Tuscany is better known for her vibrant Renaissance cities and incredible art heritage, but Italy’s most famous region also has a quiet side, an unspoilt countryside where life moves a little slower, but the sights are just as beautiful.
The Guadalupe Tuscany Resort is located in a part of Tuscany known as the Maremma. It’s a storybook name for a destination that was once plagued by malaria and brigands, but is now one of Italy’s up and coming holiday sights. This chequered past has helped the Maremma hold onto its spirit, its traditions and its authenticity as the area has only very recently caught the attention of tourists.
Whether you’re a first time visitor or a seasoned traveller, the Guadalupe Tuscany Resort is an ideal base. You’re only an hour from Siena and two from the apple of the region’s eye, Florence, but you’re also far from the tourist menus and souvenir shops in a part of Tuscany where you can still get authentic cuisine and mix with the locals as they celebrate the festivals they have been celebrating for generations.
The countryside around you is tranquil and relaxed, so you’ll be more than tempted to rent a bike and head to your nearest attractions. There’s Roselle, the ancient city of the Etruscans and a beautiful open-air archaeological site where you can explore the ruins of the majestic homes and tombs of this pre-Roman civilisation. At about the same distance is Grosseto, the Maremma’s beloved capital, an aging beauty with a charm that stretches from its antique palazzos and book stores to its majestic Duomo and architrave-covered shopping strips. A little further out, you can get in touch with nature at one of Tuscany’s biggest and most beautiful nature parks, Parco della Maremma. Not only does this park have dozens of incredible walking and cycling trails for you to discover on your own or with a guide, but it also has a secluded beach where you can admire Tuscany’s islands, including the one Napoleon Bonaparte was briefly exiled on.
The park is also home to the area’s dwindling, but spectacularly beautiful Maremma-breed cattle and their faithful keepers, the Butteri or Italy’s version of cowboys. The Maremma has plenty more amazing sights a little further afield. A day trip to Saturnia is a must, if only to relax in what has been named by Lonely Planet and CNN as one of the world’s most magnificent hot springs. Here the water is plentiful, a toasty 37°C all year round and free! Closer to home is Massa Marittima. Dubbed the ‘Little Sister of Pisa and Siena’, this mini Renaissance city has one of the finest examples of Romanesque architecture in its breathtaking Duomo as well as a lovely collection of museums and an even more attractive strip for after dinner strolls, gelato in hand.
But you don’t have to confine your stay at the Guadalupe Tuscany Resort to museums and nature parks. Hop in the car and in half an hour, you’ll arrive at Castiglione della Pescaia, voted Italy’s most beautiful beach for both 2014 and 2015. Since you’re on the Tuscan coast, spare some time to visit the gorgeous port cities and other incredible beaches that run up and down this blessedly unknown coastline.
There’s plenty to see and do in the Maremma and Tuscany. This is just as taste of what you can discover during your stay at the Guadalupe Tuscany Resort, but to truly understand, you have see it for yourself.