Tuscany, the word alone makes you smell the olive branches and feel the warm sun on your skin. This region in Italy is where you go to truly lose yourself in relaxation and escape to a renaissance dream. Looking at the classical Tuscany we are talking about the area between Florence, Pisa and Siena. Here are some of the top places to let your senses seduce you.
The vegetables and produce from this region are some of the finest in the world. So make sure you experience Italy in the best way possible by tasting and smelling the foods of Tuscany. Especially the olives and wines are famous here and there are many ways to see how they are produced. Take trip to a vinery or an olive farm and learn how these heavenly things are made. Many of the wineries in for example in Chianti, where some of the area’s best wines are from have open tastings and a small shop where you can buy local wine. If you are really in to the wine making process there are also places that offer a holiday package where you can join the whole process of picking and making the wine or the oil.
Siena is an incredibly beautiful city and not to be missed on a trip to Tuscany. The moment you enter the city you will feel transformed back in time. Situated in the heart of Tuscany, Siena has a special atmosphere because of the many old and narrow streets. See the large square Piazza del Campo and enjoy some Italian coffee from one of the small cafes around. If you visit at the right time of year you might get a chance to experience ‘Palio di Siena’. This is a mid-evil horse race that is held twice a year where 17 jockeys representing the different city wards in Siena, ride barebacked horses in circles around the square. The whole city gathers to follow the race and party afterwards.
A trip to Tuscany is nothing without a visit to Florence and a look atthe great works of art this city holds. In Florence you can see works by Botticelli, Da Vinci, Michelangelo and many, many more. One of the museums displaying some of the most famous artistic heritage is the Uffizi Museum, where for example Botticelli’s Venus is on display. The lines to enter the museums are long, as this is the place all tourists want to see, so make sure you bring a book or someone to keep you company while you wait.
While in Florence, don’t miss this magnificent cathedral in the heart of the city. The Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore or Il Duomo as it is more commonly known is one of the most beautiful cathedrals and one of Italy’s biggest. It is made completely by bricks and has a very distinct façade of white and black patterns. It is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site in the historic center of Florence and as a tourist you can visit both the cathedral and the tower, with an incredible view of the whole city. The sounds of the bells can be heard all over Florence and create a very special mood around town.
This special building is actually ‘only’ a bell tower to the main cathedral of Pisa, but it has become the most well-known monument in the town of Pisa. There are two different stories as to why the tower is leaning. One says that’s because the ground it is built on is soft and unstable, another story says that it is a conscious architectural construction. However the story, this tower is a sight to see or feel. You can visit the tower and feel for yourself the leaning feeling, but be sure to book tickets in advance as tourist crowds are huge when you get there.