Tuscany is a region of central Italy that borders to the northwest with Liguria, to the north with Emilia-Romagna, to the east with the Marche and Umbria, to the south with Lazio. Let’s find out more about this region.
Provinces of Tuscany
Let’s start with the provinces of the Tuscany.
The city of Arezzo arose in remote times, when Rome had not yet been founded, Arezzo was already one of the strongest Etruscan cities, probably the site of one of the twelve city-states. There are numerous artistic testimonies present in Arezzo: one of the oldest is the Roman Amphitheater, the Basilica of San Francesco, the Basilica of San Domenico, the Church of the SS. Annunziata and that of Santa Maria in Gradi.
Lucca, one of the main cities of art in Italy, has a historic center of enormous value, the walls of Roman origin, are still extraordinarily preserved and the inner urban fabric has remained substantially intact.
Called the “city of 100 churches” due to the presence of innumerable religious buildings, it also boasts numerous Renaissance towers, bell towers and palaces of exquisite architectural value. In the main Piazza Napoleone or Piazza Grande the foundations of pre-existing Napoleonic buildings are visible.
Spending your holidays Lucca does not only mean visiting the countless monuments from the past, but also appreciating different events held in the city throughout the year; there are numerous events in the artistic and traditional sphere that involve the city of Lucca. In July the Summer Festival takes place, with internationally renowned artists and between October and November that Lucca hosts the most important Italian comic fair, Lucca Comics.
Grosseto is the main city of the Tuscan Maremma. The city is located just ten kilometers from the sea; the municipal area is part of several protected areas: the Diaccia Botrona Nature Reserve, the Maremma Natural Park and the Tuscan Archipelago National Park, as well as the Cetacean Sanctuary, an internationally protected marine area.
Despite the relatively small surface area of the historic center of Grosseto, the city retains many monuments and buildings of great historical and artistic value: the Roman column in Piazza Dante, the cathedral of San Lorenzo or the Basilica of the Sacred Heart.
Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Siena is a province chosen by more and more tourists as a holiday destination, a true jewel of the Tuscan Middle Ages. Famous in the world as well as for its beauty, also because it is the place where the traditional Palio takes place.
Among the main attractions we find Piazza del Campo, the Palazzo Pubblico, the Torre del Mangia, the civic museum and the magnificent Duomo.
Spending holidays in Florence is the desire of millions of tourists. We provide you with a brief guide to the city with the main places to visit and some historical notes that will help you better understand the charm of Florence, the largest city in Tuscany and also its historical, artistic and economic fulcrum.
Among the most famous monuments is the Duomo, which houses frescoes and stained glass windows of some of the key figures of the Renaissance: Vasari, Donatello, Paolo Uccello and Ghiberti. Equally important is the bell tower of the cathedral (designed by Giotto) with a very refined marble covering and a grandiose sculptural decoration that adorns the base.
The Church of Santa Croce also contains many works of art. Among these are the Annunciation by Donatello, the frescoes by Giotto and the main chapel in Gothic style.
The Palazzo Vecchio is the most important public building in the city of Florence; for many centuries it was the seat of the Government and official residence of the ruling family.
South of the palace we find the Uffizi Gallery, this is undoubtedly one of the most important art museums in the world. There are works of the most representative Italian and foreign paintings of all times, including Cimabue, Giotto, Piero della Francesca, Sandro Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo Buonarroti, Raphael Sanzio and Titian.
Prato, the capital is located in northern Tuscany and is well known, in Italy and in the world, for its ancient tradition of textile production.
The city of Prato boasts many monuments of great historical and artistic interest.
The Piazza del Comune, built towards the end of the thirteenth century at the intersection of the two main city streets, has always been the economic and political center of the city.
In the city there are four churches, all linked to the Madonna: S. Maria delle Carceri, S. Maria del Giglio, the Church of Santa Maria delle Carceri and the Church of Santa Maria della Pietà.
To note the festival that takes place every year on September 8th, the day of the birth of the Madonna, in which the Historical Corteggio takes place, that is the costume parade along the streets of the center that ends in Piazza del Duomo, where the display of the Sacred Belt, the fabric belt that according to tradition belonged to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Pistoia is a city rich in history and monuments of great value. The main buildings are Romanesque and Renaissance, especially churches and religious places.
On the Piazza del Duomo there are several very suggestive architectures, first of all the Cathedral of San Zeno, the bell tower of the cathedral, very massive, is 70 meters high and with its three orders of loggias, is considered among the most beautiful in Italy . Opposite the Duomo is the baptistery, a building with decorations in white and green marble and surmounted by a picturesque dome.
In the same square it is also possible to admire the Palazzo dei Vescovi, the Palazzo Pretorio and the Palazzo del Comune.
The spas of Montecatini Terme and Monsummano are also well known, famous for its caves and its water with beneficial properties.
Among the events that take place annually in Pistoia we point out on July 25 the Giostra dell’orso, a sort of equestrian palio that challenges the four city districts and the international music festival Pistoia Blues, the second week of July.
The province of Massa Carrara takes its name from the major cities in the area.
A part of the province overlooks the sea and is known as the Apuan Riviera. The continental part of Massa-Carrara is instead the Lunigiana, an area that holds wonderful culinary and landscape surprises, among the most interesting in Tuscany.
In Carrara we can see the seafront, the medieval old town, the Cathedral of Carrara and the academy of fine arts as well as the famous marble quarries.
On the slopes of the Apuan Alps, there is one of the most famous villages of Lunigiana. Colonnata is famous for a particular gastronomic product that is known throughout the world as the lard of Colonnata.
