If you’ve been looking for great food, great wine, and beautiful scenery, look no further than Italy. Tuscany is home to all three and makes the perfect vacation whether you’re new to traveling or are a constant wanderluster.
Here are five tips from the Travel Magazine editorial team for traveling to Tuscany.
1. It’s all about the hill towns
The cities are great, but your stay in Tuscany should include as many visits to small towns as possible. agriturismo is huge in the area, and you can’t go wrong renting a small villa in a quiet town. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t stay in Florence for a night or two, but if you’re looking for an authentic Tuscan getaway, you’ll want to check out some of the towns like Montaione that aren’t in any guide books.
2. Book short, daily excursions
You’ll want to rent a car for your stay in Tuscany and do short day trips to all of the magnificent spots in the area, including the 7 World Heritage Sites in Tuscany (listed in #5 below). Outside of Florence and Pisa the driving is more relaxed – just be aware of the ZTL restrictions, which basically state that you can’t take a car into the old parts of old towns like Siena or San Gimignano unless you’re okay with big fines.
3. Go to the top of the Torre in Siena
This is our favorite view in all of Tuscany. Siena is a beautiful city worth exploring, and the Torre del Mangia offers an amazing look at the region. It was completed in 1348 though, so step lightly!
4. Get a few Italian phrases down
You’ll be able to get by in the big cities with english, but if you really want an authentic Tuscan experience, we recommend pulling out an Italian phrasebook and getting familiar with a few key phrases.
Here are 20 phrases that you’ll find useful when in Italy.
5. See the 7 World Heritage Sites
In no particular order, you’ll want to visit the 7 World Heritage Sites in Tuscany. Here’s a look at where to go:
-The Historic Center of Florence
-Piazza del Duomo in Pisa
-Medici Gardens and Villas in Tuscany
-The Historic Center of Siena
-The Historic Center of San Gimignano
-The Historic Town of Pienza
If you visit all seven of these sites, you’re sure to have an amazing trip to Tuscany.