What to Visit
Tuscany is doubtlessly one of the most beautiful Italian regions. It is a place which will remain in your hearts thanks to its multiple and unique natural landscapes, its artistic beauties and excellent food. There are countless kinds of visits to go on and for all tastes and desires.
Keep on reading to find all the best Tuscan itineraries...
To better organize your stay, we offer you a selection of Tuscan itineraries, rendering your experience unforgettable...
Tuscany in 7 days: What to see in one week in Tuscany?
- Day 1 - Volterra: 20 minutes/20km.
From Casa Podere Monti, go along the Volterrana. The road takes you along unique landscapes of rolling hills and gradients. We advise you to stop and admire the sight of Volterra from afar. This town of the Val di Cecina is the result of encounters of different historic periods. Volterra preserves a remarkable historic centre of Etruscan origin with its Roman ruins and medieval buildings, the Cathedral and Palazzo dei Priori, which are the nerve centre of the town. The surrounding area offers the desert of the “saline” (salt pans) and the “torri”(towers) of the geothermic area of Larderello.
- Day 2 - Siena and Monteriggioni ,30 min drive from Casa Podere Monti.
On the road to Siena it is a must to stop and indulge in a short visit to the medieval hamlet of Monteriggioni. The fortified hamlet still preserves 15 of its towers intact and high fortified walls. It is possible to visit the small castle and walk along the walls to enjoy a truly enchanting view of the countryside. The itinerary towards Siena at this point is really short and the city is reached in 15 minutes. This Tuscan city has really everything: one of the most spectacular cathedrals in Italy, ancient streets, some of the most beautiful Renaissance works of art, the famous race, the Palio, and even the childhood home of one of the two patron saints of Italy, St. Catherine. The Palio is the symbol of Sienese culture and traditions and consists of a bareback horse race throwing the city into complete chaos twice a year (2nd July and 16th August): 17 contrade (or districts), compete against each other for the trophy. These are the places to visit in the city: Piazza del Campo, Palazzo Pubblico, Duomo and the Museo dell’Opera.
- Day 3 - Florence , 45 min drive from Casa Podere Monti.
Florence, one of the most beautiful cities in the world is often defined as an open-air museum, because even only just walking along the ancient streets of the city is enough to admire the artistic and architectural beauties which have rendered it unique. Florence offers a vast choice of museums and works of art. Reaching the central Piazza del Duomo you see the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore (Duomo) with its beautiful brick dome drawn by Brunelleschi in the 15th century, the Tower of Giotto and the octagonal-shaped Baptistery dating back to the 12th century. From the Duomo take via Calzaiuoli where lots of shops are. You shortly reach the splendid Piazza della Signoria also going past the church of Orsanmichele, decorated with works in marble and bronze by artists such as Donatello. Once in Piazza della Signoria admire the magnificent Palazzo Vecchio with its unmistakable embattlements. In front of it you see a copy of the David by Michelangelo and other marvelous sculptures under the loggia dei Lanzi.
- Day 4 - Val d’Orcia, 30 min drive from Casa Podere Monti.
Val d’Orcia is that part in Tuscany which is well-known the world over for its breathtaking landscapes and its excellent red wines. Rolling and elegant hills, bedecked with rows of cypress trees, red poppies and the unique colour of this land make these landscapes a perfect postcard photo to send to family and friends. Val d’Orcia has a lot to be seen, from the historic centre of Montepulciano to the larger Pienza, San Quirico D’Orcia and Montalcino. This area is well-known all around the world for its DOC wines such as the Brunello di Montalcino and Montepulciano, tasting wine over here is surely an excellent choice.
- Day 5 - San Gimignano, 20 min drive from Casa Podere Monti.
San Gimignano is a heritage site situated on the hills to the north of Siena and glows in the heart of the Val d’Elsa with its beauty and charm. The city is a blend of characteristic alleys and breathtaking views, where it feels like being in the medieval times once more. To better understand just how rich and impressive was San Gimignano during the Middle Ages, we advise you to visit the museum “San Gimignano 1300”. San Gimignano 1300 is a museum which has reconstructed a faithful model of what had been the medieval city. The main attraction is the huge porcelain model made after two years of studying historical sources and other two years of work by five craftsmen. Walking along the town it is impossible not to see the beauty of the ancient noble palaces, the Town Hall and the Church of Sant’Agostino, famous for its frescoes. It is highly recommended to visit the museum of medieval torture, extremely fascinating. It is a must to reach the “Rocca” on foot to see the remains of the medieval fortress. It is possible to go up on its walls and admire the incredible view. And in the end, another must of San Gimignano…the “Dondoli” ice cream parlor in piazza La Cisterna.
