When on the subject of Tuscany we are reminded of world class wine
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Tuscany på 20 sekunder
When on the subject of Tuscany we are reminded of world class wine, countless architectural marvels, local dishes with rich flavors and world famous cities that all have been embedded in history in one way or another, as well as many other things.
Everyone hoping for the finest holiday will enjoy Tuscany during their visit.
Ferie i Tuscany
The nature of Tuscany can be said to vary greatly. From the relatively flat stretch in the northern part of the region near Pisa and across towards Firenze, to the very hilly nature you find in Chianti and the area around Siena.
Here you’ll encounter mountains bordering Emilia-Romagna, where the tallest of them reach more than 1,700 meters above sea level in the province of Lucca, as well as the long and wide sandy beaches that you find at Viareggio and other places. There’s also the azure blue sea surrounding the island of Elba, which is certainly attractive as well.
To quickly touch on the topic of travel, Pisa airport is located in a nice and central location, making it easy to explore the rest of Tuscany. A feat that you’ll never truly be finished with.
Tuscany is probably the region that offers the most amount of attractions in all of Italy, and quite possibly in all of Europe too, when considering the amount of sights that are gathered in such a small area.
That does not mean that Tuscany is small by any means, but quite frankly offers attractions for nearly every kilometer of road you travel down.
Of course there is no lack of exciting cities in Tuscany. The history showcases itself beautifully when you visit one city after another, from Viareggio in the north, to Siena in the south.
The differences are many, but the charm is there to be found wherever you go. Whether you stroll around Firenze among thousands of other tourists, or if you are adventuring in Grosseto during the late autumn.
Firenze is of course the most famous city in Tuscany, which is hardly surprising. But there are also many other cities worth a visit. Lucca, San Gimignano, Volterra, Arezzo, Livorno, Pisa, Siena and many others are all simply world-class!
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Let us jump quickly from the beautiful cities and onwards, to the completely wonderful nature of Tuscany. The area of Chianti has achieved world levels of fame and is situated between Firenze and Siena.
A great advice for driving around here: Do yourself the favor and use the road SS222, which starts just south of Firenze and goes down to Siena. This journey is beautiful from start to finish, and offers an incredible experience as you move from one gorgeous vineyard to the next.
There are also plenty of natural parks in the region, where we especially recommend Parco naturale della Maremma, which is situated in the province of Grosseto.
Tuscany just has it all! The only thing that disappoints here is that you won’t have time to see it all. There are simply too many wonderful things to experience.
Below you can read more about some of the lesser known aspects of Tuscany. And you’ll find details about the more popular and well known destinations and cities elsewhere on this website.
San Gimignano sits on a hilltop, which means that it is visible from afar as you drive through the wonderful Tuscan countryside. The town lies in the middle of the hilly Val d’Elsa, and is situated 64 meters above sea level.
The rough but simply excellent movie, La vita é bella (Life is beautiful), which won 3 oscars, was filmed in the beautiful and classic town of Arezzo.
Arezzo is probably best known for the enormous Piazza Grande that steeply curves through the central part of town. There are many different events and gatherings happening on the square, and they take place all year round. The monthly market for antiquities takes place on the first Sunday of every month. Here you will find stalls as far as the eye can see, all strewn about the large square.
You’ll also find plenty of art and history in Arezzo. Among others the archeological museum and the famous frescoes in the church of San Francesco.
When moving around the city you’ll almost travel back in time to the Etruscans who founded this masterpiece of a place
You simply have to experience Piazza Grande when you visit Arezzo. It is host for the city’s large Giostra del Saracino, which is a competition in the medieval-like Arezzo, with contestants from 4 districts. The game can be experienced on the last Saturday in June, as well as the first Sunday in September. If you know of, or have heard of Palio in Siena, this is a smaller version of that.
The aforementioned atmosphere and mood is of course to be found all around the city. In the small and charming cafés, and of course on the large Piazza Grande. Do note that there is also a “mini-piazza” located quite close to its larger brother. Each night during the summer months you’ll find live music performed by local musicians, which truly adds a magical atmosphere and invites you up close and personal with the population of the city.
All of this and the rest of Arezzo simply must be experienced.
We’ve moved on to the southern part of Tuscany, in a place that can be reached via a 2 hour long drive from Firenze, and roughly 3 hours driving from Rome. There are quite good bus connections from Firenze and down to Val d’Orcia.
The many opportunities of taking pictures in Val d’Orcia make for an excellent photography destination. Here you can take pictures that look like something taken out of a painting, or find your next favorite profile picture for Facebook. The pictures taken here will undoubtedly create jealous friends and family.
Here you’ll find rolling hills covered in dense vineyards peppered with the familiar cypress trees, the ones we usually only see on postcards when others are bragging and talking non-stop about their recent trip to Italy and Tuscany, and who are already planning the next trip here.
But back to the rolling hills, and believe it, because it’s true, it indeed feels like they’re rolling when you’re driving along.
And it’s not just the vineyards that thrive here in this lovely climate. Olive groves also stand beautifully and charmingly, as well as the cypress, chestnut and beech trees already mentioned. It is simply idyllic here!
