Girl’s Guide to Philly


The city of Philadelphia, known as the city of brotherly love, is famous for its warm and welcoming approach to visitors. As a lone female traveler, a trip to this Pennsylvanian powerhouse of pop culture, high art, great eats, excellent shopping and sublime sports will be just perfect – however, don’t come to Philly for a quiet break. It’s not going to happen.

History for her

Philadelphia is the home of American independence, and there’s a whole lot of history going on here. A visit to the Independence Visitor Center gives a girl a good overview of the historic situation. The famous Liberty Bell is not to be missed, and a visit to Independence Hall sets out the whole story of America’s fight for democracy.

Serious shopping

Girls with an urge to spend and splurge on shopping trips in Philly will not be disappointed. There is plenty of choice and opportunity to offload large amounts of cash on pretty much anything. Those wishing to fill their bags with upscale branded clothing should head to the Central City and streets such as Walnut Street and Chestnut Street and the Rittenhouse Square area. As well as exclusive brands, there are all the usual larger department stores – enough to keep keen shoppers happy for some time. Young travelers will enjoy the appeal of the funky and offbeat shops on South Street, and with over 300 places to eat and shop it’s advisable not to wear heels! For foodie treats head for America’s first ever Farmers’ Market, which dates back to 1893.

While this is not something I generally shop for, I made a pre-order for the Bosch Ra1181 and a bosch 1617evspk to be delivered to my place back home. The price different just made it a no-brainer not to get one.

Those not in the mood for dining alone at a restaurant can pick up the fixings for an al fresco feast at this indoor market, perfect for eating in one of Philly’s many public parks.

Cool culture

Philly is famous for its many cultural and arts festivals in the summer months. Add to that the many galleries and museums in the city, and the schedule is going to be tightly packed. Enjoy the exhibits at the impressive Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Franklin Institute and the Academy Of Natural Sciences. If after all that quiet contemplation the urge to shout loudly takes over, there’s nothing better than a hockey match to let off steam – get tickets for a Philadelphia Flyers game and cheer along the local team to win.

Keep safe

Girls traveling alone need to feel safe and confident, and that’s not a problem in this city. Take sensible precautions and there’s no need to feel any less safe in Philly than in a hundred other US cities. Tourist-magnets such as Chicago, New Orleans and Washington all have higher crime rates than Philadelphia, so keep fears in perspective and relax and enjoy the surroundings. The Central City areas where most visitors and tourists congregate are generally the safest areas, but don’t let that stop you exploring further afield. Local knowledge is always the best, so ask at the hotel where the best places for single girls to hang out are.

The city of Philadelphia celebrates independence of all kinds, so those traveling alone will be greeted warmly. If a city break to Philly is planned, remember to bring an extra suitcase, wear flat shoes, cancel the diet and prepare for an enriching mix of culture, history and fun.

First Time Solo Traveler

Young Woman at Wheel of Camper VanTraveling can be, without a doubt, one of the most fulfilling and enriching experience of many people’s lives. It might be an exhilarating journey to an unknown land and even more exciting, a journey of self-discovery. For women traveling solo, this first journey is the opportunity to open up a whole new way of thinking, living and being. More than just the countries and sights you visit traveling will expand your horizons, expose you up to new cultures and challenge you in ways you never could have imagined. But before heading out on this glorious new adventure, it is important to prepare yourself fully. So follow our tips for a successful first time travel experience.

Packing tips

Packing for that first travel experience can often be overwhelming. It is tempting to pack too much, trying to prepare for any weather, occasion and experience, but the fact is, you need much less when you are traveling than you might think. It is always better to pack too little and purchase extras along the way. Consider your destination and ask yourself what will be available to buy there if you need it. You can find toiletries and all kinds of basics in most towns and cities, so don’t worry about packing a gigantic shampoo bottle. When it comes to clothes, think basics; pack a few staple bottoms and a variety of simple tops to mix and match.