- Day 6 - Chianti, 20 min drive from Casa Podere Monti.
The Chianti area is one of the most beautiful in Tuscany, always tied to the cultivation of good wine. The rolling hills of Chianti are adorned by thousands and thousands of vineyards, which change colour each season rendering the landscape always different and fascinating. Green, purple, red and yellow are the colours which glow on these hills attracting thousands of visitors each year.
Between Florence and Siena there are many farms, vineyards and cellars which proudly offer their produce passionately and with great effort. Large, small, old or new, all the cellars of the Chianti area offer the chance to taste their wines.
- Day 7 - Pisa, 1 hour drive from Casa Podere Monti.
For the last day, we advise a visit to Pisa and its very famous Piazza dei Miracoli. Take your time to visit the Leaning Tower, the Duomo (even inside), the Baptistery and Camposanto. The small streets which branch out from the Lung’arno riverside make a pleasant walk in search of small restaurants.
Florence in a day: What to see in Florence in one day?
Florence can easily be defined the destination in Tuscany which is most visited by tourists from all over the world. It is an open-air museum and offers a myriad of possible visits and tours. It can truly be said that Florence has so much to offer and that it is not easy to choose what to see, especially when you only have a few hours. What can be seen in a day in Florence ?
1. Piazza del Duomo: The first and not to be missed visit is that to Piazza del Duomo, the heart of Florence. At the centre, the majestic Duomo with the Brunelleschi Dome, the Baptistery and the Giotto bell tower. Having little time it is not possible to visit each monument inside but I strongly advise to visit even just the dome and the Duomo.
2. Via de Calzaiuoli & Piazza della Signoria: Walking along the Duomo, you reach via dei Calzaiuoli, full of shops and bars and finally Piazza della Signoria, which has represented the fulcrum of Florentine politics for centuries and centuries. At the side, Palazzo Vecchio which is still the Town Hall and also a museum. To the right of Palazzo Vecchio is Loggia dei Lanzi with the copy of David by Michelangelo and other famous sculptures amongst which is Perseus by Benvenuto Cellini.
3. La Galleria degli Uffizi: Just a few metres away from Palazzo Vecchio there is the Galleria degli Uffizi (Uffizi Gallery), one of the most famous and visited Italian museums every year. Inside you find a riot of Renaissance works of art. Often tourists get discouraged with the long queues in front of the museum. To overcome a useless waste of time, it is warmly recommended to book your visit in advance. Here at Casa Podere Monti, we can freely book your visit 3 or 4 days ahead.
4. Ponte Vecchio: Do not miss going for a short walk on the splendid Ponte Vecchio with its glittering shop windows. Give yourselves a few minutes to take photos before continuing to visit the city.
5. The most beautiful view of Florence: Not to be missed! If you love photography and breathtaking views then you cannot miss the view of Florence from Piazzale Michelangelo.
Chianti Tour : the best of Chianti in a day
Between Florence and Siena there are many farms and cellars who offer tastings of their own wines. Large, small, old or new, all the cellars of the Chianti offer tastings of their own wines. Few are the regions able to offer such a rich panorama as that of Chianti: green hills, thousands and thousands of vineyards, ancient hamlets and scenic roads. Follow the road and the beauty of these places while you visit the hamlets of Chianti.
- Castellina in Chianti
Its ideal position in the heart of Chianti has made Castellina a strategic location between Florence and Siena. Confirming this glorious past is the majestic Rocca (castle) rising over the town and the imposing Via delle Volte, an underground tunnel along the town offering a breathtaking view. Walking around, one notices many historic buildings which belonged to noble Florentine and Sienese families. The church of S. Salvatore is worth a visit: rebuilt after the second world war, the church has a beautiful 14th-century fresco by a Tuscan master. Even the Archeological Museum of the Chianti Senese is recommended where there are many archeological findings coming from the region of Chianti and Etruscan findings, especially from Montecalvario. Don't miss the best ice cream in Chianti at Antica delizia right at beginnig of the village.
