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Artemest is proud to present the ultimate insider's guide to Italy. First stop: Tuscany. Take a tour of this treasure trove of natural landscapes, Renaissance towns and centuries-old craft traditions. From ceramic to silver to marble, the ingenuity of Tuscan craftsmen can turn any material into a work of art.

Right in the heart of Italy lies Tuscany: a land of rolling hills dotted by rows of cypress trees, rustic farms, ancient vineyards and historical cities. Known as the cradle of the Renaissance and the birthplace of the Italian language - first canonized in the 14th century in Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy - Tuscany boasts a long tradition of high-quality craftsmanship and experimentation.

Local artisanal production, from small botteghe to world-famous design studios, is underscored by an innate sense of beauty, drawing from the surrounding landscapes.

What to See

Firenze - The city is home to some of the world’s finest examples of Renaissance art and architecture. In the historical center visit the beautiful Piazza del Duomo and Museo degli Uffizi and continue the tour by crossing the Arno River on the majestic Ponte Vecchio to reach Oltrarno and Florence’s most bustling neighborhood, San Niccolò. This is the artistic heart of Firenze, where small atelier and characteristic shops are scattered in the streets.

Pisa - The city is renowned for its iconic Leaning Tower, but it offers much more than just a famous tilt. Visitors can delve into the city's rich history and explore architectural wonders like the Piazza dei Miracoli, which houses the Leaning Tower, the magnificent Pisa Cathedral, and the Baptistery. Stroll along the Arno River, cross the enchanting Ponte di Mezzo, and soak in the charming atmosphere of the historic center.

The Countryside - In the heart of the land surrounding Siena lies Val d'Orcia, a perfect landscape characterized by rolling hills, cypress groves and the sinuous flow of its river. Just a few kilometers from Florence there's the Mugello, where you can discover interesting traces of history in beautiful Medici villas, tiny churches and the town of Lucca. In the wonderful Tuscan landscape of Montepulciano and San Gimignano you can find unique hamlets surrounded by the most unspoiled nature, castles, solitary abbeys and history-filled villa-farms where is possible to taste the local wine.

The Seaside - The Apuan Riviera in northern Tuscany has a unique coastal landscape of fine sandy beaches set against the backdrop of the Apuan Alps - the area’s majestic marble quarries. The city of Carrara has built its fortune on its namesake Carrara marble, called “white gold” as it’s the rarest and the most valuable marble in the world. After your full immersion in the authenticity of Tuscan craftsmanship don’t forget to visit the beautiful local coast and enjoy the Italian sun on Castiglione della Pescaia beach or relax at Terme di Saturnia.

The streets of Firenze
The streets of Firenze
Tuscan countryside
Tuscan countryside

Traditional Tuscan Craftsmanship

Marble from Carrara - The city of Carrara has built its fortune on its namesake Carrara marble, called “white gold” as it’s the rarest and the most valuable marble in the world. The aesthetic quality, character and finishes of Carrara marble have it a noble medium for artists, sculptors and designers. Located in the heart of the Carrara quarry, Carrara Home Design preserves the charm of the territory and turns this fine marble into unique objects of décor; so does ​Salvatori and Fiammetta V Home Collection.

Ceramics from Montelupo Fiorentino - ​Located only a few miles from Florence, Montelupo Fiorentino has been an active pottery center since the 1300s, producing everyday items as well as luxury ceramics featuring Gothic flowers and Renaissance motifs. Make a stop here for some of the most important ceramic workshops in Italy, including ​Bitossi Ceramiche, ​Fornace Masini, ​ND Dolfi and ​Sbigoli Terrecotte.

Glass from Empoli - The historic town of Empoli is highly regarded for its production of damigiane, large glass containers traditionally used to store wine. Over the years, local artisans began experimenting with adding different shades of blue and yellow to the classic green flask, putting a new spin on tradition. Today, ​Creart’s colorful champagne flutes and ​Vetrerie di Empoli’s gilded glassware add a touch of playfulness to conventional glassmaking rules.

Silver from Firenze - Among the materials that have made the history of Firenze there is certainly silver, which for centuries has been worked with special techniques that make the silverware of the city among the most appreciated in the world. Master artisans such as Argentiere PagliaiBrandimarte FirenzeFratelli Lisi and Pampaloni use different working techniques on this precious metal: hammering, chiselling, engraving and embossing are still used today in the many workshops in the city, workshops that have been handed down techniques and secrets for generations.

Where to Stay

Relais Sant'Elena, Bibbona - Surrounded by soft hills and a flourishing countryside stands Relais Sant’Elena: an ancient Tuscan dwelling made of history and stone. The perfect location to enjoy the beautiful Tuscany surrounded by elegant interiors featuring earthy tones, antique furnishings and precious fabrics.

Castello del Nero, Barberino Tavarenelle - Hidden among the rolling hills of Chianti, Castello del Nero is a 12th-century castle is layered with original Renaissance frescoes, priceless artifacts and distinct contemporary décor designed by Italian architect and designer Paola Navone.

Terre di Sacra, Capalbio - A magic estate established in 1922 in a vast area that stretches from the southernmost point of Tuscany along the coastline. Once a wild and marshy land, today an extraordinary oasis that perfectly integrates with the natural landscape and surrounding territory.

Tenuta Petrolo, Mercatale - Hidden in the Chianti hills, this charming manor, has a long history of passion for winemaking and hospitality, and is the perfect location to experience the local culture surrounded by authentic antiques and genuine natural landscapes.

Oltrarno Splendid, Firenze - A hidden gem in the center of Firenze, the Oltrarno Splendid is more than an ordinary boutique hotel, offering an unexpected blend of modern design with Renaissance frescoes and a sneak peek into the secret side of the city.

Castiglion del Bosco, Montalcino - A 800-year-old country estate in the midst of Tuscany consisting of villas, vineyards, castle ruins and a medieval church scattered around an historic village.

Castello di Vicarello, Poggi del Sasso Cinigiano - A dreamy medieval castle, a luxurious combination of history and charm, the perfect location to enjoy the Italian lifestyle surrounded by the rolling green Tuscan hills and the unique landscapes that distinguish the region.

Castello del Nero
Castello del Nero

Discover Tuscan Crafts and Design

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