Ultimate Guide Of Things To Do In Tuscany, Italy

Villa view in Tuscany, Italy

Tuscany is one of the most stunning regions in Italy and one of my personal favourites. The city is centred around Florence, the capital of Tuscany, Italy. You can enjoy the hilly Tuscan countryside views while unwinding and relaxing in this region. It is one of the most beautiful cities in Tuscany where you can immerse yourself in history, enjoy traditional Italian hospitality, and admire Renaissance architecture. Having personally explored various regions of Italy, I have developed a deep appreciation for its diverse attractions and fresh food. Italy will always hold a special place in my heart, as it was the destination of my first solo trip, where I taught English in Torino di Sangro. Last year I won a competition which allowed me to go on an all-expense paid trip to Tuscany with Birra Moretti.

Tuscany offers the perfect balance of history, relaxation, and breathtaking views, from the vibrant city of Florence to the charming Tuscan countryside. From the iconic leaning tower in Pisa to a hot air balloon ride over the picturesque Tuscan hills, there’s so much to do. If you’re planning a trip to Tuscany soon, this guide is for you. 

Black girl in a stripe, zebra maxi dress with a orange shirt on, posing at sunset with a glass of wine in one hand

 

Getting into Tuscany

In Tuscany, there are two international airports: Galileo Galilei International Airport in Pisa and Amerigo Vespucci Airport, also known as Peretola, in Florence. These airports are relatively close to each other, with a distance of only 80 km. The Pisa airport is the larger of the two airports. You’ll generally find flight tickets to Galileo Galilei International Airport in Pisa much cheaper than the airport in Florence. We travelled through Pisa airport where airport pick-up was already arranged for us which always takes the pressure of figuring out how to get to your accommodation at the start of the trip. 

Book an affordable airport transfer 

 

Where to stay in Florence?

25 Hours Hotel

25hours Hotel Florence Piazza San Paolino is a modern and chic 4 star hotel in the heart of Florence. This hotel has the perfect location and is within walking distance of tourist sites like the Basilica of Santa Croc and at the heart of Florence so I would recommend it. It’s about £190 per night on avg. The hotel’s design, crafted by interior designer Paola Navone and her team, draws eclectic inspiration from Dante’s Divine Comedy, creating a delightful tapestry of references to this literary masterpiece. Scenes depicting heaven and hell are artfully interwoven, guiding guests through the virtues and vices of Dante’s captivating world.

Considering Florence’s high accommodation costs, particularly during the bustling summer season, I suggest exploring more budget-friendly options by staying in nearby towns such as Pisa. From there, you can easily go on day trips to explore the Tuscany region. Italy boasts a commendable and dependable train transport system, ensuring convenient travel throughout the area.

Ville Sull’Arno

You won’t want to miss out on Villa Sull’Arno during your stay! Set along the picturesque banks of the Arno River, this charming villa offers breathtaking views and a range of fantastic amenities. Take some time to unwind and soak in the beauty of the surroundings. The wellness centre is a true haven, featuring an indoor pool, sauna, and Turkish bath, all available for guests to enjoy free of charge. If you’re in the mood for a pampering session, don’t hesitate to indulge in a modern spa treatment, just let them know in advance (additional cost may apply).

The villa goes above and beyond to ensure your satisfaction. You’ll have access to complimentary WiFi, and they even provide free bikes if you fancy exploring the area. Plus, they offer convenient services like a complimentary shuttle to and from Florence, ticket assistance, and luggage storage. Trust me, Villa Sull’Arno is a hidden gem that will leave you feeling relaxed, rejuvenated, and mesmerised by its beauty.

Villa Collalto

If you’re a nature lover seeking an idyllic retreat in the heart of the Tuscan countryside, Villa Collalto is the perfect accommodation for you. It’s situated between the cities of Siena and Florence. As you arrive, you’ll be captivated by the villa’s view atop a hill, surrounded by luxurious gardens that exude tranquillity. 

With 18 elegantly furnished bedrooms, each boasting unique colours and decor, Villa Collalto can accommodate up to 35 guests. Whether you’re seeking a serene Tuscan vacation or planning a special event, Villa Collalto offers a wide array of extra services upon request. The property is embraced by a century-old garden, adorned with colourful local flowers and a network of walkways perfect for romantic strolls or quiet moments with a book. For the more active guests, there’s plenty to enjoy within the park’s grounds, ensuring a memorable holiday experience. You’ll find a private pool where you can relax and admire the stunning views of the Tuscan countryside. Villa Collalto truly creates an oasis of peace among the hills.

