6 Top Must-Visit Places in Tuscany
Tuscany, for me, is a never-ending discovery; even after 25 years of being in Italy. Here are my six favorite hidden gems:
Montescudaio is a miniature Tuscan town with a whopping 1800 residents. The village is a medieval Borghi, a fortified town surrounded by protective walls. The town is located on a hill close to Pisa. This is a beautifully preserved town where you can visit amazing restaurants with the stunning views of the ocean terraces, the Island of Elba, Capraia, Giglio and Montecristo. At the restaurants, you can enjoy the local products: Montescudaio D.O.C. wine. The local red wine is made from the Sangiovese grapes and the white from the Trebbiano Toscano and the D.O.C certification means that the grapes are guaranteed to be from that tiny geographical area.
2. Fosdinovo (Massa Carrara)
Fosdinovo is situated in the province of Massa-Carrara, between sea and the Apuan Alps. This place is a paradise for nature lovers! Fosdinovo is home to a medieval castle of the Malaspina family, rulers of the duchy of Massa. It is also the seat of the Medieval Festival of Fosdinovo (July) and the Forza del Sorriso Festival (Strength of the Smile Festival) (the third weekend of August). This second festival is a new, vital festival where the chief theme is the smile.
3. San Casciano dei Bagni
Welcome to the world where you can enjoy emotions of the past together with the modern comfort: San Casciano dei Bagni and its surrounding villages. This region is rich with sensational hot springs and SPA treatments: San Casciano’s thermal waters have been appreciated since roman ages for their properties and now represent a real luxury that is open to everyone.
4. Santa Fiora (Monte Amiata)
There is something irresistibly charming about Santa Fiora. It surrounds a small man-made pond – home to a large family of ducks and swans. The pond gives the town an alpine climate that’s hard not to fall in love with, especially when it’s capped off by humble stone houses, each centuries’ old and crowded around Medieval churches and neo-Classical piazzas. Santa Fiora was mentioned in Dante Alighieri’s Divina Commedia as an important medieval city ruled by the powerful Aldobrandeschi family.
5. Suvereto (Livorno)
Suvereto is a small village, which dates back to the year 1000. Situated on the slopes of the hills overlooking the Costa degli Etruschi, it is a true jewel, rich in history and art, set in the green valley of the River Cornia. This village can be called as the pulsing heart of the famous Val di Cornia and Suvereto DOCG wine.
Volterra is particularly known for its Etruscan origins and for the many remains belonging to this era. People can still visit part of the majestic protective walls built during the Vth and IVth centuries BC – included the well-preserved Porta dell’Arco and Porta Diana, two gates for entering the city – as well as the Acropolis that houses several buildings and the foundations of two ancient temples. Your visit to the city must include the Romanesque Cathedral – and the opposite St John’s Baptistery – they are the really precious heritage of the Italian history.
What hidden gem have you been to that you would like to share?