Where to stay in Tuscany

With a name that evokes images of rolling hills dotted with verdant vineyards, ancient olive groves, and rows of majestic cypress trees, Tuscany stands as a timeless emblem of Italy’s vibrant heart and soul. This enchanting region, famed for its cultural richness, historical depth, and natural beauty, summons travellers from around the globe to immerse themselves in a world where art, history, and nature blend seamlessly.

As the birthplace of the Renaissance, Tuscany proudly houses some of this earth’s most renowned artistic and architectural marvels. From the vibrant streets of Florence, brimming with artistic grandeur, to the mediaeval charm of Siena and the iconic Leaning Tower of Pisa, Tuscany’s cities are treasure chests of cultural heritage.

But, there is more to Tuscany than just its cities. The countryside, a picturesque canvas of golden wheat fields and serene hilltop villages, offers a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of urban life. Here, time feels to flow differently, more leisurely, enabling visitors to enjoy even the simplest pleasures of life.

Whether you are a history enthusiast, an art lover, or just seeking a slice of the Italian “sweet life” (aka dolce vita), Tuscany promises an experience that resonates with every traveller. We have created this guide as a deep dive into the most iconic places to stay in Tuscany, catering to a diverse array of tastes and preferences, to make sure your Tuscan journey is as unique and memorable as the region itself!

 

Tuscany Villas for Rent Villa Siroque

 

Tuscany’s 10 Most Popular Regions And Their Characteristics

Tuscany is a land of diverse regions, each offering a unique tapestry of experiences. When considering what is the best place to stay in Tuscany, it’s essential to explore the distinct personalities of these regions and choose the one that aligns with your travel style.

  1. Arezzo: The Artistic Gem

Characteristics: Arezzo is often overlooked by tourists but boasts impressive landmarks, such as the Cathedral and the Church of San Francesco, and beautiful frescoes by Piero della Francesca. It’s a city rich in art and history with a charming historic center.

Type of Experience: Arezzo offers a quieter and less crowded alternative to some of the more famous cities. It’s ideal for those interested in history and art. You can explore the vibrant antique markets and taste delicious local dishes at a charming trattoria.

Villa Choice: Staying in a villa in the Arezzo countryside provides a peaceful retreat. You can explore the city’s art treasures during the day and return to the tranquillity of rural Tuscany in the evening.

  1. Chianti: The Wine Lover’s Paradise

Characteristics: The Chianti region is known for its rolling vineyards, picturesque villages, and reputation as a wine enthusiast’s haven. It’s the heart of Tuscan wine country.

Type of Experience: Chianti is perfect for those who love wine and people seeking the tranquillity of the Tuscan countryside. It’s ideal for wine tasting and savouring delicious local cuisine at a trattoria. Do not leave before pampering your taste buds with the local Chianti Classico wine. You can thank us later!

Villa Choice: Opt for a villa nestled amidst the vineyards for an immersive wine experience. Wake up to the sight of grapevines, enjoy a wine tasting experience, and explore charming villages like Greve and Castellina.

  1. Cortona: The Cultural Gem

Characteristics: Cortona is a hilltop town with a rich cultural heritage. It’s known for its Etruscan history, charming streets, and panoramic views of the Val di Chiana.

Type of Experience: Cortona offers a cultural journey through its museums, historic sites, and artistic traditions. It’s a destination for those who appreciate history and picturesque vistas. While here, you may want to spoil your taste buds with local dishes, such as the delicious Pasta al Fumo, Tuscan black croutons, or Tuscan ribollita. To take this experience a bit further, there are several cooking classes to join and enrich your culinary skills and knowledge of local cuisine.

Villa Choice: Consider a villa in the Cortona countryside for a peaceful escape. You can explore the town’s cultural treasures during the day and retreat to your private oasis in the evening.

  1. Florence (Firenze): The Renaissance Cradle

Characteristics: Florence is the capital of Tuscany and one of the best places to stay in Tuscany. The immensely popular destination is known for its stunning Renaissance architecture, world-class museums, and iconic landmarks like the Florence Cathedral (Duomo), Uffizi Gallery, and Ponte Vecchio. The historic centre of Florence is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a hub of art, culture, and history.

Type of Experience: Florence is perfect for culture aficionados and art lovers who can admire the masterpieces of Michelangelo, Botticelli, and Leonardo Da Vinci. Stroll through its narrow streets, visit world-renowned museums, and immerse yourself in Renaissance art and architecture. Don’t forget to grab a gelato while strolling along the Arno River.

Villa Choice: While Florence offers magnificent hotels, staying in a villa in the nearby countryside provides a retreat from the bustling city. If you wish to experience the liveliness of the city centre, though, you’ll still find luxury apartments in our elite portfolio.

  1. Lucca: The Walled Wonder

Characteristics: Lucca is a walled city with a well-preserved historic centre. Its intact Renaissance walls are unique and offer the opportunity for leisurely walks or bike rides along the city walls. Lucca is appreciated for its relaxed ambiance.

