The Ultimate South Tuscany To-do List
With vineyards, olive groves, and terracotta rooftops as far as the eye can see, you could easily get distracted on your travels through South Tuscany. To keep you on track, we’ve come up with our ultimate guide to what to see and where to go in one of Italy’s most scenic regions. Check out our to-do list…
Lose Yourself in the Streets of Cetona
Cetona is a medieval gem of a town, immersed in the unspoilt countryside and woodland between the lower Valdichiana and Mount Cetona. Follow the narrow labyrinth streets and discover some of the main attractions including Garibaldi Square and Rivellino, Church of SS. Trinità and the Church of San Michele Arcangelo.
Detox in Chianciano Terme
As one of the most famous spa towns in Italy, Chianciano Terme offers the opportunity to enjoy these healing waters to the full: immerse yourself in their warmth, or sip them and feel the health benefits of their purifying qualities. It’s a town with two unique sides – a modern area, with boutiques, art galleries, parks, shops of every kind, restaurants, and hotels; and the old town centre, the town’s original heart, where its most ancient memories are lovingly preserved.
Get to Know the Etruscans in Chiusi
A journey to this city of Etruscan origin begins at the Cattedrale Museum, where you can wander Porsenna’s Labyrinth. Visitors to the Civic Museum can descend into the Underground City, and there is a wonderful exhibition of Etruscan burial items. Don’t miss the National Etruscan Museum, and the nearby Etruscan tombs of the Monkey, the Lion, and the Pilgrim. When the weather’s mild, you can check out the shores of lake Chiusi by foot or by bicycle.
Go Back in Time in San Casciano dei Bagni
Situated on the border between Umbria and Lazio, in blissful isolation immersed in the green of lush vegetation, the town of San Casciano dei Bagni has a fairy-tale atmosphere, owing to its castle and the layout of the old town centre. The main square offers a stunning view that takes in the entire valley. The Repubblica Square, Medieval tower of Celle sul Rigo and Terme Fonteverde Spa are definitely worth a visit.
Play Indiana Jones in Sarteano
Rich in art and history, Sarteano offers some unmissable places including the San Martino in Foro church, home to an Annunciazione painting by Domenico Beccafumi, which dates from 1546, the beautiful late-17th century Arrischianti theatre, and the medieval castle that towers over the entire town. If you get the chance, try to arrange a visit to see the ancient and mysterious paintings on the walls of the Tomb of the Infernal Chariot.
Experience the Simple Life in Sinalunga
Located on the border between the provinces of Arezzo and Perugia this small town is surrounded by beautiful countryside where small working farms alternate with the distinctive 17th century Leopoldine farmhouses. Sinalunga offers an ideal combination of rural tradition and modern comforts, while some of the main attractions include: Theatre of Ciro Pinsuti the Church of Santa Maria delle Nevi and Palace Pretorio.
Sample Vin Santo in Torrita di Siena
Originally a fortified castle town, today Torrita di Siena is still protected by its 12th century defensive walls, where four gates open onto the old town centre: Porta Gavina, Porta a Pago, Porta a Sole, and Porta Nova. Follow the Vin Santo path, a nature trail through the surrounding countryside, to the town of Montefollonico, where you’ll no doubt be welcomed with a drop of the traditional local Vin Santo.
Eat Your Way Around Trequanda
This small town is situated on the border between the Val d’Orcia, the Crete Senesi, and the wooded hills of the Valdichiana. Terracotta adorns every corner of Trequanda, and the nearby hamlets of Petroio and Castelmuzio. The olive groves around the town produce an extra virgin olive oil of extraordinary quality, ideal for dishes of all kinds, or simply poured over a slice of Trequanda’s traditional bread. The Terracotta Museum of Petroio, the Pallavicini Archeology Museum Collection and the Croce of Lecceto are all highlights of this beautiful town.
Soak up the Culture (and Wine) in Montepulciano
This 16th century town, situated between Valdichiana and the Val d’Orcia, is steeped in culture. Not only is it famous for being the birthplace of poet Agnolo Poliziano, but the main street leads to Piazza Grande where you can wander through not just one, but three distinct centuries of art history: the 15th century Town Hall, with its imposing tower; the 16th century town well, with the Renaissance palazzos; and the 17th century cathedral, famous for its unfinished facade. Highlights include the Cathedral of Montepulciano, the Griffins and Lions Well and the Tower of the town hall. And we haven’t even mentioned the town’s famous red wine. There’s no better way to round off the day than with a glass of the local Vino Nobile di Montepulciano
Have you visited South Tuscany? Do you have any further suggestions to add to this to-do list? Leave a comment, we’d love to hear your tips and advice!