What’s the best city to visit in Tuscany?
Think of towns in Tuscany and your mind immediately drifts off to its rolling, vine covered hills, Medieval hilltop villages, sun-dappled village squares and the perfect backdrop to days spent sipping the local wine, soaking up the history and culture and indulging in some of the world’s most incredible cuisine. Tuscany is simply stunning, and though it boasts some of the world’s most iconic, remarkable cities, like Florence and Pisa, there is much to be gleaned from holidays spent exploring its less well-known locations. Here are just a few tempting options.
Florence, the most iconic Tuscany Town
The Tuscan capital, Florence, needs no introduction. Renowned worldwide for its unparalleled wealth of history, art, and architecture, this city captivates visitors with its iconic landmarks and cultural treasures. Marvel at the breathtaking beauty of the Florence Cathedral, with its magnificent dome dominating the skyline. Immerse yourself in the artistic wonders of the Uffizi Gallery, home to masterpieces by Botticelli,
Michelangelo, and Leonardo da Vinci. Cross the historic Ponte Vecchio, a bridge lined with jewelry shops that has stood for centuries. Explore the grandeur of the Pitti Palace, once the residence of the influential Medici family. Florence is a true masterpiece, a city that belongs on every traveler’s bucket list.
As you wander through the enchanting streets of Florence, you’ll be transported back in time. Admire the intricate details of the Basilica di Santa Maria Novella and the Basilica di Santa Croce, final resting place of illustrious figures like Michelangelo and Galileo Galilei. Explore the charming Oltrarno district, known for its artisan workshops and bohemian vibe. Indulge in the city’s culinary delights, from mouthwatering Florentine steaks to gelato that will leave you craving more. Take a leisurely stroll along the banks of the Arno River and be captivated by the panoramic views of the cityscape.
Lucca, a hidden gem in Tuscany
Lucca, the ‘town of a hundred churches’ is a charming, walled city, famous for its completely intact Renaissance walls. This place has a special resonance for music lovers, as it’s the birthplace of the composer Puccini – his old house has even been turned into a museum dedicated to his life and work. Plus it hosts the Lucca Summer Festival, one of Italy’s most important, drawing the cream of local and international artists year after year.
Lucca’s allure extends beyond its impressive walls. As you stroll through its narrow, cobblestone streets, you’ll encounter captivating squares, elegant palaces, and picturesque gardens. The city’s rich history comes alive through its architectural treasures, such as the stunning Cathedral of San Martino and the beautifully adorned Basilica of San Frediano. Take a leisurely bike ride along the top of the walls for panoramic views of Lucca’s enchanting landscape.
Stay in our charming Lucca Villas and discover the city’s rich history, culinary delights, and enchanting streets. Book now for an unforgettable experience. and discover the city’s rich history, culinary delights, and enchanting streets. Book now for an unforgettable experience.
Pisa, another famous Tuscany town
Where else in the world can you see a leaning tower? There’s much more of course, in just another of Tuscany’s gems. Climb the Tower, eat in one of the stunning squares or stroll along the River Arno. However, Pisa offers much more than just its leaning tower. The city is rich in history and boasts beautiful architectural gems, such as the Pisa Cathedral and the Baptistery. Strolling through the picturesque streets, you can also discover delightful squares, lively markets, and cosy cafes. Pisa’s vibrant university atmosphere adds a youthful energy to the city. With its blend of history, culture, and unique landmarks, Pisa is a captivating destination that should not be missed.
Where else in the world can you see a leaning tower? Pisa, just another of Tuscany’s gems, offers much more than its iconic tower. Climb the Tower of Pisa and take in the breathtaking views, indulge in delicious cuisine in one of the city’s stunning squares, or simply take a leisurely stroll along the enchanting banks of the River Arno.
