Tuscany has some incredible things to do, from wine and olive oil tastings to vespa and fiat tours. There’s climbing towers in Pisa and Florence or walking the city walls in Lucca. Here are 45 experiences in Tuscany you should add to your vacation list!
Fun things to do in Tuscany
Climb the Leaning Tower of Pisa
For a unique view of the Piazza dei Miracoli, climb the Leaning Tower of Pisa. There are 300 steps to the top, but anyone with a moderate fitness can do it.
You might be interested in: One day in Pisa.
Visit the Uffizi
One of Florence’s most famous galleries is the Uffizi gallery, located in the city center near the Palazzo Vecchio and the Ponte Vecchio. Of the mainly religious artworks here, the more famous include Venus of Urbino and Madonna with Child.
Wine Tasting in Chianti
Chianti is one of the more famous wine regions of Italy. The best way to enjoy wine here is on a guided tour with a driver (so you can try wine without any worries).
Eat Bistecca alla Fiorentina
A highlight of the region is the signature Tuscan dish, bistecca alla fiorentina, or Steak Florentine. Seasoned with simple sea salt and ground pepper, then seared quickly, it’s a must eat while in Tuscany.
Visit the thermal springs in Saturnia
The thermal springs in Saturnia have been known about since the Etruscan times. There are two public and free hot spring waterfalls near Maremma, in southern Tuscany.
Try Brunello di Montalcino in Montalcino
This famous Sangiovese varietal must be tasted. Why not wine taste Brunello di Montalcino in its birthplace.
Take a Vespa Tour
Do as the Florentines do, and hit the streets by Vespa. A scooter tour is the best way to explore the narrow, winding streets.
Explore the Vespa Museum
Learn the history of the Vespa and how it catapulted the Piaggio company to worldwide fame. See early scooters, modern day Vespas, and what the company did before the Vespa.
Take a Cooking Class
A cooking class is a highlight of many Tuscan vacations. Local chefs will take you to the markets, into their gardens, and then show you how to prepare a signature dish.
Stay in a Farmhouse
Sun-drenched Tuscan villas are the best place to stay in the summer. Lounge by your own pool, sip local wine, and pretend it’s your year-round home.
Olive Oil Tasting
Wine is fine, but olive oil is the elixir of life. Truly: a spoonful of olive oil a day has incredible health benefits, so taste away!
Savour the Last Supper at Calci Charterhouse
Bernardino Poccetti’s Last Supper fresco is a highlight at the Calci Charterhouse (also known as the Pisa Charterhouse). This former monastery also houses the University of Pisa’s Museum of Natural History
A Tour with a Fiat 500
What better way to zip through the Tuscan countryside than by a little Italian car? Rent a vintage Fiat 500 for a day and go where the wind (or wine) takes you.
Explore the movie scenes of Twilight in Montepulciano
The scenes set in Volterra were filmed in the southern town of Montepulciano. A tour to both will show you the movie set but also the inspiration.
Explore Under the Tuscan Sun movie destinations in Cortona
Under the Tuscan Sun inspired thousands of women to pack up and buy a crumbling house in Italy. There are tours that will drive you past Bramasole and around the tiny town of Cortona.
Seek out the laughing ghost at Villa di Corliano
The Renaissance palazzo of Villa di Corliano is an expansive estate. You can wander the gardens, tour the house, or listen for the laughing ghost.
Ride in a hot air balloon over the vineyards
See the vineyards and olive trees from a different vantage point. A hot air balloon affords the views of a lifetime, especially at sunrise or sunset.
Climb the clock tower in San Gimignano
For unsurpassable views of the Tuscan countryside, climb the famous clock tower. San Gimignano is also famous for their wine.
Relax in the sun in Rosignano
The sand at Spiagge Bianche is white thanks to the saline waste from a nearby mine. This is a popular summer spot, so go early to snag a seat!
Climb the Florentine Duomo
For best results, go with someone and have them stand across the dome, then speak softly to each other. Do not miss the outdoor viewing platform, accessible by the final few flights of stairs.
Marvel at the golden doors on the Baptistry
The original doors are in the Duomo’s museum, and not often on public display. You can view the replicas that are on the Baptistry, across the piazza from the Duomo.
