72 Hours in Tuscany

Tripoto
25th Aug 2014

Florence - Piazzale Michelangelo

Photo of 72 Hours in Tuscany by Kristoffer

Florence - Palazzo Vecchio

Photo of 72 Hours in Tuscany by Kristoffer

Florence - Palazzo Vecchio

Photo of 72 Hours in Tuscany by Kristoffer

Florence - Palazzo Vecchio

Photo of 72 Hours in Tuscany by Kristoffer

Florence - Palazzo Vecchio

Photo of 72 Hours in Tuscany by Kristoffer

Florence - Pitti Palace

Photo of 72 Hours in Tuscany by Kristoffer

Florence - Arno River

Photo of 72 Hours in Tuscany by Kristoffer

Florence - Piazza del Duomo

Photo of 72 Hours in Tuscany by Kristoffer

Florence - Piazza del Duomo

Photo of 72 Hours in Tuscany by Kristoffer

San Gimignano

Photo of 72 Hours in Tuscany by Kristoffer

San Gimignano - Piazza Cisterna

Photo of 72 Hours in Tuscany by Kristoffer

San Gimignano - Torre Grossa

Photo of 72 Hours in Tuscany by Kristoffer

San Gimignano

Photo of 72 Hours in Tuscany by Kristoffer

San Gimignano

Photo of 72 Hours in Tuscany by Kristoffer

San Gimignano - Bella View

Photo of 72 Hours in Tuscany by Kristoffer

San Gimignano

Photo of 72 Hours in Tuscany by Kristoffer

San Gimignano - Skyline

Photo of 72 Hours in Tuscany by Kristoffer

San Gimignano

Photo of 72 Hours in Tuscany by Kristoffer

Siena - Cattedrale di Siena

Photo of 72 Hours in Tuscany by Kristoffer

Siena - Beautiful art work

Photo of 72 Hours in Tuscany by Kristoffer

Siena - Piazza del Campo

Photo of 72 Hours in Tuscany by Kristoffer

Siena

Photo of 72 Hours in Tuscany by Kristoffer

Viareggio

Photo of 72 Hours in Tuscany by Kristoffer

Viareggio - Gran caffè Margherita

Photo of 72 Hours in Tuscany by Kristoffer

Viareggio - Gran caffè Margherita

Photo of 72 Hours in Tuscany by Kristoffer

San Gimignano

Photo of 72 Hours in Tuscany by Kristoffer

Tuscany is an area of Italy that seems to whisk you away to another place and another time.  The region's laid back atmosphere and down to Earth people sets it apart from many other regions, particularly areas of the north.  So with all of the wealth and beauty that Tuscany has to offer and given the title, you may be asking yourself... "What can you see in three days?"   The answer to that question is plenty.  Although, at first I even questioned whether our plans were a bit too ambitious, but as it turned out we were able to cover a lot of ground with the given time frame...   

Day 1: Welcome to Tuscany

Our Tuscan adventure began with a 3 1/2 hour drive from Milan to Florence.  Our road trip took us through the majestic Apennine Mountains which are Italy's second great mountain range behind the Alps to the north.  If you have time, the Apennines are definitely worth a detour to stop and take in the view.  After our tour through the mountains we eventually arrived in Florence and to our next mini adventure, finding our hotel which was nested in the middle of the city.  GPS, normally your friend, will have a hard time receiving accurate signals between the extremely narrow streets and tall builds.  My advice, if you're traveling by car, pick a hotel just outside the city center.  Your GPS will thank you- plus available parking is easier to find.  But once we were finally checked in, Florence beckoned our call. 

Day 2: The Country Side

On day two we set out for Siena and deeper into Tuscany.  The rolling hills spotted with villas and vineyards make for a picturesque drive.  En route to Siena, we took a slight detour to San Gimignano for lunch and to spend a few hours exploring the famous medieval hill town.  We eventually arrived at our destination (Siena) and hotel (which was much easier to find) and ended the day touring the medieval cityscape which takes you back to the Middle Ages in spots.

Day 3: The Sea Side

On our third and final day, our road trip took us to the coast and the seaside comune of Viareggio on the Tyrrhenian Sea.  Now when you think of Tuscany, visiting the coast line isn't exactly your first thought, but what better way to end your Tuscan immersion than a relaxing few hours at the beach?  If you decide to go to the beach, there are literally dozens of beach clubs to choose from up and down the coast.  Before you spend your money, first check and see if your hotel has a sponsorship with any of the beach clubs and can give you a discount.

With Florence, staying in the city center does give you easy access to many of the city's famed attractions. The Piazza del Duomo is Florence's signature landmark and is a must see, especially from the top of the cathedral. But if you're looking for of a more grand view of the city, then it's best to end your day at Piazzale Michelangelo where you can enjoy the panoramic views of Florence.
Photo of Florence, Italy by Kristoffer
Driving up to San Gimignano, you'll notice that it is the only medieval hill town with its own skyline. Its fine towers and Romanesque/Gothic architecture gives San Gimignano its own bit of character. Enjoy awesome panoramic views of the Tuscan countryside as you sample some of the best ice cream in Italy at Gelatería di Piazza!
Photo of San Gimignano, Siena, Italy by Kristoffer
Like San Gimignano, Siena's medieval architecture gives it its own unique bit of character, but on a larger scale. The walled cityscape consist of an adventurous maze of narrow streets, alleys, and corridors which lead to many famed areas of the city. Most notably, the Palio horse races which are held twice a year in Piazza del Campo.
Photo of Siena, Italy by Kristoffer
The coastal city of Viareggio sits at the northern most extent of Tuscany and is probably not as famous as some of the other well known Tuscan cities (Florence, Siena, Pisa, and so on...). However, when traveling, location is everything and Viareggio benefits from its close proximity to Pisa, Lucca, and Forte dei Marmi. All of which are less than a 30 minute drive from the city center and can make excellent day excursions.
Photo of Viareggio, Lucca, Italy by Kristoffer
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