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- Tuscany is one of the preferred tourist destinations in Italy. Discover here everything about Tuscany and enjoy your trip!
Tuscany is one of the preferred tourist destinations in Italy. Discover here everything about Tuscany and enjoy your trip!
How to reach Tuscany
Tuscany is well connected to neighboring Italian regions and to main international destinations. You can reach Tuscany by car, by train, by plain or by boat…
Reach Tuscany by car: a highway network crosses the whole region. You can reach Tuscany driving along the A1 highway, which goes from Milan to Naples passing through Rome, along the A11 motorway which goes from Florence to the coast and along the A12 highway which goes from Genova to Livorno.
Reach Tuscany by train: the main railway line connects Florence with Bologna and Milan to the north, Rome and Naples to the south. You can choose between high-speed trains, which allow you to reach Florence in less than 2 hours from Milan and less than 1 hour from Rome, or interregional trains, slowest but cheaper.
Reach Tuscany by plane: The most important airports are Pisa and Florence, where lands both international and domestic flights. The biggest nearest airport is Fiumicino airport in Rome.
Reach Tuscany by boat: Maritime connections are available from the port of Livorno, to the islands of the Tuscan archipelago but also to Corsica, Sardinia and to Barcelona in Spain.
Best time to visit Tuscany
The region is a destination visited all year round. In winter there is less tourism and even if the temperature is cold you can spend a lot of time indoors, visiting museums and monuments. During summer season the temperatures can rise up until reaching 35ºC in some areas, so this is the best period for a holiday in the seaside villages along the coast of Tuscany. The best seasons to visit Tuscany, especially the inland, are spring and autumn, when the temperature is mild and the colors of nature provide the best show.
What to see in Florence
A visit to the capital of Tuscany, Florence, is a must if you are going to travel here. Florence means medieval architecture and Renaissance buildings which recall the time when man was at the center of things. The best tourist route in Florence must include Santa Maria Novella, Palazzo Vecchio and Ponte Vecchio. Furthermore in the Galleria dell’Accademia is where you can find the most famous masterpiece of Michelangelo in Florence: the David. Piazza della Signoria is the heart of the city life, with its Palazzo Vecchio, now the city hall, which houses the Salone dei Cinquecento. A few steps away from here is the Uffizi Gallery, one of the most important museum in the world, where is stored the Botticelli’s Venus painting. In the old town the river Arno is crossed by the Ponte Vecchio, which host the famous staute of Benvenuto Cellini with lots of padlocks affixed which are related with the idea of love and lovers: by locking the padlock and throwing the key to the river, their love became eternal. Another monument is among the most famous Pitti Palace, with Boboli Gardens, one of the highest examples of the Italian garden, also used by Dan Brown as one of the settings of his latest best sellers, the Inferno. And finally you should visit the Duomo, with the great dome of Brunelleschi which dominates the whole city, and the nearby Campanile of Giotto together with the Baptistery.
The best places to visit in Tuscany
Many of the main cities of Tuscany worth a visit. First of all Pisa, with its great Piazza dei Miracoli, a single square where stands the Leaning Tower of Pisa together with the Catherdal and the Baptistery . Siena, which is located some in the south of Tuscany, is another great city to visit especially on july 2nd and august 16th, when in the Piazza del Campo, took place an horse race of mediaeval origin, when the different neighborhood of the city compete. San Gimignano, a small mediaeval town located in the Tuscany hills, is world famous due to the huge number of towers which dominates the town. Especially the countryside around San Gimignano offers a very beautiful panorama. Other great locations in Tuscany are Lucca, with its great walls, Arezzo, one of the most important Etruscan cities, Volterra, Pienza, Cortona and Vinci (the hometown of Leonardo da Vinci). Outside the cities, a yummy route is the one among wine vineyards, olive trees and farms located in the region of the Maremma, in the southern part of Tuscany, on the coast, where you can also visit Orbetello and the surrounding protected area with great nature and fantastic beaches.
The green landscape of Tuscany hills perfectly matches with the warm hot spring waters of Saturnia, Petriolo or San Giovanni Rapolano, places where you can experience the pleasure of a hot bath outdoors, even when it rains or snows. Spring and summer are the best time to visit the Island of Elba, perfect for nature lovers, where you can experience archaeological hiking and bird watching. Furthermore, in summer all the coastal towns of Versilia region, in the north of Tuscany, are the point of attraction of tourism thanks to their long and wide beaches. Here the most famous towns are Viareggio, which is the historical resort for Florentines, and Forte dei Marmi, the most trendy and elitist town of the coast of Tuscany. Other pretty beach destinations in Tuscany are Cecina, Follonica, Punta Ala and Castiglione della Pescaia.
Festivals and Events in Tuscany
Known throughout the world is the Carnival of Viareggio with its colourful parades. Other traditional appointments are those with the Scoppio del Carro (explosion of the cart), which takes place in the Piazza del Duomo in Florence on the Saturday before Easter, and the Palio of Siena, which involves the entire city twice a year, in July and August. Historical Football has also a long tradition and great historical interest: this is a mix of wrestling, rugby and football, which is celebrated in Piazza Santa Croce on June 24th, the feast day of St. John the Baptist. It is a competition that involves teams from the different city districts. And regarding festivals, in May takes place in Florence “Fabbrica Europa”, an exhibition of contemporary and experimental art from all corners of Europe and the “Maggio Fiorentino”, a great festival dedicated to theatre. In mid-July is held in Pistoia “Pistoia blues festival”, which sees performances by international stars of blues and jazz, while in Livorno takes place “the Italian Wave Love Festival”, a well-known rock music festival. Florence is also the home of “Pitti Immagine”, five fashion events that are among the most important in the international catwalks calendar.
What to eat in Tuscany
Italy is worldwide famous also thanks to its great cuisine and superb food, and Tuscany is one of the best examples of it. T-bone steaks (called Fiorentina), seasonal dips (pinzimonio), crostini with chicken liver pate, and pappa al pomodoro, made with leeks, tomatoes, garlic, basil, olive oil and served with bread, are just some of Tuscan specialities; simple dishes prepared with seasonal ingredients coming directly from nearby farms. A classic of simple peasant cooking of Tuscany is Ribollita, a very tasty vegetable soup. Other great products of Tuscany countryside are the pecorino cheese, for example, the one of Pienza, the truffle, especially in San Miniato and the lardo ham, as the one of Colonnata. Even the sea contributes, with its scents, to the Tuscany cookery, for example with pasta topped with curly, cacciucco fish soup of Livorno, or Saint Peter’s fish with tomatoes and capers.
What to Buy in Tuscany
You can buy many delicatessen foods, such as cheese, olive oil, truffles and pastries famous all over the world, including Ricciarelli, cantucci (nooks) and panforte (gingerbread). The great Tuscan wines, such as Brunello di Montalcino or Chianti, can be bought in wine shops or directly in the wineries along the wine roads. Quality fabrics are also notable, as the Florentine cloth and leather, which is processed in the form of shoes, briefcases, suitcases, belts and handbags.