The home of the world's most famous leaning tower and the home of a million leaning selfies, Pisa is famous across the globe thanks to its poor foundations. Its handsome Duomo and domed Bapistery are every bit as impressive as their neighboring tower.
While most tourists tend to stick to the sights of the 'Campo dei Miracoli' (the Field of Miracles), the city of Pisa is often overlooked, and its vibrant atmosphere, excellent restaurants, and architecture is worth a visit on its own merit, offering a refreshing pause from the masses of tourists that flock to see the tower every year.
Lucca is without a doubt one of the most charming smaller cities in Italy. Located just over an hour west of Florence, this historic city encircled by 16th century Renaissance city walls is Tuscany's best-kept secret.
Exploring Lucca on foot is a pleasure. Its medley of piazzas, churches, galleries and narrow streets will keep you busy for an entire day, and with fewer tourists, you can wander the cobbled streets and witness the stunning ancient architecture and medieval houses at your own pace.
Known as the town of towers, San Gimignano is probably the best-known town in Tuscany, home to a well-preserved medieval town. Recognizable by its 13th-century city walls and impressive collection of soaring house towers, San Gimignano is one of the best day trips from Florence.
Stroll around its medieval streets and you'll find a host of quirky museums, quaint cafes, wine bars and local delicacy shops, selling goods that are produced in Tuscany. Panoramic views of the surrounding countryside can be enjoyed from the observation deck of the Rocca di Montestaffoli, one of the city's less visited sights.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1995, Siena is one of the most popular choices for day trippers from Florence. This medieval oasis is home to an array of fascinating sights, architecture, history, churches, and art.
Amongst some of the city's most notable sights is the Piazza del Campo, often considered to be one of Europe’s greatest Medieval squares. Known for its Siena's il Palio, the square is the setting for a historic horse race that takes place twice a year in the summer.
Often forgotten about in favor of Venice or Florence, Bologna is a great medieval townscape with Renaissance palaces, gravity-defying towers, 23 miles of colonnaded arcades, Europe’s oldest university, and a ton of rich art.
Of course, Bologna is also known for its infamous pasta dish, Spaghetti Bolognaise, although it is not the only dish you should seek out during your trip. This verdant region of Emilia-Romagna is where a lot of Italy's most well-known produce comes from, including balsamic vinegar from Modena, Prosciutto, and, Parmesan cheese.
Florentine Country Villas
The Medicis and other powerful families of Renaissance Florence constructed magnificent country villas in the foothills surrounding Florence. These elaborate villas were often surrounded by beautiful gardens populated with rose bushes, manicured hedgerows, and citrus trees.
You can explore some of these beautiful villas which are concentrated in an area just a short bus ride from the city center of Florence.
Greve in Chianti is one of the main destinations in Chianti and a popular destination for wine-loving day trippers. On a guided day tour, you'll discover the rolling hills and vineyards of southern Tuscany, and visit two celebrated wineries, where you can taste Chianti Classico, Super Tuscan, and Vinsanto wines.
Your guided tour also includes stopovers in the charming hill towns such as Montefioralle, Panzano, Castellina and Greve in Chianti, where you can experience the real flavor of Tuscany.