Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Best Area To Stay In Tuscany

B& b Countryhouse Villa Baciolo

Italy: Best places to Stay in Tuscany… without renting a car

Tuscan charm and a stellar customer experienceâ¦

Location: San Gimignano

A cozy San Gimignano bed and breakfast with a 5-star rating, B& B Countryhouse Villa Baciolo boasts lush green gardens, a bar, terrace and a large pool. Itâs just a short drive into central San Gimignano and slightly further to neighboring Volterra, and feels like a welcoming, tranquil home away from home.

Visitor review: âEverything. The location and view are fantastic, accommodation and service exceeded expectations. Highly recommended. One of our favorite places in Tuscany.â Nikola, Croatia

Travel Resources For Planning Your Own Trip

To make planning your European trip on your own easier, in addition to what already mentioned in our travel guide, we included some of our recommended travel resources below. You can search and find the best flights, transportation options, hotels to stay in, tours/activities, and things you can do in any destination using these travel resources:

San Gimignano Where To Stay In Tuscany In A Hilltop Town

The medieval walled hilltop town of San Gimignano is recognizable even at a distance. The town is known for its striking skyline of soaring medieval towers that loom over the surrounding buildings. The town is easy to reach by train and bus and is famous for its Vernaccia di San Gimignano white wine.

Of the seventy-two medieval towers that once stood here as a symbol of the towns wealth and might only fourteen still remain. Thats more than enough to create an impressive first impression, though it does leave you wondering how majestic it must have looked at its peak.

All the towers are impressive, but some are more revered than others. Torre Grossa is the tallest of all the towers, standing at 54m tall. Torre Gross is also the town hall and houses a museum of renaissance artworks at its base.

Meanwhile, the Torri Gemelle, also known as the twin towers was built by the most powerful family in the city, the Salvuccis. They stand at the opposite side of the Piazza del Duomo from the Town Hall.

The towers are significant enough that the town was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site back in 1990. However, they are far from all there is to appreciate in San Gimignano.

Numerous historic relics have survived the ages, such as the 13th cistern that Piazza della Cisterna is named for. Dont forget to make a wish by tossing in a coin. The Palazzo Razzi with its magnificent two-light mullioned windows and Casa Salvestrini are two building near the well.

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Florence Overall Best Place To Stay In Tuscany

The sparkling capital of Tuscany, Florence is a must-visit destination for anyone heading to the region. Considered the Renaissance capital of Europe, this is where you will find some of the most famous art pieces in the world. Its buildings alone are awe-inspiring in their creativity, but behind their walls, you will find the likes of Da Vinci, Boticelli and Michelangelo.

Its also the home of the modern Italian language and opera. Music can be heard everywhere you go throughout the day, with an eclectic variety of acts available in concerts almost every evening. Florence has been a city of innovation for centuries, and it shows no signs of stopping thanks to the thousands of art students that call the city home.

As the largest city, it is also the best-connected destination in Tuscany, which makes staying in Florence a breeze. If you want to easily get around and dont have a car, Florence offers fast train connections and even some great bus services for those on a tight budget. It has a reputation as being quite expensive, but theres something for all budgets within the city limits.

Val Dorcia A Scenic Valley That Has Inspired Thousands Of Italian Postcards

The Best 10 Places to Visit in Tuscany, Italy

Rich in green and golden landscapes stretching for miles, incredible vineyards, quaint farmhouses and a distinct medieval history, Valle dOrcia is a lush green valley encompassing the Orcia river.

Located in southern Tuscany, this area is a UNESCO World Heritage site recognized for its cultural and historical significance.

Small, picturesque villages and farms dot the areas undulating hills and the landscapes beauty and pastoral atmosphere have inspired artists and photographers for centuries.

Agriculture is the main source of livelihood here, with growers producing grain, olives and livestock at peak times during the season.

A beautiful photo spot in Valle dOrcia is the Cappella Madonna di Vitaleta, a small chapel built in the 12th century with a stunning surrounding scenery.

