Tuscany has some of the most beautiful towns and spectacular scenery in Italy, and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. Tuscany has hundreds of historic sites in the medieval towns, sandy beaches, and green, hilly countryside. Florence is one of the best cities in Tuscany. You’ll want to visit for the Renaissance art, lovely gardens, Medici palaces, and fascinating museums. Most of the attractions are in the Centro Storico, or historic old city. The Piazza della Signoria is the most famous square and features an exhibit of sculptures. Visit the Palazzo Vecchio, a medieval palace with ornately decorated rooms that’s open to the public. Good restaurants and cafes are located around the piazza.
One of the best cities in Tuscany, if you love to shop and dine at good restaurants, is Lucca. Lucca is one of the best preserved walled cities in Tuscany. The walls surround the historic center of Lucca, and you can walk entirely around the city on top of the wall. Trees and grass were planted along the top of the wall in the 1800s, and it’s an enormous park that’s perfect for leisurely strolls or biking. Lucca has approximately 100 medieval churches to visit. While staying there, you can easily visit Garfangana, a scenic area north of Lucca, the coast of Tuscany, or Pisa.
Siena is not only one of the best cities in Tuscany, but one of the most beautiful of the medieval cities. It’s most well known for the Piazza del Campo. Between the years of 1260 and 1348, Siena was one of the richest cities in Europe. Many of the structures were built during that time. Siena is between Rome and Florence, and close to the famous Chianti Wine Region. During the summer, the biggest event is the Il Palio di Siena, a famous horse race and festival. Medieval towns on green hills are scattered outside Siena, and the Crete Senese region is just south of the city. Monteriggioni is one of the walled towns in the Chianti Classico region, and a great place for wine tasting.
Another of the best cities in Tuscany is also one of the oldest. Cortona is another of the medieval walled cities in eastern Tuscany. Walking along the ancient walls provides panoramic views of the beautiful countryside. Some excellent restaurants are in Cortona that serve traditional Tuscan-style cuisine. One of the best restaurants is La Locanda nel Loggiato. You can dine on the balcony that overlooks the piazza. A market takes place on Saturday in Piazza Republica. For wine tasting, visit Enoteria on Via Nazionale.