Tuscan harbors are classic landscapes of Italy, well known to us from thousands of paintings of the Renaissance. These are medieval cities built on mountain slopes, endless rows of cypresses, vineyards and olive groves, beautiful country villas and farms.
All of the above has long become a stereotype and continues to attract the attention of tourists from all over the world to Tuscany. Nowadays, Tuscany is one of the richest regions of Italy, although it remains a predominantly agricultural region, with huge fields that have not changed in the last five thousand years.
Taste truffles in San Miniato
In Tuscany, there are many opportunities to try this fragrant and expensive mushroom. San Miniato is a small agricultural town located approximately halfway between Pisa and Florence. This city is widely known for its white truffles throughout Italy and even beyond.
Sail for a few hours in Cortona
The ancient city of Cortona, standing on a hilltop, rises above the agricultural plain of Valdichiana. The steep streets of the town offer unforgettable views of Lake Tracimento and the plain.
After the appearance of the film “Under the Tuscan Sun”, Cortona became the second most popular Italian city among American tourists (Venice was in the first place). But even now this Tuscan settlement, which has not lost its charm, attracts many vacationers from around the world.
Connect with nature in the Uccellina mountains
The natural setting of the Uccellina mountain range (Monti dell Uccellina) is one of the last sections of the Italian coastline where nature has been preserved in its original form.
The geographical region of the Maremma, in which these mountains are located, has long been the most forgotten corner of Tuscany. These coastal plains, swamps, and tree-covered mountains served as places of exile and fear for five hundred years. Uccellina Regional Park has done everything possible to preserve the natural resources of the region.
Take a Pilgrimage to La Verna
At the top of the mountain stands the Franciscan monastery of St. Francis, which offers magnificent views of the Apennines. This is the main place of pilgrimage for Catholics in Tuscany. Someone comes here to pray to the saints, someone stays overnight in the guest house and observes the daily life of the monks.
Get lost in the Uffizi Gallery
The finest Italian art collection and the world’s finest collection of Italian Renaissance masters, located in Florence, has almost doubled in recent years. There are so many masterpieces in the Uffizi Gallery that it is simply impossible to see them all in one visit. It is worth taking at least half a day to visit the gallery.
Hike the Apuan Alps
The Apuan Alps, a mountain range in Northern Tuscany, is widely known for its marble quarries. But it is also a real paradise for nerds. Birch and chestnut trees grow in dense forests, and wild flowers bloom on the mountain slopes in spring.
There are many paths trodden along the picturesque valleys, well marked with road signs. During the hike, you will have the chance to see many of the 300 bird species found in the Apuan Alps Natural Park. In particular, the golden eagle, kestrel, buzzard and sparrowhawk are found here.
Admire the masterpieces of Piero della Francesco in Arezzo
Renaissance masterpieces can be found everywhere in Tuscany, but the magnificent frescoes by Piero della Francesco that can be seen in Arezzo are one of the most impressive treasures of the national culture. No more than 25 people are allowed into the Basilica of San Francesco at the same time. Prepare for the visit in advance, pre-book a place.
Stroll the streets of San Gimignano
San Gimignano – “delle Belle Torri” – is famous for its architectural landscape with fifteen medieval towers. Well-preserved old streets have retained their medieval charm. Try not to come to San Gimignano at the height of the summer season: too many tourists can spoil all the “magic” of the city.
Be a tourist in Pisa
Although Piazza dei Miracoli is depicted on millions of postcards, it is still worth visiting. Here, every building is worthy of the closest attention: the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, the Baptistery of San Giovanni, the buildings of the monumental cemetery of Campo Santo with beautiful frescoes and impressive graves, and, of course, the famous Leaning Tower, one of the main attractions of all Italy.
Walk the city walls in Lucca
Lucca has some of the most beautiful Romanesque buildings in Europe, but there are relatively few tourists here. Explore the city as you walk along the ancient defensive walls that still surround the Old Town. Perhaps the best time to walk the four-kilometer route is in the afternoon. Plane trees, limes, hollies and chestnuts grow along the walls.
Admire outdoor art
Five kilometers southeast of Capalbio is one of the most amazing collections of modern art in Italy, Il Giardino dei Tarocchi (Tarot Garden), an unusual sculpture garden with amazing works by French artist and sculptor Niki de Saint Phalle. The brightly colored sculptures, which evoke associations with Gaudí’s architectural masterpieces, cost the artist 17 years of her life. The sculpture garden will certainly appeal to both adults and children.