The region of Tuscany includes a large part of central Italy, with cities such as Florence, Pisa and Siena along with a number of islands located on the west coast of the country. With roughly 22,000 square kilometres, the region is certainly not short of things for you to see and do, the tricky part is just deciding which ones you want to see first! This part of the country is fortunate to have such a diverse landscape, one that can offer both the tranquillity of nature along with the vibrancy of the cities. In this article, we’ll be looking at six of the most famous landmarks around the region.
Siena Cathedral, Siena
The Siena Cathedral, which translates to Duomo di Siena is a medieval structure located at the heart of the city. Built between the years of 1215 and 1263, the cathedral stands as an important landmark, both in the city and the region of Tuscany. The colours of black and white are symbolic colours of Siena, therefore, the exterior and interior of the cathedral are decorated accordingly, with stripes of white and black marble that stack on each other to form magnificent pillars. Intricately decorated, the interior is truly something to behold, with carvings, statues and hand painted designs that adorn nearly every wall. The cathedral is also home to the Piccolomini Library, a room that holds historical significance for the city of Siena and has some of the most breathtaking artwork throughout the building.
Montalcino Fortress, Montalcino
A small hillside town in the south of the region, Montalcino is perhaps best known for the wine it produces, Brunello di Montalcino. A quaint and tranquil area with a population of approximately 5,000, the town has at its heart a fortified castle that overlooks the area from the highest point. The castle was built in 1361 and is almost entirely intact, despite the town having seen various wars and power struggles between Siena and Florence. As a bonus, the castle is home to a small wine shop where you can purchase the best wines from the region.
Giotto’s Bell Tower, Florence
The city of Florence is the capital of Tuscany and is home to some of the most important and beautiful landmarks in Italy. Giotto’s Bell Tower is approximately 85 meters tall and is located on the Piazza del Duomo, along with three other principal monuments. A magnificent building that can be seen from many parts of the city, the gothic style structure is decorated with green, red and white marble in a similar style to the cathedral that shares the Piazza. The building offers visitors a spectacular view from the top terrace and, after climbing over 400 steps, it is entirely worth the effort.
Tower of Pisa, Pisa
It would be impossible for us not to mention the iconic Leaning Tower of Pisa as it is one of the most well-known Italian landmarks that is known the world over. A truly magnificent feat of medieval engineering and architecture that is the crowning glory for Pisa’s Piazza dei Miracoli. The tower has 207 columns arranged around eight stories giving it the look of a giant wedding cake. The name of the original architect is still unknown, which perhaps adds to the mystery surrounding it. The tower is slightly curved which is the result of various architects attempting to limit the tower from leaning any further. It is open for visitors who can climb the 297 step spiral staircase to reach the top and enjoy the 360-degree panorama.
Thermal Baths, Montecatini Terme
Whether a town itself can be a landmark, we are still unsure, but if there ever was one then Montecatini Terme would certainly fit the bill! Renowned for its thermal waters, the town is perhaps one of the largest spa towns in Italy, with visitors having the opportunity to bath in the naturally warm waters or make use of the beautifully designed spas for a treatment. The town is also home to a variety of architectural styles, with buildings being designed in classic art nouveau style along with other 20th century styles. It is definitely worth a visit during your time in Tuscany!
Uffizi Gallery, Florence
Fortunate enough to own perhaps the finest collection of Italian Renaissance paintings, the Uffizi Gallery is a former Medici palace. The collection that the gallery offers is almost overwhelming and provides a fantastic reference for truly understanding how western art underwent a revolution thanks to the influence of Renaissance Florance. For the first galleries, the pieces are all arranged in chronological order, allowing for a real understanding of the changes and evolution of style as time passed. If you’re an art lover, this is definitely not one to miss!
Whether you’re looking for culture, art or architecture, these landmarks will be sure to bring something special to your holiday. Make sure you’ve got a special place to call home while you’re visiting too, our luxury holiday villas, Tuscany, have everything you need for a perfect getaway!