You’ll need a good pair of shoes. If you’re into fitness then I’d recommend Asics’ Gel Noosa Tri9, however, if you’re looking for something more comfortable then you’re probably better off with a comfortable pair of walking shoes. TheCrazyFeet has a nice little roundup review of the top walking shoes.

Don’t worry about fashion when you’re traveling, the most important thing is comfort and not lugging around a massive suitcase. Use accessories to brighten up and change your look when you are craving something new. A great scarf or necklace can be the perfect touch to spruce up jeans and a basic top.

Safety tips

For solo traveling ladies, safety is a prime consideration. It is not dangerous to travel on your own, but you must always use common sense. Avoid exploring late at night by yourself and use your intuition when interacting with others. When it comes to keeping your belongings safe, make sure you are in possession of your bags at all times. Spread your cash around so it’s not all in one place. If you are pick-pocketed, you don’t want to lose absolutely everything if your wallet or purse is stolen. Stash some cash in another safe place, in a different bag. Make sure that you find your hostel or home stay during daylight so you are not wandering around at night alone.

Money tips

Traveling on a budget is a huge concern for many first-time travelers. Estimate a rough budget before you leave home, so you can prepare and save accordingly. When traveling, use sites like Hostelworld and Couchsurfing to find cheap accommodation. If you are staying in a hostel, don’t forget about the option to cook your own food rather than eat out. Most hostels have a kitchen where you can cook; it’s a great place to meet new people to. If you do run out of cash, do not despair, you can always have a money transfer sent from to keep you going until you can access more money on your own. Remember, you can always find places to volunteer or work while you are traveling to help ensure you stay within budget.

Cruise Advice for Solo Females


Cruising on a luxury liner is a great way for a single female traveler to see the world. From the safety and comfort of a private cabin she can have all the adventure she wants and meet as many or as few other people as she pleases, without ever feeling under pressure or compromising her personal safety.

The only fly in the ointment for many single cruisers is the dreaded single supplement. This simply means that some cruise lines make one pay between 50% and 100% of the cost of the ‘missing’ occupant – so without doing the necessary homework, a single cruiser could end up paying double the normal ticket price.

Fortunately not all cruise lines follow this practice. In fact, some cruise lines are positively solo-friendly. P&O Cruises’Azura, for example, has 18 single cabins that carry no single supplement whatsoever – the occupant pays only the normal cruise fare. But beware: these cabins fill up very quickly, so book well in advance.

Another solo-friendly cruise line is NCL. The cruise line’s Norwegian Epic has 128 studio cabins, none of which carry any solo supplement. There are other cruise lines that to a greater or lesser extent make provision for solo travelers, including Holland America line and Silversea Cruises.

Some cruise lines actually go out of their way to make life very pleasant for solo travelers. One example is the solo night offered onboard many cruise ships early during the cruise. This gives single travelers a chance to mingle and to get to know each other.

For those ladies who love dancing, there’s another option: the so-called ‘gentlemen hosts’ provided by a few cruise lines. These handsome guys serve as dance partners and companions to single female passengers. There’s a cost attached to this service, but it could be perfect for people who find it difficult to make friends quickly.

When it comes to activities and excursions, the sky is literally the limit on a modern cruise ship. Many of them feature saunas and spas where ladies can be pampered by professionally trained staff members. Most ships have swimming pools for some healthy exercise, and during the evening single ladies can enjoy a great performance in the onboard theatre without being stared at or feeling unsafe in any way.

Escorted excursions are a great way for solo females to explore the different ports of call without exposing themselves to any danger whatsoever. These excursions usually have a fully trained guide and there will always be other guests in the group.

For those adventurous ladies who prefer to do some exploring on their own, following a few common sense rules should be enough to stay out of danger. Don’t walk around in quiet back streets alone after dark; only get into official taxis clearly marked as such and when in a club or pub do not leave drinks unattended for any length of time.

