Tuscany, a region in central Italy, captivates visitors with its stunning landscapes, rich history, and cultural treasures. From picturesque countryside to magnificent cities, Tuscany offers a plethora of experiences that cater to every traveler’s desires. In this blog post, we present the 10 best things to do in Tuscany, ensuring an unforgettable journey through this captivating region.
Visit the Historic Center of Florence
Florence is the capital of Tuscany and the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance. It is home to some of the most iconic landmarks and artworks in the world, such as the Duomo, the Uffizi Gallery, the Ponte Vecchio, and Michelangelo’s David. The historic center of Florence covers 505 ha and is bounded by the remains of the city’s 14th-century walls. It was named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1982 for its cultural and artistic achievements. You can spend days admiring the architecture, museums, gardens, and viewpoints of this stunning city.
Spend Some Time in Siena
Siena is one of the most charming and well-preserved medieval cities in Tuscany. It is famous for its fan-shaped main square, Piazza del Campo, where the Palio horse race takes place twice a year. It is also home to the stunning Siena Cathedral, a masterpiece of Gothic architecture with a striped facade and a richly decorated interior. The historic center of Siena is a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and one of Italy’s most popular tourist destinations. You can easily spend a day or more in Siena, exploring its narrow streets, museums, churches, and palaces.
Discover the Timeless Beauty of San Gimignano
San Gimignano is a hilltop town that is famous for its skyline of medieval towers. In the 14th century, there were 72 towers in San Gimignano, built by wealthy families as a symbol of their power and prestige. Today, only 14 towers remain, but they still create a striking impression and a unique atmosphere. San Gimignano is also a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and one of the most visited towns in Tuscany . You can admire the towers from different viewpoints around the town, such as Piazza della Cisterna, Piazza del Duomo, and Rocca di Montestaffoli. You can also climb one of the towers, the Torre Grossa, which is the tallest and the only one open to the public. From its height of 54 meters (177 feet), you can enjoy a panoramic view of the town and the surrounding countryside.
Marvel at the Leaning Tower of Pisa
Pisa is another city that is famous for its architectural heritage and its iconic Leaning Tower. The tower is part of the Piazza dei Miracoli (Square of Miracles), a UNESCO World Heritage Site that also includes the Cathedral, the Baptistery, and the Cemetery. The tower was built in the 12th and 13th centuries as a bell tower for the cathedral, but it started to lean due to the soft soil and the inadequate foundations. Despite several attempts to correct or prevent the tilt, the tower still leans at an angle of about 4 degrees, making it one of the most recognizable landmarks in the world. You can admire the tower from different angles and take some creative photos with it. You can also climb the tower and see the bells and the view from the top.
Explore the Chianti Wine Region
Chianti is not only a beautiful region of Tuscany, but also a famous wine area that produces some of the best red wines in Italy and the world. Chianti wine is made mainly from Sangiovese grapes, but can also include other varieties, such as Canaiolo, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon. The most prestigious and regulated type of Chianti wine is the Chianti Classico, which has a black rooster as its symbol and must follow strict rules of production and aging. Wine tasting is one of the most enjoyable and rewarding things to do in Chianti. You can visit many wineries and vineyards in the area, where you can learn about the history and tradition of Chianti wine, see the production process, and taste different types and vintages of wine.
Explore the Charming City of Lucca
Lucca is a charming city in northern Tuscany that is known for its well-preserved Renaissance walls and its rich cultural heritage. Lucca was founded by the Etruscans and became a Roman colony in 180 BC. It was also an independent republic for several centuries and resisted the expansion of Florence and Pisa. Lucca has a wealth of historical monuments, churches, museums, and squares that make it a delightful place to visit. You can start your visit by walking or cycling on the city walls, which are 4 km long and 12 m high. The walls have been turned into a park and offer a pleasant view of the city and the surrounding countryside. You can also enter the city through one of the six gates, such as Porta San Pietro and Porta Santa Maria. Inside the city, you can admire some of the most beautiful attractions of Lucca.
