The ten must-see places in Tuscany?
Everyone has heard about the splendid Tuscany and, for sure, would like to visit it at least once in lifetime. The most beautiful and surprising feature of this incredible region is its extreme variety in terms of climate and landscapes. Such versatility, as well as its fascinating and complex history, makes Tuscany an ideal place for any type of traveler, whatever the reason that has taken you to this part of Italy. Are you ready to know which the ten must-see places in Tuscany are? Well, let’s talk about it! We will give you all the necessary information for your travel to be great!
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Florence, Siena and Pisa! World famous for the most diverse reasons, these are just some of the cities that make up this much-applauded Italian region: Tuscany! Stage of numerous arts made by men and by nature itself!
1) The ten must-see places in Tuscany? FLORENCE
Florence cannot be missed once you’re in Tuscany. It is one of the most beautiful cities in the region, and also the most representative one from the historical point of view. Spend a day in the most famous museums in Italy, enter this unique atmosphere of the city and admire the works of the illustrious Cimabue, Giotto, Leonardo da Vinci, Botticelli, Michelangelo and Raffaello. FLORENCE TIPS? CLICK HERE!
Florence is known as the birthplace of the Renaissance, has so much to offer that often not even Florentines know all the riches of the city itself. In a day in Florence you can see a lot of things. The historic center of Florence is relatively small and you can walk around peacefully. Be sure to read our Post “Where to buy wines in Florence, Rome and Milan“.
2) The ten must-see places in Tuscany? SIENA
The second city that you must visit is Siena. Siena is one of the most loved and visited cities in Tuscany, a place rich in history and art, but also with strong traditions, linked mainly to competitions between the districts and the famous Siena Palio. I suggest you to go straight to the city old town, to the wonderful Piazza del Campo, one of the symbols of the city. TIPS ABOUT SIENA? ACCESS HERE!
You can choose if you want to start your tour in Siena here or go to the Cathedral, as long as you return to the square later. In the area between the square and the cathedral, you will find the main attractions of the city and most likely it is here that you will stay most of the time. Among the palaces around Piazza del Campo, you cannot miss the Public Palace and the Mangia’s Tower. How to get to Siena from Rome? Click Here!
3) The ten must-see places in Tuscany? CHIANTI
Since we are in Siena, we must visit the surroundings of the Siena and Chianti fields. Following the road from Siena to Greve in Chianti, we will cross the center of everything: the classic hills of Chianti, where it will be impossible not to be impressed by the colors of this charming little town. TIPS OF CHIANTI? ACCESS HERE!
Want to know more about Chianti? Read our special Posts below:
- How to get to the Chianti from Florence?
- What are the main locations of Chianti in Tuscany?
- Chianti Wine Road.
Here, you can taste the typical flavors and aromas of the region, from the cellars and emporiums to the bars. It is also worth visiting the Castle of Verrazzano, in the middle of the green hills of Chianti. It is a magical place, ideal for a good walk outdoors. You must stop at least in one farm or winery to taste the wine and the excellent typical products of the region. In these places the preservation of traditions is evident, which passes between the hills and crosses the vineyards and olive trees of the Chianti Mountains. Read our post on “How to bring wines from Italy?”.
- When taking the Chianti Wine Road be sure to bring a checkered towel (typical Italian), wine glasses and a corkscrew. Buy wine, breads and some cold meats (cheeses and salami) in the region, as to your driver to leave you somewhere in the valley and enjoy eating the best of Italy in a landscape worthy of a painting. I guarantee it will be unforgettable.
- IF YOU DRINK DO NOT DRIVE! Be aware that Italian laws are really strict and the most important thing is to preserve your life and the lives of others around you.
4) The ten must-see places in Tuscany? SAN GIMIGNANO
Now, another village to visit is San Gimignano, a place where one feels like taking a trip back in time. In San Gimignano, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, you will spend unforgettable moments. TIPS OF SAN GIMIGNIANO? ACCESS HERE!