A Cruise and Stay option is another great way to experience the best of both worlds: spend time onboard a luxurious cruise liner and before or after the cruise enjoy a few days in a lovely hotel at the departure or destination port.

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Water Park Safety Advice


In the summer months, water parks are hot spots for people to cool off. The cooling sprays, waves, wild rides, and water attractions are great fun – who wouldn’t want to splash, wade, and paddle their way out of the heat?

Today, water parks are a lot like the major theme parks with rides, attractions, and tons of fun. Some of the best are located in Florida, thanks to the warm sunny weather all year long. Aquatica and Wet ‘n Wild, both in Orlando, offer enormous wave pools, exciting slides, and scream-fest water rides.

Florida isn’t the only state to feature some great water parks – consider Las Vegas. Sin City’s hotels try to outdo each other, and when it comes to water parks, the Flamingo Hotel and the Mirage are two of the best. With exotic animals, water slides, and lagoon-like pools, who needs the casinos?

Water park injuries

Playing in the water can be a real treat on a hot day, but it’s important to stay safe when visiting a water park. Even children that are comfortable in the water and good swimmers can still be injured, so remember: safety first!

Accidents can happen anywhere, but at a water park, the risk is a little bit greater, so it’s important to be safe. Water parks usually have a few exciting water-based rides, fast slides, and a lot of people trying to beat the heat. People may get injured more frequently at these types of parks due to the risky nature of the attractions.

The most frequent sources of injury at a water park are usually the slides and wave pools. Thanks to the free falls, high speeds, and high-impact of hitting the water, slides present a certain amount of risk. Improper supervising of lines and overcrowding can also cause patrons to crash when landing in the water. The wave pools typically pose a danger to younger swimmers, especially on crowded days.

Spinal cord, head, and neck injuries are by far the most common, though water park patrons may also sustain straddle injuries, jet-ski injuries (water entering body cavities at high velocities), slips and falls, and drowning or near-drowning. However, most of these can be avoided by following park rules and proper waterslide instructions.

Staying safe at the water park

Waterpark safety is the responsibility of both patrons and the park management. Even though there will be lifeguards, parents should always supervise their children, especially those that are very young or weak swimmers. Safety actually starts even before getting wet – the proper footwear and swimwear should be used and don’t forget the sunscreen. Arriving at the park is exciting, but try not to hit the biggest, fastest slides first. Start small and work up to a comfort level that will allow the high-impact attractions.

It’s also a good idea to stay hydrated; despite being in the water all day, it is easy to get dehydrated running from attraction to attraction in the hot sun. So, drink plenty of water and avoid the sugary, caffeinated beverages. Other safety measures might include wearing a life-vest and sticking to the shallows.

What happens when someone gets hurt?

Many water park injuries are the result of negligence – sometimes on the part of a parent, but often on the part of the park management. If the owner-operator of the park fails to provide a safe environment, such as by maintaining slides properly and repairing defects, they can be held responsible for any injuries that may occur. An overburdened or under-trained staff may also lead to accidents and injuries.

If someone is injured at a water park, he or she may have some legal recourse in claiming compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and other financial burdens exacerbated by the injury. This is especially so when negligence on the part of the owner-operator has directly impacted or caused the injury. However, liability doesn’t always fall on the owner of the park. In some cases, if another patron was negligent or reckless, thus causing injury, he or she may be held responsible.

Water park injuries can often be extremely serious and lawsuits can be quite complicated. If an injury has occurred, it may be wise to seek legal counsel. There are plenty of attorneys available depending on where a person resides, for example if you live in Las Vegas, you could opt for a Las Vegas personal injury attorney. And remember, personal injury laws vary from state to state, so it is worth meeting with an attorney in your area before making any decisions.

A Guide to the Historical Sites Around Icmeler



Icmeler in Turkey is well-known as a family-friendly resort on the Turquoise Coast, but there’s more to this seaside spot than just its gorgeous beach and excellent amenities – it’s also a great base for history lovers.

