Tuscany is the perfect destination for a wonderful holiday in Italy, famous for cities of art, wine and breathtaking views. But to fully enjoy this experience it is essential to organize your trip and find out which are the best places to see.
Contents of the post:
- The top 10 monuments to visit
- The top 5 experiences to live in Tuscany
- Where is Tuscany (Map)
- How to get in Tuscany
- Tuscany Italy weather: when to get there
- The best accomodation
The top 10 monuments to visit
Tuscany is famous worldwide for its stunning monuments, sign of the highest Italian art. Follow us on this journey among the best 10 monuments in Tuscany.
1. Florence Dome, Florence
Let’s start whit Florence and its wonderful Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, also known as Duomo di Firenze.
Its construction began in 1296 and saw their conclusion only in 1436 with the realization of the famed Brunelleschi Dome.From the outside the Cathedral impresses for its huge dimension, whit the eye-catcher Carrara marble that covers it and makes it sparkle under the sun of summer.
Inside you can immediately notice the two aisles, along wich there are paintings of famous personality of the time above, such as Dante, Giotto and Brunelleschi.
Great pillars and vaults support and raise it in its height, making the Florence Dome the fourth largest cathedral in Europe. From the side staircases you can access the dome and from here enjoy a breathtaking view of the city, unmissable.
Santa Maria del Fiore isn’t a simple church, the art and the works of the most important Itanian Renaissance artists make it a place of priceless beauty.
2. Palazzo della Signoria, Florence
Staying in Florence, we find Palazzo della Signoria, better known as Palazzo Vecchio. Outside looks like a medieval fortress, inside paintings and decoration bring us back to Renaissment.
In Palazzo Vecchio private rooms and apartments are transformed in a museum that shows us the art of the time above. The most impressing room by size and beauty is certainly Salone dei Cinquecento, the hall where the Government received distinguished guests in fifteenth century. Decorated by huge paintings and great statues, Salone dei Cinquecento hosts the greatest artists of Florence like Michelangelo, Leonardo and Brunelleschi.
Further this wonderful hall we can find a large number of rooms and private apartments of the Medici, libraries and bedrooms that hide treasures of art.
Bonus: inside Palazzo Vecchio you can walk on secret passages built by the Medici as shortcuts to access to privates room.
3. Uffizi Gallery, Florence
In the historic center of Florence there is one of the most important museums in Italy, the Uffizi Gallery, where are located the most iconic and important works of the Italian Renaissment.
Built by the House of Medici as an office of the magistrates (uffizi means offices), the Uffizi hosts inside masterpices like the Birth of Venus and Primavera by Sandro Botticelli, Annunciation by Leonardo, Medusa by Caravaggio and many other works by artists like Michelangelo and Giotto.
Uffizi is the spirit of the Renaissment and contains the peak of its expression in the works and in the architectures of the many buildings that forms the gallery; visiting a so important place of art is a unique experience.
4. Boboli Gardens, Florence
Florence isn’t only enormous Cathedrals and museums of rare beauty, we can also find there a garden with sculptures and historic architectures surrounded by trees and flowers, we are in Boboli gardens.
Built by the House of Medici, Boboli garden is a journey in different periods of art, with 18th and 16th century sculptures and pieces of roman period brought to enrich the beauty of this place. Now we can admire the garden fully enjoying of its spaces, during the Renaissment the access was exclusive to Medici’s family.
A large number of fountains with statues of classical taste and the Boboli amphitheatre makes this garden the perfect place to take a walk among what was once the secret and exclusive beauty of Florence.
5. Siena Cathedral, Siena
Tuscany is not only Florence and you can visit many other wonderful cities of art able to make those who visit them fall in love, one of these is certainly Siena with its Cathedral, located in the beautiful Piazza del Campo.
The Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta is the main church in Siena, one of the most important in the Gothic-Roman style in Italy.
Its imposing architecture, its tower from which to admire the city and the many statues and paintings inside make Siena one of the most beautiful places of art in Tuscany. One of the greatest works in the Cathedra is the floor itself, that with its fantastic shades of various marbles hosts representations of various themes, such as city emblems and religious histories. This floor made the cathedral famous during its construction for its beauty and richness of elements. Moreover marble statues by Michelangelo, Donatello and Bernini make this place unique.
