Known as the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance, Tuscany tours will immerse travelers in ages worth of history, genius works of art, and master works of architecture. Deep valleys, white marbled mountain tops, and rolling hills make this region a picturesque place to visit. The region is host to several spectacular localities that are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including Pisa and Florence.
Tuscany, or Toscana, has been nicknamed the art palace of Italy due to the superior artists who have presided in the region, including the world-renowned Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo. Numerous art galleries and museums showcase other well-known artworks such as the Italian painter Sandro Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus. Botticelli’s artwork can be seen in the Uffizi Gallery located near the popular Piazza della Signoria.
The Piazza della Signoria is a central L-shaped square located in the regions capital of Florence. As Tuscany tours go, this is a popular destination as it is host to gorgeous 14th century architecture, including the Palazzo Vecchio (the “Old Palace”), the Loggia dei Lanzi, the Tribunale della Mercanzia, and the Palazzo delle Assicurazioni Generali. Straddling the River Arno lies the Province of Pisa, famous for its leaning tower, it is another must-see for many travelers. Tuscany tours go further into the popular area to explore historic churches, medieval palaces, and beautiful bridges built over the River Arno.
The clear waters of the coast or the lush greens of the pinewoods are another option for Tuscany tours. Visit quarries that produce the white marble of the Apuan Alp. Explore the deep valleys of Chianti, considered the heart of old Tuscany. Stroll through vineyards, over hills, and through quaint villages while learning about the famous Chianti wine. The Tuscan Archipelago contains seven distinguished islands: Elba, Giglio, Capraia, Montecristo, Pianosa, Gorgona, and Giannutri. In addition to water sport activities such as scuba diving and sailing, the islands are home to many different types of fauna and flora.
Top off every day of the tour by experiencing the local life through its food. The food culture is based on the phrase cucina povera, or “poor cooking.” Don’t worry, though, the food is delicious! The phrase merely means that the meals are made simply, without adding extraneous seasonings or complicated ingredients. The food is prepared with fresh, locally grown ingredients that let the food speak for itself. There are many traditional meals to try, such as an antipasto of affettati misti (cured sliced meats) or ribollita, a traditional comfort soup made of bread and vegetables. For dessert, indulge in the twice-baked almond cookies called cantucci, dipped in a glass of sweet wine.
Tuscany tours uniquely blend the history and art with the landscape and modern culture. Cultural, religious, and folklore festivals occur year round and are an exciting way to experience local history and culture. Celebrate the 12th night of Christmas during Befana La Festa dell’Epifania (Epiphany), enjoy the paper-maché floats at the Viareggio Carnevale, and celebrate a Florentine Easter Sunday during the Florence Scoppio del Carro (explosion of the cart).