Although Icmeler itself isn’t filled to bursting with heritage attractions, the area around it certainly is, with many of these within easy reach for a day trip. The following are just a few of the top places you can explore while you’re staying in Icmeler – if you need some help finding accommodation, check out this website.

Travel time from Icmeler: around three hours’ drive

Although the journey to Ephesus is quite long, it’s more than worth it to uncover one of Turkey’s top ancient sites. The remains of this city date back as far as the 6th century BC and it was once one of the most important Greek cities in the region.

The site is in remarkably good condition and has been restored on several occasions, so you can really get a feel for what it must have been like in its heyday. One of the most important monuments here is the Temple of Artemis, although sadly only a few of its marble blocks remain. The place of worship was among the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and was the largest-ever structure made completely from marble.

What’s great about Ephesus is that it continued to be important even after the Greeks lost their influence – the Romans and Byzantines added to the city in later years, with the likes of the Library of Celsius constructed by the Romans and St John’s Basilica created by the Byzantines.

Travel time from Icmeler: around four hours’ drive

This might seem like a long trip to make, but often a visit to Hierapolis-Pamukkale can be included as part of a two-day excursion that also visits Ephesus, so you’re not having to make two long journeys on one holiday. And Hierapolis is certainly an amazing place to discover.

First up, it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which ought to tell you something about its credentials. The fascinating thing about it is that Pamukkale is an astounding natural attraction, with a series of terraced basins, petrified waterfalls and mineral forests. The waters here are believed to have curative properties, which led to the Kings of Pergamon founding Hierapolis in the 2nd century BC.

Nowadays you can see the incredible natural pools that jut out over the side of a cliff, as well as explore the remains of the temples, bath houses and a selection of Christian monuments, including the martyrium of St Philip.

Dalyan and Kaunos
Travel time from Icmeler: one and a half to two hours by boat

Dalyan is a charming town located slightly inland on the banks of the Dalaman River. The thing that makes it worth a trip is the Lycian tombs that line the cliffs and are visible from the town. Just a short distance outside Dalyan is Kaunos, the remains of a Carian city that dates from the 9th century BC.

You can easily walk from Dalyan to Kaunos, where you’ll find a selection of tombs, a very well-preserved theatre and the remains of temples, fountains, baths and the city’s defensive walls. There’s a lot to see here and it’s well worth the journey if you want to uncover another side of Turkey’s past during your holiday.

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Country-Hopping from Geneva


Geneva is an absolutely gorgeous city for a holiday – but I reckon it’s even better as part of a road trip around Europe. Now, before you start thinking of months-long journeys through the continent, I’m talking about relatively short drives to just a few other cities – something that can be done as part of a much shorter trip. That said, if you do have longer to spare then by all means drive your heart out!

From Geneva you can easily reach some of France and Italy’s most exciting cities, which I’ll take a look at in more detail below. Personally, I think it’s worth flying over to Geneva and spending several days enjoying all it has to offer before you begin. When you arrive, you can hire a car at Geneva airport so your transport’s ready for when you want to hit the road.

Turin, Italy

My first suggestion is Turin, which takes three to four hours to drive to from Geneva. One of the things that’s likely to first strike you when you arrive here is the city’s incredible surroundings, it being encircled by gorgeous Alpine peaks.

Still, scenery isn’t all Turin has to offer. The capital of the Piedmont region, the city is home to some gorgeous architecture and has a fascinating heritage, as well as being renowned for its enthusiasm for cinema. Indeed, there are more cinemas per capita here than anywhere else in the country.

Going back to architecture briefly, what I love about Turin is that there’s a charming mix of the modern and historic – think lavish 18th-century buildings standing side by side with more practical modern-day edifices. I’d particularly recommend going to see what’s known as the corona di delizie (crown of delights), which is a circle of stunning homes around the city, including the Royal Palace of Venaria.