Walking through the streets with stone walls, we arrive at the famous square with the well – it will look like you were thrown directly into medieval times. There are fifteen towers, which have remained practically intact since 1300. Next to the cathedral, there is the Torre Grossa, the highest in the city. You have to go up to the top to admire the fascinating view of the Tuscan hills.
5) The ten must-see places in Tuscany? ORCIA VALLEY
When you look at a postcard from Tuscany, you will definitely have an image of Orcia Valley. They are green and yellow hills, with winding paths that go up to the top, with lonely cypress trees. The landscape will leave you impressed. ORCIA VALLEY TIPS? ACCESS HERE!
Among the most important places in this region, we find Montalcino and Montepulciano, cities famous for their excellent red wine. There is also Pienza, with its Renaissance square and San Quirico D’Orcia, with the Leonini Gardens in the historic center. Then there are the smaller centers, like Bagno Vignoni and Buonconvento.
As in Chianti, I suggest you to stop at least in one farm or winery company to taste the wine and the excellent products, typical of the region. In these places the preservation of traditions is evident, which passes between the hills and crosses the vineyards and olive trees of the hills. Also read our Special Post: Wine Route in Orcia Valley and the main wineries in Montalcino and Montepulciano.
The classic festivals are worthy of attention, which represent a real social event in each small town in the region, depending on the season and the products that the land offers. Each celebration retains its own specialties and is characterized differently, involving adults and children. Read our post “How to bring wines from Italy?”
6) The ten must-see places in Tuscany? PISA
Another important city in Tuscany is Pisa, where the charm and wonder of unique architecture in the world prevails: the Leaning Tower of Pisa. The tower is in Piazza dei Miracoli; there you will also find Baptistery of St. John and the Cathedral. PISA TIPS? ACCESS HERE!
The origin of the name Piazza Dei Miracoli (Miracle’s Square) was thanks to Gabriele D’Annunzio, who coined this expression with the intention of summarizing the charm and wonder that the square is capable of evoking. There, you can sit and admire this beautiful white-colored spectacle in contrast to the green mantle around the complex. TIPS ON PISA? ACCESS HERE! The place is ideal even in the company of children, as it is an area entirely for pedestrians and free from dangers. It is certainly worth climbing the almost 300 steps of the Leaning Tower, the supreme symbol of this beautiful city.
7) The ten must-see places in Tuscany? LUCCA
Lucca is about 20 km from Pisa and is easy to access from both by car or by train. The station is close to the historic walls that surround this precious city. Lucca is the darling of Tuscany for its artistic beauty and charming environment, a crossing point that cannot be left out. LUCCA TIPS? ACCESS HERE!
Visiting Lucca means entering the narrow alleys of one of the best preserved old historic centers in Italy. The tour can start with a walk around the Walls of Lucca (TIP: rent a bicycle and take a tour around the Walls), built in the 16th century and later designated as a public park in the 19th century. The walls embrace the historic center and constitute the true symbol of the city; they are recognized worldwide for their uniqueness. In addition, you cannot miss the Guinigi Tower, the Cathedral and the Amphitheater Square.
8) The ten must-see places in Tuscany? AREZZO
Now we will visit Arezzo, another sensational city in Tuscany, among the richest in the region, all proud on a hill, at the intersection of four valleys. Located on Via Cassia, it has always played an important and prominent role in Tuscan history. There are several monuments, churches and museums to visit.
St. Francis Basilica
The main attraction of the city is certainly the Basilica of San Francisco (St. Francis Basilica), located in the center of the city. Inside the church is the famous Bacci Chapel, where is the wonderful set of frescoes from the Legend of the True Croce, a masterpiece of Renaissance painting by Piero Della Francesca. TIPS ON AREZZO? ACCESS HERE!
In the highest part of the city, we find the majestic Cathedral of Arezzo, dedicated to San Donato. Built on an ancient early Christian church, the cathedral is famous for its beautiful stained glass. The seven windows, masterpieces of glass art, were produced in the 16th century by the French master Guillaume de Marcillat. Inside the cathedral there is also a small fresco by Piero Della Francesca representing Magdalena and some images of Andrea Della Robbia. However, Arezzo has much more to offer, which can only be seen with a deeper visit to the city.
