Tuscany is a surprising region: the variety of things that it offers is unbelievable. This is probably why this territory is often chosen by locals as well for a weekend gateway.
First of all, art cities: Florence, Tuscany’s capital city, is the cradle of the Renaissance, a sort of open air museum, with beauty at every corner. Beside it, other cities of art are really worth seeing: Siena, the city where I work, has an incredibly rich history and art patrimony; its Cathedral is a real masterpiece and the main square, Piazza del Campo, hosts the Palio, a historical and traditional horse race, famous world-wide.
Moreover, Lucca, with its century-old history, Pisa and its leaning tower, Grosseto with the wonderful Tyrrhenian coast, Arezzo and its beautiful square, Livorno with the wonderful islands of the Tuscan Archipelago, Pistoia with its park dedicated to Pinocchio, Massa and the marble quarries in Carrara: all Tuscan cities have something special.
Our century-old history has always been connected to hospitality: in the Middle Ages this area was crossed by the pilgrimage route, known nowadays as Via Francigena, which led tons of people here from Northern Europe. It is still possible to hike on its ancient trail and this is a way to see our territory from a different perspective.
Tuscany is not just beautiful cities: its landscape is famous worldwide and is often associated to paintings and postcards all over the world. In its Southern territory the wonderful Val d’Orcia, protected by the UNESCO as a world landscape heritage, is a perfect example of Tuscan countryside, with its wheat fields and cypress tree rows that lead to private country homes.
The Crete Senesi is a unique geological territory, where the ocean that covered the area millions of years ago left memories on the ground. The beautiful coast in Maremma is a great place for hiking and swimming, with crystal clear water and shady evergreen oak woods.
Casentino is an incredible forest area, where nature meets religion: here one can walk by the source of the river Arno and visit some interesting sanctuaries on the same day. The very Southern area of the region, on the border with Lazio, is tightly connected to the Etruscan history and has lots of trails to hike and cities to visit, such as Pitigliano, a picturesque town located on a high tuff cliff.
The Chianti area, famous for its wine, is a magical hilly zone, covered in vineyards and olive groves, with hilltop towns everywhere. The Val di Chiana, on the border with Umbria, has some historical towns that are absolutely worth seeing, such as Montepulciano and Cortona. Finally, the Apennine chain, on the border with Emilia Romagna, is a wonderful winter skiing area as well as a summer cool retreat during hot months.
Last but not least, Tuscany is very well-known for its food and wine. This region counts many DOCG labels, which are an excellent quality guarantee for wine making all over the world: Brunello di Montalcino, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Chianti Classico, Vernaccia di San Gimignano and Morellino di Scansano are some examples. Next to wine, our extra-virgin olive oil is another excellence: try it in October and November, when it’s freshly squeezed, for a surprisingly unique experience!
Visiting Tuscany is an experience that involves the 5 senses and leaves great memories. Once here, you will promise to yourself that you will be back, again and again!