Tuscany

Tuscany is one of the most visited regions of Italy. A varied landscape, from rolling hills and mountains to the sea, it is defined not only by the old beautiful cities of Florence (Firenze) and Siena, but also by a multitude of attractive small towns and villages dating back centuries, each with its own culture, history, traditions and ...culinary specialties.

Outside the large cities of Florence, Siena and Pisa, all of Tuscany is worth visiting and exploring. The official
tourism site for Tuscany is a good starting point to narrow your search/interests.

There are many people who go on cycling tours, and others who take advantage of specific bus tours from either Florence or other larger cities. However, for the average visitor, Tuscany is better explored by car (
see Driving in Italy). Here are a few points for you to consider:
  • It will take longer to travel between the cities and towns than the actual distance (whether miles or kilometers) would suggest. That is because roads outside the main highways tend to be narrow and winding with frequently slow moving traffic (e.g. cyclists). Your average speed is going to be low (this is particularly true in the Chianti region). Plan accordingly.

  • If the days you spend in Tuscany are limited, try to reduce the number of sites you intend to visit. It is unfortunate, but you may want to select just a few, and spend more time exploring them.

  • If you are taking a tour, select one that sounds "reasonable" and will give you a chance to savour your experience. There are those that promise too much!

  • If you are renting a car, choose a small town that you can use as a base and then make day-trips to other sites within easy driving distance. For instance, in the Chianti region, Greve in Chianti is well placed (see the Greve in Chianti page).

  • Many accommodation premises, particularly B&Bs or Agritourisms, do not have screens on their windows and, depending on the season, flying insects may be bothersome at night. We would suggest you bring along a foldable travel mosquito screen that you can unfold and place on your window.

  • Tuscany is a major tourist destination, hence you will find popular places very, very crowded. If you want to really enjoy the region, try to avoid visiting during "tourist season" (i.e. late spring-early fall). In early spring (March April) and late fall (late September-October-early November), the weather will be still very pleasant and you may be able to enjoy more what Tuscany has to offer.