Dominated by ancient hilltop villages, scenic fertile vineyards, and an extraordinary wealth of art exhibits, Tuscany is a haven for art lovers, romantics, wine connoisseurs, and just about anyone who appreciates aesthetic beauty. It is also the birthplace of two of the most prominent figures in the history of mankind, Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci.
It is impossible to sum up all of Tuscany’s attractions in just one article, but here are a few destinations that you might wish to include in your itinerary.
Florence’s historic centre, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Home to many of the most luxurious Tuscan Hotels, Florence is best known for its medieval Duomo cathedral, The Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore (Basilica of Saint Mary of the Flower). This outstanding architectural complex, which also includes the Giotto's Campanile building and the Baptistery, was completed in 1436 after more than a century of construction.
Florence is also home to one of the world’s largest art collections, the Uffizi Gallery, which was established in the 16th century and welcomes around 2 million visitors each year. No visit to the city is complete without heading over to the Piazza del Michelangelo viewpoint, south of the River Arno, where you can enjoy an uninterrupted panoramic view of the entire Florence skyline.
Unsurprisingly, this ancient city is most famous for its 14th-century Leaning Tower and magnificent Piazza dei Miracoli square, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You should also go for a stroll along the picturesque promenade of the River Arno, and visit the enchanting Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Assumption.
Overlooked by 14 imposing medieval towers, visiting San Gimignano is like taking a step into an Etruscan fairytale land, a place that couldn’t appear more removed from the 21st-century world. It is home to one of the most picturesque Hotels in Tuscany, the boutique Hotel La Cisterna, which overlooks the charming Piazza della Cisterna. This was a filming location for the BAFTA-winning film ‘Tea with Mussolini’, starring Maggie Smith, Cher, Judi Dench, and Joan Plowright.
The Piazza del Campo and Siena Cathedral are two sights you will certainly not want to miss if you’re planning to visit Siena. This city also has a great selection of medieval Tuscan Hotels, and is internationally renowned for its annual Palio di Siena celebration, where horse riders race around the Piazza del Campo as they are cheered by thousands of spectators.
The Val d’Orcia
Overlooked by the quaint hilltop city of Pienza, the first settlement to incorporate the urban planning ideas of the Italian Renaissance, the Val d’Orcia is a wonderful display of smooth rolling hills and perfectly pruned cypress trees. The area is also home to the medieval hilltop town of Montepulciano, famous for its prestigious Vino Nobile red wine.
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