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This is a small spa (306m) of medieval origin, although it was already know in Roman times, the fascinating tiny village is clustered around a large pool closed on three sides by the town walls, one metre and a half tall whith water that flows at 52°....

Besides the thermal waters,The characteristic of Bagno Vigoni is its unchanged structure.
All around there are some buildings realised by Bernardo Rossellino in Pope’s Pio II honour, and the open arcade where S. Caterina da Siena stopped.
Behind Bagno Vignoni, immersed and hidden in the green of the hill there is the small village borgo Vignoni Alto in a position that dominates the entire Val d' Orcia and the Monte Amiata.

How to reach Bagno Vignoni: From Siena, direction SS2 Isola d' Arbia, reach San Quirico d' Orcia, remain on the Cassia Road (SS2) direction Rome, only 5 Kms.

Nearby: San Quirico d' Orcia, Pienza, Castiglione d' Orcia, Pienza

Distances: Siena 50 Km - Florence 110 Km - Pisa 160 Km

Where is Bagno Vignoni: is located in the south of Siena province, in Val d' orcia, between San Quirico and Castiglione d' orcia.
image of SCANSANO
Scansano is built in the hilly Maremma inland, along a strip of land between the coast and the slopes of Mount Amiata...

Upon arriving in this area for the first time, you're both charmed and astonished by the landscape's variety and the harmony of its components. While large sections remain rugged and wild, as though man had not yet arrived, others immediately remind you of the centuries' old wine making tradition.

A tradition that today produces one of the best known Italian DOC red wines in the world, the Morellino di Scansano. Vineyards and olive groves line the hills while flocks of sheep dot the countryside and horses graze in the pastures. Scenes from an authentic country landscape. However, Scansano is more than a dip into nature amid flowering broom, rockroses and strawberry trees. Most of all it is a monument rich historical centre dating from the early Middle Ages and the Tuscan fifteenth century.

First settled by the Etruscans and the Romans, as demonstrated by the archaeological site of Ghiaccio Forte, it was ruled by the Aldobrandeschi family and then by the Santa Flora counts in the sixteenth century. After a period of socio-political stagnation under the Medici, the town showed demographic and urban growth under the Grand duke of Lorraine.

At this time the so-called "estatatura" was instituted, that is, the summer period in which the public offices of Grosseto were transferred here and the village assumed the layout it still has today. There are several buildings from the 15th and16th centuries along the main street: Palazzo Vaccarecci can be identified by the family coat of arms on the facade, the Romanesque church of San Giovanni Battista and the small square with the Pretorio that was the seat of Grosseto's civic offices during the "estatatura".

The church of the Madonna delle Grazie, also known as the "church of the barrel", is located outside the old centre and was very much reworked in 1862. Also outside the centre are the convent of the Patrero, originally the Aldobrandeschi Castle, and the Castle of Montepo, a massive and still intact fortress from the first half of the 16th century, circled by a high wall with four corner reinforcement embattled towers.

Where is Scansano: is located in the south of Grosseto province

How to reach Scansano: From Grosseto, follow direction S322 which bring you to Scansano after 28 Km

Nearby: Visit Pereta, Magliano, Capalbio

Distances: Grosseto 28 Km - Siena 100 Km - Pisa 180 Km - Livorno 160 Km - Florence 166 Km
Campiglia Marittima, maintains intact many aspects of the medieval town. The built-up area is dominated by the Castle, built perhaps between the 8th and 9th centuries but then rebuilt between the 12th and 13th centuries.

A part of the medieval walls is still visible, and the North Gate and the Florentine (or St Anthony) Gate are original of the era, decorated with the stone coats of arms of Pisa, Florence, Campiglia and of the Gherardesca counts.
More or less in the centre of the village rises the Praetorian Palace, remodelled several times and the facade of which abounds in stone coats of arms of the podestas of the 15th and 16th centuries. Inside the palace can still be seen the so-called "torture chamber", that is, the room in which prisoners used to be tortured. Precisely on the left side of the Praetorian Palace opens up a wider part among the most interesting in the historic centre of Campiglia, with stone edifices with small balconies and outside staircases, medieval arches and narrow alleys.
A short distance form the Florentine Gate is the Church of St Anthony, founded in the Middle Ages but remodelled during the following centuries.
The most interesting church in Campiglia is located a short distance from the built-up area, on the road that leads to Venturina. The parish church of St John, clearly Romanesque in style, was founded in 1163 and retains a lovely 12th-century altar. Outside on a lateral flank of the church there is a beautiful portal with the architrave decorated with a hunting scene from the end of the 12th century. Legend has it that the birth of the parish church can be traced back to the discovery of the mortal remains of St Florentius. Hotly contested between the inhabitants of Campiglia and those of Piombino, the remains were laid out on a cart drawn by oxen. The oxen set off towards Campiglia, and stopped in the exact place where today the parish church rises. The body of the saint is conserved at present inside the Church of St Laurence, the parish church of Campiglia. The Etruscan vestiges in the territory of Campiglia Marittima can instead be traced back to the territory currently included in the "Parco Archeominerario" of San Silvestro. The fortified village of San Silvestro, between Campiglia and San Vincenzo, was founded in the 10th century.
Where is Campiglia Marittima: is located in the south of Livorno province, in the area called Val di Cornia
How to reach Campiglia Marittima: From Livorno, take direction south towards Grosseto on the road called SS2. After 60 Km exit San Vincenzo and follow direction Campiglia Marittima which is 5 Km far.
Nearby: Visit Suvereto, San Vincenzo, Populonia
Distances: Livorno 65 Km - Florence 130 Km - Pisa 88 Km - Siena 100 Km - Grosseto 65 Km
image of SCARPERIA
Scarperia is a municipality in the Province of Florence in the Italian region Tuscany, located about 25 km northeast of Florence, in the Mugello area.

