We so often talk about Florence and the Tuscan countryside, and when many think of an Italian coast, it conjures images of the Amalfi Coast, or perhaps Cinque Terre, but there’s another part of Tuscany to consider for a cooking vacation too… the coast to the region’s west. Tuscany’s coast may be less talked about, but the waterfront here — along the Ligurian and Tyrrhenian Seas — is something worth experiencing, and we highly recommend you visit it on your next Tuscany tour.
The coastal area of Viareggio is easily the most popular, with sun chairs packed side by side on the beach. But for a quieter, more relaxing experience, look south to the area surrounding Livorno and down through the Maremma. While there are beach clubs up and down the coast, there are unspoiled beaches too, many of which have been preserved thanks to donations from noble families.
One of our favorite destinations? Bolgheri, in no small part due to the famous Super Tuscan wines of the area. This area is also known as the Etruscan Coast, highlighting the history — and architecture — of the region. If you’re a food and wine lover, as well as one who loves history, add this hilly part of Tuscany to your bucket list.
During our Truly Tuscany culinary vacation and wine tour, accommodations are actually nestled among the vineyards, just a stone’s throw from the coast. One of the cooking classes during this trip takes place in a seaside restaurant under the tutelage of famed Chef Deborah Corsi.
Looking even further south in Tuscany is another gem, the Maremma. The landscape here is incredibly varied, and beautifully naturally preserved, from the stunning beaches to the black rocks, hills, marshes, and natural thermal baths. Maremma is idyllic Tuscany, complete with villas among miles of olive and cypress trees. In this beautiful part of Italy, we offer a cooking vacation near Castiglione della Pescaia, once an old fishing port, at a luxury hotel co-owned by the famous Alain Ducasse.
This part of Tuscany is, unsurprisingly, most popular from mid-July through August, but it’s a wonderful place to visit year round, not only for the landscape and beaches, but for the regional cuisine too.
By Liz Hall
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