For many people, Tuscany is the real Italy. From the postcard-perfect landscapes to the beautiful coastline, road-tripping through Tuscany offers incredible greenery and scenery. Much is written about its vineyards and easy countryside living but what about the city centres?
With that in mind, let’s discuss the city highlights when road-tripping through Tuscany.
Kick Jet Lag, Tuscany Style
Car collected, your time road-tripping through Tuscany can begin. If beat from a day of travel you will be happy to know that you don’t have to drive far to enjoy the region. Make your way into the bustling city centre of Florence, drop your bags at your hotel, and recover from your flight with a proper ristretto or a glass of wine.
The Beating Heart Florence
As the cradle of the Renaissance, Florence has countless attractions. Park your car in one of the parking garages on the edge of the historic centre (which is car-free) and head to the Duomo. The Santa Maria del Fiore, as the church is officially called, is open daily and can accommodate as many as twenty thousand people. You can gaze hours at the impressive painting of hell and paradise in the Dome.
Speaking of hell, are you up for one hell of a view? Climb the narrow corridors and steep stairs to the top of the famous Dome. There you will find a beautiful view of the narrow streets, many church towers, the red roofs tops of this beautiful city.
Road Tripping Through Tuscany Tip: Consider Florence’s city pass. Although the Firenze Card is quite expensive (€85), it includes access and discounts to many highlights and might be a more economical option.
Also note, a fun way to explore Florence is by bike. A guided tour is a great way to experience all the highlights of Florence.
Relax in Montecatini Terme
From Florence, it’s a short drive to the village Montecatini Terme. Relax in one of the biggest spas of Europe and choose between the nine spas Montecatini Terme has to offer. It is said the water from the baths have a healing effect on the liver and digestive system!
Also, before sure to visit the beautiful Montecatini Alto castle which is tough to miss given it has a prominent place in the village.
A bit smaller than Florence but filled with impressive highlights, Pisa is not to be missed on your time road tripping through Tuscany. There you will find the impressive Duomo, flanked by perhaps the most famous whoops of a building in the world: the Torre Pendente, better known as the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
Sightseeing in Siena
Commonly viewed as the most beautiful city in Tuscany, Siena is another city stop while road tripping through Tuscany. Visit the impressive 12th century old Duomo di Siena (Cattedrale di Santa Maria Assunta) which mirrors the prosperity of the city. It has a well-decorated facade, a beautiful inlaid floor, and sculptures by Michelangelo and Nicola Pisano. You will also find frescos of Renaissance artists like Donatello, Michelangelo, Pinturicchio and Ghirlandaio.
Siena has preserved much of its medieval character and is reflected in its many sights. It truley feels like an open-air museum.
Road Tripping Through Tuscany Tip: Consider visiting Siena July 2nd or August 16 for the famous horse races at Palio di Siena
Piazza Grande, the heart of Arezzo. You might recognize it from the famous scene in La Vita e Bella. Every first Sunday of the month the heart of Arezzo is littered with over 500 merchants who sell their goods to 20K+ visitors. The Fiera Antiquaria is impressive, to say the least. Its modest origins stem from the sixties. Today visitors from around the world come to this now world-famous market.
Take it Slow
There you have it, our city highlights while road tripping through Tuscany. Although they are close together, be sure to take your time on the drive. On your way you will pass beautiful olive groves, extensive vineyards and lanes bordered by cypresses. Get off the beaten path and head for the green hills in the distance where you will find the most idyllic towns and villages such as Volterra, San Gimignano, Pienza, Cortona and Greve.
And don’t forget the vino.