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The difference between northern and central Italy can be huge, climatically. I can still recall driving past Florence in December when the temperature was around 12 degrees only to emerge into snow on the other side of the Apennines. Tuscany is very different from its northern neighbours. It is, of course, dominated by the two cities of Renaissance Florence and Gothic Siena but there is so much more besides. Hot lazy days touring the countryside will always lead to some serendipitous discovery but while you are doing that let me suggest a couple of things that you may enjoy.

The variety of the Tuscan countryside can be dramatic; north of Lucca you find yourself in mountainous terrain whilst from the flat coastal plain the marble quarries of Carrara glow pink in the evening sun. It is here that marble has been mined since Roman times and this is the place that Michelangelo visited to choose the finest pristine white blocks for his masterpieces. To the south lie the softly rolling hills and cypress trees that define the archetypal view of the region. Tuscany can always surprise.

The Theatre of Silence, Lajatico
The Theatre of Silence, Lajatico
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Bagno Vignoni
Bagno Vignoni
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Piazza dell’Anfiteatro
Piazza dell’Anfiteatro
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Walls of Lucca
Walls of Lucca
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