The village was founded with the name Castel S. Barnaba in an area known as the Scarperia, because of its location at the shoe (scarpa), or foot, of the Apennines. In fact an ascent towards the Giogo pass began from here, steep and difficult, ria (hostile).
Scarperia is one of the most interesting historic centers in the Mugello zone, an inland Tuscan valley whose Apennine passes connect it to Bologna and the region of Romagna.
The village, born as a Florentine outpost on the road to Bologna, later became an important market and stopping-place thanks to its strategic location.  Even today it is traversed and divided in two by the road which leads to Bologna, around which edifices have formed an urban fabric of a vaguely rectangular shape, enclosed by walls interspersed with square towers.
The heart of the fortified settlement is the Vicars Palace.  Its residential section on the side facing the square, stark and turreted, presents a 14th-century plan, while the fortified section lies behind.
Scarperia is renowned for the knives and cutlery. Here, unlike other places where knives were produced, the craft does not belong only to the past; it still represents a source of income for many craftsmen.
Foodies, here you will mainly find humble foods, that are “poor” in origin but excellent in combination Typical cuisine with a strong Apennine character.
Ribollita is the Tuscan dish par excellence, in fact it is also called Florentine bean soup.
Potato tortelli are typical of the Mugello zone as well.
Castelnuovo Val di Cecina is a hilltop hamlet that can be distinguished by its unique shape, similar to a bunch of grapes. The landscape varies from an Apennine setting to Mediterranean scrub to pass once again to reveal a countryside of rolling hills filled with vineyards and olive groves.

Nature trails start at Castelnuovo and lead to both sites of particular historical interest, such as the bridge over the Pavone stream, and to beautiful lookout points that allow visitors to admire the Cornia Valley and the Gulf of Piombino. There are also a number of archaeological sites in the area dating back to the Etruscan and Roman periods.
Nearby: Visit the Val di Cornia wine district, the towns of Radicondoli and Volterra.
Distances: Florence 130 Km - Siena 70 Km – Piombino (ferries to Elba Island) 40 Km
In the 12th century, this agricultural and holiday centre (375m, pop 1875) had a castle belonging to the bishops of Volterra (remains of the walls still exist), which then came under Sienesedomination.

In the piazza at the entrance to the village stands the late-Romanesque "church of Sant'Agostino"(1291-1362), with a Baroque interior.

In the adjacent former monastery, the chapter house is decorated with a cycle of monochrom frescoes (depicting the Passion) by Sienese painters and the "Virgin Enthronedwith St Augustine and the Blessed Antony de'Patrizzi" by a Sienese painter influenced by Taddeo di Bartolo(1422).
Higher up, in the old part of the village, is located the "church of Santi Giusto e Clemente", founded in the 12th century, with a facade in square-hewn stone, a portal decorated with palmettes and a curious small bell-tower.
How to reach Monticiano: From Siena take direction Grosseto, after 24 Km turn right direction San Lorenzo a Merse. After 10 km you will reach Monticia
image of SATURNIA
Saturnia is a spa town in Tuscany that has been inhabited since ancient times.
It lies about 23 miles northeast of Orbetello and the coast.

Near the village, 800 litres per second of sulphurous water at 37°C gushes into a large natural pool, flowing over a waterfall and down to a series of natural pools carved in the rock. Each year, thousands of people bathe; the same water has for ten years also served the efficient thermal plant in which, thanks to the water’s properties, certain illnesses are cured.
Saturnia takes its name from the god Saturn. Legend has it that he grew tired of the constant wars of humans, and sent a thunderbolt to earth that created a magic spring of warm sulphurous water which would pacify mankind.

image of ISOLA D'ELBA
Piombino town (Livorno) is from where set out the ferryboats to the Island of Elba.

With a distance of 10 km from the continent and a size of 224 qkm Elba is the biggest island of the Tuscan Archipelago and actually the third-biggest of Italy. For many years now big parts of the Elba Island and of the other islands of the Tuscan Archipelago (Pianosa, Capraia, Montecristo, Giglio and Giannutri) are protected in the National Park of the Tuscan Archipelago

The climate is always mild with a middle annual temperature of ca. 16°; the medium in the winter is about 10° degrees, 14° in spring, 23° degrees in summer and 17° degree in autumn. The medium water-temperature of April is always about 19° degrees, 20° in May, June about 24°, 26,8° degrees in July, in August 27,3°, September 25,5° degrees and October 23,1° degrees.

The variety of the cost - altogether we have here a costlenght of 147 km - will satisfy every taste You can find wonderful sand- stone- or gravelbeaches, some are also hidden and can be developed only by boat. But even in the high season you will always find places, which are far away from the usual tourism.

There are more than 70 beaches on the coastlines of the island, some very peaceful, others more crowded, but all of them will, without doubt, offer you a splendid sun tan and a refreshing plunge into the blue waters of the ocean.
We have listed some of them, but it will certainly be a lot of fun to discover all the others by yourself.

The Island of Elba is the ideal location for sports enthusiasts and those seeking an active holiday. It offers the perfect combination: nature, sea and sport.
image of SAN GALGANO
The Cistercian Abbey of San Galgano is an icon unto itself, the foremost symbol of this land.

It is historically and architecturally one of the most important religious monuments in the Sienese countryside and, together with the nearby chapel at Monte Siepi, is an important expression of the gothic Cistercian style in Italy represented by the Fossanova abbey in Lazio.

