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Things to do in Tuscany

Things to do in  Tuscany

Welcome to Tuscany

Home to architectural gems such as the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Renaissance masterpieces including Michelangelo’s “David,” and some of the world’s finest wine, Tuscany is one of the world’s most visited regions—for good reason. The capital of Florence, also known as the Cradle of the Renaissance, boasts two of the world’s most significant (and busiest) art museums: Uffizi Gallery and Accademia Gallery (Galleria dell'Accademia). You can spend hours lining up outside, but in-the-know travelers get ahead of the crowd with skip-the-line tickets and early-access or after-hour tours. In Pisa, beat the timed-entry system for the Leaning Tower of Pisa with a tour, or see beyond the sights of Piazza dei Miracoli on a guided bike ride. Head to San Gimignano and Siena, both popular stops on day trips from Florence, and lose yourself in the charming historic centers for which they are famed. For a true taste of Tuscany, head for the region’s top gastronomic destinations and enjoy a cooking class in Lucca or Arezzo, paired with wine tasting in Chianti, Montepulciano, or Montalcino. Tuscany wine tours include samples of local vintages and allow you to hop from winery to winery without worrying about transportation or choosing where to go.

Top 15 attractions in Tuscany

Uffizi Galleries (Gallerie degli Uffizi)

The Uffizi Galleries (Gallerie degli Uffizi) houses one of the world’s most significant collections of art, drawing in more than a million annual visitors who wish to cast eyes upon its many masterpieces. Set in the heart of Florence, the museum contains the works of artists such as Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Caravaggio, Botticelli, and Giotto, among others. It is the premier place to view Italian Renaissance art and is the most-visited museum in Italy.More

Accademia Gallery (Galleria dell'Accademia)

Once one of Europe’s oldest drawing schools, Florence’s Accademia Gallery (Galleria dell’Accademia) is now one of the city’s most visited museums, home to one of the world’s most impressive works of Renaissance art—Michelangelo’s 17-foot-tall (5.2-meter-tall) David. Other works on display include 15th- and 16th-century paintings by the likes of Botticelli and Lippi, unfinished Michelangelo sculptures, and a museum of musical instruments.More

Florence Duomo (Cattedrale di Santa Maria dei Fiori)

No matter where you walk in Florence, chances are you will spot its famous Duomo—a defining element of the city’s history, geography, and identity—towering above. Beneath its red-tiled dome lies Florence’s largest church, officially known as the Cattedrale di Santa Maria dei Fiori. Together with the Museum of the Duomo, an opera museum, the baptistery of San Giovanni, and Giotto's Bell Tower, the Duomo complex has become the city’s most famous landmark.More

Ponte Vecchio

The historic Ponte Vecchio, or Old Bridge, is perhaps the most recognized symbol of Florence after Brunelleschi’s soaring red dome topping the Duomo. The three lower arches of this 14th-century bridge span the Arno River at its narrowest point between the Palazzo Vecchio and the Pitti Palace, and a stretch of the famous Vasari Corridor runs along its top. Situated on street level, the Ponte Vecchio is lined with pocket-sized jewelry shops and packed with locals and tourists taking a stroll or snapping photos of the colorful palazzi lining the river bank.More

Piazza della Signoria

Home to the imposing Palazzo Vecchio, Piazza della Signoria is the most important public square in Florence. The political heart of the city for centuries, today the square is also a vibrant social hub, where locals and tourists gather at the Loggia dei Lanzi and Neptune fountain to soak up the elegant atmosphere.More

Florence Baptistery (Battistero di San Giovanni)

Situated just west of the Duomo Cathedral, the Florence Baptistery of St. John (Battistero di San Giovanni) is one of the oldest structures in Florence. Its iconic octagonal structure dates back to ancient Rome, while its 16th-century bronze doors—sculpted by Lorenzo Ghiberti—were dubbed the Gates of Paradise by Michelangelo himself.More

Palazzo Vecchio

The 13th-century Palazzo Vecchio has been the symbol of this Renaissance capital’s political power for more than seven centuries. With its imposing crenellated roofline and defensive tower, it dominates Piazza della Signoria and is home to the luxurious chambers of the Medici family. Visiting Palazzo Vecchio for a peek into Renaissance Florence is a rite of passage for visitors.More

