We so often associate Tuscany with things like rolling hills covered in Chianti vineyards and the occasionall hilltop village that it’s sometimes surprising to realize that Tuscany has a long stretch of coastline on the Ligurian Sea. While it’s not going to be possible for you to fully explore Tuscany’s sights in a short visit from a cruise, you’ll certainly be able to get a taste for this famous Italian region that’s sure to leave you wanting more.
The spring and autumn have long been popular seasons for savvy travelers planning Italy trips – shoulder seasons usually mean you get to experience a nice balance of good weather, reasonable prices, and crowds that aren’t huge. In Tuscany, fall draws people for the harvest season festivals that pop up throughout the region – but spring in Tuscany can be an equally fantastic time to visit, too.
Tuscany is famously dotted with hilltop towns that often inspire gushing declarations of affection from those who have visited – and while you can get great local wine throughout Tuscany (indeed, throughout Italy), one of the more famous wine-growing areas in the region is Chianti. The fact that Chianti is also home to several hilltop villages meaning you can enjoy spectacular views, cobbled streets, and picturesque piazzas while enjoying a local Chianti wine – well, it’s easy to see why this is such a popular area for tourists. In particular, one of the towns that draws lots of visitors each year is Radda in Chianti.
Of course we’re all familiar with Pisa‘s most famous monument – the Leaning Tower of Pisa is one of Italy’s most visited tourist attractions. Most people who check Pisa off their must-see list do so after a couple of hours en route from one city to another, or as a brief day trip from nearby Florence. There is, however, much more to see and do in Pisa than just the tower.
Defining what constitutes a “perfect day” in Tuscany, or anywhere else on earth, is downright impossible. One person’s version of perfect is completely different than the next person’s, and never the twain shall meet. In Tuscany, however, if you only have one day, you have a few options to create the perfect day for you. Of course, there are many more options besides just the three listed here, but these three should give you a good idea of what’s possible in Tuscany in just one day.
There are many iconic images of Tuscany that make us sigh deeply and start hunting for airline tickets. Even though many of us don’t know the name of the town in the photograph, one of those images is of the hilltop village of Pienza. The entire town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, surrounded by a valley that’s on UNESCO’s list of World Cultural Landscapes, and Pienza has been used as the setting for more than one Hollywood production. In other words, you’re not alone if pictures of Pienza make you swoon.