The beauties of Tuscany ...
Located in central Italy, extended from the Apennines to the Tyrrhenian Sea, Tuscany is the undisputed protagonist in the world tourism scene. Landscapes, artistic heritage and important cities make this region unique in the world. Nature presents many different faces, starting from the coast that alternates long and sandy beaches, like the Versilia coast, with rocky cliffs and steep headlands. The islands of the Tuscan Archipelago are incomparable, surrounded by Mediterranean vegetation, a crystalline sea and rich depths.
What to visit
The Campo dei Miracoli complex, declared by UNESCO as a "World Heritage Site", is a monumental space of inestimable value and of great tourist attraction that brings together the most representative structures of the city. On a green lawn stand the white structures of the Duomo and the Baptistery, both in Romanesque-Pisan style, of the Camposanto Monumentale and of the Campanile, known as the Leaning Tower. The inclination of the bell tower, due to a collapse of the land, has made the monument that is now the symbol of the city famous throughout the world. The historic center contains architecture and churches from the Renaissance and a magnificent setting is offered by the central Piazza dei Cavalieri, which houses rich sixteenth-century palaces including the Palazzo dei Cavalieri, now home to the Scuola Normale Superiore. Among the monuments not to be missed is the National Museum of San Matteo, set up in the former monastery of the church, which includes a precious collection of painting on a table with gold background, sculptures and other works and the Church of Santa Maria della Spina, a real jewel of Pisan Gothic.
City of ancient origins, surrounded by its walls dating back to the XVI-XVII centuries. This grandiose work of military engineering, with its embankments and ramparts, is today a singular and panoramic space for public walks. Particularly striking is the historic center that preserves, intact, the medieval appearance with characteristic alleys and squares overlooked by towers and stone houses-towers, terracotta houses with loggias and palaces. Among the most characteristic streets are Via Fillungo, the main axis of the medieval village, surrounded by noble palaces and ancient towers including the famous Torre delle Ore and Via Guinigi where the complex of palaces and buildings from the Middle Ages is concentrated. Religious architecture of particular importance are the Cathedral of San Martino with its magnificent façade and the interior rich in precious works; the Cathedral Museum which collects paintings, liturgical furnishings and sculptures; the Church of San Michele in Foro, a singular example of Pisan-Lucchese architecture and the splendid Basilica of San Frediano.
Heart of the city and historical religious pole, Piazza del Duomo brings together a monumental complex of extreme value: the Cathedral or Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, rich in works of art and surmounted by the majestic dome of Brunelleschi, the Baptistery of San Giovanni, magnificent example of Florentine Romanesque and Giotto's Bell Tower, a masterpiece of Florentine Gothic architecture. The magnificent Loggia del Bigallo completes the scenography of the Piazza. Behind the Duomo is the magnificent Museo dell'Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore where you can admire a precious collection of works from the Cathedral, the Baptistery and the bell tower. The historic center of civic life is Piazza della Signoria which houses the fourteenth-century Loggia della Signoria or dei Lanzi, decorated with famous sculptures, the Fountain of Neptune and Palazzo della Signoria or Palazzo Vecchio, one of the city's landmark monuments. some statues including a copy of Michelangelo's famous David (the original is on display at the Accademia Gallery). The Piazza is flanked by the majestic Uffizi Gallery, home to one of the most important and famous museums in the world including works by Botticelli, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and many other great artists: a journey through the masterpieces of art not to be missed.
The historic center is dominated by Piazza del Campo, one of the largest medieval squares, shaped like a shell, the theater of the famous Palio. Here there are monuments of great value such as the Palazzo Pubblico (XIII-XIV century), a true jewel of Gothic art and home to the Civic Museum; the chapel of Piazza, surmounted by the Torre del Mangia and the wonderful Fonte Gaia by Jacopo della Quercia (in reality there is a reproduction in the square, while the remains of the original are kept in the very rich museum complex of Santa Maria della Scala). There are numerous art treasures of the city including the Duomo (XII-XIV century), one of the highest achievements of Romanesque-Gothic art, rich in sculptures, paintings and architecture, the Metropolitan Opera Museum that collects masterpieces of famous artists including Duccio di Buoninsegna, Ambrogio Lorenzetti, Taddeo di Bartolo; the imposing red-brick Medicean Fortress, commissioned by Cosimo I in the mid-16th century; the elegant Loggia della Mercanzia, a transition architecture from the Gothic to the Renaissance style. The Sanctuary of Santa Caterina, the patron saint of Italy and of Europe, is a place of great devotion. The structure, built around the Santa's home, includes chapels and cloisters richly decorated by different artists.