This charming fortified town is one of Tuscany's best-kept secrets. The thick walls dating back to the 16th century, which used to protect the city, are still in good condition and are now a popular spot for a stroll shaded by old chestnut trees. A tip would be to rent a bike for the day and explore the Roman amphitheatre, antique markets and numerous piazze of this merchant city at a leisurely pace.

And why not pay the Casa di Puccini a visit? The house where the composer was born has now been turned into a museum.

There are also three luxuriant gardens: the Palazzo Pfanner, the gardens of Villa Bottini and the Giardino Botanico.

Florence is an hour a way on the train, making it an easy destination for a day trip.

Last but not least, it is impossible not to mention one of the highlights of the city:  the Torre Guinigi. Where else will you climb a tower, only to find out that a magnificent oak tree presides at its top?



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