Tuscany is a top pick for travelers to Italy, and it’s not hard to see why. From the gently rolling hills, quaint villages, and gorgeous scenery, there’s something for everyone in Tuscany. If you’re considering going to this lovely region, read for some great tips!
One of the best ways to experience Tuscany is by car. This allows you to explore the region at your own pace and make stops. Keep in mind that while many roads are well-maintained, some can be narrow and winding.
A rental car is one of the most useful ways to travel around and see all of Tuscany. Many companies have offices near airports or train stations, so you can pick up your vehicle as soon as you arrive in Tuscany. You can use a bicycle, but it only lets you see a small part of Tuscany. Also, since there are a lot of beautiful valleys and hill towns, it can be quite strenuous to bike around.
If you’re not renting a car, the next best way to get around is by taking the train. Tuscany has an extensive rail network connecting most major towns and cities. The regional trains are reliable and reasonably priced, making them a great option for getting around. Just be sure to check the schedule in advance, so you know when the trains are running.
Another option is to take a bus tour. If you’re staying in one of the bigger cities, like Florence or Pisa, you can also get around by bus. The bus system in Tuscany is reliable and efficient, although it can be a bit slow during rush hour.
What to Do
Visit Tourist Attractions
Tuscany is home to some of the world’s most famous art and architecture:
- Duomo in Florence is a magnificent cathedral with a gorgeous exterior and stunning interior.
- Leaning Tower of Pisa
- Uffizi Gallery
- Villa Medici
In Sienna, you can visit the Palazzo Pubblico , a beautiful 14th-century building that houses the Sienna City Museum. Don’t miss the Lucca Cathedral in Lucca , an impressive Romanesque church with beautiful stained glass windows.
Tuscany’s countryside is one of its most appealing features since it is filled with picturesque rolling hills, vineyards, olive groves, and cypress trees. There are also many charming medieval villages, such as San Gimignano and Volterra . There are several excellent museums, such as the Museo Etrusco in Florence and the Archaeological Museum in Sienna, that you can visit if you’re interested in learning about the history of Tuscany.
Food to Try
If you’re a foodie, then you’ll be in heaven. Tuscan cuisine is some of the best in the world. Be sure to try traditional dishes such as ribollita (a hearty soup made with vegetables and beans) and bistecca alla fiorentina (a steak dish cooked over an open flame). The traditional olive oil and bruschetta are a must-try when in Florence. Locals know it as fettunta , making it the perfect starter to your meal. A flavorful dish from Tuscany, you will enjoy a freshly toasted slice of bread rubbed with garlic and olive oil, then finished with a sprinkle of salt.
If you love carbs, you’ll want to try potato tortelli . Potato-filled tortelli pasta (similar to ravioli) is usually cooked by Tuscans for special occasions. The filling for the pasta includes mashed potato, tomato, spices, garlic, and parmigiano . It can be eaten with a sage, burnt butter sauce, or a hearty meat ragu .
No trip to Tuscany would be complete without sampling some of the region’s famous wines. Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino , and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano are delicious wines from this part of Italy. There are many vineyards and wineries located throughout Tuscany, so you’ll have no problem finding a place to do some wine tasting. You can even take a day trip from Florence or Sienna to visit the Chianti region.
Several tour operators offer guided tours of the vineyards and wineries. If you’re lucky, you can score a spot on a small, intimate tour that includes a wine-tasting lunch or dinner. These tours are usually led by knowledgeable guides who can teach you about the different wines produced in Tuscany. You can also bring home books about classic wines to teach you how to select, store, serve, or even cook with wine. The books can also be used as a guide when visiting vineyards and wineries. Yes, books and wine go together.
For a reason, Tuscany is one of Italy’s most popular tourist destinations—it’s absolutely beautiful! Whether you’re interested in trying delicious food and wine or exploring picturesque villages, there’s something for everyone in this amazing region.