Tuscany landscapes are iconic and diverse. Synonymous with good life and pleasure. This is a place where nature has been generous and where in turn, it has been respected. From the verdant valleys of Chianti, to the white topped mountains and unspoilt beaches, this is a region that lacks nothing when it comes to views.
Tuscany landscapes – The essence of Tuscany in Val d’Orcia
Its colours are famous. Impossibly green in springtime and intense burned yellow hues in Summer or Autumn, with solitary ochre houses standing on top of hills flanked by giant cypresses that reach upward to the sky. See it for yourself and you’ll understand why so many films have been shot here and why artists come here from all over the world in search of inspiration.
The hard working beauty of the Chianti region
The Chianti landscape is hilly, woody and handsome. It’s an area where the land has been put to work, devoted to the production of top quality olive oil and prestigious wine. Vineyards and olive groves crowd the hills and valleys in an elegant succession of green. Often you see roses planted at the edges of the vineyards, put there as an early warning against disease. Utility made beautiful.
The farmhouses, villas and barns, now turned into leisure homes or agriturismi, speak of a country at work. There are majestic castles too, hiding centuries of history behind tall oaks and cypress trees. And then there are the olive groves. Silvery, sweet, and soothing. When the sun filters though the leaves at the end of the afternoon…it’s pure magic.
The Apuan Alps – Mountains with glittering tops
The marble rich Apuan Alps is a world in itself, and a surprise in the Tuscan landscapes. Its mountain tops that shine under the sun are often thought to be covered in snow. In fact, the white tops are the marble caves. Everywhere a fine white dust fills the air and forms little heaps on the side of the roads.
Winding narrow roads lead up to small towns perched on the slopes of the mountains, overlooked by the always working marble caves, The Apuan Alps are excavated for their precious material. Work is intense and dangerous, and their history is impressive. Visiting one of the quarries and breathing the marble rich air is a unique experience. Especially when you consider that Michelangelo came up here to choose the marble for his statues.
Uccellina Nature Reserve – The best of unspoilt Mediterranean coast in Tuscany
The Uccellina Nature Reserve in the Maremma, southern Tuscany, is the perfect place to experience the colours and smells of Mediterranean coastal nature. 9000 hectares of scented pine groves and macchia mediterranea, inhabited by wild boars, foxes and deer.
In the interior plains there are pastures where Tuscan cowboys, known as butteri, breed the maremman cows. This is the wild side of Tuscany, once infested with malaria, now a unique landscape of unspoilt charm. The area is a perfect spot for bird watching and enjoying nature, and the long sandy beaches are some of the best you’ll find in Tuscany. The entrance to the park is in Alberese.
Experience sea life on the island of Elba
Tuscany landscapes aren’t all about fields and countryside. Tuscany also has an important Maritime National Park within the Tuscan Archipelago. It is made up of seven islands, though not all are can be visited.
The bigger and easiest to reach is Elba Island. You get there from the port of Piombino, and the journey to Portoferraio takes around an hour by ferry. You’ll find a beautiful landscape of green hills, mediterranean flora, and of course vineyards. There are ancient picturesque villages with gorgeous views of the sea. The coast is 147 km. long, the sea is clear and dotted with beautiful gulfs and beautiful beaches.
Read on to discover some weird and wonderful landscapes in Tuscany.