We use cookies to give you a better browsing experience. By continuing to use our site, you are agreeing to the use of cookies as set in our Cookie Policy.
OK thanks

Diane Geddie, Product & Short Break Specialist

"I highly recommend visiting Tuscany for the charming Italian atmosphere of cobbled streets, historic buildings as well as an extremely picturesque scenery. Designed for explorers alike, hire a bike or explore by foot and you might find yourself a pretty vineyard or a hidden boutique, follow the locals for the best places to go for authentic Tuscan cuisine and you won’t be disappointed!"

Tuscany at a glance

With its unique history, artistic heritage and superb cuisine, Tuscany is sure to delight and inspire. 


Known for its iconic Leaning Tower, Pisa is home to dozens of noteworthy historic sites, including the medieval political heart of the city, Knight’s Square, the dramatic Romanesque Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta and the Gothic cloister Campo Santo, or Sacred Field, where frescos from the 14th and 15th century have been preserved. Its rich history and local art can be enjoyed in one of Pisa’s many museums and galleries.

The picturesque scenery in Pisa is one to admire, from the River Arno with its punctuated backdrop of colorful pastel buildings and bridges to the rolling Apennine Mountain range looming over the distant horizon where vineyards and small villages dot the Tuscan landscape. For a unique, relaxing experience, try a soak in one of the city’s nearby thermal natural springs, famous during ancient times for their healing properties.


Peacefully set at the foot of the Apuan Alps, hidden behind imposing stone walls, Lucca is a city thriving with ancient history - from the traces of the Romans to the archeological remnants of the 12th century church of Saints Giovanni and Reparata, the city’s first cathedral and not to mention a total of 99 churches to discover! Renaissance walls and towers were formerly used to show dominance and a powerful status, many of these walls (unlike other Tuscan cities) are maintained to this day. With lush greenery and trees lining the walls of Lucca - hire a bike for the afternoon cycle along the entire perimeter. 


Siena has plenty of history, with strong local traditions of the 17 districts (“contradas”) and the Palio di Siena which is the largest annual event, taking place twice a year during the summer months. Siena’s must see’s include the Torre del Magia, where you take a 300 step hike to the top of the tower for stunning views across the city or for more breathtaking views (without the hike) is a visit to the Duomo di Siena’s “Panoramio”. If you are looking for something more educational then visit the Baptistery - its interior is decorated by the Sienese artists and sculptors of the Renaissance, and for museum-lovers, the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo is a must. 

Perfect if you’re looking for:

  • Picturesque scenery 
  • Historic attractions 
  • A multi-centre break  

Getting around

Pisa is a small city perfect for exploring on foot. A bus operates directly from the airport and train station for those wanting to get straight into the city centre. There is also a mini train that takes tours of Pisa, stopping at all the popular sites.

Lucca’s magnificent walls can be explored on bike or by foot, they also have buses running along the old city for more excursions to local attractions. Walking around Lucca you’ll be able to find many churches – 99 to be exact!

Walking is pretty much the only way around in Siena because it’s so small. Some of the attractions are stretched along three steep hills. Other places of interest within the centre is only accessible by foot as cars can’t reach. 

If you a visting more than one Tuscan city we would recommend hiring a car. 

Shopping in Tuscany

Pisa: Skip the tourist-like shops around the Piazza dei Miracoli and head straight to the city’s main shopping area located at the Corso Italia near the railway station and central bridge. Here you will find major retailers, well-known Italian designers and some special local boutiques selling a variety of things to bring home.

Take a stroll down one of the side streets to explore the variety of little open air markets or visit the bigger one at Piazza delle Vettovaglie near the city’s ancient towers. Open six days a week, this hundred year old market offers an authentic Tuscan experience.

Lucca: Lucca offers lots of shops and boutiques with pretty 20th century liberty facades along Via Fillungo. The city also has a plenty of luxury high fashion boutiques dotted around as well as gourmet food shops for nuts, cheeses, meats, honey and olive oils. 

Siena: Although Siena is small, it’s great for shopping. The main shopping area is around Via Banchi di Sopra where you will find everything or head over to Via di Catta for local hand-made souvenirs.  

Dining in Tuscany

Tuscan cuisine is influenced by hearty farm dishes that reflect both the sea and countryside. Yet each individual city has plenty of its own traditional dishes, many using ingredients such as beans, chestnuts, mushrooms, and pork. Discover Tuscan cuisine at its best, by going off the beaten track to find a hidden gem.  

Must-try local dishes:

  • Risotto con le Arselle: clams and rice cooked in a garlic stock.
  • Sullo Scio: a Parmesan topped tagliatelle dish flavored with tomatoes, garlic and rosemary.
  • Torta con i Bischeri: a pastry tart filled with a lemon, vanilla and nutmeg flavored rice decorated with fruit, raisins and maraschino. 

Get your tailor-made city break itinerary

Osprey Holidays can create a fabulous short break to Tuscany designed completely around your needs. We can arrange whatever you need, including:

  • All travel and transfers on days of your choice
  • Accommodation from our handpicked range of hotels, to suit your budget and requirements

Our award-winning team can provide expert advice and recommendations, from general questions to tiny details. Contact us now for your tailor-made itinerary.

Important information
Population 3.753 million
Languages Italian
Currency Euro
Visa Information No visa required for UK citizens
Average temperatures

(monthly highs °C)

Distance from airports
Pisa International Airport
Florence Airport

Tours and Excursions

San Gimignano, Chianti and Montalcino Day Trip

Travel from Siena to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed town of San Gimignano. Spend some free time exploring the delights of this medieval town before heading to the historic fortress town of Monteriggioni and a local winery for a light lunch and a tasting of Chianti wines.  Continue your trip to Val d’Orcia and the renowned Brunello vineyards of Montalcino.

Duomo of Siena and City Walking Tour

Explore the medieval streets with an expert guide who will take you round the narrow cobbled streets of this charming city. Admire the stunning architecture, including Palazzo Salimbeni and Palazzo Tolomei. Finally, visit the Duomo of Siena where you can view masterpieces by Donatello and Michelangelo.

Pisa and the Leaning Tower

On this leisurely walking tour your expert local guide will show you all the main attractions of the city as well as some of the more hidden sights and areas popular with the locals. Learn about the city’s maritime past, visit the Square of Miracles and Cathedral and, of course, climb the famous leaning tower!

Lucca Traditional Food Tour

Enjoy a gastronomic tour of this historic walled city with a local food expert to guide you. Learn about the traditions of local Tuscan cuisine during the tour as you sample delights such as Buccellato, Tordelli and Cecina, perhaps accompanied by a glass of local wine!  

We would be happy to arrange an excursion for you. To discuss options with a member of our knowledgeable team or to book, please contact us on 0131 243 8098.