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Things to do in Tuscany

Things to do in  Tuscany

Welcome to Tuscany

Home to architectural gems such as the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Renaissance masterpieces including Michelangelo’s “David,” and some of the world’s finest wine, Tuscany is one of the world’s most visited regions—for good reason. The capital of Florence, also known as the Cradle of the Renaissance, boasts two of the world’s most significant (and busiest) art museums: Uffizi Gallery and Accademia Gallery (Galleria dell'Accademia). You can spend hours lining up outside, but in-the-know travelers get ahead of the crowd with skip-the-line tickets and early-access or after-hour tours. In Pisa, beat the timed-entry system for the Leaning Tower of Pisa with a tour, or see beyond the sights of Piazza dei Miracoli on a guided bike ride. Head to San Gimignano and Siena, both popular stops on day trips from Florence, and lose yourself in the charming historic centers for which they are famed. For a true taste of Tuscany, head for the region’s top gastronomic destinations and enjoy a cooking class in Lucca or Arezzo, paired with wine tasting in Chianti, Montepulciano, or Montalcino. Tuscany wine tours include samples of local vintages and allow you to hop from winery to winery without worrying about transportation or choosing where to go.

Top 10 attractions in Tuscany


Basilica of Santa Maria Assunta (Duomo di San Gimignano)

Taking prize place beside the Town Hall on Piazza Duomo, the Collegiate Church of San Gimignano, or the Duomo of San Gimignano, ranks among most impressive monuments of San Gimignano’s UNESCO-listed historic center. Behind its comparatively reserved façade, the church’s main claim to fame is its exquisite frescos, which date back to the 14th and 15th centuries, and remain remarkably unrestored. The bold colors and painstaking detail bring to life iconic biblical scenes including Cain and Abel, Noah’s Ark, the Garden of Eden and dramatic depictions of Heaven and Hell, with highlights including works by Bartolo di Fredi, Lippo Memmi, Benozzo Gozzoli and Taddeo di Bartolo. Adjoining the church, the small Museum of Sacred Art includes more works taken from the Collegiata and other San Gimignano churches, including a Crucifix by Benedetto di Maiano and the ‘Madonna of the Rose’ by Bartolo di Fredi.More

Leaning Tower of Pisa

The Leaning Tower of Pisa is one of the most famous structures in the world – not because of its gently rising series of arches, but because of its legendary tilt. Constructed as the bell tower to accompany the cathedral, the tower began to shift on its foundations in 1178, before the architect, Bonanno Pisano, had completed the first three tiers. Fortunately, the lean has now been halted, due to tricks with cables and counter-subsidence. The tower now leans on an angle of 4.1 meters (13 feet), rather than the previous 5 meters (16 feet). It’s well worth paying the extra to climb the spiral stairs leading to the top of the Leaning Tower for views across Pisa. Make sure you book ahead as reservations are compulsory and numbers are limited.More

Accademia Gallery (Galleria dell'Accademia)

The Accademia Gallery (Galleria dell'Accademia) is dominated by one artwork in particular - Michelangelo's staggeringly beautiful statue of David. Carved from a single block of marble by the 26-year-old genius, it’s true you can’t really grasp the statue’s size and detail until you see him up-close. The statue originally stood in the Piazza della Signoria, but was moved to this more protected environment in 1873. A copy now stands in the piazza. Also here are Michelangelo's muscular Prisoner statues and Florentine artworks from the 13th to 16th centuries.More

Piazza del Campo

Every Italian city has its central piazza where the city's political, social and cultural business took place, and Siena's is pretty magnificent. The Piazza del Campo was developed in the mid-14th century by the ruling Council of Nine who, naturally, divided the space into nine sectors, each representing one of them. Never be in any doubt that a lot of self-aggrandizement existed during this period. At one end of the square is the magnificent Palazzo Pubblico, or town hall (now also housing the Museo Civico) and from here the shell-shaped space radiates out. The bell tower of 1297, Torre del Mangia, rises from the palazzo and from up here there are great views. Enclosing the remainder of the square are the Late Gothic palaces of the grand medieval families of Siena. The Fonte Gaia, or fountain of life, is a white marble focal point and meeting place at the top end of the piazza. Twice a year, in July and August, the madness of the traditional bareback horse race.More

Lucca Cathedral (Duomo di Lucca)

