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 travel 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! Above all, the world-famous cities such as Florence and Pisa attract millions of visitors every year. Other highlights include excellent authentic cuisine, fantastic wines that are among the best in the world, and unbelievably great agriturismo accommodations that guarantee a particularly relaxing vacation
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 things to do, attractions and places to visit in Tuscany, beautiful pictures, reveal secret tips and show you some outstanding accommodations.
General Information about Tuscany
Tuscany in Italy is considered one of the most famous regions of the country. It is located in central Italy, between Liguria and Emilia-Romagna in the north, Marche and Umbria in the east and Lazio in the south. Many of Tuscany’s attractions are on the UNESCO World Heritage Sites List! Florence, the Tuscan capital, is a true highlight, although there are still many towns worth visiting in this region, such as Lucca, Pisa and Siena. The landmark of Tuscany is the Leaning Tower of Pisa, one of the most visited attractions in all Italy. Wonderful are also the best beaches in Tuscany, located on the 400 kilometer long west coast and on the island of Elba. Perfect to combine beach vacation with sightseeing is the resort of Viareggio near Pisa and Lucca.
Tuscany, which covers an area of 22,990 km², is also known as one of the most important cultural landscapes of the Renaissance and, of course, for its exceptionally beautiful landscape, characterized by typical pine forests, cypress avenues, green wine hills, golden fields and olive groves. Photographers from all over the world travel especially to Tuscany to take their pictures. Economically, the region lives mainly 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.
With a population of 380,000, Florence is the capital of Tuscany and, certainly, one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It is considered the cradle of the Renaissance, and a grandiose selection of fantastic things to do await you during a visit to this Tuscan pearl. Charming squares, old churches and many of the best art exhibitions in the world are just some of the highlights that this fantastic city has to offer. The main attraction is the stunning Ponte Vecchio, also called the Old Bridge, one of the most impressive and popular photo opportunities in Tuscany.
Also marvelous and an absolute must is the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, a true masterpiece of the Renaissance, from whose huge dome you can enjoy an incredible view of the old city. Not to be missed is the Uffizi Gallery, one of the most famous art museums in the world! So the rush there is accordingly big.
Tip: If you don’t want to stand in line for hours and waste your time outside the Uffizi Gallery, make sure you book your tickets online in advance.
One of the absolute best places to visit in Tuscany is the enchanting city of Pisa, home to the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa, built in 1372. It is probably the most famous tower in the world and attracts millions of tourists from all over the world every year. For many visitors, climbing the tower is a must on any trip to Tuscany. But the city of Pisa has much more to offer in terms of sightseeing! Among the most important attractions are the impressive Pisa Cathedral, the picturesque old town with its beautiful squares and museums, and of course, the picturesque setting on the Arno River. In addition, the Migliarino San Rossore Nature Park and the stunning turquoise beaches along the coast invite you to spend a few relaxing summer days in Tuscany.
Tip: Note that access to the Leaning Tower of Pisa is limited, so be sure to reserve your ticket online several days in advance.
The impressive city of Siena is one of the most amazing places in Tuscany. Many consider its historic center, with its characteristic red brick buildings, to be one of the most fascinating in Italy. And indeed, this medieval gem is absolutely spectacular! The main attractions include Piazza del Campo, probably one of the most impressive main squares in the country, where you will find the imposing Torre del Mangia, a historic tower over 100 meters high. Not to be missed is the magnificent Siena Cathedral, one of the most important buildings in the city. Siena is also famous far beyond the borders of Tuscany for the Palio di Siena, a horse race that has been held in the main square, Piazza del Campo, since the Middle Ages. This unique event takes place twice a year, on July 2 and August 16.
Tip: We recommend the Agriturismo Renaccino, a charming farmhouse with swimming pool, ideal as well for exploring the area around Siena.
The small town of San Gimignano is certainly one of the most famous attractions in Tuscany. Situated on a 324-meter-high hill between vineyards and green fields, an incredibly fascinating scenery awaits you in this UNESCO World Heritage Site! San Gimignano became famous for its impressive historic center, where you can still admire 15 of the iconic medieval towers. These imposing towers have earned the town the nickname “Medieval Manhattan“, as from a distance, it resembles a medieval skyline.
