Photography Guide: the best places to capture memorable photos (near Gargonza Castle)

the most beautiful places to take picture in Tuscany

Tuscany is a region rich in natural and cultural beauty, making it an ideal place for capturing breathtaking photos and selfies.
One of the most beautiful places is undoubtedly Florence, with its magnificent Duomo and the iconic Ponte Vecchio, providing perfect backdrops for photography. Pisa is another must-visit destination, with its iconic Tower attracting tourists from around the world.

But Tuscany offers much more: the picturesque Tuscan countryside with its hills and cypress trees, such as in Val d’Orcia, is a true paradise for photography enthusiasts. Even the medieval city of Siena, with its majestic Piazza del Campo and unique architecture, offers many opportunities for capturing unforgettable photos.

Where to Take the Best Photos in Florence?

Florence, with its rich history and breathtaking architecture, offers numerous places to capture the best tourist photos. One of the most iconic spots is Ponte Vecchio, with its characteristic overhanging houses reflecting on the Arno River and timeless charm shops.

Another fascinating area is the square enclosing the Duomo of Santa Maria del Fiore, with its majestic dome and Giotto’s bell tower. Art lovers shouldn’t miss the Uffizi Gallery, which houses masterpieces by artists such as Botticelli and Leonardo da Vinci. For a panoramic view of the city, take the time to stroll up to Piazzale Michelangelo, where you can enjoy a spectacular panorama of the entire city with the Duomo in the background. Lastly, the Boboli Gardens are the ideal place to take photos amidst beautiful gardens and fountains.

Where to Take Photos in Pisa?

In Pisa, there are many picturesque spots for taking beautiful photos. One of the most popular points is certainly the famous Piazza dei Miracoli, with its magnificent Tower where you’ll always find someone posing.

If you prefer to stay away from the crowds, along the Arno River, you can find several scenic spots from which to photograph the city’s picturesque landscape, with its charming bridges and historic palaces. The historic center of Pisa, with its cobblestone streets and colorful characteristic houses, also offers fascinating scenarios for capturing unforgettable photos. Lastly, you can’t forget to immortalize the beauty of the imposing Pisa Cathedral, with its grandeur and splendid white marble.

Where to Take Photos in Siena?

Siena offers numerous picturesque locations for capturing breathtaking photographs. One of the most iconic places for photos in the city is undoubtedly Piazza del Campo, famous for its shell shape and the Palazzo Pubblico. Here, you can capture the energy and unique atmosphere of the square, especially during the Palio di Siena, one of the city’s most important traditions. Another point of photographic interest is the Siena Cathedral, a masterpiece of Italian Gothic with its intricate façade and panoramic view of the city from its tower. Finally, Siena’s medieval streets, with their charming alleys and arches, offer many opportunities to capture the historical essence and charm of this Tuscan city.

Where to Take Photos in Livorno?

Livorno offers numerous picturesque locations for capturing memorable photos. One of the most popular options is the waterfront, where you can capture the beauty of the sea and the historic buildings surrounding it. Don’t miss the unmistakable Terrazza Mascagni: especially wonderful at sunset. The picturesque district of Venezia Nuova, with its canals and colorful facades, also offers a unique backdrop for photos. For nature lovers, the gardens of Villa Mimbelli are an ideal option, with their green lawns and blooming flowers. Additionally, Livorno’s picturesque port, with its fishing boats and breathtaking sunsets, offers an ideal location for photography enthusiasts.

Where to photograph San Gimignano from?

San Gimignano is a beautiful medieval town located in Tuscany famous for its medieval towers and timeless charm. When it comes to finding the best spot to photograph San Gimignano, there are many options to consider. One of the most iconic views is from Piazza della Cisterna, with its towering towers in the background: from here, you can capture the unique essence of this historic city and immortalize its architectural beauty. Another scenic location is the Rocca di Montestaffoli, a medieval fortress situated atop a hill, which offers breathtaking panoramic views of the city and the surrounding countryside. Regardless of the chosen spot, photographing San Gimignano will be an unforgettable experience, thanks to its magical atmosphere and picturesque cobblestone streets.

