TuscanySummer means warm sunshine and a cool swimming pool, Prosecco in the piazza & exploring the rich tapestry of Italy. But it should also mean peace, quiet and avoiding the crowds.

Tuscany is a popular destination for those in search of an Italian holiday and most will opt for the south and western areas of the region. However, the undiscovered eastern region, towns such as Arezzo and Cortona, offer a lot more than you may think.

Here are our top 5 reasons to head east this summer:

  1. Sshhh, it’s a secret: The eastern parts of Tuscany lie very much undiscovered meaning fewer crowds and more time to explore & enjoy in peace. Top tip: amble through the enchanting winding streets of the walled town of Cortona and enjoy the views of Val di Chiana.
  2. A great base: Well located, eastern Tuscany allows easy access to Florence as well as Perugia in northern Umbria. Top tip: visit the Perugina chocolate factory and explore this fantastic city rich in history.
  3. Save your pennies:Walking the less discovered path of Eastern Tuscany sees prices less than those seen in the Chianti regions of Tuscany. Top tip: take a look at the choice of villas from Cottages & Castles for more on how you can save.
  4. Award-winning: The choice of Hollywood directors when making the Oscar award-winning ‘Life is Beautiful’ and ‘Under the Tuscan Sun’, eastern Tuscany has vistas to die for, pretty and quaint towns and countryside that shouts ‘explore me’. Top tip: explore the Parco Nazionale delle Casentinesi Foreste, and spot foxes, deer and wild boar amongst the flora and fauna.
  5. Rich in history: Said to have some of the best art in Italy such as the Madonna del Partio, Arezzo and the surrounding towns hold a wonderful collection of works from Signorelli, Piero della Francesca and Andrea della Robbia. Top tip: visit the Pieve di Santa Maria in the town of Arezzo.