With five airports and so much that just must not be missed, this is the ideal region for a fly-drive holiday. So jump in, buckle up and explore. Journey through time from Paleolithic archaeological sites in Cetona, through the splendour of Ancient Rome in the capital and Pompeii, pass through medieval times in San Gimignano - full costume optional, revel in the splendour of the renaissance in Florence, Pisa, Siena and Lucca or live in the moment and enjoy all the hustle and bustle that modern Italy has to offer. Then go off road and enjoy the natural beauty of the rolling Tuscan hills, the quiet forests of Elba and the clear Mediterranean Sea.
Tuscany, Central Italy & Elba
At a Glance
How can there by so much beauty, art and history in one place? Tuscany, Central Italy and Elba are full to the brim with natural and manmade splendour, with rolling hills, scented pine forests and medieval villages, elegant renaissance towns and the magnificent cities of Rome, Florence and Siena. There is plenty to explore and plenty to admire – and no time to waste!
Experience the serenity of the Tuscan Hills and the chaos of rush hour in Rome, strain your neck to take in the Leaning Tower of Pisa or lie back on white sandy Elban beach, marvel at the architecture of Lucca or the Colosseum in Rome, or at the choice of flavours in a Roman gelataria. Whisper in the Cistine Chapel or scream as you hurtle down the waterslide in Aqua Village. Gasp as the horses thunder around the streets of Siena or sigh as you rest your weary legs and take your first sip of chilled Chianti. Make a wish at the Trevi fountain to come back soon.
There’s plenty of hearty country food to enjoy in Tuscany; classic pasta smothered in rich sauce, marinated steaks, suckling pig, fresh crusty bread and cheese. Head for the coast for fresh seafood - if you’re in Elba you can try the famous stuffed sardines or cuttlefish risotto. And, if you fancy more elegant dining, there are plenty of excellent restaurants to choose from, in a region where even cooking is an art form. The local Chianti goes well with most dishes - wherever you choose to eat.
This medieval hilltop town is said to be the birthplace of the skyscraper and once boasted 72 towers, as wealthy families vied to build the tallest. There are fewer towers now but still plenty of opportunities to crane your neck as you wander around.
This ancient port is one of the best preserved Roman towns in Italy. Soak up the history in the Forum of Corporations where 61 maritime offices are arranged around a great temple, each identified with its own descriptive mosaic - it’s particularly magical at sunset.
If you think this building is stunning from the outside – just wait til you get inside! This renaissance masterpiece with its magnificent octagonal dome took almost 200 years to complete and it is just exquisite.
There is beauty around every corner in Florence – from the Piazza Della Signoria to the famous Ponte Vecchio. And, if you want even more beautiful things to look at, spend some time with the masterpieces at the Uffizi.
They say all roads lead to Rome – and so they should! Italy’s bustling capital is crammed full of history and beauty, with so much to discover. The Colosseum, the Pantheon, the Vatican, St Peter’s Basilica, the Trevi Fountains - it’s an endless list in this eternal city.