Tuscany Travel Guide
One of the most beautiful areas of Italy and regarded as the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance, the Tuscan region offers a wonderful mix of art, history, culture, thermal spas, Chianti vineyards and its countryside is blessed with unspoilt natural beauty.
A region in central Italy, Tuscany is famous for its stunning natural landscapes, characterised by its rolling golden fields, vibrant green vineyards, medieval hilltop towns and cypress-lined roads.
Amidst all this beauty lies the thermal spa town of Montecatini, the ideal holiday base for excursions to Tuscany’s top sights; such as Siena, the mediaeval towers of San Gimignano, the Leaning Tower of Pisa and Lucca’s ancient walls. The region's capital of Florence, once home to influential artists Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, also offers countless attractions like the Duomo, Piazza della Signoria and Ponte Vecchio.
We've outlined some top tips and recommendations below to make sure you don’t miss out on any iconic sights or hidden gems on your holiday to Tuscany.
Time Zone & Currency
Italy is one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) throughout the year. The currency in Italy is the Euro.
Weather In Tuscany
The inland valleys of Tuscany enjoy warm summers and cool winters and tend to assume a continental character the further inland you travel.
Reading For Your Trip To Tuscany
Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes
The Savage Garden by Mark Mills
Innocence by Penelope Fitzgerald
Best time to go to Tuscany
Tuscany can be enjoyed at any time of year. The main tourist season runs from April until October. July and August can be hot (30C +) but evenings are pleasant and perfect for strolls through the atmospheric streets and piazzas of Tuscan villages and towns. To experience cooler temperatures while sightseeing in Tuscany, travel in late spring, early summer or autumn.
Top Tourist Attractions In Tuscany
Leaning Tower of Pisa
One of Italy's most iconic landmarks, the Tower of Pisa is a bell tower and its seven bells were once used to call people to prayer to the adjacent Pisa Cathedral. Construction began in 1173 and it took approximately 200 years to complete and it gained notoriety due to its lean caused by poor foundations which could not support the building's weight.
A hilltop town known as the 'Town of Fine Towers', San Gimignano is best known for its preservation of its 14 tower houses and medieval architecture resulting in an impressive skyline. Once there were 72 towers in the town, as noble families would compete against one and other to build the tallest tower to signify their wealth and power.
The Ponte Vecchio, which means "old bridge" is the oldest bridge in Florence and an icon of the city. Overlooking the Arno River, the buildings on the bridge were once occupied by butchers and tanners, but today you'll mostly find jewellers and art sellers. Miraculously, it was the only bridge in Florence that wasn't destroyed by WW2 bombings.
Piazza del Campo
One of the most famous public squares, which hosts the Palio horse race twice a year, Piazza del Campo is located in the heart of Siena, a medieval city renowned for its well preserved architecture, artistic heritage and cuisine. The square is lined with shops, cafes and restaurants where you can take in the impressive landscapes whilst enjoying local Tuscan dishes and wine.
Lucca is the only town in Italy to be surrounded by remarkably intact Renaissance-era city walls, which provide an ideal set of viewpoints from which to see the town’s rooftops, bell towers and lush surrounding countryside. It's also the birthplace of the world renowned composer Giacomo Puccini, who wrote Madama Butterfly, Tosca and La Boheme.
Visit Tuscany The Heart Of Authentic Italy
Tuscany, proud birthplace of the Italian Renaissance and famously rich in art and culture, is also admired the world over for its beautifully preserved medieval hill towns, set amidst landscapes of lush vineyards and silver-green olive groves.
Food and drink in Tuscany
Tuscany is known for earthy, robust dishes, made from the finest of local ingredients. Try ‘Bistecca alla Fiorentina’, a thick T bone steak (served rare), or for a lighter option, panzanella, a salad made of stale bread soaked in cold water and vinegar, mixed with diced tomatoes, onions, and basil, all sprinkled with the exquisite olive oil for which the region is famous. Wine lovers will be spoilt for choice, from the fruity white Vernaccia di San Gimignano to the mouthwatering red, Rosso di Montalcino, and many more besides.