Things to do in Tuscany

Tuscany is a gorgeous central Italian destination with superb natural vistas and mind-blowing attractions. Scenic hilltop towns, medieval cities, delectable wine & cuisine, world-famous art culture, spectacular coastlines, and idyllic countryside are synonymous with Tuscany. Florence, the unofficial capital, is also the biggest Tuscan city. Other major cities in Tuscany include Arezzo, Livorno, Lucca, Pisa, and Siena. Explore these best things to do in Tuscany to make your Italian getaways special.

Best things to do in Tuscany

1. Explore the Cultural Capital of Tuscany

Volterra is blessed with scenic hilltop towns, an impressive main square, historic cobbled streets, and amazing masterpieces highlighting the Etruscan heritage making it the cultural capital of Tuscany. Exploring the art of alabaster through one of its workshops features among the best things to do in Tuscany. The art of alabaster is an ancient artisanal tradition kept alive and kicking through these workshops.

2. Imbibe on a Truffle Hunting Tour

Truffles refer to the local lifestyle of the people in rural areas such as Casentino, Crete Senesi, and San Miniato. Italian truffles hunting has featured in the UNESCO cultural heritage list. Enjoying a heritage visit to these rural areas can teach you much about Italian culture and heritage. This unique experience easily features among the best things to do in Tuscany that will be cherished lifelong.

3. Driving through Tuscany’s Iconic Landscapes

If you have ever wondered about exploring a postcard-type destination, then the gently rolling hills, silvery olive groves, and golden fields have played a key role in defining such artistic destinations. Several generations of tourists and filmmakers are attracted by its infinite natural beauty. You never can get enough of it. It is so pleasing to the eye. Driving down these country roads is easily among the best things to do in Tuscany. Stop over at a local farmhouse, where you enjoy a round of fresh and clean air along with savoring local delicacies that tantalize your taste buds. The northern areas of Lunigiana are Garfagnana and have mountainous terrain, whereas the Maremma region in the south features exotic beaches. The Val d’Orcia region’s landscape is decorated with cypress trees and vineyards, making up for an exciting drive.

4. Visit an Art Exhibition in Florence.

Florence is one of the top Italian destinations with a rich history and culture of art and sculptures. The famous Uffizi Gallery and Accademia Gallery are dedicated destinations housing several Renaissance masterpieces. Popular destinations like Museo del Novecento or Palazzo Strozzi also exhibit famous artwork from contemporary artists. Not forget the Pitti Palace, which hosts special events for art lovers. Florence is considered the cradle of art in the Western World, and each palace, museum, cloister, and church have several masterpieces dominated during the Renaissance period.

5. Enroll in an Italian Cooking Class

Traditional Italian recipes have no magic tricks, but they are often represented that way. Enroll in one of the cooking classes in Tuscany that are gaining more popularity in the last decade as organic and healthy living and lifestyle is taking prominence in big cities. The recipes here are prepared using fresh ingredients, and you can co-create these recipes in your own kitchen back home by seeing an experienced chef at work. These are traditional recipes that are best experienced and learned first-hand.

6. Reconnect with Nature with Hiking Adventures

apuan alps Italy

The Tuscan forests provide the perfect atmosphere for a round of hiking and exploration. The forests are filled with artistic natural scenery and are a great way to reconnect with nature. The Foreste Casentinesi National Park offers a unique, offbeat experience connecting with nature. Discover secluded monasteries hidden among the gigantic trees and ancient woods, and breathe in fresh and clean air as you move up to the Apuan Alps, one of the signature destinations for hiking in Tuscany. You can also try walking the scenic regions of Siena and Via Francigena in the Val d’Orcia.

7. Explore the Renaissance Architecture in Florence

Florence is not only a place to admire spectacular artwork, but it is also the inception of where Renaissance began. This beautiful town gave birth to the greatest masterpieces on earth. There are several iconic Cathedrals, Museums, and magnificent churches that are stuffed with frescoes and plenty of awe-inspiring stuff, making it one of the top attractions of Tuscany. Don’t miss the Pizza del Campo, the medieval walls surrounding the city center, and the Leaning Tower of Pisa, which has been a huge hit among the tourist population and is among the top attractions of Tuscany that you should not even think of missing out.

8. Savor Delicious Traditional Recipes

 Traditional Recipes in Italy

If wine can make you feel exotic, tasting local delicacies and recipes will take the overall experience to another level. Classical, traditional dishes are best tasted with a glass of Chianti Classico to keep your gastronomical juices kicking and coming alive. Gastronomical experiences are a serious business here. Locally sourced and fresh ingredients are used to prepare the recipes at many family-run restaurants and cafes. Tasting local delicacies at authentic restaurants can turn out to be the highlight of your Italian holiday.

