The region of Tuscany inspires images of picturesque landscapes, vineyards and famous artists at work. Popular with backpackers, the area has many attractions and a diverse range of activities to suit any traveller’s tastes.
Known as the ‘cradle of the Renaissance’, Florence is a popular place for backpackers to marvel at Italian art and history.
Florence hostels are plentiful and centrally-located enabling travellers to walk to the major attractions. The medieval structure Ponte Vecchio and the Medici Chapel in the Basilica of San Lorenzo are particularly inspiring, and a must for any first-time traveller.
Art-lovers may wish to join a walking tour, which traces the early life of Leonardo da Vinci, who was born in the region and lived there throughout his childhood. Michelangelo also had links to Florence, and travellers can make their way from their Florence hostels to Bargello Palace, which contains some of his rare works.
There are plenty of sights worth seeing that won’t break the bank, such as the Duomo or Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral, which has free entry, and the Fountain of Neptune, outside the Palazzo Vecchio.
Backpackers on a budget will love the Florentine tradition of aperitivo, where bars serve free food to customers with their drinks at around six in the evening.
Travellers making their way through Tuscany should also stop off at some of the smaller towns and villages in the region.
Siena’s famous cathedral, built in the 12th century, boasts a Gothic octagonal pulpit that is an awe-inspiring sight.
The town square, known locally as the Piazza del Campo, is the location for the Palio horse race which takes place in July and August, a lively event well worth catching if you’re backpacking through Tuscany during this period.
No backpacking adventure in Tuscany would be complete without a trip to see the famous leaning tower of Pisa, part of the city’s cathedral. The tower leans because it was laid on poor foundations, and has been the subject of various attempts at restoration to try to prevent any further structural movement.
Monte Argentario is perfect for travellers hoping to spend part of their trip lounging on beaches, or looking to unwind after all that sight-seeing.
Located in the south of Tuscany, the region is an idyllic mix of sleepy villages, relatively quiet beaches, lagoons and nature reserves. Walking and cycling is encouraged and designated paths have been created, making Monte Argentario one of the most relaxing Tuscany destinations.
About the Author: Before settling down and becoming a copywriter for HostelBookers.com Paul Scottyn did a backpacking tour of Italy and he checked out a variety of hostels including hostels in Florence.