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Tuscany

Regarded as the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance, Tuscany is known for its landscapes, traditions, history, artistic legacy and its permanent influence on high culture. But it is not only the arts and sciences that Tuscany holds precious, for it is also a hub of outstanding natural history and the ecotourist may be interested to hear that the region boasts over 120 nature reserves.

One of the things many people do not know is that Italy has many protected natural areas and National Parks that are surely worth a visit. Imagine lakes high up in the mountains, the rich marine life along the coasts, rare birds and reptiles, wolfs, and so many other animals that live freely in these undiscovered regions deep in the heart of the country or around slightly populated islands. Ariannandfriends.com offer wonderful one day tours to the nature reserves in Tuscany where you can choose from boat tours, bird watching hikes and horse drawn coach tours of the area.

Of course, being in Italy, Tuscany also offers lots of places to stay where gastronomy can be right at the top of the green traveller's menu. A great place to stay is Poggerino Farm where responsible tourism and organic living is taken very seriously. The cultivation of the grapes, olives and vegetables is done without the use of pesticides, herbicides or chemical fertilizers. Vegetables are pulled straight from the garden for dinner, and the off cuts go straight on the compost heap. They have their own free range hens to lay your eggs for breakfast, and the flour they use for pasta and bread is organically-grown and stone-ground. An absolute winner for sustainable ecotourism.

Ethicalescape.com also recommend San Martinho Organic Farm for an eco friendly foodie escape. In the Beautiful Tuscan countryside the farm takes pride in carrying on its biodynamic/homeopathic agriculture activities together with its farmhouse Bed and Breakfast service - an excellent location for the green traveller with discerning tastes.

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