If you’re making a trip to Italy, then Tuscany might be at the top of your list. Located in the northwest of Italy, Tuscany has a coastline on the Ligurian and Tyrrhenian Seas. The capital, Florence, is known for its art and architecture. In fact, the region is the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance.
Tuscany is hilly, generally. The countryside offers many exploration sites: Villages, vast farms that host villas, castles and mansions that have both historic and modern architectural designs. If you want to traverse between the cities of Pisa, Florence and Siena, you can easily do that by train or by bus and coaches offering you a chance to site-see the surroundings.
Here are some of the top things to do in Tuscany, on a city-by-city basis.
Florence, the capital city of Tuscany, is a goldmine for art. Artistic sites include: the Cathedral (Duouomo), the Uffizi, Bargello and the Galleria dell’Accademia the locality of Michelangelo’s David; the art galleries in the churches of Santa Maria Novella and Santa Croce, and the Pitti Palace. Visit San Miniato al Monte, located on a hill, for amazing views. Stroll through the streets towards the Arno River, this stretch is suitable for relaxation. Pass over Ponte Vecchio towards Oltrarno where you can savor espresso while watching mopeds pass by. If you’re spending multiple days in this area, there are also some amazing day trips you can take from Florence.
Pisa is popularly known for its leaning bell tower called The Leaning Tower of Pisa which stands at Piazza dei Miracoli (Square of Miracles).This is the same location for the glorious Cathedral, Baptistry and Camposanto. The Leaning Tower gained its named from its tilt position which was a result of partial sinking during its construction due to a poor foundation.
Siena is another city worth visiting. It lies atop three hills with plenty of art and historical sites to offer. It is home to Gothic Architecture. Siena hosts the grand piazza del Campo, initial place for the Roman forum. In addition, Siena also hosts Palazzo Pubblico and its tower, Torre del Mangia as well as Duomo of Siena. Since traffic is light in Siena, visitors can wander through the street easily to take in the views of the architecture and sites of fascinating churches, impressive palazzos, museums and piazzas.
Montecatini is a spa city. It is popular fabulous thermal baths first built in the 16th century. Montecatini offers spas, a Golf Club, the Funicolare, theaters restaurants and night clubs. Other notable activities in Montecatini are attending concerts, fairs, ballrooms, art exhibitions and festivals.
Whether you want to visit Lucca for a few days, or a day trip, it offers an impressive collection of turning streets and beautiful buildings. Lucca is popular for its ancient city walls. Lucca sits on a plain beneath the Apuan Alps, about half an hour from the Tuscan coast. This is the only tourists’ site that is not hilly.
Chianti, though not a city per se, is worth visiting. It is the home of the famous Chianti Classico. Here you will see vast lands of olive groves, and vineyards. Chianti offers a variety of scenery from the green fields to the small-stone villages, parishes and countryside villas here. Most of these villas accommodate tourists who use the agritourisimo method of exploring Italy. Enjoy cycling up and down the hills, or you can go for wine tasting at the vineyards.
More about Tuscany
The next times you want to visit Italy, but have no idea where to go or you have exhausted the beaches try Tuscan cities. Each has different architectural, historic and artistic sites. Activities vary from wine-tasting in Chianti to walking around the street of Florence to visiting the famous Leaning Tower in Pisa, to attending an art exhibition in Montecatini.