Lyon, France

If you’d rather have a shorter drive, Lyon in France takes just one-and-a-half to two hours to reach from Geneva. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Lyon is absolutely overflowing with fantastic museums, so if you’re a keen culture vulture this place should definitely be high on your list of destinations to visit.

Among the highlights is the fabulous Musee des Beaux-Arts, which has an absolutely colossal collection of European art dating all the way from the time of the ancient Egyptians to the present day. Rubens, Rembrandt and Delacroix are just a few of the artists to have works hanging here.

Alternatively, if you fancy seeing something a bit different go to one of Lyon’s most famous and unusual museums, La petit Musee Fantastique de Gringnol. Lead by an audio guide, you’ll see all kinds of automatons and puppets.

Grenoble, France

Last on my list is Grenoble, which is a one-and-a-half to two-hour drive from Geneva. Dubbed the capital of the Alps, Grenoble is a beautiful alpine city that has a really wide range of attractions.

One of my favourite things about it is the fact that it’s so well suited to scenic walks. For instance, by taking a stroll around the city you can discover things like the old city walls, which were built between 286 and 293 AD (go to the beginning of rue Lafayette to find them), and the Place Grenette, with its beautifully sculpted stone fountain.

If you’re visiting in the summer, make sure you check whether there are any events being held at Jardin de Ville, a lovely public park that often hosts big concerts and such. And for a great view of the city and nearby mountain ranges, you can take a trip up to the Vauban lookout point – absolutely unbeatable on a clear day.

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Uncovering Majorca’s Hidden Beaches


As it’s an island, you’d expect Majorca to have its fair share of beaches, but what if you want to escape the crowds and usual tourist traps in favour of something more peaceful? You’ll be pleased to hear that, despite its popularity, Majorca still has a few hidden gems for you to uncover.

We’re going to give you some details about just a few of these – if you’d like to stay close to any of the seaside spots we mention check out what’s available accommodation-wise with Hotelopia.

Cala de Boquer

This small bay is a short walk from Puerto Pollensa and because it’s only accessible on foot or by boat, you don’t get the usual throngs of holidaymakers soaking up the sun here. To reach it you’ll need to walk for around 3 to 4 km from Puerto Pollensa, skirting the edge of the Tramuntana mountains as you go.

Although this spot is rocky rather than sandy, it’s incredibly picturesque and normally deserted, so it’s perfect if you’re looking for a peaceful cove that’s well off the beaten track.

Cala Varques

We’re heading to the untamed east coast of Majorca for our next selection – Cala Varques. As with Cala de Boquer, you can only get here by boat or on foot if you don’t mind the walk. What you’ll find when you arrive is breathtaking, though, with a strip of white sand fringed by pine trees and lapped by glorious turquoise waters.

It’s typically only locals who come here and often there won’t be anyone sharing the sand with you. If you’re feeling adventurous, go exploring in the caves that you’ll find in one of its cliffs – there are more than 500 m of underground caverns that are accessible from this spot.

As there’s nothing here except the sea, sand and sunshine, you need to be prepared and bring food and drink with you.

Cala Mondrago

Cala Mondrago is tucked away in the Mondrago Natural Park and although there’s a small resort close by, this is never going to develop further due to the protected status of the landscape.

Now, it’s worth pointing out that during the high holiday season this spot can be busy, although it’s much quieter outside of peak times. As well as a beautiful sandy beach there are also dunes, a wetland area and pine forests to provide a picturesque backdrop to your day at the seaside.

Because there can be large groups of visitors, Cala Mondrago is well set up to cater for people, with a bar, restaurant and shop all nearby.

Es Caragol

Also in the south of Majorca is Es Caragol, a 500 m strip of uninterrupted sand that has no development around it. To reach it you’ve got a 30-minute walk from the nearest car park, so once again don’t expect to find any facilities here.

Once you arrive you’ll be greeted by unbroken sand that’s fringed by dunes – a lovely sight and the perfect spot for some rest and relaxation in the sun. Pack a picnic and enjoy spending time in the great outdoors with nothing for company except the sound of the waves and the odd bird.

