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Popular Walking holiday
Ski surrounded by the Italian Dolomites' jagged peaks. Departures December through to February.
The postcards don’t do it justice, Tuscany absolutely lives up to all of the cliches – sun baked villages, old mamas dressed in black and clapped out farm vehicles chugging along to tend to the fields. A soft, sumptuous landscape filled with sunflower yellow, olive green and the ubiquitous cypress trees. Away from the tourists, you can unearth hidden Tuscany – just you, rolling fields and the odd masterpiece or two. Exodus’ Amanda Ceralo reports.
When I first visited Tuscany, I was expecting to be dazzled by the beautifully traditional landscape, historically fascinating cities and of course the incredible food and wine. Of course I enjoyed all the wonderful characteristics of this century-old region, yet there was something more to the wonderful Tuscan way of life that I was not expecting.
My week was spent in the unknown area of Tuscany called Garfagnana, which means ‘enchanted woods’, where I sampled an Exodus leisurely sightseeing trip. Based at La Pozza, I could enjoy incredible views across this mountainous area whilst relaxing beside a large swimming pool. There is certainly something magical about this area and staying at this traditional farmhouse, I could understand how isolated it must have been before tourism reached the major Tuscan cities. So not only was I blown away by the beauty of Florence’s Renaissance history and Lucca’s romantic atmosphere, I was mostly struck by the unexpectedly strong agricultural side to this region.
I only sampled the essence of Tuscany on my visit to the Garfagnana and this strengthened my desire to discover more of this vast area. Exodus also offers a Walking in Tuscany trip, based at Braccicorti, a family-run farmhouse also in the Garfagnana area with locally produced sumptuous cuisine so I have the perfect excuse to return!