During March, days are getting each day longer and the sun is already pleasantly warm. If you have the opportunity to enjoy the heat of the sun in a protected angle, you may get off your jacket and jumper. This year, Easter is quite early, on the first weekend of April, the ideal period to travel and discover Tuscany. During the month of April, only a few tourists are visiting Tuscany. As Good Friday, the Venerdì Santo is not a bank holiday, Italians usually travel from Easter Saturday until Easter Monday.
Italians living in town, often prefer the peace of a farmstay in the countryside or the first sunbathing on the sea. Quite popular are also places of historic and cultural interest such as Florence, Pisa and Siena.
Italians traditionally enjoy on Easter Sunday a complete Easter menu with easter lamb, at a restaurant or together with the whole family. In the southern Maremma Tuscany, the most typical pasta recipe are the Tortelli Maremmani, filled with ricotta and spinach. To finish the easter lunch, a must is the so called Colomba Pasquale (Easter Dove), a delicious, sweet and soft easter bread, similar to the Pandoro, but formed like a dove, as sign for peace. Children usually get enormous chocolate eggs with a surprise inside and most of the confectioner’s shops and supermarkets are decorated with it. On Easter Monday Italians do traditionally excursions with picnic in the countryside or visit places of cultural and artistic interest. Before and after Easter it is usually very calm, thus one can discover perfectly the beautiful Tuscan countryside or visit museums.
If you decide to visit northern Tuscany, you can’t miss Pisa and a visit on the leaning tower, a stroll through Lucca and Pistoia and naturally Florence with the Uffizi museum and all the many other museums that besides the beautiful center are worth visiting.
If you are supposed to pass your holiday on the northern Tuscan coast, it is worth visiting the Versilia coast with Viareggio, the Apuan Alps discovering the marble quarries and from there, don’t forget to bring as a small present the delicious Lardo di Colonnata bacon. Not far from Lucca there is the small village of Collodi birthplace of Pinocchio and remembered in a beautiful park as well as Montecatini Terme with its exclusive thermal baths.
The center of Tuscany, driving from Florence towards south is formed by the Chianti Classico area, the most famous wine-growing area in Italy, extending until reaching Siena, an area that besides wine has to offer a beautiful landscape scattered with castles or charming hilltop villages (Castellina, Radda, Gaiole in Chianti, Castelnuovo Berardenga). From here, it is not far to reach Volterra, San Gimignano or the beautiful, small fortress village of Monteriggioni.
From Siena, driving even further south, it is worth visiting the hilltop twon of Montepulciano, moving than from there towards Pienza, the town of the pecorino cheese, lying in the midst of the Orcia Valley. Not far from Pienza is the small, characteristic village Bagno Vignoni, in the center of the village with the centuries old thermal pool. The thermal hot springs have also formed a natural pool underneath the village and on the spot it is possible to enjoy thermal treatments. Only a few kilometres away, the medieval villages of S. Quirico d`Orcia or Castiglion d`Orcia as well as Montalcino, famous for their excellent Brunello di Montalcino wine.
The southern Tuscan coast is waiting with beautiful places with Etruscan origins such as Populonia with the Gulf of Baratti, the only Etruscan harbour town, lying right in front of Elba Island, the charming hilltop village Massa Marittima, Castiglione della Pescaia – today a charming seaside resort whose center will remind of Middle Ages, when it was the reason of dispute – further south, the peninsula Monte Argentario with Porto Santo Stefano and Porto Ercole and Giglio Island lying in front. The southern-tuscan hinterland offers less farmous, small places that even today have maintained their very special character and you shouln’t miss the tuffstone villages Pitigliano, Sovana and Sorano as well as naturally the thermal bathes of Saturnia.
Even though you are in Italy and the climate is quite warm, the March and April are not that stable and it might happen that one day it seems to be summer, whereas the other day is cold and rainy. So be prepared for any case!