Type of Experience: Due to its laid-back vibes, Lucca is suited for travellers who enjoy scenic bike rides, relaxing strolls, and an unhurried pace. Renting bikes to cycle around the city walls is a must. You may also visit the Guinigi Tower and enjoy the breath-taking views from its rooftop garden. Don’t forget to savour Lucca’s renowned olive oil!

Villa Choice: Renting a villa in Lucca allows you to savour day trips to Pisa and Florence as they are both no more than an hour’s drive away.

  1. Maremma: A Refreshing Retreat

Characteristics: Maremma is a coastal region known for its natural beauty, including pristine beaches, pine forests, and wildlife. It is a fantastic choice for those wondering where to stay in Tuscany for a mix of seaside charm and rural landscapes.

Type of Experience: Maremma is ideal for beach lovers, nature enthusiasts, and those who appreciate the coastal and countryside blend. Besides enjoying laps at your private swimming pool, you can also organise day trips to nearby coastal villages and let yourself get lost in their unique magnetism. See Tuscany villas with private pool

Villa Choice: Choose a seaside or sea-facing villa for easy access to the beaches and the picturesque coastal towns of Maremma.

  1. Pisa: The Leaning Marvel

Characteristics: Pisa is primarily known for its Leaning Tower of Pisa, but the city also offers a historic center with beautiful churches and squares. It’s a frequent stop for tourists travelling through Tuscany.

Type of Experience: Pisa combines history, art, and youthful energy. It’s great for those interested in iconic landmarks and a vibrant atmosphere. Besides climbing the iconic tower, you may also want to explore the Piazza dei Miracoli, and indulge in some delicious pizza in this vibrant city.

Villa Choice: While Pisa itself is compact, you’ll find elegant villas with spacious rooms and a swimming pool in the surrounding countryside for a peaceful escape. That way, you’ll have easy access to the most visited sites of the city and still get to return to the iconic Tuscan countryside.

  1. Siena: The Mediaeval Charm

Characteristics: Siena is famous for its well-preserved mediaeval old town, Piazza del Campo (where the Palio di Siena horse race takes place), and stunning Gothic architecture. It’s a charming city that attracts visitors with its rich history and vibrant atmosphere.

Type of Experience: Siena offers a glimpse into the past. It’s ideal for history buffs and those who cherish the charm of a well-preserved ancient settlement. Feel free to climb the Torre del Mangia for panoramic views, and savour the traditional Tuscan cuisine in a local osteria.

Villa Choice: Staying in a villa in the Tuscan hills within the Siena region will feel like home to you if you love nature and waking up to the chirping of birds and jaw-dropping views of the surrounding Tuscan countryside.

  1. Umbria: The Green Heart of Tuscany

Characteristics: While technically not in Tuscany, Umbria is a neighbouring region known as the “Green Heart of Italy”. It offers lush landscapes, historic towns like Perugia and Assisi, and a slower pace of life.

Type of Experience: Umbria is perfect for travellers seeking a peaceful and authentic Italian experience. To dive deeper into the local culture, you can also join cooking classes or pottery workshops!

Villa Choice: Staying in an Umbrian villa allows you to explore both Umbria and Tuscany, as they share a border. It’s an excellent choice for those who want to discover the magnetic appeal of both Italian regions.

  1. Val d’Orcia: The Idyllic Tuscan Countryside

Characteristics: Val d’Orcia is yet another UNESCO World Heritage Site in Italy, known for its picturesque Tuscan countryside, rolling Tuscan hills, cypress-lined roads, and charming villages like Pienza and Montalcino. It’s a haven for nature lovers and photographers.

Type of Experience: Val d’Orcia serves as a romantic escape for couples and visitors looking for serene experiences while being enveloped with profound natural beauty. You can visit the thermal baths in Bagno Vignoni and taste the exquisite Brunello wine in Montalcino!

Villa Choice: Villas within the Val d’Orcia region epitomise elegance, featuring from an infinity pool and lavish guest rooms to private wine cellars. Val d’Orcia is the perfect setting for long walks, bike rides, and capturing the beauty of Tuscany.

Other popular Tuscany destinations:

  • Elba & Giglio Islands – The island of Elsa is known for its beaches and historic sites, while Giglio is a tranquil oasis. You can explore the Napoleon Museum on Elba, relax on its beaches, and take    a ferry to Giglio for a serene escape.
  • The Apennines – Adorning Tuscany’s northern regions, the stunning Apennine Mountains are perfect for outdoor enthusiasts. Hiking in the Casentino Forests, Monte Falterona, and Campigna National Park, as           well as skiing and exploring quaint mountain villages await.

