OT Travel Itinerary: How To Spend The Perfect 3 Days In Italy's Tuscany Like Manushi Chhillar

Away from the hustle and bustle of Mumbai, the former beauty queen has escaped to enjoy the scenic beauty of the picturesque European country
Hindi movie actor and model Manushi Chhillar in Tuscany, Italy
Hindi movie actor and model Manushi Chhillar in Tuscany, Italymanushi_chhillar/Instagram

The Italian region of Tuscany, which is known for its landscapes, history, artistic legacy and as the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance, has been playing host to Hindi movie actor and model Manushi Chhillar for the past week. The plethora of museums and monuments in Florence, Castiglione della Pescaia, Pisa, San Gimignano, Lucca, Grosseto and Siena—which are the main Tuscan cities—have earned them numerous UNESCO World Heritage Site listings. Most people however associate Tuscany for its world-famous wines like “Chianti”, “Vino Nobile di Montepulciano” and “Vernaccia di San Gimignano”.

Here’s your three-day guide to this charming place.

Day 1


Sculptures in the Uffizi Gallery
Sculptures in the Uffizi GalleryYuri Turkov/Shutterstock

Begin your Italian sojourn by checking out Florence’s cultural wonders. The iconic Uffizi Gallery is famous for its outstanding collection of ancient sculptures and paintings from the Middle Ages to the Modern period. The collection of paintings from the 14th-century and Renaissance period includes masterpieces by Giotto, Piero della Francesca, Beato Angelico, Filippo Lippi, Botticelli, Correggio, Leonardo, Raffaello, Michelangelo and Caravaggio. There’s also an invaluable collection of ancient statues and busts from the Medici family which adorns the corridors.

Afterwards, check out the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore. It is one of the largest churches in the world and together with the Florence Baptistery and Giotto's Campanile makes up a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the historic centre of Florence.


Ponte Vecchio bridge
Ponte Vecchio bridgemuratart/Shutterstock

Time to check out the historic bridge of Ponte Vecchio. This mediaeval stone arch bridge was built over the Arno River and is notable for the shops which have flanked it for centuries. Rental records indicate that greengrocers, butchers, barbers, shoemakers, metalsmiths and cloth-dealers conducted their business here before the area became the exclusive domain of goldsmiths in 1593. The current “Old Bridge” was built for the Florentine republican government between 1339-1346 to replace the previous bridge that collapsed in a flood in 1333.

Next, head to the Palazzo Vecchio. It is the most important historic building in the city and overlooks the Piazza della Signoria. It is now a museum with lavishly decorated courtyards and chambers. On the terrace facing the Piazza della Signoria are several famous examples of Renaissance sculpture like Donatello’s “Judith and Holofernes,” a copy of Michelangelo’s “David,” and “Hercules and Cacus” by Baccio Bandinelli.


Crespelle alla Fiorentina
Crespelle alla FiorentinaInstagram/federicaconstantini

All this walking must have worked up an appetite; time to tuck into Tuscan food. Eat crespelle alla Fiorentina, a crêpe stuffed with ricotta cheese and spinach; the juicy texture of bistecca alla Fiorentina steak; and calamari in zimino which is a squid dish with vegetables. Top it off with generous helpings of the semi-frozen dessert that is zuccotto.

Day 2


The Piazza del Campo of Siena
The Piazza del Campo of SienaViliam.M/Shutterstock

Time for a road trip across the Tuscany valley. Start bright and early to cover the 78km to Siena. The hills and fields of the landscape on your way there are a dazzling sight. Start by visiting the Piazza del Campo, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most beautiful squares in the world. It is shaped like a shell divided into nine sections, in memory of the nine lords who ruled the city at the end of the 13th century. Today, the Piazza del Campo is an open-air arena where the athletic contest of “palio” is held twice a year.

Next, check out the Palazzo Pubblico which looms imposingly over the Piazza del Campo. Built between 1297 and 1310, it symbolises political power as it is the seat of city hall. On the first floor is the Museo Civico which houses masterpieces of Sienese art such as the "Effetti del Buon Governo e del Cattivo Governo", the cycle of frescoes by Ambrogio Lorenzetti.


Inside Siena Cathedral
Inside Siena Cathedralmartinho Smart/Shutterstock

The 13th-century Siena Cathedral is not to be missed. Its white marble façade is divided into two halves: the lower part was created by Giovanni Pisano in a Romanesque-Gothic style and the upper one in the Forentino Gothic style. Inside, visitors can see the sculpted pulpit made by Nicola Pisano and the Piccolomini Altarpiece, where they can admire four sculptures by the young Michelangelo: Saint Peter, Saint Paul, Saint Pious and Saint Augustine.

