La Dolce Vita Travel Guide to Tuscany, Italy

Find the ride you need in

Our travel guide to Tuscany has everything you need to know about where to go, what to see, and how to find hidden gems in the region. Check it out now.

sunrise over rolling hills of Tuscany

Ready for a taste of la dolce vita in Tuscany, Italy? With medieval hilltop villages covered by mist early in the mornings, rolling green fields that stretch to the horizon and cypress-lined roads, it’s easy to see why this region is one of the most visited in the country. This travel guide to Tuscany includes all the essential information you need to build an incredible itinerary.

Some general information about Tuscany 

View of a walled town in Tuscany, Italy

Tuscany is a region nestled in the middle of Italy, surrounded by the Liguria, Emilia Romagna, Le Marche, Umbria, and Lazio regions. 

While most people only think of Tuscany as a region known for its wine, UNESCO sites, thermal spas, and picturesque cities, it’s also home to a 230 km (143 miles) coastline and archipelago.

Florence is the capital of Tuscany, but did you know it used to be the capital of Italy between 1865 and 1870? 

Over time, it has become renowned for its outstanding art, Renaissance architecture and significant cultural heritage (more on that below). 

What to do in Tuscany

Take a trip to the Tuscan Coast.

the water and boardwalk in Viareggio in Tuscany

The Tuscan coastline is underrated but is one of the most beautiful areas to explore in Tuscany. 

You’ll stumble across small harbors with long beaches of pebbles and sand, as well as breathtaking views and wild nature. 

At the northern end of Tuscany, you have the area of Versilia with the popular beach towns of Viareggio and Forte Dei Marmi. Both are fantastic for families as there are several resorts close to the ocean as well as other nearby attractions. 

Another beach along the Etruscan coast is Cecina, a fabulous choice if you have children or limited mobility. Along the beachfront, you can take leisurely bike rides and spend a day at the Acqua Village Cecina water park. 

Castiglioncello is an ideal spot for private beach clubs at the bottom of a cliffside town. 

Toward the southern border of Tuscany, you have the Monte Argentario area, well known for its enchanting bay areas. Porto Ercole and Porto Santo Stefano are quaint fishing villages slowly gaining popularity due to the opening of resorts and agriturismos (farmhouses with accommodation). 

Whether you only visit for the day or stay a couple of nights, don’t miss the seven islands off the mainland, especially Giglio, Elba, and Pianosa Island. A boat trip is one of the best ways to visit these picturesque small towns and idyllic beaches.  

Spend time exploring Florence, the capital of Tuscany.

Street in Florence Tuscany

No guide to Tuscany is complete without a visit to Florence. With its grand palaces, churches, and art galleries, it’s easy to fall in love with this city. 

If you’re an art and architecture enthusiast, visit the Galleria de Uffizi, Il Duomo and the Ponte Vecchio bridge. 

Pro tip: Purchase your tickets in advance, particularly during summer. 

Another must-see is the Galleria dell’Accademia, where Michelangelo’s 16th-century David is housed. This 5.17-meter piece of art is known for its realism, balance, and attention to detail. 

For food lovers, fall in love with the famous bistecca alla Fiorentina (T-bone steak). Restaurants all over Florence serve this specialty. For the most authentic experience, make sure it is from the Chianina cow. It’s super tender and has more flavor than other breeds. 

Pro tip: Typically, the steak is only cooked for 3-4 minutes per side, making it quite rare. If that is not for you, just speak with the servers.  

As you wander through the narrow, pebbled streets, keep your eyes peeled for the buchette del vino (wine windows). They are scattered throughout the city and easy to miss – they are that small! Grab a glass of wine, stand on the street and enjoy the surrounding activity of the atmospheric Florence. One of the most famous is Babae. 

Discover some of the lesser-known towns. 

hilltop town of Pitigliano in Tuscany

After Florence, it’s time to explore a few other popular towns like Siena, a UNESCO-listed historic walled city and Pisa, known for the famous Leaning Tower.

Beyond these touristy favorites, there are some other incredible towns in Tuscany. 

Pitigliano is a hidden gem in the south of the region. All you have to do is look at an image of this town to see why it’s a must on any travel guide to Tuscany. While you don’t necessarily need to spend a night there, it’s the perfect place to enjoy an alfresco lunch before walking through this unique hilltop town intertwined with volcanic rock. 

Another lesser-known secret is Montalcino, a delightful town with cobblestone streets and breathtaking views over the surrounding valley. They host an annual Jazz and Wine Festival in July and the Sagra del Tordo Festival in October, with medieval festivities, archery contests, and falconry displays. 

Close by Montalcino is the quaint Sant’Angelo In Colle. There are only a few streets, but you will be the only tourist there. Head to Trattoria Il Pozzo for some of the best local and regional Italian food.  

Taste the celebrated local wines.  

rolling hills and vineyards in Tuscany

Next up on our travel guide to Tuscany is tasting some of the world’s finest vinos, and what better place to do it? See, swirl, sniff, savor, swallow and repeat. 

There are several different styles of wines, so it will depend on your interests. You have Sangiovese (Tuscany’s signature grape), Trebbiano (white), Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon. 

Sangiovese wines are thin-skinned, making them translucent and a deep red-ruby color. To try wines from this grape, visit the micro wine areas of Chianti, Siena, Montepulciano and San Gimignano.

Chianti is the most famous and south of Florence. Organize a day trip to visit a number of different vineyards. 

Pro tip: If you are a wine lover, book a night or two in an agriturismo with a vineyard. This way, you can enjoy wine tastings without worrying about driving. 

Relax at a thermal spa. 

Thermal spas in Tuscany with stone house

Tuscany is home to the highest number of natural hot springs in the country, so make sure you plan time for them.

