You guessed it right: I’m in love with Italy.
It’s one of my favorite countries because everytime I visit, I get to discover a new fantastic place. It always makes me fall in love with its lovely villages, pretty landscapes and astonishing architecture, and it’s always a pleasure to come back to one of the most romantic regions in Italy: Tuscany.
I went back to Tuscany recently for the Blogger Week and I had a blast there!
During this weekend we were based in Montecatini Terme, the perfect base to explore Tuscany as it’s only a 30-minute drive from places like Florence, Pisa and Lucca.
What to see in Tuscany in one weekend
It was funny to come back to Florence after more than 10 years since my first visit. The vibe of the city has changed dramatically, with hordes of tourists everywhere. Florence is especially busy and crowded in Spring so if you can, avoid this season!
Anyways, Florence will always be one of the most beautiful places in Italy and it still deserves at least a short visit if you’re around. Best time to go is at sunrise before the crowds, or sunset from Piazzale Michelangelo to enjoy the amazing view over the city.
Must visit places in Florence
- Piazza del Duomo (Santa Maria del Fiore)
- Piazza della Signoria
- Piazza della Republica
- Ponte Vecchio
- Giardino delle rose
- Piazzale Michelangelo
If you have extra time in Florence and you’re into art, then pay a visit to Uffizi (skip the line buying your tickets in advance here) and Accademia Gallery to meet the real Michelangelo’s David (who also has a replica in Piazza della Signoria).
Where to eat in Florence
We ate in Osteria Vecchio Vicolo, an authentic Tuscan trattoria and pizzeria not far from Ponte Vecchio. Its decoration is beautiful, designed as a traditional italian alleyway with rustic windows, laundry hung in clotheslines and flowers everywhere around. It looks like you’re eating in a terrace even when you’re inside.
After many visits to Italy, this was my first time in Pisa!
After watching many memes on the internet picturing people trying to push/hold/kick the leaning tower, I was expecting it to be somehow overrated and disappointing. Cliché photos apart, I didn’t find it disappointing at all! The place is beautiful, the lighting was amazing, and I hope that cliché pictures will be eradicated one day soon.
In my opinion the leaning tower of Pisa is worth seeing, but take into account that there’s not much more to see in Pisa. That being said, go there a couple of hours before sunset to catch the best light!
What to do in Pisa (apart from visiting the tower)
- #1 rule: avoid cliché pictures! Please do not kick or push the tower, it’s a beautiful architectural site that don’t deserve that
- Pay a visit to Tuttomondo, Keith Haring’s last public street art mural on the back of St. Anthony’s church
- Have a gelato (or two!)
Lucca is known as the city of the 100 churches and towers, but don’t be overwhelmed by this number: it’s possible to discover this lovely town by foot or bike in a quick visit.
This charming and lovely city left us wanting more: every cobblestoned alley is picture perfect!
What to see in Lucca
- The city walls
- Il Duomo (St. Michael’s church)
- The Roman Amphitheater
Conveniently located between Pisa, Lucca and Florence, Montecatini Terme is the perfect base to explore Tuscany.
Montecatini is a small village with a handful of options when it comes to accommodation and restaurants, and more importantly, there you can really escape the hustle and bustle of the surrounding cities.
Apart from that, Montecatini Terme is famous for its healing waters and thermal and spa treatments. One of the best things to do there is taking the cable car to Montecatini Alto and get lost on its enchanting medieval streets. It was my favorite part of the trip!
What to see in Montecatini Terme
- Terme Tetuccio
- Montecatini Alto
- Grotta Giusti
Where to stay in Montecatini Terme
We stayed at Grand Hotel Nizza et Suisse, conveniently located in Montecatini Terme, with swimming pool and spa.
Other places to visit around Tuscany if you have some extra days
- San Gimignano
- Val D’Orcia
- Terme di Saturnia
How to get around Tuscany
Best way to explore Tuscany is by your own car, especially if you want to make the most of your time! You can also take the train between cities and avoid parking problems, but expect them to be delayed often.
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