If you are looking at a visit to Italy in the near future then the one area which I would recommend most in the country is Tuscany. Away from the history of Rome and the stylish Milan, here you will find the very best of Italian cuisine, culture and heritage, all packed into one central region.
If visiting Tuscany, I would recommend that you take the opportunity to tour it as opposed to visiting one solitary place and staying there. Touring around the region is very simple and most of the best places are within just a couple of hours drive from each other. Let’s take a look at the best locations in Tuscany which you cannot afford to miss out on.
The capital of Tuscany and one of the most beautiful cities in Italy, not just the region, is Florence. This city is often considered as an open-air art museum thanks to its vast number of ornate buildings and pieces of architectural brilliance, not to mention the sculptures, statues and painting which adorn the city streets and the old buildings. There are also many galleries which art lovers will enjoy here with the most notable being the beautiful Ufizzi and Pitti Palace galleries.
A trip to Tuscany wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Pisa, the home of the iconic leaning tower. Interestingly, the tower was intended to be nothing more special than a bell tower for the neighboring church and after an earthquake, it was left with the lean that we all know it to have, over the years this tower became iconic and is currently one of the most famous landmarks in Italy. There is much more to Pisa than just its tower and you can find a great deal of Middle-Aged heritage throughout the city.
There is an archipelago just off Tuscany which legend suggests was put there by the goddess Venus herself when she sprinkled diamonds on to the Mediterranean sea. The finest of the islands on the Tuscan archipelago is that of Elba, a stunning natural wonderscape which offers beautiful beaches, secluded shores and plenty of water sports. Many Italians have a winter home in the likes of Elba and during the summer months there are few better places on the Med to be than here.
The Orcia valley is really the jewel in the crown of Tuscany and if you have a couple of days spare during your trip I would recommend that you visit the area. Here you will find rolling green planes, misty hills, medieval castles and quaint towns throughout the region. Some of the finest food which I tried in the country was what I tasted in these small villages and there is a certain tranquility in the valley which is hard to find anywhere else.
Tuscany manages to pack all that is amazing about Italy in to one region and if you want the full Italian experience, then touring around Tuscany is a great idea for your vacation.