This is a small and delightful hamlet in the heart of the Chianti Classico. Already in the 12th century, Panzano carried out an important defensive role for Florence and its province. The Castle of Panzano was a fundamental bastion in defense of the Republic of Florence during the battles between Florence and Siena. The structure of the castle can still be made out from the most ancient part of the town, even though it was completely rebuilt in 1800 in neo-classical style. One can set off on a pleasant walk and stop for a break in the small wine bars which offer tastings. At Panzano you can briefly visit the Antica Macelleria Cecchini butcher’s shop, a butcher famous for his Florentine steak and where the owner recites parts from Dante’s Divine Comedy while serving customers. Macelleria Cecchini is also a very nice restaurant.
- Greve in Chianti
The square is the heart of this town, distinguished by a nearly triangular shape with porticos around three sides of it. At the centre of the square is the statue of Giovanni da Verrazzano, he who discovered the bay of New York. At Greve you can taste the typical products of the area. Under the porticos of the piazza, there are local craftsmen’s shops, many wine bars and restaurants. Amongst these is Antica Macelleria Falorni, very famous and sells only typical products of Chianti,very nice even for snacks and quick lunches.
- Radda in Chianti
Leaving the Chiantigiana behind, we reach Radda in Chianti which still preserves its medieval look. The ancient walls still defend the centre, today a labyrinth of streets. Palazzo del Podestà faces over the main square together with the Romanesque church of S. Niccolò. The Palazzo was the seat of the “Lega del Chianti” for over four centuries as confirmed by the numerous coats-of-arms on the façade. Immediately out of the centre rises the ancient Franciscan cloister of S. Maria in Prato. It is truly beautiful to lose oneself in this small hamlet and walk around its medieval streets, drink a glass of wine and admire the amazing view of the hills covered with vineyards which surround the town.
UNESCO Tuscany : Do you know that there are 7 Unesco Heritage Sites in Tuscany?
Tuscany is truly a unique place, rich in history and culture: a heritage to preserve for the whole humanity. Actually, starting from 1982, Unesco (the international committee for the protection of cultural and natural world heritage) decided to include 7 Tuscan sites in its list declared as being namely “World Heritage Sites”.
Florence was the first of the 7 sites to become a World Heritage Site. An obvious choice in that, as previously stated, Florence is a true open-air museum.
Piazza de’ Miracoli. It became Unesco Heritage in 1987 and is well-known for its Leaning Tower. But the tower is not the only jewel in this historic centre. Starting from the 11th century, the Piazza starting coming to life with the building of the Duomo, the Baptistery, the Bell Tower and finally the Camposanto. Although it is the Tower which attracts crowds of tourists every day, marveling at its tilt (due to a subsidence of the ground already back in 1277 at the time of its building), this square, with its candid charm, has stirred up interest and wonder for centuries in such a way as to earn the name of Piazza dei Miracoli (The Square of Miracles).
3. San Gimignano
The historic centre of San Gimignao was declared Unesco Heritage Site in 1990 and it is a place where time actually seems to have stopped. The Towers, built by the ancient noble families to show off their power, are still today the main characteristic of this small town, drawing a skyline, unique in the world.
Unesco Heritage site since 1995. The historic centre of Siena was declared World Heritage Site in the mid-1990s. Its uniqueness actually does stand out starting from Piazza del Campo with its matchless shape and for the fact that it holds the Palio every year, one of the most important and famous folkloristic events in the world.
5. Val d’Orcia
In a short time, the province of Siena had 4 sites acknowledged as Unesco World Heritage, thus claiming the unquestionable natural and artistic beauty of its territory. Val d’Orcia remains the most evident example of how nature and culture have come together in a perfect balance.
Unesco World Heritage Site since 1996. Pienza forms an extraordinary example of a medieval city, created and organised according to human activities: from work to free time: this, in brief, is the reason why UNESCO bestowed Pienza with its acknowledgment . The way the city was planned was to render public spaces enjoyable for every single inhabitant.
7. Ville Medicee
Chronologically the Medici villas and gardens have been the last to become part of the Unesco sites. In this case, we are talking about the many buildings which are found in different places. The acknowledgment goes to these 14 sites, amongst villas and gardens :
– Castello del Trebbio.
– Villa di Cafaggiolo.
– Villa di Careggi.
– Villa Medici di Fiesole.
– Villa di Castello.
– Villa di Poggio a Caiano.
– Villa della Petraia.
– Giardino di Boboli.
– Villa di Cerreto Guidi.
– Palazzo di Seravezza.
– Giardino di Pratolino.
– Villa La Magia.
– Villa di Artimino.
– Villa del Poggio Imperiale.