Here’s our list of top things to do in Tuscany in 2017. Discover unknown treasures, revamped iconic museums and bewitchingly beautiful countryside.
Tuscany is a timeless classic in any Italian itinerary, and certain destinations like Florence or Siena are always top choices for travellers. But there’s a lot more to Tuscany than these famous sights, so let us take you on a whistle-stop tour of new and inspiring travel ideas for 2017.
Discover Pistoia, the Italian Capital of Culture in 2017
Pistoia is in our top spot this year. This lively town at the foot of the Appenines has always had plenty to offer in terms of art and culture. So much so that it’s earned itself the prestigious title of Italian Capital of Culture 2017, and Lonely Planet has listed it amongst the Top 10 cities to visit in 2017. And for good reason. It has a Medieval city centre, a splendid Piazza Duomo and spectacular events throughout the year. It’s far from Florence’s madding crowd, and easy to get around. Here the visitor feels more like a traveller than a tourist. You’ll find authenticity, a local feel, and some beautiful art that ranges from Medieval to contemporary in the Museo Marini. An important exhibition runs from September 2017 at the Palazzo Fabbroni. For music lovers, the well-known Pistoia Blues Festival will once again draw some big names and a devoted crowd.
Florence. Iconic museums and new openings
Last year was a busy one for the city of Florence with many of its sights and museums getting a revamp. This includes the Uffizi Gallery that reopened the Botticelli rooms in October, so that it now presents a totally refurbished space. There is new modern design and better lighting, and more room than ever to appreciate masterpieces like the “Primavera” and “Birth of Venus“.
The “Adoration of the Magi” by Leonardo da Vinci is back at the Uffizi after a six year restoration, and it’s now more enchanting than ever.
Museo Opera del Duomo
The same goes for the Opera del Duomo Museum, dedicated to the Cathedral. The renovated and enlarged setting makes it an ideal place to learn about Florence’s most iconic building. It includes a life-size model of the lower part of the facade, and a gallery devoted to Brunelleschi’s Dome. By the way, remember that it’s now mandatory to book if you want to climb the Dome. The combined ticket includes a visit to the Museum, the Baptistry, the Dome and Bell tower.
The Innocenti Museum is a new addition to Florence’s sights. Housed within the Institute degli Innocenti, it was designed by Brunelleschi in the 15th century and is home to work by great masters like Ghirlandaio, Botticelli and the Della Robbia school. An historical hospital, the Ospedale degli Innocenti used to take care of orphaned babies and infants who were left outside its doors anonymously. Visit the four floors of the museum and immerse yourself in a dramatic part of Florentine history.
Experience the bewitching beauty of the Val d’Orcia
You don’t need any excuse to explore the magical landscapes of the Val d’Orcia. This area south of Siena is home to Tuscany’s most renowned landscapes. But this year there’s another reason to spend some quality time in San Quirico d’Orcia or Pienza. You can unleash your inner artist and follow the trail designed by the exhibition “Il buon secolo della pittura senese“ or “The good century of Sienese art” (april-june 2017) that celebrates 20 years as a UNESCO heritage site. An art exhibition, involving some of the most scenic towns of the Val d’Orcia, is dedicated to Renaissance and local Mannerist artists. You can find more information on the official site.
Go green. Eco-friendly things to do in Tuscany in 2017
Sustainabilty and eco-friendly tours are definitely a positive trend. And what could be more green than walking? In Tuscany the popularity of itineraries along the Via Francigena is on the rise. It’s a healthy, and low-impact way to experience the territory, take things slowly, and really breathe Tuscany in.
Biking is another popular way to see the Tuscan hills, though you’ll need to do a bit of preparation first! There’re plenty of biking tours on offer. But if you’re not feeling that energetic and would prefer to see Florence from the seat of an eco-friendly car, this is also possible. Eco Green Tours organises visits in Florence that are comfortable and zero emission.
Here’s our favourite art exhibitions in Tuscany in autumn 2017.