A trip to Italy would be incomplete without a deep dive into the endless delights of Tuscany. This expanse of rolling hills, ancient towns and natural wonders has inspired artists since the Renaissance. There’s little wonder about why millions of travellers flock to this lush region each year. Wine enthusiasts might already be familiar with Tuscany’s most famous export, Chianti wine. So in honour of National Chianti Day, we’re raising a glass to all things Tuscan with this curated guide to the best things to see in Tuscany.
The Chianti region of Tuscany is the birthplace of one of Italy’s many gifts to the world, Chianti wine. This savoury wine is as much a staple of local cuisine as olive oil and bread. Hence, this wine is not only the best of Tuscany but also the best of Italy. To experience premium Chianti, a tour across the region’s many premium vineyards is essential. The Chianti blend consists of Sangiovese grapes, which creates the wine’s rich hue and tart flavour. To best enjoy the visceral taste of Chianti, pair with a platter of antipasto or alongside an overflowing bowl of pasta pomodoro.
Experience the sensations of Tuscany with Trafalgar on the Rome and Tuscan Highlights tour
Hunt for truffles in San Miniato
Worth more than their weight in gold, the truffles in San Miniato are some of the best in the world. There is an art form to harvesting these perfumed fungi since traditional agricultural methods can’t cultivate them. With a local guide, a day spent scouring the Tuscan countryside for truffles is one of the best things to do in Tuscany. After a hard day’s hunting, travellers can enjoy a plate of creamy fettuccine, luxuriously topped with shavings of white truffle.
See Italy’s greatest artists in Florence
The best things to see in Tuscany for cultural and historical significance are in the region’s capital, Florence. Spend the morning at leisure in the Uffizi gallery, admiring Renaissance masterpieces by Caravaggio, Botticelli, Da Vinci, and Raphael. Next, visit the neighbouring Galleria dell’Accademia, to marvel at the lifelike beauty of Michelangelo’s David. Finally, a stone’s throw away, travellers can find the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore. This elaborate marble church is the centrepiece of the Tuscan cityscape and the crowning jewel of any visit to the region’s capital.
Fall in love with the best Tuscany attractions in Florence when you travel with Trafalgar on the Best of Italy tour
Climb the Leaning Tower of Pisa
Snapping a cheesy photo pretending to hold up the Leaning Tower is requisite when visiting Pisa. The tower has leaned since its construction in the 12th century due to the soft ground beneath. At present, this lopsided monument teeters at a dizzying 4 degrees. A climb to the top of this bell tower is one of the best things to do in Tuscany. Here travellers will find 360-degree views over the Square of Miracles and the tiled roofs of Pisa below.
GET INSPIRED: Discover the Best of Italy
Bask in the Cortona country life
The tiny hilltop town of Cortona boasts a history dating back to the age of the Etruscans. This little gem is one of the most beautiful towns in Italy because of its traditional architecture and panoramic countryside views. As if that wasn’t appealing enough, Cortona is also the sun-baked setting of the romance movie, Under the Tuscan Sun (2003). As such, romantics and adventure seekers will find that Cortona is one of the best things to see in Tuscany.
GET INSPIRED: The hilltop towns of Tuscany
Take a trip back in time in San Gimignano
If little villages with long histories are your forte, we recommend a day trip to San Gimignano. Known as the Town of Fine Towers, San Gimignano is famous for its skyline of fifteen medieval towers atop a vast hill, one of the best things to see in Tuscany. The narrow, well-preserved streets of this historic place tell a story of a plague that devastated the town into obscurity long ago. Today, the town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with visitors who flock from all over to admire the Palazzo dei Priori and climb the bell tower.
Explore the history of Italy with Trafalgar on the Gladiators, Gondolas and Gold tour
Explore the Monti dell’Uccellina coastline
In the Maremma region of Tuscany, a treasure trove of natural wonders await adventurous travellers. Full of once-forgotten coastal plains, marshes and forested hills, the botanical beauty of this region rivals that of Tuscany’s better-known hotspots. Travellers can hike to their heart’s content amongst wild orchids and rare birds in this off-the-beaten-track destination. Or, for unspoilt relaxation, spend a day at one of the many pristine beaches along the Monti dell’Uccellina coastline, soaking up the Tyrrhenian waves.
Come up for air on the Alpi Apuane
Known as the Italian Alps, the Alpi Apuane offers a nearly infinite number of hiking opportunities. This UNESCO Global Geopark boasts marble cliff faces and caves latticed with hiking tracks and walkways. The Alpi Apuane is the best of Tuscany for mountain views, but also biodiversity. Amongst the dramatic scenery of chestnut and beech forests, travellers will spot buzzards flitting through the air and horned mufflons traipsing across the karst.
Catch some sea breeze on Giglio Island
One of the best things to do in Tuscany is find seaside bliss on her stunning islands. The enchanting Giglio island offers charm in spades across its stone towns, crumbling castello, mountain hikes and fresh seafood. Travellers can spend days scuba diving, sailing and paddling around secluded beaches. Giglio island is truly the best of Tuscany like you’ve never imagined before.
Put the spring back in your step in Montecatini Terme
Travellers can let their stress ebb away with a luxuriant massage in Montecatini Terme. This spa village also offers heavenly mud baths, saunas, thermal pools and beauty treatments. Wellness and relaxation have been a way of life here since the Roman era. Aside from its milky blue thermal hot springs, Montecatini Terme boasts stylish ristorantes, night clubs and theatres.
Find true relaxation in Italy when you travel with Trafalgar on the Italian Discovery tour
Inspired to visit Italy? Request a quote from our helpful Travel Advisors
Have you travelled to Tuscany? What do you think are the best things to see in Tuscany? Let us know in the comments below! Or, head to our website so you can read more about how you can discover the best of Italy with Trafalgar.