Tuscany is a desired holiday destination as it provides ideal city breaks, country escaoes and beach getaways.
Tuscany’s three big cities sit in a triangle near Italy’s west coast. The regional capital Florence is one of Italy’s prettiest cities. The façade of its Duomo is made from mint and rose-coloured marble and its Uffizi Gallery is home to some of the world’s most spectacular art.
Pisa is a great place to visit and of course the Leaning Tower is a definite draw for the tourists. Also in Pisa is an impressive cathedral, and a fluid supply of trattorias and cafes to take in the local atmosphere.
Siena is a small endearing city of tangled alleyways and nook and cranny cafes. Surprisingly the town’s main square is the biggest piazza in Italy!
Things to do
For beach lovers, the 150 mile Tuscany Riviera often gets overlooked but it provides a good antidote to cultural overload, if you want to escape. Popular Tuscany beach resorts include Marina di Peitrasanta, Viareggio, Piombino, Populonia, Baratti and San Vincenzo.
Elsewhere the sights of Michelangelo, the duomo and the Ponte Vechio in Florence; the Piazza del Campo in Sienal; the Leaning Tower of Pisa – the sights will not disappoint.
Music and art is very much at home in Tuscany. Florence is the central place of richly rewarding Tuscan art in hundreds of museums and galleries. There are wonderful exhibitions throughout the year. As for music, opera is its first love, but they also host jazz festivals and regular concerts in Lucca and Viareggio.
With its beautiful landscapes, Tuscany is a great place to go walking, cycling or horse riding to explore the region further.
The Italians love Shopping, so Tuscany really is no different. From fashion to food markets, Tuscany has it all. Florence is the most obvious port of call for a Shopping experience. The Via dei Tornabuoni is wall to wall with design dens like Gucci, Prada and Versace – it is like Rodeo Drive, Italian style! When you’ve trawled through Florence, then head to Siena that also has its fair share of designer names.
But if designer clothes aren’t your thing, then head down to Mercato Centrale in Florence’s San Lorenzo open air market. It is stacked to its rafters with rounds of pecorino cheese, glossy red peppers and wild boar that is cut to order. You won’t go hungry in Tuscany.
Florence is the place to head for a big night out. The most fashionable bars are found along the Lungarno which is a trendy riverside spot rather like London’s South Bank.
Over in Pisa, there is a more student scene as it is a university town where you’ll find the dolce vita. It’s packed with pocket friendly bars that open out onto the square.
Siena is more about laidback lounging than city style hobnobbing. There are plenty of bars where the mood is mellow, and Piazza de Camp is the perfect spot for people watching at an open air café.
Overall Tuscany has a laid back vibe where you can enjoy its cuisine and its wine at leisure, and soak up the local atmosphere.
Florence has the biggest range of spectacular restaurants. Cheap and cheerful pizzerias cluster around San Marco, while the area around Santa Croce and the Duomo is where you’ll find eateries that wear the stars on their sleeve. But for a more authentic Italian experience, then head out into the smaller towns such as Siena or Arezzo. Some of the restaurants are more rough and ready, but all the better for it. Visit an unassuming trattoria and order a dish of mama’s pappardelle al cinghiale – pasta with wild boar – not to be missed!