If you are looking for Tuscany off the beaten path and nearly everything you have read so far on the internet has told you that it is a misnomer, that it no longer exists, and that you will need to go to another Italian region to find the experience you are looking for, then I am going to BRING A SMILE TO YOUR FACE :)
Because what you have read is RUBBISH! So I am going to say this loud: IT DOES EXIST, AND SOME! In fact more than you could possibly have imagined.
But before we go any further, I also want to blow out of the water a doubt that might have also crept into your mind.
If you have started to think that finding off the beaten track in Tuscany today means being isolated up a mountain on a pilgrimage of some sort with nothing to see or do. Or in places that are ugly and others have deemed unworthy of mention; certainly nothing that your head is swimming and swooning with desire to see, touch, experience.
Well I am more than happy to BALDERDASH and HOGWASH that out of court too!
And do you want to know the funny part? It was sitting right under your nose all of the time!
When you see it, and I'll show you where in just a split second :) you are going to have one of those visual brain quiz moments that get you all of the time on Facebook: it's there, it has always has been there but you couldn't see it, and now you can't see anything else! It's just that your brain needs the clue.
So without any more further ado, here it is: look at this map and locate the red line.
The whole area to the left of the line is a part of Tuscany you have never heard of. I AM SERIOUS. Apart from no more than a handful of towns in the whole lot and, if you have been researching a lot, probably one natural thermal spa, none of the rest will have ever appeared on your radar screen before now.
GOBSMACKED? GOOD! Because now I am going to show you what you have been missing: breathtakingly beautiful "la Maremma" - the land of five W's.
WILDERNESSES, nature reserves, national parks, protected areas of scientific interest, and sites of international importance, from top to toe.
WILDLIFE - for photographers and children alike, Maremma will leave you spellbound by the variety and wonder of the animals that live here. Spotting a family of wild boar or a flock of flamingoes is an everyday treat.
WATER - the natural hot thermal springs and pools type, the crystal clear freshwater karst lake type, and the oh, so stunning, Ligurian and Tyrrhenian sea type. Two hundred and fifty kilometres of perfect holiday coastline, home to more than ninety beaches and coves.
WINE - vineyards and wineries home to luscious wines around every turn and corner :)
And, the WANTING. The wanting to return before you have even left... The wanting nothing more but the simple rural life that moved and softened you whilst you were here.
OK. Just looked at that map again and starting to think that it might be just a touch too scary for you to venture so far away from the comfort zone of the Pisa, Firenze, Siena, Montalcino, Pienza, San Gimignano, Montepulciano you have come to know so well?
Well, don't be scared! The locals here don't bite! In fact they will welcome you with open arms and huge smiles.
Ask for a direction and you will not only get all the help you need, including more than likely an offer to take you there, but also a whole host of wonderful suggestions of places to visit that you would never have known about otherwise and which will, if you opt to follow one, leave you with the memories you keep the longest.
For the magic of this part of Tuscany is in the unexpected and unplanned: the lane you turn down just because it looks lovely, the unplanned stop that turns into an all afternoon adventure and you seeking a place to sleep because leaving isn't even contemplatable.
And that will happen if you let it, trust me!
Maremma is OVERFLOWING with incredible places to visit. Places you had no idea existed.
BURSTING with things to do - this is the Tuscany for families of all ages. No bored kids here.
And BRIMMING with Tuscan hill towns and villages that you won't want to leave, whose medieval walls and gateways hold the secrets to an awesome history.
That's not to mention the osterias and restaurants in which the home cooking will have your taste buds in heaven. Budget or no budget, you will eat well here.
To find out more, put the kettle on or pour a glass of wine, and click here to start exploring Maremma in Tuscany.
And if you need any help with deciding where to visit or stay in Maremma, just drop me an email.
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