 

Where to Stay in Tuscany – Types of Villas For Every Traveller

Tuscany Villas for Rent Villa Le Fonti

 

Choosing the right villa is akin to selecting the perfect wine to accompany a fine Italian meal – it should complement your taste and enhance your experience. Tuscany boasts a diverse range of villa options, each catering to different preferences and desires. Whether you seek historic charm, a deluxe mansion with high-end amenities like a swimming pool (can be either an outdoor pool, an infinity pool or an indoor pool), Tuscan countryside seclusion, a luxurious estate with royal-like features, or a vineyard retreat, Kinglike Concierge has the ideal property to make your Tuscan journey truly memorable. See Tuscany villas with infinity pool

  1. Historic Villas – Timeless Elegance

Characteristics: Historic villas exude the irresistible appeal of classic, everlasting grace. These mansions often date back centuries and are adorned with rustic furnishings, frescoes, and period architecture.

Who Should Choose: Travellers with a love for history and a desire to immerse themselves in the rich heritage of Tuscany will find historic villas to be the perfect option.

Unique Features: Enjoy the luxury of staying in a villa that has witnessed centuries of history. Marvel at frescoed ceilings, stroll through lush gardens, benefit from the prime location and spacious rooms, and savour the ambiance of a bygone era.

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  1. Countryside Retreats – Tranquil Escape

Characteristics: Encompassed by rolling hills, olive groves, vineyards, lush valleys, and scenic cypress forests, countryside villas offer serenity and privacy. You’ll find them featuring traditional Tuscan architecture details, such as red-tile roofs, thick stone walls, terracotta tiles, and specious grass-covered areas. Some even come with their own vegetable garden, olive grove, or vineyard.

Who Should Choose: If you seek peace of mind, picturesque landscapes, and a taste of rural Tuscany, a countryside villa is an exceptional option.

Unique Features: Wake up to stunning sunrise views, take leisurely walks through vineyards, and dine alfresco under the Tuscan sun with the peaceful countryside as your backdrop.

  1. Vineyard Villas – Wine Lover’s Paradise

Characteristics: They are nestled within or adjacent to vineyards. They offer an immersive wine experience, with the opportunity to taste and even participate in wine making.

Who Should Choose: Wine enthusiasts looking to explore Tuscany’s renowned wine regions like Chianti and Montalcino will relish the experience of a vineyard villa.

Unique Features: Enjoy a private wine tasting endeavour, vineyard tours, and the satisfaction of sipping exquisite Tuscan wines just steps from where they are produced. Some mansions even feature a private wine cellar with all notable local labels.

  1. Seaside Villas – Coastal Charms

Characteristics: Tuscany’s coastal villas are fabulous options when wondering where to stay in Tuscany so you get easy access to the amazing Tyrrhenian Sea. These stylish properties often feature amenities like an outdoor pool, a prime location that overlooks the shimmering archipelago, and panoramic sea views.

Who Should Choose: Travellers seeking a coastal escape with sun, sea, and relaxation will find seaside mansions to be an enticing choice. On top of that, many of the properties in our collection combine the beauty of the Tuscan hills with romantic sunsets and seascapes.

Unique Features: Wake up to the sound of waves, bask in the Mediterranean sun in private terraces, enjoy refreshing dives to a swimming pool that blends the various shades of blue, and take rejuvenating dips in the sea just moments from your doorstep.

  1. Modern Escapes – Contemporary Comfort

Characteristics: Modern villas offer a contemporary design, state-of-the-art amenities like fully-equipped kitchens, private gyms, tennis courts, and private lakes, and sleek interiors. They perfectly combine luxury and modern comforts with the allure of traditional Tuscan architecture.

Who Should Choose: If you prefer a stylish retreat with all the conveniences of modern living, or are used to a VIP lifestyle, a contemporary villa is an excellent option when wondering where to stay in Tuscany.

Unique Features: Enjoy spacious rooms, open-concept living spaces, exclusive guest rooms, an outdoor pool or an indoor jacuzzi, and the latest technology, all while being surrounded by Tuscan’s natural beauty.

  1. Family-Friendly Villas – Space for Everyone

Characteristics: Family-friendly properties are designed with the needs of family in mind. They feature multiple ensuite bedrooms, play areas, and safety measures.

Who Should Choose: If you are travelling with your family, these villas offer the space, convenience, and amenities necessary for a stress-free family vacation, including top-tier facilities like a swimming pool.

Unique Features: Keep the kids entertained with dedicated play areas, enjoy family meals in spacious dining areas, prepare your favourite dishes at a fully-equipped kitchen, and relax in the knowledge that your villa is child-friendly.

Some of the mansions in our collection even feature special amenities like a private home theatre and playrooms with PlayStation or board games, while also enabling you to have some fun by joining cooking classes suited to families with children.

  1. Romantic Hideaways – Intimate Escapes

Characteristics: Romantic villas are designed for couples seeking privacy and intimacy. They can be either near the most visited sites or more secluded locations throughout Tuscany.

They often feature remote locations, a private swimming pool, and romantic details, though you can also find mansions suited to couples that need to be closer to a notable city’s historic centre and still enjoy privacy and sojourn.

