Next to the beautiful Tyrrhenian Sea, Tuscany is home to medieval and Renaissance culture and history. The region’s art, architecture, history, views, food, and wine make visiting an unforgettable experience. A visitor should decide what to see in Tuscany by what is most important to their vacation.
Tuscany is broken down into provinces. This includes Arezzo, Florence, Grosseto, Livorno, Lucca, Massa-Carrara, Pisa, Pistoia, Prato, and Siena. There is also the wine growing region of Chianti and the ecogreen area of Casentino.
Florence, Siena, Lucca, and Pisa are historic art cities of Tuscany. Every city has a beautiful cathedral, called a Duomo, which is worth seeing. The Duomo is located on the main piazza of these cities, oftentimes accompanied by a Baptistery.
In Florence, there are many museums and monuments to see. Michelangelo’s masterpiece sculpture called David is located in the Galleria dell’Accademia delle Belle Arti. There are replicas of David in on the Piazza della Signoria and Piazzale Michelangelo.
Also in Florence, the Uffizi Gallery has the best collection of Renaissance art in the world. The Museo Galileo is on the Piazza dei Guidici with 5000 items from the Medici collection of apparatus and scientific instruments. It also has the Lorenese collection of instruments and didactic and experimental devices. Visitors should also see the Medici palaces and gardens.
Pisa has the famous leaning tower on the square of miracles, or the Piazza dei miracoli. In the small town of Vinci, there is the Leonardo Da Vinci Museum located in the historic medieval Castillo Guidi circa the 11th and 12th centuries. There visitors can view Da Vinci’s works and browse the library.
There is also the countryside which is made up of small towns, villages, castles, villa, and vineyards. The countryside is a great escape from the traffic and noise of the art cities. Many towns in the countryside are thousands of years old with famous and well-preserved walls.
Many famous parks make up the countryside. It would be very difficult to visit every single park Tuscany has to offer. The city of Lucca has some of the best preserved walls in the world. The walls surround the city and have walking and bicycle paths along with magnificent gardens allowing visitors to view the historic city center. There are also towers visitors can climb.
The National Park of the Foreste Casentinesi, Monte Falterona, and Campigna is a unique and moving experience as visitors can explore forests that are some of the oldest in Europe. It is located in the district of Cassentino surrounded by mountains and reached by the river Arno upstream.
The Montioni nature park has a large artistic and cultural heritage. Ancient archeological finds have dated back to Etruscan and Roman times. These have been found under medieval constructions, such as the Pievaccia, the ruins of Montioni Vecchio Castle, and Montioni Thermal Baths.
The Pinocchio’s Park is in the ancient village of Collodi that has remained unchanged in the last century. Charming hill houses lead to Villa Garzoni which contains one of the most beautiful 19th century gardens in Europe. The Park of Migliariano, San Rossore, and Massaciuccoli is special to see because the Tirrenian Sea, Lake Massaciuccoli, and many rivers border it.
Visitors cannot forget to taste the wine. Chianti Classico is Tuscany’s most famous wine region that lies between Florence and Siena. Chianti has a beautiful countryside, picturesque villages, and spectacular wineries. Start by visiting Barone Ricasoli Winery and Brolio Castle for a great wine tasting. The city of Montepulciano is famous for a wine called Vino Nobile as well.
What is best to see in Tuscany largely depends on what is most important to the visitor. Great wine can be found anywhere, but is best tasted in the Chianti region. Renaissance art is found most in Florence but is also present in other major Tuscan cities. Nature and beauty can be found in the countryside parks. No matter where visitors go in Tuscany, history will surround them.