Christmas time is finally here, and the Holiday season brings along a whole set of nice feelings and opportunities to enjoy a family winter trip. What about spending this special time of the year in one of the many beautiful Tuscan villas?
If you consider Tuscany to be just a destination for summer trips, think again! Winter time in Tuscany is just as rich of places to visit, things to do and local traditions to enjoy. At Christmas time the region becomes even more special with its artisan markets, decorated city streets and snow covered rooftops!
Prior to start searching for your home in Tuscany, however, you should know a thing or two about Tuscan villas. These properties can be stately manors with very high frescoed ceilings and stuccoed exterior walls, or more rustic stone wall accommodations, with wood beam and pillars ceilings and cotto floors. Both are charming and comfortable, and their size varies greatly. Some villas can accommodate more than 20 people at a pinch. More importantly, you should choose between the cozy, homelike feel of rustic villas and the more formal welcome of manors. Provided that both have all sorts of modern amenities and comforts, ask yourself which style suits your holiday needs.
The location of Tuscan villas also varies greatly. Some are located in the countryside, yet at the doors of Siena or Florence, some others are set on a hilltop surrounded by waving hills in all four directions. The fantastic thing is that in the worst case scenario you will never be more than a half hour away from groceries, shops and points of interest. A major urban center may be one hour away maximum. Wherever you pick your location you will be able to enjoy the city and the countryside at your leisure. This of course comes in handy also for daytrips and excursions, allowing you to make the best of your time. Consider that you can drive through Tuscany from north to south in just three hours. Siena, Pienza, San GImignano, Florence, Pisa, Lucca, just to mention a few, are convenient art and shopping centers.
For those who will depart to enjoy some splendid Tuscan villas for their winter holidays, here is an insider tip for you. Enjoy one or more of the splendidly kept thermal baths and spas that are spread all over the region. There are twelve major thermal water resorts, all with gorgeous indoor and outdoor swimming pools of continuously streaming hot water. The indoor facilities include Roman polls, baths, steam saunas, herbal vapors, aromatherapy showers, massages and any modern wellness treatment rooting back to the ancient Etruscan tradition. An extra tip is to be in the pool during the night opening hours, usually during weekends. If you are lucky enough to catch a snowfall while in the outdoor hot pool, it will be one unforgettable experience.
Matt is an Italian major and and avid traveler of the Tuscan region in Italy. He loves to explore it as often as he can, learning about the culture and the territory.