Mention Tuscany and you get an image of a surreal land – a land of rolling hills, blossoming vineyards, charming villages, quaint little towns, choice wines and much more that you can ever envisage. Tuscany is a picturesque region in central Italy, which is renowned for not just its natural beauty and historic wonders, but also for its high class culture and culinary. It's a versatile destination, which has the best of everything. Thus, it's recommended that Tuscany be explored on a slow pace. It's not merely about seeing sights and ticking off hotspots, but Tuscany is an experience that longs to remain with a traveller forever. So, what are the top things to do in Tuscany?
Soak in the landscapes The first thing to get enamoured by in Tuscany are obviously its evocative landscapes. The mountains look so fascinating that all you want to do is simply stand still and gaze at them for a while. Well, there are quite a few things that you can do to quench your wanderlust for the Tuscan mountains – hiking, cycling, or simply being in the midst of natural surroundings and not doing anything!
Taste the Tuscan wines You cannot say that you have been to Tuscany without tasting at least one of its wines. Begin with Chianti, which is the most popular wine of Tuscany, and then you can also try Nobile di Montepulciano and Rosso di Montalcino. The best wine regions in Tuscany are Chianti, Bolgheri, San Gimignano, Montepulciano and Montalcino.
Gorge on the Tuscan dishes Tuscany is all about great gastronomy, so let the connoisseur in you, taste the best of Tuscan food. Try all kinds of popular dishes like Panzanella, Lampredotto, Ribollita and Cacciucco. The best restaurants in Tuscany are IL Faconiere, La Bottega, Da Delfina, La Pineta and Locanda Pietracupa.
Explore the pretty villages and towns To savour the genuine Tuscan way of life and its reminiscent medieval heritage, wander through its various beautiful villages and towns, such as Pitigliano, San Gimignano, Montalcino, Pienza and Volterra. Admire and embrace the charm of the olden churches, fortified walls, castles, little shops, olive groves and vineyards.
Unearth the fascinating history, architecture and art Tuscany can't be imagined without art and history. Even if you are not a big fan of museums and art galleries, checking out the art cities of Tuscany is still a joy. Florence, Siena, Lucca, Pisa and Perugia are some of the best art cities of Tuscany. You can take your own time to visit all the top museums in Tuscany, such as Palazzo Pitti, Palazzo Vecchio, Bargello, Stibbert Museum, Diocesan Museum and Uffizi Gallery. However, you can savour the artistic vibe of these cities by just strolling along the popular landmarks and monuments.
Relax on the islands Tuscan Islands are going to blow your mind! They are all about vivid blue waters, long sandy beaches, pine forests, steep cliffs and wild nature that cajole a traveller to just relax and surrender to the unhindered beauty around. Some of the best islands in Tuscany are Giglio, Pianosa, Elba and Golfo Di Baratti.
Join the Tuscan cooking classes If you care to know how an authentic Italian pasta is made, taking a culinary class wouldn't be a bad idea. It's an interesting way of knowing the Tuscan traditional cooking styles. There are several cooking classes and tours held in Tuscany. You can join them for a day or even for a week depending on your desire to learn the Tuscan recipes.
Enjoy the therapeutic thermal baths Tuscany is also known for its natural hot springs that are best enjoyed in winters when people want to step out of their homes to soak up some sunshine. As you recline to take in the scenic views of the mountains, allow the healing properties of the springs to calm and refresh you. The best places to enjoy the thermal baths in Tuscany are Chianciano Terme, Bagno Vignoni, Bagni San Filippo, Saturnia and Petriolo.
Shop in Tuscany Shopping in Tuscany is not just about designer clothes and shoes, but it's about buying traditional Tuscan food products, hand-made crafts and ceramics. You can pick up cheeses, ricciarelli biscuits, pan buccellato, oils and wines from different Tuscan cities. The best places for shopping in Tuscany are Pienza, Volterra, Colonnata, Florence and Siena.
Discover the unusual attractions Tuscany is a treasure-house of offbeat places and attractions. Discover Trullies - the pyramid-shaped houses in Alberobello, the isolated Civita di Bagnoregio, the dreamlike hamlet - Isola Santa, the mythological air of Erice and the ancient stones of Matera.