The hill town of San Gimignano is also a great place for connoisseurs and gourmets. It is home to one of the best ice cream parlors in Tuscany, the award-winning Gelateria Dondoli, which has been awarded as World Ice Cream 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 an 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 one small place of worship on every corner of the old town. Particularly wonderful attractions are the church of San Michele in Foro with its richly decorated exterior facade of Carrara marble and the imposing Lucca Cathedral. However, the best sights of the city are the city wall, which is about 4 kilometers long, and the Torre Guinigi, the famous tower with the trees on the top, both of which characterize the cityscape and make Lucca a true juwel in Tuscany.
But also the surroundings of Lucca, with its numerous villas and gardens, the impressive Garfagnanada valley and the magnificent Carrara Mountains to the north, are truly charming and invite to exciting excursions in Tuscany. Moreover, from Lucca, you can also explore the picturesque west coast with its miles of sandy beaches.
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 in Tuscany! Situated on a hill, the castle towers majestically over the green vineyards and is a real eye-catcher already from afar. But there is so much to discover inside this impressive medieval fortress. Its history dates back to the year 1213, so you can experience a breathtaking historical charm during a visit. Among the most important attractions are the mighty defensive walls with their imposing 14 towers, but also the pretty town center with its beautiful Piazza Roma and the historic church of Santa Maria Assunta.
If you are visiting Tuscany in July, you may have the opportunity to attend the Medieval Festival in Monteriggioni. This is a wonderful event where visitors can immerse themselves in the past and the world of knights.
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.
The Val d’Orcia is certainly one of the most beautiful landscapes in Italy and since 2004 this area is even on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Here you will find exactly the Tuscany you know from the fantastic pictures and picturesque postcards. Breathtaking hilly landscapes, romantic farms, picturesque cypress avenues and medieval villages conjure up a picture-perfect backdrop. But also gourmets get their money’s worth in this romantic region because the many great agriturismo accommodations and the fantastic authentic cuisine guarantee an unforgettable vacation in Tuscany.
If you are planning a vacation in Tuscany, then we would definitely recommend this region as it is a great place to relax, and you can still visit many places worth seeing such as Pienza, Montepulciano and Montalcino. Siena is also not far from Val d’Orcia and can be visited on a day trip.
Tip: A real insider tip and also a perfect starting point for excursions is the wonderful Agriturismo Il Macchione with a lovely pool and charming rooms.
The small town of Pienza, with a population of about 2000, was built as the “Ideal City of the Renaissance” and is today one of the most important sites in Tuscany. Surrounded by the charming hilly landscape of the Val d’Orcia, this Renaissance town is even listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A stroll through the historic center reveals countless beautiful buildings, romantic squares, and interesting museums. In addition, the many fine restaurants and cozy cafés invite you to linger and enjoy. But not only the town is worth visiting, thanks to its perfect location in the center of the Val d’Orcia, the surrounding area of Pienza offers many unforgettable things to do.
On a trip to Pienza, be sure to try the excellent Pecorino cheese, a semi-hard sheep’s milk cheese that is considered the best in Tuscany! Also worth a try is the delicious 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!
The famous Chianti area, also called Colline del Chianti or Monti del Chianti, is probably one of the most stunning wine regions in Tuscany. Thanks to its central location between Florence and Siena, it is often called the “Heart of Tuscany”. Here you will find beautiful vineyards and small medieval villages and castles. Chianti is well-known for its Chianti wine, one of the best red wines in the world, which has been grown in this region for centuries. Only wines from the well-defined DOCG area are allowed to bear the Gallo Nero brand.
The best way to explore the Chianti area is by car. Countless picturesque wine roads run through the area, lined with wineries offering tastings and farm-to-table sales. Furthermore, there are also many wonderful accommodations for a Tuscany vacation in this region.
Tip: Highly recommended is the Agriturismo Amina, a beautiful accommodation where you can also taste excellent wines in a stunning setting.
