Abbadia San Salvatore

Abbey of Sant'Antimo

Albarese

Acquapendente


anghiari

Archipelago Toscano


Arcidosso


Arezzo


Asciano


Badia di Coltibuono


Bagni San Filippo

Bagno Vignoni

Barberino Val d'Elsa

Beaches

Bolsena Lake


Bomarzo

Brunello di Montalcino

Buenconvento

Campagnatico


Capalbio


Castel del Piano


Castelfiorentino

Castell'Azarra

Castellina in Chianti


Castelmuzio


Castelnuovo Bererdenga


Castiglioncello Bandini


Castiglione della Pescaia


Castiglione d'Orcia


Castiglion Fiorentino


Celleno


Certaldo


Chinaciano Terme


Chianti


Chiusi


Cinigiano


Città di Castello

CivitÀ di Bagnoregio


Colle Val d'Elsa


Cortona


Crete Senesi


Diaccia Botrona

Isola d'Elba

Firenze


Follonica


Gaiole in Chianti


Gavorrano

Gerfalco


Greve in Chianti


Grosseto


Lago Trasimeno


La Foce


Manciano


Maremma


Massa Marittima


Montagnola Senese


Montalcino


Monte Amiata


Monte Argentario

montecalvello

Montefalco


Montemassi


Montemerano


Monte Oliveto Maggiore


Montepulciano


Monteriggioni


Monticchiello


Monticiano


Orbetello


Orvieto


Paganico


Parco Naturale della Maremma


Perugia


Piancastagnaio


Pienza


Pisa


Pitigliano

Prato

Radda in Chianti


Roccalbegna


Roccastrada


San Bruzio


San Casciano dei Bagni


San Galgano


San Gimignano


San Giovanni d'Asso


San Quirico d'Orcia


Sansepolcro


Santa Fiora


Sant'Antimo


Sarteano


Saturnia


Scansano


Scarlino


Seggiano


Siena


Sinalunga


Sorano


Sovana


Sovicille

Talamone

Tarquinia


Tavernelle Val di Pesa


Torrita di Siena


Trequanda


Tuscania


Umbria


Val d'Elsa


Val di Merse


Val d'Orcia


Valle d'Ombrone


Vetulonia


Viterbo

Volterra



Siena
              Siena, Torre del Mangia
 

 

 

 

 

Travel guide for Tuscany

 

   

Of  all  the various  modes  of travel, the most intimate are also our most natural. Walking in Tuscany allows you an often overlooked and underrated relationship with your surroundings – and here they are truly amazing. Walking forces you to interact, take your time, and truly inhale the world around. Nowhere else on the globe are these intangible benefits more celebrated the famed Italian countryside of Tuscany. Southern Tuscany is an undiscovered jewel, the area provides both a cultural feast and a natural one. The world off the beaten track, where wooded hills, valleys, rivers, and lakes frame a unique historical and archeological paradise. From the Etruscans to the Romans and from the Middle Ages through the Renaissance to our present times, history of mankind has left, layer after layer, its trace in an incredible succession. It is difficult to find elsewhere so many memories of different eras all together and in such a special setting.
From the artistic capital of the renaissance in Firenze, to the Gothic cathedral spires in Siena, this sprawling region is characterized by rolling hills, storybook vineyards, and unbeatable authentic Italian culture.
Monte Amiata provides a paradise for walkers in the summer. This extinct volcano is a worthwhile discovery for Tuscany-explorers and Italophiles who are in search of unspoiled nature, still down-to-earth and hospitable people, and genuine traditional cuisine. The golden beaches of the Maremma coastline are bathed by a transparent sea and it is regarded to be the cleanest coastline in Italy. The hill towns and valleys of southern Tuscany are a wonderful cross-section of Italy's charms, constantly offering striking views of the rolling hills, olive groves, and vineyards of classic Tuscany.
The Via Francigena leaves the region of Tuscany here and continues towards Rome, often including sections of the Via Cassia.


  events

exhibitions

art in tuscany

walking in tuscany

Cicloturismo in maremma toscana

wines

films set in tuscany

gardens

the best beaches in tuscany

crete senesi

val d'orcia

market days in tuscany

 

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    Massa Marittima and the Metalliferous Hills  
   
 
   
 
   
 
   
ature reserves and beaches | The Tuscan and Etruscan coast
 
   
 
