Casale la Gora is right in the heart of Tuscany, a land that is beautiful and abundant, where you can enjoy unforgettable and – we hope – repeatable holidays.
We are lucky, it’s true. Around us, unique art cities and villages that are renowned the world over: Florence, Siena, San Gimignano, Lucca, Pisa, and Arezzo. Chianti, Val d’Orcia and other areas, where the nature is spectacular and at the same time, simple, leaving you with a sense of peace that will remain in your heart.
These few lines are not enough to tell you about everything you can see and enjoy on your Tuscan holiday, so we will just give you some ideas.
What to see in Florence
Florence, capital of Tuscany. Always an artistic, cultural, trading, political and economic centre: Florence was the capital of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, a rich, modern state, ruled by the Medici and Lorraine families. Politics and financial power and influence in every area of culture, which made it an essential hub in Italian and European history; it is considered the home of the Renaissance and the Italian language, a cradle of art and architecture, renowned as being one of the world’s most beautiful cities. Since 1982, Florence has been a UNESCO World Heritage site, due to the many inestimable masterpieces in its museums or visible as as you walk through its streets. When you mention Florence you are seamlessly referring to Piazza della Signoria, Donatello, Giotto’s bell tower, Dante, Santa Maria del Fiore, Galileo Galilei, and Ponte Vecchio…
What to see in Siena
Siena is an enchanting city: time seems to stand still, in spite of the hustle and bustle of people who come from every corner of the world to see the urban decoration with its Mediaeval style, and breathe in the noises of the Palio, a traditional event held twice a year to the comments and thrills of the crown in Piazza del Campo in the shadow of the Torre del Mangia.
In 1995 the centre of the city was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List: it is home to the famous floor in Siena’s cathedral, the “marble carpet” that can only be viewed at certain times of the year, due to the delicate nature of its inlays. Here you can admire the famous basilica of San Domenico, historic palaces and countless churches built in red brick. The city was home to a young Saint Catherine of Siena, who is a patron saint of Italy. We should also mention the Palio di Siena, a horse race dating back to Mediaeval times and held between ten of the seventeen contradas into which the city is divided. The Palio is normally held twice a year: on 2 July, the race is in honour of the Madonna of Provenzano and 16 August, in honour of the Madonna Assunta. Before the race, there is a parade of historic figures in costume, that winds its way along Siena’s narrow streets from the Duomo.
What to see in San Gimignano
San Gimignano, due to the mediaeval architecture of its centre è is also included on the UNESCO World Heritage list.
San Gimignano is famous for the mediaeval towers that characterise its panorama. The towers, which are ancient and still current, were originally 72, divided into towers and house-towers, in the commune’s golden age. There were still twenty-five in 1580, while today there are only fourteen of them, although other altered ones can be glimpsed in the urban background. The oldest tower is Rognosa, built in the early 13th century, while the tallest, the Grossa tower, stands 54 metres tall.
What to see in Arezzo
Arezzo is famous for its gold, worked in many large and small businesses, for the Palio del Saracino and because it was home to the oldest university in Tuscany, and one of the first in Europe. It has been home to artists and poets, such as Francesco Petrarch, Giorgio Vasari, Guido d’Arezzo, and Guittone d’Arezzo and visited for the frescos by Piero della Francesca inside the chapel of the Basilica of San Francesco and for the crucifix by Cimabue inside the church of San Domenico. The dimension of the city, with its approximately 330,000 inhabitants (2020) make it a liveable and visitable, even during the famous Antiques Fair, held on the first Saturday and Sunday of every month.
What to see in Lucca
Lucca is famous, like many of the Tuscan cities, for its historic monuments, but it is one of the few capitals to have preserved its centre completely surrounded by 16th-century city walls, intact and almost unchanged over the centuries. The walls have a perimeter of approx. 4,223 m, which is well maintained and can be walked or cycled. There is flourishing vegetation, and the route is used by tourists and locals alike.
A less renowned place, compared to the stunning monuments like the Duomo di San Martino, with its asymmetrical Romanesque façade overlooking the piazza of the same name, Torre Guinigi with its unique hanging garden formed by 7 holm oaks, or Palazzo Mansi with its silk costumes and furnishings, are the Botanical Gardens, which occupy two hectares of land right in the city centre. Inside are museum pieces, including ancient herbaria and living species, such as the majestic cedar of Lebanon 22 metres high, which will be reaching 200 years of age in 2022.
What to see in Val d’Orcia
Val d’Orcia is a vast area in Tuscany, in the province of Siena, on the slopes of Monte Amiata, close to the border with Umbria. It takes its name from the River Orcia which crosses and characterises the lovely landscapes and a variety of Mediaeval towns and villages, some of which are very famous, like Pienza and Montalcino. Nature is different here from any other area in Tuscany; you can admire the cypresses of San Quirico, go to Bagno Vignoni with its thermal baths, to Bagni San Filippo where you can try the typical foods and wines, such as Pici, the cured meats of Cinta senese, Pecorino di Pienza cheese, Brunello di Montalcino wine and the new Orcia DOC wine.
A few kilometres from Val d’Orcia there are two more mediaeval villages in the Val di Chiana: Montepulciano and Cortona.
What to see in Chianti
An area located in the heart of Tuscany covering part of the provinces of Siena and Florence. Known the world over for its beauty, it features hills that are simply covered by vineyards and olive groves, created by the hands of its farmers, and by the villages of Chianti, Castellina in Chianti, Gaiole in Chianti, Greve in Chianti, Radda in Chianti, Barberino Tavarnelle, Castelnuovo Berardenga, Poggibonsi and San Casciano in Val di Pesa. Here is where Chianti Classico wine is made and with our Experiences, you can taste some of the most famous of Tuscany’s wines. Reminder: other events include Eroica, a bicycle event with a vintage feel.