Food and wine experiences in Tuscany: Vineyard tours and tastings

fodd and wine experience in Tuscany

What are the enogastronomic itineraries?

Enogastronomic itineraries are routes that allow you to discover and appreciate the culinary and wine traditions of a specific region or territory.

These paths offer the opportunity to visit farms, wineries, olive oil mills, and other production facilities where you can taste and purchase local products.

Furthermore, during these itineraries, you can participate in guided tastings, cooking classes, visits to markets, and enogastronomic festivals, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the culture and history of the area. Enogastronomic itineraries represent a unique opportunity to know and appreciate the quality and authenticity of local products, as well as to have an unforgettable experience in the world of gastronomy.

2-Day Enogastronomic Tour in Tuscany

A two-day enogastronomic tour in Tuscany is a breathtaking culinary and wine experience. During these two days, you will have the opportunity to immerse yourself in Tuscan enogastronomic culture, visiting renowned wineries and tasting some of the world’s finest wines.

You will also have the chance to savor traditional Tuscan dishes such as ribollita, bistecca alla fiorentina, and pappa al pomodoro. You can explore charming Tuscan cities and villages like Florence, Siena, and San Gimignano, offering a perfect blend of art, history, and culinary delights. This two-day enogastronomic tour in Tuscany will leave you with unforgettable memories and a deep understanding of the culinary and wine richness of the region.

Culinary Experiences in Tuscany

Enter the picturesque landscapes of Tuscany, where gentle hills are adorned with vineyards stretching as far as the eye can see. In this idyllic setting, a gastronomic adventure awaits you.

Tuscany, renowned for its rich culinary heritage, has long been a mecca for enogastronomy enthusiasts. The region boasts a series of vineyards producing some of the world’s best wines, from the prestigious Chianti Classico to the robust Brunello di Montalcino, showcasing the passion and dedication of its winemakers.

But exploring Tuscan vineyards is not just about sipping wine; it’s a sensory experience immersing you in the heart of Italian culture. The vineyards provide a wonderful backdrop for a leisurely stroll, allowing you to immerse yourself in the beauty of the Tuscan countryside while learning about the winemaking process.

In each vineyard, you’ll have the opportunity to delight your palate with tastings of exquisite wines produced on-site. Guided by expert sommeliers, you’ll learn to appreciate the nuances and complexity of each sip, from delicate notes of fruit and flowers to subtle hints of oak and spices. These tastings open the door to discovering the artistic skill involved in creating the perfect bottle of wine.

Traditional Tuscan Pairings: Exploring the Classics

When it comes to traditional Tuscan pairings, there are some classic combinations that have stood the test of time.

One such pairing is the marriage of Chianti Classico and bistecca alla fiorentina, a delicious Florentine-style steak. The bold flavors of the steak complement the robust and fruity notes of Chianti Classico, creating a harmonious balance on the palate.

Another classic pairing is pecorino cheese with Vernaccia di San Gimignano. Pecorino, a sheep’s milk cheese with a rich and spicy flavor, pairs beautifully with the crisp and refreshing Vernaccia wine. The creamy texture of the cheese is enhanced by the citrusy nuances of the wine, creating a delightful combination that is both indulgent and refreshing.

No exploration of traditional Tuscan pairings would be complete without mentioning Vin Santo and cantucci. Vin Santo, a sweet dessert wine made from dried grapes, is often enjoyed alongside cantucci, almond biscuits. The hazelnut flavors of cantucci complement the honeyed sweetness of Vin Santo, making it the perfect finale for any Tuscan meal.

Wine Pairings: Unlocking the Perfect Match

While traditional pairings maintain their charm, there is also an opportunity to explore beyond these classics and unlock new flavor combinations.

