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Tuscany
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San Gimignano
San Gimignano

Tuscany

Our friends Pam and Doug, who have a converted farmhouse in near Arezzo, have composed the following list of worthy destinations in Tuscany and in nearby Umbria to the south:

Favorite Places in Tuscany and Umbria of Pam and Doug

Larger Towns

* Siena

Lucca

Perugia (in Umbria)

**Pisa

Villages -- Tuscany

Cortona

* Montepulciano

* Pienza (close to Montepulciano)

Montefollonico

Radda i Chianti

San Gimignano

Monterchi

** Monte San Savino

Villages -- Umbria

Assissi

Spello

Spoleto

Gubio

Todi

* "Must See," according to the Walters

** Also a "Must See," according to the JohnsonsWe saw several of their recommended towns, and would add Monte San Savino to the top category. Each town has its own personality. In milder weather, we probably would have visited fewer towns and lingered longer in each place. Seeing a number of them superficially, as we did, also is fun.

Apart from the towns, the drive through Chianti country, and, in particular, around Radda in Chianti, was a lot of fun. Radda has a number of establishments in the main street for sampling the local wines.

Pisa is not on Pam and Doug's recommended list, possibly because it is visited by so many tourists. We joined the crowd and loved it. The Leaning Tower is remarkable, and very disorienting. It is one of several buildings in an ecclesiastical complex. All are worth seeing. We found the marble of the cathedral and the baptistery to be marvelous. The Camposanto, which is an unusual cemetery building, is filled with fascinating old sarcophagi and sculptures. Don't miss it. We also visited the museum of the works of the cathedral, in the shadow of the Leaning Tower, and had this remarkable museum almost to ourselves.

No trip to Tuscany is complete without seeing:

Florence

Siena

Read the story of our visit to Pam and Doug's house:

A Tuscan Misadventure

Gary and Susan Johnson

Pienza
Pienza

Montepulciano
Montepulciano