5 Historical Buildings In Tuscany That Will Take Your Breath Away
There are many reasons why people go on holiday. Some of us will just want to get away from it all and lounge be the pool at their Tuscan villa for a week, whilst others will want to cram as much into their break as possible. But for anyone who likes to take in the culture of their surroundings while they are away, there is no better place in the world than Tuscany to do this.
There is a heavy religious influence running all the way through the region and therefore there are also plenty of historical buildings to marvel at. So for those looking to get drenched in culture, here are some must see pieces of architecture. Warning; you may want to strengthen those neck muscles before you come away to prepare yourself for constantly looking up.
Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore
This 13th century church has become an iconic symbol of Florence with its dome-shaped roof, and is located in the UNESCO World Heritage Site in the centre of the city. The building took 140 years to finish and has a wonderfully minimal gothic interior, complete with a range of interesting frescos and sculptures. As well as the main dome, the complex also includes a baptistery and a tower known as Giotto’s Campanile.
Biblioteca Piccolomini –
As libraries go, this one is more than a little bit special. Situated in Siena’s Piazza del Duomo, this building really has some stunning architecture to show off. The inside is literally covered with murals and frescos in every colour you can imagine and the ceiling panels are adorned with people and things from ancient mythology. In the centre of the library there is a Roman copy of the famous Greek statue, Three Graces.
Cathedral of Saint Ranieri –
This beautiful cathedral is part of Pisa’s famous Piazza dei Miracoli which also houses the leaning tower of Pisa. You can buy a combo ticket that allows you to view all the historical buildings in the area, as there is much more on offer than just the iconic tower. Architectural experts will be able to point out the fact that it is a five-naved cathedral with a three-naved transept, but it doesn’t take much knowledge of construction to note its beauty. Building began in 1064 and sadly many of the renaissance works of art were damaged in a fire in 1595.
Chiesa di Sant’Agostino –
If you are not all churched out by this point; this beautiful offering in Montepulciano is definitely worth a visit. Not only is it a great tourist attraction, but it is also used on a daily basis by the locals. It is situated in the middle of this wonderful medieval town and will captivate you with its ornate exterior and quaint front steps.
Santuario di Montenero –
If you are looking for somewhere that’s a little bit quieter than most tourist areas and provides great views as well as historical architecture; the hills behind Livorno are the place to go. You can access this monastery via the funicular railway and the trip will definitely be worth it. The sanctuary itself is very peaceful and thought-provoking and there is a monastery on the complex that shouldn’t be missed either. Legend dictates that the Virgin Mary appeared on the hill and told a shepherd to build the church, however it was only a small shrine until it was expanded into a larger church in 1956.