The Cistercian order was born in Citeaux, Bordeaux, in 1098 as a means of reinforcing the Benedictine order and restoring the discipline which had progressively been lost. Cistercian monasteries were built throughout Europe, primarily along important arteries and roads leading to Citeaux. Construction began on the abbey of San Galgano in 1218 in the vicinity of Chiusdino and Monticiano on the Massetana road and just a short distance from the Merse river.
Architecturally, its severe, rigorously formal design was intended to exemplify the moral rigour upheld by St. Bernard. Not coincidentally, the abbey was built in an area already sanctified by the presence of the chapel at Monte Siepi, built at the end of the twelfth century to consecrate the home of the young hermit Galgano Guidotti, who died in 1181 and was canonized in 1185.
The abbey was consecrated seventy years after the first stone was laid. This marked the onset of frenetic religious activity and of activity in general in an area where the valley is wide-open and sunny. First the marshy fields were drained, and then the river's flow was harnessed to produce hydraulic energy.
It seems that the original design of the abbey foresaw mills for flour-making and wool processing. But in the end the abbey enjoyed only a brief life. Decline was brought on first by famine in 1329 and then by Bubonic plague in 1348, sealing the fate of this monastic settlement. In the sixteenth century the structure itself began to succumb, especially once the lead roofing was sold.
How to reach San Galgano: From Siena take direction Rosia and follow for Massa Marittima. After Rosia take direction Chiusdino and after few Km find the sign for Abbazia di San Galgano
Where is San Galgano: is located in the west of Siena province, in the border with the province of Grosseto, between the comune of Chiusdino and Monticiano.
Nearby: Visit Chiusdino, Radicondoli, Monticiano.
Distances: Siena 30 Km - Florence 80 Km - Pisa 150 Km - Arezzo 90 Km
Correct name is San Galgano
image of SASSETTA
Sassetta is a charming little historical village on the Costa degli Etruschi, set among woods and stands of chestnuts on a hilltop overlooking the sea.

This Medieval stronghold still contains reminders of its past, such as the Romanesque baptismal font, a 15th-century painting of the Virgin, a rock crystal crucifix (15tn-16th century) and other paintings which are to be found in the ancient church of St Andrew Apostle. The woods are full of hiking trails and paths for walks, cycling and horseback riding, and numerous agricultural holdings offering holiday accommodation and local produce can be found here too.
In Sassetta, old traditions handed down through the years are kept alive with colourful, folkloristic events. Sassetta's delicious, wholesome food is celebrated at the autumn tests.
Where is Sassetta: is located in the south of Livorno province, on the border with the province of Grosseto and Pisa.
How to reach Sassetta: From Livorno, direction south towards Grosseto on the SS2. Exit Donoratico and follow or Castagneto Carducci. After Castagneto follow for Sassetta which is 6 Km far.
Nearby: Visit Castagneto Carducci, Bolgheri, Suvereto
Distances: Livorno 60 Km - Pisa 84 Km - Florence 120 Km - Siena 100 Km - Grosseto 80 Km
Correct name is Sassetta
Common mistakes are Sasetta, Sossetta, Sansetta, Sasseta, Saseta

Only 9 km from Montalcino, one of the most beautiful Romanesque churches in Italy, the Abbey of Sant'Antimo, stands in solitary splendour

According to legend, it is on the site of an ancient chapel built to the orders of Charlemagne in 781.
In fact, the abbey, an extraordinary example of Romanesque architecture in French-Lombard style, was built in the 12th and 13th centuries by Abbot Azzo dei Porcari.
The facade, with remains of a portico, seems to be incomplete. The entrance has a high arch, and bas-relief decorations. Particularly interesting is the small doorway to the left; this dates back to the 9th century. Also on this side is the Bell Tower, with single-light and double-light windows.
The tower also seems never to have been completed. One of the bells dates back to 1219. The pre-Romanesque primitive chapel is visible on the right. The interior has three naves separated by high columns, alternated with pilasters in clusters in the lower part and twin lancet galleries above. The capitals in marble from the nearby Castelnuovo quarry are decorated with floral, human and geometric figures. The apse has radial chapels joined by an ambulatory, as in French Cathedrals.
Where is Abbey of Sant' Antimo: is located in the south of Siena province, on the border with the province of Grosseto.
How to reach Abbey of Sant' Antimo: From Siena take direction Buonconvento > Montalcino. Once in Montalcino follow the signs for Abbazia di Sant' Antimo or Castelnuovo dell' Abate. Before arrive to Castelnuovo you will see on your right the Abbey
Nearby: Visit Montalcino and the Val d' Orcia
Distances: Siena 50 Km - Florence 120 Km - Pisa 150 Km - Arezzo 90 Km
Correct name is Abbazia di Sant' Antimo - Abbey of Sant' Antimo
The Monte Amiata is a mountain in the Tuscan Antiapennines, in the provinces of Grosseto and Siena, Tuscany, central Italy. The highest peak is at 1,738 m over the sea level....

The Amiata is an ancient, inactive volcano, characterized by volcanic rocks and small lakes. Waters from the mountain feed the Fiora aqueduct, which serves much of southern Tuscany and part of northern Lazio; in the Amiata are also the springs of Fiora and Albegna rivers, the latter in the Mount Buceto, which constitutes the south-westernmost spur of the massif.
The main economical resources of the Amiata region are chestnuts, wood and, increasingly, tourism (ski resorts include the peak area, Prato delle Macinaie, Prato della Contessa, Rifugio Cantore and Pian della Marsiliana). The lower areas are characterized by olive trees and vines. Other vegetation include beech and fir. In ancient times cinnabar was extracted here.
The Amiata is included in the comuni of Abbadia San Salvatore, Arcidosso, Castel del Piano, Piancastagnaio, Santa Fiora and Seggiano, all located between 600 and 800 meters of altitude.

This small town (567m, pop 5030) is situated on a hill covered with olive groves and the famous Brunello vineyards dominating the Asso, Ombrone and Arbia valley...

Already inhabited in Etruscan and Roman times, Montalcino was a possession of the abbey of Sant'Antimo, then it became a commune and, after the battle of Monteaperti(1260) it entered the Sienese sphere of influence. In 1361 the Sienese built the fortress, which, after the town was conquered by the Florentines in 1555, held out until 1559.
Surrounded by walls, the oldest part of Montalcino is located along the main street, the via Matteotti, which widens to form the Piazza del Popolo, the medieval centre of the town. At the point where Via Matteotti enters the piazza stands the "Palazzo dei Priori" now the town hall, built in the 13th and 14th centuries. Adorned with the coats of arms of the podestà, the facade of this fine example of Sienese architecture has two rows of windows; above it soars a tall tower. Also facing the piazza is a large "loggia" comprising six round arches; built in the 14th and 15th centuries, it has been considerably restored.
On the highest part of the hill is the fortress; an outstanding example of military architecture, it was built on a a pentagonal plan in 1361 to a desing by Mino Foresi and Domenico di Feo.
An important collection of Sienese paintings is to be found in the "Museo Civico e diocesano d'arte sacra" housed in the former seminary next to the 14th century "church of Sant' Agostino". Offering an almost complete overview of the artistic output of this Tuscan town, the collection includes a "Virgin and Child" by Simoni Martini, and "St Peter and St Paul" by Ambrogio Lorenzetti.