Indulge in a Gelato (or Two!)
No trip to Italy is complete without trying some gelato, and Tuscany has some of the best gelaterias in the country. Gelato is a frozen dessert made with milk, cream, sugar, and natural flavors that is smoother and creamier than ice cream. You can find gelato shops in every town and city in Tuscany, offering a wide range of flavors from classic to exotic. Some of our favorite gelaterias are Vivoli and Gelateria dei Neri in Florence, Grom and La Bottega del Gelato in Siena, and De’ Coltelli and La Bottega del Gelato in Pisa.
Go Truffle Hunting
Truffles are edible fungi that grow underground and are highly prized for their aroma and flavor. Tuscany is one of the best places to find truffles, especially white truffles that are more rare and expensive than black truffles. You can join a truffle hunting tour with a local guide and a trained dog to search for these delicacies in the woods. You can also taste some truffle dishes at restaurants or buy some truffle products at markets.
Relax on the Beach
Tuscany is not only about art and culture, but also about nature and sea. The Tuscan coast offers some beautiful beaches where you can relax, swim, sunbathe, or surf. Some of the best beaches in Tuscany are Marina di Alberese in Maremma Natural Park; Cala Violina near Follonica; Spiaggia Bianca near Rosignano Solvay; Castiglioncello near Livorno; Viareggio near Lucca; Forte dei Marmi near Massa Carrara; and Elba Island.
Ride a Vespa Through the Countryside
One of the most fun and authentic ways to explore Tuscany is by riding a Vespa, an iconic Italian scooter that has been featured in many movies and commercials. You can rent a Vespa or join a guided tour that will take you through scenic roads, rolling hills, vineyards, and olive groves. You can also stop at charming villages, castles, and wineries along the way. Some of the best places to rent or join a Vespa tour are Florence, Siena, Chianti, San Gimignano, and Lucca. Riding a Vespa is not only a great way to enjoy the Tuscan landscape, but also to experience the local culture and lifestyle. You can feel the breeze on your face, smell the fresh air and the flowers, hear the sounds of nature and the people, and taste the delicious food and wine. You can also interact with the locals and learn more about their history and traditions.
In conclusion, Tuscany stands as a true gem of Italy, captivating travelers from all corners of the globe with its timeless allure. The 10 best things to do in Tuscany offer a diverse range of experiences that showcase the region’s cultural richness, natural beauty, and culinary delights.
From the artistic treasures of Florence to the medieval charm of Siena, the leaning tower of Pisa to the picturesque countryside, Tuscany paints a vibrant canvas that leaves a lasting impression on every visitor. Whether you find yourself immersed in the masterpieces of renowned artists, savoring the flavors of Tuscan cuisine, or simply basking in the tranquility of the rolling hills, each encounter in Tuscany is infused with a sense of magic.
So, venture forth and embrace the wonders that await you in Tuscany. Let the rich history, breathtaking landscapes, and warm hospitality of this region transport you to a place where time seems to slow down, and every moment becomes an opportunity for discovery.
Whether you’re planning a romantic getaway, a family vacation, or a solo adventure, Tuscany offers a plethora of experiences that cater to every taste and interest. Allow yourself to be captivated by the beauty and authenticity that permeate every corner of this remarkable destination.
As you embark on your journey through Tuscany, remember to immerse yourself fully in the present moment. Embrace the slower pace of life, savor each sip of local wine, and take the time to connect with the locals who proudly share their heritage with open hearts.
In the end, Tuscany is not merely a place to visit but a destination that leaves an imprint on your soul. Its beauty, history, and cultural treasures will continue to inspire and resonate within you long after you’ve returned home.
So, go forth and discover the 10 best things to do in Tuscany. Let this captivating region weave its spell upon you and create memories that will forever remind you of the unparalleled magic that awaits in the heart of Italy.