   
Nature reserves and beaches | The Tuscan and Etruscan coast
 
   
 
   
 
   
 
   
   
   
   
   
   
Val d'Orcia, between Pienza and Bagno Vignoni
   
   
   
   
The Val d’Orcia is in the central part of Tuscany, lying between Siena and Grosseto. Considered by many to be one of the most beautiful and unspoiled parts of Tuscany, the Val d’Orcia is characterized by astonishing landscapes hiding a multitude of medieval settlements, among which are, in particular, Pienza and Montalcino.
Recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage site, the Val d’Orcia is the result of a Renaissance attempt to create a harmonious life between humans and nature, leading to the reordering of the land in order to reflect the ideals of good government and to create an aesthetically pleasing view. The Val d’Orcia, in fact, represents the apotheosis of this noble project.
The result is an unspoiled landscape that is of unique beauty and that inspired Renaissance painters, above all of the Sienese School. What appears in their paintings as imaginary paradises is a marvelous reality, still to be seen when passing through this countryside. The painters did not idealize nature; they painted it just as they saw it, and so in the Val d’Orcia we can have the incomparable experience of finding ourselves in scenes from paradise.
Among the main centers, we would mention Pienza & Montalcino, but there is also a host of small historic places, true rare pearls of architecture, to help you lose yourself in this corner of paradise.

   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Terre di Siena, August
   
   
The Crete Senesi, stunning landscape between Siena and Asciano
   
   
   
    The area to the south-east of Siena, with its unique and at times lunar landscape, is known as the Crete Senesi.
The road that leads from Montalcino to Siena crosses the heart of the Crete and is among the most beautiful sections of the countryside in Italy. As the name implies, this terrain is particularly rich in clay. The landscape is made up of soft, rolling hills and winding roads, with here and there white, dune-like hillocks that give an almost other-worldly feel to the panorama.
Ideally placed near Florence, Siena is a center of great importance in the world of Tuscan art history. For centuries, a rival to Florence, today Siena enjoys a very particular atmosphere, different from other cities and giving it an air of distinguished elegance.
Despite being one of Tuscany’s major tourist attractions, the city always manages to remain distinctive and protect itself against mass tourism. The town is an enchanting historic settlement with at the center reigned over by Piazza del Campo, where the famous Palio di Siena horse race has been held since 1656. The particular shape of the square follows the lines of the ancient medieval spaces, with an arc of facades of elegant dwellings forming the perimeter of the square. The Palazzo Pubblico has always represented the center of civic life for the citizens of Siena; it has frequently been at the center of the most significant events in the history of the city.
The most spectacular historical sights are the 13th century Duomo Cathedral. The landmark is one of the best examples of Gothic architecture in Italy with a mesmerizing interior of black and white striped pillars, spectacular facades and Renaissance frescos. Another must-see is the Santa Maria della Scala, an archeological museum that was originally built in the 9th century as one of Europe’s first hospitals. Inside you will find pieces of art and epic frescos that detail the hospital’s history.

However, the fascination of Siena does not lie only in the center. It is in a strategic position as an ideal base for visiting Chianti country and losing oneself in the unforgettable Tuscan countryside.
Setting out from Siena, it is easy to reach not only Florence but also lesser centers of great historical and artistic interest such as Monteriggioni, San Gimignano, Colle Val D'Elsa, Sovicille, Chiusdino and San Galgano Abbey.

The borders of the Chianti region are not clearly defined but in genera,l it extends over the provinces of Florence and Siena, covering all of the areas between the two cities and extending to the east toward the Valdarno and to the west to the Val d'Elsa. Chianti offers a unique landscape, with green, gentle hills covered with wide fields of vineyards and olive groves, small stone villages like Castelnuovo Berardenga, Castellina in Chianti, Gaiole in Chianti, characteristic parishes and countryside homes in stone.

The communal territory of Castelnuovo Berardenga consists of many prestigious villas, built by aristocrats from nearby Siena. Villa di Geggiano, an Italian National Heritage Site south of Siena in the Chianti wine country, was built in the 14th century and was completely renovated in 1780. Its gardens feature sculpted boxwood hedges, hundreds of potted lemon trees, statues, topiary and an open-air theater used for classical music concerts.

The area around Siena is packed with small medieval settlements, with castles, villas, old mills, fortifications, and farmsteads.
Out of all the medieval walled settlements, Monteriggioni is one of the most impressive.

