Italy is not a country that can be hurried. The country, and its people, take pride in the art of unhurriedly savouring the good things in life. Thus, it is only fair to appreciate their country in pure Italian style. Small group tours of Italy are truly the best way to slowly and luxuriously absorb the beautiful scenery, awe-inspiring art, architecture and fabulous local cuisine. The region of Tuscany, with its idyllic medieval hamlets nestled into the gently rolling landscape, simply begs its visitors to slow down and truly absorb and appreciate the moment. So take to the streets, hills, valleys and coast, the only way the Italians would approve of; on foot.The Art of Focus Nothing focuses a person’s attention better than removing the distractions of modern life. By joining one of the small group tours of Italy’s Tuscan region on foot one can truly begin to appreciate the essence of this stunning area. Walking has been scientifically proven to not only improve the body but also the mind. Many seasoned hikers are continually drawn to the activity for the sense of quiet introspection it offers. The views and scenery provided by the Tuscan region are simply the ideal venue for this. Forging Ahead The Tuscan terrain, traversed by many small group tours of Italy, is not for the faint-hearted. Although the breath-taking views are a pleasant distraction, it does not minimize the challenge the Tuscan landscape offers. The picturesque medieval towns, such as San Gimignano, were built high atop steep hills as a defensive measure, but are now enjoyed for their stunning panoramic views of the valleys and vineyards below. These walking tours are typically labelled ‘moderate to strenuous’ in terms of physical effort. Hikers certainly earn the breath-taking views and exquisite scenery! Rewards for the Senses Small group tours of Italy’s Tuscan region allow visitors to truly experience the riches of the area with complete authenticity. Walking through the gorgeous countryside to medieval villages and hilltop towns creates a true sense of connection with the country. Tuscany boasts some of the best examples of Renaissance art and architecture beautifully preserved in fully functioning towns, churches and cathedrals. The simple pleasure of sampling regional wines or tasting traditional oven-baked pizza in such awe-inspiring surroundings leaves most travellers seeking a truly authentic experience, completely satisfied. Local delicacies can be found on and off the beaten path. The experienced guides of these tours know where to find the finest regional specialties. Part of the experience involves visiting the best restaurants and purveyors of freshly made goods in any of the beautiful towns visited along the way. They can also guide their group to the best places to sample regional wines, cheeses, balsamic vinegars and exquisitely decorated desserts and confections. An Experience like No Other There is no doubt that there are many ways of seeing Italy, many of which are tried and true. However, for a truly genuine experience of this beautiful country, small group tours of Italy cannot be beat. The slower pace, the camaraderie and the chance to experience Tuscany on a very authentic level is only enhanced by donning a pair of good walking shoes and surrendering yourself to the epically stunning landscape that defines Tuscany.