The truth is that Tuscany doesn’t need anything else but…Tuscany. There is so much to see and experience in it, that it is enough even for a trip of many months. Romantic trips, picturesque towns, amazing cities, rich history and breathtaking views in between. Still, sometimes there are those who want to change the scenery a bit, and see other cities or other diverse landscapes. On this occasion you can even visit another country, so what’s wrong? Not bad.
If you are in the middle of a trip to Tuscany, and you want a little variety – here are some suggestions outside the box (for Tuscany).
If we tell you that this is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Italy (among Italians), you will probably understand that this is a place that is really worth a visit. The Cinque Terre are actually five separate towns, closely related to each other. They are located on steep cliffs on the shores of the Italian Riviera, in a location that redefines the term “on the edge of the abyss”.
The residents living in these towns created for hundreds of years a developed infrastructure of transitions between the towns and into the interior of the continent, using railroads, roads and ferries. In addition to these, the towns are surrounded by olive and grape orchards and vineyards, which make the view even more perfect (if that’s possible). They are full of beautiful colorful houses, picturesque alleys and calm residents, and host hundreds of thousands of tourists every year (recently the number even crossed the million mark). The way of life of the residents here is so unique, that the place was declared by UNESCO as a world heritage site.
San Marino (San Marino)
If a trip to Tuscany (and even Italy) alone is not enough for you, why not jump to another country on the way? Not many know, but within the territory of Italy there are two other countries. The first is of course the Vatican, and the second is San Marino.
According to the country’s tradition, it is the oldest republic in the world, when it is claimed that it was founded in 301 AD. There are many things that make San Marino unique (besides its size, as it is the fifth smallest country in the world), but we will let you discover them for yourself. Here we can only say that if you want to experience an ancient country, full of picturesque alleys, stunning scenery (the entire country sits on several mountains) and kind people. There is no doubt that marking another country during the trip in Italy is an exciting experience, especially if it is the oldest republic in the world.
Some people just can’t get enough, and they want to visit all the highlights of Italy in one trip. If you are like that, and you have already marked Florence and the other must-sees of Tuscany, then your next destination should be the famous Venice, the city of canals. The journey between Florence and Venice takes less than three hours by car (and even less than that by train), so logistically the transition between Tuscany and Venice is very simple.
This is not the place to describe Venice and the multitude of must-see sites and hidden cute corners it has to offer. After all, this is a city that competed with Florence for many years for the title of the richest and most important city in Italy in particular, and in Europe in general. If you are interested in walking in the city of canals, if you want to hear a gondolier singer and feed pigeons in St. Mark’s Square, blow glass in Murano and embroider lace in Burano (don’t forget to buy some of these delicacies too – glass works and lace), we recommend that you read a little about Venice in one of our guides here on the website , and start building your trip there.
This beautiful city is another highly recommended stopping point (it’s about a two hour and 45 minute drive from Tuscany) and it’s on the shores of the Ligurian Sea, making it a very popular and well-loved vacation town. Many sunny days throughout the year, charming colorful houses and a light and relaxed feeling are part of its charm. It is a very ancient city, part of which received the title “World Heritage Site” by UNESCO, a city where the explorer Christopher Columbus was born and also one of the most important local artists – Fabrizio de Andre (who died in the 1990s). There are ancient and beautiful cathedrals in Genoa, The house of Columbus himself is another attraction in the city that is worth stopping by, as well as quite a few interesting museums (the maritime museum, for example).