Visit the local markets
around the central piazzas of Vicchio di Mugello on a Thursday morning, and at Borgo San Lorenzo on a Tuesday morning.
Walk from Vicchio to Gattaia
There is a beautiful walk from Vicchio to Gattaia which enjoys spectacular views of the mountains that surround the Mugello valley.
Just outside Vicchio you will find Lake Montelleri. Bring a picnic and enjoy a leisurely afternoon on the lake-side or if you are feeling more energetic, there is canoeing available and mountain bike and hiking trails.
Discover Vicchio's artists
Vicchio was the birthplace of two famous Italian painters: Giotto and Beato Angelico. Make sure you include a visit to the Beato Angelico Museum, Giotto's home in the hamlet of Vespignano and the Cimabeu's bridge. Legend has it that this is where the painter Cimabeu encountered Giotto painting a sheep onto a rock and was so impressed that he took him in as an apprentice at his workshop in Florence.
Visit a winery
Just 20 minutes from Villa Giotto, the Frascole estate overlooks the town of Dicomano. This family-owned estate produces Chianti Rufina DOC red wines and offers wine tastings on Tuesday afternoons. The wine cellar is open for visits Mondays to Saturday afternoons. They also produce their own olive oil.
For those who need to work off some energy on holiday, tennis is available at Borgo San Lorenzo and horse riding at Vicchio.
can fish at the Lago di Montelleri lake in Vicchio.
Just a 30 minute drive from Villa Giotto, you will find Lake Bilancino. There are two beach restaurants and and various sports and outdoor activities to be enjoyed: canoeing, windsurfing, sailing, fishing, as well as hikes, mountain bike rides, and bird-watching in the WWF nature reserve.
Always wanted to fly?
The Mugello gliding club in Borgo San Lorenzo is conveniently close if you have always fancied trying your hand at gliding!
Poggio dei Medici is an 18 hole Championship golf course, only about half an hour's drive away from the villa. 6452 metres and par 72, it has 5 different starting tees for a challenging round for any player. And beautiful views of the verdant Mugello valley to enjoy.
The Pratolino gardens
South of the Mugello valley and about 12km north of Florence, you will find these magnificent gardens, initially commissioned by the Medici family in the late 16th century then abandoned and restored over the centuries by a Grandduke and then a Russian Prince. This later gave his name to the Villa Demidoff which still stands in the grounds, along with the ruins of the original Medicean villa. The park is now open to the public - although it is worth calling ahead to request free access to some of the more interesting areas. The centrepiece is an enormous Renaissance statue called 'Colossus of the Apennines'.
Florence is a must
One of the most beautiful cities in the world, Florence (or Firenze in Italian) will feature high on your to-do list whilst staying in this area. Surrounded by the beautiful Florentine hills, the city sits either side of the River Arno in a natural bowl. The ‘centro storico’ consists of an overwhelming abundance of Renaissance ‘palazzi’, museums and churches that are world famous for their beauty, art and history. From the station in Vicchio you can get a direct train to Florence, the journey takes about an hour and is far preferable to getting caught up in traffic and having to find a parking space!
Wine tasting in Chianti
Chianti is not just a beautiful region of Tuscany, but also a famous wine producing region - so wine tasting is a must during any stay in Chianti! Some of the wines produced here are: Classico, Chianti Rufina, Chianti Colli Fiorentini ... but there are many others to taste and savour. You can drive to this region from the house in about an hour and a quarter.
Greve in Chianti
Greve is a small town in the heart of the Chianti region, whose charming 'square', Piazza Matteotti, is actually an unusual triangular shape. The piazza is lined with porticos under which you will find a number of shops, cafes and restaurants, and a weekly market takes place here every Saturday morning, where you can take in the atmosphere of a typical Tuscan market day. Also don’t miss the famous Falorni butcher’s shop, where you can taste a platter of meats & cheeses accompanied by a good bottle of local wine.
Montecatini Terme (1h 15mins from Vicchio) is a beautiful town that was built around its mineral water springs. The most famous spa in town is the Tettuccio Terme, built in the late 18th century, and still open to visitors who want to admire the liberty architecture and enjoy a treatment. You can also take the funicular (1898 cablecar) to Montecatini Alto, the historic part of the town, which offers a spectacular view and a typical square full of inviting restaurants. About 15 minutes further, the Grotta Giusti is a unique natural grotto with an underground hot water lake, where guests can enjoy a relaxing and detoxifying steam bath. Other spa facilities are also available for a truly relaxing day.
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