See Michelangelo’s David
David stands in the main gallery at the Galleria dell’Accademia. Purchase tickets in advance, especially in the summer, to avoid lines.
Visit the Ospedale degli Innocenti
Once the Florentine version of an orphanage, the Ospedale is a stunning work of Renaissance architecture. It is just around the corner from the Accademia.
Rub il Porcellino for good luck
You can find this golden statue of a boar hidden among the leather vendors at Farmacia del Cinghiale. It is a replica of a replica of a Roman one; the originals of both are in Italian museums.
Go truffle hunting in San Miniato
A truffle tour in this Italian farm town includes hunting for truffles, then learning how to prepare them. Tours can be combined with winery tours or tastings or private lunches/dinners.
Walk the city walls in Lucca
The 4km walk or bike around the medieval city of Lucca is a must-do in Tuscany. To make it a day, you can stop at one or more of the many cafes and trattorias along the route.
Bask in the sun in Siena
Siena’s main square, Piazza del Campo, is the perfect place to soak up the summer sun. Browse the many shops along the outer rim, and then savour gelato while sitting in the centre.
Hike Monti dell’ Uccellina
This mountainous coast is a great place to hike, away from the crowds. Head inland for a staggering array of towers and stunning views back toward the beaches.
Bask at the Marina di Alberese
This beach is so popular that people wait in town, 6 miles away, for a parking spot to open up. Get there early for the best spot and don’t forget to pack a picnic.
Explore the island of Giglio
Giglio, the island where the Costa Concordia wrecked in 2012, is a great day trip from the mainland. Accessible by ferry, there are charming towns and secluded beaches.
Marvel at il Giardino dei Tarocchi
This colourful and esoteric garden in Tuscany will delight your senses. Based on tarot cards, it’s full of contemporary art reminiscent of Dali and Miro.
Be amazed at the Piero della Francesca frescoes
These famous frescoes are tucked inside an unassuming church in Arezzo. Tickets can be purchased in advance for an up close look at the renowned artwork.
Walk among the Alpi Apuane
Hiking aficionados will love the rugged hills of the Apuane. The dramatic scenery is a far cry from the rolling hills of southern Tuscany.
Pilgrimage to la Verna
Italy’s patron saint, Francis, is revered at this monastery high in the hills above Arezzo. One of his favourite’s, it is less visited than the famous Assisi church.
See the towers in Monteriggioni
This intact town near Siena has 14 towers on its city walls. With the exception of some minor adjustments only twice in its 900+ year history, the town remains in as it was built in the 12th century.
Visit the Val d’Orcia
This southern region is quintessentially Tuscan. Go for the rolling hills, the secluded vineyards, and the laid back way of life.
See Tuscany by Train
Ride the rails in Tuscany on antique steam engines. The trains run through the summer and stop in most scenic towns.
Explore the island of Elba
Elba is famous for the exile of Napoleon, but its history goes back much further. Explore Etruscan ruins, medieval fortresses, and Napoleonic era castles on this tiny island.
Take a walking tour of Florence
Florence isn’t just the Duomo and the Baptistry. Explore this medieval city on a 90 minute guided walking tour and learn how it became the birthplace of the Renaissance.
Visit the Leonardo da Vinci museum
Go inside the mind of a genius at this revolutionary museum. It’s mere steps from the Florence Duomo, and can be booked in advance.
Take a pizza and gelato making class
Learn to make Italy’s two most famous exports. Classes last 3 hours, and you get to taste the fruits of your labour at the end.
Tour the Palazzo Vecchio
Home to the powerful Medici family, the Palazzo Vecchio towers above much of the city. Guided tours let you in on a little more of the history and highlight masterpieces inside.
Bicycle the Tuscan countryside
Take a half day bicycle trip from Florence to Fiesole. The narrow roads through the vineyards end in Fiesole, where you’ll enjoy a wine tasting before cycling back to the city.
Discover the secrets of Boboli Gardens
It’s easy to get lost in this maze of greenery above Florence’s Pitti Palace. The collection of 16th to 18th century sculptures remain in situ.
Experience is not required to explore the wild side of Tuscany. Full day tours take you into Tuscany’s canyons, rife with hidden swimming holes and natural waterslides.
Don’t forget to check out my Packing list for Italy.
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