9. Explore the Timeless Beauty of the Medieval Towns

 Medieval Towns in Tuscany

The rhythm of life is slow and gentle in the medieval towns of Tuscany that have not changed for centuries, making it a perfect destination for some inner peace and tranquillity. The ancient walled towns feature several towers and stone alleys. You discover a new world as you go back in time when you step into the gates of Volterra or San Gimignano. Several hidden treasures are vying for the attention of the tourist population that can easily give stiff competition to the modern attractions of Tuscany.

10. Taste Delicious Wine in a Tuscan Winery

There is no doubt that Tuscany is a wine mecca. The birthplace of the finest Italian wines has a rich viticultural tradition and history that dates to the Roman era. The Chianti region is nestled between beautiful vineyards where you can taste world-famous red wines such as Brunello di Montalcino and Chianti Classico. Deep dive into the wine culture and understand the rich cultural heritage associated with this amazing drink. Many wine tours are arranged for tourists and visitors frequently throughout Tuscany, making it among the best things to do in Tuscany.

Best time to visit Tuscany

Without question, the best times to plan your trip to Tuscany are in the more temperate shoulder seasons of spring and autumn. Specifically, the months of April, May, September, and early October seem to provide the best circumstances for experiencing all that bright Tuscan landscapes have to offer.

You may expect nice daytime temperatures ranging from 60°F to 70°F, making activities like wine-tasting tours and countryside treks across rolling hills adorned with blooming wildflowers extremely delightful.

Unfortunately, the summer months bring the most tourists, as well as extreme heat and humidity, making cities like Florence uncomfortable. Meanwhile, winter has placed many of Tuscany’s sights and hotels into hibernation mode.

You can make the most of Tuscany’s charms by planning your trip during a nice Tuscan spring full of seasonal splendor without the crowds of summer, or during the stunning fall harvest celebrations throughout wine fields and farms.

What is Tuscany best known for?

  • Virgin Olive Oil – Tuscany has high-quality and scented Tuscan olive oil. This oil is a staple of the local cuisine and the region is filled with olive oil estates.
  • Florentine Steak is a heavy and delicious T- bone steak cooked rarely and is a popular delicacy in Florence and throughout Tuscany. Tuscany was the epicenter of the Italian Renaissance era from the 14th to 17th centuries, leaving a priceless creative legacy in towns such as Florence and Siena.
  • Charming Small Hill Towns – Historic towns like San Gimignano, with its recognized medieval “skyscrapers,” provide an atmosphere for old-world, rural Tuscany.
  • Undulating Hills and Cypress Trees – The attractive countryside is defined by farms, vineyards, olive orchards that wrap around gently undulating hills, and lines of slender, towering cypress trees that dot the landscape. These pastoral vistas appear to be taken directly from a postcard or picture.
  • Chianti Wine Region – Tuscany has Italy’s most famous red wine, Chianti. Chianti is mainly manufactured from the Sangiovese vine. The Chianti wine area has extensive vines on picture-perfect hillsides.

Is there much to do in Tuscany Italy?

Tuscany has been recognized as Italy’s best wine locale, especially for Chianti, Brunello, and Super Tuscans. The region also has high-quality olive oils, parmesan-like pecorino, and typical meals like Fiorentina steaks and ribollita soup. You can taste while traveling around Tuscany by exploring wineries, properties, marketplaces, eateries, and cantinas.

Experience heritage through galleries and architecture – Tuscany, being the center of the Medieval era, has various palaces, churches, and museums that offer perspectives on past events, culture, and artwork, particularly in Florentine. The Uffizi Gallery, Pitti Palace, Siena’s Duomo, and medieval San Gimignano hamlet are among the significant sights.

Relax in spa resorts and beach towns – Tuscany offers thermal spring spa towns. These include Saturnia and some coastal resorts in Maremma.

Insider Tips for Exploring the Best of Tuscany

  • Avoid tourist traps such as Pisa and Florence whenever feasible. Instead, for a true Tuscan experience, visit lesser-known tiny towns and villages.
  • Tuscany has an outstanding culinary and wine scene. Take winery excursions, visit family-run osterias, and sample pecorino cheese, olive oil, and, of course, the famous Bistecca Fiorentina steak. Slow down and enjoy leisurely Italian lunches accompanied by huge red wines like Chianti Classico or Brunello.
  • The beautiful hills, vineyards, and ancient hilltowns should be explored on hiking routes, bike trips, or long drives.
  • Tuscan dialect can be difficult, but locals value any attempt. You will surely impress the locals if you learn it.
  • Spring and October are ideal times to experience Tuscany’s lovely weather without the throngs of peak tourist season. Hotel rates are also lower! If coming in summer, prefer the less-visited southern Maremma coast against hot, crowded cities.

Get ready to explore and experience your own Tuscan adventure. Know more about how to experience a truly memorable Tuscany vacation.

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