principal things to see and do in Tuscany, Italy?
As one would expect from a region with a rich three
thousand year history, Tuscany is packed with interesting
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.
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
Architecture buffs will find an
endless variety of castles,
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.
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.
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
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.