Who Should Choose: If you are planning a romantic getaway, celebrate a special occasion, or simply want to rekindle the romance, a secluded mansion is the perfect choice when trying to figure out which is the best place to stay in Tuscany.

Unique Features: Enjoy candlelit dinners on private terraces, get lost in relaxing private massages and spa treatments at the comfort of your villa, relax in your own swimming pool, and create cherished memories in the intimate ambiance of a romantic hideaway.

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Where to Stay in Tuscany as a Base

Tuscany Villas for Rent Villa Siroque

 

Choosing the right base for your stay in Tuscany is crucial to make the most of your visit to this beautiful region. Tuscany offers a variety of cities and towns to consider as your base, each with its unique charm and advantages. Here is a detailed guide to help you decide where to stay in Tuscany as a base:

  1. Florence

Advantages: It is a cultural and historical treasure trove that offers easy access to world-renowned museums like the Uffizi Gallery and the Accademia Gallery, home to Michelangelo’s David. You’ll find iconic landmarks, such as the Duomo and Ponte Vecchio. The city is also a hub for art, shopping, and Tuscan cuisine.

Considerations: Florence can get crowded, especially during the peak tourist season. Accommodation prices may be higher compared to smaller towns. Parking can be challenging within the historic center.

Ideal For: Art enthusiasts, history buffs, and those who want to explore a vibrant city with rich cultural offerings.

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  1. Siena

Advantages: The beautifully preserved mediaeval town is known for its historic city center, Piazza del Campo, and the Palio di Siena horse race. It is less crowded than Florence, providing a more relaxed atmosphere. Siena’s narrow streets are perfect for leisurely strolls.

Considerations: While Siena is less crowded, it is also smaller, so you’ll have fewer accommodation options compared to Florence. Some areas in the historic centre may have limited vehicle access.

Ideal For: Travellers seeking a historic base with a slower pace.

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  1. Chianti

Advantages: Selecting a villa in the Chianti countryside provides a serene retreat surrounded by vineyards and cascading hills. It’s perfect for wine lovers and those who want to dive deep into the unique charm of the Tuscan countryside.

Considerations: Chianti is primarily rural, so you’ll need to drive to reach larger towns and cities. It’s less convenient if you want to be in the heart of a city.

Ideal For: Wine enthusiasts, couples seeking a romantic getaway, and visitors looking for a peaceful countryside experience.

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  1. Lucca

Advantages: Lucca is known for its intact Renaissance walls that you can walk or bike along, beautiful gardens, and relaxed atmosphere. Lucca is a hidden gem.

Considerations: While Lucca is charming, it’s a smaller town with fewer major attractions compared to Florence or Siena. If you are looking for a bustling nightlife, it might not be the best choice.

Ideal For: Travellers seeking a peaceful charming base to stay in Tuscany, with easy access to the countryside.

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  1. Val d’Orcia

Advantages: This region offers breathtaking countryside views, idyllic landscapes, and a slower pace of life. No wonder it’s declared a UNESCO site.

Considerations: You’ll need a car to explore other parts of Tuscany as Val d’Orcia is mainly rural. It might not be a convenient option if you wish to be close to major cities.

Ideal For: Nature lovers, photographers, and people seeking a tranquil escape.

  1. Arezzo

Advantages: Arezzo is less crowded than Florence or Siena. It has beautiful churches, museums, and a charming historic centre. It’s a great choice if you prefer a quieter base to stay in Tuscany.

Considerations: Arezzo is smaller, so it may not have the same vibrant atmosphere as larger cities. Some areas in the city center may restrict vehicle access.

Ideal For: Travellers interested in art and history who want a less touristy experience.

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  1. Maremma

Advantages: Maremma will spoil you with a delightful mix of seaside charm and rural landscapes. Its pristine shores with the crystalline waters, as well as its proximity to the idyllic islands of Elba and Giglio make it a popular option among tourists.

Considerations: The Maremma region is more spaced out, so you’ll need a car to explore its varied offerings. It’s not as central as other bases.

Ideal For: Travellers desiring a coastal base during their stay in Tuscany and easy access to the region’s sugary beaches.

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  1. Pisa

Advantages: A lively hub with beautiful churches, impressive architecture, and adorable squares. It is home to popular landmarks that go beyond the infamous Leaning Tower of Pisa, and is a convenient place to stay in Tuscany if you are passing through the region.

Considerations: Pisa is a smaller city, and the main tourist attractions can get crowded. It may not have the same depth of cultural offerings as larger cities like Florence.

Ideal For: Travellers wanting a convenient stopover and those interested in iconic landmarks.

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Where to Stay in Tuscany Without a Car

Tuscany Villas for Rent Villa La Tenuta

 

Choosing where to stay in Tuscany without a car can be a different experience compared to having your own transportation. It is, therefore, important to select a base that provides good access to public transportation, be it bus or train, walking-friendly surroundings, and proximity to key attractions. Below are our recommendations regarding where to stay in Tuscany if you don’t want to use a car.

