Built upon a crest of a hill, Montepulciano is renowned as a treasure chest of late Renaissance architecture due to many palaces that were built. Located 60km southeast of Siena, the town is famous for its elegant churches and excellent wine, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. Climb up through the narrow streets with a number of shops and restaurants to the main square, Piazza Grande.
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Known for its wine, the Vino Nobile. Wine made in the town since the 8th century. Most shops tend to sell the local variety of wine. Other specialities include pork, cheese, honey, lentils and Pici pasta.
Cafes, traditional trattorias
Montepulcianos cobbled streets offer a wide choice of restaurants and bars throughout the town, ranging from traditional trattorias and pizzerias to relaxed wine bars. Live music can also be appreciated in a number of bars and restaurants.
While taking a stroll through the town of Montepulciano you will notice the many churches and renaissance style palazzi. A must see is Montepulcianos Piazza Grande, the towns highest point and the location of the main crowd scene in the film New Moon, the second film in the Twilight series.
Museo Civico is the towns museum and art gallery located on the Via Ricci and occupies the Palazzo Neri Orselli.
Montepulcianos Duomo, or cathedral, is located on the Piazza Grande and is noticable because of its unfinished facade.
The San Biagio is worth a visit while in Montepulciano. This church was created during the 16th century and is located outside the town walls.
Built in 1427, the Sant 'Agostino is another stunning church within the town situated on Piazza Michelozzo.
Another church worth visiting is the Santa Maria dei Servi, a gothic church located on the Via del Poliziano.
The Palazzo Comunale is located on Piazza Grande and is a 14th century, smaller version of the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence. The tower provides amazing views as far as Siena.
Pisa is a city located on the right of the mouth of the river Arno and is the home of the University of Pisa and many research schools. The centre of the city offers vibrant cafes, bars and a lively street atmosphere, or alternatively a large collection of Romanesque buildings, Renaissance piazzas and churches can be found giving all visitors lots to see and do. However the real reason millions of people visit the city each year is for its famous Leaning Tower. The Leaning Tower of Pisa is also partnered by the Duomo (cathedral), the Baptistry and the Campo Santo cemetery situated on the Campo dei Miracoli (Field of Miracles).
The Leaning Tower:
Construction of this uniquely breath-taking tower, also known as the campanile (bell tower) for the Duomo (cathedral), began back in 1173 but had to stop due to the structure starting to tilt after the third storey was completed. Work continued despite the lean and was fully completed in 1350. Open to the public, today a small number of visitors at a time can climb the 294 steps to the top.
Many other sights in Pisa include the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo, the Museo delle Sinopie and the Piazza dei Cavalieri.
While in Tuscany, a trip to Florence is an absolute must. The city is known to be one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world and possibly the most beautiful city in Italy. Florence boasts hundreds of local restaurants and shops as well as an overwhelming amount of museums, galleries and stunning architecture.
Some of these tourist sites include:
Possibly the most iconic building in Florence, the Duomo (or cathedral of Florence) dominates the city with its enormous dome. A visit to this magnificent cathedral wouldn’t be complete or fully appreciated without climbing its 463 interior stone steps to the top, where views of the surrounding city can be enjoyed. Located in the Piazza del Duomo, this cathedral complex also includes the Campanile and Bapistery, with the Bapistery being one of Florence’s oldest buildings. The Campanile (bell tower) contains 414 steps to the top and offers the reward of a view nearly as impressive as that from the dome. Together these buildings form part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Known to be among the most impressive town halls of Tuscany, this medieval palace was completed in 1322 and boasts a striking campanile (bell tower) that reaches 94 meters high. The palazzo overlooks the Piazza della Signoria, a piazza showcasing a unique outdoor sculpture gallery with statues highlighting major events in the city’s history.
The Uffizi gallery is among the oldest and most famous art museum in Europe and possibly the world. This gallery is situated in Piazzale degli Uffizi and is overflowing with Renaissance masterpieces, including: ‘The Birth of Venus’ (1485) by Botticelli, ‘The Venus of Urbino’ (1538) by Titian and ‘Dukes of Urbino’ (1460) by Piero della Franesca to name a few.
A medieval bridge, built in 1345 that crosses the Arno river. The bridge is Florence’s oldest and is noted for still featuring shops built along it. Currently the shops are let to jewellers, souvenir sellers and art dealers.
An art museum in Florence that is most famously known as the home of Michelangelo’s sculpture, David. The museum also showcases a collection of Renaissance paintings.
Many other sights in Florence include the Palazzo Pitti, Basilica of Santa Croce, Boboli Gardens, Basilica of Santa Maria Novella and the Basilica di San Lorenzo to name a few.
Built on seven hills, Siena features a network of narrow cobbled streets and alleyways as well as wide variety of local restaurants and bars. Some of the main tourist sites include:
Piazza del Campo:
At the city’s centre, the Piazza del Campo is undoubtedly known as the heart and social centre of the city. Built on the site of a former Roman marketplace, the piazza floor is sloped so you will find many locals and tourists spend time just sitting and watching the world. The piazza features the Fonte Gaia, a rectangular fountain decorated with statues.
The Palazzo Pubblico is possibly the most iconic building in Siena and has been the town hall since the 13th century. At 102 meters high the bell tower, also known as the Torre del Mangia, boasts 500 plus steps and is the second tallest medieval tower to be built in Italy. Climbing to the top provides outstanding views of Siena and the surrounding area.
Other sights in Siena include the Museo Civico, the Pinacoteca Nazionale, Siena’s Duomo (cathedral), the Museo dell’Opera Metropolitana, Palazzo Piccolomini and the Basilica of San Domenico to name a few. There is also the popular ancient sporting event known as Il Palio annually held on two days during the summer on the Piazza del Campo.
Luminara of San R...national event
Pisa by Candle light
This religious celebration takes place every year with the tradition of lighting the city with candles. Over 70,000 candles burn and reflect on the river. Some will float on the waters of the Arno. The celebration will include fireworks from the Cittadella Vecchia and can be enjoyed from the river.
The Gioco del Pontenational event
The Gioco del Ponte (Game of the bridge) in Pisa - this event includes a parade procession along the Arno river and a historic battle of the Ponte di Mezzo. More that 700 people are involved in the parade.
Mercantia - Certaldonational event
A beautiful street art festival with lots on offer. There are stands with lots of merchandise on offer and a huge program of over 80 shows every day, this is one not to be missed.
11 Lune a Pecciolinational event
Every year, for the whole month of July, theatre and concert performances.
Lucca Summer Fest...national event
The Lucca Summer Festival is a annual month-long music festival held in the city center of Lucca in Tuscany. Artists perform on the historical stages of the Piazza Napoleone, Piazza San Martino and Amphitheatre Square. Hosting a diverse array of internationally renowned musical artists, the festival has featured bigname acts.
2017 dates - TBC
Teatro del Silenzionational event
The 12th Edition of this event - book tickets for this Italian open air amphitheatre which is located in Lajatico - the home town of Andrea Bocelli. The theatre hosts a concert by Bocelli, its honorary president, once every year, while remaining silent the rest of the year.
Volterra AD 1398 ...national event
Take place between the first & fourth Sunday's of August. Enjoy entertainment, food & music.
Palio di Sienanational event
This annual event is held twice a year 2nd July & 16th August - It is a horse race that is held in Siena. This event is a significant part in the life of the city today as it did centuries ago. Ten horses and riders, bareback and dressed in appropriate colours, represent ten of the seventeen contrade.
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