In Italy, we get used to seeing castles and defensive structures in varying states of ruin, trying to imagine what they once looked like. In Lucca, not only do you not have to imagine what the city walls used to look like, you can actually walk on them.
The Siena Duomo sits atop a hill, its striking black-and-white striped facade a popular photo subject in the pretty Tuscan city. Plenty of visitors tour the cathedral and admire its interior, but many don’t realize the church we see today was meant to be just the start of a much larger project.
There are lots of outdoor markets in Italy. Nearly every city has at least one food market during the week, and these can be fun to walk through. In Arezzo, however, there is an antiques market once a month that is considered one of the best in the whole country.
Whether you’re a wine aficionado or not, you’ve probably heard of Chianti — one of Italy’s best-known wines. What you may not know is that there are several sub-regions underneath the umbrella of Chianti, including one that’s a great day trip option from Pisa — the Colli Pisani, or Pisan Hills.
In this guide, we’ve handpicked the very best of what makes Italy so special — both on and off the beaten path — so you can travel like an insider in Italy!
The gorgeous Tuscan hills surrounding Siena are made for hiking – there are plenty of trails between towns, and the scenery in all directions is exactly what you want from Tuscany. But when you’re only visiting for a short time, it can be a bit intimidating to set out on your own – which is where guided hiking tours from Siena come in.