Tuscany is one of the most charming, romantic and beautiful regions of Italy. It is filled with fascinating historic cities and beautiful natural landscapes that include spectacular mountains and beaches. If Tuscany is on your bucket list, read our round-up of 20 must-visit attractions in the region before you go.
A visit to Tuscany usually starts from its capital city, Florence. It is the most stunning city in the region with plenty of beautiful medieval and Renaissance buildings that deserve to be seen. Once in town, don’t miss the towering Duomo or the Uffizi Gallery, two hot spots in Florence – and despite its popularity, Michelangelo’s David in the Accademia Gallery is a definite must-see, just reserve tickets ahead of time.
Pisa is known worldwide as the home of the Leaning Tower. The torre pendente is a must-see spot during your Tuscan tour, but remember to book tickets in advance so you can avoid the endless queues at the entrance.
This big square is known for hosting the Palio di Siena, a horse race that is held twice each year, on 2 July and 16 August, where all the wards of the city are represented and race against each other. The piazza is one of the largest and most beautiful medieval squares in Europe. Once here, climb to the top of Torre del Mangia to admire the square and the city from on high.
Just few minutes from Siena, Val d’Orcia is one of the most romantic areas of Tuscany, famous for its cypress trees, natural landscapes, medieval castles and ancient hamlets. The area is also known for its abundance of natural hot springs, so it is a great place to spend a relaxing day.
Often overlooked by tourists in search of famous spots, Terrazza Mascagni is one of the most beautiful terraces of Tuscany, located in the coastal town of Livorno just in front of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Take a stroll along the terrace and watch the sunset.
If you think the only islands that deserve to be seen in Italy are Sicily and Sardinia, you are very wrong. Just two hours by ferry from the city of Livorno and you can easily be in Elba, the third largest island in Italy, known for its beautiful beaches, with plenty of things to see and do.
In the south of Tuscany lies one of the best-preserved Etruscan archaeological sites, Populonia. This large area offers plenty of well-preserved ancient ruins as well as spectacular views over the surrounding sea.
If you want to escape from the world for a while and drift away into the bliss of a spa treatment, head for the natural hot springs of Saturnia. These are the best known Tuscan springs, perfect for rejuvenating your body and mind.
Another beautiful town to visit in Tuscany is Lucca, just a short trip from Pisa. Lucca is not as touristy as Florence, Pisa or Siena, but it’s totally worth visiting. Be sure to make a stop at the Piazza dell’Anfiteatro and walk along the city’s ancient walls.
The city centre of San Gimignano looks like a magical place with fountains, ancient palaces and medieval towers. The city is called the New York of the Middle Ages because of the numerous towers and, once here, you’ll understand why.
A chic location mostly frequented by the rich and famous is Forte dei Marmi. This coastal town is one of the most charming locations in Tuscany and is much more pleasant to visit during the colder months, as it is often crowded and expensive during the summer.
Did you know that Pistoia, a city just 30 minutes from Florence, was nominated as the Italian capital of culture for 2017? We recommend going there asap before everyone else finds out how gorgeous it is.
Tuscany has plenty of gorgeous beaches, but if you are looking for a truly beautiful place, it’s best to avoid the more popular locations, such as Viareggio, and go to San Vincenzo instead. This sandy beach is in the Maremma area, which is one of the wildest in Tuscany.
For romantic moments, there is no better place than Volterra. This lovely town in the province of Pisa has recently become popular and crowded thanks to the Twilight saga, but it still has buckets of charm.
Did you know Tuscany has ski resorts? Okay, so they don’t look like the Dolomites or the Alps, but if you’re in the region in the winter months and want to ski, you only need to go to Abetone – a mountain destination close to the border with Emilia Romagna – to take your pick of ski-worthy slopes.
Just 20 minutes from Florence, Prato is a cool town famous for its textile industry. This city is now home to many important art and design galleries, included the Textile Museum, which exhibits fascinating works of art.
If you’re travelling between Lucca and Abetone, be sure to plan a stop at the Ponte della Maddalena, also called the Devil’s Bridge. It is one of the most photogenic spots in the whole region, so be sure to have your camera at the ready.
Mugello is only one hour from Florence and is home to some of the most important Italian works of art, including pieces by Giotto, Fra Angelico and Cimabue. It is the perfect place to soak up some culture and enjoy the area’s natural beauty, so it’s well worth the trip.
Another small island located in the Tuscan archipelago, Giglio is frequented only by those in the know. It’s not touristy at all, and absolutely stuffed with romantic spots, hidden beaches and pristine clear waters. What more could you want on a trip to Tuscany?