For some, Tuscany is the favourite destination for weekend getaways, for others, the holiday destination of those who don’t want to give up anything: clear sea, hills that seem to be painted, enchanting villages and excellent cuisine. If you are planning a holiday in Tuscany but still don’t know what itinerary to take, read on.
Find the best accommodation for you:
Find out which are our favourite places, the ones you just can’t miss.
Versilia is the most fashionable area in the whole of Tuscany. If you can’t stay too far away from the sea, here you will find long sandy beaches that, thanks to their gently sloping seabed, are also popular with those travelling with children.
Among the most famous locations in Versilia there are: Forte dei Marmi and Marina di Pietrasanta, where Gabriele D’Annunzio wrote his poems, Viareggio, which has been nicknamed ‘the Pearl of the Tyrrhenian Sea’ because of its Art Nouveau buildings, Camaiore and Massarosa. Besides the beach, this area is also known throughout Italy for its numerous clubs and bars where you can have fun and stay late with friends.
In the cool pine forests along the coast, just a few metres from the sea, there are riding stables, tennis courts, cycling paths and other places to spend pleasant afternoons as an alternative to the beach.
The Maremma, the southernmost part of the Tuscan coast, with its dunes, golden beaches and cool pine forests is rugged and wild.
Among the most famous locations are Capalbio, Ansedonia and the beautiful Argentario, which stretches from Monte Argentario to Orbetello, with the towns of Porto Ercole, where is located the suggestive Feniglia Beach, and the well-known Porto Santo Stefano. Those who love surfing will find waves and wind at Talamone, where there are also small sheltered coves. Marina di Alberese is a true oasis for those seeking the most unspoilt nature. In fact, it is located within the Maremma Park and is only accessible by land, on foot or by bicycle. Don’t miss the unusual Tarot Garden near Capalbio.
Another popular location in the Maremma, in the province of Grosseto, is Castiglione della Pescaia. Here the beach is located right in front of the village. Then there is also Punta Ala, which impresses with its long beach.
In the Gulf of Follonica are the beaches of Cala Violina and Cala Martina, with soft white sand. Both can be reached on foot or by bicycle through the pine forest.
At certain times of the year, it is also possible to walk along the path to reach them on horseback. If you like spas, you will certainly appreciate Saturnia, in the Grosseto Maremma, with its thermal springs and suggestive natural pools.
The gentle hills of Chianti have become a symbol of Italy worldwide. Spanning across different provinces – Florence, Siena, and Arezzo – the Chianti area enchants Italian and foreign tourists alike with its picturesque landscapes, and ancient villages where one can discover the finest Tuscan food and wine products. The green hills change with every season, closely following the ripening of the grapes, but the best period extends from spring until the end of autumn.
Don’t miss the opportunity to visit one of the many wineries and purchase a few bottles of wine to take home.
Among the must-see locations during a vacation in the Chianti area are Greve in Chianti, a small yet charming village that is also home to the Wine Museum, as well as Radda and Gaiole.
If you’re looking for an art city, don’t miss Siena. Its historic center is a marvel, with Piazza del Campo, where the Palio takes place every year, and the Duomo with its black and white façade.
Costa degli Etruschi
Sea lovers will find what they are looking for on the Costa degli Etruschi (Etruscan Coast). Long avenues lined with cypress trees and vineyards make this area one of the many precious gems of the region. In this stretch of coastline, you will find Marina di Castagneto, Bibbona, and Cecina, where cliffs alternate with darker beaches and white sandy shores, such as those in San Vincenzo and Baratti.
Not far from the sea, there are also some truly charming villages, like Bolgheri, where the renowned Sassicaia wine is produced. Bolgheri can be reached by traveling along the famous “Viale dei Cipressi” mentioned in Carducci’s poem, “Davanti San Guido.”
Among the most beautiful destinations in Tuscany is the island of Elba, which contains marvelous beaches, as well as its fortresses, churches, and historical and cultural landmarks of those who have lived there. Although the island of Elba is often thought of as a place of sea, sun, and beaches – and rightly so – there is much more to it: Elba also hosts great history and culture. Don’t miss, for example, the Museo delle Residenze Napoleoniche (Museum of Napoleonic Residences), where you can admire the furnishings, memorabilia, and antique furniture dating back to Napoleon Bonaparte’s exile on the island.
Among the beaches, we suggest visiting the beautiful beach of Fetovaia, located just a few kilometers from Sant’Ilario al Campo. This one is a tiny village that is an absolute must-visit with its flowered balconies and narrow alleys. Another highly characteristic beach is Ghiaie, which is perfect for diving and snorkeling enthusiasts.
In Val d’Elsa, you will find San Gimignano, famous for its 14 medieval towers. If they seem like a lot to you, you should know that there were many more. San Gimignano was a kind of Manhattan of Tuscany, and in the Middle Ages, there were actually 72 towers.
Make a stop also in Monteriggioni, another village in Val d’Elsa. Once, it was one of the main stops for pilgrims traveling the Via Francigena, but today it surprises visitors with its ancient walls that completely surround the center and upon which you can walk. From up there, you will admire a marvelous panorama of the surrounding countryside.
And when you stroll in front of a restaurant, you’ll realize it’s time for a break. You can’t leave Val d’Elsa without first tasting a platter of cheeses and bruschetta!
If you wish to take a wine tour, don’t miss the Val d’Orcia, with Montalcino – famous worldwide for the production of the classic Brunello wine – and Montepulciano. The latter village, in addition to excellent wine, deserves a visit for its medieval architecture and Etruscan origins. Pienza is a charming and romantic village, also known as the ‘ideal city’ for its Renaissance layout.
Montalcino, on the other hand, is dominated by a fortress from which you can admire a unique panorama. Don’t miss the evocative Abbey of Sant’Antimo, where you can still listen to beautiful Gregorian chants during mass. And if, after all that walking, you feel like relaxing with a thermal bath, don’t miss the locations of Bagno Vignoni or Bagni di San Filippo.
As you have seen, Tuscany can fulfill the desires of every traveler. Have you already chosen where to spend your vacation?