Now that 2023 is nearing its end and the current year of travel is close to wrapping up, it is only natural that you may be thinking on which travel experiences you could have and new destinations you will visit in 2024.
With border curbs being finally lifted and the American passport being as strong as ever, there are truly no limits as to where you can go: as the old cliche goes, ‘the world is your oyster’.
Still, we wouldn’t hold it against you if you’re undecided about where to go next, with so many incredible options at hand, but if you’re looking for a laid-back sunny break infused with culture, well, we might have just the perfect place:
Tuscany Is One Of The Trendiest Destinations For 2024
Tuscany is one of Italy’s most traditional regions, comprising parts of the country’s North-Central territories. It is a renowned center for the culture and arts and the proud home of some of the world’s most iconic manmade wonders.
We know Italy is more commonly associated, perhaps, with Rome’s millennia-old architectural feats, such as the Colosseum or Roman Forum, or even Venice’s winding canals lined by stately palaces, but Tuscany has no shortage of landmarks itself.
In case you are familiar with the province’s name but not its contents, the Tuscan heartland comprises hugely popular tourist destinations like Florence, the regional capital, Pisa, where the Leaning Tower can be found, and the numerous family-owned wineries and farms of Val d’Orcia.
On their yearly Best Regions to Travel list, Lonely Planet highlights Tuscany as the perfect place for embracing that ‘dolce vita’ and slowing it down.
A Gorgeous Capital City
As main attractions, the publication cites as many as 50 villages in Tuscany where ‘Etruscan heritage‘ can be spotted, a number of archaeological sites, and the Renaissance, as the Tuscan capital is where this philosophical movement that would inspire politics and the art originated from.
Florence is easily one of the most inspiring and intricately beautiful cities of Europe, with its polychrome-marble facades and defiant Brunelleschi dome, the largest brick one ever constructed.
Famous figures to have been born in Florence include Michelangelo, whose David is exhibited in the Gallery of the Academy of Florence, Galileo Galilei, the most celebrated astronomer and physicist in History, Leonardo da Vinci, the artful mind behind Mona Lisa, and many others.
Florence just oozes art in every corner, and you are certain to become as enamored with the city and its winding, ocher-colored alleys as the numerous poets, painters, and song makers who have made it their muse over the centuries.
Florence is, however, merely an entry point into the wider Tuscany.
An Idyllic, Picturesque Countryside
If it’s medieval History you’re fascinated by, you should definitely add the walled town of San Gimignano to your itinerary, as it features a row of perfectly-preserved 13th-century towers, as well as the charming Montepulciano, a cobblestone hilltop village surrounded by vineyards.
The Tuscan countryside is yet another point of interest, particularly for those keen on experiencing a more romantic, idyllic side of Italy.
You should expect long single-lane drives lined by neatly-arranged cypress trees and rolling green hills dotted with vineyards and quaint hillside villages.
In summer, the Tuscan coast is also one of Italy’s lesser-known, yet most beautiful sunny hotspots, with coastal resort towns like Versilia, where the iconic Hotel Principe di Piemonte is located, and Livorno, a colorful port town being hugged by the bright-blue Mediterranean Sea.
Of course, no visit to Tuscany would be complete without Pisa.
Leaning Towers And Tuscan Food
A short 50-minute train ride away from Florence, this classic city traversed by the River Arno boasts a high concentration of manmade wonders, most notably the Leaning Tower, a free-standing bell tower adjacent to the Pisa Cathedral that’s turned into a famous selfie spot.
Don’t worry, though. Unlike in Portofino, you will not get fined over US$300 for taking selfies leaning against or ‘supporting’ the tower – at least for now.
We’ve covered the architectural gems and world-class cities, but don’t get us started on the food.
Tuscan cuisine is certainly an immaterial cultural heritage of Italy as a whole, and you cannot leave without trying pappardelle al ragu di cinghiale (wild boar pasta, a regional delicacy), tripe sandwich (a local street favorite in Florence), or Florentine steak.
As you can see, there are enough points of interest in Tuscany to keep the History buff, culture lover, and foodie in you entertained for days, if not weeks on end.
It is an individual trip in its own right, and it’s no wonder it’s been picked as one of the top regions to visit in 2024.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com