Saturnia thermal hot springs are among the most famous and beautiful in the country. Picture warm water springs as you relax in the serene natural beauty of the Tuscan countryside. Sounds pretty good, right? Even better, they are completely free to visit, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

The Saturnia thermal hot springs are at the southern end of Tuscany. It will take you two hours by car from Siena or three hours from Rome. It is the perfect place to start or end your Tuscan vacation. 

If you visit the wineries near Montepulciano, head to Terme di Chianciano. They have a number of wellness programs that aim to revitalize the body and spirit. 

Another notable thermal spa is Bagni San Filippo, which is nestled in the woods, away from major tourist attractions. It will take you one hour and ten minutes from Siena and two hours from Florence by car. 

The water temperature at Bagni San Filippo varies between pools, but one reaches about 48°C (118°F), even during winter. 

Weather in Tuscany 

One key thing to note is that the climate varies between the coastline and inland Tuscany. 

The coastline and the islands 

June to August is one of the most popular times to visit the coastline and Tuscan Archipelago. Temperatures during the day reach 30°C (86°F) and rarely drop below 20°C (68°F) in the evening. The sea breeze means the temperature always feels enjoyable and never too hot.

From December to February, temperatures are mild and reach a maximum of 10°C (50°F).  

Inland Tuscany

While the temperatures of inland Tuscany are always slightly cooler than those on the coastline, it will always feel warmer since there is no sea breeze. 

The average summer temperature is 26°C (78.8°F), with August being the warmest month. In winter, the average temperature is 6°C (42.8°F). 

One of the most beautiful times to enjoy the inland area of Tuscany is during autumn, particularly September and October. You can expect warm weather with temperatures ranging from 20°C to 25°C (68°F to 77°F), making it a delightful time to explore the streets of Florence and Siena.

By the time winter comes around, the crowds in Tuscany decrease, except in the Apennines Mountains, where people head to the ski resorts each year. 

Packing list essentials for Tuscany 

person riding a bile through tall trees in Tuscany

When preparing to travel to Tuscany, knowing what to pack can be difficult. 

Will you mainly explore cities, or will you spend your time winery-hopping? Or perhaps, if you are visiting during the warmer months, you wish to spend most of your time on the coast? 

Regardless, there are a few items you will want to consider packing no matter what time of year you travel. 

  • Travel adapter: Bring your own travel adapter so you are not relying on your accommodation to provide one. 
  • Comfortable walking shoes: Even in the middle of summer, bring your favorite pair of walking shoes to make the most of your days in cities like Florence and Siena. 
  • Packing cubes: Unpacking your whole suitcase is not always convenient. Packing cubes are an excellent option for keeping all of your belongings organized. 
  • Italian phrase book: If you don’t plan on using data roaming, have a phrase book handy, particularly if you’d like to visit smaller, lesser-known towns in Tuscany, like Pitigliano. 
  • Travel first aid kit: You can buy all the essentials in Italy, but if you wish to stay at agriturismos, bring the basics like band-aids, paracetamol, and alcohol swabs. Agriturismo are typically located in more remote areas. 

How to get to Tuscany

drone view of a medieval town in Tuscany, Italy

This region is home to two international airports: Amerigo Vespucci Airport Florence and Galileo Galilei International Airport Pisa. The first is more convenient if you plan to explore Florence and Siena. The latter is best for the Tuscan coast. 

If you are already in the country, below are some of your most convenient routes:

  •  You can either take a 55-minute flight, a two-hour train, or a three-hour bus from Rome to Florence.
  • From Rome to Siena, the best option is to take a three-hour bus ride. 
  • Another alternative is to travel from Rome to Pisa via a five-hour bus. 
  • If you are coming from the north of Italy, you can travel from Milan to Florence by train, taking just under two hours. But the most cost-efficient option is a four-hour and 15-minute bus ride. 
  • Another alternative is to journey from the romantic city of Venice to Florence. You can choose between a two-hour train ride or a 3.5-hour bus ride. 
  • If you’re further south, you can travel by bus from Naples to Pisa, but it’s far. It’ll take you 11 hours and 20 minutes. 

As you can see, the region of Tuscany is well connected to all the major cities in Italy. 

Map of the Tuscan region

Tuscany is a large region. Whether you have two, five or seven days, this map will help you plan your route. 

Tuscany travel guide: The final detail 

narrow street with bike in Italy

Beyond booking your accommodation, have a detailed plan for each day. Whether this includes beach clubs, wine tastings or a tour of the churches and art galleries, book in advance so you do not miss out. 

With so much to do, planning your trip is exciting but may also be overwhelming. Hopefully, this travel guide to Tuscany made it that much easier. 

Happy travels!


What is the best base for seeing Tuscany? 

Florence is where many people choose to base themselves, but Siena is another fantastic city. 

Do you need a car in Tuscany? 

Hiring a car in Tuscany will allow you greater flexibility, but you could also take a guided tour of the region. Alternatively, there are trains and buses to take you between major cities. 

What are the best months to visit Tuscany? 

While crowds will be at their peak, the best time to visit the coastline of Tuscany is during June, July and August. Inland Tuscany is ideal during autumn or spring when the temperatures are not as hot. 

Posted February 12, 2024
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Kate and Olly of KO Travellers
Kate Torpy and Oliver Neville of KO Travellers are travel bloggers and content creators from Australia. They caught the travel bug from a young age and have not looked back since. The things they love about travelling the most are meeting new people, experiencing diverse cultures and exploring lesser-known corners of the world. Whether they are on assignment or travelling for pleasure, they document their travels on Instagram and provide detailed accounts on their Blog. From picturesque landscapes to island paradises, they cover it all - even the underwater marine world.
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