195 Best Sights in Tuscany, Italy

Museo Civico Archeologico

This museum contains a good collection of Etruscan and Roman sculpture and pottery excavated from around the area. According to cognoscenti, this is among the best of Etruscan objects in Italy.

Museo Civico Archeologico

This museum contains Etruscan and Roman sculpture and pottery excavated from around the area. According to cognoscenti, the Etruscan collection is one of the best in Italy.

Museo Civico del Marmo

Carrara's history as a marble-producing center is well documented in the Museo del Marmo, beginning with early works from the 2nd century. Exhibits detail the working of marble, from quarrying and transporting it to sculpting it.

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Museo Civico e Diocesano d'Arte Sacra

This fine museum is in a building that once belonged to 13th-century Augustinian friars. The ticket booth is in the glorious refurbished cloister, and the sacred art collection, gathered from churches throughout the region, is displayed on two floors in former monastic quarters. Although the art here might be called B-list, a fine altarpiece by Bartolo di Fredi (circa 1330–1410), the Coronation of the Virgin, makes dazzling use of gold. In addition, there's a striking 12th-century crucifix that originally adorned the high altar of the church of Sant'Antimo. Also on hand are many wood sculptures, a typical medium in these parts during the Renaissance.

Via Ricasoli 31, Montalcino, 53024, Italy
Sight Details
Rate Includes: €10, Closed Mon.–Thurs. Nov. 2–Dec. 24 and Jan. 7–Mar. 31

Museo d'Arte Sacra

Even with all the decoration in the Collegiata, the fine collection of religious articles in the church museum, across the pretty courtyard, is still worth a look. The highlight is a Madonna and Child by Bartolo di Fredi. Other pieces include several busts, wooden statues of Christ, the Virgin Mary, and the angel Gabriel, and several illuminated songbooks.

Piazza Pecori 4, San Gimignano, 53037, Italy
Sight Details
Rate Includes: €5, includes the Collegiata, Closed Jan. 1, 15–31, Nov. 15–30, and Dec. 25

Museo d'Arte Sacra

Today, quiet Buonconvento is worth a stop for a look at its tiny museum, a two-room picture gallery with more than its fair share of works by Tuscan artists such as Duccio and Andrea di Bartolo. A triptych with the Madonna and Saints Bernardino and Catherine by Sano di Pietro stands out amid other gems by Sienese painters of the 14th and 15th centuries, and Donatello tops a list of the Renaissance sculptors also represented.

Via Soccini 18, Buonconvento, 53022, Italy
Sight Details
Rate Includes: €3, Closed Mon. and Tues. Oct.–Apr.

Museo del Tessuto

Preserved in the Museo del Tessuto is what made this city a Renaissance economic powerhouse. The collection includes clothing, fabric fragments, and the machines used to make them—all dating from the 14th to the 20th century. Check out the 15th-century fabrics with pomegranate prints, a virtuoso display of Renaissance textile wizardry. The well-designed museum (objects are clearly labeled in English) is within the medieval walls of the city in the old Cimatoria, a 19th-century factory that finished raw fabrics.

Via Puccetti 3, Prato, 59100, Italy
Sight Details
Rate Includes: €8, Closed Mon.

Museo dell'Antico Palazzo dei Vescovi

At the end of the 11th century, the bishop of Pistoia began construction on this palace. One thousand years later, it houses several collections. The Museo della Cattedrale di San Zeno contains spectacular items from Pistoia's cathedral, including ornate pieces in gold, rings with jewels the size of small eggs, and solemn, powerful statuary. The Museo Tattile lets you touch various local buildings built to scale. The Percorso Archeologico contains Roman, medieval, and Etruscan archaeological finds uncovered during a 1970s renovation. Its treasures are showcased with simple elegance in a warren of corridors and caves below and austere rooms above. Note that a guide accompanies you while you wander the complex, and wandering days and times are limited.

