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5 Beautiful Villages in Tuscany

June 14, 2010 by  
Filed under Tourist Attractions

If you don’t have a lot of time for your Tuscany vacation, you can just visit this small, yet diverse selection of wonderful villages to get a good feeling for the history and culture of this beautiful Italian region.

Lucchio: Lucchio is a scenic village located in Lucca Province. It consists of the sparse remains of its ruined medieval castle, as well as quaint stone village houses blended gracefully into the side of a mountain. This 11th century castle was constructed to oversee the main road that runs alongside the river Lima, between Pistoia and Garfagnana. It is a little bit hard to get to. You walk up a long, winding, narrow road to this isolated old fortress. It blends gracefully into the rocky outcrop. In fact, sometimes it is hard to tell if you are looking at the castle or a part of the mountain. Here you will find the resurrected village with a warren of narrow walkways. The castle is a great location from which to view the magnificent scenery around the Lima River Valley and neighboring towns.

San Casciano dei Bagni: Located south of Sienna, deep inside of Tuscany’s hills, this village features winding roads that take you to a tower at the top of the hills. You are sure to be facinated by the Collegiata dei Santi Leonardo e Cassia. It boasts a Gothic facade. Additionally, it houses the Fighine Castle, and San Michele Arcangelo, a small church that dates from 1191. This lovely village features the thermal Fonteverde Spa, which traces its history to the 17th century and offers soothing spa services like mud, massage, and inhalation therapies. You will find no fewer than forty-two thermal springs located around the countryside.

Montalcino: Brunello red wine and its extra-virgin olive oil make this village famous. A tiny walled town located in the remote, hilly countryside to the south of Siena, Montalcino is especially well known for The Duomo (San Salvatore). When you visit the Piazza del Popolo, you’ll discover the Palazzo Comunale as well as the 14th-century La Loggia. Frescoes created by Vincenzo Tamagni are found at the San Francesco church, which was renovated in the 18th century. The lovely Romanesque church and monastery known as Abbazia di Sant’Antimo is located just outside of town.

Greve: Situated in Val di Greve, nestled between Florence and Siena, Greve, is a lively place when the September Greve Wine Festival commences! This is the region’s largest wine event. The village’s older section sports the triangular Piazza Giovanni da Verrazzano, where fresh, local fruits, and vegetables are sold. Here you will find a number of medieval buildings including the 11th-century Santa Croce Church. This impressive building features paintings by Beato Angelico’s school. There is also a triptych by Bicci di Lorenzo. What was once the convent of San Francesco is now home to the Museo de Arte Sacra, which holds a major art collection, including paintings, statues, and religious objects. On the outskirts of the village, you will find the Santo Stefano Church, where you can see a beautiful 13th century painting of the Madonna and baby Jesus.

San Gimignano is a walled village lying fifty six kilometers south of Florence, often called the medieval Manhattan. The village was settled in the 6th century and is located along the old route that pilgrims followed to Rome from Northern Europe. This village is made famous by the fact that 13 of the towers that are left were constructed in 1150. In addition to these towers, built by wealthy people in the days when the village was a booming trade center, you will also find intact palaces, gates, and walls. You might want to visit such notable locations as The Duomo, The People’s Palace, The Museum of Sacred Art, and The Archaeological Museum. You will find the famous Tuscany white wine, Vernaccia di San Gimignano, at a winery nearby.


One Response to “5 Beautiful Villages in Tuscany”
  1. Tuscan Explorer says:

    Friendly greetings from the Florentine heat!

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