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Life’s A Beach Under The Tuscan Sun

When you think of Tuscany, most likely romantic wine lists, ridiculously good food and mesmerizing artwork come to mind. There’s certainly more than enough of the epicurean delights and masterpieces to astound even the harshest critic, but it’s merely just a small part of what Tuscany is all about. To be honest, the region is HUGE – reaching from the Duomo of Florence up into Bologna and back down along the eastern Mediterranean coast. Yes, coasts – Tuscany is not just the rolling hills and lonely farmhouse – it has stretches of beaches that hug the blue Mediterranean sea.

The Tuscany Riviera is a great option for both the first-time visitor and for those who have already seen some of Italy’s sights. The coast is home to some big hotspots, like Pisa and Forte dei Marmi and other quiet beach resorts that offer a wide variety of activities and possibilities for just about any type of trip. Often, many people choose to add on a couple of days at one of the pretty beachside towns to their culture-rich trip through Florence or Rome. In fact, you can be at the feet of Michelangelo’s David in Florence’s Uffizi in the morning and be in a café sipping espresso on the beach in Viareggio by lunchtime. In a country with so many famous sights and a seemingly endless list of places to visit, why not take advantage of the proximity and head to the beach? This is a vacation, after all.

Just as you’d expect, the beach resorts on the Tuscan Riviera are elegant and effortlessly chic. There are plentiful restaurants serving traditional Tuscan cuisine on terraces overlooking cliffs and expansive stretches of sand. Tuscany beach villas are sprinkled along the coast, providing ideal accommodations for those lucky travelers who want a truly luxurious escape. There are also more than enough hotels and charming resorts that open right onto the sand.

Some of the most popular beach spots include Marina di Pietrasanta, Viareggio and Forte dei Marmi, though those only name a few along the golden coast. The famous beaches and rugged coast of Cinque Terre round out the northern Tuscan coast in Liguria, and the area is a perfect spot for some adventurous sun-worshippers looking for fun water sports in picturesque villages tucked into the cliffs.

So now that you’re hooked – where should you stay? Save the romantic hotels for Rome and Florence, and when you head to the beach, choose an iconic Tuscany villa that lets you really get away from it all. A hotel is great for convenience in the larger cities, but renting a villa is perfect for exploring the smaller villages along the coast. Find your own place in Tuscany and live among the locals for a day or two for an experience you’ll never forget.

Wake up to the sounds of the sea lapping over the sand and to the smells of the local bakery preparing their daily batches. Go for a calm swim, eat heaping portions of freshly made pasta and top off your meal with a refreshing limoncello. In short, plan your sightseeing and cultural hotspots for the big cities, but head to the Tuscany beach resorts for a true taste of la vita bella.

Brought to you by a SHABL reader and in partnership with  Paradizo :  The Discerning Taste of Luxury.

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