These are just a few of Majorca’s stunning seaside spots that you can find – if you’ve visited the island in the past did you come across any hidden gems? Would you recommend them to fellow travellers?

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Backstreets of Rome

The streets of Rome exude a charm and grace that only an Italian metropolis is capable of pulling off. A veritable haven for those who like to explore by foot, the Eternal City offers pavement pounders oodles of atmosphere throughout its confusing maze of backstreets filled with cosy cafe bars and bustling bakeries. See the big wonders of Rome by all means – the Colosseum, the Pantheon, St Peter’s and even the Vatican – but don’t forget to discover the real essence of this city by wandering its tightly coiled alleyways.If all of this has excited your sense of adventure, you had better get started on booking yourself some flights to Rome. Go on – satisfy that yearning for cobbled streets and authentic cafes and book here.

Backstreets and alleyways

As soon as you touch down and get settled into your hotel, commence your wanderings with a visit to Trastevere. Far from the tourist traps of the main streets, it contains many stunning and cobbled roads to get lost in.The locals, who stretch their washing between the houses either side, are more likely to be found in a quiet cafe here than in the bustling main streets. There may be relatively few tourists in Trastevere, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to see – the area boasts Rome’s oldest church (Santa Maria). Filled with light and with a bewildering array of golden artefacts adorning the walls, this religious location is nothing short of eye-boggling.

Similar to Trastevere, the backstreets of Navona are equally enjoyable to explore. Venture into one of its gorgeous old antique shops and see what wonders there are to take home. Peruse the wares of one of the neighbourhood’s numerous old bookshops and purchase one to read over a coffee.

Food and drink

Cuisine and beverages go hand in hand with travel, especially in Rome where they take that sort of thing very seriously. Two-hour lunches are not uncommon, even on weekdays. The joy of wandering neighbourhoods such as Navona and Trastevere is that you can find all the little places frequented by the locals, which lay undiscovered by the tourists like buried treasure. Some of them are true gems – Sora Margherita has a reputation for creating traditional Roman lunches since they ruled the world. Well, not quite, but you understand. It is located in the Jewish Ghetto, behind a red beaded curtain. There is no sign – its reputation does the talking – and inside, you’ll find a tiny room with a dozen or so wooden tables. Menu wise, they are particularly famous for their deep fried artichoke and zucchini flowers. If you need an excuse to get the vino out at lunchtime, you won’t find a better one than the zuccherini biscuits, specifically designed to be dunked into red wine.

There are literally hundreds of traditional venues like Sora Margherita scattered throughout the backstreets of Rome. Between them, you’ll discover markets, churches and other novelties seldom seen by the unadventurous tourist. So what are you waiting for? It’s time to explore.

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Antigua – The Perfect Valentine’s Getaway


If you’re thinking of booking a romantic getaway this Valentine’s then why not try something a bit different and a bit more exotic than a city break to Paris or Venice? The Caribbean island of Antigua provides the perfect romantic escape with picturesque beaches, heritage and culture and luxurious resorts, not to mention friendly locals and laid-back charm.

Beautiful Beaches
Antigua has a total of 365 beaches, one for every day of the year, so the locals will tell you, and spending time on them couldn’t be a better Valentine’s Day activity. Relax on the five secluded Hawksbill Beaches, swim in the incredibly blue waters at Church Valley Beach or even take a picnic to the beaches on the uninhabited Prickly Pear Island. Or if you don’t feel like relaxing, there are many water sports for you to try, from learning how to sail, to jet skiing, kayaking and parasailing, as well as diving and snorkeling of course.

Stunning scenery
Covered in lush tropical greenery, undulating hills and bays of blue back by white sand, Antigua is a stunning and romantic place to visit. One of the best viewpoints on the island is from the top of Shirley Heights, an old military complex, where you can see the English Harbour below with its cobalt blue coves and tiny white sail boats. For a view of Antigua’s tropical side, take a ride down Fig Tree Drive where you can see all manner of exotic fruit, from mangoes and bananas, to breadfruit and coconut palms.