During my stay in Tuscany, I was fortunate enough to spend most of my trip at Villa Collalto, and the sheer grandeur and abundance of amenities blew me away. Whether you’re travelling with a large group or celebrating a special occasion like a wedding, this villa is truly unparalleled. From spacious communal areas to serene spots for relaxation or enjoying an aperitivo, Villa Collalto offers an array of spaces to unwind and create unforgettable memories. It’s the epitome of comfort, luxury, and exclusivity.

If you’d prefer to stay in an apartment or looking for a more private villa option, I’d recommend visiting booking.com.

Top Things To Do In Tuscany 

1. Cruise Around Florence In A Vintage Car

Capture the essence of Tuscany’s countryside as you embark on a unique experience, cruising through rural Florence in a vintage Fiat 500. This adventure truly made my day in Florence unforgettable, as I felt like the main character of an Italian movie scene, where I joyfully explored the countryside at my own pace. I would recommend this tour as a great way to see Florence. This is your chance to drive one of these historic vintage cars, loved by Italians for over half a century.

Book a Florence Fiat 500 tour 

Fiat 500 activity

2. Enjoy Wine Tasting 

Visit the vineyards of a beautiful Renaissance-era villa and indulge in the region’s finest wines and olive oils. You’ll experience the flavours of Tuscany and learn more about the winemaking process while surrounded by incredible views of Chianti Hills. 

Book a Chianti Wineries Tour with Food and Wine Tasting

Chianti Wineries Tour with Food and Wine Tasting

3. See the Basilica of San Miniato al Monte and the Duomo

Discover the impressive Basilica of San Miniato al Monte, located on a hill overlooking Florence. Admire its beautiful architecture and enjoy panoramic views of the city. Visit the renowned Duomo (Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore) with its iconic dome and explore its intricate interior. If you’re into impressive architecture, you can’t miss this site. I would recommend booking a private guided city tour to truly appreciate the history of Basilica San Miniato al Monte. 

Book a guided city tour of Florence

4. Visit the Piazzale Michelangelo Square

Take a stroll to the Piazzale Michelangelo Square for breathtaking views of Florence. It’s a perfect spot to admire the cityscape, especially during sunrise or just before sunset. 

5. Have an Italian aperitivo at La Loggia del Piazzale Michelangelo

Enjoy a traditional Italian aperitivo, a pre-dinner drink accompanied by appetizers, at La Loggia del Piazzale Michelangelo. This restaurant offers amazing viewpoints over Florence, making it an ideal place to relax and take in the stunning scenery. 

6. Go On a Day Trip To San Gimignano 

If you’re visiting Florence, don’t skip San Gimignano! It’s a charming medieval town and also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Also known as the “city of beautiful towers,”  because it had 72 towers back in the day and now 14 remain offering spectacular views above Tuscany’s Elsa Valley. Wander through the narrow streets, taste local specialities, and enjoy feeling like you’re walking back in time to the medieval ages. I enjoyed my time here as we had a passionate tour guide who shared some interesting facts about San Gimignano. It’s also the type of town where you’ll find street performers and musicians playing the most romantic Italian classical music. You can easily visit San Gimignano as a day trip from Florence as it’s only about a 1-hour drive and under 2 hours by train. If you don’t want the hassle of organising your transport yourself, you can book a tour.

Travel Smart Tip: Remember to bring suitable walking shoes as some of the viewpoints are quite steep and it’s cobbled streets everywhere. 

Book a San Gimignano & Volterra Day Trip with Food & Wine

7. Gelato Making class 

We all know that Italy makes world-class gelato so why not learn how to make some yourself? Dondoli Gelato class offers a unique experience and you’ll enjoy the best gelato you will ever taste in your life. @gelateriadondoli_official (on Instagram) on Piazza della Cisterna 4, 53037 is in the heart of San Gimignano and is where the modern age of Gelato started. There is always a massive queue outside this gelateria but the quality of ice cream is out of this world. Sergio Dondoli is the gelato world champion from 2006-2009 so you know you’re getting world-class gelato. The ice cream was so smooth, tasted amazing and had no preservatives in it. There are so many unique flavours to choose from! Gelateria Dondoli uses raw milk from Camporbiano Farm. Ps, if you ever see brightly-coloured gelato, run because it won’t be authentic, look for muted colours.