Visiting a place so rich in art is an experience that you cannot miss in your trip to Tuscany.
6. Palazzo Pubblico, Siena
We stay in Siena after visiting its splendid cathedral and find the Palazzo Pubblico, seat of the Republic of Siena’s government in the 13th century.
Its external structure of the building is in medieval style with gothic influences visible for example in the shape of the windows. Its bell tower, Torre del Mangia, gives a wonderful view of the city and was designed to be taller than the main tower in Florence, in fact there was rivalry between the two cities at that time. Inside Palazzo Pubblico we find rooms and halls decorated by large frescos that surround the ambient.
Palazzo Pubblico is the perfect place to finish your trip to Siena, or, if you want, you can stay longer visiting other interesting monuments such as Fonte Gaia and Libreria Piccolomini.
7. Leaning tower, Pisa
Perhaps one of the most iconic monuments known abroad, the Tower of Pisa is famous for its lean of four degrees developed in reason of the unstable foundation where is located. Now the tower is stable and safe, despite maintaining its characteristic inclination.
This building is the bell tower of the near Cathedral of Pisa, with a height of 183.27 feet on the low side and 185.93 feet on the high side. Everyday thousands of tourists came to Pisa to visit this magnificent tower and its curious slope.
The works for this worldwide famous monument begun in 1173, and yet in 1178 the subsoil starts to cede making sink it from a side. So the fame of this tower is ancient and well known over the centuries to the present day.
8. Pisa Cathedral and Baptistery, Pisa
Piazza dei Miracoli in Pisa is a phenomenal concentration of places of historical and artistic interest, here in fact you can find the Cathedral, the Baptistery and the Tower of Pisa.
The Cathedral, built in 1097, is a significant example of Roman architecture with its exterior facade in marble of white, black and grey tonalities. In the interior great columns
support the church, which houses works of art and statues of great importance. One of the most notable pieces in it is certainly the marble pulpit carved by Giovanni Pisano.
Near the Cathedral is located another building, the Baptistery of St. John. Built in roman style whit massive gothic influences, the baptistery in the external is covered with the classic white marble used for many other religious buildings in Tuscany. Inside solid columns stand in circle and we can find a pulpit similar to the one in the Cathedral, but this time carved by Nicola Pisano, father of Giovanni.
Piazza dei Miracoli and its buildings are symbols of Tuscany and Italy all over the world, unforgettable.
9. San Gimignano
Near Siena and Florence but far from the crowd, San Gimignano is a small medieval town, known for its characteristic architecture and the towers built in it.
The town of San Gimignano stands on a hill and, surrounded by walls and towers, is able to take you back in time.
If you want a charming and eye-catching view of Tuscan countryside San Gimignano is the right place. With its 14 towers it is possible to enjoy a privileged observation point of the flourishing Italian countryside.
For a day trip to discover a hidden corner of Tuscany, San Gimignano cannot leave you disappointed.
10. Guinigi Tower, Lucca
Lucca is a very characteristic place, known for its historical center and the buildings that are conserved here. One of this buildings is truly unique, we are talking about the Guinigi Tower. Built in 1300 this tower seems regular to a first view, but watching closer to its top we can notice a hanging garden on its roof.
Sitting down and relaxing under the shade of its ancient holms, enjoying the view from the high of the tower make this an unconventional but precious destination to put on your map.
The top 5 experiences to live in Tuscany
A holiday in Tuscany is an experience to be lived to the full, letting yourself be involved in this fascinating land.
What to do on this fantastic journey in Tuscany? Here is our list of the 5 best experiences to live in Tuscany.
1. Wine tours in Tuscany
Tuscany is famous all over the world for its exceptional wines, including Chianti.
And Chianti is more over a wine, it’s a region that gives you the opportunity to discover wineries and vineyards, to give a taste of Tuscany with its famed wines. You can find many guided wine tours that will allow you to travel among the best wineries and taste the best wines of the region.
