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European ‘hidden gem’ as pretty as Florence and Siena but cheaper and with fewer tourists | Travel News | Travel

More people than ever are calling Italy home, drawn in by its rich heritage, exquisite cuisine, and vibrant landscapes but most tend to settle in the best-known spots like Florence in Tuscany – but the region is awash with hidden gems, according to travel experts.
Some areas of Tuscany – like Lucca and Arezzo – are just as beautiful but have fewer tourists and a more affordable cost of living, travel experts at InternationLiving said.

There are communities where expats report living comfortably on less than £1,575 ($2,000) a month.

Well-known spots like Florence, San Gimignano, and Siena can prove expensive but Tuscany still offers up plenty of places where all the benefits of life in the beautiful region shine through but the cost of living remains remarkably modest.

Tuscany is known for its rolling hills with neat rows of vineyards and centuries-old olive groves, medieval towns brimming with history, mouth-watering traditional food, and wines.

READ MORE: ‘Hidden gem’ city in Portugal ‘that many tourists don’t even know exists’

Arezzo fell under the realm of the Medici’s grand duchy for a time, and shades of Florence abound in its public buildings, aristocratic palaces, churches, and artwork.

It’s hard not to draw parallels to Florence as you walk around the city. The pleasant pastel and stone buildings along cobbled lanes blend many similar Medieval and Renaissance styles, which you’ll recognize from Florence, just about an hour away.


Volterra is consistently listed among the most beautiful towns in Tuscany, ranking along with better-known Cortona and Montepulciano.

But while tourists find their way here, it does not have the high tourist numbers found in other parts of Tuscany, leaving Volterra with a sense of local life and identity all its own.

Olive groves, cultivated fields, and vineyards punctuated with stately cypress trees create the classic Tuscan landscape, while the town itself preserves its Old World splendor–but with high-speed internet, a hospital, and strong cultural offerings.

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