Travel Italy- Tuscany
August 09 2015
Are you dreaming of sunflower fields, wine yards and good glass of local wine, stone hill towns and cypress trees? Well, then welcome to Tuscany, one of the most popular regions in Italy.
There is tons to see when visiting Tuscany. Do not limit yourself only on one area. Once you are there, you must have a car to drive through the countryside and wine yards of the local wine makers. There is more to see than one could think.
Some of the most important sites to visit in Tuscany are for sure Florence, Siena, Pisa, San Gimignano, Monteriggioni and Volterra.
Florence is the center of Tuscany, a city of history, renaissance beauty, Medici wealth, secret pathways and world-known art. It is a big city, so reserve at least one whole day for it. Walking from the Ponte Vecchio, to GalleriadegliUffizi and the Palazzo Vecchio, you will arrive to PiazzadellaSignoria,where there are the famous statue of the David (replica) and a fountain ofNeptun right by the entry to the Palazzo. On the right side of the piazza, when looking at the Palazzo, there are several other statues located, exactly as they were in the past. It was a symbol of wealth and education of the Medici family, making Florence the center of art and beauty of Italy even in the past. From the Piazza, with just a short walk, get to the Catedraledi Santa Maria del Fiore. This breathtaking cathedral is one of the most admired ones in the world. It is white, pink, green and dark blue from the outside and dark blue and white from the inside. The fee for entry is definitely worth it. Notice a baptistery right opposite to the cathedral and its golden doors. An interesting thing to follow when waking from Palazzo Vecchio to Palazzo Pitti is a secret pathway connecting these two buildings. It goes above the city, even through the bridge and further to the Palazzo Pitti. Follow the little windows above these buildings and you will have a little more interesting visit.
Siena is another city with beautiful Duomo di Siena and Piazza del Campo that is worth the drive. I dare to say that Duomo di Siena is the most beautiful cathedral I have ever seen in my life. It is beautiful as from the outside as from the inside. Architecture is very similar to the one in Florence, and even though the Siena one is little bit smaller, it’s inside structure is to be admired. Piazza del Campo is famous for Torre del Mangia, declining floor and Palio horse racing that takes place twice a year during the summer, July and August, and it has historical tradition. Make sure to eat some good food in Siena. Visit some local salumeria and ask for mixed plate of ham and cheese with some local wine.
Pisa is known for the Leaning Tower and people taking funny pictures with it. There is much more to see though. A Cathedral and Baptistery are another sites that are worth to be visited when in Siena. Baptistery performs an echo every half an hour. Make sure to wait and hear it as it is performed by the stuff in an interesting way. Prepare for many tourists, even though the lines move quite fast. And of course, be a tourist and take a leaning picture with the Leaning tower.
San Gimignano, Volterra and Monteriggioni are small hill towns in the countryside. You need to have a car to get there but the visits take you straight into the history.
Monteriggioni is tiny but famous for the town walls still stable and fully standing. You get a perfect picture of how the towns used to look like in the past. I believe you will not spend more than 30 minutes there, but get a glass of wine to refresh or go there for a dinner and pretty evening views.
Volterra has typical Tuscanian piazza, with the tower clock and stairs where you can rest. Roman theater is under the town performing different plays during the summer months for a small entry fee. Cathedral and Palazzo Priori are some sights to visit during the day.
San Gimignano is a town of towers. There are currently 14 standing towers, however in the past there were 74. The Piazza della Cisterna has an old well in the middle and is surrounded by old stone buildings. There is also the best gelato in Tuscany. At Piazza della Cisterna there are two gelaterias right by each other, both serving stunning ice cream. No matter to which one you decide to go to, you will not regret one bite. Take a walk around this small city, admire the towers and the historical feeling this town still preserves. San Gimignano is my personal favorite of Tuscany.
And in Tuscany, as everywhere in Italy, you eat well. You must visit some local wine sellers in the countryside and eat Fiorentina steak. Buonappetitio!