Florence – the beautiful capital of Tuscany – is one of our favorite cities. The city is known for its impressive architecture, such as the cathedral the Duomo and the iconic bridge the Ponte Vecchio and the influences of famous artists including: Michelangelo, Botticelli and Donatello. It is therefore one of the art cities of the world. You can also enjoy delicious Italian cuisine, and you will find there royal palaces, adventure gardens, spectacular viewpoints, sculptures and atmospheric squares. Florence has a lot to offer. Would you like more tips about what to see and experience there? Then read our extensive blog about Florence.
#2 San Gimignano
San Gimignano is one of the best preserved medieval towns in Italy. No wonder it is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. It is cosy, atmospheric and authentic. San Gimignano is known as the tower city. When you arrive you will see the 14 – of the original 72 – towers that rise above the town. The missing towers were destroyed during wars between the 12th and 14th centuries. The (residential) towers used to be a status symbol. Noble families showed how much prestige they had with the height of the tower. Within the city walls there is a cozy atmosphere. The square Piazza della Cisterna, named after the water well, is the heart of San Gimignano. Pick a spot at one of the many terraces and eat the most delicious ice creams at Dondoli. Be sure to taste the limoncello flavor! Tip: Walk into one of the narrow side streets every now and then. You will then arrive at beautiful viewpoints overlooking the rolling hills of tuscany that will make your jaw drop.
With its special architecture, basilica, Gothic cathedral, palaces, statues and squares, Siena is a real must-see and you should certainly not skip it during your road trip through Tuscany. A popular sight in Siena is the shell-shaped square Piazza del Campo. It is the connector of all main streets and there is a warm atmosphere. Admire the Fonte Gaia fountain and see imposing important buildings such as the City Hall. A spectacular Palio di Siena horse race is organized here twice a year. The square gets transformed into a horse racing track and the different districts of Siena compete against each other!
Pisa is very touristic and that is mainly because everyone wants to admire the number 1 eye-catcher: the leaning bell tower of Pisa. Yet Pisa has much more to offer. In Piazza dei Miracoli – or the Square of Miracles – next to the Torre Pendente, the Baptistery – the largest in Italy – stands the beautiful Cathedral of Santa Maria and the cemetery Camposanto. The entire square with the four impressive buildings has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Pisa also has one of the oldest botanical gardens of Europe, there are plenty of shops to look around and you can take a lovely walk along the river Arno. Tip! Combine Pisa with a trip to the beautiful surroundings. In 20 minutes you drive to Lake Puccini, where you sit at the water’s edge and enjoy the peace and the beautiful lake.
Lucca is surrounded by a city wall that has remained completely intact. The oldest parts even date from the 2nd century BC! What?! There are also many churches such as: the San Michele in Foro, San Giusto and Chiesa di Santa Maria Forisportam that will certainly impress you. The most notable sight is the round square: Piazza dell’Anfiteatro. This square is built on the ruins of a Roman amphitheatre. Now it is full of coziness and terraces; where you can fully enjoy the Italian hospitality. Lucca is also a perfect shopping city. There are well-known international clothing chains, local Italian boutiques and spice shops. Choice for everyone!
Arezzo has a beautiful historic center. The nice thing about Arezzo is that the city is not very touristic, so you can explore the city in peace and experience the local life! Admire the Romanesque and Gothic architecture on a city walk. And walk through the atmospheric streets towards the sloping square of Piazza Grande, which impresses you with the surrounding old buildings. Take a seat on one of the terraces where you can have a delicious lunch. A nice ending is to stroll through the city park, where you can reminisce about all the impressions of the city.
Volterra is located on the top of a hill and is surrounded by a city wall. Be surprised by the culture, the panoramic views of tuscany and the impressive city gates. The city is full of culture and there is plenty to do; visit the Roman theatre, one of the museums or art studios. In the heart of the city center you will find one of the oldest town halls in Tuscany; Palazzo dei Priori, built in 1208. See the ancient halls from the inside or climb the bell tower to see Volterra from above.