Livorno Aquarium (Acquario di Livorno)

Livorno, one of Italy’s most important seaports, is also home to an excellent aquarium. Kids and adults can enjoy watching marine creatures like zebra and blacktip sharks, Napoleon and angel fish, rays, seahorses, tortoises, and other species of marine wildlife in tanks, tunnels, and touch pools.More

Pitti Palace (Palazzo Pitti)

Pitti Palace (Palazzo Pitti) was built by Luca Pitti in the 1400s. A century later, Duchess of Florence Eleonora di Toledo purchased the Renaissance palazzo for her husband, Cosimo I de' Medici, and it remained the official residence of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany until the early 20th century. Today, Pitti Palace is Florence's largest museum complex.More

Arno River

Stretching 150 miles (241 kilometers) from Mount Falterona to the Ligurian Sea, the Arno River is Tuscany’s largest body of water. While the Arno runs through Casentino and Pisa, it is most often visited in Florence, where it divides the city in two. Florence’s bridges—including the iconic Ponte Vecchio—are renowned for their River Arno views.More

Leaning Tower of Pisa

Perhaps one of the world's most beloved architectural mistakes, the Leaning Tower of Pisa's inimitable tilt has made the UNESCO World Heritage site an Italian icon. Travelers flock to snap photos of themselves “holding up” the tilted tower—originally intended as a bell tower for Pisa Cathedral—although you can also ascend the 294-step spiral staircase for stunning views over Pisa.More

Giotto's Bell Tower (Campanile di Giotto)

After Brunelleschi’s soaring dome, Giotto’s elegant bell tower (Campanile di Giotto) is perhaps the most recognized landmark emerging above the rooftops of Florence. Admire the intricate polychrome marble covering the entire 270-foot (82-meter) height, and climb the more than 400 steps to the top for one of the best views over Florence.More

Piazzale Michelangelo

The most famous scenic overlook in Florence, Piazzale Michelangelo is beloved for its breathtaking views over the city’s rooftops. From this 19th-century square set on a hillside in the Oltrarno neighborhood, panoramic views stretch over the Rose Garden, Ponte Vecchio spanning the river Arno, the tower of the Palazzo Vecchio, Florence's iconic Duomo and bell tower, and the Tuscan hills beyond.More

Siena Cathedral (Duomo)

The Siena Cathedral (Duomo di Siena) is one Tuscany’s most beautiful churches, second perhaps only to Florence's Santa Maria del Fiore. The magnificent Gothic and Romanesque structure is hard to miss thanks to its tall spires, bold white-and-green stripes, and ornate facade. Inside, the cathedral is equally impressive with works of art by Donatello, Bernini, and Michelangelo.More

Basilica of Santa Maria Assunta (Duomo di San Gimignano)

San Gimignano’s Collegiate Church of Santa Maria Assunta, known simply as the Duomo, is one of the most impressive sights in this Tuscan hill town’s UNESCO-listed historic center. The church’s plain façade belies the beauty of its exquisite 14th- and 15th-century frescoes inside, remarkable for their bold colors and painstaking details.More

Trip ideas

How to Spend 1 Week in Tuscany

How to Spend 1 Week in Tuscany

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Recent reviews from experiences in Tuscany

