A week in Florence and Tuscany
Florence is best in the off-season; the summer months are painfully crowded. If you love art history, this is your chance to dive deep. Tuscany contains a mind boggling number of sights and experiences. The hill towns, like San Gimignano, are incredibly atmospheric (and touristy). Sienna's duomo is a stunning architectural creation literally cantilevered out over a hill. Get out of town to see the vineyards. Arezzo's stunning Piero Della Francesca murals are worth the trip alone.

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Leaning Tower of Pisa

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Pisa’s famous leaning tower (the campanile of the adjacent Duomo) is part of the Piazza del Duomo, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that also includes the Duomo, baptistery and cemetery. Begun in 1173, the tower began to lean almost immediately thanks to soil subsidence. To try to halt the tilt, cables and counterweights have been inserted. A spiral staircase with nearly 300 steps leads to the top of this unique, iconic building.

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by Nicky Swallow
AFAR Local Expert
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