Top 10 most beautiful, lesser known cities in Tuscany, Italy
Forget the usual tourist in Italy routine. Sure, Siena, Pisa and Florence are beautiful, but Tuscany has so much more to offer. Tuscany means hills shaded by cypress trees, lands mastered by towers of ancient Etruscan settlements and astonishing mazes of marble, history and tradition. To capture all of that, we put together an article about the 10 most beautiful cities in Tuscany that no one else tells you about:

1. LUCCA, TUSCANY

Lucca, Tuscany, Italy
Lucca is an absolutely gorgeous medieval city, surrounded by strong defense walls, which guard the cobbled streets, palaces, churches (about 100 of them) and old towers in which you can climb to have an overview of this magnificent, renaissance painting-like place.

2. SAN GIMIGNANO „The city of beautiful towers”

San Gimignano, Tuscany, Italy

This is a fortified village, included in the UNESCO heritage, famous for its medieval architecture, in which you can distinguish the slender towers, a former barometer of the wealth of the old masters. The taller the tower, the wealthier the master was considered.

In San Gimignano there are only 14 towers left of the 72 that were once up, some of them with a height of even 50 meters. This village awaits you with a romantic atmosphere, from which cobbled streets that merge with squares and old public fountains and churches are definitely not missing. Try not to miss Collegiata, the former cathedral and Sant Agostino, which hosts works of art signed by Italian renaissance artists.

3. MONTEPULCIANO

Montepulciano, Tuscany, Italy

Located 42 km south of Siena, this city has Val d’Orcia „at its feet” and it welcomes you with landscapes that seem to have been taken out of postcards. Here you can experience the classic Tuscan scenery that holds captivating beauty and the perfect decor to fall in love.

This city, of etruscan origins, experienced its maximum glory in the XIV-XV century, when many palaces were built. Reinforced by strong defense walls and massive access gates, Montepulciano is waiting for you to conquer it by taking a walk on the narrow and charming streets.

The Church of Sant Agostino, Torre di Pulcinella, Piazza Grande, with old palaces and the cathedral, Fortezza, built in the 14th century by the Medici family, Museo del Brunello and Abazzia di Sant’Antimo, 11 km away from Montepulciano, are some wonderful attractions of this leisured place.

4. VINCI, TUSCANY

Vinci, Tuscany, Italy
This is an entire city dedicated to the genius of Leonardo da Vinci, where you can visit the Leonardino Museum, a place where you can enjoy many of the creations of this iconic artist. The museum is located in the Castle of the Guidi Counts (Castello dei Conti Guidi). You can also visit the beautiful Villa Vignozzi for a place-specific experience. Leonardo’s memorial house can be found at about 3 km away, which is a good reason for a walk on Leonardo Street to get there.

5. MONTALCINO

Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
City of wine, oil and honey, it is proud of the products of its land. However, it does not give up its medieval appearance, dominated by the Castle of the 1300s, which can be reached after a walk through the narrow streets. With the improvement of the lifestyle, this town has not forgotten its ancient traditions and customs that it praises on the last Sunday in October, when the Sagra del Tordo takes place, a holiday that seems to go back in time by reliving the customs preserved from generation to generation: the most important is the wild boar hunt, evoked by an archery tournament between the adjacent neighborhoods. Just 9 km away you can visit the beautiful Abbazie Sant’Antonio.

6. CORTONA

Cortona, Tuscany, Italy
All of Tuscany in one city: Cortona, enchants with its view to Lake Trasimeno. The funniest thing about this small town is that all its streets are sloping, and the only “normal” street is called Ruga Piana, a very spontaneous name by the way (given that it is the only street where you do not have to go up or down). It is not afraid of competition in cultural matters, because it houses one of the most beautiful and significant paintings representing the Annunciation (in the Diocesan Museum), and in the Museo dell’Accademia Etrusca e della citta di Cortona you can admire one of the most interesting collections of Etruscan material. Here you can also find numerous antique shops. Since 1963, every year the oldest Italian antique fair, CortonAntiquaria, is held.

7. VOLTERRA

Volterra, Tuscany, Italy

The center of this place shrouded in mystery is the Palazzo dei Priori, with its tower, where countless marriages are officiated.

In an astonishing renaissance style, medieval, roman, etruscan – the history of Volterra offers various points of view. Here you can also admire the medieval walls, Il Duomo (cathedral), Il Battistero di San Giovanni (from the twelfth century), the Roman Theater, the Arch at the entrance to the city of Etruscan origin. For lovers of contemporary art there is also the Ecomuseo dell’Alabastro.

8. ABBADIA

Abbadia, Tuscany, Italy
It is one of the most famous places at the foot of Mount Amiata. It is a small town with stone houses blackened by the weather, and its jewel is the Abbey of San Salvatore, founded in 782, being the most important in all of Tuscany for a long time. The most impressive part of this monastery is the crypt with 35 columns in various styles. Abbadia is a special and ideal place for lovers of mountain biking and trekking, and in winter you can also ski if the weather allows.

9. BARGA

Barga, Tuscany, Italy
This town’s history revolves around a great Italian poet, Giovanni Pascoli, who spent the last 17 years of his life there. That is why it is also called the City of Poetry. The visit of the memorial house, located in a neighboring village, is a journey through time because everything in that house remained the same as at the time of the poet’s death. The city is surrounded by chestnut forests and a wonderful mountain view.

10. PIENZA, TUSCANY

Pienza, Tuscany, Italy
Or the ideal city of the Renaissance, thanks to Pope Pius II, born right there. In the Middle Ages this town was just a point on the map, but the Pope completely transformed it. Even today you can still admire the various buildings from 1400. Piazza del Duomo is just one example. For those who want to put aside the hustle and bustle of the city, in a few minutes you can visit Romitorio, a group of caves dug since the fourteenth century, where monks and hermits retired.

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