Tuscany

Things to do in Tuscany

As a region, Tuscany has inspired thousands of years of artwork and innovation, and the landmarks that remain make it one of the most popular tourist destinations in the World. No matter your interests, the possibilities for things to do in Tuscany are endless.

Credited as the birthplace of the Renaissance, Tuscany gets much of its color from the iconic masterpieces that call it home. A list of things to do in Tuscany wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Florence and its many galleries and museums, including the Uffizi, Pitti Palace and more. In the course of an afternoon, art lovers can take in works by Michelangelo, Botticelli, Da Vinci and more.

Much of Tuscany’s cultural identity is tied to Christianity, and its hillsides are dotted with quaint stone villages, each with their own cathedrals. Hike or bike between these hamlets to take in fresh air and rural landscapes, or take your outdoor adventuring to Tuscany’s picturesque coastline.

Picks for what to do in Tuscany also revolve around the area’s rich culinary tradition. Dig into hearty fare at one of its top-notch restaurants, or tour one of its many resident vineyards and sample its famous wines straight from the barrel.

If your list of what to do in Tuscany includes ample time for relaxation, make sure to book a day at one of the region’s full-service spas, or take a soak in an ancient Roman thermal bath.

Housed in a former 15th-century convent, this museum contains the largest collection of frescoes by Fra Angelico, a Dominican monk whose religious works so impressed the pope, he beatified the friar. Look for his inspiring depiction of the Crucifixion on a wall in the Chapter House.

Relax in one of Tuscany's thermal baths at this Bagno Vignori spa complete with an updated image, sleek rooms, and amenities.

These new-style Brunellos balance their heft with caressing fruit.

The jewelry shop is divine with a 17th-century safe, bright frescoes, and its outstanding collection of silver, watches, and unusual objects such as Neapolitan corni (horns), amulets carved out of red coral that are imputed to ward off the evil eye.

Colle di Val d'Elsa's fairy tale-like Vilca studio produces some of the area's most imaginative crystal ware.

On the grounds of the 800-year-old estate you'll find Etruscan ruins dating to 600 B.C., a 12th-century fortress, a Gothic chapel, and an amazing Lorenzetti fresco in the Chiesa di San Michele Arcangelo. But the real focus is the food and wine, of course.

The Cabernet-dominated Ornellaia has the big name, but the lush, all-Merlot Masseto is the collector’s prize.

A hydrangea-scented refuge abutting the walls, and the most geometrically lovely spot in Lucca, a copse of bamboo reaching up to the San Frediano bell tower.

The tiny store, overflowing with silk- and cashmere-lined kidskin gloves in jewel colors, keeps the dying art of glove-making alive. Look for driving gloves with contrasting stitching and tiny buttons.

On the grounds of the 800-year-old estate you'll find Etruscan ruins dating to 600 B.C., a 12th-century fortress, a Gothic chapel, and an amazing Lorenzetti fresco in the Chiesa di San Michele Arcangelo. But the real focus is the food and wine, of course.

This hillside estate in Suvereto produces an inky Merlot called Redigaffi that has a cult-like following.

Take a walk through Lucca’s Piazza dell’Anfiteatro, a sun-bleached ellipse of medieval houses built upon the ruins of a Roman amphitheater.

Brother and sister Alessio and Cecilia Tessieri launched the chocolate company Amedei in La Rotta 18 years ago. Alessio sources the cocoa beans, while Cecilia oversees the toasting and delicate conching of the decadent stuff.

Spend five nights at a 900-year-old agriturismo in Chianti where, in July 2009, locavore author Michael Pollan kicked off a series of cooking classes and lectures. In fall 2009, chef Jamie Kennedy teaches you to prepare Tuscan specialties.