How to reach Montalcino: From Siena, direction Buonconvento (SS2) after Buonconvento, 2 Kms you will find a sign for Montalcino.

Where is Montalcino: is located in the south of Siena province, in the border with the province of Grosseto.

Nearby: Visit Val d' Orcia, San Quirico d' Orcia, Pienza, Montepulciano

Distances: Siena 42 Km - Florence 110 Km - Pisa 150 Km - Arezzo 85 Km

image of CERTALDO
Like many other Tuscan towns. Certaldo is divided between its medieval walled town on a hill and the modern residential and industrial suburb spread out below.
Etruscan and Roman in origin.
Certaldo was also situated on the Via Francigena...

In the lower town is the main square Piazza Boccaccio (car park), with a marble statue by Augusto Passaglia (1879) which was commissioned to mark the fifth centenary of the death of Giovanni Boccaccio.
Certaldo Alto
The charming medieval upper town, reached on foot in 10 min or by cablecar from the station in the main piazza (2min). built almost entirely of brick, is well preserved despite some damage during the Second World War. All the principal buildings, as well as some attractive houses, face onto Via Boccaccio.
Half-way up on the left is the Casa del Boccaccio (rebuilt in 1947). with a tower and loggia, which was bought and restored in the early 19C by Marchesa Carlotta dei Medici Lenzoni.
Facing onto the little piazza is the church of Santi Michele e Jacopo. The simple brick facade dates from the 1 3C and the interior has been restored to original Romanesque appearance. In a niche is an urn containing the body of Beata Giulia
Next to the church is a small cloister which gives access to the Museo d'arte Sacra inaugurated in 2001 (open daily 10.00-19.00). The museum has some fine and rare works which include: a monumental 13 C Crucifix; paintings by Meliore, the Bigallo master Puccio di Simone and Ugolino di Nerio most of them removed from churches in the countryside around Certaldo.
At the top of the street is Palazzo Pretorio, originally the castle of the Conti Alberti with its facade decorated with picturesque coats of arms in stone and glazed terracotta which record the Governors (Vicari) sent from Florence. Around the courtyard are the rooms where justice was administered, dungeons, and a chapel with a fresco of Doubting Thomas attributed to Benozzo Gozzoli. Several rooms have Fine doorways, fireplaces and some fresco decoration.
A terraced garden and a walkway overlooking the town walls provide a splendid view stretching from the hills of the Val d'Elsa to San Gimignano.

Where is Certaldo: is located in the south of Florence province, on the border with the province of Siena.

How to reach Certaldo: From Florence direction Siena, exit Poggibonsi and follow for Certaldo which is 12 Km far.

Nearby: Visit San Gimignano, Barberino Val d' Elsa, the Chianti area

Distances: Florence 50 Km - Siena 41 Km - Arezzo 105 Km - Lucca 64 Km - Pisa 67 Km

Gambassi Terme stretches as far as the borders of the province of Siena. Its main city is picturesquely situated approximately 350 metres above sea-level...

The ancient parish church (pieve di Santa Maria a Chianni) which is still extant in a site further south dates back to the late 12th century.
It has an attractive public garden outside the Palazzo Civico which houses a small collection of Etruscan and Roman finds excavated in the area. The town was already known in medieval times for its glass production (still manufactured here). It was the birthplace of Domenico Livi who made some of the stained-glass windows of Florence cathedral in the 1450s.
Proceeding along the same road, at Pillo visitors come across a spring which has been well-known for centuries - the sorgente dell 'Acqua Salsa - whose waters have now been used to establish a modern spa establishment. The land along the right di Santo Stefano) dates from the 14th century, while the chiesa delta Madonna del Pozzo and its beautiful porch were built in the 17th century. The church of Saint Michael at Pon-tonne, the town where Iacopo Carrucci, known as il Pontormo', was born in 1494, houses important paintings and sculptures, while the chiesa di Santa Maria a Ripa has a porch with 17th century frescoes. A few kilometres further south, at Monterappoli, visitors can see beautiful paintings in the chiesa di San Lorenzo and, close to this church, the old Romanesque parish church named pieve di San Giovanni.

Where is Gambassi Terme: is located in the south of Florence province, on the border with the province of Siena

How to reach Gambassi Terme: From Florence direction west Empoli, on the road FI-PI-LI (Firenze, Pisa, Livorno) exit Ponte a Elsa and Take the S429 until Gambassi.

Nearby: Visit Certaldo, San Gimignano, Volterra

Distances: Florence 54 Km - Siena 48 Km - Lucca 65 Km - Pisa 67 Km
image of PISA
The origins of Pisa are uncertain: a number of theses exist supporting a Ligurian or Greek origin, whereas it is certain that it was an Etruscan settlement and later a Roman colony...

Pisa first belonged to the Longobard kingdom and later to the Carolingian empire. Already an important naval base in the Roman era, from the 11th century Pisa intensified its Mediterranean trade, with numerous victories of its fleet over Muslim cities and ships.
The Mediaeval Era coincided with the height of its economic, political and artistic growth, to which the urban planning of the old centre bears witness by its many religious and civic buildings, its squares, its typical narrow alleys that run perpendicular to the River Arno, the great trade route that for centuries represented the economic heart of the city.
The city walls, whose construction began around 1154-1155, were completed in the mid-14th century and today represent an important part of the architectural heritage.
In 1406 Pisa was conquered for the first time by Florence, thus beginning a long period of profound crisis that ended only with the political ascent of the Medici nobles. From the second half of the 16th century there was a recovery characterized by the development of the University, founded on the orders of Lorenzo II Magnifico at the end of the 15th century.
Cosimo I de' Medici and his successors renovated the aspect of the squares and churches, rendering Pisa the second capital of Tuscany, until its annexation to the Kingdom of Italy in 1861.