Museo dell'Opera del Duomo

At the southeast corner of the sprawling Piazza dei Miracoli, this museum holds a wealth of medieval sculptures and the ancient Roman sarcophagi that inspired Nicola Pisano's figures.

Piazza del Duomo, Pisa, 56126, Italy
Sight Details
Rate Includes: €7, discounts available if bought in combination with tickets for other monuments

Museo dell'Opera del Duomo

A sculpture by Donatello (circa 1386–1466) that originally adorned the Duomo's exterior pulpit is now on display in the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo. The museum also includes such 15th-century gems as Fra Filippo Lippi's Madonna and Child, Giovanni Bellini's (circa 1432–1516) Christ on the Cross, and Caravaggio's (1571–1610) Christ Crowned with Thorns.

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Museo della Cattedrale

The cathedral museum exhibits many items too precious to be in the church, most notably the finely worked golden decorations of the Volto Santo, the Byzantine crucifix that remains in the Duomo.

Museo della Ceramica

The Museo della Ceramica has some 3,000 pieces of majolica, a type of glazed pottery made in this region since the early 14th century. The museum is beautifully lighted, and objects dating from the early 14th century to the late 18th century are well labeled and arranged, providing a good overview of the region's ceramics-making history. There's also an interesting display of the coats of arms of important Renaissance families such as the Medici and Strozzi.

Museo della Madonna del Parto

Not surprisingly, only one painting is displayed here, Piero's Madonna del Parto (circa 1455), a fresco depicting the expectant Virgin flanked by two angels. Originally painted for the small chapel of Santa Maria a Momentana in Monterchi's cemetery, the work was restored in 1992–93 and moved, shortly thereafter, into the museum. The iconography of the image is extremely rare and, emphasized by its static atmosphere and studied symmetry, the fresco achieves an extraordinary sense of enigmatic and monumental spirituality.

Via Reglia 1, Sansepolcro, 52035, Italy
Sight Details
Rate Includes: €7; pregnant women are admitted free of charge

Museo delle Sinopie

The well-arranged museum on the south side of the Piazza del Duomo holds the sinopie (preparatory drawings) for the Camposanto frescoes. Though the exhibits are mostly of interest to specialists, some audiovisual material provides a good introduction to the whole religious complex.

Museo di Arte Sacra

In the converted convent church of San Pietro all'Orto, this museum houses a large number of medieval paintings and sculptures gathered from churches in and around Massa Marittima. Perhaps the most important piece, Ambrogio Lorenzetti's early-14th-century Maestà, was discovered in the storage room of the church in 1866.

Corso Diaz 36, Massa Marittima, 58024, Italy
Sight Details
Rate Includes: €5, Closed Mon.–Thurs., Jan.–Mar.; Mon., Apr.–June and Sept.–Nov.; and Mon.–Wed., Nov.–Dec.

Museo di Arte Sacra

The museum, housed in the Palazzo Orsini, has several rooms featuring paintings by Zuccarelli, who was born in Pitigliano in 1702. Other works include a Madonna carved in wood by Jacopo della Quercia (1371/74–1438), a 14th-century crucifix, period furniture, and a numismatic collection.

Museo Diocesano

Although the Museo Diocesano is small, its modest collection incorporates a number of subtle and pleasant local works of art. Note the rather odd Crucifixion by Lorenzo Lippi, Il Redentore, probably by a follower of Verrocchio (1435–88), and the small but exquisite Education of the Virgin by Tiepolo (1696–1770).

Museo Diocesano

Housed in part of the original cathedral structure, this nine-room museum has an impressive number of large, splendid paintings by native son Luca Signorelli (1445–1523), as well as a delightful Annunciation by Fra Angelico (1387/1400–55). The church was built between 1498 and 1505 and restructured by Giorgio Vasari in 1543. Frescoes depicting sacrifices from the Old Testament by Doceno (1508–56), based on designs by Vasari, line the walls.

