Europe, named after goddess Europa, has countries and cities that epitomize the pinnacle of human excellence. The continent is filled with beautiful sites – natural and manmade. There are many cultures and languages to experience and varied cuisine to enjoy.
Travel across Europe is facilitated by the fact that countries in the EU share the same currency and cross-border travel is hassle free. A short train journey will have you in a new country, with new sights and a different language to experience. Western Europe, Scandinavia, Eastern Europe, and the Mediterranean nations welcome tourists to share their ancient civilizations and modern culture.
Beautiful Part of the Italy: Tuscany
Greece and Italy are the proud forbearers of Western civilization. The Parthenon, Acropolis, Agora, the Colosseum, and ancient amphitheatres are just some of the remnants of a bygone age that still attract and enthral. Greece is an archipelago of more than 6,000 islands. Italy offers beautiful walking trails along the vineyards along the Ligurian Sea. A visit to Italy is an opportunity to visit the Vatican and maybe catch a glimpse of the Pope. Both countries have some of the best beaches in the world. Fresh fish, fresh fruits, cheese and wines characterize the cuisine of these lands.
France is yet another nation that holds high the banner of European civilization. Its museums, cuisine, art, and fashion are followed and imitated all over the world. The French Alps are the byword for a chilled and sophisticated holiday. Provence attracts with its quaint weekly markets, the villages of Luberon perched at heights are an idyllic getaway. The beaches of Saint Tropez offer sunshine, clear waters, and beautiful weather for sunning and relaxing. And of course, there’s Paris – the most romantic city in the world. The Eiffel Tower with its sweeping views of the city, the Champs –Elysees, the Louvre, and many other sights make Paris one of the world’s greatest cities to visit.
The Iberian Peninsula is the land of explorers and discoverers. Portugal and Spain are the cultural descendents of the ancient Iberians. Portugal, with its rolling hills, cork trees, winding roads, and world famous wine offers a unique experience. From sea to snow, Portugal is a beautiful country. Spain is a diverse country made up of Andalusia, Catalonia, and the Basque region. Each region has its own cuisine, language, drinks, costume, and architecture. You can ski in the Pyrenees, watch a bullfight in Pamplona, admire art in Barcelona, check out Moorish influences in Cordoba, go bar hopping pretty much anywhere and enjoy tapas, and visit the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao.
Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Iceland and Finland are the strongholds of Viking civilization. These countries with their fjords, hot water springs, icebergs, Northern Lights, clean streets, and picturesque villages are the highlights of these countries.
Once upon a time, the sun never set on the British Empire. Today, the United Kingdom is one of the most visited tourist destinations in the world. Its beautiful shires and counties, many of which are familiar to readers invite people with their castles, cottages, rolling hills, and museums. London is the nation’s premier attraction with its many restaurants, bars, concert arenas, and art galleries. The Tower of London, a walk along the Thames, theatre at West End are just some of the many attractions here.
Head over to Germany for fairytale castles, the best beer in the world, and super rides on the autobahn. Enjoy beautiful music at the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, visit the cathedral of Cologne, and the St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague. The onion domes of Russia, clean rivers in Lithuania, typical Ukranian cuisine, and the hidden wonders of Latvia are but the tip of the proverbial iceberg.
Tuscany – Italy Holidays in 2018
You can choose any one country for a vacation, or even a region of a given country, like Tuscany in Italy.
Tuscany, in central Italy, is a beautiful region known for its relaxed vibes, rich history, and superb food. A holiday in Tuscany is an opportunity to spend time pursuing elegant activities and recharging your batteries.
This jewel in central Italy beckons lovers of art and history. If you appreciate culture then this place teems with examples of architecture that will appeal to your refined senses. Under the Tuscan sun, you can enjoy with family, friends, or even as a solo traveller. Visit the walled city of San Gimignano. Siena, the medieval town holds many a secret of intrigue and developments in arts and science that it will willingly share with the diligent traveller. Do go there. The San Casciano dei Bagni complex, which is nearby, is a famed spa that rejuvenates the body and spirits of travellers.
Spend time in Florence, the capital and one of the best cities to explore for art enthusiasts. It is the highlight of any visit to Tuscany, and some would say to Italy. The Medici family that ruled Florence has left behind many marvels of architecture. A walk at the Ponte Vecchio and a visit to The Dome are must dos when visiting Florence. Check out the art of renaissance masters at the Uffizi Gallery. Pay homage to the brilliance of Michelangelo and Boticelli. You can spend a whole afternoon in this gallery and still not cover all that is on display. There’s more brilliance on display in this gallery than in entire cities.
Check out the sun-kissed vineyards of Chianti. It is a beautiful region for long hikes. Dive into the clear blue of the Mediterranean – snorkel or go scuba diving. Visit the world-famous marble quarries of Cararra. The cuisine of the region reflects its geographical diversity. Panzanella, Chianti – the region’s wine, bean soup, pizzas, and steaks are just some of the delicacies for which Tuscany is justifiably famous.
If you’re visiting Tuscany, make sure that you have a separate plan in place for Florence. This city has given the world many of its greatest painters and sculptors. These include Donatello and Michelangelo. This city is a delight when explored on foot. You never know where the cobbled streets may take you. There is always a plaza to walk into. There are fountains to stand and admire. Walk into a coffee shop and taste coffee like how Florentines make it. Brunelleschi’s dome, which towers over other buildings, is the most distinctive feature across the city’s skyline. Located in the middle of the Piazza del Duomo is the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, a place visited by tourists and the devout. You may want to make this plaza the starting point of your travels in Florence.
The Ponte Vecchio, across the Arno River, will take you to the Palazzo Pitti. This palace was once the home of the Medici family. Today, it’s a world famous art gallery housing works of masters such as Raphael. The Boboli Gardens are a short distance away and are considered to be a fine example of the Italian garden. The garden offers visitors a beautiful panorama of the city. Feast your eyes on some of the greatest works by Michelangelo at the Basilica San Lorenzo. If all the walking and feasting on arts makes you hungry, you can always saunter into a cafe for some delicious tomato soup, steak, or the famous cured ham that is a Tuscan specialty. The people of Tuscany are known for their sense of style. Check out the latest fashion here, and sport it before the rest of the world does. Hire a scooter and travel in style like locals.
Florence attracts nearly 8 million tourists a year, and with good reason. Winters do not last long, and cheerful Mediterranean weather will keep you from getting tired. Since Florence is a popular tourist destination, it is advisable to plan your visit so that you can enjoy the sights, especially places where you are supposed to buy tickets. Book in advance.