The Best Things to Do in Tuscany
Check out our top tips for getting canny in Tuscany
Clinging to Italy’s north-western coast and sprawling inwards in the form of dramatic green hills lined with vineyards and olive groves, Tuscany is a slice of traditional old-world Italy. Although a totally different part of Italy, its pastoral vistas are much like where Michael Corleone went into hiding in the middle of the Godfather. You can imagine sitting down for lunch with a huge family on outdoor tables beside a rustic crumbling edifice, cypresses and groves making up a scenic background. Anyway, stop imagining that; you’re actually here now. Go and taste truffles, make a pilgrimage to a religious gem and clamber up the mountains in this rustic and tranquil region. Mix the views of sweeping landscapes with a dip into the rich tradition of art and history in the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance. You’ll feel renaissanced (or at least reborn, if we're going to use real words) after this serene and enlightening trip, because here at Plum Guide, we've done all the hard work to ensure that this itinerary consists of only the very top Tuscan activities. So without further stalling, here is our list of the best things to do in Tuscany.
Pisa is more than the lean of its tower, but it is a cool sight to behold, and you can’t exactly visit the city without seeing it. So check out the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and pretend to be holding it up for your totally unique photo like everyone else. Then, see the rest of the impressive buildings in the Campo dei Miracoli complex. Visit the Pisa Cathedral for its Romanesque architecture, and see the adjacent Camposanto, an old cemetery filled with magnificent paintings and tombs on the Piazza del Duomo. Head out for some Italian pizza in the old town centre, and feel the history surrounding you.
Clamber up the coastal mountains
Tuscany may be better known for its rustic interior, but the mountains by the coast make for dramatic and unforgettable views. Monti dell'Uccellina is made up of mossy mountains, marshes and coastal plains. Rummage through the forests and stop for picnics in this nature haven, far from the sightseers of the cities. Enjoy the utter serenity, as you share this eclectic realm with red foxes, deer and turtles. Bring your binoculars to catch a feast for the eyes in the form of an impressively wide range of birds.
Admire famous art in Florence
It’s simply one of the most eye-catching cities in Europe. And for art lovers, it’s even better. Study the works in the Uffizi, which has the greatest collection of Italian Renaissance art in the world. In case you’re pretending to know about art to impress your fellow holidaymakers, know that The Birth of Venus is considered Botticelli’s best work. Then, see the Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral, say hello to Michelangelo's David in the Galleria dell’Accademia, and enjoy the vistas from the Piazzale Michelangelo viewpoint.
Head to the vineyards and try the wine
Next up on our list of things to do in Tuscany is the one you were waiting for. Tuscany is renowned for its vineyards and wineries. It boasts some of the world’s most acclaimed reds and whites, and you can get your hands on those bottles now. Travel to Chianti and visit such esteemed vineyards as the Castello di Verrazzano, the Montefioralle Winery and the Enoteca Falorni. With all these heady experiences, you’ll have more than a few memories to drunkenly forget.
Spread your wings and visit the islands
So far, we’ve ventured into the mountains, passed through the vineyards and landed on the coast. And that’s not to mention sojourns in Florence and Pisa. For something different, take a trip to a true Tuscan island in the form of Giglio. Away from the crowds, the island has its own citadel and rustic villages to explore. It also has stunning beaches and water sport options for the thrill seekers among you.
Rest in the spa after your long days
After all that, you must be feeling tired, and holidays are supposed to be refreshing and relaxing. Don’t worry, we’ve got the perfect end to your Tuscan voyage. Finishing up with a spa trip is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Tuscany. Hit up the exclusive spas, such as the Calidario Terma Etrusche in Livorno, or the Terme Sensoriali in Siena. In Bagno Vignoni, you’ll even find hot sulphuric water lying there for free public use.