Barga is a beautiful hill topped town 20 minutes from the house. There are interesting art galleries, antique shops and great restaurants. It is a lovely place to spend an evening. Often there is a weekly market under the stars during the summer months.
Pisa sits on the bank of the River Arno and hosts abundant historic and artistic monuments, with narrow streets that open into picturesque little squares. The Piazza dei Miracoli consists of the world famous Leaning Tower, the cathedral, the baptistery and many little market stalls.
Forte dei Marmi
Forte dei Marmi is a more up-market seaside resort offering superb shopping in the exclusive designer boutiques and walks on the promenade. It is a great place to go to the beach and to do shopping in a wonderful environment. There is a great local market on Wednesday mornings.
San Gimignano is a well-preserved medieval city, famous for its 13 remaining “Fine Towers”. The towers reflect a period in Italian history when neighbours were particularly quarrelsome and a person’s house was his castle, the higher the tower, the richer your family. Palazzos and towers surround the town’s major piazzas, with the tallest being 54m, the Torre Grossa.
Siena’s most famous landmark is the Piazza del Campo, a vast fan-shaped piazza, the largest in Europe, where the famed Palio horse race and pageant are held each year. At the front of the Campo stands the large Palazzo Pubblico and the Torre del Mangia, which is 102m tall. The tower offers fine views across the city and surrounding hills after climbing the 409 narrow steps. Another attraction is the Duomo Santa Maria, a grand edifice of black and white striped stone with a richly decorated façade. Palazzos, piazzas, art collections, museums and churches are scattered throughout the easily walkable old town.
Florence is the capital of the Tuscan region. Places of interest are the Uffizi Gallery, the Duomo, the Ponte Vecchio, the Medici chapels and the Boboli Gardens. Shopping is also very popular, with Italian designer labels being an added attraction. Please note the Uffizi Gallery is closed on Mondays.
Viareggio is the best-known seaside resort on the Tuscan coast with a 10 km long beach. The 3 km-long promenade boasts superb shops.