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Tuscany isn’t just medieval towns and mellow hills. This vast region is home to an incredible coastline packed with small but lively resorts and beautiful sandy beaches. Tuscany’s coast is more than 10 times the length of the Amalfi Coast, with 18 Blue Flag beaches.
In northern Tuscany, Forte dei Marmi kicks off the coastline in style, with chic beach bars, stylish restaurants and an impressive sandy beachfront. Right next door lies Viareggio – the Tuscany Coast’s beating heart – where an energetic carnival lights up the streets every year. Locals love the bagnos – serviced beach clubs where access to restaurants, swimming pools and changing facilities are often included in the modest entry price.
A particular highlight of the Tuscany Coast is Elba Island – a spectacular destination more than 20 times larger than Capri, but unknown to many visitors. Its dramatic coves, beautiful hillside towns and historic fortresses are overlooked by the island’s tallest peak – Mount Capanne. The island is well known for its wine, which has held DOC status for almost 50 years. The cuisine is based around local produce, from quality steak from the Tuscan countryside to fresh seafood from the Tyrrhenian Sea.
Glamorous beach resorts and gently sloping forested hills are the order of the day along Tuscany’s photogenic coastline. There are more Blue Flag beaches than you can count on your hands, and many of these are now elegant seaside communes, packed with great restaurants and chic bars. For a shot of history to accompany your beach break, head to nearby Lucca, where Roman roots have helped craft this settlement into one of Italy’s most impressively preserved heritage towns.
The majority of international flights arrive into Pisa airport (PSA). Direct flights to Pisa are available from Belfast, Bristol, East Midlands, Leeds Bradford, London Gatwick, London Heathrow, London Luton, Manchester and Newcastle and take approximately 2 hours.
The chic seaside resorts of Tuscany’s Coast offer many opportunities to enjoy everything from a perfectly made espresso, to an expertly shaken cocktail or Michelin-starred menu. Those after more traditional dishes should try cacciucco, a popular soup made from various types of seafood, or for a simple street food option, torta di ceci (chickpea cake) is a thick pancake often seasoned with black pepper and a generous glug of olive oil.
Wine lovers will be spoilt for choice with Tuscany’s renowned exports readily available, including Chianti Classico and Montepulciano for those who prefer red; and white wines from Cortona and San Gimignano.