When it comes to wine pairings in Tuscany, you can never go wrong with Vermentino paired with seafood dishes. The sparkling acidity and mineral notes of Vermentino cut through the richness of grilled shrimp or spaghetti alle vongole (clam pasta), creating a refreshing contrast on your palate.

For something heartier, try pairing a bold and full-bodied Super Tuscan wine with a rich and savory dish like wild boar ragu. The robust flavors of the wine stand up to the wild flavors of the boar, creating a perfect match for the cuisine.

For those with a sweet tooth, Moscato d’Asti is the perfect companion to desserts like panforte or ricciarelli. The light and effervescent nature of Moscato d’Asti balances the richness of these sweet delicacies, leaving you with a harmonious combination that satisfies your cravings.

Beyond Tuscany: Global Influences and Fusion Pairings

While Tuscan wines are undoubtedly exceptional on their own, they also lend themselves well to fusion pairings that incorporate global flavors.

An example is pairing Sangiovese with sushi: the bright acidity and red fruit notes of Sangiovese complement the delicate flavors of sushi, creating an unexpected but delicious combination.
If you’re feeling adventurous, try pairing a bold Tuscan red like Brunello di Montalcino with spicy Indian curry. The wine’s tannins help temper the heat of the curry, while the complex flavors of both elements create a palate-explosive taste experience.

Finally, for those who prefer vegetarian options, a crisp and aromatic white wine like Vernaccia di San Gimignano pairs beautifully with dishes like caprese salad or vegetable risotto. The fresh and herbaceous notes of Vernaccia enhance the natural flavors of the vegetables, creating a light and refreshing pairing, perfect for summer dinners.
In Tuscan vineyards, culinary delights abound. From traditional pairings that have stood the test of time to innovative fusion combinations pushing boundaries, the world of Tuscan wine tastings offers something for every palate.

Typical products of Tuscany: come and taste them in Gargonza

prodotti tipici di toscana a gargonza

La nostra regione è uno dei gioielli culinari d’Italia. 

Grazie alle sue delizie gastronomiche è capace infatti di incantare i visitatori non solo con i suoi paesaggi mozzafiato e con le sue città d’arte ricche di storia e di cultura, ma anche con la sua tradizione culinaria. Il cibo in Toscana non è solo nutrimento, è cultura, vita, celebrazione della tradizione.

A Gargonza siamo convinti che l’enogastronomia sia una parte fondamentale di chi vive un’esperienza nel castello. Per questo abbiamo selezionato una serie di produttori locali d’eccellenza e di prodotti tipici di Toscana che ben rappresentano la nostra storia e la nostra cultura gastronomica.

Dal prosciutto salato alla finocchiona (un tipico salume di carne suina arricchito con semi di finocchio), passando per pecorini, formaggi freschi e vini rossi strutturati e robusti: a Gargonza ti offriamo un viaggio tra i sapori dei prodotti tipici di Toscana, in un contesto magico e affascinante.

Prodotti tipici di Toscana: cosa troverai a Gargonza

Nella nostra bottega offriamo degustazioni guidate di prodotti tipici di Toscana provenienti dal territorio che ci circonda. Amiamo andare alla ricerca dei produttori locali che lavorano con passione le migliori materie prime e ci teniamo a farti assaggiare i prodotti che noi consideriamo migliori. Ai piedi della maestosa torre trecentesca, potrai assaporare formaggi, salumi, vini e altre specialità toscane che abbiamo accuratamente selezionato.

Ecco qualche assaggio di quello che possiamo offrirti.

Salumi da animali allevati allo stato brado

I salumi che offriamo nelle nostre degustazioni arrivano principalmente dall’Azienda Agricola Basagni di Monte San Savino. L’azienda alleva suini allo stato brado, che vivono in libertà e si nutrono di ciò che la natura gli offre, per poi essere trasformati in salami, prosciutti e altri deliziosi salumi di eccellenza. La lavorazione artigianale non prevede inoltre l’aggiunta di fosfati aggiunti, per mantenere il gusto e l’aroma delle carni intatto.

