Tuscany: Things to do and Places to see

With its beautiful landscape, rich history and delicious cuisine – Tuscany is a perfectly picturesque location to put on your travel bucket list. With an array of wonderful places to explore, the decision was tough but in the end, we chose to do Pisa, Lucca and Florence. We based ourselves in Firenze and took the train to see Pisa and Lucca for the day. 

PISA

We could not possibly miss out on seeing the magnificent piece of architecture that is ‘The leaning tower of Pisa’. However, we had been warned about the floods of tourists and to bear in mind the ‘get in, get out’ concept. In direct contrast to this, we found Pisa to be a charming city. Perhaps in October, the rush of globetrotters is starting to come to its close. We ambled through the market, tried on smart hats, had a coffee along the way and admired the many staggering, ornate buildings.

The tower itself was quite spectacular and filled with travelers taking “the Pisa photo” – or at least trying to – we were very entertained by all the failed attempts before they got “the one”. As a result, we elected out of the tradition and took some “boring” pictures with the strange but beautiful, lob-sided building. 

Pisa has a lot more to offer than just its well known leaning tower. I would recommend spending at least half a day there and a train ticket from Florence is only about €12 one way.

 

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My boyfriend trying on the authentic Italian hats.

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When the bicycle matches the building.

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Falling in love with Italian Architecture.

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The Leaning Tower of Pisa.

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The statue of angels on Square of Miracles in Pisa.

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Ponte di Mezzo.

 

LUCCA – a hidden Tuscan treasure.

Before I arrived in Florence I had never heard of Lucca and I am delighted I managed to visit this delightful Italian gem. Lucca is short train trip from Pisa, it costs about €7 and it is the ideal place to stop for lunch and refreshments. We opted for some of that famous Italian pasta before continuing our tuscan adventure. 

The red bricked Guinigi Tower has been referred to as, ‘the garden in the sky’. This is because of the Holm Oak tress that sit on top of the tower and they are said to symbolise rebirth. Both the trees and the view are spectacular! Next stop was the Clock Tower or The Torre delle Ore – yay more stairs to climb! Another breathtaking view of Tuscany and it was only about €6 – with a student card – to climb both of these towers. Definitely well worth it! Piazza dell’ Anfiteatro is a an exquisite, circular piazza decorated by yellow buildings and an array of greenery, cafes and restaurants. BBC’s ‘Top Gear’ have used the site as the starting point for one of their episodes – being an avid fan, my boyfriend recognised the Piazza immediately. We enjoyed an expensive cup of coffee and the break from all the walking/stair climbing. 

The remainder of the afternoon was spent lying under blue skies on rich green grass that covers the walls around the town, watching the dogs and their walkers parade past us, before wandering back to the station to begin our long journey back to Florence. Lucca is pure Italian authenticity and I would highly recommend it to anyone holidaying in Tuscany. 

 

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Loved all the yellow in Lucca.

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Colourful pasta dishes.

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On top of the Guinigi Tower with the Clock Tower in the background.

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Guinigi Tower.

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Clock Tower.

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A view of Tuscany.

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Me in the Piazza dell’ Anfiteatro.

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Some foliage in the Piazza dell’ Anfiteatro.

FLORENCE

We spent two jam packed days exploring the sensational streets and treats that Florence has to offer. Our first stop, the Galleria dell’Accademia to see the brilliant ‘Statue of David’. We got there early, so thankfully we avoided waiting/wasting precious time in a queue and we only paid a very reasonable €8! A fair fee to see Michelangelos’ masterpiece – which definitely did not disappoint. 

After admiring Michelangelos’ incredible understanding of the male form, we made our way to the Piazza del Duomo, an opulent structure from every angle. After taking many a photograph of the many different colours and perspectives the Duomo has to offer, La Menagere cafe provided us with a much needed coffee break.  

Piazzale Michelangelo was my very favourite part of Tuscany – the scene from the top of Florence is truly remarkable. We sat/ lay on the balcony taking in the phenomenal scene that is Florence. After sitting at what felt like the top of the world  we went to have a look at green David before taking the scenic route back to earth. The remainder of the day was spent eating pizza and drinking red wine before watching the sun set over Ponte Vecchio. 

Boboli gardens was the last stop on our to do list and it was magical. The sun came out to play and we sprawled out on the lawns near ‘the fragmented personality man’ as we called him, soaked up all the vitamin D we could before boarding a plane back to the rainy, grey days in the Netherlands. Florence is an enchanting city and I will definitely be going back for more adventures. 

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Statue of David.

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More of David.

 

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The magnificent Duomo.

 

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More of the Duomo.

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Duomo under grey skies.

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Firenze.

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Happiness.

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Green David.

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Living on pizza and red wine.

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Ponte Vecchio.

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Boboli Gardens.

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Fragmented personality man.

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Do I have to leave?

 

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