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Italy : A piece of paradise By Mansi Vyas

Italy: Toscana (in Italian) is full of pleasant surprises. The picturesque Tuscan landscape like Michelangelo’s masterpiece; has a mute eloquence of its own, while its vineyards, rolling hills, enchanting medieval towns and olive groves are dreams from another world. Mansi Vyas takes you on a virtual tour through the beautiful vineyards, Tuscan farmhouses, cheese pairings and food festivals

Ultimately Tuscany

Take a tour through the region’s celebrated attractions. Florence, Tuscany‘s capital and pearl of a city looms large on the ‘must-see’ list. The streets of Siena evoke thousand tales with its architecture of medieval brick buildings and San Gimignano, with its bewitching rural settings would lift your soul up. Don’t miss out to visit one of Italy’s signature sights, Torre pendente di Pisa (leaning tower of Pisa) the campanile of Duomo (cathedral’s bell tower) at the Pisa city.

Making plans for a stay? Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco located in Montalcino, at the heart of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Val d’Orcia is a centuries-old estate bound to vineyards and the countryside. Vineyards located within the estate give the guests an immersion to the Tuscan wine, while its golf course is breathtaking and enjoyable to play. Wine and golf enthusiast’s paradise!

Ciao! It’s wine time!

There’s no better feeling than uncorking a bottle of Sangiovese or sipping a Merlot at the end of the day that perfectly complements the antipasto. Tuscany’s love affair with the red Sangiovese, with delightful dark cherry and black stone fruit flavours along with the secondary notes of tomato leaf and dried herbs, is centuries old.

Take a tour around the main wine towns of Chianti, Montalcino and Montepulciano, taste different wines, get immersed in the breathtaking splendour of the scenery, and have a traditional light Tuscan meal. Wine tastings generally come with bread & olive oil or bits of local prosciutto. Take home the taste of Tuscany; in a bottle.

Ever sipped a Super Tuscan? Created during the 70’s, Super Tuscans are wine made with the blending of the Sangiovese grapes with the French variety Cabernet Sauvignon. Carmignano and Bolgheri are popular hamlets for this variety. Tuscan wine with a French twist!

Formaggio e Vino

Aged or fresh, made with goat’s milk or cow’s milk, how do you like your cheese? Be spoilt for choice in Tuscany; with a range of cheeses made with ancient techniques which are handed down over the centuries. Pecorino (derived from ‘Pecora’ meaning sheep) tops the list.

Cheese and wine are inseparable, not a word of a lie. Treat your taste buds, try some cheese and wine pairing. Stracchino, a mild cheese goes well with Italian white Gavi wine. Ricotta pairs well with Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay if you want a white. Like red wine? Try with Chianti or Cabernet Sauvignon. Pair Sauvignon Blanc from the north east of Italy with Caprino, goat’s milk cheese. You will affirm, “Tuscany is Italy’s miracle”.

Just imagine spending your time in a Tuscan farmhouse or country home. Sounds appealing, isn’t it? Spend time with the host family, go local hiking, assist in olive or grape harvest, or simply enjoy the intimacy of the countryside. An experience of a lifetime. Plan a stay in Castello di Vicarello, where history lives on each path, and every wall sings of the ancient glory.

Italy itineraries

Every season is beautiful in its own way, but Autumn is the best time for visiting Tuscany. September is the wine month, while October and November are for truffle hunting, olive harvest, and chestnuts. And squids of course! Travel in an old-fashioned steam train, arrive at Marradi and be a part of the Sagra Delle Castagne (Chestnut festival). Appreciate their local flavours, Marradi polenta, Castagnaccio (cake made from chestnut flour), Chestnut marmalade, Chestnut tortelli, and Marrons glacés. Not to forget the traditional fire roasted chestnuts. End your meal on a sweet note, visit a ‘gelateria’ and finish off with a Gelato (ice cream).

The rarest moments in life are those when one would experience a state of blissful tranquillity. Experience it countless times, when in Tuscany, a region of elegance with simplicity.

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