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Panorama of the Tuscan countryside, ideal for sensational photos
Photo © Alliance Images
Photo © Alliance Images

The most beautiful places to take photos (and selfies) in Tuscany

A guide to unique places to immortalise, including squares, monuments, nature reserves and contemporary works of art

You don't need to be a great photographer to get the perfect shot. It's arguably more important to choose the ideal place, helped by the right light, allowing you to bring home a beautiful memory of your holiday. If you're looking for stunning landscapes where you can take photos to share with friends or a unique background for your selfies, take a look at this list of extraordinary places to take wonderful photos in Tuscany.

  • 1.
  • 2.
    Cities of Art
  • 3.
    Monuments and historical buildings
  • 4.
    Food and Wine
  • 5.
  • 6.
    Medieval Towns
  • 7.
    Coasts and Islands
  • 8.
  • 9.
    Parks and Nature Reserves
  • 10.
    Contemporary Art


Saturnia - Mulino waterfalls
Saturnia - Mulino waterfalls - Credit: Goncalo Figueiredo

You will almost certainly have seen, in your Instagram feed, aerial photos of natural pools buried deep in the heart of nature. Check the geotag, and you will probably find that they were taken at Saturnia, down in the Maremma. Apart from being beautiful to look at, they are also the ideal place to spend a spa day, totally relaxed.

Another much-photographed thermal pool in Tuscany – in which, however, you cannot bathe – can be found in the middle of piazza di Bagno Vignoni, in the Val d’Orcia countryside. It is particularly beloved by the pilgrims who walk the Via Francigena. The main piazza in the town holds a thermal water pool which on cold days gives off an enchanting steam.

Still along the Via Francigena, the free thermal baths of San Filippo, with the limestone formation known as Balena Bianca (White Whale), provide a beautiful setting.

Cities of Art

Lucca - Credit: Pug Girl

In Florence, as we know, it's impossible not to take pictures. All you need to do is climb to Piazzale Michelangelo and the magnificent Renaissance city lies before you. From here, the cupolone of the Duomo and Ponte Vecchio are perfectly framed for pictures.

However, if you want something a little more “unusual”, you could head to Lucca and its famous circuit of walls. Stop at the entrance gate to Piazza Anfiteatro and take a photo through the arch, which offers a readymade frame on the circular square, bubbling with restaurants and wine merchants.

You could also head to Livorno and walk along Terrazza Mascagni, snapping photos of the chessboard terrace that seems to drop into the sparkling sea and overlooks the rocks.

There are many places in Pistoia that are perfect for photographs, for example Piazza della Sala, so lively in the market days, or the church of San Giovanni Fuorcivitas, with its white and green marble cladding that can be used as a backdrop for your portraits.

Monuments and historical buildings

San Galgano
San Galgano - Credit: Antonio Cinotti

The Leaning Tower of Pisa, apart from being a symbol of Tuscany, is one of Italy’s most photographed monuments. Zig-zag through Piazza dei Miracoli, dodging the tourists who exploit an optical illusion to make it look as if they are holding up a falling tower.

And what needs to be said about the roofless Abbey of San Galgano? A beautiful work of architecture in the Chiusdino municipality, it enjoys a connection to the myth of the sword in the stone, and has been the set of a number of films, including Andrei Tarkovsky's Nostalghia.

For a plunge into medieval history, opt for the Malaspina Castle overlooking the town of Massa, with frescoed rooms and a dreamy courtyard.

The beautiful Tuscan bridges are also super attractions. In particular, the Ponte della Maddalena bridge in Borgo a Mozzano (also known as the Devil's Bridge) has such a unique shape that photographing its asymmetrical arches is a must!

Food and Wine

Ice cream in Florence
Ice cream in Florence - Credit: JodiGrundig

Food is also a pleasure to see! With this being aim, there’s nothing to do except drift through the restaurants, bars and osterias in search of local delicacies. A glass of wine to accompany your platter of charcuterie in a design winery? Or are you more of a street-walking panino and gelato person?

If you're in Florence, you could take advantage of the retro ambience of historic cafés amidst soft lighting and Belle-Époque settings.


Asciano - Credit: Stefano Cannas

If instead you are looking for a country panorama, with sinuous hills and steepling cypresses, well, that’s easy. Let's start from Asciano: taking the Pecorile country road, your gaze will be captured by the Agriturismo Baccoleno. If you want to photograph the Crete Senesi, head towards the Leonina road.

In Val d'Orcia, you can photograph the Lucciola Bella Nature Reserve, with its zigzag road from La Foce. You will also find the characteristic Chapel of Vitaleta and the panoramic terrace of Pienza overlooking Mount Amiata.

At Artimino, in the Carmignano municipality, you can photograph the olive-groved, vine-grooved valley; and, in the distance, the Medici Villa La Ferdinanda, known as the Villa of a hundred chimneypots, dominates the hill that was once the site of a sacred Etruscan temple.

Medieval Towns

Monteriggioni from the Via Francigena
Monteriggioni from the Via Francigena - Credit: What if we walked

Secret doors, curtains embroidered with flowers, bell towers and sleepy cats. We must be in one of Tuscany’s countless medieval hill villages, which are the perfect venues in which to pose on panoramic terraces, sit on a flight of steps, stroll through piazzas and have a coffee with the locals.

