When staying in Tuscany, villas situated in the heart of this famous region of Italy allow for easy exploration. Every aspect of this area is splendid: its long history, visible in its Roman ruins and extensive Renaissance architecture and art; its cuisine and viticulture; its landscape, typified in the Val d’Orcia; and, of course, its parks. Visitors with a penchant for the natural world will relish the opportunity to see the region’s wild and cultivated spaces and encounter the animals that dwell there. Many of these parks make for an excellent day trip to explore Tuscany; villas situated near the following four make it easy for the whole family to enjoy their delights.
Maremma Regional Park
Maremma Regional Park, also known as Uccellina Park, is one of the region’s best-known national parks. Its coastal setting covers a range of habitats, from the last stretch of the Ombrone River, the marshes of the Trappola, the cliffs and sandy beaches of the coastline, to the hills of the Uccellina Mountains, rising to 417 metres. Ruined towers dot its open landscape and wild boar, deer and numerous birds inhabit the forests. Porcupines, stone martens, skunks, foxes and other elusive animals lurk among the rocks. Visitors coming in for day trips or longer stays can head out on trekking tours of the park by foot or horseback.
A very different experience awaits at Pinocchio’s Park, a landscape steeped in fairy tale. The story of Pinocchio was born in this part of Italy, through the pen of Carlo Collodi (the pen name for Carlo Lorenzini). Near the hamlet of Collodi, Pinnochio’s Park is a cultivated garden with art installations and the characters of the fairy tale dotted throughout the park. Children will enjoy the opportunity to delight in the atmosphere, while the adults can take a stroll through a well-managed, attractive garden that is easily reached by car.
Archipelago Toscano National Park
Archipelago Toscano National Park draws many visitors to Tuscany. Villas around this area are always popular and the Tuscan Archipelago holds fascination for many. The park encompasses the archipelago’s seven main islands – Elba, Isola del Giglio, Capraia, Montecristo, Pianosa, Giannutri and Gorgona – and some of the lesser islands and outcrops. It is Europe’s largest marine park, with myriad ways to explore on foot or by bike. The varied nature of the islands makes them a treat for visitors, whether admiring old mausoleums or hiking through pine forests listening to bird calls.
Val d’Orcia Natural Park
The Val d’Orcia is one of the region’s most iconic sites. Its gently rolling hills lie at the heart of Renaissance art’s ideals of landscape, and the region remains a centre of culture. The Natural Park is an excellent introduction for visitors, providing information on Val d’Orcia, the towns and villages, the castles, the festivals and markets, and where to find the finest food and wine producers. This site entices countless visitors to Tuscany. Villas within an easy drive of the area afford a relaxed and independent way to explore at leisure and savour the simple delights of the landscape.