Gently rolling hills, roads lined up with tall cypress trees, mediaeval hilltowns, marble quarries and a gelato shop that has won several world championships… There is so much to see and do in Tuscany.
Here is the list with my favorite places so far.
- Pienza is supposedly the most picturesque hilltown in Tuscany, located in the Valley of Orcia, which means that you will have to pass on some gently curving roads lined by tall cypress trees in order to reach it. Apart for its charming medieval beauty Pienza is also famous for the romantic names of its streets. If you want to take you sweetheart for a walk on the street of Kisses or Love this is the place to be. * You are a sucker for truffles and T-bone steak? Check out my favorite restaurant nearby.
- Sorano is an ancient city in southern Tuscany made of vulcanic tufa and built on a rock. If you are into labyrinths of intricate narrow streets and staircases don’t miss it out.
- Montepulciano is another mediaeval town that boasts vast panoramas all over the countryside covered with vineyards and plenty of cozy restaurant hidden in the small alleys. If you are staying for the night check this slow life hideaway where you can drink a glass of wine while reading a book and enjoying the skyline of Montepulciano.
- Fantiscritti – if you have never been in the heart of a mountain and want to see from where the famous marble of Carrara comes from don’t miss the chance to visit the Fantiscritti quarry. The majestic 18 m high walls and the white marble that is under, above and around you will make this one of the most suggestive places you have ever seen, a scenery incomparable to any other.
- San Gimignano is the mediaeval version Dubai. What makes it unique are it’s 72 tower houses built by the Patrician families who controlled the town. Obviously the higher the tower the wealthier and more powerful was the owner. What I liked most about this place was Gelateria Dondoli, an ice cream parlor who has won twice the Gelato World Cup (oh, you didn’t know such championship existed? me neither…). It’s located in the main square and is easily recognizable by the long line out the door.
- Volterra is close to Sam Gimignano and has the perk that it is far less crowded. My suggestion is to visit before it becomes the next hip place. And don’t miss the black (or white, depending on the season) truffle chocolates or the Etruscan jewelry sold near the ruins of the Roman Theatre.
- Chianciano is internationally known for its thermal pools and as its neighours features a typical mediaeval architchture with the houses piled up on top of each other-
- Siena – is one of the most visited places in Tuscany, that hosts one of the biggest annual events – Il Palio – a horse race in the heart of the city, in Piazza del Campo. The latter happens to be one of the biggest mediaeval squares in the world and is a great spot to eat a take away pizza or gelato while admiring the the urban view.