Travel, but travel with responsibility

Bella Italia! – The 5 most inspiring places in Tuscany

In November 2015, I have spent some great days in Tuscany, visiting a good friend of mine! She has shown me around, to 5 very inspiring and beautiful places. These special places, I would like to share with you :)

Tuscany - Google maps

Tuscany – Google maps

 

1. Pisa

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Leaning tower of Pisa

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Globally famous for its leaning tower, of course :) Many tourists arrive here just for one hour, or even only minutes! in order to take a nice picture, preferably with the selfie stick, and then continue satisfied their swiftly way to another sightseeing hot spot in Tuscany.

 

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Cathedral of Pisa with the leaning tower in the background

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Cathedral

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But I think, Pisa is more than just the leaning tower and an airport city, and worth a full day visit.

Take your time! and walk along the river in the old city center. The old houses and small streets are inspiring.

Try delicious Italian food. There is for example a food market every day between 7.00 am and 1.30 pm on the Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II. Especially Italian ice cream and coffee are one of the most delicious ones, that I have ever tried.

Also the Piazza dei Cavalieri with the beautiful houses and the university building is absolutely worth to see.

 

Piazza dei Cavalieri

Piazza dei Cavalieri

If you are more into shopping, walk along the narrow street Corso Italia, and you can find a lot of high quality shops, situated in old beautiful buildings.

Busy place in front of the cathedral with the tower

Busy street in front of the cathedral with the tower

 

2. Volterra

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Volterra is a little village on a hill in the middle of Tuscany. A windy narrow road leads you there, but the strain of the serpentine inspired journey is absolutely worth it. You will feel like back into middle ages times. The narrow little streets and alleys, and unbelievable ancient buildings, churches and walls, make your visit to an extraordinary experience.

 

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Also the view down from the town walls to the surrounding landscapes of Tuscany and the mountains in the background, is breathtaking.

 

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Cathedral of Volterra

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Walking along the streets, you will feel the tranquility and composure of the people and the entire environment. No hectic or hassle exists here :)

 

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Municipality building

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Also nature fans will get their money worth in Volterra. There are plenty of walking trails around the town, through pure nature, along cypresses, olive and orange trees, and so on.

 

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3. Florence

Hub of the Medici family, and center of the European trade- and finance system in middle ages, was one of the richest cities in the 15. and 16. century.

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Cathedral Santa Maria del Fiore

 

Nowadays, the splendour and magnificence of these past days is still available and you can see proofs of this era in every corner of the city. It´s just like walking trough a wonderland of ancient Italian art.

I´m not wondering, why Florence is a sightseeing hot spot and highlight for tourists from all around the world!

 

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The majestic cathedral is without doubt the most famous and pompous building of Florence. I was really overwhelmed by it´s sight. All the little details of this building, the different colours, statues, ornamentations and engravings, make it for me one of the most complex and beautiful ones in the world.

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Sculpture of Brunelleschi looking at his cathedral dome

Sculpture of Brunelleschi (creator of the cathedral), in front of the cathedral,  looking at his work of art

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Another inspiring place is the Centro di Solidarieta di Firenze, with its municipal building and the statue of David in front of it. Also a fountain with Neptun is situated there. On the right side, there are some statues, among others from Perseus and the head of Medusa, centaurs, Hercules etc. It´s a very special place.

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Centro di Solidarieta di Firenze

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Neptun

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Michelangelo´s David

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Municipal building

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Perseus and Medusa

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Hercules

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River Arno

Walking along the river Arno in Florence is a beautiful experience.

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Birds sitting on a house wall

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Florence Moments

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Ponte Vecchio

 

We were crossing the Ponte Vecchio, with it´s beautiful little houses, builded on the edge of the bridge. It´s really worth to see that special place.

 

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Italian stereotype :)

Climbing up a little hill on the other side of the river, to the Piazzale Michelangelo, you will have a gorgeous view to the city and the surrounding landscape.

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View from the Piazzale Michelangelo

Clara and me :)

Clara and me :)

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4. Siena

Siena is mostly knows as a university city. That´s why not too many tourists find their way to Siena. Nevertheless, it´s one of the most beautiful, authentic and ancient cities I have seen in Italy. It still keeps it´s gothic, middle ages style, has a lot of flair, and the atmosphere is very relaxed. It´s just fun, walking through the streets, crossing places, and exploring narrow alleys and enchanted backyards.

 

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Siena

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Piazza del Campo

 

The Piazza del Campo with the Palazzo Pubblico and the fountain Gaia, is the most important square in Siena. Here takes place the famous Palio di Siena, a horse racing, twice a year. It´s known as one of the hardest horse racings of the world, and it´s an old tradition from the middle ages. During this time, thousands of people are coming to see this spectacle.  The opponents are from different (in total 17) districts of the city.

But during “normal” times, this square is nice for walking around, grabbing an ice cream, or just enjoying the sun close to the fountain.

 

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Fountain Gaia

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Snake…

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Church in Siena

 

During the time we were there, an exhibition of Xu Hongfeis´”Fat ladies” took place :)

 

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Cathedral of Siena

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Cathedral

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Romolus and Remus

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Streets and houses of Siena

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District of the jaguar

 

As I mentioned before, the city is divided in 17 districts (they are competing in the horse race of Siena). This is the symbol of the district of the jaguar :)

 

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Backyard of the university

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View from the city wall

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Little shops with typical Italian food

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District of the turtle

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Beautiful backyard

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Since Siena is build on a hill, you´ll have from some areas nice views to the city and it´s buildings.

 

 

 

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Training for the Palio di Siena

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Enchanted fountain

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5. Livorno

Livorno is a harbour city on the Ligurian Sea on the western coast of Tuscany. It may not seem very interesting, but the seaside, and the cliffs are absolutely worth a visit. You can just make a stopover here, before heading to the airport or just on your transit journey. There is also a nice restaurant just situated on the cliffs.

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Seaside of Livorno

 

Thanks for reading!

-Sarita

 

Ps: If you like this post, I would be happy about sharing it :) Thanks!

 

 

 

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