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Essential Advice

We created these pages to help you really Discover Italy. Journalists Donald Strachan, Steve Keenan and Jasmine Boni Ball — who visit several times every year — have gathered a rich crop of local stories and written destination guides to help you make the most of your vacation. As they say in Italy, “Buon viaggio!”

An Introduction to Tuscany

Whether it’s a silent sunrise in the Val d’Orcia; lunch overlooking vines and olive groves; or the milky-pink sunset of a Chianti spring… At any time of day or year, there is nowhere quite like Tuscany. Our short guide introduces its best towns and cities, shopping and artworks, and of course food and drink.

How to Choose the Right Villa

Here's a secret: there is no such thing as the “best” villa in Tuscany. Only the best Tuscan villa rental for you. Maybe a villa with a pool is an essential, or a one with air conditioning, or even one of our fully staffed villas with maid and chef. We suggest five key questions to ask yourself before you book. Or just give us a call and we'll talk you through it.

Renting a Villa in Chianti

The Chianti hills between Florence and Siena were the backdrop often chosen by painters during the Renaissance, and with good reason. This is the Italian countryside at its most photogenic. Why should you choose a villa in Chianti? And what should you do when you get there?

An Introduction to Umbria

Umbria is more than just “Italy's green heart”. It's also its soul: saints like St. Francis of Assisi roamed its wildflower pastures in spring, and explored its mist-shrouded forests in the autumn. Read our introductory guide for pointers to Umbria's best towns and art, shopping and architecture, food and drink.

Tips for Americans Visiting Italy

Our three US-born expert expats all now call Italy home. Here they share their best tips for any North American planning a visit. Read their top do’s and don’ts, advice on tipping and what to wear, and handy phrases to help you order a glass (or two) of vino rosso using just the right Italiano.

Which Tuscany Wedding and Villa Suits You

Getting married in Italy will be exciting and memorable, but the preparation can also be overwhelming. If you're looking for some fun inspiration, take our dream wedding quiz. It will help you to work out exactly what type of Tuscan wedding suits you best.

The Guide to Getting Married in Italy

Italy has the landscapes, architecture and cuisine — but which area is your choice for the perfect wedding? We look at some options: is it to be a rustic wedding in the Chianti hills, or a barefoot walk down the aisle by the Tuscan coast? Seafood in Pisa, or wedding photos with the ultimate romantic backdrop: Florence's Ponte Vecchio?

How to Spend a Week in a Tuscan Villa

A week may be a long time in politics, but it's actually a fairly short time when you're relaxing among the vineyards in rural Tuscany. Based on decades of experience travelling around and experiencing the region, we offer up pre-trip advice on eating well, getting the right to-do list and generally slipping into the rhythms of local life.

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