Top 3 Major Art Towns in Tuscany

By 5 Gennaio 2014 Traveling in Tuscany

You visit Tuscany and the first thing you probably want to know is about Tuscany’s main sights and major tourist attractions to visit. What makes it such a special destination for your vacation in Italy? Which places should be visited first?

Tuscany is synonymous with scenic fairytale landscapes, picturesque hill towns, amazing museums, charming coastline, great food and fine wines, and, of course, stunning art towns and cities that are masterpieces of art in themselves, without considering the many treasures they preserve and offer to its visitor.

The major Tuscan art towns and cities are also its main sights. Each city of art boasts centuries of history, just walk through any of their alleys and medieval streets…each corner will tell you a different story.

In case you have a limited time to spend in Tuscany you may want to stick to major art towns and here is a list not to miss! If you are in Tuscany for just few days, these destinations should be at the top of your things to see in Tuscany.


Must visit cities in Tuscany

1. Florence

palazzo vecchio in florence

Firenze! The most artistic town in the world! the Renaissance town born to give life to art in all its forms. Considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world, Florence is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. If you are in Tuscany you cannot miss visiting Florence.

Florence saw the best expressions of Italian language and literature with Dante Alighieri, it was the cradle of art and architecture in its most spectacular forms. Here began and developed the Renaissance with great men of unparalleled skills; just think to a few artists like Giotto, Masaccio, Donatello, Brunelleschi, Michelangelo.

In every corner, the city bears witness to the enormous weight of its history, the streets, monuments, palaces, and museums are testimony to its past grandeur.

In Piazza del Duomo for example, you find one of the most beautiful cathedrals in Italy, Santa Maria del Fiore, with the impressive Dome of Brunelleschi and the wonderful Giotto’s bell tower. Not far away, bright and beautiful, is Piazza della Signoria, that for more than six hundred years is a symbol of Florence, with the magnificent Palazzo Vecchio.

Behind Palazzo Vecchio, and directly connected to it from the Vasari Corridor overlooking the Arno River from the Ponte Vecchio or Old Bridge, is one of the most beautiful and most visited museums in the world: the Uffizi Gallery, built between 1560 and 1574 by Giorgio Vasari. You’ll be finally enchanted by the beauty of this extraordinary art town, observing it from the height of Florence Piazzale Michelangelo.

2. Siena

Torre del Mangia and Palazzo Pubblico in Siena

Surrounded by olive trees, vineyards, and orchards, in a landscape unique in the world, Siena is the art town of Tuscany that is best preserved; in many parts almost unchanged since the Middle Ages! Siena still seems immersed in the 14th century, with its intact circle of walls and its suggestive atmosphere.

That’s the city universally renowned for its spectacular Palio horse race, the town with red roofs, the town with a splendid Duomo, with an uncommon beautiful square, with museums full of marvelous paintings and historic palaces that will enchant you.

All roads converge to the heart of the town, Piazza del Campo, unique for its original shell shape and spectacular setting for the Palio, with the imposing Torre del Mangia and the majestic Palazzo Comunale facing the square. The Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, the Duomo of Siena, is just another of its countless treasures.

The whole city is the monument to its glorious past .

3. Pisa

Pisa Piazza dei Miracoli, TuscanyPiazza dei Miracoli in Pisa, the Square of the Miracles, is an authentic marvel, ranked among the World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. That’s the largest historical complex of medieval Europe, also known as Campo dei Miracoli, one of the finest examples of Pisan Romanesque architecture.

It is a unique case in the architecture of all times: an ensemble of white and refined shapes standing out on the most famous green lawn of the world.

The Duomo or Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, the Leaning Tower, the Baptistery, and the Cemetery, all beautiful buildings in white marble of Carrara, are authentic masterpieces of Romanesque architecture in Europe. The location of individual monuments respond to a precise design, derived from the particular astrological symbolism tied to the three stars in the constellation of Aries.

The bell tower of Santa Maria, known as the “The Leaning Tower” or “Tower of Pisa”, is what has made Pisa one of the most famous art cities in Tuscany and in the world. The bell tower of the Cathedral is in fact hanging on one side, due to a failure of the soil, and that makes it an absolutely unique, suggestive and characteristic sight!

Map of Tuscany Art Towns and Cities 

One Comment

  • tasha marshe ha detto:

    Hi Elena,
    I wonder if you could help me – I am looking for places in Tuscany where there is an art presence…I’m a sculptor (clay) and looking for somewhere in that part of Italy where there is an art school or people working with ceramics that I could connect to. I live in New Mexico now but I’m Irish and might like to move back to Europe to be closer to relatives. When I do google searches I mainly get the established art scene vs anything local, collective or community folks. If you know of any town or village like this I’d love to know.
    Many thanks,

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