Where is Pisa town: is located in the north of Pisa province, on the border with the province of Livorno.

How to reach Pisa town: From the north or south with the highway A12, exit Pisa north for Piazza dei Miracoli (where the Leaning Tower is) or Pisa airport to reach the train station or airport

Nearby: Visit Lucca, Livorno, Versilia (Forte dei Marmi, Viareggio, Camaiore)

Distances: Lucca 20 Km - Florence 79 Km - Livorno 25 Km - Siena 110 Km - Grosseto 150 Km

image of CORTONA
The city Virgil wanted founded by mythical Dardanus, was probably a fortified Umbrian city, passed to the Etruscans between the 8th. and 7th. centuries BC.. Of these it became an important Lucumony.
During the social war it was granted Roman citizenship, after which ascertainable information is lacking. Cortona flourished during the Comuni period and under the domain of the Ranieri-Casali...

Sold to the Florentines by the king of Naples in 1411, it followed the destinies of the Grand-duchy of Tuscany.
Built on a spur of the Monte Sant'Egidio, Cortona is surrounded by powerful wails, smoothed down by centuries and winds, along which the ancient gates open in correspondence to the roads coming up from the valley. The visitor looking around from the top walls can admire one of the widest and harmonious views in Italy: the rich and immense Val di Chiana, limited on the horizon by the Siena mountains, fore most the Amiata and the Cetona; and closer up the wide expanse of the Trasimeno lake.
Cortona's Etruscan power is witnessed by the still standing imposing segments of the city wails. Several Etruscan tombs were found in the valley. We will mention the Tanella di Pitagora, the Melone in Camucia and the Meloni at Sodo. Very rich archaeological findings are exhibited in the Museo dell'Accademia Etrusca in Palazzo Casali, foremost the renowned Etruscan lamp of the 5th century BC.
Cortona gave birth to the painters Luca Signorelli and Pietro Berrettini, known as Pietro da Cortona. Gino Severini was also born here. Exceptional is the pictorial patrimony of this art city preserved in the Museo Diocesano an the famous «Annunciazione» by Beato Angelico.
Where is Cortona: is located in the south of Arezzo province, on the border with the province of Siena and the Umbria region

How to reach Cortona:
From Arezzo, direction south on the S71. Cortona is 28 Km Far.
From Siena, direction west Bettolle on the road called Siena Bettolle. After Bettolle you will find the signs for Cortona which is 20 Km far
From Florence, on the highway A1 reach the exit of Bettolle and follow as above

Nearby: Visit Arezzo, Castiglion Fiorentino, Montepulciano, Pienza

Distances: Arezzo 28 Km - Florence 120 Km - Siena 70 Km

image of LIVORNO
Livorno, the Tuscan gateway to the Mediterranean Sea, is crossed by canals and situated by the seaside.
Planned as an ideal town in the 16th century, Livorno reveals its history through its districts characterised by the Medicean canals, which are still navigable, and through its port, overlooked by towers and fortresses, leading to the town centre...

Around the middle of the 19th century, the first bathing establishments of Italy appeared in Livorno. This tradition still continues thanks to the town's bathing establishments, hospitable and welcoming, situated along the shoreline promenade that stretches for many kilometres among impressive 19th-century buildings, villas in the Liberty style and the green vegetation: pine trees, tamarisks and oleanders.
There are many places of interest by the sea, such as: the Naval Academy, a prestigious training school for officers of the Italian Navy founded in 1881, the city Aquarium, the Natural History museum of the Mediterranean, the Caprilli racecourse, a hundred-year-old setting for important horse racing seasons, and the Terrazza Mascagni, which offers a wonderful view over some of the islands of the Tuscan archipelago: Elba, Capraia and Gorgona, as far as Corsica.
Just beyond Livorno the pinkish stone cliffs of Calafuria and Romito stand above an amazing crystal-clear sea.

Where is Livorno town: is located in the north of the province.

How to reach Livorno town: From the north or south with the highway A12, exit Livorno town

Nearby: Visit Pisa and Lucca

Distances: Florence 82 Km - Pisa 20 Km - Lucca 40 Km - Siena 115 Km

Barberino lies in the heart of Tuscany between Florence and Siena.
It is an area that simply pulsates with history and legend. It's a visible history owing to the diffusion of the numerous existing architectural remains....

There isn't a hill that does not have a church, a castle, villa or simply a chapel at its top. The Val d' elsa area of this municipal territory is made up of hills that are rich in vineyards and olive groves and is dotted here and there with centuries old cypress trees.

The hills slope gently down towards the valley of the river Elsa, the ancient Tuscan boundary line that divided once similar but at the same time enemy Tuscan rivals.

Climbing upwards again one finds the state road the "Cassia ", which separates the territory into two parts the Valdelsa and the Val di Pesa. Here the landscape changes becoming more wilder and remote, woody and rocky with cultivable tracts of rich Chianti vineyards.

This area is recognized as the Chianti Classico belt, Chianti Classico being the prince of Italian wines renowned and appreciated all over the world.
Barberino has conserved its medieval structure with its walls, gate and towers and its Pilgrims' Hospital; it is found on the road that branched off from the Via Francigena in the bottom of the valley and led onto the old Badia a Passignano and then onto Florence.

This landscape remains one of the most beautifiil of the area, together with the restored and revalued farmhouses that represent a remarkable example of a correct integration with the nature.
Where is Barberino Val d' Elsa: is located in the south of Florence province, on the border with the province of Siena

How to reach Barberino Val d' Elsa: From Florence, direction south on the road Firenze > Siena, exit Barberino 30 Km

Nearby: Visit the Chianti area, Siena amd San Gimignano

Distances: Florence 30 Km - Siena 36 Km - Arezzo 92 Km
image of POPULONIA
Populonia was the only ancient Etruscan city situated on the sea.
It was also the biggest centre on the Mediterranean specialized in the smelting of iron from ore extracted on the nearby Island of Elba. It is situated on the top of a hill, with the sea all around....

