The famous region of Tuscany it located on Italy’s west coast on the Tyrrhenian Sea. Not only is this region one of the most popular places for Italians to visit, but it’s also one of the most popular tourist destinations worldwide. There are so many reasons why travelers flock to this region of Italy, including eating delicious Tuscan food, tasting excellent local wines, and seeing beautiful Renaissance art, just to name a few. Major cities in the Tuscany region include Pisa, Cartona, Lucca, Siena, and of course, Florence. No matter what you’re traveling to Tuscany to see, rest assured you’re going to be awed by the beautiful countryside, tasty cuisine and wines, and fine art.
There are several options for reaching the Tuscany region. If you want to explore the countryside by car, then you can fly into either Milan or Rome and rent a car for the three hour drive. Pisa and Florence also have international airports as well if you’d rather just arrive in Tuscany and save time.
Things to do in Tuscany:
The most popular place to see in Tuscany is Florence because of the importance of its Renaissance architecture and art. Here you’ll also find the Medici palaces and gardens. In the city of Siena, you’ll find many interesting museums and an impressive cathedral. This medieval hill town is also famous for its fan-shaped pizza.
In the town of Pisa, you’ll of course find the famous leaning tower of Pisa, the beautiful Duomo and Baptistery, interesting medieval center, and parks are also an alluring prospect for travelers. The town of Lucca has one of the best preserved walls in all of Italy. In fact, it’s a walled city. Visitors can walk and bike atop these walls for a great view of the town’s historic center. Cortona was made famous by Francis Mayes book “Under the Tuscan Sun.” It’s surrounded by Estrucan walls that date back to 3,000 years ago. Here you’ll find interesting medieval architecture and beautiful views of the countryside. For those looking for an amazing wine tasting experience while in Italy, Tuscany should definitely be on your radar as a place to experience. And if you’re a fan of Chianti, then the Chianti Classico Wine Region is where you’ll want to be. This region is situated between the cities of Siena and Florence and boasts a beautiful countryside, picturesque villages, and of course, wineries.
Lines for the museums can be long, especially during peak tourist season. Try making a museum booking in advance to help save time.
A fun place to check out is the Barone Ricasoli Winery and Brolio Castle. It’s here at this winery where the formula for Chianti Classico was first invented and, in fact, it’s the oldest winery in Italy. While you’re wine tasting, you can also head over to the Brolio Castle and take a tour of a few of its rooms which are now museums.
The Tuscany region also has some great parks to visit for those travelers looking for the outdoor experience in a beautiful countryside setting. Check out the National Park of the Tusco-Emilian Apennines, The National park of the Tuscan Archipelago, and the Maremma Regional Park, just to name a few!
Things to do in Tuscany: What to Eat
Tuscan cuisine is simple yet elegant in taste. Legumes, vegetables, bread, cheese, and mushrooms play a main role in most dishes here. “Peasant” type dishes are still cooked to this day keeping with the tradition of using everything available and also reusing leftovers.
A classic example of this “reusing” is in the Tuscan riboliita, which literally means re-boiled. It’s a soup whose origins date back to a time when leftover minestrone or other vegetable soups from the previous day are re-heated and have ingredients added to enhance the taste such as beans, bread, olive oil, and whatever other vegetables may be on hand. If you’re looking to experience white truffles, visit Tuscany in October or November when they are in season. The Tuscan region is also known for its high quality steaks and pork products. Wild game can also be found in the local cuisine. Animals such as boars, pheasant, and hares are all included in different varieties of regional dishes. For dessert, you’ll find a common cookie called cavallucci, which is made with almonds, flour, honey, candied fruits, and coriander. And you can’t forget about the wines! Aside from Chianti, you’ll also find fine choices of Parrina, Sassicaia, Brunello di Montalcino, and Carmignano.
Things to do in Tuscany: Where to Stay
There are a wide variety of choices when it comes to finding accommodations in Tuscany. And if you’re truly looking for a rustic experience, you may even find a farmhouse to stay at! From villas to bread and breakfasts, and from vacation homes, apartments, and hotels, there’s something to fit every traveler’s needs and preferences.
Things to do in Tuscany: Tuscany Tours