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Best itineraries in Tuscany – Art cities

Find out what to do and see in Tuscany according to Borgo Scopeto Relais. We encourage you to explore our region in all its facets; art, culture, food, walks and trails, nature and much more. We have thought of an introductory guide that collects what we believe are the best itineraries in Tuscany, a sort of column dedicated to specific topics that may be useful for your next vacation in Tuscany. Let's start with the art cities.

Siena

10 km from Borgo Scopeto Relais

Located in the heart of Tuscany, among rolling hills, it is a city of ancient origins. It was born as an Etruscan settlement and became a Roman colony under the Emperor Augustus. It reached its maximum splendor during the medieval period with the Sienese Republic and the Government of the Nine, the first example of Italian semi-democratic government. It still retains its medieval charm, including city walls, noble palaces, alleys and churches. In 1995 it was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site as an artistic and architectural masterpiece. Famous throughout the world for its horse race, the Palio, and for the wars against Florence which are often narrated in Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy. It is a small city, easily explored on foot, but extremely rich in monuments and artistic works. He gave birth to the most important painters of the Sienese School such as Duccio Buoninsegna, Simone Martini, Ambrogio and Pietro Lorenzetti.

Main points of interest

• Piazza del Campo
• Duomo - Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunta
• Torre del Mangia and Palazzo Pubblico
• Basilica di San Domenico

Florence

70 km from Borgo Scopeto Relais

Founded by the Romans, its name indicates a thriving city, flourishing, as it was bathed by the Arno river. Capital of the region, it is one of the most visited cities in the world thanks to its architectural and artistic masterpieces that made it a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982. Also known as "the cradle of the Renaissance" as it gave birth to and hosted the greatest artists, architects, poets and thinkers of the Renaissance era, under the influence of the Medici family. Among the best known Botticelli, Giotto, Michelangelo, Brunelleschi, Leonardo da Vinci, who have left testimony of their greatness with their timeless works scattered around the city as places of worship, noble palaces and paintings, some of which are housed inside of the most famous museums in the city such as the Uffizi Gallery, the Accademia Gallery, the Bargello Museum, to name a few.

Main points of interest

• Duomo - Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore
• Piazza della Signoria
• Palazzo Pitti
• Chiesa di San Lorenzo

Arezzo

80 km from Brogo Scopeto Relais

It is one of the oldest cities in the world, even older than Alexandria in Egypt, the first traces of civilization in fact date back to the Paleolithic and is located in a strategic position, surrounded by four valleys of great scenic beauty; Valdichiana, Valdarno, Casentino and Valtiberina. Known as a city of gold thanks to the presence of numerous goldsmith shops that make beautiful gold creations, especially jewelry. Many illustrious personalities of Italian cultural history were born here, such as the painter, architect and art historian Giorgio Vasari, the painter Piero della Francesca, the writer Francesco Petrarca, the doctor and biologist Francesco Redi. The historic center is small and it is therefore easy to see the most important builings.

Main points of interest

• Piazza Grande
• Duomo – Cattedrale dei Santi Pietro e Donato
• Basilica di San Francesco
• Casa Museo di Giorgio Vasari

Pisa

130 km from Borgo Scopeto Relais

Pisa is also a city of very ancient origins; in fact, it was born as an Etruscan settlement and became a base for commercial exchanges in Roman times, given its position near the sea and the Arno river that crosses it. It reaches the apex of its development during the medieval period, becoming one of the most powerful Maritime Republics thanks to the multiple trades in the Mediterranean sea. The architecture of the city still shows a purely Romanesque aspect, both as regards the buildings, the streets and the shape of the squares. It has always been an important center of cultural diffusion as it hosts some of the most prestigious Italian educational institutions, such as the University of Pisa, the Scuola Normale Superiore Sant’Anna and the headquarters of the National Research Council. It hosted some of the best minds known to date, among the most famous the astronomer and physicist Galileo Galilei, the physicist Enrico Fermi, the mathematician Leonardo Fibonacci, the writer Giosuè Carducci, the sculptor architect Nino Pisano and the painter writer Keith Haring.

Main points of interest

• Piazza dei Miracoli and the Torre Pendente
• Palazzo Reale
• Borgo Stretto
• Keith Haring's mural

Lucca

140 km from Borgo Scopeto Relais

Lucca, also known as "the city of 100 churches" due to its numerous places of worship, is a very special Tuscan city of art. Its shape as a fortified island makes it unique in its kind; it is in fact one of the few that still has intact the Renaissance walls, which gathers the center of the city inside. Important commercial center over the centuries for the art of silk, today it is an important point of reference for contemporary culture as it hosts two internationally renowned events such as Lucca Comics & Games, the main reference comic fair in Italy and Lucca Summer Festival, musical show with the most renowned musical artists in the world.

Main points of interest

• Piazza dell’Anfiteatro
• Piazza e Duomo di San Martino
• Chiesa dei Santi Giovanni e Reparata
• Palazzo della Signoria

These art cities are some of the best in Tuscany that in our opinion should be visited at least once in a lifetime. And do you agree? What other Tuscan cities of art would you suggest to see?

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