BEST TIME TO VISIT ITALY: JUNE

The international airport in Pisa is certainly closer to Florence, which also has its own air terminals, but Rome is just as easy if you plan to visit southern Tuscany. I would highly recommend that route. Northern Lazio and the Maremma are a great starting point for any visit to Tuscany for those planning a move. The countryside around Capalbio (a well-known retreat for leaders from the center-left, especially) has a number of agriturismi (rural bed-and-breakfasts) that run horseback tours of the area. Between the countryside trattorie, the thermal spa town of Saturnia, and the beaches nearby, you might well decide to spend the whole week there. Though that may be tempting, you should head north toward Siena and enjoy an afternoon of winetasting and home shopping in Montalcino or Montepulciano along the way. Although prices there are for the most part prohibitively high, you should spend some time surveying farms in Chianti, if only to get an idea of what might be.

June is a great time to cruise through the countryside, with its sunflowers in bloom and its grapes just beginning to take shape. While the crowds will already have swelled in Florence, it’s also a great season to visit the city. Florence holds the Regatta del Palio boat race and the Gioco di Calcio Storico rugby-like soccer match the third week of June. My favorite city in Tuscany is Lucca, and the villages and nature in the Garfagnana are rustic, but with just a week I would recommend heading southeast toward Arezzo and on to Umbria. The southeast corner of Tuscany is some of the choicest countryside for foreign homeowners, counting the rock star Sting among them, and of course Cortona is the setting for Frances Mayes’s book Under the Tuscan Sun. Farther east, into Umbria, there may still be some deals you can uncover even today if you wander around enough. Todi has already been discovered by the international set: Serious home shoppers should have a closer look at the area around Terni, which is right on the way back to Rome.

BEST TIME TO VISIT ITALY: JUNE Photo Gallery




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