Day trips from Florence, Italy: readers' travel tips

From Travel news, travel guides and reviews | guardian.co.uk
April 26, 2013 - 4:00pm
Florence oozes culture but there are also quiet towns with fine restaurants, stunning mountain regions and monasteries to nourish body and soul – all within a few hours of the city• Add a tip for next week and you could win a pair of top-quality walking bootsWinning tip: BargaIf tired of museums and crowds, 24 hours in Barga, with its twisting lanes, artistic residents and incredible views, will refresh your soul. Flower-filled stairways lead up to the cathedral, and a vista over the tiles and verdant valley towards the Apuan Alps. There are plenty of trattorie to sample delicious regional fare. Barga can be reached from Florence by train but it is simpler and quicker to drive, around two hours. Stay in the serene Villa Moorings or one of the many agriturismi. +39 0583 711538, villamoorings.itmarthahCertaldo AltaCertaldo Alta is a short train ride from Florence. Head for the old part, either on foot or using the cable car from the square. It's a Tuscan hill town with few tourists, interesting history and quiet bars and restaurants. In the summer there is a music and arts festival so you can listen to jazz in part of an old church surrounded by ancient frescoes. Stay for the night in nearby Fattoria Bassetto, a former Benedictine convent, which is now a budget hotel and hostel. In one room there is a black-and-white photograph of the family who still own it, taken in the 1950's by Cecil Beaton. The owners are lovely. Arrange a cooking class at a nearby farm, and don't retu...

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