The main church in Lucca is its cathedral, the Duomo di Lucca, built in the 11th century. The structure stands at one side of the Piazza San Martino, and inside, visitors will find the most revered relic in town: the Holy Face of Lucca (Volto Santo). This wooden cross is said to have been carved by Nicodemus, and although the one on display is a 13th-century copy, it's no less important to the church or town. There are two times each year when the Volto Santo is celebrated, dressed in special vestments in the cathedral. The church was rebuilt in the 14th century, although the campanile (bell tower) from the original structure remains, which is why one arch is quite a bit smaller than the other. Other points of interest inside the Duomo are paintings by Ghirlandaio and Tintoretto, as well as the 15th-century tomb of Ilaria del Carretto of the Guinigi family. There is a museum in the cathedral as well.More

Siena Historic Center (Siena Centro Storico)

With its lively piazzas, striking Gothic monuments and remarkably preserved city walls, the historic centre of Siena is one of Italy’s most impressive medieval sites and it remains the nucleus of the modern-day city. A UNESCO World Heritage site since 1995, the old town is a veritable open-air museum, crammed with architectural gems, historic buildings and museums, as well as one of Europe’s oldest universities. The historic centre of Siena is best explored on foot and the obvious starting point is the enormous Piazza del Campo. Located at the heart of the city, the piazza hosts Siena’s famous Palio horse races, as well as being home to landmarks like the medieval Palazzo Pubblico (Town Hall), the Fontana Gaia fountain and the 90-meter high Torre del Mangia. Nearby, the marble-fronted Duomo cathedral is a masterpiece of Gothic architecture and one of Siena’s most impressive sights.More

Uffizi Galleries (Gallerie degli Uffizi)

The Uffizi Gallery houses the world’s most important collection of Florentine art, so unless you have Skip the Line tickets you’ll need to get ready to queue! The collection traces the rich history of Florentine art, from its 11th-century beginnings to Botticelli and the flowering of Renaissance art. At its heart is the private Medici collection, bequeathed to the city in the 18th century.More

Val d'Orcia

The Renaissance period was born in the hills of Italy, and nowhere is this more evident than at Val D’Orcia, an architectural wonderland and UNESCO World Heritage Site in the countryside of Tuscany. Here, the low-lying chalk planes and rolling hills have inspired many an artist to cover canvases with depictions of rural Italian life. Travelers can explore the quiet tons, like Pienza and Radicofani, and sip incredible wines in the cafes of Montalcino. Whether it’s wandering the hills in search of a true taste of Italy, or traversing the planes with a camera in search of the perfect iconic image of Italy, visitors will find exactly what they’re looking for in Val D’Orcia.More

Siena Cathedral (Duomo)

Siena's magnificent Tuscan Gothic cathedral is not to be missed. And if you're in Siena you can't miss it because it dominates the place. Rising high with its magnificent white and greenish black stripes, it has a bit of red thrown in on the front facade and lots of detailing - including scrolls, biblical scenes and gargoyles. In the centre is the huge rose window designed by Duccio di Buoninsegna in 1288. Statues of prophets and philosophers by Giovanni Pisano which used to adorn the facade are now housed indoors at the nearby Museo Dell'Opera. Inside the place is equally impressive with art by Donatello, Bernini and early Michelangelo. Some of the best pieces such as Duccio di Buoninsegni's Maesta have been moved next door to the Museo Dell'Opera. Unlike other cathedrals where you are craning your neck to see magnificent ceilings and frescoes, here you need to look down at the mosaic floor. The whole floor is tiled and is one of the most impressive in Italy.More

Florence Duomo (Cattedrale di Santa Maria dei Fiori)

You'll catch glimpses of the red-tiled dome of the Duomo, or Cathedral of Santa Maria dei Fiori, peeping over the rooftops as soon as you arrive in Florence. The 13th-century Sienese architect Arnolfo di Cambio was responsible for building many landmarks in Florence but this is his showstopper. The beautiful ribbed dome was creatively added by Brunelleschi in the 1420s. The building took 170 years to complete, and the facade was remodeled to reflect Cambio’s design in the 19th century. Inside the Duomo, your eyes are inevitably drawn upwards to that soaring painted dome and lovely stained-glass windows by such masters as Donatello. Visit the crypt, where Brunelleschi's tomb lies, or to the top of the enormous dome itself for stupendous views over Florence.More