Saturnia Hot Springs
The spa town of Saturnia is famous for its breathtaking natural hot springs! Located in southern Tuscany, in the province of Grosetto, they attract thousands of visitors from all over the world every year. One of the most unique features is the Cascate del Mulino, a picturesque waterfall with turquoise pools that form a unique natural setting. Here you can bathe comfortably in the natural sinter pools of the healthy sulfur spring and enjoy a unique ambience. This attraction has become a famous photo opportunity and is a must for many visitors to Tuscany! For those who prefer filtered water, the best option is to visit the thermal bath of Saturnia, which are located in the immediate vicinity. There are several pools and basins, and you can also book spa and health treatments on site.
Tip: For a vacation, we recommend the 5-star Terme di Saturnia Natural Spa & Golf Resort. In addition, this thermal hotel 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. Perched on a tuff cliff over 300 meters high, the town towers over the picturesque landscape of the Maremma. The spectacular backdrop of the reddish-brown townhouses built close together on the sheer rock face is particularly impressive, creating a picture-perfect panorama. The fairy tale old town, with its countless alleys and hidden squares, is also uniquely beautiful. A highlight of Tuscany that should not be missed.
Spending a few days in this region is well worth it, as there is much to discover in the south of Tuscany as well. The rocky tuff town of Sorano, the medieval village of Sovana, and the Saturnia Hot Springs are just a few of the best places to visit in the Pitigliano area.
Tip: A wonderful accommodation near Pitigliano is the Agriturismo Eco-Bio Villa Vacasio with beautiful pool, which is lovingly nestled between olive trees and vines.
The charming city of Arezzo is particularly worth seeing, and not yet as touristy as other places in Tuscany! This city of 100,000 inhabitants became famous for its handicrafts and jewelry production, and still today 10 tons of gold are processed every month. But it’s the historic center of the city that you’ll fall in love with. The Piazza Grande, with its well-preserved patrician houses, is a must-see. Add to this the fascinating medieval charm which can still be felt in every corner. If you are interested in art, Arezzo is definitely the place to be, as you can admire the works of Piero della Francesca and the famous art historian Giorgio Vasari.
Very interesting and an insider tip is to visit Arezzo when the antique market takes place. This market is one of the best in Tuscany! On the first weekend of every month, dealers, antique lovers and bargain hunters gather in Piazza Grande to haggle over 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
A popular excursion destination in Tuscany is the impressive Abbazia San Galgano, a ruined 12th century monastery. Located just 30 kilometers from Siena, it is considered one of the most important Gothic buildings in Italy. Visitors are amazed by the mighty remains of the walls of the former Cistercian monastery and by the unique, serene atmosphere that surrounds these ruins. Above all, the absence of the roof gives an almost unreal appearance to the monastery complex, which is otherwise well-preserved. A truly interesting attraction, and one that can be easily planned into a trip around Tuscany!
Tip: Just a few steps from the monastery is the Casale San Galgano, a beautiful accommodation with a pool and delicious dinner.
The old town of Volterra is a beautiful medieval jewel of Tuscany. Absolutely worth seeing is especially the historic city center, which attracts with countless romantic alleys and squares. However, Volterra is famous in Tuscany for its rich Etruscan heritage and the many archaeological sites located around the old town. Thanks to its long history, it is still possible to admire remains from both the Etruscan and Roman eras. Situated on a hill 550 meters high, Volterra also offers a picturesque view of the charming surrounding countryside. There are many places to visit in the area, making a stay in this Tuscan pearl a real highlight!
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 Elba Island and its beaches are the perfect place for a vacation in Tuscany. It is known for its fascinating bays with azure blue waters, and was also Napoleon’s place of exile from 1814 to 1815. Here you will find a very special charm, a wonderful vegetation and of course the numerous dream beaches. The many romantic villages with their colorful houses right by the sea are also worth a visit. Particularly worth seeing is Rio Marina, a real picture book town on the island of Elba. A visit to Portoferraio, the capital of the island, is also a must. During your vacation you can enjoy 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.
Tuscany: Excursions, Guided Tours, Tickets & More
If you don’t want to explore the best places of Tuscany on your own, you can join a guided tour. The online portal GetYourGuide not only offers recommended excursions, but also guided city tours and experiences such as cooking classes and wine tastings.
Tickets are also available for the most visited attractions such as the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Michelangelo’s David and the Uffizi Gallery. This will save you hours of queuing and precious travel time!
Another great feature is the ratings and reviews that you can compare before you book.
More places to visit in Tuscany:
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