Formaggi pluripremiati e ricchi di sapore

Tutti i formaggi che utilizziamo, non solo per le degustazioni ma anche nella cucina del nostro ristorante, arrivano dall’azienda di Andrea De’ Magi. Andrea, con il quale collaboriamo da tempo, è un pluripremiato affinatore che seleziona le migliori forme di formaggi a latte crudo e pastorizzato. Potrai assaggiare formaggi di capra, di pecora e di latte vaccino, che vengono fatti stagionare e affinare nell’azienda di Castiglion Fiorentino. Qui assumono il loro sapore e la loro consistenza caratteristica: sentirai il vero sapore del latte e della stagionatura fatta come una volta.

Vieni ad assaggiare i prodotti tipici di Toscana a Gargonza

prodotti tipici di toscana

Ovviamente salumi e formaggi saranno accompagnati da pane tipico toscano (senza sale, rigorosamente!) e da un bicchiere di vino rosso locale. Le aziende vinicole che abbiamo selezionato si trovano tutte in Toscana e le abbiamo scelte proprio perché i loro vini sono in grado di accompagnare ed esaltare al meglio le proposte gastronomiche.

Per esigenze particolari, possiamo inoltre preparare del pane e della schiacciata senza glutine per accompagnare salumi e formaggi.

Se vuoi prenotare una degustazione di prodotti tipici di Toscana a Gargonza, puoi scriverci e saremo felici di organizzarne una personalizzata per te.


An ancient castle in Tuscany: the history of Gargonza

castello in toscana

Evocative and majestic, Gargonza is an ancient castle in Tuscany that has kept intact all the charm of medieval times. Thanks to the continuous restoration works and careful maintenance of it over all these years, walking through the streets of the village and entering the castle of Gargonza is a bit like stepping back in time.

In this article we retrace its centuries-old history of the village and the castle: it will be a truly fascinating journey through time.

The history of Gargonza over the centuries

It seems that the castle of Gargonza was built as a defensive structure around the 11th century. Specifically, the earliest records date back to exactly 1150: at that time, there was talk of a fortified castle on the road between Arezzo and Siena.

Over the years, Gargonza was transformed into a village where people were mainly engaged in wool processing and the care of the surrounding woods. In the seventeenth century, the castle would later be enlarged with a full-fledged farm: covering an area of about 900 hectares, the surrounding land was organized to be conducted on a sharecropping basis. Gargonza’s agricultural vocation lasted until the early 20th century.

After 300 years of flourishing agricultural life in the community, Gargonza was abandoned by its inhabitants but fortunately did not go into decline.

The Guicciardini Corsi Salviati family and the castle in Tuscany

castle in tuscany

The Corsi Salviati family has been the historic owner of Gargonza Castle since as far back as 1696, and since then has always dedicated itself to maintaining the original condition of the castle and village.

When Marquis Bardo Corsi Salviati died, all his property passed to Count Giulio Guicciardini, who added his surname to that of the original family. However, we are in the early 1900s, in the midst of a rural exodus: the hamlet is abandoned but one of the Count’s 8 sons, Roberto Guicciardini Corsi Salviati, chose to devote himself completely to the conservative restoration of the castle. The village was reborn and, from the 1960s, the houses and agricultural outbuildings were also restored. Gargonza was thus transformed into an accommodation facility, one of the very first in the region and in all of Italy, becoming a castle in Tuscany where people could stay as well as visit.

To this day, the castle of Gargonza is still owned by the Guicciardini Corsi Salviati family: it is the Count’s heirs, Neri and his wife Elisa, who carry on the activities of the hamlet and also the conservation and maintenance work, with the aim of preserving the hamlet’s medieval soul and appearance.