Trip ideas

How to Spend 1 Week in Tuscany

How to Spend 1 Week in Tuscany

How to Spend 1 Day in Pisa

How to Spend 1 Day in Pisa

Top activities in Tuscany

Recent reviews from experiences in Tuscany

Fabulous experience
Barbara_G, Oct 2020
Pisa, Siena and San Gimignano Day Trip from Florence Including Lunch
I was travelling alone and going on this trip helped me to see more of Tuscany.
Excellent Day
Stephanie_M, Sep 2020
Tuscany Vespa Tour
Super way to see Tuscany.
Tuscan day trip with Sarah
Jawwad, Sep 2020
Tuscany in One Day Sightseeing Tour from Florence
We managed to see quite a lot in one day, without getting too tired.
Amazing trip through the Tuscan countryside
Nichole, Sep 2020
Tuscany in One Day Sightseeing Tour from Florence
Such a good day travelling through Tuscany - our guide Olivia was brilliant, giving us loads of info along the way and recommendations too :) Siena and San Gimignano were beautiful cities and it was great to see the tower of Pisa up close too.
Wonderful trip
Safari826935, Dec 2019
Pisa, Siena and San Gimignano Day Trip from Florence Including Lunch
Best to see highlights of Tuscany region.
A great day in Tuscany!
RobChariV, Dec 2019
Full day to San Gimignano, Siena and Chianti with Lunch and Wine Tasting
Olesia and colleagues, were great guides the knowledge and English was very good.
A beautiful day
JulienneS60, Nov 2019
Florence Day Trip to Pisa, San Gimignano, and Siena with Lunch
What a great way to see so much in so little time.
ucanown2, Nov 2019
Florence Day Trip to Pisa, San Gimignano, and Siena with Lunch
Best way to see the highlites of the Tuscany region.
Amazing day trip!
Carissa, Apr 2020
Tuscany in One Day Sightseeing Tour from Florence
It was a long day, but we got to see a lot and all of our tour guides were great.
Siena and San Gimignano
rfmck1, Oct 2019
Siena and San Gimignano: Small-Group Tour with Lunch from Florence
of Siena and San Gimignano Highly recommend to anyone who wants to get away from the city tours and who want to see some of Tuscany countryside.
Fun adventure
Jamerkins, Oct 2019
Self-Drive Vintage Fiat 500 Tour from Florence: Tuscan Wine Experience
This was a fun way to see some of Tuscany region!
Vintage Fiat 500m Tour - Fantastic
Companion00023843415, Oct 2019
Vintage Fiat 500 Tour from Siena: Tuscan Hills and Winery Lunch
Book this tour to see Tuscany as the locals experience it.
Excellent day trip.
Tuscany in One Day Sightseeing Tour from Florence
Excellent day tour - great way to see Tuscany in one day!
A well spent long day!
Joseph I, Sep 2019
San Gimignano, Siena, Monteriggioni, Chianti Day Trip with Lunch & Wine Tasting
The best way to see some of the most wonderful sights in Tuscany.
ncar2020, Jan 2020
Tuscany in One Day Sightseeing Tour from Florence
Between Siena, the Chianti wine farm for lunch, San Gimignano, and Pisa (especially climbing the tower), this tour truly allowed us to see and experience the best of Tuscany.
First vineryard visit for the family
kylesT6316DH, Jun 2019
Small-Group Wine Tasting Experience in the Tuscan Countryside
This was absolutely fantastic to see what is "Tuscany" in my mind.
Awesome experience
Climber05366921999, Jun 2019
Full day to San Gimignano, Siena and Chianti with Lunch and Wine Tasting
You will get to see the beauty of Tuscany region.
A must in Florence!!
Quest65874841837, Apr 2019
Florence to Greve in Chianti Tour with Wine Tasting Experience
Very organized and plenty of time to see the Tuscany Valley.
Day trip to Tuscany
Quest07947372708, Apr 2019
San Gimignano, Siena, Monteriggioni, Chianti Day Trip with Lunch & Wine Tasting
Plenty of time at each location to see the local sights.
Amazing tour with knowledgeable and friendly guides!
JC1346, Feb 2019
Semi Private Small Group Best of Chianti Landscapes and Wine Tour from Florence
This is a must do if you want to see a bit of Tuscany when visiting Florence.

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