However, Pisa has a wealth of historical treasures beyond its leaning tower. Explore the exquisite Pisa Cathedral, a magnificent example of Romanesque architecture, and admire the intricacies of the Baptistery, a stunning masterpiece with its renowned acoustics. As you meander through the picturesque streets, you’ll discover charming squares filled with lively markets and cozy cafes, perfect for savoring authentic Italian espresso or gelato.
Viareggio, Tuscany to the fullest
Tuscany literally has it all – even beaches! And this lovely seaside resort is a great one, with long, sandy beaches and plenty of great nightlife.
Known for its beautiful beaches and lively atmosphere, Viareggio is a popular destination for both locals and tourists. The town boasts a long promenade lined with colourful buildings, trendy shops, and inviting restaurants. Viareggio is also famous for its Carnival in January and February, with incredible floats and parades. Beyond the beach, visitors can explore the historic district, filled with elegant Art Nouveau buildings and charming streets. With its blend of seaside charm, cultural attractions, and lively entertainment, Viareggio offers a delightful experience for visitors seeking a coastal getaway in Italy.
Pienza, a charming village
If you really want to step back in time Tuscan-style, Pienza, in the Val d’Orcia, is the place for you. An incredibly well-preserved example of Renaissance urban planning, the town was redesigned and rebuilt in the 15th century to embody the ideals of Renaissance humanism and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Piazza Pio II, the main square, is looked over by beautiful buildings like the Palazzo Piccolomini, the Cathedral, and the Palazzo Comunale, which all hold stunning heritage treasures.
Pienza is famous for its delicious Pecorino cheese – it even holds a Pecorino festival in September – its rich, local wines and its stunning countryside. June in Pienza is the Festival of Corpus Domini, a religious procession when the locals proudly decorate the streets with flowers and intricate designs made from coloured sawdust, the perfect chance to enjoy the hospitality of this beautiful, ancient town and its welcoming locals.
San Gimignano, small captivating town
Stunning San Gimignano, in the province of Siena, is famous for its skyline, dotted with mediaeval towers that have earned it the impressive moniker, ‘the Manhattan of the Middle Ages’. Fourteen of the original seventy-two mediaeval towers remain, and you can climb the Torre Grossa to enjoy the incredible panoramic views of the beautiful surrounding countryside.
San Gimignano’s historical centre is actually a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and when you see it, you’ll understand why. With its narrow streets, cobblestone alleys, and beautifully-preserved mediaeval architecture, you can stroll around the Piazza della Cisterna, the mediaeval town square, and the Piazza del Duomo, home to the Collegiate Church of San Gimignano and its breathtaking frescoes.
Vernaccia di San Gimignano is the famous local tipple, a crisp, refreshing dry white wine, perfect for enjoying the world-renowned Tuscan cuisine. Visit one of the local wineries to get the full experience! The town has plenty to keep locals and visitors entertained all year round, and organises many fairs and events, including the Ferie delle Messi, a mediaeval festival held in July and August, featuring historical reenactments, music, and lots of incredible food!
Volterra, a vibrant town in Tuscany
With its Etruscan origins, Volterra, a gem of a town in the Pisa region, is rich in history and archaeological sites, drawing crowds to its beautifully-preserved Roman theatre, mediaeval walls, and stunning architecture. The views from the town’s hilltop location are breathtaking, and the town is renowned for the quality of its alabaster craftsmanship. With museums and Palazzos aplenty to take your breath away, it also boasts a Medici Fortress, known as the Volterra Fortress, overlooking the town. Built in the 15th century by the legendary Medici family, it’s perfect for taking in the jaw-dropping panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.
Enchanting Towns of Tuscany: A Timeless Choice
So wherever you decide to go in Tuscany, or wherever you decide are the best towns in Tuscany to stay, there is so much to see, do and enjoy, and each village, town and city is a veritable box of delights for all the senses. You can do as much or as little as you like, and you’ll still be soaking up the culture, history and general gorgeousness of this heavenly corner of Europe. What are you waiting for? Come and enjoy Tuscany to the fullest.