More than a castle in Tuscany, a real village

Gargonza is thus not just a castle in Tuscany but an entire medieval village. Around the tower there are stone-paved alleys along which we find numerous buildings maintained exactly as they were in medieval times: small peasant houses, with wooden beams and stone walls, have been converted into rooms and apartments that keep the medieval atmosphere intact.

Protecting the village we still find the original walls, preserved with great care.

What you will find today within the walls of Gargonza is therefore a perfectly preserved castle in Tuscany, a charming village and a luxury accommodation facility.

Want to visit Gargonza or book a stay in the castle?

Contact us!

Typical Tuscan cooking class in the castle of Gargonza

corso di cucina toscana tipica

Pappa al pomodoro, steak, meat sauces and fresh pasta are just a few of Tuscany’s world-famous culinary specialties . Of course, all accompanied by an excellent glass of red wine!

To help you experience all this, we organize a typical Tuscan cooking class for our guests who wish to have a unique culinary experience. During the course you will not only learn some typical Tuscan techniques and preparations but you will hear the history of the recipes, smell the most genuine ingredients and discover the gastronomic traditions of our region.

Here is how our Tuscan cooking class works.

Our Tuscan cooking class is a journey through the flavors and traditions

We have structured our Tuscan cooking class so that you can taste some typical preparations and to reveal some secrets of our culinary tradition.

The “Hands in Pasta” package.

We titled the course “Mani in Pasta” because the focus will be on making fresh pasta. In about two and a half hours, our chef will teach you how to make perfect typical Tuscan fresh pasta, using just a few simple ingredients, as per the poor peasant tradition. If you wish, you can also request to make gluten-free fresh pasta.

In addition to fresh pasta, you will learn how to prepare a typical traditional Tuscan sauce of your choice: from classic tomato to rich meat sauces, including vegetarian sauces made with mushrooms or truffles.

Finally, our Tuscan cooking class chef will teach you how to prepare a typical Tuscan appetizer or dessert, depending on your preference.

At the end of the Tuscan cooking class there will be lunch with what we prepared together! In this way the experience will be truly complete and you will remember it forever.

Discover the “Hands in Pasta” package

Cooking themed team building courses

For corporate groups looking to regain fellowship and create a cohesive and collaborative team, a culinary team building is the perfect experience!

We propose several culinary team-building proposals: participants will have to compete with each other in some way, but at the same time make it clear how everyone contributes to a unique project. Participants will make fresh pasta, pizza and bread baked in our ancient wood-fired oven, but not only that. We can organize a garden tour, where everyone will have to do their part, or a wine tasting or freestyle cocktail competition.

If you want to set up a culinary team for your corporate group, write to us and we will find the perfect solution for you!

Write to us to ask for information

Why take a typical Tuscan cooking class?

typical tuscan cooking course in gargonza

There are many reasons why you should take a Tuscan cooking class if you are vacationing in this region.

  • Learning the secrets of Tuscan cooking. Simple, genuine, and rich in flavor, the Tuscan culinary tradition is world famous, and taking a Tuscan cooking class will allow you to discover the secrets of authentic techniques and recipes that you won’t find in cookbooks.
  • Discovering new ingredients and flavors. Tuscan cuisine uses many local ingredients, which not everyone knows because they are typical of this region. These include salt-free bread, different kinds of cheeses, finocchiona and many other delicacies to be discovered.
  • Having fun and socializing. Tuscan cooking classes are also perfect for sharing an experience with colleagues and creating an atmosphere of sharing and collaboration. It is no coincidence that many companies choose Tuscan cooking classes as a team-building opportunity.

If you are passionate about gastronomy and recipes, a Tuscan cooking class is therefore perfect for discovering the culinary culture of one of the most beautiful regions in the world.

It will be an experience that will forever remain in your memories! Contact us to receive information.