The walls which are of medieval origin were built for defence against the Barbary pirates. Additional fortifications were built in the first half of the 15th century by Iacopo Appiani II and restored in 1800.
Within the walls there is a quaint little village with some elegant shops. From the top of the fortress there is a magnificent view of the Tuscan Archipelago.
In Populonia there is also a privately owned museum in which Etruscan and Roman finds from excavations in the area and from the sea-bed are exhibited.
The statue known as the Apollo of Piombino, now in the Louvre in Paris, was found in the waters of the Gulf of Baratti.
Where is Populonia: is located in the south of Livorno province, in front of the Elba island
How to reach Populonia: From Livorno, direction south Grosseto on the SS2. After 56 Km exit San Vincenzo. Follow for Piombino and after 13 Km turn right for Baratti and Populonia
Nearby: Visit Campiglia Marittima, Suvereto.
Distances: Livorno 76 Km - Florence 140 Km - Pisa 90 Km - Siena 95 Km - Grosseto 70 Km

image of SOVANA
Sovana, 8km north of Pitigliano, is now a village with little more than a single street running from the castle ruins to the cathedral.
It is in a beautiful position on a ridge overlooking a wide panorama. It is traditionally reputed to be the birthplace of Hildebrand, later Pope Gregory VII (1026/8-85)....

An important Etruscan settlement and later a Roman municipium, Sovana became a bishopric in the 5C. Its period of greatest importance was in the 13C when it was the seat of the Sovana branch of the Aldobrandeschi family after it had separated from the Santa Fiora branch. It then passed under the Orsini and was conquered by Siena in 1410.
Attempts to repopulate the village under subsequent Medici rule were doomed on account of malaria. At the entrance to the village are the impressive ruins of the Aldobrandeschi castle (13C-14C) and remains of the Etruscan walls. Facing onto the small brick piazza is the former Palazzo del Comune, dating from the 12C with a clock and bell-cot, which has been the local archive since the 17C.
To the right is the Palazzo Pretorio, which was largely rebuilt by Siena in the 15C and has nine coats of arms of the Sienese governors on the facade. On the adjacent Loggia del Capitano is a large Medici coat of arms carved in marble. On the opposite side of the piazza is the church of Santa Maria Maggiore.
At the end of the village, in a stone-flagged piazza surrounded by cypresses, is the Romanesque cathedral of Santi Pietro e Paolo. The original church was probably begun during the papacy of Gregory VII, but its present structure is thought to date from the 12C-13C.
Where is Sovana: is located in the west of Grosseto province, on the border with the Lazio region.
How to reach Sovana: From Grosseto, direction south, reach Albinia (35 Km) and then turn left direction Manciano (30 Km) then Pitigliano (18 Km). After Pitigliano you will find the sign for Sovana which is 8 km far
Nearby: Visit Sorano, Pitigliano, Manciano
Distances: Grosseto 88 Km - Siena 115 Km (Via Cassia) - Florence 200 Km - Pisa 220 Km - Arezzo 150 Km

The section of the Leghorn coast where San Vincenzo is found today had been inhabited since the early Palaeolithic era, but it was with the arrival of the Etruscans that the area knew a remarkable civilisation....

In fact, San Vincenzo is in the vicinity of the promontory of Populonia, the seat of a powerful Etruscan territory ruled by a lucomon.
The presence of metals within the territory of San Vincenzo, and particularly on the slopes of Mount Calvi, meant that the Etruscans developed here a considerable activity of extraction and fusion, numerous traces of which have been discovered.
Once the Romans conquered the Etruscans, the Aurelian Way passed by San Vincenzo, and although there is no certain information, it seems that a village and a landing stage were founded on the spot. Instead, it is definite that in the 9th century in the locality of San Vincentium there used to exist a small shelter for pilgrims, probably at the origin of the founding of a church, information of which we have starting in the 13th century. In 1304 the Pisans had a watch tower erected with a fortress which, two centuries later, in 1505, was the scene of the epilogue to Pisa's attempted revolt against Florence.

Where is San Vincenzo: is located in the south of Livorno province

How to reach San Vincenzo: From Livorno, take direction south towards Grosseto on the road called SS2. After 60 Km exit San Vincenzo.

Nearby: Visit Populonia, Campiglia Marittima, Suvereto

Distances: Livorno 60 Km - Florence 130 Km - Pisa 80 Km - Siena 100 Km - Arezzo 190 Km

image of IMPRUNETA
lmpruneta world-famous for manufacturing terracotta. The clay in the soil has been used for centuries to produce terracotta.
The name is connected with the legendary effigy of the Virgin of Impruneta, is of Latin derivation "in prunetis" or "in pinetis".

These rolling and tranquil hillsides have been inhabited since Etruscan times. During the Medieval period they became the fiefs of the Buondelmonti family whose castle was in the village of Montebuoni. This noble family with origins dating from the X century, by name Sichelmo, was numerous ,rich and powerful.
At the beginning of the XII century Florence began to destroy the surrounding castles and dominate over their noble inhabitants. In 1135, after having taken control of the castle of Montegufoni, the Florentines attacked Montebuoni. The head of the family, Ranieri, resisted in vain. On the 23rd of October the rock was taken and the castle destroyed. Ranieri and his four children were forced to flee to Florence where they possessed property .

Where is Impruneta: is located in the middle of Florence province, close to Florence town

How to reach Impruneta: From Florence, direction south Certosa, follow indication for Impruneta

Nearby: Visit The Chianti area, Greve, Panzano

Distances: Florence 14 Km - Siena 59 Km - Arezzo 79 Km

Montepulciano is a dignified and interesting hilltop town (14,300 inhab.) commanding the southeast part of Tuscany near the Umbrian border.
It is particularly well preserved and has many handsome 16C palaces, including some by Antonio da Sangallo il Vecchio who also built the Tempio di San Biagio here.
The area is noted for its red wines, the most famous being the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano.

