A trip to Italy is one of my favourite types of weekend break, so I’ve pulled together my ultimate Tuscany itinerary. Tuscany is one of the most expensive regions in Italy, despite the fact that more people visit cities like Rome, Naples, Florence and Venice. Therefore I would 100% go on a road trip around this stunning region.
There are many reasons why I love Italy; the people the pizza and the piazzas. Italian life often involves around family, and a lot of the time in Italian villages and towns the piazza is the local meeting point. The piazza is the hub of urban life and she’s were both locals and tourists today when visiting visiting Italy come to relax or a cappuccino or people watch from their seat. You will of course also find the elderly local men here playing card games and smoking a cigar.
Many come to the region in search of fine art, others to explore the incredible countryside views. You need to head to Tuscany if you love food and wine, so gourmets and wine buffs are right at home in Tuscany. Hikers can enjoy mountain paths, cyclists the rolling hills, summer vacationers the sea coast and islands.
This guide covers all the information you need to plan a holiday to Tuscany. You can use this information to make the most of your holiday, and plan some amazing activities and experiences in advance of your trip. A trip to Italy can be an expensive if it isn’t done right as it is one of the most expensive country in Europe but it can be done on a budget.
Tuscany is also where me and Theo will be getting married Next year and therefore it’s become a special special place to both of us. Our wedding venue is very much a traditional Tuscan villa with farmhouse buildings white stone and vineyards and olive groves in the background.
Welcome to my extensive Tuscany itinerary travel guide where you will find all the essential information you need to plan the perfect trip to this beautiful Italian region.
Where should I visit in Tuscany
There are some truly spectacular towns and villages in Tuscany. From medieval hilltop villages, to larger towns with beautiful old town centres. Or if you prefer something a little more upbeat, there are several big cities packed with culture and entertainment. Each region in Tuscany has something unique to offer. Wander through the cobbled streets of quaint Italian towns and you will soon fall under the spell of Tuscany.
The main towns and cities in Tuscany include; Florence, Pisa, Siena, Grosseto, Arezzo. And with neighbouring towns of Bologna, Rome and Genoa not far away. In addition to Florence, Siena, Pisa, Lucca and Arezzo are all worth at least a day, with smaller hilltowns like San Gimignano, Cortona and Volterra also vying for attention. But don’t let art distract you from landscape: the vineyards of Chianti and Montalcino, the Carrara marble quarries north of Lucca, or the wild Maremma coastal strip are all must-sees.
Top 21 Things to do in Tuscany
- Museo dell’Opera del Duomo
- Leaning Tower of Pisa – Pisa
- Piazza del Campo-Siena
- San Gimignano – Tuscany
- Chianti Vineyards – Siena
- Cascate del Mulino – Grosseto
- Piazza Del Duomo – Pisa
- Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore
- Terrazza Mascagni – Livorno
- Uffizi Gallery – Florence
- Castello di Verrazzano – Chianti
- Ponte Vecchio – Florence
- Siena Cathedral – Siena
- Statue of David – Florence
- Guinigi Tower – Lucca
- Maremma Regional Park – Grosseto
- Galleria dell’Accademia – Florence
- Pitti Palace – Florence
- St Martin Cathedral – Lucca
- Palazzo Vecchio – Florence
- Tower of Mangia – Siena
For our trip to Tuscany, I grabbed a copy of my favourite travel guide brand Marco Polo Travel Guides. I grabbed myself a copy of the Italy guide for our trip to Tuscany, and for my trip to Trento later in the year. If you’ve followed me blog for any time at all, you will know how much I love these travel guides and get one for near enough every trip I go on.
We explored Tuscany with this pocket-sized guide, and it was packed with Insider Tips for our visit to the region, including tips for each city and town we decided to visit during our road trip. Using the guide helped us pre-plan and discover restaurants, and tourist hot spots. I loved the inclusion of special tips, personal insights and unusual experiences to add even more fun to our 48 hours in Tuscany itinerary. My favourite part of the guide is the pull-out map which I can scribble on to plan our days, as well as use it as a road map!
The Marco Polo Cyprus Pocket Guide includes:
- Insider Tips
- Best of Cyprus
- Discovery Tours
- Cyprus in full-colour
- Touring App
- Road Atlas and pull-out map
- Useful Greek and Turkish phrases
When is the best time to visit Tuscany
My favourite time to visit Tuscany is in the spring when everything seems to come to life after a mild winter. I love sitting with a glass of wine on the top of the hill hill top and admiring the sunset.
