Posts Tagged ‘Escape’

Holiday Rentals – a Tuscan Escape

There’s something very special about Tuscany. Not only does the region abound with incredible history, delicious local produce and no less than six UNESCO World Heritage Sites, but it also exudes a very special charm. A sort of intangible elixir – a sense of well-being. One deep breath of Tuscan air and it feels like you’ve arrived home. Holiday rentals here are the real deal.

That feeling pervades in the historical cities themselves – Florence, Siena and Pisa. It’s difficult not to get caught up in the architecture of the region – from the austerity of the Duomo di Siena with its chastising papal gargoyles, to the Gothic lines of Florence’s central edifices. It’s living history – find holiday rentals in the depths of the cities and you will get a true taste.

For the real magic to work though, you need to leave the bustling centres for the tranquillity of the Tuscan countryside. It’s here that you’ll find the pearls of the region such as San Gimignano and the Val D’orcia. It’s here that you’ll stumble across holiday rentals in secluded olive groves and abandoned monasteries. It’s here that you’ll forget about the real world.

And it’s not that difficult to discover this little bit of Eden for yourself. There are many holiday rentals available to hire in the region – whether you want a hilltop olive farm with stunning views across Tuscan countryside or a romantic stone cottage backing onto fields of sunflowers – you can find your perfect holiday rentals hideaway. Once you’ve found it though, you just might not want to come back…

Free reprint article written by Olly Symonds

Copyright © 2008 Olly Symonds. All rights reserved.

Olly Symonds is the joint founder of One Off Places, a holiday property rentals website specifically geared towards individual and one-off style properties. Launched in 2007 it offers users the chance to search for exactly what they want on their holiday, whether it’s a secluded farmhouse, a penthouse apartment or a luxury villa.

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San Gimignano is a small medieval town, built on top of a hill like so many other Tuscan towns in Italy. It is mainly famous for its medieval architecture, especially its towers which may be seen from several kilometres outside the town. The “town of the tall towers” is one of the best-preserved medieval towns in Tuscany. In the 13th century, the town had unbelievable 76 (!) towers, from which 13 are still preserved until today. The towers were used as part of the fortification of the town, but they were also built as status symbol from wealthy inhabitants before the 13th century. Please see also the videos taken from “Torre Grossa”:

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Vacation Europe’s Grape Escape to Italy’s Festivale Stampa Di Toscana

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Vacation Europe’s Grape Escape to Italy’s Festivale Stampa Di Toscana

Pompano Beach, FL (PRWEB) March 8, 2006

BOCA RATON, FL — (PRWEB) March 8, 2006 — Parties, shopping and sightseeing revolve around a harvest festival — Festivale Stampa di Toscana — organized solely for the visitors, based in the ancient spa town of Montecatini in northwest Tuscany, between Lucca and Florence.

Decked out in traditional grape-treading regalia, visitors will stomp grapes under the tutelage of locals: photo ops galore and the kind of fun that most people would think could happen only in the movies. At a party in the private castle of a celebrated vineyard the night before the Stampa, amid music and dancing to a live band, participants learn the history of stamping and the age-old techniques that begin the wine-making for each year. Each visitor receives a gift of three personally labeled bottles of Chianti.

Parties — at the hotel in Montecatini, at traditional Tuscan restaurants, at three vineyards including the ancestral home of Nicholo Machiavelli — provide unlimited food and wine. At one luncheon party, a leading Tuscan chef shows how to prepare the traditional dishes being served. Winners of prizes for the Best Grape Stamper, Best Stampa Stomper, Most Original Style of Stamping and other wacky contests are presented in the estate house of a second leading vineyard at an evening dinner party.

Sightseeing includes excursions to Pisa to see the Leaning Tower and to Lucca for its medieval mansions and palaces, orientation in Montecatini, and in the Chianti region to Siena and San Gimignano. One afternoon is given to shopping the factory outlets around Florence — the likes of Fendi, Prada, Gucci and Armani are represented — and a free day in Florence provides independent shopping and sightseeing.

Departures are scheduled September 18 and 25 and October 2 and 9 on British Airways, via London to Bologna or Pisa, from New York’s JFK airport & Newark with an optional 2 night extension to Rome; add-on fares are available from British Airways’ 18 other gateways. Cost per person, double occupancy, is $ 2989 at the four-star Grand Hotel Croce di Malta. The prices cover round-trip air transportation, accommodation, airport-hotel transfers, breakfast daily and 5 dinners including wine in the hotel and local restaurants and festival functions at three wineries, sightseeing and the services of local Vacation Europe staff and guides.

Reservations and additional information can be obtained from Country Cottages, Inc., d/b/a Vacation Europe, 2300 Corporate Blvd., N.W. #214, Boca Raton, FL 33431; telephone (800) 674-8883 or (561) 988-4000; fax (561) 988-0016; Website:

Contact Karen Parker 561-988-4000


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