Tuscany in summer: 3 alternatives to the sea

Tuscany in the summer is not just about sea, beach and sun.

For those who do not like to find themselves in the heat among the crowds vying for a place on the shore, or simply for those who want to spend a different day than usual, there are many alternatives. Summer vacation in Tuscany can be fun but also interesting, rich in culture and relaxing.

In this article we give you three alternatives to experience Tuscany in the summer even while staying away from the beaches!

What to do in Tuscany in the summer without going to the beach?

Summer in Tuscany offers a thousand opportunities to immerse yourself in the history, culture and art of this land. You will discover hidden treasures and enjoy the tranquility of nature away from the crowds of beaches.

Here are three ideas for your summer vacation in Tuscany.

Casentino Forest National Park, for the adventurous

If what you are looking for is an experience in direct contact with nature, a day in the Casentino Forests National Park is ideal.

We are in the Tuscan-Romagna Apennines and the view is one of endless forests of beech, oak and fir trees, which provide pleasant shade and a cool breeze even on the sultriest summer days in Tuscany.

The Park of the Casentino Forests is dotted with more or less challenging trails, which will allow you to delve into the most unspoiled nature and discover truly evocative landscapes. Streams flowing between rocks and waterfalls, small natural lakes and ancient monasteries hidden in the woods. And as you walk, you might catch a glimpse of some wild animals living free in these forests.

All you have to do is to choose from the many trails of different lengths and difficulties and set off to discover the Tuscan nature.

Spas, for relaxation and refreshment

tuscany in summer at the spa

If you don’t like the sea, you better know that this is not the just way to have a dip. In fact, Tuscany is full of natural spas that allow you to cool off and relax without the stress of the beach. Surrounded by breathtaking scenery, surrounded by lush hills and extensive vineyards, Tuscan spas offer the perfect opportunity to completely unplug.

Spa facilities feature outdoor and indoor pools, with more or less warm waters rich in minerals valuable to our well-being. In addition, most facilities offer many rejuvenating treatments and therapies such as massages, mud baths, saunas and whirlpools, designed to regenerate the body and mind. There is nothing better than experiencing a hot Tuscan summer day splashing around in rejuvenating waters.

If you want to learn about some of the most renowned spas in Tuscany, read this article.

The Val d’Orcia, a UNESCO World Heritage Site to explore

summer in val d'orcia in tuscany

The Val d’Orcia is a Unesco World Heritage region, and you only need to take a look at the views it offers to understand why! Rolling hills full of golden wheat alternate with rows of cypress trees on the horizon and vineyards as far as the eye can see, making for an evocative backdrop that has become the epitome of postcards from the Tuscan countryside.

Don’t let the heat discourage you because, apart from the drive, this area enjoys shady avenues and a gentle breeze that makes even the sultriest of days bear up without a problem. In addition, the small medieval villages that are scattered throughout the Val d’Orcia provide a cool respite from the heat of the Tuscan summer: shady alleys and stone buildings keep the air cool and make for pleasant walks.

The ideal way to visit the Val d’Orcia during your summer vacation in Tuscany is to prepare an itinerary made up of several medieval villages, perhaps a winery with wine tasting and a typical restaurant where you can enjoy Tuscan cuisine. Between stops, you can enjoy the beautiful landscapes.

Summer vacation in Tuscany: where to stay

During your summer stay in Tuscany, you can sleep at Castello di Gargonza.

We are located halfway between Arezzo and Siena, so in a strategic position to reach Casentino, Val d’Orcia and some of the most renowned spas in the region.

Our hamlet has remained intact as it was in the Middle Ages, with its newly restored tower, cobblestone alleys and numerous houses that are now classic or superior rooms and apartments with every comfort. You will be cool, surrounded by the woods of the Val di Chiana, and you will have a store with typical products, a rich breakfast and a restaurant offering Tuscan cuisine.

What are you waiting for to plan your summer vacation in Tuscany?

Book a room now!