Are you looking for the best things to do in Tuscany region of Italy? Tuscany is one Italian region you’ll want to check off your bucket list as soon as possible. It’s a land of endless vineyards, charming medieval towns, and, of course, the Renaissance city of Florence (also known as Firenze in Italian). In fact, you have probably seen Tuscany on Italian postcards and prints.

Furthermore, the area will quickly win over the hearts of history buffs as it is widely recognized as the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance. Even the well-known Leonardo da Vinci was born in the hamlet of Anchiano, a small settlement nearby Florence.

Numerous Renaissance works of art are currently found in museums all over Italy, with the Uffizi and Palazzo Pitti museums being the most well-known. Here are the eight best things to do in Tuscany, a region known for its hearty red wines and breathtaking scenery.

Read more: Beautiful Places To Visit In Italy For The First Time

The best things to do in Tuscany region, Italy

1. Florence

Florence is the quintessential example of the timeless appeal that can be found throughout Tuscany. Florence, or “Firenze” as it is written in Italian, is the region’s capital and should be on everyone’s itinerary when they travel to Italy. After all, the Renaissance settlement is without a doubt one of the most impressive tourist destinations in all of Tuscany.

I wrote another article about the wonderful things to do in Florence, Italy. You can also read through the best museums in Florence that you can visit if you are into arts.

Stephen and I at Piazalle Michelangelo
Best Things to Do in Tuscany Region of Italy: Stephen and I at Piazalle Michelangelo in Florence, Italy

In Florence, some of the most famous things to do include taking pictures of the beautiful Ponte Vecchio (which is surrounded by buildings), ascending to the top of Giotto’s Campanile and taking in the view, and watching the sunset over the city from Piazzale Michelangelo.

In addition, you can get a feel for the 13th through the 16th centuries by ascending to the top of the Duomo, viewing Botticelli paintings at the Uffizi Gallery, touring the Galleria dell’Accademia, and taking a stroll through the Boboli Gardens.

Read more: Best Churches in Florence (Italy)

Even though Florence is consistently ranked as one of the best places to visit in Europe, you shouldn’t assume that there isn’t much more to learn about the city because there is. Instead, dig a little deeper, and you’ll quickly unearth an incredible collection of Tuscany’s best-kept secrets. When it comes to deciding what to see in Tuscany, it is in your best interest to venture away from the well-trodden tourist routes.

The view from the Arnolfo Tower, which is an off-the-beaten-path alternative to the Campanile, and the Giardino Bardini, which is an alternative to the ever-popular Boboli Gardens, are two of the highlights of the area. The Giardino Bardini features fountains, ornate landscaping, and fabulous views of the city.

However, this city has much more to offer than just admirers of art and architecture; it is filled with charming boutiques, mouthwatering restaurants, and luxurious hotels. It is also a very picturesque place to spend a few days because of its red roofs, cobblestone streets, and narrow alleys.

2. Pisa

Say you’re interested in discovering more about the most popular tourist attractions in Tuscany. If this is the case, then the tower of Pisa is the location that many tourists choose to go to in order to take a picture that they consider to be “cheesy.” In Italian, the name for this structure is Torre pendente di Pisa.

Pisa Italy
Best Things to Do in Tuscany: Visit Pisa, Italy

The tower in Pisa is known as the Leaning Tower of Pisa due to the fact that it leans, and it has been leaning ever since it was built at the end of the 12th century. As you might imagine, the name of the tower comes from the fact that it leans.

Every day, hordes of tourists travel to the small town of Pisa, which is located in the northwest corner of Tuscany, in order to take pictures of themselves “propping up” the tower. While some people do it with the weight of their entire body, others just hold it with one finger. Even if you do nothing else, it’s pretty entertaining to watch other tourists take pictures.

The tower is approximately 183 feet tall and leans at an angle of about four degrees, which indicates that it is displaced nearly 13 feet from its bottom to its topmost point. In spite of this, it is still structurally sound enough that visitors can walk all the way to the top of its nearly 300 steps. Most tourists advise against paying the exorbitant fee of €18 EUR to walk to the top of the structure and instead recommend taking a few free pictures from the ground level instead.

As there is not much to see or do in the surrounding area, a visit to the Tower can be completed in a short amount of time. Because of its proximity to the Pisa Centrale train station, which is less than a mile away, it is an ideal “hop-on, hop-off” destination.

The weak ground on which the tower’s foundations were constructed was unable to support the tower’s weight, and as a result, the tower began to tilt at an alarmingly steep angle sometime in the early 2000s. Work on restoring the structure was done to correct the lean and ensure that it will continue to stand for future generations.

