Tuscany is not simply the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance: from north to south, it boasts a lot of places worth visiting.
Culture, art and traditions combined with gentle hills, vineyards and charming villages makes Tuscany not only the most dreamed Italian destination, but an unforgettable experience that will leave you the desire to discover more and more about this fabulous region.
Even it is almost impossible to condense the Tuscan places to visit in a short list, here you are a useful overview of the cities and locations you can’t absolutely miss during a holiday in Tuscany.
Surrounded by wonderful hills and built around the Arn River, Florence is a full immersion in a world of art, culture and excellent food. It is known as the Cradle of the Renaissance and considered one of the most amazing Italian cities. Florence houses the Galleria degli Uffizi, one of the oldest and most famous art museums of the Western World and the huge cupola of Florence’s Duomo designed by Filippo Brunelleschi in the 15th, just to cite a few examples of its treasures. Wandering in and around the city you can also discover several secret places as gorgeous free gardens and parks.
Suggested Hotels: J&J Florence, SoprArno Suites, Hotel Il Salviatino and Palazzo Castri 1874
The historic centre of Siena has been declared by UNESCO a World Heritage Site. Here you can breathe the charm of this medieval hill town, visit the fortresses of the Medici Family, strolling in the popular fan-shaped square Piazza del Campo where the popular horse race (Il Palio) is held in summer. Not-to-be-missed are also its beautiful Gothic buildings include the Cathedral and Palazzo Pubblico, as well as numerous churches. Furthermore, Siena is surrounded by flourishing green landscapes, medieval ancient castles, fortresses and farmhouses.
Suggested Hotels: Grand Hotel Continental, Hotel Palazzetto Rosso and Campo Regio Relais
Versilia and Lucca
Lucca can be defined as the only city in Italy where you can walk along a complete set of ancient walls with well-preserved towers, from where you get stunning views and are able to capture the essence of the city in pictures. From Lucca, if you proceed towards the north-western of the province, you can easily reach the Versilia, a subregion of Tuscany, named after the Versilia river. Known for fashionable Riviera resorts, it consists of numerous clubs that are frequented by local celebrities. Nightlife, social life and fine sandy beaches are the main features from Viareggio to Forte dei Marmi, the ideal place in Tuscany for long walks and social gatherings.
Suggested Hotels: Hotel A Palazzo Busdraghi - Residenza d'Epoca (Lucca), UNA Hotel Versilia (Camaiore) and Principe Forte dei Marmi (Forte dei Marmi)
Chianti is the wine region of Tuscany. It extends over the provinces of Florence and Siena, covering all of the area between the two cities and extending to the east toward the Valdarno and to the west to the Val d'Elsa. Chianti offers a unique landscape, with green, gentle hills covered with wide fields of vineyards and olive groves. Many of the wineries are open for tours and tastings: an invaluable treasure for those who are interested in exploring the eno-gastronomic culture of Tuscany.
Suggested Hotels: Hotel Le Fontanelle (Pianella), Villa Sassolini (Moncioni-Montevarchi) and Castello del Nero Hotel & Spa (Tavarnelle Val di Pesa)
The photo with the leaning tower is a must, but Pisa is much more than this, starting from the Baptistery, the Cathedral, the medieval old town. The city centre offers a vibrant and affordable cafe and bar scene surrounded by well-maintained Romanesque buildings, Gothic churches and Renaissance piazzas. Pisa is also a river city with many natural hot springs and an important thermal baths tradition, as a matter of fact it offers the chance to mix a cultural holiday with a wellness break.
Suggested Hotel: Bagni di Pisa Palace and Spa
Val d’Orcia - Pienza, Montalcino and Montepulciano
The Val d’Orcia, World Heritage Site, delights the eyes both with its spectacular landscapes and with its medieval towns such as Pienza, Montalcino and Montepulciano. Crossed by the namesake river, this wonderful region in southern Tuscany stretches along the provinces of Siena and Grosseto. Pienza enjoys a strategic position on atop a hill, dominating all the Orcia Valley. It is located about 20 kilometers east of Montalcino and a few kilometers to the west of Montepulciano amidst gentle undulating hills and wonderful natural landscapes.
Suggested Hotels: Palazzo del Capitano Wellness & Relais (San Quirico d'Orcia), Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco (Castiglion del Bosco) and Lupaia (Torrita di Siena)
Located about halfway between Florence and Siena, San Gimignano is also called the “city of beautiful towers” and its 14 medieval towers create an amazing skyline that you cannot miss experiencing. San Gimignano's historic center is a UNESCO world heritage site and must-sees during your visit to this small village are absolutely the Duomo, the Palazzo Comunale, the Pinacoteca museum, Torre Grossa and the ruins of Montestaffoli fortress. San Gimignano is also well-known for the excellent quality of its local white wine: the Vernaccia di San Gimignano.
Suggested Hotels: Palazzo San Lorenzo (Colle di Val d'Elsa) and UNA Palazzo Mannaioni (Montaione)
Maremma and the National Park
The Tuscan Maremma is a land of wonderful surprises located between the provinces of Livorno and Grosseto. From the coast to the secluded inland, it is able to offer blue sea and long beaches, but also green hills and natural thermal baths. In the south of Maremma, you cannot miss the stunning National Park, a protected wildlife area and one of the best destinations for hiking in Tuscany. Maremma is also a perfect destination for Etruscan history lovers and for travelers looking for breathtaking medieval villages, incredible food and delicious wines as well!
Suggested Hotels: Il Pellicano (Porto Ercole), L'Andana Tenuta La Badiola (Castiglione della Pescaia) and Resort Baia Scarlino (Scarlino)
Cortona and Val di Chiana
Cortona is one of the most enchanting places of Val di Chiana, sits on the top of a hill about 600 meters above sea level and surrounded by a beautiful landscape. It is located very close to the Trasimeno Lake and to the most important sightseeing and hill top towns of Tuscany. Cortona is enclosed by stone walls dating back to Etruscan and Roman times. Furthermore, its medieval buildings and narrow lanes give the town an evocative atmosphere.
Suggested Hotels: Villa di Piazzano - Historical Residence, Relais Chateaux Il Falconiere & Spa and Relais Villa Baldelli
Tuscan Archipelago and Elba Island
Elba, Giglio, Capraia, Montecristo, Pianosa, Gorgona, Giannutri are the seven islands that make up the beautiful Tuscan Archipelago, located between the Ligurian and Tyrrhenian Sea, in the west of Tuscany. Elba is the most famous one and the third biggest Italian island after Sicily and Sardinia. It is an appreciated touristic sea resort thanks to its fine sand and clear waters as well as for the fascinating evidences of its past as the Pisan towers and Etrurian fortresses.
Suggested Hotels: Del Golfo, Hermitage and Hotel Biodola