How to spend a weekend in Tuscany
Whether you’re looking for a solo adventure away from the cold or a Valentine’s Day getaway with your significant other, look no further than this beautiful region in Italy. Tuscany is bursting with unique attractions and activities for people with all kinds of interests. You can enjoy the gorgeous Renaissance art and architecture in Florence, tour local vineyards, walk along the shore of the Tyrrhenian Sea, and so much more! If you only have a weekend to spare when you travel to Tuscany, make sure you don’t miss out on these activities and opportunities:
The leaning Tower of Pisa
We couldn’t think of a better way to kick things off in Tuscany than to visit one of the most iconic structures in the world. This quirky architectural marvel began to lean during its construction, but a correction to that problem would’ve meant starting all over from the beginning, so the tower still stands as is. Even though it may look precarious, don’t worry; the Tower of Pisa isn’t going to topple over onto you, and it’s even safe for visitors to climb all the way to the top. It’s an experience (and a photo op) you won’t want to miss.
Walk the Alpi Apuane
Now that you’ve got the most touristy thing out of the way, you can go a little off the beaten path and enjoy the tranquility of nature. This site is known for its beautiful marble quarries and wide diversity of plant life. There are short paths for leisurely walking and longer trails perfect for more challenging hikes. Birdwatchers will also find plenty of intriguing species to spot as they wind their way through this natural paradise.
Visit Uffizi Galleries
This museum in Florence is known as one of the greatest art museums in the world. You can gaze at the stunning works of Italian Renaissance artists including Botticelli, Titian, Michelangelo and da Vinci. Feel free to explore this multilevel museum at your own pace, or book a guided tour to learn all about the history behind the artworks. Winter is also one of the best times to visit the Uffizi Galleries because you won’t have to worry about too many other tourists. In the summer months, people may have to stand in line for hours just to get in!
Eat at the Central Market
The Central Market, or Mercato Centrale, is an open-air shopping center that features plenty of shops and dining options. Wander through the ground floor for a huge local food market with fresh produce, fish, cheese, and other locally-produced foods. Once you have an appetite, head up to the next level to choose from several different restaurants that specialize in various types of cuisine, from authentic Italian meals to American classics.
Experience the town of Volterra
Volterra is a beautiful hill town with well-preserved medieval and Renaissance buildings, including a Roman theatre. Explore the various attractions in this walled town such as the Romanesque Cathedral, the Piazza dei Priori, the Romanesque Cathedral and its Baptistery, the Roman Amphitheatre, and other architectural landmarks. Volterra is rich with history, ancient artifacts, and plenty of museums to visit.
Explore the Cathedral of Siena
This beautiful cathedral welcomes over 1 million visitors every year, and there’s no question as to why. This stunning architectural masterpiece is laden with intricate works of art, all the way down to the mosaic floor tiles. Take a guided tour to see the entire cathedral complex, including the Crypt, the Baptistry, the Piccolomini Library, and the “Gate of Heaven,” or go to the cathedral on a Sunday morning to experience an unforgettable church service.
Enjoy the Poggio Antico vineyards
This farming estate has full fields of olives and grapes and creates its own signature wines. The scenery surrounding the estate is breathtaking, and guests say that the view alone was worth the drive. Guests can enjoy a tour of the vineyard, take photos of the stunning landscapes, and taste plenty of wine. In the evening, you can dine at the restaurant located on the estate and watch the sunset.
Take a Tuscan cooking class
If you enjoy Italian cuisine, why not learn how to create signature Tuscan dishes from a professional chef? At a cooking school in Florence, up to 16 people per class get hands-on training and instructions from an expert chef and will learn how to cook a delicious 4-course meal. Depending on the season, dishes for the courses may include chicken marsala, fresh pasta, tiramisu, and other Tuscan delights. Once the food is ready, you get to sit down with your fellow amateur cooks and enjoy the dishes you’ve created with an abundance of Tuscan wine.
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