3. Sienna

Consider visiting Siena if you want to cross everything off your bucket list for Tuscany. Siena, the second-largest city in Tuscany, competes with Florence for the title of the region’s most charming city. While Siena represents the Gothic era and is known for its near-perfect Gothic architecture, Firenze is known for its Renaissance influence.

sienna italy in tuscany
Best Things to Do in Tuscany: Visit Sienna, Italy

The historical city center of Siena is the city’s most well-known feature and is now recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its significance.

The Piazza del Campo in Siena, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is another notable feature of the city. The city’s central square, Piazza del Campo, is situated at the foot of three imposing hills, around which the rest of the settlement is built. You can tell you’re in the right place by the brick paving stones, brick buildings, and impressively large Fonte Gaia (fountain).

Visit the Torre del Mangia, a tower that is a part of the Palazzo Pubblico, while you’re there for a breathtaking view of Siena.

Visitors find that the Museo Archeologico and the Museale di Santa Maria della Scala are both worthy of a few hours of their time. Recent visitors advise visiting a number of churches, including the Abbazia di Monte Oliveto Maggiore for its wine cellar, the Cathedral of the Assunta for the surrounding scenery, and the Siena Cathedral (or Il Duomo) for its beauty.

In addition, you should visit one of Siena’s termes if you need a break from the city. Many thermal hot springs and baths in Siena, some of which date back to the Etruscan and Roman eras, are frequently disregarded. With rolling hills and breathtaking scenery all around, the Termes di Siena are thought to have therapeutic and natural healing properties.

One of the best ways to experience Siena, like many European towns with a medieval core, is to let yourself get a little lost in the city and let your feet lead you wherever they may.

4. Enjoy the Wine Experience

If you’re an oenophile, there’s one thing about your time in Tuscany that you definitely don’t want to miss out on, and that’s the wine!

Tuscany Wine Experience
Best Things to Do in Tusacny, Italy: Tuscany Wine Experience

Because wine plays such an important role in Tuscany’s culture, visitors should make it a point to indulge in a tasting at least once during their stay there and use the opportunity to broaden their knowledge of the region’s wines.

There are plenty of places to go wine tasting in the cities and towns of Tuscany; however, there is nothing quite like the romance of heading out to a vineyard for a wine tasting experience.

Some of my favorite wines are those that are produced in the Chianti region of Italy. The Chianti region, which is known all over the world, can be found in central Tuscany, roughly in the middle of Florence and Siena. In order for a wine to be labeled as Chianti, it must consist of at least 70 percent Sangiovese grapes. Because of the wine’s intense flavor profile, it is recommended that it be sampled and enjoyed with food.

The guests at Tenuta Torciano also enjoyed sampling the eight different wines that were offered there. The meals that were served with the wine brought out its full potential. Before and after your meal, you are free to explore the various parts of the vineyard property that are located here.

5. Val d’ Orcia

The stunning Val d’Orcia is located to the south of Siena and is characterized by gently undulating hills, farmlands covered in olive groves and grain fields, and tall cypress trees that appear to have been planted specifically to enhance the vistas.

Val d' Orcia in Tuscany Italy
Best Things to Do in Tuscany, Italy: Visit Val D’ Orcia

The Val d’Orcia is without a doubt one of the most beautiful areas in all of Tuscany to visit, despite the fact that the region is home to many other breathtaking locations. If you have seen photographs of Tuscany, there is a good chance that you have seen the Val d’Orcia. It is the Tuscany that is depicted in everything from Renaissance paintings to modern photography, and it is the ideal location for a romantic road trip with your significant other.

The valley is an ideal location for self-guided driving tours, complete with stops for picnics featuring regional specialties and time to explore Tuscan hill towns. The most important of these is the town of Pienza, which is included on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Pienza was the birthplace and summer home of Enea Silvio Piccolomini, who later became Pope Pius II.

The Piccolomini Palace, which was finished in 1459, is an excellent example of Renaissance architecture. It is displayed exactly as his descendants left it in the 1960s, complete with the original furnishings. Even if you don’t have time to go on a tour of the palace, make sure to take some time to appreciate the panoramic views that can be had from this hilltop town.

Other hill towns in the Val d’Orcia that are worth visiting include Montalcino and Castiglione d’Orcia, both of which have fortresses perched on their highest points.

