domenica 3 aprile 2011

Explore Easter in Tuscany, a holiday full of art, nature and wellness

Don't know where to spend the Easter holiday this year? How about getting lost in the gentle rolling hills, filled with a range of of colourful flowers in bloom? How about a visit to one of the region's monumental cities, filled with art and history? How about exploring Tuscany's ancient traditions and tasting its centuries-old culinary specialities? Tuscany offers a rich, bountiful experience to travellers seeking relax and wellness this Easter holiday!   
Nature-lovers can't miss the many events and itineraries through the region this spring. Explore Tuscany on trekking excursions, on horseback, or on your bike: either Walking Festival offers numerous unique itineraries in the stunning Tuscan Archipelago; the ancient pilgrim's route, the Via Francigena, is perfect for an excursion on horseback or by bicycle; the Bonifica Path in Valdichiana offers a unique nature experience for who love 'slow travel.'
If it is art you seek, Tuscany is the perfect destination! Art-lovers can choose from a wide array of artistic offers this Easter, from precious antiquities to contemporary art and photography. The MAEC in Cortona is currently showing the Louvre's collection of rarely seen Etruscan artifacts: over 40 archeological finds that have never been seen in Italy before, found in the areas of the Arno and Tiber Rivers. Art from the seventeenth century take centre stage in the Valdarno this season with the exhibitions, “Giovanni Martinelli - Painter of Montevarchi. Maestro of the 1600s in Florence" and “Quiete, Invenzione e Inquietudine. Florence from the 1600s and Giovanni da San Giovanni” in San Giovanni Valdarno.     
Your Easter holiday in Florence will come alive with art, from Russia's treasures of the Kremlin, showcased in the exhibit at Palazzo Pitti, "From the Icon to Malevich: Masterworks from the Russian Museum in St. Petersburg." Palazzo Strozzi's main show this season centres on the early works and careers of three "young and angry" modernists: Picasso, Mirò, and Dalì. Florence's Alinari National Museum of Photography - MNAF hosts until June 5 some of the most controversial photographs in the world, in the show "Controverses. A legal and ethical history of photography."
Siena is also a must-stop for art-lovers, especially for the mulitmedia show “The spirit and the music. The Romantic experience and the age of the Risorgimento, form paintings to multimedia tendencies," held at the Santa Maria della Scala Museum Complex.

If relaxation is what you seek, then why not spend a weekend at one of Tuscany's 39 thermal spa complexes? Boasting some of the best and most popular hot baths in Italy, Tuscany's thermal waters are sure to relax your body and mind. For centuries, Tuscan has been a mecca for those seeking the beneficial effects of the region's thermal waters. Follow in the footsteps of a wide range of important figures from history, from Napoleon Buonaparte and Maria Teresa of Austria to writers, both Italian and foreign, like Byron, Shelley and Montale. An array of holiday offers and promotions at spa complexes throughout the region await you!

The surprises for those holidaying in Tuscany do not end here: travellers will revel in the varied traditional Easter events throughout the region! Florence will hold the annual "scoppio del carro" that will light up piazza Duomo; Prato is display again this year the Sacred Girdle in the Duomo; On Easter Monday, Bibbona will hold its traditional Palio delle Botti, in which the town's neighbourhoods will compete to push large barrels through the narrow roads and alleyways of the town.
Whether you seek nature, wellness, art or tradition this Easter, Tuscan has it all and more! With the warmer Spring temperatures, a perfect day trip is to go on one the region's many Taste, Food and Wine Trails. Hundreds of agritourisms and farms across the region will welcome you and give you a tour of where they make their local products and culinary specialties: what could taste better than this?

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