As the name suggests, Montelupo Fiorentina, is close to the Tuscan city of Florence, but is known in its own right for producing world-renowned pottery and ceramics. Found in the Middle Ages, its history stretches further back and digs have revealed evidence of Etruscan and Roman settlements. Sights of particular interest include the 14th-century Frescobaldi Tower, the Medici villa – home to prestigious works of art, and the San Giovanni Evangelista Church. But, it’s wandering around the ceramic shops that’s the real delight in Montelupo. Majorlica ceramics are renowned worldwide and Montelupo was one of the main producers during the 14th and early 17th centuries. Today it remains a specialised art in the town, and the Museo Ceramica Montelupo celebrates this with three floors of fabulous pre 1700 ceramics. An annual International Ceramics festival is also held here. The town is perfectly situated to visit nearby Florence, Pisa, Siena and San Gimignano.