If you’re planning a trip to Tuscany, then congratulations on making a good choice! Located towards the middle of the country, Tuscany is a gorgeous area of Italy with olive groves and magnificent wild beauty. It also has outstanding ancient towns filled with Renaissance art for you to admire. So what are our top ten things to do in Tuscany?
1. See the Masters In Florence Museums
The Uffizi Gallery is a world famous art museum. Here you can feast your eyes on hundreds of paintings by Renaissance masters. Artists include Giotto, Botticelli, Raphael, Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci. Then head over to the Accademia where you’ll find Michelangelo’s statue of David – one of the most famous sculptures in the world.
2. Go Wine Tasting In Chianti
Just about everyone has heard of Chianti wine, and now you can taste the red wine for yourself from the local vineyards in the region. If you don’t want to drive from vineyard to vineyard, you could go on an organized wine tasting tour. Even if you’re not so keen on wine, it’s a gorgeous area to explore.
3. Stroll Around Siena
Siena is a well known town dating from medieval times. One of its most popular piazzas is the Piazza del Campo where you can sit down, relax, and enjoy a glass of wine or cup of coffee and indulge in people watching. If you feel energetic, you can climb to the top of the bell tower for breathtaking views of the surrounding area.
4. Visit Lucca
Lucca is a Tuscan town dating from 180BC. Founded by the Romans, there’s a 1900 year old amphitheater to explore and a sixteenth century brick wall that encloses the city center. If you need some exercises, you can walk along the four kilometer long brick wall.
5. Take A Tuscan Cooking Class
If you’d like to know how to make authentic Tuscan dishes, then why not take a cooking class in Tuscany? There are quite a few different cooking schools in the region that offer anything from one day courses to intense week long courses with accommodation included.
6. Count The Tower Houses At San Gimignano
This town is 1,000 years old and is perched on a hill. Only 14 tower houses are left standing today which were a sign of wealth in ancient times. San Gimignano features churches and museums, as well as the Fortress of Montestaffoli.
7. Visit The Leaning Tower Of Pisa
You can see for yourself the world famous Leaning Tower of Pisa. The town of Pisa is approximately 50 miles from Florence and is easily reached by train if you don’t have a car. In recent years the tower has undergone restoration work to reduce its lean as it was becoming too pronounced, but you can still see the lean it is famous for.
8. Explore the Maremma Region
The Maremma region is located in south-western Tuscany. This region boasts hills, mountains and the ocean. You can indulge in pleasures such as eating simple Italian food and tasting the wines of this region. Or if you feel like taking a dip, why not go to the thermal baths of Saturnia?
9. Take An Art Class
Be inspired by the same landscape as the Italian masters were when you take a Tuscan art class. Not only can you take a class in painting, but lessons in pottery, sculpture, drawing, ceramics and mosaics are also offered at the various art schools in the region. If you want to be pampered while you learn, you can book an all-inclusive course where meals, activities (as well as lessons) and accommodation are all included.
10. Explore Cortona
If you’ve read Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes, then you may be familiar with Cortona. The Etruscans first lived here centuries ago and today it’s a town that offers visitors a feast of history and art.
Tuscany is wonderful, and after you visit, you’ll see why Frances Mayes went through all that work to stay here. Enjoy your trip to Tuscany!