Be sure to check out the Romanesque Abbey of SantAntimo, a working abbey built in the 12th century surrounded by miles of vineyards and olive groves.

While Val dOrcia doesnt have as much in the way of historical sites, the region is famous for its high quality food items.

While Tuscany is known for its wine in general, Val dOrcia has a distinctive wine road,with vineyards stretching between Montalcino and Montepulciano.

Wines here are produced to a very high Denominazione di origine controllata standard, meaning red and white wines must be composed of a certain percentage of local Tuscan grapes.

This dedicated attention to detail and quality makes wines hailing from this region world-class.

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Monteriggioni An Impressive Walled Medieval Towns In Tuscany

Monteriggioni is a particularly tiny village, just north of Siena. The main attraction of Monteriggioni is the impeccably preserved medieval walls that surround the town, defending the small handful of buildings within. Two historic gates, Porta Franca and Porta San Giovanni allow visitors to pass through the looming walls.

The walls of Monteriggioni are best appreciated as you approach them. The mighty stone walls are interspersed with defensive towers jutting into the sky, creating an impressive skyline.

Less of a residential town and more a quirky shopping and dining destination, Monteriggioni contains a small history museum, along with a few restaurants, small hotels, and craft shops.

Aside from taking in the historic atmosphere and enjoying the local cuisine, there is very little to do in Monteriggioni. It serves well as a brief stopping point on a long road trip or journey, but I wouldnt recommend you spend a longer vacation here.

Stay In Monteriggioni If you are looking for places to explore surrounding Siena you are looking for a quirky place to stop and shop before heading into the city you are planning a road trip around Tuscany and are looking for a unique location to spend a single night.

Al Giardino Degli Etruschi Chiusi

Al Giardino Degli Etruschi is a beautiful Tuscany villa rental set in a historic farmhouse which is dating back to the early 19th century. The accommodation is set on a 1-hectare park on a hilltop which is overlooking the Chiana valley. Al Giardino Degli Etruschi is a villa in Tuscany with a private pool, so if youve been looking for this type of farmhouse holiday, youll love this one!

Now, the accommodation is about 3 km away from Chiusi, and 20km away from the famous wine town, Montepulciano. The interesting in this farmhouse is that each room is named after one of the Etruscan gods, and they come with wood-beamed ceilings and a geothermal system for heating and cooling. The rooms are also well equipped, and they have views over the garden and the Tuscan countryside.

Al Giardino Degli Etruschi address: Località Dolcianello 32, 53043 Chiusi, Italy

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Other Tips To Make Themost Of Your Tuscany Trip

  • Whilst there are some towns you could commute to via train, I recommend hiring a car whilst youre touring the Tuscan countryside. You should avoid having a car in Florence, given the city is within a limited traffic zone. If you need to pick up or drop off your rental, considering hiring it from the Florence Airport branch. Do this even if you have no reason to go to the airport . The airport is right near the main motorway taking you to the Tuscan countryside. Youll have a much less stressful experience than if you book in central Florence and need to navigate those streets.
  • A small car is worth considering. Tuscany is full of tight country lanes.
  • Siena is definitely worth a visit. The Piazza del Campo is a famous square, which also holds a horse race twice a year. We have never stayed in Siena, opting to commute from the countryside for day trips. This has suited us well.
  • The Leaning Tower of Pisa is also within Tuscany. Its worth a quick stop to marvel at this structure . Its just over a one hour drive from San Gimignano.
  • If youre not convinced with these options, find more places to stay in Tuscany at

What do you think of our best places to stay in Tuscany? Have we missed your favourite? Wed love to hear below!

Barga: For The Nature Lovers

Tuscany Without a Car: 5 Best Towns to Stay in Tuscany Without a Car | Tuscany, Italy Travel Guide

If you really love nature, Tuscany has plenty in store for you. And one of the best places for it is Barga. Its a town which manages to evade the throngs of tourists in order to extol Natures beauty. But, make sure your camera can handle all the pics you would want to take here!

