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Exploring Tuscany
(Florence – Siena – Arezzo)
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The Chianti area
(Castles, villages & wine cellars)
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Biking & Hiking
Web
Golfing in Tuscany
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Shopping & Outlets

Surroundings & Sightseeing: Activities & Guided Tours

EXPLORING TUSCANY,
its art and areas of interest

Our Chianti farm, located in the heart of Tuscany, nestling among the provinces of Siena, Arezzo and Florence, and the splendid hills that trademark your holiday, is ideal for visiting the most famous sites: artistic, cultural and historical sites, all Italian style.

Explore the majestic rolling countryside, vineyards, ancient walled towns and architecture. Visit Siena, Florence, Arezzo and many other historic towns and rural villages. You will find all this within about an hour’s drive!

In our common room you can find lots of information to consult, and we will be happy to recommend and assist you in planning your daily excursions and guided tours to the main cities of art or hidden Tuscan treasures!

FLORENCE

Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany. Florence is famous for its history. It is considered the birthplace of the Renaissance and has been called the Athens of the Middle Ages. Every year, masses of Italian and foreign tourists come to admire its churches, magnificent palazzos, the many museums and the famous Ponte Vecchio lined with quaint goldsmiths shops.

The historic city centre reflects the great relevance of the town in terms of architecture. Many buildings date back to the period from the late Middle Ages right up the rule of the Medici in the 15th and 16th centuries. The scientific and cultural power of the town is still evident today. Among the many monuments and works of art to visit, there are the paintings of Michelangelo, the Uffizi Gallery, a prominent art museum, and the Loggia della Signoria.

The city is located in a lovely valley surrounded by hills and crossed by the River Arno, and its charm is present in the surrounding area, such as the hamlet of Fiesole.

The historic centre of Florence was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1982.

SIENA

The medieval Gothic city and former city state is known as one of the most beautiful cities of Italy and is situated amidst an enchanting Tuscan landscape.

Siena is a walled city of houses built on narrow streets that radiate warmth from the colour of the red bricks, out of which almost all the buildings have been built.

The impressing harmony of beautiful buildings, medieval squares and idyllic alleys invites visitors to take a walk into history, a magical journey through time.

Its famous and probably the most beautiful square of Italy, Piazza del Campo, is an unusual shell-shaped square in which the world-known Palio, an exciting horse race, takes place twice a year in July and August.

The square is still the centre of public life and in the evening hours the atmosphere here is simply dazzling and a “must” that provides an experience you cannot miss.

Besides the Piazza del campo, probably the most vivid memory you will have is those of the particular colours of the walls and roofs, the warm “Terra di Siena”  shade that makes a walk through the city a pleasurable, harmonious experience.

Siena attracts many tourists because of its wonderful monuments and its numerous masterpieces to admire in its museums. Some great artists were born here, such as Duccio di Buoninsegna and Nicola Pisano, who worked on the greatest masterpiece in Siena: the “Duomo”, the great cathedral of the town.

The historic city centre reflects the great relevance of the town in terms of architecture. Many buildings date back to the period from the late Middle Ages right up the rule of the Medici in the 15th and 16th centuries. The scientific and cultural power of the town is still evident today.

Among the many monuments and works of art to visit, there are te paintings of Michelangelo, the Uffizi Gallery, a prominent art museum, and the Loggia della Signoria.

The city is located in a lovely valley surrounded by hills and crossed by the River Arno, and its charm is present in the surrounding area, such as the hamlet of Fiesole.

The historic centre of Siena has been declared by UNESCO a World Heritage Site.

Arezzo

Arezzo is an historic medieval city situated right in the heart of Tuscany and the capital of the province with the same name.

Arezzo and its Piazza Grande became famous the world over in Benigni’s Oscar-winning film Life is Beautiful.

Described as one of the Etruscan capitals, Arezzo is believed to have been one of the twelve most important Etruscan cities. Even though the Medieval center was destroyed during the World War II, Arezzo has plenty of monuments, churches and museums remaining that offer its visitors a chance to step back into history.

Among the many attractions is the sloping Piazza Grande with the Church of Santa Maria della Pieve and the monumental Palazzo delle Logge.

The city became rich because of its handicrafts, especially the famous Aretine Vases and its still vibrant jewelers industry.

During the first weekend of the month, Arezzo hosts the most important antiques fair in Italy with more than 500 traders.

The CHIANTI Area

Located along the Chianti roads, our Agri Resort La Forra is the ideal starting point for excursions into this area, one the most beautiful in Tuscany. The Chianti region offers enchanting villages, Romanesque churches, monasteries and majestic castles, such as for example, the historic Castle of Meleto, which is only a 15 minute-drive away from our farmhouse. Of course we have a good neighborly relations with various wineries to recommend you for a tasting.

