As the summer temperatures rise, Tuscany is at its most colourful : the joyful yellows of sunflowers, the hay bales, the blue waters and beach umbrellas, the rainbow of gelato flavours, and the beautiful endless sunsets. Life is always good under the Tuscan Summer sun, and the nights are warm with the cicadas and crickets a rhythmic soothing soundtrack.
Here we explore 8 great destinations to savour Summer in Tuscany-style, some special places that offer that summer magic that you’re looking for.
1. Marble magic in Pietrasanta
The delightful small town of Pietrasanta is located a few kilometres inland from the Versilia coast and the Apuan Alps in northern Tuscany. If you’re staying at one of the coastal resorts, a short drive will get you to this artistic town famous for its artisans that have been giving shape to marble since time immemorial. In Pietrasanta you can explore contemporary art installations and statues that dot its colourful streets, providing a fascinating contrast with its ancient buildings. Enjoy a drink in the scenic piazza Duomo, and visit one of the worthwhile art galleries.
2. Music in the air at San Galgano Abbey
A gorgeous setting for some music appreciation. Every year the evocative ruins of San Galgano Abbey become a special setting for a series of open air concerts that take place throughout July and August. You can first visit the abbey (open until 8pm in July and August) and the nearby Eremo di Montesiepi, and then immerse yourself in the magic of a Tuscan summer night. Under the stars, in one of the most scenic spots in Tuscany, you can savour music from classical to contemporary notes. Unforgettable. (for more info see the official FB page)
3. Palio mania in Siena
Follow in the footsteps of the Medieval Sienese, and watch the ‘Palio di Siena‘, the historical horse race that takes place every Summer in Piazza del Campo. Competitive spirits and Medieval rivalries come back to life on two dates during the Summer – on the 2nd July and 16th August. Siena’s contrade get all dressed up in Medieval finery for the event, ancient banners are hung from windows and on its red brick palaces. Even if you’re not there on the day of the Palio, the decorations are still amazing to see!
BOOK A POPULAR SIENA & SAN GIMIGNANO TOUR – Explore Siena’s famous ‘contrade’ (city districts), visit one of the ‘contrade museums’, and then get ready for the magic of Medieval San Gimignano. The tour includes wine tasting in a typical winery in the Chianti area.
4. Explore Monte Argentario in the Maremma
Drive to the southernmost point of Tuscany, to a world of blue water and fishing ports, beautiful unspoilt nature and the smell of the sea and ancient pirate tales. The Mount Argentario is a mountain in the midst of the Tyrrhenian sea, attached to the mainland by three narrow spits of land. During your stay you can find your favourite beach, climb to the old town in Porto Ercole and eat fish in one of the restaurants at Porto Santo Stefano surrounded by yachts.
⇒ See our Maremma itinerary, including Mount Argentario.Ceppicone – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link
5. See the Tarot Garden near Capalbio
In the Maremma there’s a park filled with wonderful creatures created by artist Niki de Saint Phalle. A very special spot where nature and artistic fantasy mix, inhabited by colourful gigantic statues inspired by the tarots and the fabulous style of Gaudi. It’s a great place to find some inspiration, and a perfect place to enjoy with your kids.
Nearby the lovely walled town of Capalbio deserves a visit. A popular destination for the Tuscan summer, it’s a delightful small town with plenty of picturesque corners to explore. As a bonus, the sea is just a few kms away.
⇒ More reasons to visit Maremma? It has the Best beaches in Tuscany.
6. Find your favourite spot in the Garfagnana
Looking for a relaxing holiday far from sandy beaches and salty air? Let’s go to the mountains then. Get in the car and drive up from Lucca into the verdant heart of northern Tuscany, a land of woods and green valleys at the foot of the Apennines. Temperatures are cooler in Garfagnana, the air is clean and fresh, and the rhythm of life is calmer and quieter. It’s a great destination for walkers (be on the road early in the morning and put on some sunscreen and a hat!). Perfect for lovers of quiet time and nature. Some favourites spots are the Verrucole Castle, the Isola Santa and the Orecchiella Park.
7. Dine under the stars in Badia a Passignano
If you’re staying in the Chianti area for the Summer holidays, you are definitely in for a treat. The whole area puts on food fairs and local festivals, and the countryside puts on a real show: the sunflowers paint the fields with yellow, the smell of cut grass that fills the air, the grapes are ripening on the vines. and the long evenings are filled with sounds of crickets and cicadas.
If one late afternoon you manage a visit to Badia a Passignano, near Tavarnelle Val di Pesa, you will be surprised with a Medieval hamlet surrounded by vineyards with a church and monastery and a few restaurant where you can try some local dishes, top-quality salumi and wines.
⇒ Planning a trip to Italy? Check out our favourite Summer destinations in Italy.
8. Monteriggioni Medieval Festival (every year in July)
Immerse yourself in Medieval atmosphere in Monteriggioni, Even when its famous festival is over, Monteriggioni is still one of the top destinations in Tuscany for those who love the Middle Ages. Ancient walls surrounding a former defensive castle famous for being mentioned in the “Divine Comedy” by Dante Alighieri, a bunch of stone buildings and lovely corners ready to be captured with the camera.
Every Summer all sorts of medieval-themed entertainment arrives in town transforming it into a full-immersion Medieval experience. Jesters, games, songs, hunchbacks, historical reenactment and more. (For the full program and dates see the official site).
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