Information and Tourism

Tuscany flagFor many a politician or wealthy businessman, Tuscany has become the holiday destination of choice. What better place to retreat to than Tuscany, with its gentle rolling hills, easy-on-the-eye beauty, artistic traditions and idyllic rural hideaways.

Around ten million tourists visit Tuscany's capital city of Florence each year, which isn't too surprising since it is considered to be the jewel in Italy's cultural and artistic crown. It has been visited by admirers of art and architecture since the 18th century, when it became a stop-off on the Grand Tour. Over the centuries, Florence's wealthiest families have transformed the city into a showstopper of a place, with its many 'palazzi' (palaces) and lavish public buildings. Today's tourists come to admire the Renaissance basilicas, as well as the contents of all those Florentine art galleries and stylish boutiques.

There is no denying that nearby Siena is a close rival for modern-day tourist affections. It is usually the case that visitors will have a preference for one or the other city. Compared to flamboyant Florence, Siena is medieval majesty personified. Its historic centre is packed with ancient churches and fascinating museums that are best admired by taking a slow stroll.

Other top attractions within the Tuscany region include the city of Pisa, a place that is most readily associated with a certain leaning tower, which is actually the bell tower of the city's cathedral.

Step away from all that art and architecture and you can look forward to living life in the slow lane. Rural Tuscany is a world of hilltop towns, olive groves and vineyard-covered countryside. It is a landscape that is best appreciated over a leisurely lunch, with a glass of locally produced wine to hand. On the coast, there is even a Tuscan Riviera, which has the seaside resort of Viareggio at its centre.

Tuscany Information and Fast Facts

World Guide to Florence, Italy
Florence, Italy is the capital city of the Tuscany region and is one of the country's most important and historic cities. Full of beautiful, Renaissance-style buildings, including wonderful churches and enormous palaces, Florence is steeped in culture.
World Guide to Pisa, Italy
Pisa, located in western Tuscany, is home to the world-famous leaning tower, but there is so much more to Pisa than this striking landmark. Pisa is crammed full of wonderful, historical monuments and heritage buildings.
World Guide to San Gimignano, Italy
San Gimignano serves as a hilltop Tuscan delight and is crowned by innumerable medieval towers. Both the Piazza del Duomo and the Piazza della Cisterna are to be found in the heart of San Gimignano and have become central to local life.
World Guide to Siena, Italy
A magical city brimming with Gothic buildings and tasty Tuscan cuisine, Siena contains a medieval centre, where many historical buildings reside. Tourists flock to Siena during the summer, when festivals take place around the Piazza del Campo.

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