Located in the heart of Italy, Tuscany is one of the most popular destinations in the world for cultural tourists, with the artistic importance of its capital Florence attracting admirers of Italian Renaissance art from the world over. While names like Michelangelo may bring people to this vast region, it’s the rolling Tuscan hills, beautiful local foods and romantic cities that keep people flocking back to this vibrant region.
There are so many things to see in Florence alone, but when you include cities like Pisa and Siena the amount of opportunities becomes almost endless! Before you set off to your luxury holiday villas Tuscany, consider putting these iconic locations on your itinerary.
The most iconic of landmarks in the most iconic of Italian cities, the Florence Cathedral is an epic feat of ancient brickwork. With work on the structure dating back to the 1200s, and being completed in 1436, its remarkable that this building still dominates the Firenze skyline as it does. It’s iconic pink cupola, designed by Filippo Brunelleschi, is still the largest brick dome ever constructed.
This landmark is indeed one that has to be seen to be truly appreciated – its size is magnificent, and you can even walk up the stairs for panoramic views across the city if you book in advance!
The Uffizi Galleries
Head south from Florence’s Cathedral towards the river Arno and you will reach the Galleria degli Uffizi, a selection of galleries and museums housed in an iconic 16th-century building. A window into some of the most notable moments in Italian history, the Uffizi Galleries house an impressive amount of Renaissance and pre-Renaissance artwork from some of Italy’s greatest ever minds.
One of the oldest public museums in the world, there is truly no better way to understand the history of this famous nation than by seeing some of its great icons’ works. Names like Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael and Michelangelo feature heavily here, and the mix of art, beauty and history appeals to all visitors to this historic city.
Located in Eastern Tuscany, the Chianti region is a name that some people may recognise. A world-famous red wine, Chianti and Chianti Classico have been enjoyed over meals across the world since the unique blend was created in the 19th-century. One of the leading families in Chianti winemaking is the Antinori family, who has been in the business directly for over 600 years. Their modern winery opened in 2012, and its striking wooden architecture is a must-see for any visitors to this famous region.
Paying homage to the land that has fed them for so many generations, the Antinori winery is built so in-sync with the hills surrounding it that it can be hard to notice until you are there. With wine tours, a selection of fine arts and even a restaurant on site, this is the perfect day out for couples.
The Leaning Tower of Pisa
Arguably the most iconic landmark in the whole of Italy, Pisa’s freestanding bell tower and its nearly calamitous architectural error has put this beautiful city on the global map. Built during the 12th-century, the building’s tilt is a result of the ground being too soft on one side of the building’s foundations, and it would have been worse if it wasn’t for conservation efforts in the late-20th-century halting the slow fall. Despite the obvious tilt, the building is open to the public, and you’re able to walk up it when booked in advance!
Siena’s Piazza del Campo
Siena is a city often forgotten by people visiting Tuscany for the first time, usually due to the vast artistic riches of its local rival and the iconic structure to the north in Pisa. However, while Florence is the queen of the Renaissance, Siena is the king of Medieval architecture, and that is symbolised in the city’s eye-catching Piazza. A series of thin and winding streets funnel the life of the city down towards this vast open meeting space – shaped like a theatre’s stage, the city square is bursting with life all day, and with the edges lined with shops and cafes, there is plenty for you to experience.
Tuscany is such a vast region that there are countless things to do, no matter what your tastes. The city of Florence holds a magnificent array of art and Italian history, but that shouldn’t overshadow a region as diverse and vibrant as any across this beautiful nation!
If you’re looking to bring your family on a Tuscan adventure, why not take a look at our list of child-friendly attractions in Florence?