Tuscany doesn’t have to just be for the romantics, there is also an adventure bucket list destination with bikes bike rides mountains rock climbing are much more.
When is the best time to visit Tuscany
The best time to visit Tuscany is any time of the year. In the summer the temperature gets to around 25° to 30° and in the winter doesn’t dip below 15°. My favourite time to visit Tuscany is in the spring where the weather is much milder and there isn’t a lot of rain with an average temperature between March and June hitting between 18° and 24°. In my eyes this is the perfect time of the year to visit Tuscany.
How to get to Tuscany
Tuscany is accessible from the UK through many many major airports in the country including London, Birmingham and Manchester. Flights from London Luton to Pisa cost around £80 return or if you have a little bit more money in your budget you could fly from London to Florence for around £120.
I would highly recommend a road trip around Tuscany taking in many of the regions best most additional villages and towns that the country has to offer. The region is famous all across the world for offering such a varied wide expanse of culture adventure and cuisine. We usually hire a car for the duration of the trip, so we can explore lesser known towns and villages, which aren’t accessible via train or bus.
One of my favourite things about Italy and Tuscany is the cuisine. The guiding principle in traditional Tesco cuisine is to use only a few ingredients but they always need to be the best quality you can find. The food in Tuscany is not overly refined but instead focuses on the taste of each individual ingredient in a dish. It is also important to use regional Produce and if possible you seasonal vegetables from the garden. The most important ingredient in any task and cuisine is Olive oil of course.
Antipasto is one of my favourite dishes in Italy it is traditionally meant to keep guest happy whilst they wait for the freshly prepared meal but often it’s 1 million self these days. Typically anti-pasty would also include Costantini or bruschetta with vegetables pickled and oil prosciutto with melon or raw mixed vegetables with Olive Oyl. As well as all the traditional meats and cheeses.
After antipasto then comes the first course Which is usually pasta or hearty vegetable soup and second course also known as the main course often consists of meat or fish and salad or vegetable sidedish. And then to finish usually there is a desert or if you’re anything like me gelato.
The best cities to visit in Tuscany
Florence is rooted in its past informs the political and economic centre of Tuscany. Wealth to the city has come through workmanship and trade and nowadays throughout. There is indeed nowhere else where you will find so much art in such a small area than in the city of Florence. This is also where the 14th century Renaissance heralded a new age of philosophy art and architecture.
During the day the city Florence is full of the sounds of artisans hammering away in their workshops but it is also alive during the night with bars and restaurants pulling out the tables for locals and tourists to explore the city. The most iconic building in Florence is the Dubai Mo the cathedral in the city centre. The atmosphere around this area is to leave mystical in the building is magnificent offering tourists the most in stunning architecture they will have ever seen.
The splendid byzantine mosaics on the ceiling of the hexagonally building or a must see. I would also recommend lunch in one of the cities famous pizza as well you can drink wine and relax whilst watching people as they go about their everyday life.
SIENA AND AREZZO
Another famous region of Tuscany is the Siena and Chianti region most well known for their red wine saffron and tobacco. There is certainly a golden dry aroma to the south-east of Tuscany where the fields are dry and herbs a prominent. It’s a landscape of vineyards in ancient forest where the two provincial capitals are a treasure trove of art and history.
Arezzo is most famous for sleep in Piazza Grande you will realise the town is a little bit different but this is what makes it perfect for tourists who love their art. It is the perfect place for Artists, and collectors to find some exceptional pieces. And it’s been said that up to 1 ton of gold passes through the city of local Goldsmiths every month in the city now that’s pretty impressive. It is also pretty famous for its pottery offering delicate designs which have been famous for millions of years.
Siena is a beautiful city and the city very close to me and Theo’s hearts due to the fact it’s our closest city to our wedding venue. Siena is an Italian marble set in the glorious hills and protected by fortified walls it is managed to retain its mediaeval character right into the 21st-century. Strict building regulations have insured that nothing disturbs the harmony of this beautiful traditional Tuscan city and it’s been said that even cars and telephone aerials are banned. It is also world famous for its famous horse race the Palio. During the weekend of the event the whole city is buzzing with excitement in anticipation for the mediaeval tradition.
