|Tuscany (Photo credit: nubui)|
By Giovanni Balboni
Summer holiday planning time is here and many families look forward to the arrival of warmer climes, a change of scene, relaxation and adventure. Escaping to countryside villas in Tuscany is the perfect way to grant all these wishes, to recharge and get your family fit and healthy. This region is like a health retreat for the whole family!
With good reason, this area is famous as one of Italy's and Europe's most popular destinations. Steeped in history, renowned for its beautiful countryside, sensational weather, fine fare and numerous tourist attractions, this part of Italy simply pulsates with a passion for life.
Renting villas in Tuscany is an ideal way for families to enjoy the idyllic lifestyle, and each other, with privacy and freedom. You can easily find family-friendly villas that are spacious, on beautiful landscaped grounds and with the all-important swimming pool. The opportunity for your children to roam and play safely outdoors in the sunshine is nourishing after a long winter cooped up indoors.
Whilst the children are outside playing and swimming up a storm, take the time to enjoy the experience of having the time to prepare delicious, healthy meals for your family. In a spacious well-appointed kitchen catering for your family becomes a joy rather than toil. With an abundance of fine produce and wines on offer in the region's markets, you will soon be cooking up a storm.
The Tuscan countryside is world renowned for its idyllic rolling hills and for the bountiful fresh fruits, vegetables and livestock the fertile land produces. Unleash the hunter and gatherer within and enjoy the process of providing for your family - from market to table.
Of the many attractions here in Italy, the weather is one of the most remarked upon. The hillside breezes and ambient temperatures invite you outdoors and into the countryside. You will find that many villas in Tuscany are located within walking distance of a farmer's market. Pop on a hat and some walking shoes, grab your basket and set off to market.
Deeply rooted in culture is the appreciation and abundance of organically grown food. The farmer's markets pride themselves on their motto; 'from the producer to the consumer' which in turn offers you a guarantee of quality and frugality too. You can also enjoy the virtuous feeling that you're doing your little bit for the planet, as the short supply chain, and the low food miles are good for the environment.
You will find an abundance of foods to experiment with. The local markets are also an opportunity to converse with the locals. You will find that many of the marketers are keen to tell you about their products; farmer, breeder and craftsperson alike are keen to regale you with accounts of how their products have been raised or grown.
Here, the best markets are known as the 'Mercatali', and with ten locations, there is sure to be one nearby. Some of the fare not to miss is the red potato of Cetica, perfect for making gnocchi or tortelli, and Zolfini beans, delicious and nutritious steamed with peppercorns and sage. Also try the small Chianti chickpeas, which are flavoursome and skinless and delicious boiled with just a sprig of rosemary. The children will go crazy for the fragrant and crunchy Nesta apples too. Holiday time is an opportunity for new sensory experiences, so perhaps you will choose to surprise your family with a particular local delicacy, wild boar, unlikely to be found on the average menu back home!
Far from the madding crowd and glaring fluorescent lights of a city supermarket, your forage for your family's fare in a Tuscan market is an absolute delight. Soon your basket will be overflowing with homemade pastas, organic chicken, fruits, vegetables and cheeses. And of course, don't forget the infamous local wines, pizzas and ice-creams, renowned as the best in the world.
Holidays in villas in Tuscany offer an ideal opportunity for really living at a grass roots level, yet in luxury with modern conveniences. So nurture your family with great love and great food these holidays.
Giovanni Balboni works for To Tuscany, who specialise in finding the perfect [http://www.to-tuscany.com/]villas in Tuscany in Chianti as well as selected villas in Umbria and Puglia. To Tuscany is proud of their villas and their reputation. All our Tuscan properties are personally selected and visited by our representatives to ensure we offer only the best in the region.
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