Top 10 beautiful Tuscan villages & cities in Tuscany
- San Gimignano
- Porto Ferraio Isola d’Elba
- Chieve in Chianti and all the Chianti area.
Best Tuscan villages to visit
- San Gimignano
- Porto Ferraio
San Gimignano is very famous for all its towers. From the top of its tallest tower, you can see the beautiful Tuscany.
San Gimignano Vitual Tour
Text of the following video:
San Gimignano is surrounded by beautiful Tuscany. The characteristic of San Gimignano is its towers. For this reason, San Gimignano is recognizable even from a distance.
Do you see the tallest tower? It’s called Torre Grossa and it’s possible to go up to the top of the tower to see a breathtaking view! Do you want to visit the center of San Gimignano with us?
Watch the suggested video, which you find here at the bottom left!
Text of the following video:
We continue our day trip from Siena. We are in San Geminiano Tuscany Italy. Let’s go to the center of San Gimignano and we arrive at the famous Piazza Della Cisterna. This square is famous not only for its architecture but also for the excellent ice cream shop that we find on our left. In this ice cream shop, you can taste an ice cream World Champion!
With a few steps, we arrive in Piazza del Duomo where we can admire from below several of the towers of San Gimignano.
After visiting the center of San Giminiano, we are now ready to go up to its tallest tower. Only a question: Is it San Geminiano or San Gimignano? The correct name is San Gimignano. How can I pronounce it correctly? What is the correct pronunciation?
In this video, you can also listen to the correct pronunciation. We are now at the top of this tower and we have in front of us a breathtaking view of the Tuscan countryside.
San Gimignano Gelato Photo Gallery
Porto Ferraio Isola d’Elba
You can go to Piombino and take a ferry to the Isola d’Elba.
In about 1 hour and a half, you arrive in Portoferraio and you’ll really be in a beautiful paradise.
Certaldo does not enjoy the popularity of other places in Tuscany, but it is certainly a place worth visiting for its beauty and culture. In fact, in addition to having a long history that distinguishes it, Certaldo is also the town of Boccaccio, a famous Italian writer.
What to see in Certaldo? Here is our top 3:
- Palazzo Pretorio: The Castle of Certaldo
- Boccaccio’s house. If you can climb to the top of the tower, from where you not only have a beautiful view of the city but also of the surrounding companion.
- The streets of the center of Certaldo Alta
Video Certaldo what to see, history and curiosities
Watch the following video that will take you on a walk through the streets of Certaldo and in which you can discover the history of this beautiful town in Tuscany, some curiosities and useful information.
Text of the Video
Hi Everybody, today we visit Certaldo Alto in Tuscany. Alto means high.
Certaldo is famous for being the birthplace of the poet and writer Giovanni Boccaccio.
To reach the historical center, which is in an elevated position because it is located on a hill, we take the funicular in Piazza del Boccaccio in Certaldo. In Piazza del Boccaccio we can also park the car.
As soon as we leave the funicular, we find the history of Certaldo written.
You can also read it here in the captions while continuing our walk.
We are now in front of the Giovanni Boccaccio House Museum.
In addition to what we can find inside the museum, which is extremely interesting from a historical and cultural point of view,
there is a tower in the house. We can enjoy a splendid view of Certaldo and its surroundings from the tower.
As we continue the walk, we notice other museums and historic buildings. There are also interesting and typical restaurants that will probably open later: it’s a morning of a quiet season.
The most important historic building for architecture and history is undoubtedly the Pretorio Palace.
A curiosity: right here in this building, it was coined the Italian expression “essere in balìa” or “being at the mercy” of someone or something.
In one of the halls of this palace 10 Balìa or magistrates held their meetings. Their sentences were irrevocable and unappealable. From here we understand the reason for this Italian expression. The destiny of those who were judged depended on these Balìa.
Also for today, our tour ends here. But see you in the next video with other adventures and other interesting things to discover and learn. See you next time! Bye.
History of Certaldo
Certain archeological findings testify to the populating of this area in Etruscan-roman times. The existence of a castle-village is documented in 1164 in a deed of Emperor Federico I, known as Barbarossa (Redbean); in which all the territorial rights were granted to the Alberti Counts of Prato.
This family held dominion over the castle until 1184 and after the fall of Semifonte in 1202, the village passed under the rule of Florence, becoming the seat of a Podestà (medieval magistrate).
During this period the village had probably already assumed its present-day layout, characterized by the central axis, the Alberti Castle, and the defense walls.
Following the affirmation of the Via Francigena of the valley bottom, Certaldo strengthened its economic role in the Val d Elsa and witnessed a new phase of urban growth.
From the early thirteenth to the fourteenth century a linear village was built up along the foothills of the Via Francigena, in the spot where the castle market was located, linking up with the ancient settlement via two different branches; the Costa Degli Alberti and the Costa Vecchia.
In the fourteenth century, the existence of various inns and hospices inside the castle is documented, which served as refuge points for the pilgrims and wayfarers.
In 1415, under the rule of the Florentine Republic, Certaldo became the seat of the Vicarage of the Val di Pesa, part of the Val d’Elsa, and the Lower Valdarno, the functions of which were conducted in the ancient castle of the Alberti Counts, opportunely enlarged and transformed.
Pretorio Palace: the Castle of Certaldo
Photo Gallery Certaldo Alto
Certaldo Funicular Photo Gallery
Best cities in Tuscany to visit
Siena stands out for its medieval buildings made of bricks. The square is famous for the special event called Palio di Siena. Siena is divided into areas called “contrade”. The Palio di Siena is a competition between the Contradas of Siena in the form of an equestrian carousel of medieval origin.
This makes you understand what a big influence the medieval origin has on Siena.
Pisa represents one of the best day trips from Florence. It’s a city you should visit if you are in Florence because of its main square Piazza Dei Miracoli. The symbol of Pisa is its leaning tower.
Only a curiosity: Do you remember Superman in Superman III who corrects the leaning tower?
Pisa Italy: Video
Apart from its famous leaning the Tower of Pisa is a very unusual building and one kind. This is true because of the high historical and artistic value of its forms and because of its peculiar location. In fact, the tower is located far from the Cathedral and not as usual along one side of the church.
The Tower, the Cathedral, and the Baptistery give a unique “look” to this square. There isn’t another square like this one in Italy.
Related article: How to get from Florence to Pisa by car and train
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