Go down to the woods
Getting into shaded beech, fir and chestnut forests, especially in the summer, provides a much more tranquil alternative to crowded piazzas and crammed city streets. Orecchiella National Park in Garfagnana, for example, offers an excellent excuse to escape into a semi-wild Tuscany with a range of well-posted trails leading through dense woodland and protected habitat for wild boar and roe deer. The closer you get to the coast and the more pines and firs extend skywards with Cinque Terre National Park in the north and the Maremma shoreline, further south, allowing for often solitary summer strolls moments away from packed slithers of sand. Enter deciduous Tuscan woodlands in the autumn and you’ll become enveloped in a riot of colour with fairy-tale fungus popping out of leafy beds and shiny conkers competing with sweet chestnuts for easily pocketed souvenirs.