5 Best Tuscany Options to Escape the Crowds This Summer (2022)
Florence is absolutely magnificent in summer. Who can deny that! The problem, though, is that as the temps get higher by the day, swarms of guests dive on Tuscany’s capital, making it extremely challenging to visit the local attractions and actually enjoy it – not to mention finding elegant and cost-effective accommodation and savouring a delicious slice of pineapple pizza or cup of coffee!
No wonder the period around late spring is when local people choose to escape big and populous Italian cities like Florence and Siena and throw themselves into the captivating Tuscany countryside. And, let’s face it. They’re not simply getting away from the scorching hot temperatures that skyrocket in large Italian metropoles. They’re also getting away from the huge crowds that visit these cities in the summertime. So, why not do as the Romans and look for alternative ways to have utmost fun in Tuscany by leaving a visit to Pisa, Venice, and other famous Tuscany towns for later? After all, these urban regions are totally fantastic in spring, autumn, or even winter!
Truth be told, the summer months are great to explore underrated sights and places that welcome the local fishermen in their sugary shores every morning with the day’s catch from the crystalline sea. It is also a superb time to relax in remote locations and pamper yourself with things like Prosecco apetitivos costing no more than three euros in piazzas that have kept their Middle Age charm and pull intact to date.
There are hundreds of these destinations throughout Italy, from North to South, and, yes, these are definitely some of Tuscany’s best. They may not make headlines for their cosmopolitan appeal but will give you a taste of everything there is to love about Tuscany in summer. Here are some of them to consider:
Castiglione della Pescaia
This is a bewildering seaside town on the south of Tuscany with an award-winning beach and a fantastic cosmopolitan atmosphere. The shores here are nestled among fir forests and pinewood-covered areas on protected coves. This means they are perfectly protected from the wind, plus they provide shade and warm, calm waters to sun loungers. Besides the excellent beaches, though, Castiglione della Pescaia is also loved for its vibrant nightlife that enables visitors to pamper themselves with authentic Tuscany flavours and impressive panoramas by the marina.
Nevertheless, if you want to take this experience a step further, we strongly suggest heading to the open-air museum at Talamone. And, if you have a strange feeling that you have seen this place before, it would probably be because this is the exact spot featured in Quantum of Solace Vetulonia – the beloved James Bond film.
This minuscule island in the Tuscan archipelago gathered a lot of attention from the press after the tragic fate of the Costa Concordia cruise ship. However, the island has managed to go past this unfortunate moment in its history and has happily returned to its former state – the state of much-welcomed oblivion.
It should be noted that Giglio Island feels like a ghost town throughout the year, except for the summertime when its residents visit their holiday estates. This earthy heaven with the sugary beaches and the picturesque medieval village nicely tucked within its original walls and watchtowers is also home to the annual Palio Marinaro boat race that takes place every August 10. If you happen to be around, be prepared for lots of cooking, food, drinking, and dancing!
Want an extra tip to enjoy the most out of this lovely spot in the Tuscany region? Rent a scooter for a few euros and take a short trip to the uninhabited public part of Giannutri Island. You will be amazed by the submerged boats and the Roman vestiges that dot the place!
Epitomising the majesty related to the 12th century, the small Livorno province city of Suvereto offers unsurpassable allure with the centuries-old olive tree that sits just outside the borders of the Montioni National Park, the infamous red wine (Doc Val di Cornia), the gastronomical scene, and the charming churches and terracotta-roofed houses with the grey-stone facades. As a bonus, your visit to Suvereto can reward you with a rejuvenating dive in the Etruscan hot spring (Venturina Terme) that can uplift your Tuscan adventures.
Dante’s footsteps still echo in the narrow alleys of Poppi while elements from the Divine Comedy are among Poppi’s biggest “arsenal”. However, the beautiful region is also crowned by a huge stronghold – the Castello dei Conti Guidi. Owing its magnificence to the renowned Di Cambio group of architects, Castello dei Conti Guidi was an inspiration for the impressive Palazzo Vecchio in Florence. What’s amazing about this place is that when it was constructed (back in the 13th century), Dante was riding through Tuscany commenting about the Italian country towns!
That aside, Poppi is also noteworthy for its 11 temples, convents, and monasteries – a profound number considering its small size. That alone makes Poppi a treasure chest holding precious architecture and medieval art in its adorned (yet unpretentious) lap. Once here, do consider visiting the Campagna National Park, which is home to the enchanting Valbonella Botanical Gardens and the Apennines wolf. And, if you get hungry, the potato ravioli (called Tortelli di Patate) is a dish that will reward your taste buds for sure.
Cività di Bagnoregio
Although Cività di Bagnoregio is not a Tuscany region per se (it lies just outside the Tuscany borders), it would be a pity not to mention some facts about the Dying City (or La Città che Muore as locals call this area). It got its name from the declining number of residents that can call Cività di Bagnoregio their home. According to the last count, less than a dozen people live in this town with the 2,500-year-old fortress and the flower-filled pathways. However, it beholds beauty beyond belief, which makes the passing of the 300-metre-long bridge worthwhile, even if it spans over a 500-metre-high rugged cliff and a dramatic valley.
What also deserves a visit is Bolsena Lake, especially if you fancy the idea of sunbathing on pitch-black volcanic-sand shores while also being surrounded by blooming hydrangeas featuring an incredible range of colours!
And, after such a memorable day, you can sit back and recharge your batteries by enjoying the comforts of your elite Tuscany villa, cottage, mansion, or farmhouse with your loved one(s) and a glass of the finest local wine at hand! What an adventure, indeed!