  1. Florence

Florence is the most convenient base for travellers without a car. The city has an excellent public transportation system, including buses and trams. The historic center is walkable, and many attractions are within reach. Nevertheless, take into consideration that while Florence is well-connected, it can get crowded. Also, if you plan to rent a car for day trips, parking can be expensive and limited.

  1. Siena

The city boasts a pedestrian-friendly and compact historic center, which makes it an excellent option for car-free travellers. You can explore the city on foot and access public transportation for excursions. Bear in mind, though, that Siena is smaller than Florence. Hence, its public transportation options might be limited compared to those of Florence. It is essential to plan your day trips and check bus or train schedules in advance.

  1. Lucca

Lucca’s walled city center is car-free, creating a peaceful environment for pedestrians and cyclists. It’s an ideal base for those who wish to explore the town and surrounding countryside on foot or by bike. On the flip side, although Lucca is well-suited for walking and biking, you may need to use trains or buses for longer journeys to other Tuscan cities.

  1. Pisa

You can easily explore its historic centre on foot as it is totally walkable and compact. The city also has a well-connected train station for day trips to nearby destinations. Take into account, though, that while Pisa is great for exploring the city, it’s primarily a transit hub for travellers heading to other Tuscan cities. You may need to rely on trains for more extensive exploration.

  1. Umbria

The neighbouring region of Umbria offers a tranquil and car-free experience in cities like Perugia and Assisi. These towns are walkable, have good public transportation connections, and are ideal for trips to both Umbria and Tuscany. That being said, do not forget that Umbria is a separate region, so you’ll need to travel a bit further to reach some Tuscan destinations.

  1. Cinque Terre

This is yet another neighbouring area that provides car-free coastal ventures in five charming villages. Although technically not in Tuscany, it is a fab option for coastal and hiking enthusiasts. You can familiarise yourself with the surroundings on foot, by train, or by boat.

Do not forget, though, that this is mainly a coastal destination, so it’s not as central for reaching the inland regions of Tuscany. Nevertheless, it is a marvellous place to stay in Tuscany if you are after a relaxing no-car coastal experience with scenic hikes and access to other seaside towns.

 

Where to Stay in Tuscany With Family

Tuscany Villas for Rent Villa Fonte Ripa

 

Tuscany offers a variety of family-friendly destinations. Selecting the right place to stay in Tuscany with your family depends on your family’s interests, the size of your group, and the type of experience you want to have. Here are some of our top picks to help you make a more informed decision when planning a Tuscany escape with your family.

  • Val d’Orcia – Val d’Orcia is a great option for families with kids, as it offers a fantastic wine and food scene. Its scenic landscapes are filled with family-friendly bike trails and hiking paths, while you may also introduce the little ones to the wonders of olive oil or visit a pecorino cheese-making farm. The picturesque southern area also features mediaeval towns that you can explore, such as Pienza, Montalcino, and Montepulciano, as well as natural hot springs that invite all of you to a unique experience.
  • Florence and the Chianti Region – Florence, rich in history, art, and culture, is a must-visit. Activities for kids include visiting the Uffizi Gallery, climbing the Duomo, and exploring the Boboli Gardens. The surrounding Chianti region provides a great base for family-friendly            accommodations and things to do.
  • Siena and the Crete Senesi Region – Siena is a standout pole of attraction with particularly child-friendly amenities and offerings. Renowned for its mediaeval architecture, it also encompassed a region called   the Crete Senese, which is dotted with hilltop towns and vineyards, perfect for cycling and hiking. In addition, Monteriggioni, near Siena, will provide you with an exciting mediaeval festival             experience.
  • Lucca and the Garfagnana Valley – The pedestrian-friendly, walled city of Lucca is ideal for families who enjoy town life, beaches, and     countryside. The Lucca hills and the Garfagnana Valley to the north offer mountain views and outdoor activities like hiking, horseback riding, and rock climbing.
  • The Tuscan Coast     and Islands – The Tuscan coast, with its sandy beaches and          charming promenades, is fantastic for families, especially during the warmer summer or late-spring months. Boat trips to Elba or             Giglio islands offer picturesque towns and beaches for snorkelling. The Maremma region’s seaside towns like Orbetello and Porto Santo    Stefano features less-developed, kid-friendly beaches.