Top resorts
Antigua has some of the best resorts in the Caribbean that are perfect for a little exotic Valentine’s romance. Think secluded beaches, lush gardens, private hot tubs, balconies with beautiful views, and of course the famous Caribbean hospitality. There are many Antigua honeymoon packages as well as romance ones to choose from, which include welcome champagne, sunset cruises, chocolates and flowers among other things.

Romantic activities
You’ll find many activities in Antigua that can induce romance on Valentine’s, from sunset walks, to couples’ massages at the spa or on the beach. Or why not try something a little different such as snorkeling together in Antigua’s iridescent coral gardens, filled with tropical fish, turtles and stingrays? Perhaps the daring among you may like to try zip lining through the tree tops, providing stunning views of the tree canopy and much of the island’s flora and fauna. Afterwards relax with by going for a drink at the top of Shirley Heights.

Perfect gifts
Antigua is a great place for shopping, so don’t bother buying your Valentine’s gifts back home, instead why not buy local handcrafts? In the capital of St. John’s and the small boutiques around Falmouth Harbour, you’ll be able to buy presents such as shell jewellery, batiks, sea-island cotton shirts and Antigua Cavalier Rum, just perfect for Valentine’s Day. Local taxi drivers or the resorts can show you where the best places to shop are.

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The 5 Most Beautiful Towns in Tuscany


Tuscany is beautiful – there’s no doubt about that. The breathtaking scenery, the eye-catching historical architecture propped up in a lush countryside, and the beautiful beaches easily explain why the region is among the most preferred traveler destinations. For your next trip, visit the following cities which are, hands down, the 5 most beautiful in Tuscany:


This magnificent city easily tops the list because of its age-old grasping architecture complemented by the art centers most of which trace their history back to the Medici era. The sculptures and statues, the paintings, the gardens, and the palaces such as Pitti have a story related to the past rulers of the city. Then, of course, there is the Ponte Vechio, which majestically glitters against the reflections of the Arno River, the regaling Duomo built in 1456, and the Baptistery among other attractions. The city earned its rightful place on the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list back in 1982.


It’s hard to rank Lucca behind Florence with the two cities being an hour’s drive from each other. Lucca’s Duomo is a perfect answer to that of Florence and the fortification walls which now serve as bicycle and foot paths are features to behold. The architecture takes you back to the Renaissance period with peculiar streets separating the buildings. You would also find a surviving portion of an amphitheater at the incredible Piazza Anfiteatro. The accommodation, in particular, is amazing, and you’d really be missing out to at least not take a look at the selection Lucca has to offer.

San Gimignano

Nicknamed the City of Beautiful Towers, this hill town can be seen from afar courtesy of 14 towers built in the medieval era that still stand. The blue skyline is beautifully complemented by a picturesque lush green countryside. It offers a breath of fresh air excellent for relaxing.


Another UNESCO World Heritage Site that catches the imagination of any tourist. It is located in the hilly Val d’Orcia which is a combination of rock and greenery, the perfect hiker’s destination. It takes you away from the crowded cities with its estimated 2,500 residents. Zeffirelli found it the perfect place to produce Romeo and Juliet in 1968.


Siena completes the perfect sojourn in Tuscany. It also stands on a hill and competes favorably with Florence in terms of architecture; its majestic Piazza del Campo which is built in the shape of a fan is a sight to behold. The several museums, the cathedral and the Torre Del Mangia, the gorgeous Pallazzo Pubblico, and the incredible Siena Duomo are among the many attractions. You could catch the horse racing if you visit in summer.

There are other small but glorious towns in Tuscany such as Montepulciano which would make you want to live here forever. If you’d like to learn more about Tuscany, check out the official tourism website for Tuscany.

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