Tuscany is truly an open-air museum like nowhere else in the world. Cities that are rich in artworks alternate with centuries-old villages and a landscape of harmonious features with rolling hills and rows of cypress trees.
For this reason, UNESCO has declared 8 places in Tuscany as World Heritage Sites.
The prestigious list includes the historic centre of Florence with its iconic monuments and palaces including the Uffizi and Ponte Vecchio, but also the treasures of the Oltrarno such as the Abbey of San Miniato, Piazzale Michelangelo and the Rose Garden. The list also includes the historic center of Siena, home to the Palazzo Pubblico and the magnificent Duomo, and Piazza dei Miracoli in Pisa where the famous Leaning Tower stands.
With its rolling hills, cultivated fields and rows of cypresses, the Val d’Orcia is also a World Heritage Site, together with Pienza, built according to Renaissance ideas, and San Gimignano, the city of towers. Montecatini Terme, known for its historic spas and its liberty architecture, is part of the transnational multi-sited round-up titled “The Great Spa Towns of Europe”.
The list of Tuscan cultural heritage is completed by the 12 Villas and 2 Medici Gardens built under Medici rule between the 15th and early-mid 18th century. Surrounded by beautiful parks, the Villas are ideal places for a trip out of town.
Tuscany also preserves a rich natural heritage with 230 thousand hectares of parks and protected areas. In 2017, the centuries-old beech woods of the Casentinesi Forest National Park became part of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The area represents an extraordinary example of non-anthropized forests that developed after the end of the last ice age.