10/10- would do again!
Savannah_M, Mar. 2023
Tuscany Day Trip from Florence: Siena, San Gimignano, Pisa and Lunch at a Winery
We were able to see so much of Tuscany in one day!
Very nice trip
Austin_H, Mar. 2023
Pisa, Siena and San Gimignano Day Trip from Florence Including Lunch
It was nice to see the Tuscany region and the lunch/wine tasting was good wished there was more time in Pisa.
Perfect tour to see Tuscany
Diane_D, Mar. 2023
Tuscany Day Trip from Florence: Siena, San Gimignano, Pisa and Lunch at a Winery
A perfect day trip to see what Tuscany has to offer.
Emily_R, Mar. 2023
Tuscany Day Trip from Florence: Siena, San Gimignano, Pisa and Lunch at a Winery
We were able to see so much of beautiful Tuscany in such a limited amount of time.
Just a beautiful experience .
Frances_P, Nov. 2022
Private Tour in Siena, San Gimignano and Chianti Day Trip from Florence
What a wonderful way to see the beautiful nooks and crannies of Tuscany .
Best view in the city.
Tom_M, Nov. 2022
Skip the line: Duomo Skywalk - Florence Heaven
Walking out of the cupola to see the skyline view of Florence and Tuscany.
Beautiful Tuscany
chiew_h, Nov. 2022
Montalcino, Orcia Valley, Pienza, and Montepulciano: Wine- and Cheese-Tasting Guided Tour from Florence
Recommend to those who want to see the actual typical Tuscany views you normally seen in posters and puzzles.
Perfect Day in Tuscany!
Susan_H, Oct. 2022
Livorno Shore Excursion: Private Day Trip to Siena and San Gimignano
Great way to see Tuscany!
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All about Tuscany

When to visit

Sweltering in the summer (in particular Florence), Tuscany shows its best sides in the spring and fall. Fall is a great time to visit the slow food-obsessed region, when the cucina contadina (farm cuisine) comes to life with festivals dedicated to seasonal produce, local game, and foraged truffles. In June the Tuscans don medieval colors and compete in Roman-style horse races, Renaissance-era “football” games, and traditional boat races. Siena’s world-famous Palio horse race is held later, in July and August.

Getting around

The Trenitalia national rail network connects Tuscany’s major cities with fast, affordable, and reliable public transportation; though some cities, like Siena, require transfers to slower regional trains. Further afield, smaller villages can only be reached via buses, which don’t always have convenient schedules. Much of the countryside is best seen on indulgent drives along single-lane roads—which also happen to be perfect for cycling.

Traveler tips

To really learn the lay of the land on a “slow-travel” experience, visitors can discover Tuscany on foot. The Via Francigena is an old pilgrimage route that meanders through Tuscany on its way from Canterbury to Rome. With some advance planning, travelers in decent physical shape can easily tackle the sections—called tappe in Italian—from the medieval hill towns of San Gimignano, Monteriggioni, and Siena in three to four days, with lunch at local farms along the way.

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People Also Ask

What is Tuscany best known for?

That iconic photo of Italy you’ve seen—the one of a cypress-lined country lane zigzagging its way toward a hilltop villa through vineyards, olive trees, and sunflower fields—was snapped in Tuscany. This region is known for its postcard-perfect landscapes sprinkled with medieval villages, storied wineries, and Renaissance estates.

How many days should I spend in Tuscany?

Tuscany is a sprawling region, home to both Florence and Pisa. Spend at least three days to touch on the most famous towns and villages of Chianti and Val d’Orcia. To take in Florence’s Renaissance treasures and the Leaning Tower of Pisa, you’ll need at least two more days.

What wine is Tuscany known for?

Vineyards cover much of Tuscany, and the region produces a number of Italy’s most prestigious wines. Headliners include Chianti Classico, Brunello di Montalcino, nobile di Montepulciano, and Vernaccia di San Gimignano produced in the hills of Chianti and the Val d’Orcia, as well as the coastal Bolgheri reds.

Is Tuscany expensive to visit?

Not necessarily. Agriturismo (farm holiday) stays, casual trattoria meals, and tours of the smaller hill towns are ideal for budget travelers who are keeping their eye on the bottom line. Those looking to splurge can choose luxury wine estates, Michelin-starred restaurants, and the elegant city of Florence for sightseeing.

What is the prettiest town in Tuscany?

Tuscany has a collection of delightful hilltop towns to visit, all of which offer historic cityscapes and scenic views. Top options include San Gimignano, Montepulciano, Montalcino, Pienza, Pitigliano, Arezzo, and Cortona; the larger towns of Siena and Lucca are also known for their elegant historic centers.

What is the best town to stay in Tuscany?

Siena is the best option for a small town that offers A-list sights, dining, and shopping—plus convenient train connections. For a village atmosphere, Pienza is a great choice, though its lack of a train station makes getting around a challenge. City slickers should opt for Florence, Tuscany’s capital and transport hub.


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