15 Best Places to Visit in Tuscany, Italy!
Tuscany in Italy is not only one of the most famous regions of the country, but it is also certainly one of the most beautiful vacation destinations in Europe. Fascinating hilly landscapes, green vineyards and golden yellow fields, picturesque villages with magnificent Renaissance buildings and the immeasurable wealth of art treasures are only a few of the attractions that turn a visit to Tuscany into an unforgettable experience! Especially the world-famous cities like Florence or Pisa attract millions of visitors every year. Other highlights include excellent authentic cuisine, wines that are among the best in the world and fantastic Agriturismo accommodations that guarantee an unforgettable trip.
In this travel guide we give you all the important information about a visit to Tuscany in Italy. In addition, we show you the best attractions and places to visit in Tuscany, beautiful pictures, reveal secret tips and show you the best places to stay.
General information about Tuscany
Tuscany is a region in central Italy and is considered one of the most important cultural landscapes of the Renaissance. Countless places and attractions are already on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The world-famous capital Florence is a highlight and other interesting cities like Lucca, Pisa and Siena in Tuscany are worth a visit. The Leaning Tower of Pisa, probably one of the most visited attractions in Italy, is considered the most famous landmark of Tuscany.
But Tuscany is also famous for its exceptionally beautiful landscape, which is especially characterized by typical pine forests, the cypress avenues, green wine hills, golden yellow fields and olive groves. Photographers from all over the world travel specifically to Tuscany to take their best pictures here.
Economically, the region mainly lives from tourism, wine growing and olive oil production. The most famous Tuscan wines, which are also among the best in the world, are Brunello di Montalcino, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Chianti and Sassicaia.
Best Places to Visit in Tuscany
On a journey through Tuscany you can experience a lot, because at every corner a new attraction is hidden. Here you will find a comprehensive list of the most beautiful places to visit and the best things to do in Tuscany. In addition, exclusive insider tips reveal to you, which certainly not everyone knows.
The city of Florence is the capital of Tuscany and certainly one of the most beautiful cities of Italy. During a city trip you can expect a great selection of amazing things to do. Enchanting squares, beautiful churches and the best art exhibitions in the world are just a few of the highlights this fantastic city has to offer. But the most important attraction is the beautiful Ponte Vecchio, the so-called Old Bridge, one of the most impressive photo motives in Tuscany. Interesting and an absolute must-visit is also the cathedral Santa Maria del Fiore, a real masterpiece of the Renaissance, from whose huge dome you can enjoy an incredible view of the old town.
Another top attraction is the Uffizi Gallery, one of the most famous museums worldwide! Therefore, the rush here is accordingly large. If you don’t like standing in line for hours, you should definitely reserve tickets online in advance.
One of the absolute best places to visit in Tuscany is the enchanting city of Pisa with its famous Leaning Tower. It is probably the most popular tower in the world and attracts millions of tourists every year. But the city of Pisa has much more to offer! Among the most important attractions are the beautiful Cathedral of Pisa, the picturesque Old Town with its beautiful squares and museums, and the enchanting scenery along the river Arno. Furthermore, the Migliarino San Rossore Natural Park and the beautiful beaches on Pisa’s coast invite you to spend a few relaxing days in Tuscany.
Tip: During a Tuscany trip an ascent to the Leaning Tower is a must for many. But beware, the access is limited, and therefore you should book your ticket for the tower ascent online several days in advance.
One of the most impressive places in Tuscany is the beautiful city of Siena. Many people even call its historic old town one of the most beautiful in Italy. Among the most important attractions is the impressive Piazza del Campo, probably one of the most beautiful main squares in the country, where the imposing over 100-meter-high historic tower Torre del Mangia is located. Absolutely worth seeing is also the impressive cathedral of Siena, which is one of the most beautiful and important buildings of the city.
Siena is famous for the Palio di Siena horse race, even beyond the borders of Tuscany, which has been held in the main square, Piazza del Campo, since the Middle Ages. This unique event takes place twice a year, on July 2nd and August 16th.
Tip: We can recommend the Agriturismo Renaccino, a beautiful farmhouse with swimming pool, located just outside the city center. Thanks to its location it is ideal to explore the Siena region.