8. Enjoy Horseback Riding in Tuscany

Embark on an unforgettable adventure and explore the picturesque Tuscan countryside on horseback with this captivating day tour from Siena. You’ll enjoy the lush vineyards, olive groves, and rolling hills, all while soaking in breathtaking views that will leave you in awe.No need to worry if you’re new to horseback riding as it’s beginner friendly. Plus an experienced staff will be there to ensure you feel comfortable and confident before setting off on your ride. They’ll provide the necessary guidance and support, making this adventure accessible to riders of all levels. At the end of your adventure, you’ll return to the meeting point in Siena, carrying with you the sense of fulfilment that comes from connecting with nature and experiencing the beauty of Tuscany in a truly unique way.

Book a horseback riding activity 

9. Experience a hot air balloon ride over the Tuscan countryside

Take a hot air balloon flight and enjoy a bird’s-eye view of the picturesque Tuscan landscape. This unforgettable experience allows you to appreciate the beauty of Tuscany from above and capture stunning aerial photographs. Getting into a hot air balloon is not the most graceful thing but that’s part of the fun. There are steps and sometimes step stools are used to help people get in and out of the basket.

Travel Smart Tip: avoid wearing skirts or long dresses ladies! Don’t be like me! I just wanted to look cute plus I didn’t pack any trousers. Wearing trousers makes it much easier to climb into and jump out of the basket.

10. Pasta Cooking Class 

I had the best time making Ravioli pasta in a cooking class with Nonna (grandma). This was such a fun experience making my pasta for the first time! I’m now qualified to prepare a delicious Tortellini Maremmani in true Tuscan style and I have a certificate to prove it 😂 The entire class was in Italian but we had a Michelin star chef to translate the process! We got to taste our Ravioli and it was soo good! Fresh pasta is the absolute best in my opinion. In the filling of my ravioli, I had spinach, ricotta cheese and parmesan.

Doing a cooking class on holiday is a great way to learn more about the food culture, and different cooking techniques and see how indigenous spices and herbs are used in the cooking. Plus you can recreate the same dish in your kitchen.

Book a cooking class experience

11. Visit the Leaning Tower of Pisa

You have to visit the Leaning Tower of Pisa! It’s an iconic landmark that will leave thinking about how they managed to construct a leaning tower that’s still standing today. Just a short day trip from Florence, this architectural marvel is a must-see. Take some incredible photos as you marvel at its unique tilt, and make sure to climb to the top for a stunning view of the city. The whole Piazza dei Miracoli, where the tower is located, is filled with historical sites like the Pisa Cathedral and Baptistery. After exploring the square, take a leisurely stroll along the Arno River and immerse yourself in the charm of the city. Don’t forget to try some delicious gelato and pizza before heading back to Florence. 

Reserved Entrance to Leaning Tower of Pisa & Cathedral

12. Day Trip to Cinque Terre

You simply must visit Cinque Terre, one of Italy’s most beautiful destinations! You can do a guided day trip here with the option to hike in the Cinque Terre National Park while marvelling at the colourful cliffside villages and stunning coastal views. The park is home to five colourful cliffside villages—Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, and Monterosso al Mare—each with its unique charm. Capture the picture-perfect scenery and immerse yourself in the tranquillity of this UNESCO World Heritage site.

Book a day trip tour to Cinque Terre

houses on mountain beside sea during daytime Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre

13. Indulge in Tuscan Cuisine

No visit to Tuscany would be complete without indulging in its world-famous cuisine. Treat your taste buds to a culinary journey by savouring local specialities. Don’t miss the opportunity to try Pappardelle al cinghiale, Potato Tortelli and Schiacciata, which are traditional dishes that showcase the region’s flavours. Pair your meals with a glass of fine Tuscan wine and you’ll be dancing with joy in your seat.

Tuscany is the perfect region to unwind, relax and enjoy the hilly countryside views. Is Tuscany on your bucket list? Let me know if you’ve visited already. 

Tuscany is the perfect region to unwind, relax and enjoy the hilly countryside views. Is Tuscany on your bucket list? Let me know if you’ve visited already. 

Follow:
0

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: