While Florence is often a privileged travel destination, more often than not the countryside is shadowed by the overwhelming coverage of this very famous Italian city.
Yet the countryside is reserves a wealth and richness of landscapes and unique tastes there for those who dare leave the limelight of traditional touristic itineraries and venture off into the majestic countryside of Tuscany.
Travelling to Tuscany from the south, before you approach Siena reserves many a pleasant surprise. Needless to say you’ll have to do this by car as public transportation will not allow the stops pr reach some o the destinations I have encountered during our travels.
The A1 motorway will signal Tuscany with the indications “Siena Bettolle” – that’s the call for your exit. Heading for Siena take indications for Rapolano Terme.
This less know location is a charming location and travel destination for those seeking relief from stress and everyday strain in the thermal baths – all this in the heart of this area of Tuscany known as the Crete Senesi (derived from the color of the soil). This area consists of a range of hills and woods with the comuni of Asciano, Buonconvento, Monteroni d’Arbia, San Giovanni D’Asso and of course Rapolano Terme.
From a gastronomical point of view this area of Tuscany is home to the white truffle you’ll dare to taste in fall.
This area is one rich in history. Historical records show how troops of the Roman Empire would regularly stop on their way to and from Rome: the thermal baths have been here for centuries.
In more recent times this areas was built up as a fortification of Siena form the south. One of these fortifications are just outside of Rapolano Terme – Laticastelli. Today Laticastelli is one of the most interesting village hotels in southern Tuscany. It has been rebuilt and restored to ancient beauty – a place with a character of it’s own on a hilltop with a proprietary park.
This hotel is particularly indicated to those travelling to Tuscany who are not on a budget, and prefer a more exclusive location without exaggerating in the pricing.
Golf and SPA Holidays in Tuscany
Countryside locations are typically more expensive and will require you travel with your own car but it is well worth the effort and extra cost – there are websites offering top quality cars at very competitive rates deeply discounted when compared to those traditional travel agencies may offer.
If you’re passionate about Golf this is a great area to spend some days as it is close to a number of golf courses all in Tuscany and at a reasonable drive:
- Castiglion del Bosco Golf Club
- Golf Club Casentino
- Royal Golf Club La Bagnaia
- Valdichiana Golf Club
Just to name a few of the numerous Golf Clubs populating Tuscany.
For those of you travelling to Tuscany for a relaxing holiday where quality is top priority on your list, country locations are probably the best fit where you’ll enjoy the spectacular surroundings in a quiet and relaxing lodging solutions.
If golf hits your fancy there are plenty of locations where you can play a quality game of golf.
Wine and food tasting go without saying: like I said this it the land of the white truffle.
La dolce vita is waiting for you in Tuscany!