TUSCANY IS HOME TO THE FINER THINGS IN LIFE,WHERE THE PAST MEETS PRESENT.
With its classic landscapes and hilltop medieval towns, the beautiful region of Tuscany offers the perfect setting to step back in time and sip on wines steeped in tradition, or to admire some of the most famous paintings in history. Tuscany is known as a seductive and culture-rich destination that lives up to its reputation. Whether you desire luxury spas or city strolls, the region offers an array of vibrant attractions guaranteed to please. Here are our top 10 favorite and most unforgettable things to do in Tuscany.
- Visit the beaches of the Maremma
Maremma is most well known for its historical sights and delicious food, but its best-kept secret is that it boasts some of the region’s most spectacular beaches. With a stretch of seemingly endless kilometers of sugary sand and stunning panoramic scenery, it is perfect for sun worshipers and lovers of water sports. The crystal clear water and set against stone villages and citadels set the tone for total relaxation.
- Taste the truffles
As one of the most important regions for truffle productions, Tuscany presents an abundance of opportunity to awaken your inner foodie and sample some of the most prized (and pricey) fungi on the planet. Whether it’s a truffle tasting in San Miniato, a quaint agricultural town between Pisa and Florence best known for the legendary white variety, or a foraging tour with truffle dogs that ends in a cooking course, you will be hard pressed to not come away without admiration for these earthen hidden treasures.
- Have breakfast in Florence like a Florentine.
The food in Florence is known for its unique qualities that set it aside from the rest of the region’s cuisine, with its breakfasts being rated as world class meals. This is why it’s important to dedicate time in your itinerary to breakfast in Florence and how better to do it than do to do it like a local. A favorite morning activity among locals is a trip to the local bar or café to have an espresso, cornetti – a warm and sweet croissant filled with cream, fruit or chocolate – and chatting with the bartender and fellow patrons. Pretty much any café in downtown Florence will allow you to indulge in a traditional Florentine breakfast. What’s most important is that, in addition to the espresso or cappuccino, that what you order is sweetened and rich in carbs.
- Be a tourist in Pisa
If we’ve said it once we’ve said it a thousand times, don’t be afraid to be a clichéd tourist. When on vacation it’s important to enjoy the full experience and where greater to start than in the location that is subject to thousands of postcards, the Leaning Tower of Pisa. It’s important to note that Pisa is so much more than just the home of Italy’s signature building. The Piazza dei Miracoli, for example, has buildings that were constructed between the 11th and 14th centuries, which make them architectural marvels, and yet most people still focus on the best way to pose alongside the tower because let’s face it, Pisa embodies all that is fun about travel, and sometimes that’s all we want.
6. Hit the (natural) spas!
Tuscany is known as one of the most exclusive spas destinations in all of Italy, with many countless natural ancient springs and modern spas can help you relax, and some even say can help to treat a plethora of different ailments due to mineral-rich thermal spring water. Since ancient times towns have developed around these natural hot springs known for their healing properties, and it’s easy to see why it’s so popular amongst tourists. Whether you want to detoxify your skin or simply soak while you take in the scenery, the thermal waters of Tuscany will not disappoint.
- Visit the Piero della Francesca masterpieces in Arezzo
Meticulous Renaissance works adorn almost every corner of Tuscany, but the stunning fresco pieces in Arezzo by Piero della Francesca are some of the region’s finest. As one of the leading proponents of the early Renaissance, and an artist who is synonymous with Tuscan art his masterpieces are not to be missed.
- Walk the city walls in Lucca
The Lucca walls may have initially been built to keep people out, but present day they are known for keeping many visitors inside due to the encircled, old, cities’ handsome Romanesque buildings and calm environment. Everywhere you go in Lucca reflects a glimpse at the city from centuries past. Get to know the town by strolling or cycling, the 4km, tree-lined circuit of fortifications. Or browse the wide range of shops, cafes, and museums.
- ALL THE WINE
Some of Italy’s finest vintages are produced in Tuscany, so we say, try all the wine you can find! Wine tasting in Tuscany is not only the perfect way to expand or refine your pallet, but it’s also an ideal way to explore the sprawling landscape of the region, allowing you to immerse yourself in rolling hills and endless vineyards. Given the large and potentially overwhelming number of wine tasting options, a professional wine tour or tasting is a great way to ensure you can sip and savor your way through the many varieties the region offers. Whether you’re a novice or experienced wine drinker, you can rest assured you’ll be tasting world-class wines whilst surrounded by some of the most stuffing scenery in all of Italy.
- Eat your heart out in one of the traditional trattorie.
Big appetite? Tuscany is the place for you and as any local will tell you, the best place to get your fill of Tuscan food is in a Trattorie – less formal than a ristorante, but more formal than an osteria, and with an ambiance that invites you to eat to your heart’s content. Though based on peasant traditions, Tuscan cuisine is fresh and flavorful, and it wouldn’t be out of place in many fine-dining establishments. Even better, it is one of the healthiest diets in the world with its foundation of cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil, fresh vegetables, lean meats, and fish. So go on, eat your heart out.
- Fly over Tuscany in a Hot Air Balloon.
With uninterrupted views of the Tuscan countryside, you’ll experience the magic of flight and the classic beauty of the vineyards, olive groves, and ancient townships. Most tours supply you with more than just a bird’s eye view of the landscape below, but also a sunrise glass of Prosecco and a breakfast made fresh by the local baker that same morning. So in all seriousness, a hot air balloon over Tuscany delivers the very best of everything – scenery, food, hospitality, and wine.
Bonus! The Tuscan Archipelago
Lying between Corsica and the Tuscan coast, this 166km long Archipelago contains seven major islands, all protected as part of a National Park. Each island contains the combined beauty of the crystal blue oceans, beaches, and wonderful natural rock faces, all populated by the friendliest locals, be they human or other! Merely a few hours off the Tuscan coast, renting a boat has never been so easy! You would regret not making an attempt to get out to at least one!