What are the best cities to visit on a holiday? stay in Tuscany ? It all depends on your interests, whether you're traveling by car or public transport, and how many days you have available. Of course, there's no single answer to this question, but here are our tips and suggestions on how to settle in during your Tuscan vacation.
Have you considered Florence for your stay in Tuscany?
Easy answer. If you're in Tuscany to enjoy world-famous art, Florence is the place to be. One of Tuscany's largest and busiest cities, Florence boasts some of Italy's finest museums of medieval and Renaissance art. Not to mention state-of-the-art architecture. You could easily fill two whole weeks with art exhibitions.
Here's our must-have guide to Florence's top 10 attractions and best things to do in the city in 2019.
The same applies if you're looking for nightlife, or want to experience aperitif culture. Florence is constantly improving its nightlife options, and although it's not a very big city, it has an interesting scene, especially in the Oltrarno districts. Shopping is another big draw for the city. You'll find plenty of opportunities here and in nearby outlets, accessible by public transport from the city center.
If you are traveling without a car, Florence is one of your best choices. From here you can easily take the bus to Siena and the train to Pisa, Lucca, Pistoia or Arezzo. You can use public transport to get to the smaller centers in the Chianti region or northern Mugello, regardless of the location of your vacation rentals in Tuscany. If you choose to stay relatively close to the Santa Maria Novella train station, you can organize stress-free day trips from Florence.
Siena is the ideal city for your stay!
Siena is small and you can see the main sights in a day. But to really appreciate the main museums and all the details of the city, you should stay longer. This is especially true if you're interested in medieval art. You'll find plenty of it here, from Gothic paintings to stunning frescoes.
In winter, Siena is quieter and undoubtedly more atmospheric. You can easily take public transport between Siena and Florence and Pisa airport. Siena's train station is further from the city center than the bus stops.
A holiday in Tuscany also includes Lucca
Lucca is perhaps one of the best towns in Tuscany to stay in if you're traveling with children. It's quite small and much less crowded than Florence and Siena, even in high season. What's more, the city walls offer green space for cycling or walking, and it's always a pleasure to rest after a sightseeing tour. Lucca is a very pleasant and friendly town which, despite being increasingly discovered by tourists, retains an authentic Tuscan feel.
Lucca is also relatively close to the coast (30 km) and from here you can easily reach the lively coastal towns of Versilia, such as Viareggio or Forte dei Marmi. These resorts are more touristy (ice-creams and tourists), but they're a great place to spend some time. a few days in a seaside atmosphere. Alternatively, if you have a little patience, you can visit the small towns of the verdant Garfagnana even if you don't have a car.
Pisa, the ideal base for your stay?
For many, Pisa is not the city's first choice as a base. That said, if you want to enjoy the Place des Miracles and its Leaning tower Staying overnight will allow you to do just that, as the atmosphere improves once the crowds have gone. If you spend a night in Pisa, you'll have the chance to enjoy this amazing view after dark.
Pisa is a university town, with a few good restaurants and bars and a relaxed pace of life. Apart from the Piazza dei Miracoli, which attracts legions of tourists, the rest of the city is laid-back, and some areas are a little run-down. It's less elegant than Florence and Siena, but it has its own charm and some interesting attractions. Pisa is also very close to the coast and well connected to other major cities, and especially close to Pisa airport.
Stay in a small town to discover authentic Tuscany. A few days' vacation rental in a small town will give you a better idea of the real Tuscany. With the slower pace of life and the hustle and bustle of the markets, you may enjoy feeling more like a local. If you choose a small town off the main tourist trail, you can really escape the crowds and see something more authentic. What you lose in sights, you gain in atmosphere.
The choice is endless. Consider San Casciano Val di Pesa, close enough to Florence for daily excursions by frequent bus, or Certaldo, a jewel of a hilltop town. Bear in mind that here, the station is in the lower part of town, so you'll have to walk a bit. Pietrasanta is a beautiful, artistic town on the Versilia coast, or Pistoia, a lesser-known town with an authentic atmosphere. It's on the train line between Florence and Lucca, halfway between the two. Or Barga, in the verdant Garfagnana, with less choice in terms of accommodation but plenty of opportunities to enjoy nature. In the Maremma there are many charming little towns, like Massa Marittima or Capalbio, or you can choose one of the picturesque little towns in the countryside around Siena.
How to get around Tuscany
If you have a car, the choice is unlimited. Choosing to stay in an agriturismo or country house can be the ideal way to enjoy true relaxation, as you'll have complete freedom to explore the region and nearby towns at your leisure and return to your little haven in the evening. If you're staying in a city or town for a while, ask your hotel about parking options. Big cities can be very expensive. In smaller towns, it's usually easier, but don't always expect free parking.
If you don't have a car, check the public transport situation when choosing a smaller destination. If you plan to do a lot of sightseeing, it's certainly best to choose one of the larger cities as your base. This will enable you to get around the city more comfortably. public transport.