Things to see in Tuscany

The main types of sights of interest in Tuscany, Italy

What the principal things to see and do in Tuscany, Italy?

Things to see in Tuscany

As one would expect from a region with a rich three thousand year history, Tuscany is packed with interesting sights and each visitor should decide ahead of time on which attractions to concentrate. The "art cities" of Florence, Lucca, Sienna and Pisa are packed with artistic and architectural attractions to which only a good guide book (or two or three) can do justice. Do your homework before you leave.

Here we will focus on rural and small town Tuscany.

Obviously Tuscan wines and Tuscan gastronomic specialities will rank high on the agenda of many visitors since both are excellent in Tuscany. Don't miss a grilled steak alla fiorentina and a dish prepared with funghi porcini.

Architecture buffs
will find an endless variety of castles, Tuscan villas, Tuscan abbeys, romanesque churches, tower houses and other vernacular architecture throughout the area. Many Tuscan villages are still surrounded by their fortifications and preserve their mediaeval or even Roman layout.

History enthusiasts
will find many physical reminders of the great men of the past. The family home of Amerigo Vespucci is still standing, in Montefioralle, as are the castle of the Verazzano family, the house of Boccaccio in Certaldo and the Machiavelli family house at Sant'Andrea in Percussina, the site of Machiavelli's long exile from Florence.

Paintings, sculpture and painted terracotta
are to be found in almost every church in Tuscany as well as in any number of small town museums. Throughout Tuscany, there are many specialised museums such as the Guarnacci Etruscan Museum in Volterra.

If formal gardens are your source of pleasure, Tuscany is home to numerous italianate Tuscan villa gardens

As in all of Italy, the year in Tuscany is punctuated by innumerable festivals, fairs and similar events. Some of these are amazingly well done, with almost the entire populations of towns and villages dressed in elaborate costumes and competing in dances, crossbow competitions and highly skilled horseback competitions. The major Tuscan festivals, fairs and historical re-enactments should on no account be missed if the opportunity presents itself.

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