The landscape is irresistible, as are the two towns of Pienza and Montepulciano, both located in the Val d’Orcia.
This city has been so privileged as to have been part of the UNESCO world heritage list since 1996. And to this day the city continues showcasing its charm and sophisticated renaissance styled city planning to the millions of visitors that come here each year.
The Piazzas, the beautiful buildings and the medieval architecture all leave their mark on the city and tourists, and ensure you will have a fantastic holiday here.
Santa Maria Assunta, also known as Pienza Duomo, represents a rare but perfect balance of both Gothic as well as renaissance shapes and forms.
The thought behind the church was to provide a perfect scenographic effect for the most important Piazza of the city.
To complete the tour of the Piazza we’ll turn our attention to Palazzo Borgia, which supposedly was a gift from the pope to cardinal Rodrigo Borgia.
Pienza is located on a ridge. Just imagine how beautiful it is when you take a panoramic picture over the valley of Val d’Orcia.
Montepulciano is located in Val di Chiana, but is but a short distance away from Val d’Orcia. The town is undoubtedly one of the most attractive towns in Tuscany. Montepulciano, like Pienza, is also located on a small hilltop, which is kind of synonymous with the delightful and charming medieval towns in Tuscany.
The town is fully built as if it just continues the natural path of the hill where it sits. Here you will experience exactly the type of landscape that the big multinational travel companies show you pictures of when trying to sell you a trip to Italy and especially Tuscany. It is so indescribably beautiful!
Recognitions to Pitigliano
This town is one of the most beautiful villages in Italy, as awarded by “Borghi più belli d’Italia”, and is also included in the Touring Club Italiano’s Bandiera Arancione, which distinguishes towns that have a high level of tourism in all areas.
It’s a long story, so we’ll just provide a short version of it. The city remembers its past, as one where early cultures and civilizations have passed through and left their traces. There have been found traces here from the Copper Age to the Etruscan period, found in excavated tombs and city walls. The Romans also visited the area, leaving behind the name Gens Petilia, which later became Pitigliano.
This beautiful village is a true treasure trove of beauty. The gorgeous palaces and historic buildings, the majestic Palazzo Orsini and the old residence for the Orisini family who were the lords of the county.
One of the most impressive buildings is the Medici aqueduct, which supplies water and was built after a request by Orsini, who continued in the time of the Medicis and which were later restored by Lorraines.
Here you have the option of seeing the archeological museum for the Etruscan civilization. The museum in Palazzo Orsini has 21 rooms where you can see frescoes and painted ceilings from the 15th century. The furniture, the works of goldsmiths as well as the silver ware from back then are all available to see here.
The charm of Pitigliano are the small streets and alleys, especially those in the famous Jewish ghetto. This small area is known as “Little Jerusalem”, because of it being an enormous asset to the Jewish community, and it has existed as such since the 15th century. After many years of restoration the synagogue is once again open, and you can explore the wonder of the Jewish cemetery here as well.
May I suggest you enjoy a quiet evening with a glass of local wine? The wine is produced locally here in Pitigliano, where the many wineries make great wines from both the white and red grapes. These are DOC and IGT wines, which are representative of a high quality of wine. If we had to mention some labels that stand out from the others, they would be Bianco di Pitigliano DOC and Rosso Sovana Doc.
This town is one of the most beautiful villages in Italy. You can find a total of 26 of them right here in Tuscany which is impressive, but not surprising.
Sovana feels like entering a time capsule and traveling back to the Etruscan era, when the city had its most prosperous period. Here you are afforded a vivid picture of the Etruscan civilization.
The city was founded on a fortress, which the many centuries have later worn down, and which has been refined in a beautiful renaissance style. Sovana is surrounded by high walls which at one point in time made it the most defensible place in Pitigliano county.
Here you can see vineyards as far as your eyes can see, with mediterranean bushes, olive groves, wheat fields and large areas where the sheep come to graze. The agriculture around Sovana is therefore a major center of Maremma and produces high quality products.
If you are touring this area we recommend that you take the time to see the 3 castles, Castello di Montorio, Rocca di Castell’Ottieri and Castello di Montebuono.
Once you’ve procured some of the local wine such as Rosso DOC Sovana, and need to get dinner ready you need to choose the lamb. Specifically, Buglione di agnello, which is lamb that has been cut into small pieces in a pan and mixed with Sovana oil, garlic and rosemary. It is browned over a high heat, and then the chef adds salt, chili, a dash of red DOC Sovana wine and mixes it all with a lovely tomato concentrate.
Florence is a huge and beautiful monument to the Renaissance period. Many artists in the city have helped shape Florence into the city we know today. One of the world’s greatest cities of art.
Florence’s historic center, which is of course a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has been since 1982, is extremely compact and most sights can easily be reached on foot.
Pisa and the Leaning Tower and you will known what we are talking about.
The Leaning Tower on the beautiful Piazza dei Miracoli is a must see for you on your holiday in Tuscany.
Lucca is an older medieval city with towers and palaces from the Renaissance, which are well protected by the city wall around the center.
The city is in the northern part of Tuscany, close to Pisa, the Mediterranean Sea, and not far from the Marble mountains of Massa-Carrara, close to the border with Liguria.