10 Good Reasons to Visit Tuscany
There are so many other things Tuscany region can offer. In fact, seven localities are designated UNESCO World Heritage sites:
In this article, we want to show you at least 10 good reasons to visit and experience Tuscany.
1. Admire the masterpieces of Renaissance art in Florence
Florence preserves an exceptional art heritage, testimony to its centuries-old civilization. In Florence lived Cimabue and Giotto, fathers of Italian painting; Arnolfo and Andrea Pisano, renovators of architecture and sculpture, Brunelleschi, Donatello and Masaccio, initiators of the Renaissance and Leonardo and Michelangelo, universal geniuses.
Their works are collected in the many museums of the city: the Uffizi, the most selected art gallery in the world; the Palatine Gallery, with the paintings of the “golden ages”; the Bargello, with Renaissance sculptures; the San Marco Museum, with the works of Angelico; the Academy; the Medici Chapels and the Casa Buonarroti, with Michelangelo’s sculptures; the Bardini, Horne, Stibbert, Romano, Corsini Museums; the Modern Art Gallery, the Museum of the Opera del Duomo, the Silver and the Hard Stones.
Important monuments mark the stages of the Florentine artistic civilization: the Baptistery with its mosaics, the Duomo with its sculptures, the medieval churches with the cycles of frescoes, the public and private palaces (Palazzo Vecchio, Palazzo Pitti, Palazzo Medici-Riccardi, Palazzo Davanzati), the monasteries and cloisters, the convents and cenacles, the Charterhouse.
2. Discover the golden beaches of Versilia
The Versilia area is certainly unique. It is known above all for its summer nightlife and therefore reaches its maximum splendour in the summer.
The beaches of Versilia are long and wide: there are about 20 uninterrupted kilometres of beach connecting Forte dei Marmi in the north with Viareggio in the south.
Forte dei Marmi and Lido di Camaiore are the most popular areas and here the beaches are mainly equipped with bathing establishments.
Versilia is an ideal place for sunbathing and relaxing. In the evening, you can enjoy the promenade that runs alongside the beach, with hotels and restaurants looking out to sea.
The seaside restaurants offer daily fresh fish menus typical of the Mediterranean culinary tradition, served in a relaxing and informal atmosphere.
3. Admire the Piazza dei Miracoli in Pisa and the famous Leaning Tower
Pisa, known worldwide for its extraordinary Leaning Tower monument that enhances the quadrilogy of Piazza dei Miracoli, boasts a thousand-year history that saw its greatest splendor at the time of the Maritime Republics.
It is a treasure chest of artistic treasures whose Roman and Gothic churches, squares and palaces enhance the neighbourhoods traced by the Lungarni and the ancient streets.
Its university center is considered among the most important in Italy thanks to the numerous faculties and the Scuola Normale Superiore in Piazza dei Cavalieri.
Not only art, culture and history, but also natural environments where the park of Migliarino San Rossore, the Litorale and Monte Pisano build a unique stage.
4. Get to know Burlamacco and Ondina at the Viareggio Carnival
The Carnival of Viareggio has been one of the most spectacular Italian festivals since 1873. Every year they celebrate the splendor of a whole month of day and night parties, local festivals, masquerades and festivals of all kinds. It is a party that involves everyone, from large to small with its large satirical floats and gigantic papier-mâché works up to 25 meters high.
Burlamacco and Ondina made their first appearance on the Carnival poster in 1931. He came from the sea, beside her was her, a symbol of summer, holidays and the social soul of Versilia.
In that year the tank crewmen paid homage in their giant papier-mâché constructions to what is considered by all the King of Carnival.
Bonetti’s work became part of the Museum of Popular Arts and Traditions of Rome in 1988, as the official mask of the Carnival.
Burlamacco with his Ondina, will also ideally follow the next parade of floats which will open on February 1st to end on the 28th.
5. Participate in the Palio di Siena
The Palio di Siena is one of the most famous medieval rides in the world. Every year, for decades, many visitors have come to Siena to attend this celebration of the Sienese.
It derives from a very ancient tradition: during the conclusive manifestations of the battle of Montaperti in 1260, the Assumption ceremonies became the symbol of Siena’s independence under the protection of the Virgin. Since then, every year the custom is renewed in the traditional Palio di Siena, which takes place on July 2 (day of the Madonna di Provenzano) and August 16 (day of the Madonna Assunta).
Protagonists of the Palio are the 17 city districts. Each year, only 10 districts can participate in the race: the 7 districts excluded the previous year and 3 drawn by lot.
The crucial moment of the Palio is undoubtedly the “move”, when the rope is lowered to start the race: it is the moment in which the whole city holds its breath.
Attending the Palio from the center of the square is free for everyone. To access the balconies, the boxes, the windows, which are all private places, it is necessary to buy the ticket.
6. Navigate around the Isola del Giglio
Just 11 miles from the Argentario Promontory, this pearl in the center of the Tyrrhenian Sea has an extension of 21.21 sq km.
