CITY TRIPS IN TUSCANY

From the leaning tower of Pisa, over the medieval skyscrapers of San Gimignano, to Castiglioncello, the pearl of the Tyrrhenian sea: In Tuscany every town is something special.

Explore the towns and cities of the region with ease from your apartment at Le Vignacce and experience the culture that has made Tuscany one of the most envied regions in the world.

CITIES OF TUSCANY

Our small guide to the towns and cities in the region

Bolgheri

If you want to combine nature and a trip to the sea during your visit to Tuscany you are just right in Bolgheri, which is located approximately 30 km from Le Vignacce and is very close to the seaside. It is also especially popular with those who love a good glass of wine. Actually, many people argue that some of the best wines of Italy are being produced right here. An enchanting city and a perfect destination for a day trip.

Castiglioncello

Castiglioncello, which is located approximately 15 km from Le Vignacce, is often referred to as the “pearl of the Tyrrhenian sea”. It rises gently on a charming hill, is surrounded by pine tree forests and is characterized by a steep cliffs at the edge of the sea. Should you visit, do not miss the coves and rocky reefs in the area. They are a delightful sight.

Certaldo

Off the beaten path of the mass tourism in the region, on a gentle hill in the Val d’Elsa you can find the town of Certaldo, which is approximately 40 km from Le Vignacce. A rack railway connects the old city “Certaldo Alto”, which is higher up on the hill, with “Certaldo Basso”, which was originally the market square of the two townships. Today Certaldo Basso has arrived in modern times, with the residents profiting from industry and a blossoming agricultural sector. Meanwhile, the historical part of the town with its red brick houses that date back to the 10th century have a remarkable offer for any visitor. Sites like Casa del Boccaccio, the church Santi Jacopo e Filippo, the Palazzo Pretorio, that offers an amazing view of the surrounding lands of the Elsa valley, or the museum for sacral art are true delights.

Florenz

Florence, the place where the Renaissance is alive, is hardly a city easily missed. And yet, we would be remise to not mention that it is worth a visit, despite its many visitors. You can discover its economic, political, and cultural importance that stretches back many hundreds of years almost anywhere you look. The artistic and architectural heritage of the city, that is located approximately 60 km from Le Vignacce, is unique without a doubt. If you find the time, you should not miss the opportunity to see it for yourself.

Lucca

Lucca is the hidden champion of Tuscany. The old town of the city, which is located approximately 75 km from Le Vignacce, is enclosed by a 4 km long wall, which you can marvel at, but you can also walk on. Actually, you can even ride a bike on it. We recommend you rent a 4- or 6-seat bicycle for this purpose, which you can then also use to explore the old town, which is closed for motorized traffic. If you stroll through the narrow and twisted streets of this town you will eventually arrive at the cultural landmark of Lucca, the “Torre Guinigi” which rises 44 meters high into the sky and has an observation deck on which trees are growing – are rare sight indeed. Aside from such peculiarities and the generally quite impressive architecture of Lucca the town is also a perfect destination for a shopping expedition. The pedestrian zone Via Fillugino, which is enclosed by historic buildings, is home to a large number of small, fancy boutique stores, delicatessen shops, restaurants, and bars, and is a wonderful place for a delightful shopping experience.

Pisa

Pisa, while popular and famous like Florence, is surely worth a visit and only approximately 30 km from Le Vignacce. While you surely have heard of the leaning tower and the church Santa Maria Assunta, and both are definitely worth seeing, it is the city as a whole that makes it so special. Out tip: If you can, avoid going straight for the popular tourist destinations and instead stroll through the typical little, twisted streets of Pisa to develop your first impression of the city. Only by taking that approach you will experience the true nature of this lively college town and see it from its most wonderful, authentic side. Take in its colorful life and enjoy the Italian way of life. Don’t be surprised though if you visit and the city seems asleep. You’ve probably arrived during semester break. Then you will realize that most of Pisa’s residents are young students. After taking in the cultural highlights of Pisa we highly recommend a stroll through the old city and a walk along the Arno river in the early evening. Maybe you also want to stroll over the wonderful Piazza dei Cavalieri or the Piazza Garibaldi. It is the little things that really delight the eye here. Enjoy la Dolce Vita; the sweet life of Pisa – and maybe add some tasty Pizza or Pasta, or even a freshly produced Gelato and you will have a wonderful time here.

San Gimignano

If you want to travel back in time come to San Gimignano, and you will not need a time machine. Just take a short ride with the car to reach this town, which is located approximately 40 km from Le Vignacce, and experience architecture that has not been altered since the former duke issued a decree in 1563 which forbid any changes. 15 high, so called “genus towers” characterize the image of the city and are an impressive testament to the building competition between the richest families of the town during medieval times. The highest tower is 54 meters high. No wonder that this place is called the Manhattan of the middle ages.

Siena

Siena, which is located approximately 65 km from Le Vignacce, is not for nothing considered one of the most beautiful cities of Italy. Its medieval character and buildings in the style of the Italian gothic period, its especially beautiful old town, and the numerous cultural attractions of the city, such as the cathedral of Siena, the Palazzo Pubblico, and countless Basilicas, make it a fantastic destination for a day trip. If you want to enjoy a special sight we suggest you visit the Torre del Mangia. But beware: If you are afraid of heights, you might want to go elsewhere.

Volterra

If you find the time you should not miss the opportunity to visit the small town of Volterra, which is located approximately 60 km from Le Vignacce. Here you will find a place that mirrors the entire history of Tuscany. For example you can marvel at the remains of an Etruscan city gate, which is over 2.400 years old. Take a close look at the two stone heads on the side pillars of the gate and you will see the markings of time that have slowly weathered the faces away. The Roman amphitheater and the thermal bath here were built around the time of Christ’s birth. The local cathedral, the Palazzo Pretorio, and the former prison Torre del Porcellino were built in the 12th century. A small tip: If you want to enjoy a panoramic view over the entire town, visit the bell tower of the Palazzo dei Priori, which is also noteworthy for its remarkable medieval frescos. Another special sight is the cathedral of Volterra with its marble entrance and gold plated wooden panel ceiling. Nearby you can also take a look at the remains of an Etruscan Aktropolis. If you want even more history we recommend you take a look at the remarkable archaeological collection at the Meseo Etrusco Guarnacci or visit the remains of the Roman thermal bath underneath the Roman theater of Volterra.

A SECRET TIP...

…is the small town of Monteriggioni, which is located approximately 55 km from Le Vignacce near the city of Siena. Very few places have retained their medieval townscape as well as this town. Enclosed by a circular wall the houses of the town, which often date back hundreds of years, are a remarkable sight, and a stroll through the narrow streets of the town is a special experience, that is also not yet disturbed by large numbers of tourists.