The streets and passages are decorated in traditional colours of the 17 participating city boards and tourists come from all over the world to watch the horse race. The race happens on the 2nd of July and 16 August. Other things to see and Siena include the Santa Maria della Scala, Santa Maria Cathedral and Palazzo Pubblico.
Pisa isn’t my favourite part of Tuscany to visit, as it has been busy and over-crowded both times I have visited. I visited Pisa last September at the end of a week long Mediterranean Cruise around Europe, stopping at France, Italy and Spain. For our final day of the trip we explored the Italian city of Pisa, iconic with tourists around the world for The Leaning Tower of Pisa. This iconic building has been made famous all over the world, and in addition to the tower, the city offers many other interesting things to see worth at least an day. Check out my guide of things to do in Pisa for more inspiration!
When the building complex at Field of Miracles was built, the bell tower wasn’t intended to be the centerpiece of the square. Campo dei Miracoli was medieval Italy’s grandest building project and even today it is one of the main attraction of Tuscany and Italy. Once you have admired the Tower of Pisa from all angles (including the classic picture in which you pretend to support it to keep as a memento), continue your visit to the other monuments in the Piazza: the Cathedral and the Baptistery. Along the perimeter of the square, there is also the Cemetery, the Cathedral Museum and the Museum of the Synopses.
We did have a wonderful day as we explored the lesser known areas of the city, visited a few markets, took our Instagram shots in front of the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Piazza dei Cavalieri and stopped for a bite to eat at a local Pizzeria restaurant. But I would say if you are limited on time, that there are much better cities and towns to see on your Tuscany itinerary than visiting Pisa.
Who knew that Tuscany had a coast? Well it certainly does and it’s beautiful if you had towards the south of the region this is where you can find the most Beautiful coastal region of Italy. The world will get landscape is full of surprises with cattle traditional sites music and culture as well as hot springs and a coastline with sandy beaches surrounded by forest. The nightlife on the beachside resort is more casual and relaxed than those further north.
Grosseto it’s a shopaholics paradise with Sadie arcade alleyway is a busy café is situated next to Sankey bars I’m well-known brands. Here you can find another good shoes final records or comic books as well as luxury designer brands around every corner.
The most iconic things to see in this region piazza Dante And the Museum of archaeological history. The city also has a small style duomo in the Piazza A replication of the one in Florence. People also come here for the hot Silversprings the bubble out of the volcanic crater only 37 miles east of the city. Here there is a Roman spa located in a hotel with 140 rooms also welcomes paying day visitors. The flowing water cascades until waterfall flowing in stages into a natural stone basin that you can join its benefits.
Where to stay in Tuscany
During your Tuscany itinerary you also need to find Tuscany accommodation, whether its a hotel, B&B or apartments. Tuscany is one of the most popular destinations in Italy and around the world given its beauty and tradition of hospitality. In larger cities such as Florence, Siena and Pisa, hotels are often the main choice for anyone visiting the city. However, bed and breakfasts have become more popular, and apartments even more so, especially with the rise of Airbnb.
The Tuscan countryside is dotted with farmhouses and cottages converted into holiday homes, perfect for anyone who wants to combine the charm of country life with close proximity to the “art” cities. Just remember that having a car available, in this case, is crucial. Villas, castles and resorts, often quite luxurious and full of history, offer larger rooms to host events or simply enjoy a luxury getaway.
Hotel Torre Guelfa Palazzo Acciaiuoli Florence – £89 – BOOK NOW
Residenza Conte di Cavour & Rooftop Florence – £90 – BOOK NOW
Hotel Pitti Palace al Ponte Vecchio Florence – £83 – BOOK NOW
Mh Florence Hotel & Spa Florence – £65 – BOOK NOW
Grand Hotel Duomo Pisa – £61 – BOOK NOW
AwesHome Hanging Gardens Pisa – £50 – BOOK NOW
Hotel Bologna Pisa – £65 – BOOK NOW
Hotel Relais Dell’Orologio Pisa – £47 – BOOK NOW
Hotel Athena Siena – £51 per night – BOOK NOW
Grand Hotel Continental Siena – Starhotels Collezione Siena – £150 per night – BOOK NOW
Hotel Palazzo di Valli Siena – £60 per night – BOOK NOW
Hotel Garden Siena – £40 per night – BOOK NOW
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