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Tuscany

Nowhere so lovely

Tuscany (Or Toscana) has long been the end of the road for many American and English expatriates, including legions of would-be writers and artists. This influx has been a blessing for Tuscany as, along with the tourists come to take photos of Renaissance art to match their postcards, the state has been able to live off foreign income and sidestep industrialisation altogether.

Tuscans are seen to be more closed than your average Italian though its doubtful that your average traveler will pick up on that. In any case, Italians concede gracefully, at least when you get to know them they’re perhaps more genuine than their flamboyant countrymen. But Italians draw the line when it comes to the shameful Tuscan reluctance to use wood ovens to cook their pizza…

So why is Tuscany so beautiful? It’s something to do with the colours of the fields, the thick, misty forests and the town after town of beige or pale white houses with wooden shutters and smoky roofs. In fact, the picturesque setting is so much part of the heritage for Tuscany that it’s against the law to change the exterior of your house in any way.

The traveler in Tuscany will want to put sleepy Lucca on their list along with Sienna up in the hills and, naturally, Florence – though try to catch it off season.