Tuscany is filled with historically-rich and fine-looking sites. Regarded as the origin for the Renaissance, there are impressive museums and architecture throughout the area, showcasing the most excellent examples of Italian art and culture. Not only is it a centre for history, but it is also home to the most unique and picturesque locations. It is the setting for one of our most beautiful yoga retreats, the ideal place for tranquillity. We would like to provide you with possibilities beyond the usual tourist traps and introduce you to the most authentic and rustic areas of Tuscany.

Vast green hills in dusky sunset.

Elba

A serene island just off Piombino, Elba is renowned for its underwater beauty and is a prevalent destination for scuba divers. The beautiful island is included in the National Park of the Tuscan Archipelago. Collectively, Elba and eight other islands make up the biggest marine park in Europe. The effect of the stunning clear sea is therapeutic, and the exquisiteness comparable to Caribbean destinations. Not only does the island have beautiful coastal surroundings, but it is also fantastic for hiking in the luscious countryside. Monte Perone is a mesmerising walk, and the cable car to Monte Capanne is the tallest part of the island. Here you can witness the most breath-taking of views.

Elba.

Garfagnana

Not far from the admired Italian city of Lucca, Garfagnana is a stunning province in the North West of Tuscany. The Serchio River flows throughout the area, and the region has a striking backdrop of the Apian Alps and Apennines. Its main attraction is the thriving valleys, overflowing with vivid greenery and plants. The contrast of the soft villages and strong mountain scenery creates a distinct comparison of beauty between the two. The most mythical and enticing place to visit is the Wind Cave, the ghost town of Vagli di Sotto and Devil’s Bridge in Borgo. This area will deliver endless, magical adventures for the intrepid explorer.

Garfagnana.

San Gimignano

In particular, absorbing the 14 tower skyline. Originally consisting of over 70 towers, the intimidating spikes are mesmerising, especially in front of a roaring, red sunset. Initially an ancient Etruscan base, the Church acquired the hilltop town after the collapse of the Roman Empire. Construction of beautiful Christian buildings began throughout the area and the place transformed into a residence of poets and pilgrims. It is the ideal location to authentically experience Tuscany in the medieval period, preserved in great condition by UNESCO restoration.

San Gimignano.

Medici Villas and Gardens

Even the mighty Medici family needed a break from the busy city of Florence by escaping to this hillside area. The impressive villas, that were built by the family, are nestled in acres of lush parks and faultless gardens. Villa di Poggio a Caiano, is regarded as the most magnificent of the summer villas and located in the middle of Pistoia and Florence. The others should not be overlooked however, such as the Villa di Castello. The scenery is exquisite, consisting of terraced gardens and intricate statues and fountains.

Close up of pretty blue flowers.

Pitigliano

From a distance, Pitigliano has the gripping illusion that it extends up from the sheer edge of the hillside. Another place originally founded by Etruscan heritage, buildings are formed from brick and stone. The stable structures create a unique town with the most rustic charisma. The site is referred to as ‘Little Jerusalem’ and has an extensive Jewish history. It was an escape for Jewish people from Roman persecution of the Counterreformation and still contains a few beautiful synagogues. The Tuscan town is striking in appearance and possesses an alluring air making it a must-visit if you are in the area.

Tuscany has an array of absorbing, scenic locations for you to experience. Our yoga retreats in Tuscany provide some beautiful settings while delivering the best yoga practises. For more inspiration on Tuscany, head to our 7 Must-Try Foods in Tuscany for further reading.