Local secrets of Provence, The Italian Lakes, Tuscany and Umbria

Provence, The Italian Lakes, Tuscany and Umbria present a dazzling array of places to visit and things to do - but it's good to have some inside information to find out exactly what they are. On this page you'll find a wealth of articles on how to have a wonderful time no matter where you book your villa - including some very special local secrets.

Naturally, you'll find information about the best villas for certain holidaymakers (couples, groups, families) or particular events (weddings, birthdays, reunions), including romantic retreats, rustic cottages, historic properties and 5-star villas.

From countryside hideaways to accommodation in hilltop towns and medieval villas - here you'll find all the inspiration you need for your next holiday in Italy or France.

March 13, 2017

Abbaye de Thoronet

Historical landmarks, Provence, The Var, Dan's drawings

The Abbaye of Thoronet was the first Cistercian monastery in Provence, so most of the buildings date from the 12th century. They exhibit that classical calm and stripped down elegance...


March 13, 2017

The castle in the forest

Historical landmarks

La Rocca di Sillano is an ancient fortified castle in the wild and forested hills of Berignone. This mighty fortress on a hill overlooking an area including Siena, Pisa and...


March 10, 2017

Visit the Etruscan Museum in Volterra

Central Tuscany, Museums

The Museo Etrusco Guarnacci in the heart of Volterra has one of the most fascinating Etruscan collections in Italy, not to mention alabaster shops on every corner. This dour-faced terracotta...


March 10, 2017

Osteria Casolani in Casole d'Elsa

Central Tuscany

A great fixed menu restaurant on the high street in Casole d'Elsa


March 10, 2017

July and August, when opera fills the air

Music, Culture, Events, Central Tuscany, Tuscany

In the height of summer, when the heat of the day has given way to comfortable evening temperatures, opera lovers gather is some of the most fascinating venues the region...


March 10, 2017

20 Italian Food ideas and Experiences you can't miss in Tuscany

Tuscany, Food and wine

There are hundreds of good reasons to visit Tuscany—but fabulous food has to be near the top of the list… After all, what’s more fabulous than sipping Brunello with a...


March 10, 2017

6 things you can do with children in Tuscany

Siena and surroundings, Tuscany, Active, Culture, For Children

Visiting Tuscany with children is a delight, but sometimes you might wonder which places are good with kids, or if there’s somewhere you can take them to decompress after too...


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