There is no other way to say it: Tuscany is spectacular. Pastoral farmhouses, tiny villages sequestered in the hills, rustic city squares that have remained untouched by the technological advances of the twentieth century – this is the scenic Italian countryside that makes it onto all the postcards. Even so, Tuscany vacations can take all shapes and sizes – stretching from the Ligurian Sea to the Umbrian border, the region is not just relegated to hills and meadows; it also includes seafront escapes, mountaintop views and one of Italy’s cultural capitals: Florence. So no matter what kind of vacation strikes your fancy, you will find that Tuscany Italy is like no other.
Tuscany City of Cortona
Most Tuscany vacations are centered in Florence and Siena. Though they have long been rivals, the cities could hardly be more different. Florence is one of Italy’s most popular cities, a place full of Renaissance art, designer jewelers, expensive clothes and famous bridges. High fashion, high culture, and the city’s giant checkered Duomo are the highlights here, and the city is often hailed as a top honeymoon destination. Or if you are planning on spending the holidays in Tuscany, this metropolis is where you want to be. But the rest of Tuscany Italy is a bit different.
Start with Siena, whose Piazza del Campo is one of the highlights of any Italian tour. The city center remains as it was in medieval times, well-preserved and completely devoid of cars. Siena’s striped Duomo is every bit as good as Florence’s counterpart, and the piazzas erupt in regionalist pride twice a year during the Palio di Siena – a folk festival that revolves around horse races on July 2nd and August 16th.
A great way to see the region is to take one of the Tuscany tours offered. These are usually journeys into the famed hillside towns that dot the Tuscan landscape. San Gimignano is a staple of these tours due to its 13th century architecture, cheap wine and splendid views. It’s like a sleepier version of Siena, but with a flair all its own. Tuscany tours usually don’t forget about Montepulciano, another city that is best known for its wine, but offers so much more. One of the highest cities in Tuscany Italy, you will get an up close and personal look at how small Tuscan towns go about their day-to-day business. Delve further into medieval architecture and head to the village of Monticchiello – surrounded by friendly cypress trees and quaint farmlands, the timeless quality of Tuscany shines through.
Tuscany vacations are often the highlight of any trip to Europe, as you’ll find the bucolic Italy that tourists have sought for years on end. So whether you are heading to Florence, Siena, or any of the tiny villages left clinging to the hillsides, you will be blown away by the charm and beauty of Tuscany.