The villages and small towns that surround the city may help you to better understand Florence and its cultural identity, which are products of different and deep-rooted influences of the Tuscan countryside and hills.
The Rosary Garden Hotel propose to its guests tours of the art cities and typical villages, such as Siena, San Gimignano, Monteriggioni, and Pisa, as well as excursions to villas, castles, oil mills and wine cellars. During these trips, you can taste and purchase oil, wine and all the best specialities of the Tuscan farms.
- Siena: in the heart of Tuscany, in the middle of a vast, hilly landscape, Siena is a city of Etruscan origin that has preserved intact the traces of its medieval splendor. The walls surround a historical centre made up of ancient, noble buildings and narrow streets that lead to Piazza del Campo, where the Palio horse race is celebrated every year.
- Pisa: an ancient Roman colony, one of the Mediterranean centres of the XI century, Pisa is home to one of the most celebrated world monuments, the Leaning Tower, in the celebrated Piazza dei Miracoli (Miracles Square), which UNESCO has stated as WORLD HERITAGE SITE.
- Lucca: originating as a Liguria setting, Lucca was an important centre in 1400 for silk art. Lucca is one of the few cities in Tuscany that has preserved intact its masonry town walls. In piazza San Martino it is possible to admire the homonymous Cathedral, the façade of which was inspired by the Pisa Cathedral.
- Vinci: a small municipality in the province of Florence, among grapes vineyard and olive trees upon the slopes of Montalbano, it is the birth village of Leonardo da Vinci, and the home of the Ideale Museum, the Leonardo library, and of an international study centre dedicated to this universal spirit.
- San Gimignano: on a hill that dominates the Val d'Elsa, it is a small setting who dates back to the Hellenistic age (300 B.C.). It is characterized by 14 towers that represented the noble families of the city during medieval times in the period of its maximum magnificence thanks to the commercial trade of agricultural products from the Tuscan hills.
- Monteriggioni: this small fortified village, cited by Dante in the XXXI Song of the “Inferno”, was built by the Siena inhabitants in the XIII century as an outpost of Via Cassia. The village is surrounded by a splendid territory made up of small valleys formed by torrents and streams.
- Poggio a Caiano: in the province of Prato, Poggio a Caiano is celebrated for the Medici villa designed by Giuliano da Sangallo for Lorenzo il Magnifico. The Medici Stables, which are evocative of those of San Marco square in Florence, and the Church of San Francesco complete this little town that is rich in historical resonance.
- Artimino: an ancient agglomeration of houses famous for the Medici villa “of the Hundred Chimneys” built by Ferdinando I. The story tells that the Grand Duke chose this small hill during a hunting trip on Mount Albano in the company of the elderly architect Buontalenti. Artimino was an agricultural village of great importance under the Lorena dynasty.