We take you through the towns of Tuscany with their medieval city centers. You will immerse yourself in a time when fairy tales were still being told by the fire in the evenings. When handicrafts were still the most important source of income, masterpieces of craftsmanship were created thanks to the creativity of the people. Many of these typical art forms and their works have been preserved in the medieval towns of Tuscany.
The beauty and the rolling hills of the Tuscan landscape have made people settle down in central Italy since ancient times. Small towns emerged in ancient times, which grew rich in the Middle Ages and whose beautiful structure has been preserved for many centuries. This is why the medieval towns of Tuscany with their narrow streets and craft traditions are still so attractive to us today.
Not only the capital of Tuscany, Florence, is rich in works of art. The medieval towns of Siena and Pisa are known for their unique structures and attract millions of visitors to Tuscany every year. We will also show you the lesser-known places, which are sometimes all the more attractive and definitely worth a visit.
We recommend an itinerary in Tuscany for a driving tour with many stops in the smaller villages and finally a few days of bathing on the beautiful sandy beaches.
Siena is located in the heart of Tuscany, the city is known for horse racing. Every August, the individual districts, which are called Contrade, fight for the “Palio” in Piazza del Campo. Anyone who has seen James Bond, Quantum of solace, already knows the place with the horse races. But even without horse racing, it’s worth a visit to the pretty town with the brick buildings. In the centre is the white tower Torre del Mangia. Those who have climbed the 503 steps will be rewarded with a fantastic panoramic view over Siena and the surrounding hills of Chianti.
Lucca is one of the most beautiful places in Tuscany. The square in the heart of Lucca, Piazza dell ‘Anfiteatro. It was built on the ruins of a Roman amphitheater. If you like to climb to enjoy a great view, you should climb the 230 steps on Torre Giunigi. Above grows a tree that provides some shade in the midday sun. Every year in July and August, a very special event takes place in Lucca: the Puccini Festival. The opera festival is dedicated to the composer Giacomo Puccini with his wonderful melodies. The Puccini Festival takes place in an open-air theater on the banks of Lake Maasaiuccoli. In the middle of the green landscape by the lake, the theater offers space for 3400 spectators. Next to it is the Puccini Museum, which houses the graves of Puccini and his wife and mementos from his life.
Who doesn’t know it, the leaning tower of Pisa? It was originally supposed to make the bells of the cathedral sound, but already when the tower was built, it tilted worryingly. Over 200 years they worked on the tower with the success that it was not only skewed, but also crooked, but world famous. The Leaning Tower of Pisa is located in the Square of Miracles, Piazza dei Miracoli, where it stands together with the cathedral and the baptistery and is admired and photographed by millions of tourists.
San Gimignano is located on a small hill and looks out over the landscape from a height of 334 m. The beautiful medieval village from the 12th century The 14 towers were listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The city prides itself on its nobel family towers. Every noble family who could afford it erected their tower status symbol, the higher the more significant.
In the centre of San Gimignano is Piazza della Cisterna with its medieval fountain.
From Volterra comes the alabaster. The marble-like stone has been mined here for thousands of years and processed into works of art. One enters Volterra through one of the six medieval city gates. Even remnants of the Etruscan city wall and the Roman theatre are still present. Most of the buildings date back to the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, modern facilities are only visible when inside.
Fiesole is located above Florence and has beautiful views of the Renaissance city with the impressive Brunelleschi dome on the cathedral. Beautiful hotels and restaurants with views are the perfect place for a romantic dinner.
Livorno is mainly a port city. Ferries depart for Sardinia and Corsica. Livorno, with its maritime flair, has beautiful beaches and a remarkable old town around the harbour and Piazza Grande.
Viareggio is located on the Versiliak coast and has wide sandy beaches for a beach holiday with and without children. As early as the beginning of the 19th century, Viareggio, with its beautiful Art Nouveau buildings, was a popular seaside resort for afluents and artists.
Pitigliano and Sorano
In southern Tuscany, the picturesque villages of Pitigliano and Sorano are located in the Maremma, already close to the border with neighboring Lazio. Pitigliano is one of the most beautiful places in Italy, one of the “Borghi più belli d ‘Italia.” The place is famous for its cave dwellings and the Jewish settlement, which can be visited in the caves.
Porto Santo Stefano
The two towns of Porto Santo Stefano and Porto Ercole are located on the peninsula of Monte Argentario in southern Tuscany. Porto Santo Stefano is the main town and departure point to the island of Giglio. The Monte Argentario peninsula is reached through the Orbetello lagoon.
The beautiful medieval old town of Porto Santo Stefano has a castel above the marina and fishing port.