15 unforgettable things to do in Tuscany

updated 10/11/2021
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There are so many things to do in Tuscany. You won't cover them all in one trip to Italy. But try our Tuscany highlights. They're a great start. The information in this article is taken from The Rough Guide to Italy your essential guide for visiting Italy.

1. San Miniato truffle tasting is one of the top things to do in Tuscany

Tuscany is known for truffles. And San Miniato has the biggest variety.

Find the town between Pisa and Florence.

Get to know San Minato. Take an English-speaking guided walk round town.

Tasting truffes in San Miniato is one of the best things to do in Tuscany © StevanZZ/Shutterstock

2. Explore the ancient hill town of Cortona

Cortona found fame as a film location. Go see its lasting charm.

  • Hill town on the Valdichiana Plain.
  • Unforgettable views over Lago Trasimeno.
  • Film location for Under the Tuscan Sun.
  • Can be quite crowded in summer.

Uncover hidden Cortona. Go on a two hour private guided tour of the town.

Exploring hill towns like Cortona is one of many unique things to do in Tuscany - shutterstock

3. Go wild about unspoiled Monti dell’Uccellina

Monti dell’Uccellina is one of Italy’s unspoiled coasts. Find it in the Maremma,

  • Protected regional park in southern Tuscany.
  • Go for its coastal plains and marshes.
  • Climb forest-covered hills.
  • Explore the untamed interior.

Prefer to leave planning and booking to experts? Have a look at some sample itineraries. Both Complete Italy or Italy Itineraries offer inspiration. All Tailor Made Trips can be modified together with your local expert, then booked for a stress-free holiday. Click 'Modify this itinerary' to contact a local Italy expert.

4. Make a pilgrimage to mountain top La Verna

La Verna is Tuscany's major pilgrimage site.

  • Mountain retreat of St. Francis.
  • Still a thriving Franciscan monastery.
  • Wonderful views of the Apennines.
  • Come to pay homage. Come to explore.
  • Far less touristy than Assisi.

Pilgrimage in comfort. Take a full day tour of La Verna with private transport.

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5. Get lost in The Uffizi in Florence

Don't miss the Uffizi in Florence.

  • Finest art collection in Italy.
  • The world’s greatest collection of Italian Renaissance art.
  • Set aside at least half a day for a visit.

Avoid Florence queues. Book a skip the line small group tour of the Uffizi.

The Uffizi is one of the major attractions in Tuscany Italy - shutterstock

6. Go walking on Alpi Apuane well marked trails

The Alpi Apuane are a botanical wonderland. Follow their trails in northern Tuscany.

  • Networked with clear walking paths.
  • Longer trails for valley walks.
  • Known for vast beech and chestnut forests.
  • Visit in spring for wildflower displays.
  • Home to over 300 bird species.
  • Look out for famous marble quarries.

Lucca is a good base for the Alpi Apuane. Book Villa Lucrezia near the historic centre.

7. Gaze at Piero della Francesca masterpieces in Arezzo

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Tuscany's awash with art. But the Piero della Francesca fresco cycle is a must see.

  • In San Francesco Basilica in Arezzo.
  • Only 10 visitors at a time allowed to view.
  • Make time to explore historic Arezzo.
  • Find the Life Is Beautiful film location.

Learn all about Arezzo. Take a three hour private walking tour with local guides.

8. Wander the streets of San Gimignano

See the skyline in San Gimignano.

  • The town's known as Delle Belle Torri.
  • The skyline's dominated by 15 medieval towers.
  • Explore the San Gimignano's ancient streets.
  • Town can be overcrowded in summer.
  • Come for autumn truffle hunting.

Want to guarantee truffles? Go truffle hunting and have lunch with a local expert.

The many medieval towers of San Gimignano, Tuscany Italy © Vaflya/Shutterstock

9. Give in and be a tourist in Pisa

Visiting Pisa is one of the best things to do in Tuscany. So go and be a tourist.

  • Campo dei Miracoli is the main attraction.
  • You can't miss the Leaning Tower.
  • The Campo's Romanesque cathedral's vast.
  • Explore the Camposanto for its frescoes and tombs.

Avoid the queues. Take an all-inclusive tour of Pisa with expert guides.

Visit the Campo dei Miracoli in Pisa, Tuscany - shutterstock

10. Walk round the ancient city walls in Lucca

Lucca has some of Europe's finest Romanesque buildings.

  • Great city to explore on foot.
  • Walk or cycle the ancient city walls.
  • The entire circuit's four kilometres. And it's lined with trees.
  • Go mid afternoon for fewest crowds.

Want more in depth history. Walk the city walls with an expert guide.

11. Discover the wine and vineyards of Chianti

Visit vineyards between Siena and Florence. These produce some of Italy's finest wine.

  • Expect a mild year round climate.
  • Look forward to romantic Tuscan landscape.
  • Book wine tastings at local estates.

Let someone else drive. Take a full day Chianti wine tour from Florence.

Romantic Chianti wine country between Florence and Siena © Dmytro Balkhovitin/Shutterstock

12. Embrace open air art at Il Giardino dei Tarocchi

Tuscany is home to Il Giardino dei Tarocchi. Italy's oddest modern art collection.

  • Il Giardino dei Tarocchi translates as The Tarot Garden.
  • Just five kilometres from Capalbio.
  • The works are by Niki de Saint Phalle.
  • The art took 17 years to complete.
  • Great fun for children, and adults.

Like an insight into the artworks? Take a tour of the gardens and Capalbio from Civitavecchia.

13. Sample island life on Giglio

Take to the coast of Tuscany. Discover the island of Giglio.

  • Underdeveloped compared to nearby Elba.
  • Known for pretty stone villages.
  • Good island for mountain hikes.
  • Look forward to beaches and water sports.
  • Panoramic views are a big part of Giglio's appeal.

Feel like a few days on Giglio? Stay at Castello Monticello on the island's east coast.

The island of Giglio, Tuscany Italy © jackbolla/Shutterstock

14. Hit the hot springs at Bagno Vignoni

Tuscany isn't short on spa towns. But Bagno Vignoni lets you spa for free.

  • Tiny village an hour south of Siena.
  • Natural hot springs.
  • Free outdoor sulphur pools.
  • Medici-era pool in main square. Not open for bathing.

Immerse in Bagno Vignoni. Book a stay at Albergo Le Terme overlooking the springs.

15. Stay local in the romantic hill towns of Tuscany

Hotels in rural Tuscany can be good. And they make for easier sightseeing.

Want to splash out? Book Castello di Velona.

  • 12th century castle.
  • South of Montalcino.
  • Features Tuscan restaurant and own wines.
  • Includes spa and wellness centre.
  • Spacious, individual designed rooms.

Set in open countryside. Only 30 minutes drive from Siena.

Ready to travel to Italy? Find out about the best time to go and the best places to see and things to do in Italy. For inspiration use the Italy itineraries from The Rough Guide to Italy and our local travel experts. A bit more hands on, learn about getting there, getting around the country and where to stay once you are there. And don't forget to buy travel insurance before you go.

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updated 10/11/2021
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