Sometimes you don’t have to be a good photographer to take a perfect photo. As long as you know how to you filters and other editing tools, you will have the picture that you always wanted for your Instagram profile in a couple of clocks. On this subject, if you are looking for an original backdrop for your selfies, you can check out this most Instagrammable places in Tuscany: a list that could go on ad infinitum!
You will almost certainly have seen, in your Instagram feed, aerial photos of natural pools buried deep in the heart of nature. Check the geotag, and you will probably find that they were taken at Saturnia, down in the Maremma. Apart from being beautiful to look at, they are also the idea place to spend a spa day, totally relaxed and, above all, not a penny poorer. Another much-photographed thermal pool in Tuscany – in which, however, you cannot bathe – can be found in the middle of piazza di Bagno Vignoni, in the Val d’Orcia countryside. It is particularly beloved of the pilgrims who walk the Via Francigena.
Florence, as we know, is the Instagrammable destination par excellence. All you need to do is climb to Piazzale Michelangelo and the magnificent Renaissance city lies before you. But if you want something a little more “unusual”, you could head to Lucca and its famous circuit of walls. Stop at the entrance gate to Piazza Anfiteatro and take a photo through the arch, which offers a readymade frame on the circular square, bubbling with restaurants and wine merchants. Or head to Livorno and walk along Terrazza Mascagni, snapping photos of the chessboard terrace that seems to drop into the sea.
The Leaning Tower of Pisa, apart from being a symbol of Tuscany, is one of Italy’s most photographed monuments. Zig-zag through Piazza dei Miracoli, dodging the tourists who exploit an optical illusion to make it look as if they are holding up a falling tower. And what needs to be said about the Abbey of San Galgano? A beautiful work of architecture in the Chiusidino municipality, it enjoys a connection to the myth of the sword in the stone, and has been the set of a number of films, not least Anthony Minghella’s The English Patient. One of Monte Amiata’s less famous destinations is the Aldobrandeschi Fortress at Piancastagnaio, which makes its surrounding landscape all the more stunning. And you can also take a plunge into medieval history by visiting the Malaspina Castle, the sometime residence of the Malaspina and Cybo-Malaspina families, overlords of the city of Massa.
Let’s take a pause from the city and artworks and embrace the #instafood hashtag, for as you know, nothing is more photographed than food! With this being aim, there’s nothing to do except drift through the restaurants, bars and osterias in search of local delicacies. A glass of wine to accompany your platter of charcuterie in a design winery? Or are you more of a street-walking panino and gelato person?
If instead you are looking for a country panorama, with sinuous hills and steepling cypresses, well, that’s easy. Take yourself off to the Crete Senesi, or north of Florence for the Mugello. At Artimino, in the Carmignano municipality, you can photograph the olive-groved, vine-grooved valley; and, in the distance, the Medici Villa at Artimino, known as La Ferdinanda or the Villa of a hundred chimneypots, dominates the hill that was once the site of a sacred Etruscan temple.
Secret doors, curtains embroidered with flowers, bell towers and sleepy cats. We must be in one of Tuscany’s countless medieval hill villages, which are the perfect venues in which to pose on panoramic terraces, sit on a flight of steps, stroll through piazzas and have a coffee with the locals. With its unmistakeable towers, San Gimignano is one of the Sienese countryside’s most beloved and visited medieval towns, but Pienza and Monteriggioni are not far behind.
In Maremma, you can see the tuff walls of Pitigliano and Sorano; in Cortona you can survey the entire Valdichiana. In Colonnata, a hamlet of the Carrara municipality, you can photograph the marble quarries and the interiors of the larderias – as well as try the famous lard itself, of course.
Do you sometimes don the glamorous sunglasses and a brightly-coloured hat? Then you will be perfectly dressed for a tour of the Tuscan coast and its islands. Orbetello, with its lagoon and old marooned Spanish mill, makes the ideal background to your summer selfies. Along the Etruscan coast, stop at Populonia for a shot of the promontory: you will see both the sea and the remains of the Etruscan necropolis. The islands of Capraia and Giglio, meanwhile, appeal to “wild” photography enthusiasts: this is where nature and the crystalline waves are the true protagonists of the area.
From the sea to the mountains. A cosy, intimate little place to visit and shoot is Monte Forato, one of the most beautiful of the Apuan Alps, easy to reach and distinguished by the its unique arch, which has always drawn hikers, travellers and experts. The rising and setting sun is especially spectacular as it shines through the arch, whether you’re looking through it from Versilia or the Garfagnana.
Between Casentino and Valdarno we find the Pratomagno range, with its unmistakeable cross that stands 1590 metres above sea level. As for the Pistoiese Apennines, you could do worse than a visit to the San Marcello Piteglio suspension bridge: a pedestrian gangway that joins two slopes and invites some truly original photos (but only if you don’t suffer from vertigo).
If you want to surprise your followers with breathtaking, little-known views, take a trip to the Biancane Park for a lunar panorama of Monterotondo Marittimo. This is where you will see white steam billowing from the soil, boiling mud pools and grubby white blotches which testify to the geothermic activity of the land.
In the Lucchesia, the horizon disappears down the Orrido di Botri, a natural canyon whose deep crevices, waterfalls and pools owe to millennia of erosion by the Pelago stream.
Nature-loving photographers will thrive in the LIPU Oasis of Lake Massaciuccoli, a protected area of 47 hectares created to protect the rare species that live around this watery area. Here you can use the stilted wooden walkways, built right over the water’s edge.
Time for one last auteur photo? If you love contemporary art, you should take a tour of Pievasciata, among the hills of the Terre di Siena. Here you find the Chianti Sculpture Park, where thought-provoking artistic installations are spread along a circular path that winds its way through an oak and holm oak wood. Nor should you miss a stop at Pietrasanta, a hub for artists and sculptors from all over the world. In recent decades, it has become known as a true outdoor museum.
In the heart of the Maremma, between the sea and the hills of Capalbio, there is a very special artistic park: the Tarot Garden, born from the imagination of the French sculptor Niki de Saint Phalle, where you can take pictures of statues inspired by figures from the Tarot cards.