After changing hands several times between Siena and Florence, Montepulciano came under permanent Florentine rule in 1511, and its fortifications, including the Porta di Gracciano, were rebuilt by Cosimo I. It was the birthplace of Angelo Ambrogini (1454-94), the great Classical scholar, who adopted the town's late Latin name Poliziano.
In 1561 it became an episcopal seat and a town to become one of the privileged centres of the new Grand Duchy in Tuscany. Montepulciano exhibits impressive architecture mainly but not only Renaissance: Michelozzo, Baldassarre Peruzzi and Vignola all worked here, as did Antonio da Sangallo il Vecchio who designed the temple of San Biagio. Today Montepulciano is divided between an agricultural town - with its main product, the DOCG wine Vino Nobile di Montepulciano - and an important tourist centre.
The rich cultural history of the main town, the untouched natural environment and the presence of the thermal baths at S. Albino all attract tourists in equal measure. In the summer the town hosts the "Cantiere Internazionale d'arte" and in the mid-August holidays the "Bruscello", a traditional show spoken in rhyme, is performed on the Cathedral steps. On last weekend of August a wine barrel race, the "Bravìo", is run between the different contrade, or districts, of the town and there is a procession in 13th-century dress.

How to reach Montepulciano: From Siena, take direction SS2, Buonconvento and follow for San Quirico D'Orcia. From San Quirico follow for Pienza and for Montepulciano.

Where is Montepulciano: is located in the south/east of Siena province.

Nearby: Visit Val d' Orcia, Pienza, San Quirico d' Orcia, Bagno Vignoni

Distances: Siena 64 Km - Florence 110 Km - Pisa 190 Km - Arezzo 55 Km
image of ANGHIARI
Anghiari is a lovely medieval town lying between two rivers, the Tiber and the Arno.
The powerful thirteenth century walls made the town an invincible fortress which constituted an important reference point and kept the Tuscan flag flying during the many historical events that occurred in this delicately balanced border area....

On the 29th June 1440 the famous Battle of Anghiari, which was subsequently painted by Leonardo da Vinci in Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, reaffirmed Florentine rule in Tuscany.
Surrounded by castles and country churches Anghiari looks out over the beautiful High Tiber Valley landscape, a natural amphitheatre filled with the spirituality of St. Francis of Assisi. The countryside around Anghiari has an untouched atmosphere with ancient woods dotted with monasteries and archaeological sites. Artisan shops and the workrooms of furniture and antiques restorers enrich the small squares of the town; its towers and churches are embellished with masterpieces of painting and sculpture and there are breathtaking views and vistas to be found from every corner of the ancient town.

Where is Anghiari: is located in the east of Arezzo province, on the border with the region of Umbria.

How to reach Anghiari: From Arezzo take direction San Sepolcro or Città di Castello. In Monterchi find direction for Anghiari

Nearby: Visit Monterchi, San Sepolcro, Arezzo

Distances: Arezzo 30 Km - Florence 101 Km - Siena 88 Km - Pisa 174 Km
Far back in 1149 the name of Castelfiorentino was given to a castle erected along "Via Francigena" (the road used by pilgrims and waifarers, in the Middle Ages, on their way to Rome from the north of Europe), on the site where the Roman settlement of Timignano once stood...

Enclosed within the fortified castle, set upon a hilltop, was the parish church of Sant' Ippolito (the ancient parish of San Biagio); erected within a second ring of the walls were Borgo d'Elsa and Borgo Nuovo.
There were also gateways and towers and two roads which met in a crossroad on the only square present (today' s piazza del Popolo). Ruled firstly by the feudal governors, the Cadolingi and then by the Alberti Earls, the centre was subsequently passed on to the Bishop of Florence during the XII century. This caused conflicts between the Church and the Empire and the powers of Siena and Florence, during this period Castelfiorentino became an important military out-post of Florence. It became the headquarters of a podesta' (mayor) and was awarded the privilege of having a red lily on its flag and the title of Castelfiorentino.
Peace was declared between Siena and Florence after the Battle of Montaperti in 1260. After a brief period of peace, the town became a battlefield full of raids and violent attacks. Infact, in 1521, during a violent attack by the Spanish troops, Castelfiorentino was totally demolished. Therefore the importance of its strategic position diminuished, even though Albert Cosimo I restructured its fortifications. Even its administrative importance became limited due to its dependence on the vicar of Certaldo.
The town blossomed again during the XVIII century, under the leadership of the Grand-duchy of Tuscany, and became the home of the court clerk and the mayor's office, with a municipal guard and a much wider jurisdiction over Certaldo and Montaione.
Following the almost unanimous plebiscite vote, Castelfiorentino happily embraced the Kingdom of Italy becoming the district's chief-town in 1868. It was one of the first country to elect a socialist administration in 1902.
Where is Castelfiorentino: is located in the south of Castelfiorentino province, on the border with the province of Grosseto.
Nearby: Visit San Galgano, Terme di Petriolo

When you see Pitigliano, it's like turning the pages of a book of fairy tales set in the Middle Ages.
The town is built on a promontory surrounded by bright green valleys, grooved by the Lente and Meleta rivers....

The high tufa cliffs are chiselled with a thousand caves and tower-houses. The houses are built on a tufaceous drum in the same jutting vertical as the sheer cliffs which make the city wall almost superfluous.
This, however, in no way detracts from the splendid military structures such as the 13th Orsini palace. The town takes pride in its heritage: the Prehistoric period, with its tombs discovered along the city wall and in the surrounding area; the Roman period that left behind the town's name, Gens Petilia; the Medieval period of the Aldobrandeschi, lords of the Maremma for almost five hundred years; the Renaissance grandeur brought by the noble Roman family, the Orsini; and, after a brief Sienese interlude, the Medici and their heirs, the Lorraine who stimulated a phase of modernization.
Another key to the appreciation of Pitigliano is the famous Jewish ghetto. This extraordinary town has been called "Little Jerusalem" because of its large and active Jewish population which settled there beginning in the 15th century. Today the Sinagogue is once again open to the public, both for worship and a visit, after extensive restoration.The interesting Jewish Cemetery, the unleavened bread oven, the cellar carvedinto the rock where Kosher wine is produced, the Kosher butcher, the cleansing baths for women and the cleaners are all open to the public.
The town is surrounded by important archaeological sites, from the ancient vie cave to the various necropoleis and primitive villages. Without doubt, the most important necropolis is Poggio Buco, the largest Etruscan centre on the Fiora. In addition to the remains of the original city, numerous varieties of tombs have been discovered, among which the monumental cliff tombs such as the Tombadelta Regina (the Queen's Tomb). The wine production is another good reason to visit this land.The vineyards, fertilizedby volcanic tufa and thousand year old humus, produceprestigious white DOC wines. The caves and tombs cut intothe tufa rock are used as cellars for the wines' preservation andaging. The olive oil as well, produced by cold pressing, has few rivals on the national and international scene.

