What to Do in Tuscany
Collected by Sandra Ramani, AFAR Contributor
No matter your interests and passions, you can indulge them in Tuscany. Art fans will marvel at world-famous works at the Uffizi, architecture buffs can visit stunning cathedrals and palazzi (not to mention a famous leaning tower), and shoppers will find goodies both designer and handcrafted. Cooking classes, vineyard tours, and scenic country drives with stops at medieval hill towns are just a few more options in the heart of Italy.
Piazzale degli Uffizi, 6, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
Ideally you'd have a whole day to appreciate the world’s foremost collection of Renaissance paintings, housed in the 16th-century headquarters of the Medici court. But for those with less time, highlights include the three great...
Piazza del Duomo, 56126 Pisa PI, Italy
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...
Via S. Giuseppe, 5R, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
This leather workshop is hidden away in a former Franciscan monastery next to Santa Croce. The Scuola del Cuoio was originally founded to provide skills and work for some of the city’s orphans after World War II; masters and apprentices...
Via di Piaggiori Basso, 123, 55012 Segromigno in Monte, Capannori LU, Italy
The area of gently rolling hills just to the northeast of Lucca is famous not only for its impressive villas, but also for olive oil and wine. A perfect gastronomic stop-off between visits to the magnificent Villa Mansi and Villa Torrigiani, the...
53037 San Gimignano, Province of Siena, Italy
Forty-five minutes to an hour away from Florence awaits the medieval hilltop town of San Gimignano, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Bordered by 13th-century walls and featuring a triangular central square lined with historic houses, the town is...
Piazza del Duomo, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
The cathedral, usually called the Duomo, is Florence’s most recognizable building. You are able to catch glimpses of its magnificent red-tiled cupola from just about anywhere in the city center. Construction on the church...
Il Campo, 53100 Siena SI, Italy
Considered one of Europe’s greatest medieval squares, the Piazza del Campo—or, simply, Il Campo—has been at the heart of life in Siena since it began as a marketplace and meeting spot for the area’s villages; the...
Piazza de' Pitti, 1, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
The Uffizi Gallery might get more attention, but the Palazzo Pitti across the river is the largest museum complex in Florence. The vast Renaissance palace itself has been owned by the Medici family, used by Napoleon, and repurposed as home to...
Via della Fonte, 58043 Vetulonia GR, Italy
Cucina di Andrea, in the Etruscan hill town Vetulonia, offers both private dinners and cooking classes. The meals are prepared in Andrea's rustic alfresco kitchen and served on a breathtaking terrace surrounded by groves of olive and oak trees—and...
Loc. Follonata, Saturnia, 58014 Manciano GR, Italy
The Maremma region of southern Tuscany, about an hour south of Siena, is an area of olive groves, wooded valleys, and ancient legends. One such tale, dating from the days of the Etruscans and Romans, chronicles an epic battle in which Jupiter...
Via Cassia per Siena, 133, 50026 Bargino FI, Italy
Giovanni di Piero Antinori became a member of the Florentine Winemakers Guild in 1385—and his descendants have been in the business ever since. Today, the company is overseen by Marchese Piero Antinori—the 25th generation of the titled family—and...
Corso Rossellino, 53026 Pienza SI, Italy
Find any postcard of Tuscany—likely emblazoned with rolling wheat fields, a rustic farmhouse, spiky cypress trees, and sunlight so perfect it casts everything in a warm glow—and chances are it was taken in the Val d’Orcia. Set in the southern part...
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