One of the most beautiful and most visited attractions of Tuscany is the small town of San Gimignano. Situated on a hill between vineyards and green fields, this UNESCO World Heritage Site offers exceptionally fascinating scenery! San Gimignano has become famous for its impressive old town, where you can still admire 15 of the famous medieval towers. These impressive towers are also the reason why the town is called “Medieval Manhattan“.
Also gourmets get their money’s worth in San Gimignano, because here one of the best ice cream parlors in Tuscany is situated: the award-winning Gelateria Dondoli, which has been crowned the ice cream world champion several times.
Tip: A few days in this scenic and picturesque region are well worth it! A unique accommodation and a real insider tip is the Agriturismo Mormoraia with pool and fantastic views.
The city of Lucca is another attraction of Tuscany worth seeing and should not be missed on any round trip. Also known as the “City of 99 Churches” there is at least a small church on every corner. Especially worth seeing and uniquely beautiful is the church San Michele in Foro with its richly decorated facade of Carrara marble and the imposing cathedral of Lucca. The absolute highlights of the city, however, are the approximately 4-kilometer-long city wall and Torre Guinigi, the famous tower with the trees on top. Both characterize the cityscape.
Also the surroundings of Lucca, with the numerous villas and gardens, the beautiful Garfagnanada valley and the impressive Carrara Mountains in the north, are really charming and invite to go on exciting excursions.
Tip: The Lucca in Villa Lucrezia is a small, cute boutique hotel with private parking in a super central location. Also the breakfast is really delicious here!
The imposing fortress of Monteriggioni is a real insider tip for every trip to Tuscany! Situated on a hill, this castle towers majestically over the green wine landscape and is a real eye-catcher. But also by visiting this impressive medieval fortress you can discover a lot of beautiful things. Among the most important attractions here are the mighty fortified wall with its impressive 14 towers, the pretty medieval town center with its beautiful Piazza Roma and the historic church Santa Maria Assunta.
If you visit Tuscany in July, you might have the chance to attend the medieval festival in Monteriggioni. This is a great event where you can immerse yourself in the world of knights and the past.
Tip: In the area around Monteriggioni there are fantastic agriturismo accommodations. Really recommendable is the Borgo dé Brandi with a breathtaking view of the castle.
Val d’Orcia is certainly one of the most beautiful landscapes in Italy. Here you will find exactly the part of Tuscany that you know from the fantastic pictures and picturesque postcards: breathtakingly beautiful hilly landscapes, romantic farms, picturesque cypress alleys and medieval villages like in a picture book. In addition, connoisseurs get their money’s worth here, because the many Agriturismo accommodations and the fantastic authentic cuisine guarantee an unforgettable vacation in Tuscany.
If you are planning a vacation in Tuscany, we would definitely recommend this region, because here you can relax wonderfully and still visit many interesting places like Pienza, Montepulciano and Montalcino. Siena is also not far from Val d’Orcia.
Tip: A real insider tip and also a perfect starting point for excursions is the beautiful Agriturismo Il Macchione with a lovely pool and charming rooms.
Situated in a hilly landscape and built as the so-called “ideal city of the Renaissance”, Pienza is one of the most important things to see in Tuscany. A stroll through the historical center will reveal countless beautiful buildings, romantic squares and interesting museums. Fantastic here are also the many good restaurants and cozy cafes, which invite you to enjoy a pleasant stay. But not only the little town is beautiful, thanks to its perfect location in the center of Val d’Orcia, the area around Pienza offers many highlights.
When visiting Pienza, you should definitely try the excellent Pecorino cheese, a semi-soft hard cheese made of sheep’s milk, which is considered the best in Tuscany! Also delicious is the porchetta, a rolled roast stuffed with herbs.
Tip: A great place to stay in Pienza and an insider tip is the Agriturismo Marinello with great pool and breathtaking views of the city!
One of the most beautiful wine regions of Tuscany is the famous Chianti area. Thanks to its central position between Florence and Siena, it is often called the “heart of Tuscany”. Here you can expect a whole range of beautiful wine landscapes, small medieval villages and castles. Chianti is famous for its Chianti wine, which is one of the best red wines in the world. Only wines from the precisely defined DOCG area are allowed to carry the brand name Gallo Nero.
The Chianti region is best explored by car and on your own. Countless picturesque wine roads run through the area, along which you can find numerous wineries with tastings and farm sales. Highly recommended is the Agriturismo Amina, a beautiful accommodation where you can also taste really good wines.