Where to Stay in Tuscany Coast

Tuscany Villas for Rent Castello di Tizzano

 

  • Viareggio – Known for its art nouveau buildings, this seaside town offers a chic and dreamy atmosphere, making it a favourite among families, young    people, and the elderly.
  • Southern Coast –  The southern coast of Tuscany features long golden shores, with        both free beaches and those with bathing establishments. This area includes Vada, Cecina, Marina di Bibbona, Marina di Castagneto Carducci, and San Vincenzo, and provides plenty of accommodation.
  • San Vincenzo – A popular summer destination situated on the southern coast and            surrounded by the Val di Cornia nature reserve. It is structured like a small town, offering a supermarket, shops, a bank, and a pharmacy.
  • Pisan Coast – Locations such as the Marina di Pisa, Calambrone, and Tirrenia along the Pisan coast feature free and equipped beaches of fine yellow sand with entertainment options and games for the little ones and adults alike.
  • Livorno – As Tuscany’s most important port city, Livorno is characterised by its multicultural atmosphere. The city offers diverse activities,           from visiting the aquarium to shopping at the American market. You can also explore the old fortress, the Venice neighbourhood, or take a boat tour for a different tour of the town. Livorno is also home             to the Terrazza Mascagni, a terrace with chequered pavement, along the coast.
  • Portoferraio   – This town in the main port of Elba island is surrounded on three   sides by the sea. Rich in history and art, it was founded in 1548          and is famous as the place of Napoleon Bonaparte’s exile, with his former residences still accessible. The town offers a blend of historical and natural beauty and is a great place to stay in Tuscany if you love beach experiences.
  • Castiglione della Pescaia – Located in southern Tuscany, this ancient fishing village is now a lively destination that embodies the Tuscan way of living. The lower town offers beaches, cafes, and             restaurants, while the upper town boasts historical city walls, gates, and a castle dating back to the 10th century.
  • Orbetello – Situated in the middle of a lagoon and linked to Monte Argentario,       Orbetello is known for its rich biodiversity, including a variety of animal species and plants. The town offers many kilometres of charming beaches, historical sites, and amazing views of the lagoon.
  • Forte dei Marmi – Close to Viareggio, Forte dei Marmi is a luxurious retreat frequented by Italian and international celebrities. The town is known for its trendy shops and opulent bathing establishments.
  • Versilia – In the northwestern edge of the Lucca province lies Versilia, encompassing several cities. It is celebrated for its glorious sun, sugary sand, and crystalline sea and offers a blend of glitz and natural beauty, with proximity to the Apuan Alps.
  • Maremma – Known for its unspoiled beaches and the Parco Uccellina nature reserve, the Maremma area provides a serene and natural setting, ideal for those seeking tranquillity and natural beauty.

Where to Stay in the Tuscany Countryside

Tuscany Villas for Rent Villa Marie

 

For those looking for a stay in the Tuscan countryside, there are numerous towns and villages, each offering a unique experience, from historical explorations and scenic beauty to wine tasting and peaceful retreats, catering to different preferences and interests. Here are 13 of the best places to consider:

Pienza

If you are wondering where to stay in the Tuscany region to enjoy the most picturesque countryside views, Pienza should definitely be on your list. Nestled in the beautiful Val d’Orcia, it is a quaint village transformed into a Renaissance “ideal city” by Enea Silvio Piccolomini. It’s renowned for its impressive architecture and famous sheep’s milk Pecorino cheese. Pienza is a serene and peaceful spot that houses some of the most elegant Tuscany villas with amenities like a private swimming pool and heart-stopping gardens.

 

San Gimignano

Known for its natural and archaeological beauty, San Gimignano is surrounded by mediaeval walls and is notorious for its fourteen towers. The town offers a delightful fuse of history, architecture, and stunning scenery, making it ideal for those interested in exploring small Tuscan towns near Siena.

Pitigliano

Perched atop a rugged turf cliff, Pitigliano provides a unique and dramatic setting. Its old Jewish neighbourhood is a highlight, providing a mix of historical exploration and scenic natural beauty. It’s a great choice for keen walkers and those seeing an off-the-beaten-path destination.

 

Barga

Located between the Apuan Alps and the Tuscan-Emilian Apennine Mountains, Barga is a small town that retains an authentic atmosphere. Perfect for visitors seeking to immerse themselves in the Tuscan countryside, Barga features several piazzas, churches, a castle, and the Cathedral of San Cristoforo.

 

Certaldo

Situated in the Florence province in Tuscany, Certaldo is a scenic mediaeval walled town with a history dating back to the 12th century. It boasts ancient churches, towers, and museums, offering a rustic and historic stay near Florence.

 

Cortona

For those seeking peace and quiet, Cortona in the Arezzo province is an excellent choice. Known for its inclusion in “Under the Tuscan sun”, Cortona has a long history of viticulture and offers stunning views of the valley. Within this idyllic setting, you’ll find several exclusive villas with top-tier amenities such as a private swimming pool, an olive grove, and Turkish bath.

Lucca

Regarded as one of the most beautiful part of Tuscany, Lucca is surrounded by 16th-century fortified walls. This large and vibrant town is close to both the mountains and the sea, making it a fantastic choice if you fancy varied day trips. As expected, Lucca is where you’ll be utterly spoiled via the offered accommodation options, with lavish mansions that have everything from a hammam, spa, and sauna to wine rooms, private lakes, security guards, a helipad, and a tennis court.

