Tuscany Villas

Written by Liza Hartung
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Tuscany, Italy is as easy to fall in love with as a fuzzy puppy and as memorable as your first kiss. There's a certain seduction to this northern Italian town that draws you in and makes you never want to leave. Perhaps it's the culture with its family-oriented way of life and utter enjoyment of all things great and small. Perhaps it's the perfect glass of vino with a tasty dish and the backdrop of the fading sun.

Whatever reasons people have to visit Tuscany for the first time, they leave with bigger reasons to return. It's easy to have a kind of love affair with Tuscany. It's as romantic as Romeo and Juliet and as rich with culture as Devil's Food Cake is with chocolate. The people are warm and friendly and the atmosphere is inviting. The one thing that can make your vacation absolutely perfect is where you stay.

Whether you choose to stay in a cottage, a small villa or a castle, you will certainly get the most out of Tuscany. I generally recommend that people stay away from the chain hotels. You'll be able to experience more of the culture that way. Imagine how cozy it would be to stay at a family villa. The grandmother checks you in, the son cooks your food, the mother takes you on a tour of vineyards.

Finding Lodgings for You

Finding the perfect place to stay in Tuscany is as simple as logging on to the Internet and searching around. You'll get to read about places, see photos and find out if places are offering special deals. If you're traveling during the off-season, you're likely to find some great prices, especially if you go during the months of January or February.

Try finding a place with a great view. If you reserve a room without a great view because it's a little bit cheaper, you'll kick yourself the moment you arrive in Tuscany. You'll want every minute of your stay to be spent soaking up the natural beauty of your surroundings. One of the greatest things about Tuscany is that it's surrounded by some of the most wonderful cities and towns in Italy.

Just a short train ride down the road brings you to the historical artistic Renaissance center of Florence. Among the many brilliant works of architecture and famous museums, you'll find quaint restaurants and street-side gelato shops. When you find that you can't possibly bear another mouthful of banana and chocolate gelati, stop by the Uffizi Gallery.

The Art of Florence

The Uffizi Gallery is home to artistic masterpieces created between the 13th and 18th centuries. You'll find works by such geniuses as Leonardo da Vinci, Botticelli, Michelangelo, Raphael and Rembrandt. Just a short walk from the Uffizi Gallery leads you to the Academy Gallery, home to Michelangelo's famous marble sculpture "David." It's bigger than you'd ever imagined. The whole thing looms over you.

You can spend several days simply walking around Florence. Imagine spending an entire day looking at art, filling your tummy with mouth-watering food and then taking the train back to your villa, which is surrounded by green trees and golden rolling hills. A perfect way to end the day is with a glass of wine and the view from your porch.

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