Top Ten Places To Visit In Tuscany, Italy
Tuscany can be considered as the most beautiful region of entire Italy. This wonderful place on earth is well known for its beautiful landscapes, architectural highlights and may be one of best travels you can make. It is located between the northern part of the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Apennines and can be called the heart of Italy with its colorful landscape with olive trees, aromatic vineyards, beautiful flowers and you may enjoy their excellent cuisine of the most famous pastas of the world, delicious Chianti wine, best ice-cream and the famous Italian espresso.
Travelers come from all places of the world to discover the beauty of this impressive region of Italy. It is a highlight of fine art but some prefer to visit this region for its extraordinary country side, walking or cycling in the hills, discovering the Italian culture and the amazing beautiful beaches of Tuscany.
It is really difficult to make a top ten list of cities to visit in Tuscany but most travelers will pick most of these places in their favorite list and some may even be considered as a top destination in Europe.
Florence can be considered as a highlight of the Italian Renaissance. The cathedral complex with its Duomo, bell tower and baptistery is undoubtedly the most famous monument in Florence and located on the northern side of the Piazza del Signora. The cupola of the Duomo is a masterpiece of Filippo Brunelleschi and the frescoes depict the last Judgment, created by Yasari.
Florence has plenty of famous churches, monuments, statues and buildings which attract yearly many tourists worldwide. Santa Croche is another beautiful church in Florence and can be considered as the most famous Gothic church in entire Italy. This church is especially important because you can find tombs of the most famous Italian artists like Michelangelo, Dante, Galileo and many others.
There are many beautiful piazzas in Florence and you may likely prefer Piazza della Signoria or Piazzale Michelangelo as the most famous ones. Most statues can be found in the Piazza della Signoria (for example, the Neptune Fountain with statues of Scylla and Charybydis, a copy of the David of Michelangelo, statue of Hercules etc.) but the Piazzale Michelangelo with the statue of Michelangelo offers panoramic views of the entire city and you can enjoy the beauty of the nature in Florence and is located on the south bank of the Arno River.
You can read more information about this wonderful city in Tuscany in my article: : Visting Florence, Italy: places to see, landscape, cuisine and best time to visit.
Sienna is also one of the most visited places in Tuscany and can be considered as the jewel of Tuscany. This city is a medieval hill town surrounded by olive groves, Chianti vineyards and holm-oak woods. The Piazza Del Duomo is the most attractive place in this city. The Duomo is a masterpiece of Romanesque-Gothic architecture designed by architect Nicola Pisano. The façade of this cathedral is impressive and made from white marble of Carrara.
The Gaia Fountain is a popular monument in Sienna and carved by Jacopo della Quercia in a Gotesque-Romanesque style in the fifteenth century. The fountain is surrounded by many statues and the most important one is “the Madonna and child” flanked by two angels.
Sienna has several important churches and museums and you can enjoy some panoramic views of the entire city from different places in this beautiful city of Tuscany.
Pisa is well known for its leaning tower which is the bell tower of the cathedral of Pisa. The leaning tower has a height of 55 meters and is unique in the world because it leans 4,4 meters out of line. The cathedral is built in Romanesque style by architect Buschetto in 1063 and measures 100 meters and has a height of 54 meters. The Baptistery was originally built in Romanesque style but transformed later to the Gothic style. Is a wonderful view from the outside where you can view the three buildings together as one complex. Pisa is also a wonderful place to make a walk along the Arno River and you may enjoy sight of the wonderful green nature with flowers.
Lucca is the birthplace of opera composer “Giacoma Puccini” and you can view his statue in the centre of Piazza della Citadella. This composer is well known for his operas “La Boheme and Madame Butterfly” and you can visit his birth house which is now a museum.
Lucca is remarkable for its walls which date back from the 16th century. It is also called the city of hundred churches. The Duomo of San Martino which is located in the piazza with the same name (piazza San Martino) is the most famous one and built in Romanesque style and in white and grey marble. Lucca is also popular for the production of olive oil.
Carrara is located in the northern-western part of Tuscany and well known of its marble. This marble is used for all the famous buildings in Tuscany, for example the Duomo of Florence, Sienna and many others. You can visit the Fantiscritti quarry museum where you can view the work of the quarry workers.
Pistoia is one of these places in Tuscany which is not crowded by so many tourists. There are still many buildings which are a visit worth. The Cathedral St Zeno houses the most famous silver altar of the world.
The façade of this cathedral is built in Romanesque style and you can view two statues on the top (St. Zeno and St.Jacopa, the patron of the pilgrims). The Piazza del Duomo is the largest square and famous because of its gothic Baptistery, made in green and white marble and the Bell Tower which has a height of 66 meters.
Volterra can be considered as a jewel of the Etruscan, Roman, medieval and Renaissance art of Tuscany. It is located on a height of 1770 feet above sea level between the Rivers Bra and Cecina and surrounded by strong walls.
This city has still numerous Etruscan remains and it is worthwhile to visit the Etruscan Guarnacci Museum. It is one of the first public museums in Europe which found his origin in 1761. These museum houses collections of Roman mosaics, urns with scenes from the Greek mythology, coins and jewelry of the Etruscan period and you may admire the splendid “Urn of the married couple” (a sculpture in terra cotta).
Volterra is also the artistic center of alabaster. You can view workers who produce many products in alabaster and you can find many shops where you can buy souvenirs in this material. A beautiful building in Volterra is Palazza dei Priori which represents the oldest civic hall in Tuscany and built between 1208 and 1254 in Romanesque style.
San Gimignano is also called the city of the beautiful towers. There were originally 72 towers with a height of 50 meters but only 14 survived. Its historic center is recognized as UNESCO world heritage center for its architecture. Seven of San Gimignano’s towers can be found around Piazza del Duomo. The largest one is Torre Grossa with a height of 54 meters and visitors can climb to the top and have a panoramic view of the city.
Viareggio is a city on the coast of the Ligurian Sea and a wonderful place for travelers who want to relax and spend some time on the Italian coast. It is also a nice place for shopping and you may enjoy a drink or a delicious meal at one of the terraces at the coast line. It is also well known for its carnival celebrations.
Montecatini Terme is an excellent place to stay if you plan a holiday in Tuscany. From this place, you can visit all the popular art places in Tuscany. It is a Spa town and well known for its healing waters. It is worthwhile to visit Monte Alto, a picturesque town on the top of the hill where you have a panoramic view of Montecatini Terme.
Traveling to Tuscany is a wonderful experience which may help you to discover the highlights of the Italian art. It is a place where you can find attractions for everyone; you may enjoy the beauty of the nature, spend time on their beaches and it is an excellent place for walking, cycling, hiking, swimming and many other sportive activities. The extra bonus is the excellent cuisine and traveling in the summer months is almost a security of good weather. It is maybe best to avoid July and August because temperatures can be extremely high. Tuscany may never be missed in your top ten list of places to visit in Europe.