   
   
Florence
   
   
   
   
Florence, view from Piazza Michelangelo
   
   
Wandering along the streets of Florence, discovering the historic cathedrals and churches of this great art city in Tuscany. View on Florence from Michelangelo Square 
   
   
   
   
The historic centre of Florence attracts millions of tourists each year. The powerful city-state of Florence thrived during the Renaissance. Banking and wool made Florence envied and admired throughout Europe, artists such as Sandro Botticelli, Benozzo Gozzoli, Michelangelo, Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello and Ghiberti transformed the way we saw our world.
Wandering along the streets of Florence, discovering the historic cathedrals and churches of this great art city in Tuscany. We'll give you an insider's look at this amazing city and show you the remaining treasures of the Renaissance that are a major attraction to tourists visiting the region of Tuscany.
The churches and palaces of Florence hold an infinite amount of treasures of the Renaissance. Take our tour of Florence and find out more about the Duomo, built by the brilliant engineer Filippo Brunelleschi, Giotto’s Campanile, Ponte Vecchio and Palazzo Vecchio, Santa Croce and Santa Maria Novella, Palazzo Medici-Riccardi, the Uffizi, the Palazzo Pitti and much more.
The Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore, located in Piazza del Duomo is the de main church of Florence. The cathedral complex includes the Baptistery and Giotto's Campanile. The three buildings are part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site covering the historic center of Florence.
The Santa Croce church houses great 14th-century frescoes by Giotto and Agnolo Gaddi, and the tombs of Renaissance masters Michelangelo Buonarroti, Niccolò Machiavelli, Galileo Galilei and composer Gioacchino Rossini.
Santa Maria Novella with Alberti's facade is home to some of the most groundbreaking frescoes of the early Renaissance. One can admire Masaccio's Trinità and frescoes by Domenico Ghirlandaio, Paolo Uccello, and Andrea de Bonaiuto.
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Monte Amiata
   
   
   
   

In antiquity, Monte Amiata was one of the major arteries of the incredible system of the Roman Empire which lead to and from Rome. This extinct volcano is a worthwhile discovery for Tuscany-explorers and Italophiles who are in search of unspoiled nature, still down-to-earth and hospitable people, and genuine traditional cuisine.

Monte Amiata is probably the least known of the major Italian central volcanoes and volcanic complexes. With a summit elevation of 1738 m the highest mountain in the Tuscany region, and the second tallest volcano in Italy.
The area is remote and not as touristically tormented as much of the rest of Tuscany. There are no large population centers within about 50 km from the volcano.
Culture-vultures will enjoy Amiata's ring of numerous quaint hill towns:: among them Arcidosso (home of the mystical 19th-century prophet, Davide Lazzaretti, and his sect), Castel del Piano (for its paintings by the Nasini dynasty), Santa Fiora and Piancastagnaio (with their Jewish ghettoes dating to 1555), Roccalbegna (for its bread and castle), Radicofani (for its Carolingian castle and local Robin Hood, Ghino di Tacco, who, mentioned in both Dante's Divine Comedy and Boccaccio's Decameron, robbed medieval pilgrims going to Rome along the Francigena Way).
No less evocative are its medieval churches, the most splendid of which are the Romanesque abbazie or abbeys of The Holy Redeemer at Abbadia di San Salvatore and of Sant'Antimo Abbey not far from Seggiano.
Speaking of vultures, in Mount Amiata's several nature reserves, with their well-marked trails for trekkers and hikers, are the undisturbed habits of many types of fauna and flora.

The surrounding landscape is densely forested and consists of a series of roughly NW-SE trending ridges and valleys, and is endowed with sulfur-rich springs thanks to the volcanic activity of Monte Amiata.
One of the most beautiful and lesser known hot springs in Tuscany, Bagni San Filippo is located at the foot of Monte Amiata. The symbol of Bagni San Filippo is the Balena Bianca (or White Whale), the name of the most suggestive and evocative of the waterfalls here. The Balena Bianca seems but a large mass with a crustacean's mouth, a form that arose from the thermal water's sediments.
Bagno Vignoni is another fantastic little Medieval village. With its characteristic piazza boasting an enormous 16th-Century thermal bathtub (no longer in use, however), Bagno Vignoni is truly fascinating.
More to the south, Saturnia is sort of a hot spring theme park, where natural thermal waters gush from the earth and pour over rocks, creating steaming waterfalls and natural pools, where health-seekers can soak amidst the lovely landscapes of rocks and woods.