Its mild climate favors visitors with a holiday full of surprises in all seasons, in close contact with an unspoiled reality.
The crystalline emerald sea, with rich and fishy seabed, is the setting for a territory that is still largely wild, which invites you to venture for the many pedestrian paths.
With the exception of the Franco promontory (characterized by Triassic cavernous limestones and palaeozoic quartzites), the island is made up almost exclusively of granite and has a mainly mountainous nature.
Its ridge reaches its maximum point in Poggio della Pagana (486 meters above sea level) from where you can enjoy, in particular on clear days, a breathtaking panorama of the archipelago.
The island is home to a rich Mediterranean flora, the botanical species found by the Sommier scholar (1900) are almost 700, including some particularly rare and endemic.
7. Go hunting for Etruscan and Roman testimonies among the small Tuscan villages
The starting point for this exploration is Sorano, less than four thousand inhabitants, perched in houses and buildings that challenge the limits of the law of gravity.
The hollow streets are always open, a peculiarity of the territory, built, or rather excavated, by the Etruscans to minimize the difference in height between Sorano, Sovana and Pitigliano and their necropolises, but also for defensive purposes.
Still today, venturing into the tuff canyons gives opposite sensations: amazement and fear, admiration and disbelief, especially when you notice the decorations: symbols and elements excavated even at considerable heights that suggest remarkable physical skills for the Etruscans.
Near Sorano, there is the via cava di San Rocco which is part of the archaeological park, but it is around Sovana that the concentration of these incredible paths immersed in nature increases.
Despite the small size of the country, which has about four hundred inhabitants, it is one of the largest archaeological centers in the whole region.
Sovana is of medieval origin and was built by the Aldobrandeschi family near an Etruscan necropolis, where the tomb of the Siren, that of the Typhoon, but above all that of Ildebranda, a well-kept monumental temple largely excavated in the rock.
8. Taste Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino, Montepulciano in the splendid areas where they are born
First in Italy in size, the DOCG Chianti affects six Tuscan provinces (Arezzo, Florence, Pisa, Pistoia, Prato, Siena), but it is only the original and oldest area that stands out with the denomination of Chianti Classico DOCG.
Chianti Classico has the typical aroma of violet and plum, the fruity taste, with a marked acid tendency that enhances its freshness. The Chianti cuisine draws on the traditions of the two provinces to which it belongs, Florence and Siena, presenting aspects of exceptional uniqueness.
One of the examples is the Chianti-style stew: prepared with parts of the rear leg of the beef, it goes well with beans cooked with a bird, with sage, rosemary, garlic and tomato.
Brunello di Montalcino was the first Italian wine to obtain the Denomination of Controlled and Guaranteed Origin. It is produced within the confines of the municipal area of Montalcino with the grapes of the Sangiovese grape only, locally called “Brunello”. It is a classic wine for red meats, roasts, game, aged cheeses and it is also suitable as a “meditation” wine.
South-east of Siena, near the border with Umbria, we find the Montepulciano area, a town of enchanting beauty renamed “the pearl of the sixteenth century”.
As in all the Sienese, here too the pici, a type of handmade spaghetti, represent the traditional first course, seasoned with meat or mushroom sauces.
The Nobile di Montepulciano is an important red wine whose origins date back to 1300. In 1980 the DOCG was recognized to the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and the Doc to the Rosso di Montepulciano.
Vino Nobile has a more or less intense garnet color, with orange reflections given by aging, a delicate scent of violets and a dry flavor.
9. Walk on the walls of Lucca
Lucca, among the city-states of Tuscany, is the only one to have maintained its independence until 1847.
Its walls (16th-17th centuries), from the perimeter of 4250 km, with 10 ramparts, a platform and the stands still partly preserved and restored, they are a unique testimony of the jealous care with which the Lucca nobleman defended his freedom.
In the medieval fabric of the walled city, the monuments of art and history of various eras emerge, such as the Roman Amphitheater, the Basilica of S. Frediano, the square and the Church of S. Michele, the Cathedral of S. Martino with Holy face and the tomb of Ilaria del Carretto sculpted by Jacopo della Quercia, the Guinigi Tower, via Fillungo, the Palazzo Ducale in Piazza Napoleone.
10. Relax in the Montecatini spas
Cities and spas in Montecatini live in a harmonious and inseparable symbiosis.
The Garden City, with its magnificent parks, the suggestive village, the trendy clubs and the buildings that still remember history and distant memories, offers a holiday dedicated to wellness, culture and relaxation.
The Terme di Montecatini are the largest spa in Italy and one of the first in Europe. They consist of 9 establishments (Excelsior, Redi, Grocco, La Salute, Leopoldine, Regina, Tamerici, Tettuccio and Torretta) and offer a complete system of spa treatments, supervised by experts and qualified medical teams.
The spa treatments, following the changing of the seasons, offer the answers to all the needs of wellness.
Montecatini Terme is the ideal city to get your body in shape and spend a pleasant and regenerating holiday.
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