Monday, 4 January 2021

Visit Tuscany in winter

Visit Tuscany in winter
Winter in Tuscany - it's not always this snowy!

 Now seems an appropriate moment to discuss the question of whether to visit Tuscany in winter. The final answer will be a strong 'yes', but let's look at the details. Cons first. Days are short, meaning that you're likely to set out and return from a day of sightseeing in the dark. Weather can be very cold so gloves, scarves and warm coats are necessary. Could be snowy roads at higher altitudes. The larger vacation villas will be closed because of the cost of heating them, and you will need to take care about who pays the heating costs wherever you stay. Pros. Often brilliantly clear days with magnificent views into the distance. No tourist crowds. Despite fewer offerings, accommodation will be easy to find and might have low season prices or heating included. South-facing terraces can be quite warm in the middle of a clear day - definitely warm enough to sit out and enjoy the view. The opportunity to enjoy major features of 'the real Tuscany' such as meals based around the hunting and truffle seasons, enjoying the evening at home or in a restaurant in front of a roaring fire. And of course plenty of Christmas and New Years celebrations, private and public. New Year's Eve in Florence is well worth a visit. So yes - it's well worth spending some time in Tuscany during winter.

Florence in winter
The Duomo of Florence during winter 2013

There's plenty of winter accommodation listed on the Greve in Chianti web site. These are all owner direct offerings, so you're getting the best prices, and Greve is the centre and market town of the Chianti Classico wine zone between Florence and Sienna.

Abbey of Sant'Antimo near Montalcino

And this is the beautiful Abbey of Sant'Antimo during January 2021.

And there are no mosquitoes in winter!

Author: Anna Maria Baldini

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Tuscany vacation accommodations with handicapped access

Tuscany is high on the list of travel destinations that are friendly to the elderly and those with mobility limitations, especially since laws were introduced several years ago regarding provision of suitable facilities for the physically handicapped. I'm often asked for information about Tuscany vacation accommodations with handicapped access. One important piece of information everyone should take account of is that Tuscan farmhouses ("villas") and sometimes genuine villas are characterised by numerous steps and steep staircases. For this reason, if your mobility is impaired, read the descriptions of rural vacation accommodations in Tuscany with care and feel free to ask the owners detailed questions. This is one of the several reasons to rent owner-direct, by the way. Agencies rarely have the kind of information you need.

Tuscan vacation accommodation handicapped accessibility
A fairly frequent sight in Tuscany - this you don't want if moving around isn't all that easy for you.
Step-free or almost step-free agriturismi and other rural holiday homes are definitely available. Today I want to describe one of them which has recently been renovated and which enjoys one of the most beautiful locations in Tuscany. This is Agriturismo Felciano, a cottage with two large double rooms and a large living-dining room, situated on a winery near Panzano, in the famous Conca d'Oro.

Accommodation in Tuscany for mobility impaired visitors
Agriturismo Felciani - an ideal Tuscan vacation location for anyone with mobility problems.
Agriturismo Felciano has a large terrace in front of the entry and flat ground round about, including the location of the gazebo. There is one very slight step at the large entrance and none at all inside the cottage. Of the two modern bathrooms, one is fully-equipped for handicapped accessibility. You can bring your car right up to the terrace.

In addition to being able to buy your Chianti Classico wine directly from the cask and extravergine olive oil by the bottle, you can buy Tuscan saffron grown on the Felciano farm.

Click here to visit the Agriturismo Felciano website.

More about Panzano in Chianti.

Vacation accommodation in Tuscany
Author: Anna Maria Baldini

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