Museo Diocesano

This museum, which sits to the left of Pienza's Duomo, is small but has a few interesting papal treasures and rich Flemish tapestries. The most precious piece is a rare mantle that belonged to Pope Pius II: it's woven in gold and embellished with pearls and embroidered religious scenes.

Museo Diocesano di Arte Sacra

The religious-art collection housed in the Bishop's Palace was collected from local churches and includes an unusual reliquary by Antonio Pollaiolo with the head of St. Octavian in silver resting on four golden lions. There's also a fine terra-cotta bust of St. Linus by Andrea della Robbia (1435–1525/28). Two paintings are noteworthy: Rosso Fiorentino's (1495–1540) Madonna di Villamagna and Daniele da Volterra's (1509–66) Madonna di Ulignano, named for the village churches in which they were originally placed.

Museo Leonardiano

Museo Leonardiano, atop the castle belonging to the Guidi family in the historic center of Vinci, has replicas of many of Leonardo's machines and gadgets. The stunning country views most likely influenced the artist, as some of his painted backgrounds suggest the hills of Vinci.

Museo Michelangiolesco

Opened in 1964 to honor the 400th anniversary of Michelangelo's death, the museum displays photographs, plaster casts, and documents relating to the artist's work.

Museo Nazionale di Palazzo Mansi

Highlights here include the lovely Portrait of a Youth by Pontormo; portraits of the Medici painted by Bronzino (1503–72); and paintings by Tintoretto, Vasari, and others.

Museo Nazionale di San Matteo

On the north bank of the Arno, this museum contains some beautiful examples of local Romanesque and Gothic art. Despite the fact that it has stunning works by Donatello and Benozzo Gozzoli (among others), here you'll find very few other visitors.

Museo Nazionale di Villa Guinigi

Although this museum presents a noteworthy overview of Lucca's artistic traditions up through the 17th century, you might find few other visitors exploring its extensive collections of local Etruscan, Roman, Romanesque, and Renaissance art. It's all housed in the 15th-century former villa of the Guinigi family, on the eastern end of the historic center.

Museo Nazionale Etrusco

Most of the artifacts found during the excavations of Chiusi's Etruscan sites are now on display in this small but expertly laid out museum. Relics include elegant Etruscan and Greek vases, carved Etruscan tomb chests, and a number of the strange canopic jars with anthropomorphic shapes that are particular to this area.

The tombs themselves can be seen by arrangement with the museum—sometimes. (You're accompanied by museum personnel, and staff shortages have led to tomb closures.) These underground burial chambers are still evocative of ancient life, particularly in the Tomba della Scimmia (Tomb of the Monkey), where well-preserved frescoes depict scenes from ordinary life 2,500 years ago. The Tomba del Leone (Tomb of the Lion) and Tomba della Pellegrina (Tomb of the Pilgrim) might also be open at set times during museum hours.

Museo San Pietro

The museum of sacred art displays religious relics as well as triptychs from the Sienese and Florentine schools dating from the 14th and 15th centuries. It also contains the town's tribute to Arnolfo di Cambio, with photos of the buildings he designed for other towns. Down Via del Castello, at Number 63, is the house-tower where Arnolfo was born in 1245. (It's not open to the public.)

Necropoli del Puntone

Pre-Etruscan tombs at this necropolis aren't kept up well, but they're interesting simply for their age, as they're even older than Saturnia's legendary baths. Access is free and at all hours.

Orto Botanico


Siena's botanical garden is a great place to relax and enjoy views onto the countryside below. Guided tours in English are available by reservation.

Ospedale del Ceppo

Founded in the 13th century, this still-functioning hospital has a facade with a superb early-16th-century exterior terra-cotta frieze. It was begun by Giovanni della Robbia (1469–1529) and completed by the workshop of Santi and Benedetto Buglioni between 1526 and 1528. Don't miss the 17th-century graffiti on the columns outside.