Located on the west coast of Italy, Tuscany is a beautiful region famous for its breathtaking scenery and its unrivaled artistic history.
Tuscany's most important industry is tourism. Every year, millions of people visit the aptly named Cities of Art: Florence, Lucca, Pisa (home of the famous leaning tower), Siena, and San Gimignano. These cities are where some of history's greatest artists, among them Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo, were born or produced some of their best works. Of these cities, Florence is the most spectacular, and its remarkable architecture and extensive collection of art draws over 10 million tourists every year. If you visit Tuscany, Florence is a must-see, but try to avoid the hot, crowded summer months when the ratio of tourists to locals can reach as high as 14:1. Indeed, many Florentines leave the city in summer, preferring to escape to quiet villas in the beautiful Tuscan countryside.
Many say that to visit the Tuscan countryside is to visit paradise. Come evening, the rolling hills covered in vineyards and olive groves are washed in the gentle orange glow of the Tuscan sunset. Wine flows like water, and tables are piled high with food known the world over for being unimaginably delicious.
Even if you're not usually partial to a glass of red wine, you should make an exception when you visit Tuscany, as it is sure to change your mind. The region is famous for its high-quality wines made by master winemakers using traditions that have been passed down from generation to generation for centuries. Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino, and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano are some of the finest red wines in the world, though some of the best examples will cost you a lot of money, Brunello di Montalcino being widely known as one of Italy's most expensive wines. Perhaps the best way to sample these wines and learn how they're made is to attend a wine-making course offered by one of the region's many vineyards.
Whether you're going to learn about the area's cuisine, marvel at its fine art, or explore its extraordinary countryside, Tuscany is one destination that will never disappoint.