Visit the fortress of Malaspina in Fosdinovo where stories and legends flutter, including that of the ghost of Bianca Maria Aloisia.
Livorno is located along the Ligurian Sea coast and has one of the main ports in Italy, especially as a commercial port.
There are many monuments that the city of Livorno offers to tourists; among the main ones we remember the Old Fortress. There are also numerous buildings of worship: churches, temples and cemeteries of different religious confessions that testify to the peaceful integration of different races and peoples.
Pisa is among the major cultural centers of Italy, as it preserves a rich artistic heritage. The most important monuments are found in the Piazza dei Miracoli. In this square: you can admire the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta with the Leaning Tower, the Baptistery, the Gallery that surrounds the Camposanto and the Cappella Del Pozzo.
Distances from top Cities in Italy
Florence is about 268 km from Venice, 305 km from Milan, 271 km from Rome and 470 km from Naples
How to get there
Florence is well connected with the rest of Italy, as well as with Europe, and is easy to reach both by land and by air. In recent years, traffic to and from Florence Amerigo Vespucci airport has increased significantly and the infrastructure and services are constantly improving.
The trains connect the Tuscan capital very well with the other regions, and in 2009 the Frecciarossa high-speed trains were also introduced, which make it possible to travel on the Naples-Rome-Florence-Bologna-Milan route in a very short time.
Florence is also a key node in the Italian motorway network.
It is well connected with the main cities of the north of the country while, going south, Rome is only an hour and a half away by car. The A1 motorway, the main artery that connects Italy from north to south, has four exits to Florence. The A11 motorway and the Florence-Pisa-Livorno (FI-PI-LI) two-lane motorway connect Florence to the Tyrrhenian coast.
Map of 10 top attractions
Let’s find out the top attractions you cannot miss if you visit Tuscany.
Giotto’s Bell Tower
Giotto’s Bell Tower is one of the four main components of Piazza del Duomo in Florence: covered with white, red and green marble like those that adorn the Cathedral, the majestic square-based bell tower, considered the most beautiful in Italy, probably created more as a decorative and functional element, it was started by Giotto in 1334.
Statue of the Four Moors
The statue of the Four Moors is a famous sculpture placed on the base of the monument dedicated to Ferdinand I, and is located in Piazza Micheli in Livorno. The monument of Ferdinand I, where the Quattro mori rests, was erected to celebrate the triumphs brought against the Barbary corsairs by the Order of the Knights of Santo Stefano.
Rocca Aldobrandesca overlooks the medieval village of Castiglione d’Orcia, which “looks” to that of Tentennano, where you can see large traces still visible of the walls around which the houses of the village often rest. The Rocca rises at the highest point of the relief of 574 meters. It seems to be the oldest settlement in the area, although certain information about the presence of a parish church and then of the castle can only be found in the early Middle Ages.
Brazilian military votive monument
In the town of San Rocco is the only votive monument in Italy dedicated to fallen Brazilian soldiers, especially those of Força Expedicionaria Brasileira (FEB).
This very suggestive and particular corner of Pistoia is not located in the historic center of the city but it is easily accessible by car (from the center, for example from Piazza San Francesco, about 10 minutes) and by public transport
The Palazzo Pretorio, known above all with the name of Palazzo d’Arnolfo from the name of Arnolfo di Cambio, is a thirteenth-century palace that for centuries constituted the center of power of the town of San Giovanni Valdarno.
The medieval structure, remodeled as early as the fifteenth century, has recently been restored to bring it back to its former glory. The original structure of the Palace is not the one we can admire today; over time it has been extended both in length and in width. Due to its similarity with Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, San Giovanni is called “La Firenze in miniatura”.
Arc de Triomphe
Florence Arc de Triomphe was built according to a design by the architect Jean-Nicolas Jadot. The arch has the Habsburg eagle that dominates the other decorations. The bas-reliefs depict the triumphs of the Habsburg dynasty which are underlined by Latin inscriptions.
Tomb of Winged Demons
The Tomb of the Winged Demons was discovered only recently, in the autumn of 2004, near the Tomb of Ildebranda. Archaeological excavations have made it possible to recover the sculptural decoration of the tomb, thus reconstructing the original forms of the monument.
Among the statues present today in the Loggia della Signoria, the Perseo by Benvenuto Cellini is probably the most important and extraordinary work from an artistic and technical point of view, considered a masterpiece of Italian Mannerist sculpture and one of the most famous statues in Piazza della Signoria in Florence.
The Pratolino park today is among the most beautiful in the surroundings of Florence. Although few testimonies have come from the ancient Medicean park, one can still imagine the fascination and the wonder that these must have been.
Villa Demidoff is the modern name of the ancient Paggeria Medicea di Pratolino. Located on the hills around Florence, along the Via Bolognese towards the Mugello, the Villa di Pratolino was bought by Francesco I de Medici in 1568.
Monument of Dante Alighieri
The Monument to Dante Alighieri is located in Piazza Santa Croce, one of the main squares of the historic center of Florence
The white Carrara marble statue was created by the sculptor Enrico Pazzi in 1865, 600 years after the birth of Dante (1265-1321). In 2011 on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the Unification of Italy the work was restored.
Volognano: where your dreams come true
Why should you come to Volognano? Well, it’s pretty simple, the Castle is located near Florence, therefore it is very easy to move through Tuscany to visit the main places of interest without having to give up an exclusive stay in the beautiful hills of Chianti.
Contact us now to learn more!
This post is also available in: Italian