Tuscany in central Italy is home to dramatic landscapes, and the historic cities of Florence and Siena. It’s a place of art, of delicious local dishes, Chianti wines and hilltop towns that overlook breathtaking and verdant valleys. When you ask “What is Tuscany famous for?” the list goes on and on.
What is Tuscany famous for? Breathtaking Landscapes
Tuscany is famous for many things, but of all its qualities, the countryside is perhaps the most remarkable, and remarked upon feature. Whether you are walking the country lanes, or driving the winding road to one of the hilltop towns, its hills, valleys and cypress trees always seem to arrange themselves into an exquisite view. Each one more impressive than the next.
A stay in an idyllic rural setting in Tuscany can be a great way to de-stress from the pressures of modern life. You can head for the Chianti area between Florence and Siena, or the amazing rolling landscapes of the Val d’Orcia, and the less travelled but equally spectacular areas of Maremma in the south.
Florence and Siena: The world-famous cities of art
If you’re looking for some serious sightseeing, your best bet is undoubtedly Florence. The go-to city in Tuscany and birthplace of the Renaissance it’s packed with world-famous masterpieces, churches and frescoes. This is the home of the Uffizi and the Accademia Gallery that hosts Michelangelo’s David. To the south of Florence there’s Siena with its striking Gothic cathedral, Medieval art museums and centuries old horse race – the Palio.
Pisa is a unique town graced with the one of the world’s most iconic landmarks – the leaning tower of Pisa. And who could forget Lucca with its exquisite churches. Each city has a wealth of treasures so you can visit time and time again.
Tuscany, the home of the photogenic hilltop town
The image of a Medieval town atop of a hill is one of the symbols of Tuscany. Iconic destinations like San Gimignano and Cortona will leave you speechless, but you’ll be surprised at how many picturesque small towns there are, and just how much much there is to see.
Towns like Volterra, Pienza, Monteriggioni and Pitigliano can be as rewarding as the major cities for those who care to venture a bit further. There are many small and quiet towns all around Tuscany that get very lively all year round, expecially in summer, with local fairs and festivals and still retain a very authentic feel and relaxed feel.
Explore some charming small towns in Tuscany.
Where Chianti wines meet traditional dishes
As if you didn’t know this already, this is home to some of Italy’s most popular wines like the reds of Chianti, the Brunello from Montalcino and the critically acclaimed Supertuscans. These are perfect accompaniments for one of the region’s best loved dishes, the Bistecca alla Fiorentina, the T-bone steak from Chianina cattle. It’s a place where simple delicious ingredients have pride of place, and Tuscany’s delicious tomatoes, unsalted bread and local olive oil are central to its cuisine. Enjoy simple dishes from the tradition of peasant cooking, a wide variety of meat and sauces, cured meats and the mouthwatering pecorino cheese from Pienza. Buon appetito!
Find out about some delicious Tuscan vegetarian dishes.
Architectural wonders around every corner
Florence, Siena and the stunning Square of Miracles in Pisa may be the region’s architectural showstoppers, but in truth every town has something to offer. From Lucca’s Medieval churches, to the grand Palazzo dei Priori in Volterra and the Sant’ Antimo Abbey near Montalcino you’ll find structures that awe and impress. Romanesque cathedrals, Renaissance villas, ancient towers, and beautifully restored walled Medieval towns like San Gimignano and Monteriggioni. It’s a place of grand architecture but also a place where the ancient buildings and towns seem part of the landscape itself.
Driving in the Val D’Orcia, a UNESCO heritage site
If you ask people what is tuscany famous for, many will talk about the scenic drives. Any holiday in the area needs to include a road trip as it’s the best way to appreciate the landscape. And there’s no better place to do this than in Val D’Orcia. A region south of Siena that has been declared a UNESCO heritage site. Its wide landscapes, cypress lined hills and historic towns like Pienza and make for the perfect driving holiday. Take all the time you need, just make sure you’ve packed a camera.
Discover some amazing Tuscany experiences that will make your trip special!