Montepulciano

Famous for its red wine, Montepulciano offers beautiful views, rustic charm, and elegant Renaissance architecture. It’s a fab base for exploring nearby destinations like Siena and Montalcino.

San Casciano dei Bagni

The major pole of attraction in San Casciano dei Bagni is the thermal pools. The scenic town provides a quiet retreat close to Florence and Siena and is well suited to those seeking to enjoy therapeutic baths during their stay.

Monteriggioni

A small but lively village, Monteriggioni is perched on a hill surrounded by quintessential Tuscan countryside. It is drenched in history and, as such, it serves as a dreamy base for those interested in the region’s rich past.

Suvereto

A mediaeval village brimming with art, culture, and history, Suvereto is considered one of the most beautiful villages in Tuscany, exuding rustic allure and unique ancient vibes. Despite it being a quiet place, it still offers a wide range of activities.

Fosdinovo

Ideal for history enthusiasts, Fosdinovo is a town with a vivid past, popular among hikers and mountain bikers. It is known for the famous Malaspina castle, a real architectural marvel.

 

Volterra

Located in western Tuscany, Volterra is surrounded by 13th-century walls and filled with spectacular Italian and Renaissance architecture. It is a quieter option that is still conveniently close to Florence, Pisa, and Siena.

Where to Stay in Tuscany, Italy, for Culinary Experiences

Tuscany Villas for Rent Villa La Pesa di Sopra

 

Tuscany is renowned for its culinary heritage. As such, it offers a wide range of exceptional destinations perfectly suited to those who are after the ultimate gastronomic experience. From cooking classes to dishes prepared with love and genuine care, Tuscany feels like a foodie’s paradise. Here are some of the Tuscany areas that are most notable for their culinary delights.

Florence

Culinary Scene: Florence is a vibrant hub, blending traditional dishes with innovative culinary techniques. It is home to famed restaurants, such as IO Osteria Personale, where chef Nicolo Baretti showcases a modern twist on Tuscan flavours.

Signature Dishes: Florence is famous for dishes like “Bistecca a la Florentina ”, a T-bone steak cooked over hot coals and served rare, embodying the city’s love for meat. Florentines also enjoy offal-based street foods, such as trippa and lampredoto sandwiches.

Siena

Culinary Characteristics: Siena is known for hand-rolled pasta like pici, often served with simple yet flavourful sauces like all’aglione, a delicious garlicky tomato sauce.

Regional Specialties: The region is also noted for its sweet treats, such as ricciarelli, a soft almond biscuit, and panforte, a dense cake made with almonds, candied fruit, and spices.

Lucca

Lucca provides a diverse range of traditional Tuscany dishes, with a focus on simple, high-quality ingredients. The cuisine here often includes fresh pasta (do not leave without tasting tortellini Lucchese), hearty soups (Zuppa di Farro is a must-try), and a variety of meat-based dishes (you may want to try the bao buns stuffed with spiced lamb).

San Gimignano

San Gimignano boasts a rich culinary scene, with a particular emphasis on local wine production, including the famous Vernaccia di San Gimignano. Here, you will also find delicious options like seasonal soups, cold meats, Cinta Senese cured meats, pappardelle with wild boar sauce, and saffron and pine nut cream-tasting gelato!

Of course, you can always enjoy the most delicious meals at the comfort of your private villa, by the hands of a professional chef who will work their magic in the fully-equipped kitchen of your elegant mansion!

Fun Notes:

  • It should be noted that beans and legumes are a staple in Tuscan cuisine. The region’s people consume so many beans that they are known as “mangiafavoli” or bean eaters! Cannellini beans are particularly prominent, but other varieties like red beans from Lucca and zolfino beans are also popular.
  • The Tuscan bread is also unique and notable. It is usually a white, plain, unsalted loaf, a tradition dating back to the 16th century when a tax on salt influenced local bread-making practices.
  • The Tuscans love meat, which is why the local cuisine includes a significant consumption of meat. The locals are prolific meat-eaters, regularly consuming beef, pork, and wild game like hare and boar.

Where to Stay in the Tuscany Wine Country

Tuscany Villas for Rent Villa Le Panteraie

 

Wine enthusiasts will find plenty of different beautiful locations to experience the true essence of the Italian countryside in the sun-drenched hills of Tuscany. For a unique blend of history and wine-making or wine-tasting (could also be both!), we recommend the following destinations:

