Tuscany is one of the regions with the densest concentration of UNESCO Heritage Sites in the world. There are eight of them! A unique concentration of beauty! Have you ever visited them?
Unesco World Heritage since 1982
The entire historical center of Florence, a treasure chest of works of art and architecture, has been declared a World Heritage Site. From Piazza Duomo, with the Cathedral and the other monuments, to Piazza Signoria, with Palazzo Vecchio and the Loggia dei Lanzi, as well as the Ponte Vecchio, the churches, palaces and museums. Then there are the small streets where you can still breath in the Middle Ages, the craft shops that live on in the popular district of the Oltrarno, the testimonies of some of the greatest artists in the history (Michelangelo, Brunelleschi, Giotto, etc.). In 2021 the Unesco zone was extended and it now also includes Piazzale Michelangelo, San Miniato abbey, San Salvatore church, the Rose Garden, the Iris Garden and Le Rampe, down towards the river.
Here's what you should see in this city.
Unesco World Heritage since 1987
Better known as the Square of Miracles, this is the heart of Pisa and it has one of the most amazing concentration of beauty in the world. Here you will find the famous Leaning Tower as well as the beautiful cathedral, the baptistery and the monumental cemetery. A must-see, during the day or at night, when the white marble shines against the dark sky. And since you’re in Pisa, here are the 10 things you HAVE to do!
Unesco World Heritage since 1990
This little charming town is a medieval jewel known and loved around the world. Wandering around its streets and looking up at its 15 towers (San Gimignano used to boast 72 towers, which is why the town is also known as the “Manhattan of the Middle Ages”!) is like entering a time machine. Here is a list of things to see.
Unesco World Heritage since 1995
We could go on and on talking about the beauty of Siena, one of the most famous Italian cities and a place every tourist aims to visit during a trip to Tuscany. No coincidence that UNESCO has awarded its entire historical center as a World Heritage Site! Here's the story of the town.
Unesco World Heritage since 1996
The small town of Pienza represents the first application of humanist urban planning concepts and it was an example for many other Italian and European cities. Therefore the entire village is considered to be the ideal Renaissance town. If this were not enough, it is located in the Val d’Orcia area, another World Heritage Site! Here are a few more reasons to visit Pienza.
Unesco World Heritage since 2004
A landscape that has become the iconic image of Tuscany, with its distinctive beauty, the curvy hills with fortified settlements on top, cypress trees and vineyards, and colors that change according to the season. An image that exemplifies the beauty of well-managed Renaissance agricultural landscapes and that made the Val d’Orcia territory the first rural area to be honored with the UNESCO award. Here is what we suggest you must see (and taste!).
Unesco World Heritage since 2013
The Heritage Site includes the twelve Medici villas and two pleasure gardens (Boboli Gardens and Pratolino Park-Villa Demidoff, both commissioned by the Medici family). The Medici Family, lords of Florence from 1434, then Grand Dukes of Tuscany from 1569, ruled this territory almost continuously until 1737. The constellation of the Medici Villas that they’ve left behind is a network of rural buildings, farms and hunting lodges, and an outstanding expression of the Renaissance and Baroque periods. All of them have something that will make your visit worthwhile!
Unesco World Heritage since 2021
Montecatini Terme, along with 10 other towns, is part of the Unesco transnational round-up of Great Spa Towns of Europe: fashionable resorts where the European spa phenomenon has been a forerunner for unique architectural types, and elaborate urban, social and cultural structures. What does this mean? It means that in Tuscany, you can enjoy your health and beauty holiday in a world heritage site!
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Last but not least, there is a small part of the Tuscan territory that's also included as a UNESCO natural site, dedicated to the "Ancient and Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe": the centuries-old beech woods of the Casentinesi Forests National Park.
Original article by Leila Firusbakht