Ciao Bella! Welcome to Tuscany. You’ll adore it here.
There is a wealth of diversity to discover in Northern Italy. This article is a general “survey” of the area of Florence, Italy, with links to several other articles to nearby cities and areas to explore nearby.
C’mon! Let’s go to Italy!
Florence is a bastion of fine arts and culture, rich history and haute cuisine. Florentine steak is one of the most popular dishes served in restaurants, as is pizza. You’ll find all types of truffels in dishes here (yum!), and the gelato is divine (double-yum!!).
To read a full article about Florence, click HERE.
I’d be a fool to tell you to skip seeing the world-famous Duomo. It’s absolutely breathtaking! If you arrive to tour the outside by 8:45 AM (inside doesn’t open until later), you will avoid crowds and get terrific photo opps.
Although it may appear touristy, the glory of Siena lies in the Piazza del Campo. This famous fan-shaped square is absolutely stunning. We love it! There is plenty of space on side streets, restaurants and attractions for all who wish to enjoy a leisurely stroll through Siena on a sunny afternoon. In fact, when we visited it poured rain, yet we still had a delightful time!
We love the simple, historic city center with its cobblestone streets, unique architectural styles and a classical “Tuscan” feel. Enjoy an aperitivo at one of the many delightful restaurants or cafes in Piazza del Anfiteatro. If you’re a history buff as we are, be certain to set aside time to walk the old city walls surrounding the city center. The green spaces and natural parks will captivate and entrance you.
San Gimignano, Italy
Pronounced “Sahn Jeem-ee-nah-no”, this tiny town atop a high hill is not to be missed if you are within 150 km of Florence. Honestly, one of the highlights of our tour of Tuscany, San Gimignano is packed with friendly faces, delectable tastes, the richest espresso, towering castle walls and bespoke shops worthy of holding space in a time capsule.
If you love Italian culture including food, castles, history, rituals and religious sites, be sure you add this spot to your itinerary.
Of course we all know the main attractions of Pisa, the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Duomo lie within Piazza del Duomo in Il Campo dei Miracoli (“the Field of Miracles”), which is just on the edge of the old medieval town. However, if you prefer taking a quick snap and avoiding the throngs of people posing like fools before the city’s famous icon, there is plenty to whet your whistle. We recommend a walking food tour or selecting two or three other sites to see. The crowds are fewer, the food tastes better, and the sights are stunning in Pisa.
Certaldo/Certaldo Alto, Italy
Once you make your way to tiny Certaldo, find the funicular to take you up to the ever-so-charming tinier Certaldo Alto. Not only is riding a funicular a cool experience, but also, you’ll be entranced by the serene 360 degree views of the surrounding areas from high atop the giant hill.
Like San Gimignano, Certaldo Alto has its own character and personality. A quiet village, intimately focused on welcoming visitors and neighbours alike, you’ll fall in love with the vistas and flavors – both outward and inward – in Certaldo Alto.
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