Here's a list of other related guides that you may wish to discover.Tuscany
Florence: L’Accademia di Belle Arti di Firenze is an excellent example of why Florence is so special. One of the key attractions of this art academy is undoubtedly Michelangelo’s Statue of David. This 500 year old, 5.17 metre marble masterpiece, produced with immense detail, is a stunning depiction of a biblical hero that has enabled generations of Florentines to identify with a symbol of Florence’s civil liberties during a time when enemies were in every direction. From the days when city states yielded considerable influence to the present day of international tourism, the statue, with its distinctly local story yet also its wider religious significance for not only Christian, but also Jewish, Islamic and Baha’i cultures, is a classic example of Florence’s stature on the worlds cultural stage. Pop into the world famous Uffizi museum right next door.
Oasi del Padule Love birdwatching? Then what better surroundings to watch them in, than on the Tuscan coast of Italy where over 20% of the land is organised into parks and protected areas. You're already greeted with beautiful beaches, crystal-clear waters, and traditional Tuscan towns that beg to be explored, and on top of this, a protected oasis where some fascinating birds stop on their migratory path. Just 10km from the seaside is the tiny little village of Bolgheri, and it is here that you'll discover the marshes where the likes of pink flamingo, marsh harrier, osprey and purple herrons stop. It's the perfect environment to foster biodiversity, with two swamps, dense pine woods, damp meadows and cultivated fields. With a nature trail and two observing points, it's a great place to pitch up and watch these rarely -seen birds. And Bolgheri itself is a delightful town to visit, but make sure you enter it through the famous Viale dei Cipressi - a cypress avenue bordered by these majestic trees so typical of the region. You'll then see Bolgheri's elegant red-brick castle, and go on to explore its historic centre with little shops and welcoming restaurants. Children will love the castle and outdoor areas while you enjoy a small glass of Chianti.
The hot springs of Saturnia. If you're looking for something special, natural and beautiful, head for the wild Maremma region of southern Tuscany. The ancient town of Saturnia itself is quite small, but delightful. With a couple of reputable restaurants and gelateria, it's certainly worth going, if just for a sumptuous lunch or evening meal, but it's the natural springs just outside Saturnia that is its real appeal. Hailed by some as paradise, the natural waterfalls that cascade down the rocks in this region of Maremma are stunning. Creating pools of warm water from a source underground that reach 37°c, this is a heavenly place to bathe. And, with the water containing sulphur and other minerals, this natural spa is said to cure minor ailments and relax the body - easing aches and pains. The setting just adds to the allure of this outstanding natural phenomenon that is the hot springs of Saturnia. Looking out onto thick wooded hills, verdant valleys and ancient olive groves and vineyards, the overall effect is quite dramatic. The best time to visit is probably between March and May when the weather is pleasant, but not too hot. That way you avoid the crowds and over-heating. If you do happen to visit in the summer you can always jump into the river Albegna alongside the springs to cool down!
MUSEUMS IN TUSCANY
Art: Florence: The birthplace of the Renaissance. There is art at every corner. The main cathedral is home to Giorgio Vasari’s frescoes of the Last Judgment. There are amazing piece of art in this free to enter cathedral such as Domenico di Michelino’s Dante and His World which depicts Heaven, Hell and Purgatory as well as Dante holding his famous poem Il Divina Commedia. There are many other places to visit.The Museo dell’Opera del Duomo on the Piazza del Duomo, is a highly popular museum that holds many of the cathedral’s original works of art, such as Andrea Pisano’s Creazione di Eva and Niccolò di Pietro Lamberti’s Dottori della Chiesa. Museo Stibbert hosts surely one of the greatest collections of artefacts in the world. It is the story of a man by the name of Frederick Stibbert who, with his immense wealth, embarked upon a mission to establish a landmark for costumes, paintings, tapestries, furniture and, in particular, armour. It is not only a fascinating place for those interested in applied arts, but also a tribute to human history, with European, Islamic, Japanese and Oriental collections of arms and armour, all the inspiration of a worldly man from an Anglo-Italian background.
MAEC – The Etruscan Museum. Loved by writers and artists, it’s no wonder that Cortona has been the subject of many books, films and paintings. An absolutely charming Tuscan town of cobbled streets, beguiling country views from its hilltop position and a medieval piazza where you can sit, enjoy a meal and watch the Tuscans go about their day. And there’s much to see too, including the MAEC – The Etruscan Museum. Housed in one of the town’s most notable and historic buildings – the 13th-century Palazzo Casali, also known as Palazzo Pretorio features various displays and alternating exhibitions spread across four floors, two of which are being used as prisons. Wandering around the Museum you’ll be amazed by some of the jewellery, sculptures and ornaments on show. And then there’s the prehistoric animals discovered in 1960, artefacts from the Bronze Age, ancient mosaics found in villas and even paintings, including an oval piece of the Virgin Mary surrounded by saints, painted by Cortona artist Luca Signorelli.
Florence: Museo Galileo Stethoscopes, globes, navigation instruments and telescopes are just some of the artefacts you can expect in this mini kingdom of modern science, which also encompasses the fields of philosophy, astrology and mathematics. It not only displays fascinating artefacts from 15th to 19th century science, but explains them and gives a real insight into what is a crucial part of Florentine culture, in a museum dedicated to their very own father of modern science.