Where is Pitigliano: is located in the west of Grosseto province, on the border with the Lazio region.

How to reach Pitigliano: From Grosseto, direction south, reach Albinia (35 Km) and then turn left direction Manciano (30 Km) and then Pitigliano (18 Km)

Nearby: Visit Sorano, Sovana, Manciano

Distances: Grosseto 83 Km - Siena 110 Km (Via Cassia) - Florence 200 Km - Pisa 220 Km - Arezzo 150 Km

image of PIENZA
The town conceived by Pope Pius II was built on top of the medieval castle of Corsignano, which marked the border between the possessions of Siena, Florence and Orvieto.
It has been designated as part of the "world-wide heritage of humanity by UNESCO...

In 1458 Enea Silvio Piccolomini decided to transform his childhood home into a symbol of the Italian Renaissance. In three years, from 1459 to 1462, the town reborn as Pienza witnessed the birth of several landmark works of architecture.
Its luminous cathedral, Cattedrale dell'Assunta, houses panel paintings by the most renowned Sienese artists of the period. Next door, the imposing family residence Palazzo Piccolomini is graced with a loggia offering a fabulous panorama over val d' orcia.
The town hall and the Palazzo Vescovile (Bishop's quarters) with its museum display homogeneity of style.
Instead, the church dedicated to San Francesco (13th century), the city walls and the austere Pieve di Corsignano, first documented in 714, all date back to the medieval ages.
How to reach Pienza: From Siena, near the train station, take direction Monteroni >> Buonconvento. After Buonconvento, take direction San Quirico d' Orcia and in San Quirico follow for Pienza.

Nearby: Visit San Quirico d' Orcia, Montepulciano, Bagno Vignoni, Val d' Orcia

Where is Pienza: is located in the south of Siena province, in Val d' Orcia

Distances: Siena 50 Km - Florence 110 Km - Pisa 160 Km - Arezzo 60 Km
image of SUVERETO
The town is a medieval village whose origins date back to before the year 1000. Situated on the slopes of the hills overlooking the Costa degli Etruschi, rich in history and art, set in the green valley of the River Cornia...

The town displays an enchanting architectural harmony and its ancient walls enclose paved streets lined with stone houses, historical buildings, impressive churches, and shadowy cloisters.

The region is swarming with agricultural enterprises, oil mills, wineries, and farm-holiday resorts where you can try local products and traditional dishes. The town keeps its antique traditions alive through magical festivals inspired by history and folklore that are held throughout the year, thanks to the mild climate.
A pentagonal wall punctuated by eight towers encloses Suvereto's historic center. The Rocca, the castle garrison in ancient times, stands on the hill dominating the town. The Palazzo Comunale, City Hall, dating back to 1200, is one of the most beautiful examples of civic architecture in Italy, and is a symbol of the town's autonomy.
Concerts and historical commemorations are held in the medieval setting of St. Francis' Cloister (chiostro di S. Francesco) every year. St. Justus' Church (Chiesa di S, Giusto), constructed around the year 1000 in Romanesque style with Byzantine decorations, stands between the walls, the parish church, and the gate to the town. Important sacred sculptures, paintings, and paraments are on display in the adjoining Museum of Sacred Art, The Church of Our Lady Above the Door (Chiesa della Madonna di Sopra la Porta), in the town center, and Holy Cross Church (Chiesa del Santissimo Crocifisso) are also of particular interest and worth. The ancient public fountains, such as the Fountain of the Angels (Fontana degli Angeli) and the one to the Belvedere, are notably interesting from an architectural point of view and were once used for domestic purposes.

Where is Suvereto: is located in the south of Livorno province, on the border with the province of Grosseto.

How to reach Suvereto: From Livorno take direction south Grosseto. Exit Venturina, about 65 km and follow direction Suvereto which is 9 km far.

Nearby: Visit Campiglia Marittima, Castagneto Carducci, San Vincenzo, Populonia

Distances: Livorno 80 Km - Florence 145 Km - Pisa 96 Km - Grosseto 75 Km - Siena 100 Km

Panzano (498m) originally a medieval castle, still preserves some of its old walls and towers.
Its strategic and picturesque position is best appreciated on the approach from San Casciano....

There is one main street leading to the church of Santa Maria which was completely renovated a century ago. It has a late Gothic Madonna and Child attributed to Bernardo di Stefano Rosselli encased in a larger picture with saints and angels. In the nearby oratory is an Annunciation attributed to Michele di Ridolfo del Ghirlandaio.
Panzano is one of the most important area of production of Chianti Classico, one of the most celebrate wine of Tuscany and Italy. The typical caracteristic of the Classico produced in this area is the full body and intense and persistent aftertaste.
From the village you can appreciate one of the most beatiful views of this extremely picturesque region and take relaxing walks through the wineyards.
Where is Panzano in Chianti: is located in the middle of Florence province, at the beginning of the Chianti area
How to reach Panzano in Chianti: From Florence, direction south on the Chiantigiana road S222. Florence is 30 Km far
Nearby: Visit the Chianti area, Greve in Chianti, Radda and Castellina in Chianti.
Distances: Florence 30 Km - Siena 36 Km
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