With historic towns, exquisite art, fertile olive groves and idyllic vineyards, Tuscany is the Italy we dream about. The region was a center of innovation during the Renaissance era and its painters, architects and sculptors helped to define European culture. Savor the region’s fresh cuisine, tour vineyards and sample some of the world’s best wines and olive oils. People-watch in the piazzas of medieval towns and admire seemingly countless artistic and architectural masterpieces.
Tourists from around the world have been drawn to Florence for centuries. This lively, charismatic city retains much of the magic of its golden age, more than 700 years ago. See one of the world’s foremost collections of Renaissance art at the magnificent Galleria degli Uffizi and enjoy a scenic stroll along the Arno River at sunset.
Few buildings in the world are as recognizable as Pisa’s Leaning Tower. Although this 12th-century tower attracts most of the attention, the rest of the Campo dei Miracoli complex is also worth exploring. See the nearby Duomo, Bapistery and Camposanto (cemetery), all designed in a local Pisan Gothic style.
San Gimignano is the most famous of Tuscany’s many hilltop towns. It is distinguished by more than 10 medieval “skyscrapers,” which were built by rival nobles during the 12th and 13th centuries. Discover stunning frescoes in historic buildings, including the Collegiate and Chiesa di Sant'Agostino, and sample the town’s famous white grapes in wine tasting rooms.
No visit to Tuscany is complete without indulging in the region’s celebrated cuisine. Enjoy hearty soups like ribollita, made with vegetables, beans and chunks of bread, or a simple yet delicious meal of bistecca alla fiorentina (chargrilled T-bone steak).
Tuscany’s main airport is Pisa, which connects to cities across Europe. Travel by train between the region’s main towns. Buses and cars are often better options for exploring the Tuscany’s smaller towns and villages. Spring and fall are two of the best times to visit, when the crowds are thinner and the weather is usually good.