It has its spots of art, too. The streets themselves were built between the 15th and 17th centuries, along with the towns Romanesque Cathedral.

Its a small town with a small selection of lodgings. However, you cant go wrong with La Serra di Barga with its breathtaking views of a lake and its proximity to downtown Barga. It even offers a view to the Duomo. This attractive B& B is located at 55051 Barga. The town itself is a three-hour bus ride from Florence. You start at the Via Delle Porte Nuove 17, then change at the Pizzale Verdi, and ending at P. Za Salvi.

A Tuscany Hotel in Barga

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Forte Dei Marmi Where To Stay On The Tuscany Coast

Just north of Pietrasanta, Forte dei Marmi is a lovely little seaside town on Tuscanys west coast. Just along the beach from lively Viareggio, and a little more removed from the city of Lucca, Forte del Marmi offers a more laid-back beach vacation, away from the worst of the tourist crowds.

Whilst its less crowded than Viareggio, dont expect this to be some sleepy rural town. The beaches are still full of sun loungers for the many people who come to relax on the sand.

The various beaches of Forte dei Marmi back onto a road lined with numerous restaurants. You wont need to worry about packing a picnic for your beach day when you can get a delicious, cooked meal within a few minutes walk of your beach lounger.

If you find yourself getting bored of lazing on the beach, you can always take a hike into the hills overlooking Forte dei Marmi. Aside from the beautiful, verdant landscape, there are castles and local historic sites to be discovered within the valleys.

If you are hoping to attend the Viareggio Carnival but dont want to pay out the nose for accommodation, Forte dei Marmi is a great alternative. Its just a comfortable walk along the beach to Viareggio.

Stay In Forte Dei Marmi If You are looking for a less crowded beach resort town Relaxing on the beach is your main goal You are planning to attend Viareggio Carnival but are looking for cheaper accommodations for your stay.

Best places to stay in Forte Dei Marmi:

Agriturismo Experiencein Val Dorcia

TheVal DOrcia region is known for its rolling hills, cypress trees and medieval hilltop towns. Itsthe picture perfect image youve conjured up in your mind and the epitome ofTuscan charm. Its no wonder this whole area has UNESCO World Heritage status.

The hilltop towns of Montalcino and Pienza are probably the most well-known and visited villages. As youre driving through the hillside, nothing will prepare you for your first view of these mighty towns in the distance. Once there, you can spend hours wandering the cobbled streets, as church bells ring out and the scent of freshly cooked Tuscan pici pasta wafts through the air. Youll be hard-pressed to resist the multitude of wine bars, serving the world famous Brunello.

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Pistoia A Hidden Gem Of Tuscany

Located at the base of the Apennine mountains, Pistoia is a lesser-known city and wildly underrated. It combines all the modern conveniences and historic attractions that you would expect from a Tuscan town with stunning natural landscapes and resources.

Pistoia is located along the main road between the cities of Lucca and Florence, making it a convenient stopping off point on a road trip from one to the other. Alternatively, it makes a quaint and quieter base from which to explore them both.

Train lines connect Pistoia to both Lucca and Florence, as well as other destinations. This is the perfect place to stay if you want to travel around Tuscany a bit, but wont be bringing or hiring a car.

Designated the Italian City of Culture in 2017, there is plenty to see and do in Pistoia. The Cathedral of San Zeno has parts that date back to the 10th century. The Palazzo dei Vescovi sits just across the Piazza del Duomo and houses several interesting museums within.

There are various other notable churches throughout Pistoia, such as the Ex Chiesa del Tau. Whilst this 14th-century church may appear unassuming from the exterior, it houses some delightful ancient artifacts and frescoes.

One of the lesser-known attractions of Pistoia are the thermal baths. The smaller neighboring town of Montecatini Terme is home to numerous public bathhouses. The water from the natural hot springs supposedly has healing attributes.

