Must See Destinations in Tuscany
Must See Destinations in Tuscany
International travelers always face the difficult task of deciding what sights to explore when traveling to different countries. The Tuscany region of Italy draws a large number of tourists each year, but many struggle what sights to see when visiting this special region of Italy. While it is easy to visit the typical tourists stops like Florence or the Leaning Tower of Pisa, a vacation can be much more enjoyable when visit the rare gems Tuscany has to offer.
Regardless of the current state of the global economy, some things remain constant in human life; we all need a break from the daily grind. Going on a holiday to an exotic location is at the top of many to-do lists, but traveling to a completely unknown corner of the globe comes with challenges. Visitors to foreign countries often find themselves at a loss for what to do and where to start. Italy is one of the top tourist destinations in the world, and within this beautiful country the Tuscany region often tops the list of vacationers everywhere.
The beauty of Tuscany lies not just within one location, but can be found in every last village and town throughout the region. It is nearly impossible to compile a complete list of must see destinations in Tuscany. However, it is possible to narrow it down to a few select areas that offer special attractions for tourists. When planning a holiday in Tuscany, make time to visit the following areas:
- Chianti wine region
- San Gimignano
- Maremma area
- Lunigiana area
- Garfagana area
The Chianti wine region of Tuscany is famous for the red wines produced therein which bear the same name. It is worth noting that the region is not an administrative one, but rather a way of identify the regions within Tuscany famous for their own varieties of Chianti wines. While the Chianti region does not boast the number of tourist destinations that Florence or Siena offers, the small villages of Montefioralle and Volpaia, and larger towns such as Greve, Panzano, Radda and Castellina offer great vacation destinations that lack the crowding of Tuscany’s bigger cities.
Tourists looking for a glance into Italy’s ancient architecture should visit the towns of Montalcino, Montepulciano, and San Gimignano. Each of these towns features ancient architecture for the eyes to feast on, and great local wines for the pallet to enjoy. Montalcino is a hilltop village whose ancient walls remain intact. Although short on typical tourist attractions, the village’s world renowned Brunello wine can be enjoyed during a Brunello Wine Tour Adventure.
Montepulciano is much like Montalcino, a quiet hilltop town with much of its ancient architecture still intact. Automobiles are not even allowed inside the historic city center, but a short walk inside offers tourists a chance at wine tastings and the opportunity to see the medieval Palazzo Comunale.
The hilltop city of San Gimignano is famous for its art and architecture, with its ancient walls still in place around much of the city. Another city where automobiles are forbidden inside the walls, San Gimignano offers great food and wine with architecture and art galore.
Visitors staying closer to some of Tuscany’s major cities, most notably Florence, can take day trips to see some of the older communes in the region. Certaldo, Scarperia, and Mugello are small communes located just kilometers outside the capital city of Florence. Each small commune offers a taste of Italian culture and architecture, along with little known sights such as the center of Italy’s knife production industry in Scarperia. The commune of Bolgheri, just outside the capital of Livorno, is famous for its Sassicaia wines. The area’s wine was previously classified as “Super Tuscan,” but was given its own DOC classification in 1994.
Finally, there are the areas of Maremma, Lunigiana, and Garfagana. Maremma, like the Chianti region, is not an administrative designation. Rather, this area comprises land that stretches across multiple provinces within Tuscany. Although most popular for its DOCG wines, Maremma offers a variety of attractions ranging from breathtaking hilltop villages in the north, to the sandy beaches and rock-lined shores of the Tyrrhenian Sea.
The Lunigiana area has roots stretching back to the Roman Empire with its current borders derived from those established by the Romans. Those in search of architectural beauty while on vacation in Tuscany would be well advised to visit one of the 30 well preserved medieval castles. During the height of the Middle Ages, the area was home to more than 160 castles, many of which have now fallen into a state of disrepair.
Maremma Area Tuscany
The Garfagnana area offers one of the most unique landscapes in Tuscany as it is dominated by the Apennines Mountains. While the rest of Tuscany is largely flat, Garfagnana is characterized by its mountainous landscape and densely forested areas, making it a great destination for outdoor enthusiasts.
Tuscany has so much to offer vacationers that it may seem impossible to fit it all into one trip. Many of the destinations listed above are out of the ordinary holiday hotspots that can be visited during day trips due to their proximity to Tuscany’s largest cities.
I hope you have a great time in Tuscany. Arrivederci
Isola Santa, Nature of the Garfagnana Area
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