Saturnia Hot Springs
The region of Saturnia is especially known for its beautiful natural thermal springs! They are located in the south of Tuscany and attract thousands of visitors every year. The picturesque waterfall Cascate del Mulino with its turquoise pools is unique here and forms a very special backdrop in nature. Here you can bathe comfortably in the natural sinter pools of the healthy Sulphur spring and enjoy a unique ambience. Meanwhile this attraction has become a famous photo motif and is a fixed program of every Tuscany trip for many visitors!
For those who prefer filtered water, there is the thermal bath of Saturnia nearby. Here you can find several pools and you can also book spa and health treatments on site.
Tip: For a vacation we recommend the 5-star thermal hotel Terme di Saturnia Natural Spa & Golf Resort. In addition, this accommodation is a good starting point to explore southern Tuscany.
The enchanting old town of Pitigliano is a real insider tip for a trip to Tuscany. Situated on a high tuff rock, this little town towers above the landscape of Maremma. Impressive is the spectacular scenery with the red-brown townhouses, which were built close together up to the steep rock face. The fairy tale-like old town is also uniquely beautiful, with its countless alleys and hidden squares. A highlight of Tuscany that you should not miss.
A few days in this region are worthwhile, because there is also a lot to discover in the south of Tuscany: The rocky town of Sorano, also built of tufa, the medieval village of Sovana and the Saturnia springs are just a few of the most beautiful sights that can be visited in the surroundings of Pitigliano.
Tip: A great accommodation near Pitigliano is the Agriturismo Eco-Bio Villa Vacasio with beautiful pool, which is lovingly nestled between olive trees and vines.
The beautiful city of Arezzo is also worth seeing and is not yet as touristy as other places in Tuscany! The historic center of the city with the Piazza Grande and its well-preserved patrician houses is particularly beautiful. Also the fascinating medieval charm is unique, which can still be felt on every corner and every square. If you are interested in art, Arezzo is definitely the right place to be, as works by Piero della Francesca can be admired here and the famous art historian Giorgio Vasari also left his mark here.
Very interesting and a real insider tip is a visit to Arezzo when the antiques market takes place. This antique market is one of the best in Tuscany! On the first weekend of every month, antique dealers and bargain hunters meet on Piazza Grande to haggle for historical treasures.
Tip: The BioBenessere is a very nice, clean and lovingly decorated B&B in Arezzo. Also the super delicious breakfast on the roof terrace is phenomenal.
Abbazia San Galgano
Another popular excursion destination in Tuscany is the impressive Abbazia San Galgano, a monastery ruin from the 12th century. It is located about 30 kilometers from Siena and is considered to be one of the most important gothic buildings in Italy. During a visit, one is amazed by the mighty remains of the walls of the former monastery of a Cistercian order and by the unique peaceful ambience that surrounds this ruin. Above all, the lack of a roof provides the well-preserved monastery complex with an almost unreal appearance.
Another medieval jewel is the old town of Volterra. Here, the historic center of the town is particularly enchanting, with its countless romantic alleys and squares. However, Volterra is famous in Tuscany for its rich Etruscan heritage and the countless archaeological sites that surround the old town. Thanks to its long history, it is still possible to admire countless remains, both Etruscan and Roman. Situated on a 550-meter-high hill, Volterra also offers a picturesque view of the beautiful surrounding countryside.
Tip: In the Volterra area you will find many brilliant agriturismo accommodations, such as Agriturismo Podere Marcampo, a beautiful winery in a gorgeous location.
The beautiful island of Elba and its beaches are the perfect place for a beach vacation in Tuscany. A completely special charm, wonderful vegetation and, naturally, the numerous dream beaches convince you to stay for some time. In addition, the many romantic villages with the numerous multicolored small houses directly at the sea are worth a journey. Rio Marina, a real picture book town of the island, is considered particularly worth seeing. Of course, a visit to the island’s capital Portoferraio should not be missed. Here you will find a variety of interesting attractions, such as museums, fortresses and the beautiful old port.
Tip: For a very special vacation on Elba, in direct beach location with the turquoise blue sea, we can recommend the Baia Bianca Suites.
More places to visit in Tuscany:
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