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Tuscany

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Travel Guide Europe Italy Tuscany

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Introduction

San Quirico, Valdorcia, Tuscany

San Quirico, Valdorcia, Tuscany

© All Rights Reserved amanecer

Tuscany is one of those places that congers up so many images. Sipping wine and eating fine cheese from a 15th century villa over looking the rolling the hills and mountains. Amazing historic monuments like the leaning towers of Pisa and the power of Medici family, which can still be felt in the area. The mixture of natural beauty and human arts is not felt elsewhere in the world to such extremes. For many people visiting Italy they can go to Tuscany and just never leave.

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Geography

Tuscany is about 23,000 square kilometres big and has a population of about 3.75 million. From rolling hills to plains to mountains and coastline Tuscany has a very diverse geography. In order to enjoy it all be sure to get out of the cities and spend some time in the country side. The Arno River is the main river cutting down Tuscany and it has been known to flood in the past.

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Cities

  • Arezzo
  • Florence is the main city in Tuscany, birthplace of the renaissance and the home to many great minds Florence is a must see on any trip to Tuscany.
  • Livorno
  • Lucca
  • Pisa is home to the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa, one of the most recognized icons in the world!
  • San Gimignano
  • Siena is the main rival to Florence and it still try's. The city is also the location of an amazing horse race that is held every year.
  • Volterra
  • Monteriggioni

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Sights and Activities

To list all of the famous sights and activities in Tuscany here would be just too long. Tuscany is rich is culture, history and natural beauty. There are some things that are not to be missed and here is a few.

  • Ponto Vecchio is maybe the most famous bridge in all of Italy located in Florence. Shops line the side of the bridge selling high end jewelry that can tempt anyone.
  • The Leaning Tower of Pisa is one of the most famous icons in the entire world. As its tilts more and more every year it just attracts more and more visitors. Sadly you can't climb to the top anymore.
  • Siena Historic Centre is located on the side of the hill and feels just how did during the 15th century. The traditional rival to Florence, Siena always tried to compete by building bigger and better in every catagory. If possible do not miss the Palio di Siena, one of the most intense horse races in the entire world.
  • Florence Historic Centre is home to some of the most amazing churches, monuments and tombs the worlds will ever see.

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Events and Festivals

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  • Palio di Siena is one of the most intense horse races in the entire world. The different districts of the city compete in this festival to have control of the city centre. 10 riders, wearing the right colors, represent the 16 different districts and the horse to cross the line first, even without the rider, is considered the winner. Held twice a year on July 2nd and August 16, this even is extremely popular and make sure to book seats and hotel rooms far in advance.

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Weather

Tuscany has very mild winters with infrequent snow and very hot summers. The best time of year to visit is during the first few weeks of April to mid May. The summer months are extremely hot and the sights can be very crowded. Mid-September to October is a good time for a visit as well. Temperatures are mostly around 20-25 °C during the spring and fall months, perfect for relaxing and activities.

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Getting There

By Plane

By Train

The European Rail systems connects to most of the major Tuscan cities with Florence as the main hub. There are frequent connections to other Italian cities. Check Ferrovie dello Stato (FS), Italy's State Railways, for more information.

By Bus

Eurolines has connections to destinations throughout Europe.

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Getting Around

By Train

All the major cities in Tuscany are connected by train. The lines running in the area are very quick and good. Remember bus can also be an option to most smaller towns.

By Bus

The buses connecting the bigger cities to smaller towns can be great. Remember to self punch your bus ticket because the fine is very high if you don't.

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Eat

Tuscany is known for its great food, although not sea food because it is an inland region. The best things to try here are wild bore and amazing veil. The cheese are to die for and should be consumed in mass quantities, preferably with some great local wine (see below).

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Drink

Wine is the drink of choice in this area. Many of the local Tuscan wines cannot be bought anywhere else in the world. Remember that sometimes the house wine in local restaurants may be better then most of the wine on the wine list.

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Sleep

There are sleeping options for any budget in Tuscany. Remember during the high seasons places can be booked months in advance.

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Contributors

as well as Hien (3%), Sander (1%), r.davilaponce (1%)

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Tuscany Travel Helpers

  • Mirelachris

    I've been living in Italy for the last 4 years, now living in Florence and all this period I've been trying to visit as many places as possible, following my Italian friends' advice.
    Florence and Tuscany are my field of expertise :) so I'd be happy to give you a hand on choosing places to visit, wines and food to taste, places to sleep.

    Ask Mirelachris a question about Tuscany

This is version 28. Last edited at 20:00 on May 16, 13 by Sander. 20 articles link to this page.

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