and wonderful cheeses too. Homemade pastas in all shapes and sizes and fresh sauces can all be tasted and bought as well.
The quintessential Italian cheese, known as pecorino, comes from a tiny village, named Pienza, but if your tastes run to something a little meatier you simply must try the lardo from Colonnata, which is cured to perfection. Lucca is the hometown of Pan Buccellato, which is a delicious sweet fruit bread, and there is no shortage of diverse olive oils that can be sampled throughout the region.