  • Chianti – Known as the “Bordeaux of Italy”, Chianti is not just a famous wine but also a picturesque region of Italy. It is located in the heart of Tuscany and is celebrated for its vineyards, mediaeval villages, and wine-making prowess. While here, feel free to sample the Chianti classico, a medium-bodied red wine with sangiovese notes, cherries, and nuts.
  • Bolgheri – A haven for enthusiasts of Super Tuscan wines, Bolgheri is nestled along the Tuscan coast, offering robust, full-bodied wines crafted from grapes like sangiovese, merlot, cabernet sauvignon, and syrah. Notably, it is the birthplace of Bolgheri Sassicaia, a globally coveted wine, revered for its exquisite blend of cabernet sauvignon and cabernet franc. For white wine aficionados, the area’s wineries produce a tantalising acidic and fruity vermentino.
  • Montalcino –   In the quaint town of Montalcino, indulge in the full sangiovese experience. The prestigious Brunello di Montalcino, made exclusively from this grape awaits with its rich, full-bodied character, refined through a meticulous 4-year ageing process. Explore other localdelights, like Rosso di Montalcino and the sweet Moscadello, crafted from moscato grapes.
  • Montepulciano – The Renaissance gem, adorned with stunning churches and towers, is more than just a feast for the eyes. Montepulciano is famed for its Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, a regal, full-bodied red. This “noble wine”, traditionally reserved for aristocracy, is made from prugnolo gentile grapes and aged in oak barrels, resulting in a delightful experience. For a lighter touch, try Rosso di Montepulciano.
  • San Gimignano – Outside the mediaeval towers of San Gimignano lies a world of vineyards producing vernaccia, Italy’s pioneering white wine known for its golden colour and floral nuances. The area also yields San Gimignano Rosso, the red Chianti Colli Senesi, the rose San    Gimignano Rosato, and Vin Santo (a dessert wine).

Visiting Tuscany’s wine regions

Tuscany Villas for Rent Villa Conti

 

Easily accessible from Florence or Siena in less than two hours, these regions are perfect for day trips or overnight stays. However, given the rural setting of many wineries, renting a car is advised (or you can have your private chauffeur drive you around). For a unique experience, visit during the vendemmia (grape harvest) in autumn to witness winemaking in action.

Alternatively, for those who prefer not to venture into the countryside, the heart of Tuscany’s cities like Florence and Siena still offers a taste of the region’s finest wines. Seek out an enoteca for an authentic degustazione, where a symphony of local wines can be savoured alongside light dishes.

For an effortless exploration, consider guided excursions to discover Tuscany’s smaller, authentic vineyards and farms. Tours and tasting, typically lasting from 30 minutes to two hours, offer a delightful introduction to the region’s viticultural gems.

Final Thoughts

In the heart of Tuscany, where history and beauty intertwine, you can create memories that last a lifetime. Whether you choose the artistic wonders of Florence, the tranquil charm of Lucca, or the coastal delights of Maremma, Tuscany offers a tapestry of experiences for everybody. From exploring ancient streets to savouring gelato under the Tuscan sun, this enchanting region invites you to embrace its rich culture and warm hospitality.

As you embark on this Tuscan adventure, may laughter echo through centuries-old piazzas, and may the bonds between loved ones strengthen amidst captivating landscapes. Tuscany is not just a destination; it’s a journey of the heart, where people can write their own story of adventure, love, and togetherness.

Welcome to Tuscany!

 

FAQs

A: Provided that you have listed your specific requirements and needs, you’ll find many destinations to stay in Tuscany.

 

Q: Should I stay in Tuscany or Florence?

A: Many visitors sometimes get confused at first and believe that Tuscany is the name of a city in Italy. However, it is an entire province, which includes major Italian cities like Florence and Pisa. So, there is no comparison between those two, as Florence is just a part of Tuscany.

 

Q: Where should I stay in Tuscany?

A: It depends on the experience you are after when visiting the Italian region. If, for example, you want to explore its Renaissance heart, then Florence is a great pick. If you prefer more isolation and nature-infused ventures, you could see the options in the Val d’Orcia, Siena, or Lucca regions.

 

Q: Is Tuscany expensive to visit?

A; Like any other destination, Tuscany can be as expensive as you want it to be. That being said, you’ll certainly find accommodation, dining, and entertainment options that suit your budget and preferences.

 

Q: How long to stay in Tuscany?

A: The experiences that open up when you visit Tuscany are endless and as such it’s difficult to say that you will be able to see everything it has to offer within a few days. Although there is no definite answer to the question “How many days do you need in Tuscany”, we recommend a minimum of 7 days so you get the gist of what Tuscany feels like!

 

Q: How far is the Tuscany countryside from Florence?

A: The distance from Florence to the Tuscany countryside can vary significantly depending on the specific area within Tuscany you are referring to, as Tuscany is a large region with diverse landscapes. For example, it is 30-60 kilometres from the Chianti region, 60 kilometres from San Gimignano, approximately 70 kilometres from Siena, roughly 120 kilometres from Val d’Orcia, and around 80 kilometres from Pisa and Lucca.

Kinglike, the driving force behind this boutique luxury travel agency, brings a deep-rooted real estate expertise to curate exceptional villa rentals in Greece and Italy, with personal concierge services in Mykonos, Paros, Antiparos, and Tuscany. Each villa property reflects their personal admiration, ensuring guests a one-stop-shop experience that meticulously tends to every detail of their villa vacation. Read more about Kinglike

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