Santa Fiora is regarded as one of the most beautiful natural environments in Italy. The county of Santa Fiora was a small historical state of southern Tuscany. Together with the county of Sovana, it was one of the two subdivisions into which the possessions of the Aldobrandeschi, then lords of much of southern Tuscany, were split in 1274.
The imposing Palazzo Sforza Cesarini was built in 1575 over the Aldobrandeschi Castle, of which two medieval towers can be still seen. The construction of Palazzo Sforza Cesarini dates back to 1571. Today, the building is the seat of the Municipality and is decorated with many wonderful 16th century frescoes.

The most important town on Monte Amiata is Abbadia San Salvatore, where there is also the Abbey of San Salvatore.
Set along the slopes of the Mount Amiata, Arcidosso, whose name derives from the latin words arx and dossum, meaning ffortress of the hill, is mentioned for the first time in a IX century document, testifying the presence of San Salvatore Abbey in this area. The town was conquered by the Aldobrandeschi family, the Sforza counts and by Siena, following its fortune.

   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Pitigliano
   
   
   
   

Bordering the Lazio region, the Maremma is one of the most beautiful areas in Tuscany. Endowed with significant natural and environmental resources, the Maremma is today one of the best tourist destinations in Italy, a region where ancient traditions have survived and Tuscan culture is preserved.

The Etruscan civilization was the first one to settle the productive earth of the Maremma area. Its subsequent inhabitants were the Romans, who developed a significant part of the soil into a fertile agricultural and cattle-raising one. The Romans started as well to develop the Maremma into a holiday area, building gorgeous villas and temples in the surroundings of the seacoast and near the numerous sulfurous thermal springs placed in the territory.
The majorcenters of this area, which has still not experienced mass tourism, are Pitigliano, Sorano, and Manciano. The perfectly preserved necropolises in Sovana and Poggio al Buco, the vie cave (amazing roads carved in tuff that pass through the woods), and medieval villages like Magliano in Toscana contribute to making this area one of the most beautiful in Tuscany. It also boasts naturalistic treasures such as the hot springs and spas of Saturnia, and the hills of the river Fiora, which supplies water to the vast majority of the Maremman villages and towns.

Pitigliano is one of the most scenographic villages of Tuscany. Built on tufaceous ground, and bounded on three sides by three rivers (Lente, Meleta and Procchio) the village of Pitigliano is quite similar to Sorano.
The town of Sorano has developed between the Rocca Degli Orsini and the Masso Leopoldino which is a large natural tuff rock. The tuff stone had been carved to form it into a terrace by the orders of Gran Duke of Leopold. The fortified terrace provides beautiful views of the town and the nearby hills and landscapes.
Sovana, the ancient capital of the Aldobrandeschi, seems to be a corner frozen in a remote age, rich with history and artistic beauty that creates a deep and unforgettable impression.
Saturnia's springs have been appreciated since Etruscan times, but it was the Romans and their penchant for opulent baths that turned it into a proper and popular spa. The via Aurelia, one of the famous Roman roads, transported affluent visitors from the capital city. Ruins remain to testify of its one-time grandeur.
While the town has Roman ruins, a well-preserved castle, and loads of atmosphere, the name Saturnia is associated with the town's main attraction rather than the village itself.
Nowadays, the bubbly baths attract tourists from all over the world, drawn to its natural beauty and unique hot spring cascades.
Manciano is a town in a scenic location that has been nicknamed the “spy of the Maremma” because of its scenic location.
Montemerano is a picturesque walled village situated on a beautiful hilltop. Montemerano maintains the look of an ancient medieval castle with its antique streets and quaint, charming houses.
The Chiesa di San Giorgio epitomizes the incredible but concealed beauty of Montemerano. It’s one of the region’s most important religious buildings both for its fresco works and for its art, much of which was produced by the Sienese School between the 15th and 18th century.
The Madonna della Gattaiola (Madonna of the Cat Door) was painted by an anonymous painter known only as the Maestro di Montemerano in the 15th century. This piece, thought to have once been a wooden table, depicts the Virgin Mary in all her glory. But it’s the legend that surrounds it that really enthralls…

   
   
   
   
Nature reserves and beaches | The Tuscan and Etruscan coast
   
   
   
   
Cala Violina
   
   
Cala Violina