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Photo © Diego Mariottini / Shutterstock
Photo © Diego Mariottini / Shutterstock

Top things to do in Tuscany in spring

From historic gardens to art parks, from ancient paths to wine roads, here are some of the best outdoor ideas

As the sun begins to warm and the days start to get longer, we've put together some of the best things to do in Tuscany during the season of flowers and showers. 

Contents
  • 1.
    Ride your bike along the gravel roads
  • 2.
    Get deep into nature in the Protected Areas
  • 3.
    Get lost in hidden hamlets
  • 4.
    Explore UNESCO Medici Parks and Villas
  • 5.
    Take a walk on the Via Francigena
  • 6.
    Indulge along the Wine Roads
  • 7.
    Relax at natural hot springs
  • 8.
    Live your own fairy tale
1.

Ride your bike along the gravel roads

Eroica bike race
Eroica bike race - Credit: Costanza Giovannini

Whether it’s just for one day or for an entire vacation, a bike ride in the Tuscany is always a good idea in the spring. A great option is the 200 km Eroica road: a must for cycling lovers who want to explore the landscapes of Chianti, Val D'Orcia and Crete Senesi areas. Along the way be sure you take a detour to visit San Giovanni d’Asso, near Montalcino, and taste the spring truffles during the famous Mostra Mercato del Tartufo Marzuolo delle Crete Senesi.

 

1.

Get deep into nature in the Protected Areas

Casentinesi Forests National Park
Casentinesi Forests National Park

Spring is the season of wildflowers, blossoming trees and butterflies. Enjoy these natural beauties along the many different itineraries that can be follow on foot inside the Tuscany National and Regional parks. Glimpse butterflies of a very unique variety while walking on the path known as the Butterfly Sanctuary, from Sant’Ilario to San Piero in Campo, on the Elba island.

For a hike along the coast, consider visiting Marina di Alberese’s historic pine forest, which holds an incredible number of wild animals and interesting plants. And how about exploring the Apennine ridges? Mountain lovers could try the Alta Via dei Parchi and follow the path from Passo della Cisa to San Pellegrino in Alpe, at the gates to the  Garfagnana.

1.

Get lost in hidden hamlets

Sorano
Sorano - Credit: Luca Deravignone

Have you ever visited Sorano, Lari, Suvereto, Santa Fiora or Sarteano? If you are looking for an off-the-beaten-path destination where you can spend one or more days, choose one of the inland towns awarded with the Orange Flag by the Touring Club. This mark of tourist-environmental quality is assigned to small inland towns with a valuable historical, cultural and environmental heritage that offer high quality hospitality services.

1.

Explore UNESCO Medici Parks and Villas

Villa la Petraia
Villa la Petraia - Credit: Shutterstock / Stefano Cellai

Spring is the best time to discover the many historical villas and gardens spread across the Tuscan landscape. A good starting point could be the list of 12 Medici buildings, farms, hunting lodges and gardens granted World Heritage status by UNESCO. Just behind the Pitti Palace, in Florence, you can visit Boboli, one of the largest and most elegant Italian-style gardens in the world. For a picnic on the green head towards Vaglia, and spend a day at the Pratolino Medici Park, home to Giambologna’s colossal statue. Just a few kilometres from Florence, the Medici Villa la Petraia fascinates visitors with its magnificent Italian garden encircling the villa, while in Seravezza, the Medici Palace hosts the unique Museum of Work and Folk Traditions of Historical Versilia.

1.

Take a walk on the Via Francigena

Via Francigena near Monteriggioni
Via Francigena near Monteriggioni - Credit: Stefano Cannas

If hiking is your thing, put on your walking boots and follow the Via Francigena. Spring and Autumn are perfect if you want to avoid the sweltering heat of July and August. You can choose a single leg or the entire Tuscan path, a mountain itinerary in the Apennines or a less challenging hike in the countryside. The first stage of the Via Francigena crosses dense woods and stone villages along the 22 km path extending from the 1000m high Passo della Cisa to Pontremoli, while in Central Tuscany you can travel the leg from San Miniato to Gambassi Terme, less challenging, across a territory with a strong agricultural tradition and green rolling hills.

1.

Indulge along the Wine Roads

Tuscan flavours
Tuscan flavours - Credit: Stefano Cannas

Bolgheri, Chianti, Carmignano or Colli di Luni? Choose a wine and you will know where to go. If you are a wine enthusiast get lost along the many Wine Roads of the Tuscan countryside and explore ancient and modern wineries. During the final weekend of May, large estates and small farms open their cellars to the public for special visits and tasting as part of the Cantine Aperte activities. Some of these cellars are centuries old and are normally closed to public, so this really is a great opportunity!

1.

Relax at natural hot springs

Saturnia Hot Springs
Saturnia Hot Springs - Credit: Goncalo Figueiredo

Dreaming of a moment of relaxation in the warm thermal waters with nature all around? In addition to hotel spas and wellness centres, Tuscany offers also some stunning free options. From Petriolo to Saturnia, passing through Bagni di San Filippo, here are some of the best free natural hot springs.

1.

Live your own fairy tale

The renowned whale at the Pinocchio Park in Collodi
The renowned whale at the Pinocchio Park in Collodi - Credit: Michele Caputo

Feel like taking a walk among cyclopic sculptures, fantastic art installations or even accompanied by Pinocchio himself? In Capalbio you can visit the Tarot Garden, an esoteric garden displaying 22 huge sculptures depicting the Major Arcana of the Tarot cards. If you are traveling with kids consider spending a day at Pinocchio Park of Collodi: opened in 1956, it narrates the story visually, immersing visitors in the plot. In Castelnuovo Berardenga, in the heart of the Chianti region, you'll find the Chianti Sculpture Park, a permanent exhibition of contemporary sculptures and art installations, all perfectly integrated into the surrounding holly and oak forest.

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