5 Reasons to Make Tuscany and Sardinia Your Next Italian Destinations

What comes to mind when you think of Italian holidays? For most, it’s pizza in Naples, sightseeing in Rome, or exploring Milan, the home of fashion.

But there’s a lot more to Italy than these big cities, including the criminally overlooked regions of Tuscany and Sardinia.

I visited Sardinia last September and I loved it. This stunning island has become one of my favourite Italian destinations and has some of the most beautiful beaches in Italy and the whole of Europe.

Italian Destinations
Spiaggia La Pelosa, one of the most beautiful beaches in Europe

The Scenery

This is an easy one—both of these regions are simply breathtaking.

Taking one of the ferry connections to Olbia in Sardinia, you’ll sail over turquoise waters and approach rocky beaches.

If you’re entering Tuscany by bus or train, you’ll see the rolling hills stretching forever, showcasing the majesty that inspired so many people to paint and write about this region. Once you arrive, you can see these amazing locations close up. Rent a bike or car, go on a hike, take a bus – just make sure you have your camera!

Panoramic view of a spring day in the Italian rural landscape, Tuscany, Italy
Image from Depositphotos

The Food

The Mediterranean region is famed for its great food, including many dishes enjoyed on holidays in Greece, Rome, Naples, and North Africa. Tuscany and Sardinia also deserve a mention as great food regions.

Tuscany is famous for creamy cheese and pasta dishes, as well as the liberal use of truffles. Popular dishes include:

• Torta di Ceci
• Crostini
• Bistecca alla Florentina
• Ribollita
• Lampredotto
• Pappardelle al ragù di cinghiale

As for Sardinia, it’s best known for its meat and seafood dishes. Try the island’s sea urchins or su porcheddu, which is a suckling pig that’s slowly roasted for many hours.

Octopus Salad served at L'Oasi Azzurra Restaurant, Teulada, Sardinia
A delicious Octopus Salad served at L’Oasi Azzurra Restaurant, Teulada, Sardinia

The History

Rome had the Romans, but Tuscany had the Etruscans, a civilisation that predated the Romans and inspired much of the Roman language and culture.

Before the Etruscans, the people in this region traded with Mycenaeans and Minoans from Greece, and in the Middle Ages, the area flourished, giving birth to prosperous cities, and producing many great artists and writers.

Needless to say, there is a lot of history to explore—it’s not all about Rome and the Colosseum. Sardinia has its own story to tell as well. At various stages throughout history, it was controlled by the Romans, Carthaginians, and Vandals, and was also a key stop on Phoenician trading routes.

Roman Amphitheatre of Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy
Roman Amphitheatre of Cagliari, Sardinia

The Drinks

Sardinia produces Vernaccia di Oristano, a type of wine that pairs great with many savoury dishes, including some of that famous Sardinian seafood. This wine has a long history and a unique flavour, yet it’s not very well-known outside of Italy.

Then there’s Tuscany, which is far from overlooked when it comes to wine. It is one of the most famous wine regions in the world and produces a variety of fantastic, award-winning wines, including Chianti. You can explore these beverages on a Tuscan wine tour—the perfect way to experience more of this beautiful region.

And it’s not just wine – this is Italy, after all, so you will find plenty of great coffee in both of these regions.

If you enjoy a sweet white or dry red with an evening meal, followed by a strong espresso the morning after, Sardinia and Tuscany could be the perfect Italian holiday destinations.

Wine cellar of Abbey Monte Oliveto Maggiore, Tuscany, Italy
The wine cellar of Abbey Monte Oliveto Maggiore, Tuscany, Image from Depositphotos

The Culture

You can’t beat Tuscany when it comes to cultural Italian destinations. It is the home of Florence, after all. Not only was this city central to the Renaissance but remains a rich cultural melting pot to this day. There are scores of museums and art galleries scattered throughout the region, and Sardinia has its fair share as well.

If you visit during the tourist season, you can even participate in a festival, rubbing shoulders with the locals as you enjoy great food, wine, and music. Some must-see festivals in Tuscany include the Palio, a famous Medieval horse race, and the Scoppio del Carro, where they fill a cart with fireworks and enjoy the show!

Sardinian festivals include the Sagra di Sant’Efisio parade, which takes place in early May, and the Festival of San Simplicio, which includes a variety of events involving everything from food and religious ceremonies to horseback riding.

Florence, Italy
Florence, one of my favourite cities in Italy

Summary: Exploring Sardinia and Tuscany

Although Tuscany and Sardinia are quite far apart and separated by the Tyrrhenian Sea, they share many similarities.

Both are beautiful and boast a wealth of great food, culture, and history, and both are often overlooked for other destinations in Italy.

So, whether you’re backpacking to save money or staying in luxury hotels, if you want to experience a side of Italy that people don’t always see, book a stay in Tuscany or Sardinia.

Travel Planning Resources For every booking made through my site I donate US$ 1 for a charitable organization. Safe travels ☺

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.