Sublime weather, delicious food and beautiful landscapes… just three of the reasons that get people packing to move to Tuscany for good (not to mention Italy as a whole). In this post, we'll show you 5 of the most popular retirement destinations around Tuscany. Already retired and love Tuscany? Then maybe one of these places is for you:
Halfway between Florence and Lucca you'll find a Tuscan town gradually winning the hearts of all who visit: Pistoia, a lively place between the Ombrone river valley, the Valdinievole and the Pistoia mountains. This Tuscan town is filled with art and unique things to do, like topiary art and visiting an old factory that makes handmade bronze cymbals. For a classic city tour, don’t miss piazza del Duomo, which was once the religious, political, judicial and social center of town. Piazza del Duomo, the true heart of the city and home of its most famed monuments, also features the Praetorian Palace, the Baptistery and San Zeno Cathedral, a religious building of rare beauty. Among Pisoia's liveliest places check out piazza della Sala, the central meeting square for residents of Pistoia (both day and night) and home to the city market since its origins. And don't miss another popular square called piazzetta degli Ortaggi. Underground Pistoia is another perfect place to discover the city's unseen treasures: the Pistoia Underground Museum is located at the Ospedale del Ceppo, a structure dating back to 1277. Don't miss learning more about piazza Duomo and see what else you can do in the this city of art. Check out this video for more inspiration.
The city of Lucca is a gem loved by travelers worldwide. In recent years, more and more visitors have moved here from around the world; the city’s charm lies in the peace and quiet afforded by Lucca’s old center and its surroundings. Visible from the walls, the Guinigi Tower, built around 1390, hovers above the roofs and is unmistakable for its tree-lined top. Lucca is fittingly known as the “city of one hundred churches” for the many places of worship built throughout various centuries. Among those inside its walls, don’t miss the Lucca Cathedral dedicated to St. Martin and founded by San Frediano in the 11th century, or the Church of San Michele in Foro, a marble structure built around 1070. From the Church of San Michele, walk along the main street of the city, via Fillungo, to the Basilica of San Frediano, one of the oldest religious buildings and the still active core of the Procession of the Holy Cross on September 13. Read about planning a day trip to Lucca and Lucca's (green) city walls. Check out this video for more.
The Chianti region is one of the most beautiful hilly areas in Tuscany (and perhaps Italy), famous worldwide for the production of Chianti wine. Vineyards, olive groves, fortified villages, castles and splendid landscapes mark this land stretching between Florence and Siena. Chianti is connected to Florence via the SS222, also known as the Chiantigiana, an easily accessible road that crosses this part of Tuscany. Almost everything in the area deserves a visit: Greve in Chianti is considered the gateway to the Chianti region, settled by the Etruscans and birthplace of the great navigator Giovanni da Verrazano. Piazza Matteotti, also called the Mercatale, is the city's main attraction, as well as the Church of Santa Croce. For you wine lovers out there, don't miss the area's Wine Museum. A short detour from the Chiantigiana road takes you to Montefioralle, an ancient medieval castle among the oldest in Chianti still vaunting its original appearance. Back on the main road you'll find Panzano in Chianti, a spot where you can taste one of the most delicious T-bone steaks in the world and enjoy stunning panoramic views. Check out more things to do in Chianti and maybe even make your own Chianti tour.
Montecatini Terme is located in the Valdinievole area, just 15 km west of Pistoia. This city is full of charm and culture and close to Tuscany's main cities. And it's also the capital of wellness and relaxation. Here, you'll find green parks, spas with innovative technology, good-natured hospitality and many chances to relax - the essence of Montecatini Terme. The town preserves the atmosphere of the Belle Époque era, with spas decorated Art Nouveau-style frescoes. You'll also find several sports facilities and racetracks as well numerous occasions for shopping and entertainment. Montecatini's surroundings offer other fantastic sights, such as Montecatini Alto. Reach the picturesque village via the oldest funicular in the world and enjoy the picturesque panorama over the city and the whole Valdinievole area. Check out more things to do in Montecatini Terme.
Tuscany's Versilia area is well known for its beaches and nightlife, but it's also a special retirement destination for it's high air quality, its flat towns (the hills are elsewhere) and long bicycle paths to get around. In the morning, head to Viareggio's promenade, where you'll see people cycling, walking, chatting at local bars and fishing on the pier. The climate is excellent year round and the area offers shaded places in the summer, such as the vast pinewoods stretching from Viareggio to Marina di Pietrasanta. Check out alternative things to do in Versilia in the summer.