It is not easy to choose where to go and what to visit in a region like Tuscany, with all its wonderful places hiding corners full of charm, the parish churches that guard small treasures of art, the trattorias where you can taste the cuisine of the past, the stores where you can rediscover ancient crafts.
For those dreaming of a vacation in the most authentic Tuscany, our advice is to plan an itinerary starting from the list of "The Most Beautiful Villages in Italy," a selection curated by the Department of Tourism of the National Association of Italian Municipalities (ANCI – Associazione Nazionale Comuni Italiani).
To be included on this list the villages must have a population of less than two thousand inhabitants (in the historic town center), at least 70% of historic buildings from before 1939 which have to meet precise and rigorous principles from the viewpoint of architecture, urban planning and promotion of their heritage.
This valuable list includes 27 Tuscan villages.
Using the list of the most beautiful villages as a compass, you can discover the Garfagnana and the Media Valle del Serchio, where medieval feuds preserve their traditions while, all around, the unspoiled nature of the Apuan Alps fills your eyes with beauty.
The Valdarno, the Valtiberina and the Valdichiana Aretina are explored, where evocative medieval forts are located with fairy-tale historic centers, guardians of towers, palaces and Romanesque small-sized churches.
In Casentino and Mugello you can experience adventures in a medieval atmosphere, surrounded by woods, while in Chianti the exploration continues through the vineyards.
In the Terre di Siena and Valdichiana Senese you travel through the centuries visiting villages of Etruscan origin, castles, spas, and medieval towers.
After admiring the hilly panorama of the Valdelsa, the gaze wanders to the horizon from the Etruscan Coast, among medieval villages and Etruscan remains.
Unspoiled nature, wild landscapes and exciting traditions are the signature style of the Maremma and of Mount Amiata, territories that welcome villages surrounded by medieval walls or forests, carved out of tuff or overlooking the sea.
Finally, the village that belongs to the Tuscan Archipelago, Giglio Castello, suspended between sky and sea.