MIAMI, Fla. — Off the Beaten Strada, a company that creates in-depth tours to Central Italy, announced today its new Touring Tuscany by Car packages by highlighting Seven Sure-bet Reasons You’ll Get More Euro for Your Dollar in Tucked-away Tuscany, as determined by the travel staff of Off the Beaten Strada, along with their Italy tour partners. “The secret to getting more euro for your dollar in Tuscany,” says president and founder of Off the Beaten Strada, Pamela Haack, “is traveling away from over-crowded tourist areas, and heading to the treasure-filled countryside.” With a focus on value, Haack suggests seven sure-bet ways to stretch your dollar in Tuscany by visiting tucked-away villages and hamlets.
1. Accommodations: Venturing off the beaten strada into the countryside of Tuscany means you’ll get more accommodation for each euro you spend – lots more. For as little as 50 euro per person you can get a first-rate (and we do mean first-rate) sleeping room in an agriturismo (farmhouse accommodation) with private bath, homemade Italian breakfast and fabulous views.
2. Organic Foods: We say, “organic.” They say, “Is there any other way?” Farmer’s markets, fruit and vegetable shops and restaurants throughout countryside villages in Tuscany sell and serve the freshest foods they have on hand, and the prices are impossible to beat. Most often what you buy or eat is produced organically on a nearby farm.
3. Shopping: Almost every village and town in Tuscany has a market day – ask at any bar or tobacco stand to find out which day. You’ll pay local prices (way cheaper than the cities) and find everything from shoes to purses to flowers to cheeses.
4. Cheap (Excellent) Wine: The Tuscan countryside is filled with vineyards and wineries, and many offer tastings and tours. Look for roadside signs that read “enoteca” (wine tastings) or “vendita diritta” (direct sales) and you’ll save a bundle on wine. Also, check out supermarkets. It’s not uncommon to find good table wine for one euro per bottle!
5. Thermal Baths: Tuscany boasts many spa resorts – most are exclusive and very pricey. To have the experience of restorative waters, without the hefty price tag, villages like San Casciano and Bagno Vignoni have free thermal baths just outside their town centers. Ask for directions in the tourist information centers.
6. Works of Art: Churches in tiny villages and hamlets throughout Central Italy are filled with important works of art, and most only ask that you leave a donation for viewing. These were the places that famous artists (Raphael, Michelangelo, Perugino) schooled before heading to the larger palaces and cathedrals in the cities – and you won’t have to stand in line for viewing.
7. Better Meals: Ok, that’s a big claim (because it’s hard to find bad food in Tuscany) but the truth is, the further you venture from the tourist-filled areas, the more likely you’ll find the real deal – authentic Italian cooking – and often for a fraction of the price charged in over-crowded spots. Fantastico!
Off the Beaten Strada creates in-depth tour experiences into less-traveled areas of Tuscany and Central Italy. Fully guided upscale tours and affordable Touring Tuscany by Car tours are available. Visit http://www.offthebeatenstrada.com or call 1-888-436-8901 for details and pricing.
Off the Beaten Strada is a member of the American Society of Travel Agents and the International Eco-tourism Society, and happily supports community tourism by using only local experts, guides and services. Tours are created with an impeccable attention to detail and quality.