The most popular villages of the Chianti Classico, like Radda in Chianti, Castellina in Chianti and Gaiole in Chianti are a short drive away.

In addition to the various points of historical and cultural interest such as the Rocca di Castellina you will find several shops selling local products and souvenirs for all tastes. Various viewpoints offer magnificent panoramas and stunning views of the surrounding hills and vineyards, an intensively coloured landscape, which takes on a golden appearance in autumn.

The whole area is much loved also for bike tours and the historic cycling competition Eroica takes place on the Chianti roads takes place in Gaiole every year at the beginning of October.

Biking & Hiking

The landscape of Tuscany is a work of art in itself, known throughout the world and portrayed by innumerable artists. Sunflowers, cypress boulevards, rolling hills, ancient castles and farmhouses, sloping vine and olive groves are just a few of the images that come to mind when you think of Tuscany.

All these features distinguish our region. The Tuscan countryside, its hills and forests are an invitation to different sports, long walks, hiking or cycling tours.

Hiking

One of the most marvelous aspects of Tuscany is its landscape: a precious jewel that enhances the value of this region even more. You can explore Tuscany by hiking from one path to another participating in one of the many guided trekking tours or adventure out on your own, following the many interesting hiking trails marked by the Italian Alpine Club and leading you to one-of-a-kind panoramas you may appreciate from those secret corners that can't be discovered otherwise. The itineraries of the Italian Alpin Club can be downloaded for tours all over the region. Listen to the sounds of nature, enjoy the Tuscan sun and the fresh air.

Biking

Bike Rental: If you want to go for your own, we can assist you in renting a bike to explore our splendid surroundings, maps are available! You can choose between different types of bicycles, suitable for all requirements. The bikes can be delivered and picked up at our farmhouse. The transport, helmets, bike locks, advices and GPS tracks are included in the rental price. Guided bike tours: In addition we have a special service for all our guests who want to discover the surrounding area by taking a guided biking tour: La Forra has an excellent collaboration with a professional and fully licensed company organizing guided tours through the wonderful landscape surrounding our farmhouse. The breathtaking adventures may be full day or half-day tours with various destinations and sightings and do not require any special preparation.

GOLFING IN TUSCANY

If Golf is one of your passions and represents your lifestyle, Tuscany is the right place for whoever wants to practice this sport: thanks to the mild climate you will have the opportunity to play golf in this region all year round. Tuscany offers a wide range of golf courses with different environments, and particular landscapes and suitable for both, beginners and experienced players.

Tuscany has some of Italy’s finest golf courses and we will be glad to provide you with a complete list of golf clubs a reasonable driving distance away from our farmhouse

The closest one is in Cavriglia, only a ten-minute drive away. It is one of the smaller ones, only a 6 holes course, but it will be expanded soon and it is very nicely located and well run.
18-hole courses are about a 40 – 70 minute drive, close to Siena and Florence or also Arezzo. They have a training field, a putting green, a pitching green, a chipping green, a training bunker, a pro shop, bar and restaurant.

We will be happy to provide all necessary information!

Shopping & Outlets

Italian fashion, factory shops, outlets and markets

Italy is the quintessential country of style and fashion and famous names like Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, Prada or Fendi are some of its most popular brands.

Tuscany has a long history of “style and fashion” ; for example Lucca owes its richness to the ancient tradition of its trade with precious drapery, coming partly from the Orient.

In Prato, close to Florence, the tradition of weaving drapery dates back to the Middle Ages and along the Arno you will find the leather tannery with its traditional handcraft. Florence is the city where many fashion designers live, while Arezzo is famous for its goldsmiths and jewelry stores.

Tuscany offers excellent shopping opportunities and interesting outlets, a real treasure for fans of high quality clothes and accessories looking for convenient prices and special offers.

The factory shop of Prada is of only 15 minute- drive from La Forra. Various outlets are situated in the south east of Florence and in the area of Arezzo, such as the Valdichiana Outlet offering all you could possibly want for a good shopping tour.

Beside there are the weekly markets, and also some everyday markets in the bigger cities like Florence, the market of “San Lorenzo” and “Mercato Nuovo”.

Here you can buy at quite competitive prices, and it may be interesting to try to haggle over the price. Some market stalls also offer high quality items, but these are quoted at the same price as in an ordinary shop.

According to the size of the market you will find a wide range of clothes, drapery, shoes, bags and household articles. Often you will find also flowers and plants, fruit and vegetables, as well as meat and cheese.

We have collected a list of interesting addresses of outlets and factory shops at your disposal in our common room and we can assist you if you want to have an English speaking guide to accompany you.

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