Tuscany has earned a glowing reputation among European travelers, with its verdant landscape, Chianti vintages, and Renaissance splendour. It’s a wide-reaching region – both geographically and culturally – and so it’s not enough to pop into one renowned city and check it off your list. For an authentic Tuscan experience, you need to explore the nooks and crannies, both the hilltop towns and towering cities, to understand just what this land is all about. From pre-Roman roots to a medieval legacy that has hardly paled over six centuries, there is an abundance of history, tradition and ritual that shines through these ten must-see Tuscan sites.
A city famous for its culinary prowess, Renaissance overtones, and Medici majesty, Florence is a must-see for every Tuscan traveler, but there’s more to see here than the Uffizi and the Duomo. Florence is a pretty big city, with a few interesting pockets outside of the central Piazza della Signoria: take the bridge across the Arno River to the Boboli gardens and onto the hip Oltrarno neighbourhood, a stretch of sophisticated cocktail bars, artist hangouts, modest but delicious restaurants, and the tree-lined San Spirito square. Check out the various markets of San Lorenzo, the towering medieval remnants, and the wealth of ornate churches. When the sun dips down, sidle up to a street-side enoteca to sip on a glass of Chianti with the locals.