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Florence by night

Winter in Tuscany: travel ideas from museums to spas

For a truly unforgettable winter vacation

Even during the cold season, there is no shortage of travel ideas: museums offer visits suitable for the whole family, the most charming art cities and villages come alive with themed festivals and long-standing traditions, and for those looking for something more relaxing, spas remain an excellent choice!

Here are some ideas for an unforgettable trip even in winter.

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    Christmas Traditions
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Pitti Palace in Florence
Pitti Palace in Florence - Credit: Hao Xu

The ideal solution to combat rainy and cold days is definitely a visit to the museum.

Art cities offer numerous proposals suitable for all needs: in Florence you will undoubtedly find the one for you at the Uffizi Gallery, which, in addition to the Uffizi Museum, include the Pitti Palace and the Boboli Gardens.
The Uffizi contains some absolute masterpieces of art of all time - just remember the names of Giotto, Simone Martini, Piero della Francesca, Beato Angelico, Botticelli, Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo, Caravaggio - as well as very famous works of European painting, especially German, Dutch and Flemish.
In addition, UffiziKids gathers on-site - and online - activities and proposals for the museum's very young visitors.
Pitti Palace is home to several museums: the Tesoro dei Granduchi, the Museo delle Icone Russe with the Palatine Chapel and the Gallery of Modern Art.

In Siena, you can spend a few hours with the family at the Museo di Storia Naturale dell'Accademia dei Fisiocritici: a fascinating space that will enchant everyone with its zoology, anatomy and geology collections, but especially with the find of the 15-meter-long whale skeleton, located in the palace's enchanting cloister.

In Prato, the Luigi Pecci Center for Contemporary Art will surprise you with an exhibition space housing more than three hundred artists: it was the first museum in Italy built specifically to house and promote the international artistic avant-garde.
The space offers many inclusive and interdisciplinary educational proposals.
The building itself is a work of art in the city of Prato that is worth admiring.


Bagno Vignoni
Bagno Vignoni

On colder days, what could be better than taking a break in a spa?
In Tuscany, the offer concerning spas is very articulated, thanks to the different characteristics of the waters that flow from underground: regenerating experiences to unplug and take care of yourself.

Bagno Vignoni is a very atmospheric village in the heart of the Val d'Orcia, known for the characteristic thermal water pool located right in the main square of the village.
Here there are three accommodations in which you can stay and recharge your batteries with regenerating treatments and baths.

Amid the green nature of the Val di Cornia, the Terme di Sassetta features precious water that flows naturally from an underground basin at a constant temperature of 51°C.
The spa is located within a 75-hectare biodynamic organism surrounded by dense Mediterranean scrub forest.

In the heart of Maremma, the Terme di Saturnia are enhanced by a thousand-year-old spring, whose thermal waters flow at 500 liters per second at a temperature of 37.5°. For 3,000 years, uninterruptedly, the thermal water has been flowing down inside a natural crater on the slopes of Monte Amiata.
The facility also features a Roman bath: a special area that recreates the atmosphere of ancient Roman baths in a travertine stone setting.

To choose the best place for every need, here is a complete list of spas in Tuscany.

Christmas Traditions

Abbadia San Salvatore città delle fiaccole
Abbadia San Salvatore città delle fiaccole

The Christmas season is a magical time to discover traditions, and many villages have customs that have been handed down for generations.

In Monteriggioni, on Christmas Eve, there is an evocative night walk on the Via Francigena: the departure is from the 13th-century castle and the walk through the woods, illuminated only by the light of flashlights, arrives in the village of Abbadia ad Isola: 4 kilometers of torchlight procession that ends with a religious service in the beautiful abbey of Saints Salvatore and Cirino.
A special event on the most magical night of the year.

Abbadia San Salvatore, a village on the slopes of Monte Amiata, during the night of December 24 is transformed into the Città delle Fiaccole.
An ancient rite during which huge pyramid-shaped stacks of wood are set on fire in every corner of the historic center.
From midnight until dawn the town is illuminated by firelight and enlivened by people eating, drinking and singing together.

Every January 6, a special train departs from the Santa Maria Novella station in Florence and, traveling through the landscapes of the Valdisieve, arrives in Mugello, in San Piero a Sieve: it is the Befana Train to celebrate Epiphany with samples of sweets and typical products.


The bardiccio
The bardiccio - Credit: Fabio Bernardini

Throughout December, Cantine Aperte, the format that takes wine lovers on a wine discovery tour, returns. This special edition will be an opportunity to choose wines to pair with Christmas menus. Suggestions from producers, but also an opportunity to introduce the world of wine to children thanks to many initiatives designed just for children.

In Londa, a quaint village on the slopes of Monte Falterona, Christmas Eve night is dedicated to bardiccio, a typical sausage from the Florentine mountains with a strong and flavored taste: an evening with barbecue in the square and glasses of wine to spend Christmas in the name of tradition.

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