Tuscany, Italy Travel Guide

Tuscany is a historic region in central Italy that stretches from the west coast to the Apennine Mountains. It also meanders through medieval towns, endless vineyards, and the beautiful cities of Pisa, Siena, and Florence. Defined by traffic jams, deadlines, and alarm clocks, Tuscany lures its visitors with the promise of a gentler and warmer way of living.

Tuscany changed the world forever about 600 years ago when political, cultural, and economic forces collided creating the Renaissance. In this era, education and art were highly prized. Although the world has since then changed, Tuscany’s values still hold firm and tourists can spend days or weeks to rediscover them slowly.

Florence, its capital city was at the epicenter of this Renaissance. For many years, families competed with the church and each other to commission the finest artworks and create the grandest buildings. The patronage of thinkers, artists, and writers bought the wealthy prestige, and geniuses such as Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo thrived under this system.

Other greats include Rafael and Botticelli and you can see some of the works in the Uffizi Gallery and Academia Gallery. With its ornate palaces, beautiful churches, and historic piazzas, Florence feels more like a living museum.

Florence is not the only Tuscany region that echoes with the footsteps of history. The province of Siena fiercely competed with Florence during the Renaissance. To lure wealthy families, it also commissioned many of its own works. Some medieval hill towns such as Montalcino and Monticchiello played a crucial role in the generations of power struggles. Visit these towns and sit high on its timeless ramparts which have changed little after about 1,000 years.

Pisa is widely known for its famous tower and it is a great place you can discover on foot. The hilltop town of Volterra is just some hours’ drive from this town. Since the days of the Romans, skilled craftsmen have been transforming luminous stone into pieces of art.

Perhaps the greatest Tuscany artworks are those created by Mother Nature. With its wildflower filled national parks, unspoiled beaches, and warm thermal springs, the natural beauty of Tuscany has been attracting visitors since the Romans days. Discover Tuscany coastline by heading west. Its ancient ports feel like they have been there forever.

A wilder part of Tuscany is a little further south. Here you can enjoy wildflowers, rolling hills, and an appreciation of the pleasures of life including wine. Follow your cravings to the sun wormed olive groves and winding roads to the Chianti vineyards. This area is widely known for its earthy style of wine.

Also famous for their wines are the beautiful towns of Arezzo and Cortona. Pair your wine with this city’s simple food and linger over cuisines created with cured meats, cheeses, and seasonal ingredients.

Townsville, Brisbane Travel Guide

Townsville is an Australian city that sits on Queensland sun-drenched coastline and it is about 700 miles from Brisbane, the state capital. It is a gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, the Tropical North, and the Wild Outback. Townsville offers visitors over 320 days of sunshine a year and some of the best natural attractions in Australia. There is also plenty to admire in this city from the heritage buildings to the waterfront esplanade, lush tropical gardens, and the legendary northern hospitality. Here are the top must-see attractions in Townsville, Brisbane.

Castle Hill

The Castle Hill has been looming large over this region since the dawn of time. It is a granite guardian that has witnessed many centuries of history, from the campfires of the Wulgurukaba and Bindal to the coming of Europeans, first as castaways and explorers and later as settlers.

Flinders Street

Townsville was first established by Robert Towns as a port town in 1866 but it quickly blossomed. Walk along Flinders street to admire some of the finest buildings in Australia including gracious pubs which have been serving ice cold beer to locals for generations.

Army Museum of North Queensland

Learn how Townsville became one of Pacific allied largest bases during World War II at the Army Museum of North Queensland. Discover even more of Townsville’s natural and historical treasures at the Museum of Tropical Queensland.

Reef HQ

Here, the Great Barrier Reef wonders have been to shore for everyone to enjoy. While you are here, ensure you visit the turtle hospital to see the recovering patients.

Billabong Sanctuary

Billabong Sanctuary is a few miles of Townsville’s south. Continue your walk on the wide side and get close to some of the most fearsome and treasured animals in Australia.

Magnetic Island

Take a 5-mile ferry ride to this island to experience the brightest natural jewel of Townsville. From Nelly Bay, set off on foot, hop on a local bus, or rent a Mini Moke to discover Maggie’s coastal communities and national parks. Meet friendly locals, explore World War II forts, and coastal tracks along the way.

Once the temperature climbs, there are many fabulous beaches you can cool off at, some are completely deserted while lifeguards patrol others. When it comes to Australian vacation adventures, why not set aside some days to explore the beautiful city of Townsville. This is because sometimes it is the less popular places that offer the sweetest memories and hold the sweetest surprises.