Places You Mustn’t Miss On a Trip To Tuscany
Aside from Rome, the most popular place to travel in Italy is throughout the region of Tuscany, I myself came here some 5 years ago and have returned 4 times since, staying a little longer each time. There is so much to fall in love with throughout this region, the art, the wine, the scenery the luxury accommodations in Tuscany that give you the perfect place to stay whilst you explore. It’s hard to put my finger on exactly what I love most about Tuscany, in all honesty I think it is because no region in the country offers the very best of Italy packed into one place quite like Tuscany does.
If you have ever visited the region then I cannot recommend it enough and when you do come, which I know you will after reading this glowing report, these are the places which you simply cannot afford to miss out on seeing.
Italy is well known for its outstanding amount of art and nowhere can that best be seen or appreciated than in the capital of Tuscany, Florence. The city itself is like an open air art museum with intricate architecture, sculptures on almost every street corner and gothic and medieval designs every which way you look. The city has, within its many art museums, the greatest collection of renaissance art anywhere in the World and if you want a truly artistic flavor of Italy then Florence is where you should be heading.
One of the most iconic landmarks in Italy is the leaning tower of Pisa, a bell tower of the church which had its foundations significantly damaged by an earthquake. The result was a still-sturdy, albeit slightly angled tower which has become a tourist attraction ever since. Aside from seeing the impressive tower, Pisa itself is a beautiful city and is well worth visiting during your trip to Tuscany. Pisa was once quite a powerhouse in Italy and the city which sits on the Arno River still bears many remnants of those glory days which it lived through in the middle ages.
Whenever you see images of Tuscany, they are usually of the type which feature lush, green rolling meadows with hilltop cottages and alpine trees peaking out in the distance. That image is the Orcia Valley and it offers some of the finest landscape throughout the entire region of Tuscany. A visit here doesn’t need to be long, a simple drive through the meandering roads, a stop off or two in any one of the hidden away villages for some good local food and to take a few snaps is sufficient.
Lucca is situated at the foot of the Apuan Alps, less than 30 minutes from the coast and it is a city which is loved by locals and tourists alike. This is the perfect location for history buffs and the majority of the attractions in Lucca are based around the rich culture of the city. Here you will find 12th Century archaeological sites, towers and monuments that hark back as far as the 6th Century as well as a pedestrian promenade that takes you around the city’s old town which was once the walls that surrounded it. This is classic, historical Italy at its best and whilst you can see the city in a day, I’d recommend that you spend a little more time in Lucca should your schedule allow.
Just offshore of Tuscany is the Tuscan archipelago and the largest island within that archipelago is Elba, a gem that sits in the Mediterranean just waiting to be explored. Settlements have been found on Elba for millennia and once you visit, it is easy to see why so many people populated it though the years. Best reached by ferry, Elba offers its visitors plenty to do from beachside relaxation, hiking tours through the hills, cycling treks, water sports as well as cultural options such as castle and old town visits.
Siena is another Tuscan city which wears its medieval heart on its sleeve and it is a place that I simply love. Beyond the rich history that you can see here, the city is by far the most laid back in Tuscany, and that is really saying something. The food in Siena is some of the finest Italian food you will find and its squares and plazas bustle on an evening as the locals eat, dance and sing. Siena is at the very center of the Tuscan region and as you are traveling throughout Tuscany you simply must make a stop in this wonderful city.
Just touring around the Tuscan region is magical and if you want to see Italy in all of her majestical glory then forget about Rome and Milan, Tuscany is the place that you should have at the top of your list.