2. Day trip to the countryside
During your holiday you can leave the city and take a short day trip to explore new spots in Tuscany. Get away from the crowd of tourists and reach quiet and suggestive places, is a great way to enrich your holiday. A big city like Florence is an excellent base from which to start and in a couple of hours reach new destinations with trains or buses. Among these we definitely recommend Lucca and San Gimignano, or a tour in the region of Chianti.
3. Vintage Vespa tours in Florence
What a better way to discover Florence and its countryside than with a Vespa, the scooter symbol of Italian style?
Guided Vespa tours will take you through the hills near Florence, stopping to take photos of the most scenographic views and often heading towards a typical trattoria where you can taste the flavors of Tuscany.
4. Morning walk in Florence historic center
The morning is perfect to take a walk in Florence, when the streets are not too crowded and the temperature is pleasant even in the summer months.
Take a good coffee in the bars of the center and then walk around Piazza della Signoria, one of the most important squares in Florence, in front of Palazzo Vecchio. Here you will find a copy of the famous David by Michelangelo (you can see the original one in the Museum Galleria dell’Accademia in Florence). The streets of the historic centre, rich in art and interesting views, and Ponte Vecchio with the sight on the Arno river are just some of the places where take a walk and enjoy Florence.
5. Discover the food
Tuscany is famous for its food, and in your journey you can’t miss to taste some of the most typical and characteristic recipes. From the street food of a lampredotto sandwich to a warm and creamy Tuscan soup you will be spoiled for choice between classic trattorias, modern restaurants and faster but no less original alternatives.
Where is Tuscany (Map)
Tuscany is one of the 20 regions of Italy, in the north-central area of the state. Neighboring regions are: Liguria, Emilia Romagna, Marche, Umbria and Lazio. On the west the region is limited by the Tyrrhenian sea forming a beautiful coast.
Tuscany is not far from Milan and Rome and you can reach Florence and the other major cities with a few hours of train.
How to get in Tuscany
You can easily reach Tuscany by plane, indeed there are two international airports: Amerigo Vespucci Airport in Florence and Galileo Galilei international Airport in Pisa.
Both airports have flights from and to the most important cities in Europe. Pisa has more flights from Europe, so it’s perfect as arrival for a tour of many cities in Tuscany. Florence is more practical if you are going to plan you journey only in this city.
Reaching Tuscany from North America you have two main options:
- Fly to Rome or Milan and then arrive in Tuscany with trains.
- Fly to another European city as a stopover and reach Pisa or Florence with another flight.
If your journey includes other Italian cities, like Rome or Milan, you can easily reach the most important cities in Tuscany by train in a few hours.
- Florence; 1 h 20 min
- Pisa; 2h 30min
- Siena; 3h 20min
- Florence; 1 h 50 min
- Siena; 3h 15min
- Pisa; 3h 20min
Tuscany Italy weather: when to get there
Tuscany is vast, and the climate often depends on the area where we are; weather changes from coast to cities and hills.
The best time of the year to get in Tuscany depends on your plans; if you plan to visit the main cities of art and walk all day chose May, June or September, the temperature is generally mild and you will not suffer the heat.
Summer months like July and August are really hot in Italy, this heat is perfect if you plan to go to some beach or explore the coast. In Tuscany there are beautiful seasides like Forte dei Marmi, Argentario, Isola d’Elba and many others.
The best accomodation: Volognano
We are in one of the most magical places in the world, and this experience should be enjoyed to the best. This is why it is important to have the best accommodation you can find for your journey in Tuscany. Volognano Castle is just 16 km from the historic center of Florence, a wonderful start for exploring the city in all its beauty.
Nestled in the Chianti hills the Castle is far from the mass of tourists in the city, so at the end of the day you can peacefully relax by the pool with a good glass of wine. About wine in Volognano you will find a beautiful vineyard and a winery where you can taste the quality and the goodness of a wine born from a heritage of love for Tuscany and its products. Volognano Castle is an experience about live and taste your journey in Tuscany, near the city and far from the crowd you will discover your new place in the heart.
This post is also available in: Italian