Visiting Tuscany is a dream for many travelers heading to Italy… And once you see the rolling green hillsides full of vineyards, beautiful villas, and medieval towns, it will be easy to see why! So what do you need to know before planning the ultimate road trip to this amazing region of Italy? Here are some of our best travel tips to guide you on your visit to Tuscany!
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10 Helpful Tips to Visit Tuscany in Italy
1. Take a Tuscany Road Trip
The best way to see as much of Tuscany as possible is to rent a car! While trains and buses are available, they do run with limited service. This is especially true when it comes to the smaller towns and villages of Tuscany Italy. Since most people only have a few days for their Tuscany vacation, it is so much easier to see these places with a car.
One of our best Tuscany tips is to set up an itinerary to stay in select places and do your driving earlier in the day. That way you can enjoy some of the best wine in the world after you get to your final stop!
We always use Discover Cars when renting vehicles abroad and have gotten some amazing deals. Make sure to check the weekly rate as well for discounts.
2. Look into All Airports in the Area
Florence is well known as the “gateway to Tuscany” and is set up perfectly to start your Tuscany road trip from. However, there are many other places to fly into that could make more sense. Depending on your itinerary, it could be cheaper and more sensible to fly into Pisa or even Rome.
You could even fly into Bologna and take the fast train to be in Florence in less than 45 minutes! It all really comes down to what you want to see and do. Also, be sure to look into one-way rentals if there is a better flight in a different city. For example, it might be more cost-effective to fly into Florence and out of Rome even with a drop fee.
3. Pick a Few Places to Stay Two Nights
Most travelers heading to Tuscany have one thing on their minds… Wine! For this reason, you may want to stay multiple nights in different towns. Now this isn’t only to be able to hang out and drink copious amounts of your favorite beverage.
It’s also about taking in the entire town or city you’re in and absorbing the unique culture of Tuscany in Italy. Each village has its own special character, traditions, and food to embrace!
We know not everyone will have the time to do this on their Tuscany road trip. Still, we highly recommend spending more than one night where you can to make your trip more relaxing.
4. Time of Year to Go to Tuscany in Italy
Like many popular tourist destinations in Europe, the best time to visit Tuscany in Italy is outside of the peak summer months. In April and May, you’ll find cooler temperatures and fewer crowds. June is a great month to go as it’s a time for many festivals and celebrations.
Also, after the most popular months of July and August is when the vineyards are fully in bloom! Tuscany will still be busy in September and October, but you’ll find that the fall weather and surrounding nature will make up for it. Whatever time of year you choose, you’re sure to have a great trip to Tuscany Italy!
5. Plan Around Local Tuscany Festivals
We mentioned the festivals during June in Tuscany, and they are not to be missed! In fact, if you do visit this region of Italy in the summer months there are many throughout July and August as well.
We recommend looking into the calendar and planning to visit while a festival is going on. There is no better way to experience Italian culture than to attend one of these fun events!
Typically they are centered around food, music, sports, and even dancing. Below are a few of the most popular festivals to attend in Tuscany Italy.
- Palio di Siena
- Mercantia in Certaldo
- Calici di Stelle
- Lucca Summer Festival
- Bravio delle Botti in Montepulciano
- Pistoia Blues Festival
6. Spend at Least One Night on a Vineyard
Back to the wine! You’d honestly be doing yourself a disservice without spending a night on a vineyard in Tuscany. Yes, that’s right! There are actually amazing hotels in Tuscany that are set among the vineyards. Some are directly on site while others have magical views of the Tuscan countryside.
Spending the night on one is a unique experience that everyone visiting Tuscany in Italy should have. One of the hotels we enjoyed even had a swimming pool overlooking the vineyards! We have listed some of the most popular winery hotels in this region below.
- Hotel Le Fontanelle
- Hotel Certosa Di Maggiano
- Castello di Velona – The Leading Hotels of the World
- Borgo Scopeto Wine & Country Relais
- Wine Resort Dievole
- Il Borgo di Vescine
- L’Andana Tenuta La Badiola
7. Visit the Smaller Tuscany Villages
For us, one of the main draws of exploring Tuscany was enjoying the many charming hillside towns. Florence and Pisa are great don’t get us wrong. There is just something about being in a medieval countryside village that takes your breath away!
We spent one month in the small mountain town of Montepulciano and instantly fell in love. Using it as our home base, we were able to take the bus and even hike to many other nearby Tuscany villages. This is such a relaxing way to see this area of Italy without the crowds of the city.
→ 14 Fun Things to Do in Montepulciano Italy On Your First Visit
8. Shop for Traditional Products
Some of our favorite days in Tuscany were when we bought meats, cheeses, and wine and went for a picnic. What an amazing experience it is to taste the local products while overlooking the rolling hills of central Italy!
In addition to the classic Tuscany deli items, you’ll find other specialties at the local shops and farmers markets. Some of which you may even want to take home or send to someone as a gift! Things like wine, olive oil, and honey can make for a great Tuscany Italy souvenir.
9. Get Out into Nature in Tuscany Italy
Tuscany is one of the most beautiful and scenic parts of Italy. Specifically, when the vineyards are in full bloom, it looks like something out of a fairy tale. There are plenty of ways to get out into the gorgeous nature of Tuscany!
We preferred hiking in between the towns and wineries. Another way to enjoy the outdoors is to take a bicycle tour or rent one yourself. There are even tours that combine vineyards and biking for the ultimate Tuscany day!
→ Fun Tuscany Hike From Montepulciano to Montefollonico Italy
10. Don’t Miss Out on Umbria!
Just next to Tuscany is the region known as Umbria. While many consider them one and the same, you won’t want to miss out on the unique destinations of Tuscany’s neighbor. One of our favorite parts of our Tuscany road trip was stopping in historic towns like Castiglione del Lago.
There are actually no massive cities in Umbria which gives it more of the small town vibe you’ll love. Plus, it has plenty more amazing outdoor activities and culinary delights! Here are a few must-visit places to check out in Umbria.
Have any questions about visiting Tuscany in Italy or want to share your own Tuscany tips? Let us know in the comments below!
Brigitte & Jake
Where in the world are we? Follow our daily adventures on Instagram @nothingfamiliar!
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Italy Travel Planning
Flights: We always check Skyscanner and Kayak to search for cheap flights. That’s how we got from Rome to Venice for under $30 USD!
Accommodation: Compare multiple sites to get the best deal such as Booking.com and Agoda! Also, Hostelworld should be your go-to source if you’re traveling on a budget.
Rental Car: We use Discover Cars to explore when traveling. Consider renting a car in one city and dropping it off in another for an epic Italian road trip!
Tours: Check out Get Your Guide for thousands of activities around the world. Book a Florence winery tour, Capri Boat trip, or street food tour with a local guide in Rome!
Travel Insurance: Never travel abroad without protection! We’ve been using SafetyWing for the last few years on the road and they are there when we need them.
Packing Lists: Find all the inspiration you need with our Amazon packing lists. Including our electronics and camera gear, must-have medical items, and long flight essentials!
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