31 Jul The 5 most beautiful towns in Tuscany
Tuscany has many beautiful hamlets to show to the whole world. You cannot come to Italy without visiting some of these enchanting small villages in Tuscany, on the top of a rolling hill or in the middle of a green grassy plain. Here is our top 5 towns you must visit in your next trip to Italy.
Forget the Seven Hills of Rome, San Gimignano’s 15 towers are just as handsome and breathtaking. Spiking the Tuscan sky and under an hour’s drive north-west of pretty, red-brick Siena, this cascading commune was first raised by the ancient Etruscans, who came and clad the undulating hills in slate and stone cottages. Following the fall of the Roman Empire, the Church took over, patronising the town with the glorious Sant’Agostino Basilica and the 12th-century Collegiate Church of Santa Maria Assunta, while bringing with them a steady stream of pilgrims and poets who were quick to eulogise San Gimignano’s beauty and majestic surroundings of rolling cypress groves and saffron-hued fields.
Barga is a small hill town set between Lucca and Garfagnana mountains in the Media Valle of Serchio River. Especially during summertime, there’s a lively nightlife with Opera and Jazz Festivals. The main attractions are the Romanesque Duomo, the Renaissance buildings and the theatre. It is also considered the most Scottish town in Italy because of the many locals emigrated at the end of 1800. There is also a Fish and Chips Fest during summer.
Sandwiched between the wide coastal stretches that run their way along the edge of the Tyrrhenian Sea and the marble-clad frontispieces of Pisa just to the south, Lucca clings like a limpet to the verdant lowlands of the Serchio River basin. It’s encircled on all sides by the best-preserved Renaissance bulwarks in all of Tuscany, which has become moss-clad and claimed by the ubiquitous cypresses and eucalyptus trees over the centuries. It is topped with parkland and is entirely walkable. In the heart of the town, the elliptical Piazza dell’Anfiteatro dominates with its ochre-painted stucco and sun-splashed alfresco spaces, while the nearby Lucca Cathedral rarely fails to draw a gasp.
Suvereto takes its name from the cork oak woods that surround the village together with olive oil trees and vineyards. It is considered as one of the best villages in Tuscany and in the whole of Italy and it’s not so far from the Etruscan Coast. It still presents intact city walls and each summer many events and “Sagre” (feast) take place right inside. I recommend seeing the medieval entry door, the old town hall date back to 1200, the churches and the ruins of the citadel.
Montepulciano is primarily famed for its eponymous, full-bodied variety of red grape, as testified by the town’s endless vineyards. But rustic Tuscan beauty is also why so many visitors choose to head to this red-brick and terracotta municipality on the ridges of the Val’dOrcia every year. Tight-knit lanes weave their way up to the centre, where the Piazza Grande shines with marble and travertine masterpieces. Here you’ll find the Palazzo Comunale and the Palazzo Nobili-Tarugi, with their enfolding chiselled columns and shadowy archways. Nearby, slanting tiled roofs flow like a river down into the pine and cypress woods below; the ancient streets oozing Etruscan history and Roman influence from each crack and crevice along the way.
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