Florence is the capital of the Tuscany region and a perfect spot to visit multiple attractions and cities in central Italy. Tuscany is a popular destination in Italy. The main tourist choices are Florence, Pisa, Siena, and the Maremma region.
Additionally, Siena, Lucca, the Chianti region, Versilia, and Val d’Orcia are also internationally renowned and particularly popular among tourists. Today we are going to mention the top cities to visit near Florence and the best features of each city. Keep reading!
The city of Pisa is one of the most important cities in Tuscany and it is extremely well-known in the world, mostly because of the leaning tower – its famous symbol.
Pisa is both an ancient and modern city. On the one hand, it is a city with great history and proud of its past. Pisa was a Marittime Republic and became an important world power during the Middle Ages. It can also be considered as an international city, due to the intercontinental Galileo Galilei Airport that joints it to anywhere in the world.
Curiosity: in the city, there isn’t only one leaning Tower, but there are other two, also: the Bell Tower of San Nicola Church which is near the banks of Arno and the whole church of San Michele of Scalzi.
Siena is a city full of character! It is also one of the most beautiful cities of Tuscany. Set on three hills, the city is surrounded by olive groves and the vineyards of Chianti. The Campo Square or as the locals call it “Piazza del Campo” stands at its heart, and the Duomo and St Maria della Scala serve as additional cultural landmarks.
The city is famous for the “Palio”, the annual historic horse-races that takes place on 2 July and 16 August, and it is also home to one of the oldest Universities in Europe, which ensures a vibrant Italian student atmosphere throughout the academic year. Siena also offers many concerts, cultural events, cinema, theatre and a wide range of sporting activities.
The Chianti area in Tuscany is known to have the most beautiful countryside in the whole region, as well as highly appreciated by visitors from across the world.
You’ll often find references to the “Florentine Chianti” and the “Sienese Chianti” to define the areas closest to one or the other city, but these often refer to a wine’s origin within the Chianti region. Chianti offers a unique landscape, with green, gentle hills covered with wide fields of vineyards and olive groves, small stone villages, characteristic parishes and countryside homes in stone.
The Chianti landscapes are so beautiful and particular that they inspire many photographs which then become postcards and calendars distributed across the globe.
Lucca is one of the most beautiful and loved art cities in Tuscany, a stop that cannot really be missed in a classic itinerary to discover the region. Nicknamed the City of 100 Churches, for its incredible collection of places of worship, it is the only city-state to have retained its independence until 1847.
The historical circumstances have made Lucca a splendid fortified island, which preserves a real artistic and architectural heritage within its walls.
Lucca is located in the heart of the Piana di Lucca , a land with a lively landscape, shaped by the Serchio river and dotted with medieval centers.
Pistoia province is quite large and is a mixture of both flat valleys, hilly and mountainous sections, including the Valley of the Ombrone river and the Valdinievole.
The area also includes the Pistoia Mountains where you can go ski. Pistoia and Pescia are well known for the cultivation of plants and flowers. Another important resource for the province of Pistoia are thermal baths.
Arezzo is located in south-eastern Tuscany, stands on a hill overlooking four valleys: Casentino, Valtiberina, Valdichiana and Valdarno. The city has very ancient origins and perhaps not everyone knows that it is even older than Alexandria in Egypt!
Arezzo boasts a wide range of sites to see including fortresses, monuments, churches, and museums which all offer visitors a chance to step back into history. There are even the remains of a Roman amphitheater!
The beautiful landscape is the absolute protagonist
Medieval castles, sinuous gills, ancient villages, gorgeous farmhouses, isolated homesteads, roads lined with cypress trees, fabulous vineyards and olive groves and golden fields of grain and sunflowers: these are just some of the elements that form the fantastic and harmonious landscapes of the Val d’Orcia.
This rich green valley, which encompasses the Orcia river and where it derives its name, is in southern Tuscany, stretching between the provinces of Siena and Grosseto. The entire area is protected as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Elba is the third-largest island in Italy after Sardinia and Sicily and the biggest island of the Tuscan Archipelago. In addition, Elba makes a perfect choice for outdoor sports and activities.
Elba island or as the locals call it, L’isola d’Elba is a true natural paradise, as beautiful as one finds it hard to describe: see-through blue waters, green landscapes, beautiful hills.
The whole environment is well combined with fantastic fauna and flora, as well as the warm friendliness of its inhabitants, making it a true slice of heaven. You have plenty of choices for your beach days – sand, gravel, shingles, pebbles: there is truly a beach for each taste! – and enjoy their crystal clear sea; if you like scuba diving, then the island has something for you too, as it is surrounded by a beautifully preserved coral reef. The most popular sports in Elba are diving and snorkeling thanks to its rich seabeds housing lots of different species of fish.
What are the most instagramable places around Florence
If you are traveling in the cities near Florence, You will find plenty of spots worth to be photographed. Below, we are mentioning the top backgrounds to visit so you can shoot photos, post them on social media, and remind your experiences.
> Pisa’s Leaning tower
> Pistoia streets
> The wood of Cypress trees
> Drinking wine in front of a vineyard
> Elba crystal waters