Best Places To Stay In Montepulciano

Where to Stay in Tuscany

Montepulciano is totally worth splurging on. The quaint town centre gives you an authentic experience, and the rolling vineyards are worth checking out for the panoramic scenery alone.

Castello di Velona

Best Airbnb in Montepulciano: Villa Montepulciano

This is another beautiful Airbnb Luxe property and its totally worth splurging on! It is located within a working vineyard, allowing wine enthusiasts to get up close and personal with the production process. Guests are also given the chance to sample these wines, all within a rustic and traditional setting. Sleeping up to 15 guests, its great for a large group.

Best Guest House near Montepulciano: I Tre Rioni

This guest house is super basic but Montepulciano is one of the most expensive areas in Tuscany, so it is your best bet for visiting the town on a budget. With only four guest rooms, you will get to enjoy an intimate experience. Central Montepulciano is only a short walk away, as well as the largest vineyard in the region. Rooms are beautifully decorated with traditional Tuscan furnishings.

Best Hotel in Montepulciano: Castello di Velona

Montepulciano really is the place to splurge in Tuscany! This five-star resort, part of the Leading Hotels of the World Range, will give you the chance to experience the ultimate luxury accommodation. It is housed in a restored castle from the 10th century and overlooks the rolling hills of Tuscany. Its a little secluded perfect for those that just want to unwind.

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Cortona A Charming Hilltop Town With A Medieval History

Widely known as the gorgeous setting for the movie, Under the Tuscan Sun, delightful Cortona is a town in southern Tuscany. Once a center of Etruscan history, Cortona sits on a hill enclosed by ancient stone walls.

Its placement offers panoramic views of the surrounding valley and distant Lake Trasimeno. While this village is small, its inviting and rich with history, held in its museums, fortresses and archaeological sites.

Youll love the wide selection of wine and complementary cuisine served here.

While Cortonas streets are steep and narrow, the views and destinations are well worth the exercise. Start a day here in the Piazza della Repubblica, Cortonas main city square and a historical landmark. Back in Roman times, the city forum was held here.

At the center is the Palazzo del Capitano. Cortonas town hall and bell tower that once served as the cardinals residence. Nowadays, you can sit at an outdoor cafe in the Palazzo and people watch over a glass of wine.

The Molesini Wine Shop, a staple of the square since 1937, is great for sampling local wines and food products.

Be sure to visit the Piazza Signorelli, Cortonas second bustling town square.

Named after Luca Signorelli, a leading artist of the Italian Renaissance, Piazza Signorelli hosts a flea market every Sunday, where you can find fresh produce from local farmers, quality Italian baked goods and cured meats and cheeses.


Who Loves Montalcino:

People who are into wine are going to love Montalcino. Its famous for its wine. Weve only visited the town in the off season, so our full verdict is still out on Montalcino. Outside of the Rosewood, there are plenty of enotecas and vineyards to visit. I loved how many of the enotecas in Montalcino offered outdoor seating , even in December. Its great for people watching. Similar to Montepulciano, there is a fortress to appease your husband . As far as the hills go, Montalcino is more like Montepulciano and Cortona with its steep hills!

The drive through the Val dOrcia can be absolutely breathtaking, especially at sunset. While I usually recommend trying to find somewhere to enjoy a glass of wine with the sunset, its not bad to experience from the road either. Pull off and enjoy it!

Montalcino in winter

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Leaning Tower Of Pisa

Without a doubt, the most famous structure in Pisa if not all of Tuscany, the Leaning Tower of Pisa is by far the biggest reason that people visit Pisa. Built long ago in the 12th century, the famous bell tower was constructed as a supplement to the nearby cathedral. But soon after construction, its poor foundations were realized as the structure began to lean.

Even after 800 years of leaning, this well-known landmark continues to noticeably lean to this day, which is one of the big reasons that its become so famous. You can climb to the top of the tower and get unobstructed views of the city, and the building itself is impressive. If its your first time visiting Pisa, its just one of those things that you have to do.

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