9) The ten must-see places in Tuscany? LIVORNO
Livorno is a unique city that lives in perfect harmony with the sea. It is possible to experience this special climate by visiting the sensational neighborhood of Venezia Nuova, located in the historic center. Don’t forget that Tuscany has also a great Riviera! After so many tours through the art-cities, the cool hills and other places in Tuscany, give you a moment of pure rest on the Tuscan coast. TIPS ON LIVORNO? ACCESS HERE!
The port of Livorno is considered one of the most important in Italy, not only for its tourist value, but also for its commercial and industrial value. Despite being a city rich in artistic and historical relics, Livorno is famous for being the most modern city in Tuscany. The Mascagni Terrace, with its checkered floor, goes up to the sea coast. It is the perfect place to take a walk outdoors, enjoying the beautiful view of the sea and the city. In the same region, to please the children, you can visit the large Aquarium that is on the edge of the Liguria Sea.
10) The ten must-see places in Tuscany? ELBA ISLAND
The island of Elba is considered the “Pearl of the Mediterranean and the Tuscan Archipelago”, a ceaseless tourist destination that, in a way, has the ruins as a source of livelihood. The beauty and importance of this island throughout human history is not only due to its diversity of landscapes, but also because of its mineral resources – which since ancient times aroused curiosity and enchanted the people of all ages (encouraging exploration also in the more hidden places).
Not to mention the famous French emperor, Napoleon Bonaparte, forced into exile, to serve time in a maximum security prison. The Village of the Mills and the San Martino in Portoferraio are an example of his hard and difficult stay on the island.
As for the best time to visit Elba Island, my advice is to avoid the summer season, because although Elba is a beauty you can’t miss, today tourism represents its biggest source of livelihood, so this place is very crowded in summertime. So if you want to take a break during the spring months (until June, or fall months), you will be able to enjoy much more the beauty of this island, it is even cheaper. TIPS ON ELBA? ACCESS HERE!
Map with the ten must-see places in Tuscany
How to get to Tuscany?
1) How to arrive in Tuscany? BY PLANE
For those traveling by plane, the region has two main airports and some stopovers for charter flights. The most important airport is Pisa’s Galileo Galilei and is the second in Central Italy after Rome in terms of passenger numbers. There is also the Amerigo Vespucci, from Florence, ideal for those who want to access the capital or the countryside of Tuscany. In addition to these, there are other smaller airports in Grosseto, Seine, Versilia and Elba Island. Also read “How to get to Italy“.
Also read our posts about Airports in Italy:
- HOW TO GO FROM THE ROME AIRPORT TO THE CENTER OF ROME?
- HOW TO GO FROM THE MALPENSA AIRPORT TO THE CENTER OF MILANO?
- HOW TO GO FROM VENICE AIRPORT TO VENICE CENTER
2) How to arrive in Tuscany? BY TRAIN
It is easy to access Tuscany throughout Italy; this sensational region is crossed by the main railway arteries in the country. High speed trains also run there, such as Trenitalia (online ticket), which is part of the dense network of regional and municipal trains. The Florence station is on the main national railway line, which connects Northern and Southern Italy. Access our link and learn “How to buy a train ticket in Italy?“.
3) How to get to Tuscany? BY CAR
For those who prefer to travel by car, the important A1 Milano-Napoli and A11 Firenze-Mare highways pass through Tuscany, which connect the capital to the Tyrrhenian coast. Read our special section: Itinerary for a week driving in Tuscany. Read also TRAVELING BY CAR IN ITALY: TOURS SUGGESTIONS! If you are renting a car be sure to read our posts in the section ‘Driving in Italy’ – there you will find everything about signage, tolls, roads and much more!
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- If you are driving in Italy, you need the International Driving Permit (if you’re not an European Citizen).
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The ten must-see places in Tuscany? Coming to Tuscany on vacation means exploring the natural treasures and cultural heritage hidden here and, in addition, giving yourself the luxury of having a good glass of wine and having a little relaxation in one of the region’s thermal spas.
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