For a country so famous for its food, it seems a bit of a paradox that eating out in Italy doesn’t always mean enjoying stellar meals. Finding places that aren’t tourist traps isn’t always easy, especially when you’re tired or it’s really hot. That’s why sometimes booking an all-inclusive tour is the best solution, in all other cases, you can follow our tips below.
That Italy has several attractions and noteworthy sights is probably a well-known fact, but were you also aware that it is the country with the highest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the world?
What makes the committee choose a site, you ask?
Here’s what the official statement recites: “ The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) seeks to encourage the identification, protection and preservation of cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity.”
And since we’re already playing a bit of trivia, did you know that Tuscany is home to no less than 7 heritage sites? Umbria is not far behind, hosting 1 site as well.
Curious to know what the sites are? Here you go:
Florence city center
In this open-air museum, one-of-a-kind sights await at every turn. The Brunelleschi dome in the cathedral, Giotto’s bell tower and countless works of art make this a must-visit destination. If you’re visiting Tuscany soon, book one of our Florence day tours (or contact us to arrange a bespoke one).
Piazza dei Miracoli, Pisa
At the heart of another Tuscan city crossed by the Arno river, Piazza dei Miracoli is home to the curious leaning tower and a magnificent cathedral and baptistery.
On the road approaching San Gimignano, the imposing towers which rise against the sky are a sight not-too-different than what medieval travelers would have seen. A stroll here is like stepping back in time.
From the frantic excitement of the Palio – a medieval horse race still taking place today – to the splendor of the cathedral and the ancient municipal palazzo, Siena is not to be missed. Our day tour pairs two UNESCO World Heritage sites in one day, offering guided excursions to Siena and San Gimignano.
Renaissance ingenuity is on display in this picturesque village, immersed in the serene countryside, where grand palazzos share the streets with quaint cottages.
Rolling hills, wheat fields, cypresses, olive groves and vineyards, as well as idyllic farmhouses surrounded by nature. This is the classic Tuscany everyone knows and wishes to visit at least once (though we advise more!).
Once one of the world’s most powerful dynasties, the legacy of the Medici family is still visible throughout Tuscany today. Their twelve villas and two gardens pique any visitor’s interest with a harmonious architecture and historical riches.
Located in nearby Umbria, the birthplace of St Francis is home to a beautiful church with incredible medieval frescoes and other masterpieces. You can visit it on our day tour which also takes you to the picturesque hamlet of Deruta, renowned for its pottery.