Villa Roseto represent the opportunity to be located off the beaten track and, at the same time, to be in the outskirts of Florence. Travellers of this area have an offer of Etruscan archaeology, medieval castles and Medici villas. It’s a landscape of gentle, panoramic curves, once crossed by Augustus, Lorenzo the Magnificent and Leonardo Da Vinci.
The area of Montalbano covers 16,000 hectares in the area between the provinces of Florence, Pistoia and Prato and its incredible location, at the heart of the peninsula, makes it the perfect base from which to explore the whole of Tuscany.
The main features of the Montalbano range are the age-old forests on the high slopes and, further down, the olive groves sloping downwards to the low terraces, before making way for the vineyards on the plains.
This is an ideal starting point for a tour of the lesser known Tuscany, and can be reached by taking the Rioveggio exit from the A1 Florence-Bologna, then taking the spectacular Provincial Road 65, which leads to Montalbano and then Florence, finally reaching the sea via Prato and Pistoia.
Quick: Places to Visit
Tuscany’s beautiful landscapes and culture offers the ultimate travel experience. With so many things to see and do, we’ve narrowed down the list to 10 of our favored places to visit.
The jewel of Tuscan cities, Florence boasts the Uffizi gallery, which houses such classics as Michelangelo’s David and Botticelli’s Venus. Beautiful ancient bridges cross the Arno river, and magnificent sunsets drench them in rosy gold. The domitable Duomo is a red, green, and white marble masterpiece that dwarfs you in its awesome presence. Plan to spend several days here.
A beautiful medieval town, with its maze of hilly streets curving out from the Piazza del Campo. The stately city exudes aristocratic charm with medieval undertones and envelopes you in its dark red-orange hue. Making your way through the streets and sitting in the Piazza, you feel as though you’ve walked into a place forgotten by time.
Everyone knows the “leaning tower of Pisa,” but knowledge and pictures don’t compare to seeing the leaning campanile for yourself. Due to its superior navy, Pisa dominated much of the Mediterranean during the middle ages, and the city still bustles with activity.
Situated on the coast of the Tyrrhenian Sea, Viareggio has all the flavor of a beach town with an Italian twist. Tuscans travel from all around by train to spend the day on sand and surf and in the designer shops that line the pier. Visit the historic fishing harbor, or investigate the luxury yachts the city is famous for producing.
Surrounded by olive groves and vineyards and nestled at the foot of the Apuan Alps, this small medieval town became important when Michelangelo became the first sculptor to discover the beauty of its local marble. Pietrasanta still draws artists and sculptors from around the world.
Elegant and understated, Lucca is surrounded by wide walls that are still fully intact, a tangible remnant of the city’s history as an independent city-state. Today the wall helps keep traffic out, and the city’s streets still follow the original Roman pattern, both of which make Lucca a lovely city to explore on foot.
A world-famous health resort town, Montecatini Terme offers spa facilities reminiscent of ancient Roman baths. Dip in mineral rich pools and sample the endless offerings of the ultimate in health and relaxation treatments.
One of Tuscany’s highest hill towns. Climb its walls and fortifications to enjoy the breathtaking views of southern Tuscany. Sip the town’s famous Vino Nobile wine as you drink in the town’s serene beauty.
A lead, copper, and silver ore-mining town from as far back as Estruscan times, this little town still displays original Romanesque architecture. Among the town’s attractions, you may wind through the mining museum’s tunnels, or explore the beautiful covered spring, the Fonte dell’ Abbondanza, where the water’s reflections dance on ancient murals.
The founding city of the Communist Party of Italy, Livorno remains one of most left-leaning cities in Italy. In a departure from much of the rest of Tuscany, Livorno bears a modern appearance because of the heavy damage it incurred during WWII. However, the city’s Venice district is still intact, and the still visible orthogonal street system attests to the original pentagonal design. An ancient melting pot of Jewish, Greek, Armenian, Dutch-Germanic, and English inhabitants, the city bears remnants of the many religions practiced there throughout the centuries.