Afterwards, drive to San Gimignano in the province of Siena. It is well-known for its mediaeval architecture with well-preserved buildings in both Romanesque and Gothic styles. Start by visiting the Palazzo Comunale, which today is home to the town museum and art gallery. Admire the works of artists like Filippino Lippi, Domenico di Michelino and Pier Francesco Fiorentino. Its magnificently frescoed Sala di Dante is where the famous poet addressed the town's council in 1299. Climb the 218 steps of the structure’s 54m Torre Grossa for a spectacular view over the town and surrounding countryside.


Chianti and Vernaccia di San Gimignano wines on sale in San Gimignano
Chianti and Vernaccia di San Gimignano wines on sale in San GimignanoKristi Blokhin/Shutterstock

Wrap up your second day with a wine tour. San Gimignano is known for its saffron, pecorino cheese and white wine called “Vernaccia di San Gimignano.” Tour the vineyards of Tenuta Torciano, a family-owned winery with a 300-year history of producing high-quality wines in the Chianti area; stay at the Fattoria Poggio Alloro farmhouse where you can eat Tuscan delicacies and drink “Vernaccia di San Gimignano” to your heart’s content; or spend the evening at the Il Colombaio di Santa Chiara, which is not just a wine estate but also a stylish retreat.

Day 3


The Pisa Cathedral on the left and the Leaning Tower of Pisa on the right
The Pisa Cathedral on the left and the Leaning Tower of Pisa on the rightzevana/Shutterstock

Time for another drive, this time to Pisa which is 76km away. Visit the Piazza del Duomo which houses a group of monuments known the world over. These four masterpieces of medieval architecture—the cathedral, the baptistry, the “Leaning Tower” and the cemetery—had a great influence on monumental art in Italy from the 11th to the 14th centuries. Take photos of the iconic Leaning Tower of Pisa which is famous for its characteristic inclination of around 4 degrees.

Check out the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, a masterpiece of the Romanesque period. The different stylistic elements which were blended into the making of the building—Classical, Lombard-Emilian, Byzantine, and Islamic—reflect the international presence of Pisan merchants at the time.


A section of the walls of Pisa
A section of the walls of Pisaturismo.pisa.it/Website

The walls of Pisa are among the most ancient in Italy. The first segment of the wall, erected north of the city from 1155 to 1161, was built of gray limestone while the walls erected at a later time—at the end of 1346—were constructed from the pink grey stone of Asciano. You can walk over these striking walls along a 3km-long path to see the towers, ramparts and gates.

Next, head to the Historical Ships Museum which displays seven Roman-era ships dating from the 3rd century BCE to the 7th century CE, and around 8,000 artefacts. One of the highlights of the museum is the section about life on board a sailing vessel. Many objects describe the sailors’ lives, including details about their clothing, baggage, lighting, how they cooked and ate, the cults and superstitions they believed in, and the games they played for passing the time during their long journeys.


The Guinigi Tower of Lucca
The Guinigi Tower of LuccaSergey Dzyuba/Shutterstock

Drive the 19km to Lucca, where visitors can gaze at its magnificent and intact walls built in the 16th and 17th centuries. They run for more than 4km and are strengthened by no fewer than 10 bastions; you can walk along the top of them too. The Guinigi Tower, Puccini Musuem, Duomo di San Martino and Piazza dell'Anfiteatro are worth checking out as well.

Eat at the Osteria San Giorgio for Tuscan-style steak, fish, and pasta in a rustic space or the Osteria Baralla which is a 1800s restaurant with vaulted brick rooms and a terrace.

Where To Stay

The Four Seasons Hotel and The St. Regis Florence offer luxurious stays in Florence. The Antica Dimora Johlea Guesthouse and Hotel Davanzati are suitable for budget-conscious travellers. Backpackers should consider the Hostel Archi Rossi and the New Generation Hostel.

Visa Requirements

Indian tourists to Italy must apply online for a visa. They should have a passport whose expiry date is three months longer than that of the visa requested; health insurance covering a minimum of INR 2,683,461 for emergency hospitalisation and repatriation expenses (valid throughout the Schengen area); and proof of accommodation (hotel booking, a declaration of hospitality, etc.), among other requirements. Find out more on the official visa website of the Italian government.

Getting There

Take a direct flight from New Delhi to Rome. Cover the 279km between Rome and Florence via bus, taxi or flight.

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