Italy boasts so much history, art, architecture, amazing food, and beautiful countryside. And you don’t have to put up with the traffic of Rome to experience it!
You can find so much of Italy’s beauty in Tuscany, a region of central Italy known for its historical cities and beautiful countryside. But where exactly should you go and what will you see if you decide to travel to this beautiful region? Take a look at these recommendations to help you plan your itinerary.
San Quirico d’Orcia
Visit this beautiful, historic village to get a sense of what small-town Tuscan life once was like. Once you’re inside the walled village, gaze up at the beautiful Romanesque Collegiate Church of Saints Quirico and Giulitta, and then go inside to see the beautiful artwork. The church has records dating back to the 700s. The village’s town hall is the beautiful Palazzo Chigi.
Of course, you have to spend time in the town square, the Piazza della Liberta, where you can soak up the beauty of its traditional paved streets and stone fountains. Last but not least, make sure you check out the Horti Leonini, an Italian Renaissance garden designed in the 1500s.
The Duomo (Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore)
This iconic cathedral is synonymous with Florence. Completed in the 1400s, it is currently the third-largest church in the world. Inside you’ll find beautiful marble floors and awe-inspiring artwork. The white, pink, and green façade and the cathedral’s dome are architectural masterpieces.
Want to get the perfect picture from the top? Be prepared. According to Visit Tuscany, “Scaling Brunelleschi’s dome in Florence is a breathtaking experience, not only for its astonishing view from the top but also because you have to climb 463 stairs to get there!”
While you’re in Florence, set aside some time to visit historic art museums like the Uffizi Gallery or the Gli Uffizi (part of the larger Uffizi Galleries). This gallery takes up the first and second floors of a large, beautiful building constructed in the 1500s.
If you love Renaissance paintings, you’ll be amazed by the beautiful works housed in the gallery. You’ll find works by Botticelli, Leonardo, Raffaello, Caravaggio, and many more. There are also plenty of ancient marble sculptures and busts to see, too.
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The Palazzo Pitti is also part of the Uffizi Galleries. Once a symbol of the Medici family’s power in Florence, now the palace is divided into four museums: the Treasury of the Grand Dukes, the Palatine Gallery and The Imperial and Royal Apartments, the Gallery of Modern Art, and the Museum of Costume and Fashion.
In each of these collections, you’ll find stunningly beautiful works of art, ranging from paintings to sculptures to the beautiful decorations of the palace rooms. There are several different types of tickets, such as a PassePartout season ticket that includes unlimited access and costs 70 euros for one person or 100 euros for a family.
Castiglione della Pescaia
Visit this historic fishing village for some sun, sea, and sand. Known simply as Castiglione to the locals, the village gives you access to both the beach and the opportunity to see local architecture. The castle, the Rocca, from the 14th century is located in the historical center.
Once you’re done sightseeing in the village, take a long walk along the beach or through the pine forest. Dine in Castiglione, or bead to nearby Tirli for a delicious dinner of rustic, authentic regional cuisine.
What would a trip to Tuscany be without a picture by the Leaning Tower of Pisa? But the famous landmark isn’t the only thing to see in this beautiful city. A thousand years old, Pisa boasts beautiful medieval architecture and its famous square, the Piazza dei Miracoli.
Explore sites such as the Baptistery, the Camposanto Monumentale, the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, and the city’s famous walls. They’re 11 meters or 36 feet tall, and you can walk on them (if you’re not afraid of heights!).
Like Pisa, Siena is a medieval town that has both survived and preserved its history. Spend time in the Piazza del Campo studying its beautiful and intricate details. For one day each in July and August, the square turns into a horse track where the Palio Horse Race takes place.
Make sure you take the time to stop and enjoy the local cuisine, like pappardelle with wild boar, Cinta Senese and hare, and more. Take a look at what to see and do in Siena here.
From Pisa to San Quirico d’Orcia, there’s a wide variety of places to visit and things to do in Tuscany. Italy is a diverse country, with big cities like Rome and Naples that have so much to offer. But if you’re looking for a different pace of life, explore Tuscany and see for yourself.
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