Spending your Valentine’s Day in Tuscany doesn’t necessarily mean going to Florence.
Yes, Florence is a gorgeous city and it’s the first place I’m going to talk about in this article, but Tuscany has plenty of other lovely towns that are worth a visit. Plus, these towns are way less crowded!
Among all the things you can visit in Tuscany, there are 3 places connected to love that I consider perfect for living a romantic Valentine’s Day.
The world-known Italian poet Dante Alighieri lived in Florence between the 13th and the 14th centuries. He was in love with Beatrice, a girl who got married with another man and died young, causing to Dante a lot of suffering but also great inspiration for all his poetry.
A legend says that Dante met Beatrice for the first time in the church of Santa Maria ai Cerchi.
For this reason, the church is also called Dante’s church and is considered a symbol of love.
Inside the church is a small tomb stone dedicated to Beatrice and in front of it there is a basket where people can leave messages and letters in which they ask the girl to help them with love problems. Dante’s Church reminds me of the Balcony of Juliet in Verona and for this reason I think it’s one of the most romantic place to visit during your Valentine’s day in Tuscany.
Pienza is a lovely town on the top of a hill, not far from Montepulciano. It’s very small but wonderful and it is part of the UNESCO heritage since 1996.
The beauty of Pienza is due to the fact that Pope Pius the Second, who was born there, wanted it to be the Perfect Renaissance City and so he built churches, palaces and squares following a specific project he had in mind. Unfortunately, the Pope died before he could complete it, but the result is gorgeous.
One of the most photographed spot in Pienza is Piazza Pio II. The Cathedral, Palazzo Piccolomini with its suspended garden, Palazzo Borgia and Palazzo Comunale, all together create a harmonic scenario that makes the square look like a painting.
Taking a walk in Pienza means getting lost in a maze of narrow streets. One of these is quite popular among the citizens and the tourists. It’s Via del Bacio, the street of the Kiss.
Its name derives from the narrowness that makes it perfect for secret encounters between lovers.
Moreover, the street of the Kiss leads to a wonderful belvedere that overlooks the countryside of Val D’Orcia. It’s the perfect background for living one of the most romantic moment of your Valentine’s Day in Tuscany. Doesn’t matter if it’s only for a photo, a kiss…or a wedding proposals!
If the street of the Kiss isn’t enough, in Pienza there is also the street of Love.
Like Pienza, Lucignano is a village of Etruscan origin placed on the top of a hill and surrounded by an enchanting countryside.
Outside the city walls, on the top of a hill just in front of the town, are the remains of an ancient fortress. Beyond the fortress is the Sanctuary of the Madonna delle Querce, which is said to have been designed by the famous architect Giorgio Vasari.
All these beauty is worth a visit by itself, but the reason why you should make a jump there during your Valentine’s Day in Tuscany is the Albero D’oro, the Golden Tree, a masterpiece of the goldsmith’s art.
The Golden Tree is a huge tree-shaped reliquary, 2.60 meters tall, made in gilded silver and studded with crystals and corals.
Each of its 12 branches ends with a small shrine in which a relic is preserved, including even shards from the Holy Cross.
With all its details and symbols, the Golden Tree looks really amazing. And it took 120 years to complete its construction – from 1350 to 1471!
Over time the Golden Tree of Lucignano has become part of a local legend that no one seems to completely remember. The only surviving element is the belief that the Tree brings good luck to lovers. For this reason, many newlyweds and couples go to the Municipal Museum of the town to exchange their love promises in front of the Tree, which is now known also as the Tree of Love.
On Valentine’s Day, some theme-related events are organized in Lucignano and many restaurants have a special menu for those who wants to celebrate their love.