6. Lucca

This town in northwest Tuscany is known for its 16th-century walls, and recent visitors advise biking atop them for the best views. It is less than 20 miles from Pisa. Alternately, you might think about ascending to the top of Guinigi Tower, from which you can see the entire city. The Cattedrale di San Martino is another replica of the Duomo.

lucca italy
Best Things to Do in Tuscany, Italy: Visit Lucca

There is a lot of art in Luca, as well as praise for its native son Giacomo Puccini, who wrote operatic masterpieces like “Madame Butterfly” and “La Bohème.” To view local artwork, art enthusiasts advise visiting L.U.C.C.A. (Lucca Center of Contemporary Art) or strolling by the art show held there every third weekend of the month.

Shoppers beware: Lucca is known for having some of Italy’s best outdoor markets, particularly the Antique Market where you can find lots of jewelry and furniture. Every third weekend of the month, an antique market is held close to the Sam Martino Duomo, Piazza Antelminelli, San Giusto, and San Giovanni. A great place to find vintage, locally made goods at affordable prices is the Market Ambulante, which is open every Wednesday and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

After a long day of sight-seeing and shopping, parks with plenty of greenery and benches can be found on the outskirts of the town.

7. Enjoy Tuscan Beaches

Of course, the city of Florence and the region’s many vineyards bring the majority of Tuscany’s fame, as opposed to the region’s beaches. However, if the truth be known, many tourists choose to spend their time in Tuscany admiring the rolling hills and cypress tree-studded landscape rather than the beautiful beaches the region is famous for.

elba island italy
Best Things to Do in Tuscany, Italy: Visit Tuscany Beaches – Elba Island

However, if you venture a little bit off the beaten path during your journey through Italy, you will quickly learn that Tuscany is home to a great number of beaches that are well worth exploring. For instance, Elba Island, which is located just off the coast of Tuscany, is regarded as one of the most beautiful islands in all of Europe.

The island of Elba is a wonderful place to relax on a Tuscan beach, go sailing or scuba diving, eat delicious seafood, and learn a bit of history. This is the island that Napoleon was initially exiled to, so it has a lot of historical significance (though he did escape back to France about 300 days later).

As a result of this, the little piece of paradise has pristine waters and sandy beaches, both of which are extremely well-liked by tourists as well as by the natives who live there. About 230 kilometers of coastline can be found throughout all of Tuscany.

Viareggio is one of the most convenient beach day trips you can take from Florence. Even though this beach is not the best one in all of Tuscany, it is conveniently located close to a train station that provides direct connections to Florence and is only an hour away from the county seat of Tuscany.

8. Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre is a collection of cinque (five) villages that are located along cliffs that have a view of the Ligurian Sea: Monterosso, Vernazza, Manarola, Riomaggiore, and Corniglia. The region has been protected from the commercialism that currently permeates the majority of European cities by its recent designation as both a UNESCO World Heritage Site and national park.

Cinque Terre in Tuscany Italy
Best Things to Do in Tuscany, Italy: Visit Cinque Terre

The verdant crags of Cinque Terre are popular for hikes, and Manarola to Riomaggiore can be reached by the well-traveled Via dell’Amour. From Vernazza to Monterosso, there is a trail that offers the best ocean views. Since the trail (or lack thereof) is unpaved and requires lots of climbing under and over different terrain, this hike is unfortunately also the most difficult and not recommended for those who are weak of heart.

Recent visitors advise hiking in the morning to avoid the crowds and the heat. Additionally, if you don’t feel like walking between towns, you can always board the train that travels along the coast and stops in each one.

You can also catch some rays on Cinque Terre’s stunning beaches, but you’ll need to wear shoes because they are made of rock rather than sand. If you prefer, you can hire a boat to take you around all five islands. Along the beaches, you can also rent kayaks, paddleboards, and paddle boats.

Additionally, the small towns offer tourists charming lodging and delectable Italian cuisine. The focaccia pesto is a Ligurian specialty that you must try. But keep in mind that many of these lodgings and restaurants close from November to March, which is the low tourist season.

best things to do in tuscany region of Italy pin
Best Things to Do in Tuscany Region of Italy


Everything Zany Dual Citizen Travel Blog

Everything Zany

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Everything Zany Travel Blog exploring the UK and beyond. Sharing travel guides, tips, history, and culture. Our travel media brand is founded by travel and hotel industry expert – Ryazan Tristram, a Dual Citizen (British – Filipina) based in Birmingham, UK. Everything Zany is a reputable and award-winning travel blog. Our work and contributions have been featured in Huffington Post, CNBC, Discovery Channel, GMA, Readers Digest, and Lonely Planet. Our missions are to build a great travel community and resource of travel tips, visas, and travel guides for travelers. Join us as we travel around the UK and beyond with a mission to share the best of the world.


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