With its unmistakeable towers, San Gimignano is one of the Sienese countryside’s most beloved and visited medieval towns, but there's also Monteriggioni and plenty of other places to explore. Take a look at the Orange Flags to choose the next historic village to visit.

Coasts and Islands


The Tuscan coast and islands offer incredible views over the blue horizon. Orbetello's lagoon and its centuries-old Spanish mill will be ideal backgrounds for your summer poses.

Along the Etruscan Coast, take a stop in Populonia for a shot from the peninsula, from where you can admire both the sea and the ruins of the Etruscan necropolis.

Add in the Viale dei Cipressi di Bolgheri in Castagneto Carducci, a scenic road characterized by two rows of very tall centuries-old cypress trees that inspired the poem Davanti San Guido by Giosuè Carducci. Set along the Bolgheri provincial road, it's almost five kilometers long and connects the Oratory of San Guido with the historic center of Bolgheri. The area is full of vineyards and olive trees that are wonderful to photograph, and it's also a short distance from the sea.

If you can't resist the call of crystal-clear waters, Elba Island is full of spectacular beaches: Capobianco, Sansone and Fetovaia are just three of the many options.

For fans of photographing out in the "wild", the islands of Capraia and Giglio, are ideal. Here, nature and sparkling waves are the highlight of the area. In Capraia, Cala Rossa and Zenobito tower are particularly fascinating. On Giglio Island, we recommend Caldane and the beach of Giglio Campese, with the tower of the same name just behind.


Monte Forato
Monte Forato - Credit: Alice Russolo e Nicola Santini

From the sea to the mountains. A cosy, intimate little place to visit and shoot is Monte Forato, one of the most beautiful of the Apuan Alps, easy to reach and distinguished by its unique arch, which has always drawn hikers, travellers and experts. The rising and setting sun is especially spectacular as it shines through the arch, whether you’re looking through it from Versilia or the Garfagnana.

Between Casentino and Valdarno we find the Pratomagno range, with its unmistakeable cross that stands 1590 metres above sea level.

As for the Pistoiese Apennines, you could do worse than a visit to the San Marcello Piteglio suspension bridge: a pedestrian gangway that joins two slopes and invites some truly original photos (but only if you don’t suffer from vertigo).

Those who love history can't miss the castles of Lunigiana with their magnificent views of the wood-covered mountains as well as hosting fantastic museums. From the Malaspina di Fosdinovo Castle, you can also see the sea in the distance.

Parks and Nature Reserves

Walkway over Massaciuccoli
Walkway over Massaciuccoli

If you want to surprise your followers with breathtaking, little-known views, take a trip to the Biancane Park for a lunar panorama of Monterotondo Marittimo.

Not far from Lucca, visit the Orrido di Botri, a natural canyon whose deep crevices, waterfalls and pools owe to millennia of erosion by the Pelago stream.

Nature-loving photographers will thrive in the LIPU Oasis of Lake Massaciuccoli, a protected area of 47 hectares created to protect the rare species that live around this watery area. Here you can use the stilted wooden walkways, built right over the water’s edge.

For those who love fields in bloom, in summer the sunflower fields (for example on the Via Suveretana in Maremma) and lavender fields (in Santa Luce) are perfect for colouring your Instagram profile.

Contemporary Art

Site Transitoire in Asciano
Site Transitoire in Asciano - Credit: Flavia Cori

Time for one last auteur photo? If you love contemporary art, you should take a tour of Pievasciata, among the hills of the Terre di Siena. Here you find the Chianti Sculpture Park, where thought-provoking artistic installations are spread along a circular path that winds its way through an oak and holm oak wood.

The Apuan Riviera, among the many beauties to be photographed, has a work of art in the marble quarries: it is the splendid mural 'David looking at the moon' by Eduardo Kobra, which can also be reached on foot by following the paths that start from Colonnata, Vergheto, Casette.

Nor should you miss a stop at Pietrasanta, a hub for artists and sculptors from all over the world. In recent decades, it has become known as a true outdoor museum, with many temporary exhibitions in the historic center – piazza Duomo, in particular.

In the heart of the Maremma, between the sea and the hills of Capalbio, there's a very special artistic park: the Tarot Garden, born from the imagination of the French sculptor Niki de Saint Phalle, where you can take pictures of statues inspired by figures from the Tarot cards.
Among the art parks to be photographed, you should also visit the Giardino Viaggio di Ritorno in Castiglione della Pescaia (Maremma), featuring sculptures made from discarded materials.

In Volterra, a few kilometers from the entrance to the village, the circle of Staccioli represents an open window on the beauty of the valley. The fiery red work has become a symbol and photographing it is an irresistible temptation, especially as it frames the beautiful hills.

Finally, in the Crete Senesi, the best place to enjoy the sunset is the Site Transitoire, Jean-Paul Philippe's monumental work in the open countryside. On the day of the summer solstice, the sun sets in the fissure of the large stone window, creating a truly enchanting spectacle, all to be photographed.

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