Ultimate Tuscany Itinerary for 5 Days
Tuscany is one of Italy’s most romantic regions. Find out what to see in Tuscany with our Tuscany itinerary. The Tuscan countryside offers a unique experience and a scenic road trip that you can combine with attractions such as the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Duomo of Florence. Enjoy panoramic views over the cypress-lined hills, taste the region’s best wines, visit Renaissance towns and watch Italy’s most beautiful sunrise at the Terme di Saturnia.
- Ultimate Tuscany Itinerary for 5 Days
- Where is Tuscany
- How to Get to Tuscany
- Getting Around Tuscany
- Best Time to Visit Tuscany
- Where to Stay in Tuscany
- Day 1 – Short visit to Pisa & Arrival in Florence
- Day 2 – Best things to do in Florence
- Day 3 – Short visit to Siena & Arrival in Montepulciano
- Day 4 – Explore the Tuscan countryside
- Day 5 – Leave Tuscany and travel to Amalfi, Rome, or Venice
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Where is Tuscany
Tuscany is one of Italy’s largest and most beautiful regions, and its capital is Florence. It borders Liguria and Emilia to the north, Marche and Umbria to the east, and Lazio to the south. Tuscany is divided into 10 provinces: Massa, Lucca, Pistoia, Prato, Florence, Pisa, Livorno, Siena, Arezzo, Grosseto.
How to Get to Tuscany
The easiest way to get to Tuscany is to fly to Florence International Airport (FLR) or Pisa International Airport (PSA). Florence’s location allows quick and easy train, bus, and motorway connections. You can easily combine the Tuscany itinerary with a visit to other Italian cities.
Read more → 10 Best Places to Visit in Tuscany
Getting Around Tuscany
It is easy to travel by train between the large cities of Tuscany. You can get to smaller towns by bus, but these run rarely and are very slow.
In our opinion, a car is essential to explore Tuscany. If you are in Florence and want to make a few day trips to nearby places, you can easily take the train to Siena, Pisa, Lucca, or Arezzo.
You can rent a car at Pisa or Florence airport and enjoy the most scenic roads in Italy. Choose a smaller car which is cheaper and easier to park. Always ask your accommodation about parking, fees, and permits to enter the town. There are many restricted traffic zones (ZTL) in Italy, and if you drive into them, you will have to pay a high fine.
Read more → Cinque Terre Travel Guide
Best Time to Visit Tuscany
Tuscany has a Mediterranean climate and the best time to visit Tuscany is from May to October.
• Spring is one of the best times to visit Tuscany. In spring, the region is booming, the weather is pleasant with little rainfall, and the summer crowds have not yet arrived.
• Autumn is a great time to visit Tuscany, with pleasant temperatures and the stunning colors of the Tuscan countryside. However, there is more rain in spring and autumn. April and November are the wettest months.
• Summer is hot, perfect for a countryside or beach holiday, but not the best time for sightseeing. July and August are the hottest months. If you’re planning a beach holiday, it’s good to know that the high season for Italian tourism is from July to the end of August. So it’s recommended to book your accommodation in advance.
Where to Stay in Tuscany
Tuscany offers a wide range of accommodation, from basic guesthouses, budget hotels, farmhouses, apartments, and luxury villas. Depending on which regions of Tuscany you want to visit, you have to decide whether you want to stay in one place and take day trips from there or change accommodation. You have to decide which is best for you, depending on what you want to see and how much time you want to spend traveling.
During our visit to Tuscany, we stayed in two places.
• In Florence, we stayed at the Albergo Bencidormi, which was lovely accommodation and ideally located for exploring the Renaissance city. If you’re looking for something special, stay at B&B La Terrazza Sul Duomo for a view of Florence’s Duomo that has become popular on Instagram.
• Montepulciano is a great place to explore Val’d Orcia and has fantastic accommodation to choose to stay. We stayed in a charming apartment at the Central Lovely House, where we enjoyed the romantic atmosphere of the Tuscan countryside.
Day 1 – Short visit to Pisa & Arrival in Florence
Getting to Florence or Pisa is very easy, you can travel by plane, train, bus or car.
There are two airports in the area: The Amerigo Vespucci International Airport in Florence, and the Galileo Galilei International Airport in Pisa. From the Amerigo Vespucci Airport, you can reach Florence’s main central station in 20 minutes by tram T2, and a one-way ticket costs €1,50.
Read the full post → 2 Days in Florence Itinerary
In our opinion, the best way to get to Florence is by train, as the city is well-connected to the other cities of Italy. If you’re traveling by train, you should check that it takes you directly to Florence Santa Maria Novella station, which is in the center of Florence.
We used the Omio app to buy train tickets and check journey times.
The bus from Pisa airport to the city center takes 12 minutes and costs €1.10. Pisa is only a short drive from Florence.
If you can find cheaper flights, you should fly Pisa first and then travel to Florence from there. The journey from Pisa to Florence takes 1-1.5 hours and the train ticket costs €9.
The iconic Leaning Tower of Pisa is one of Italy’s most beautiful attractions and should be on every Tuscany itinerary. The Leaning Tower is located 20-30 minutes from Pisa Central Station. You can spend a few hours or even a whole day in Pisa.
The Leaning Tower of Pisa is incredibly crowded during the day, attracting millions of tourists every year.
From the top of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, you can see a beautiful view of the city for €18. If you visit early in the morning, you can enjoy the fantastic view without the crowds.
We arrived in Pisa from Cinque Terre, the journey time was 1.5 hours, and the train ticket cost €8.
Then we explored the iconic Leaning Tower of Pisa and traveled to Florence. Cinque Terre is a popular day trip from Florence, Pisa, or Milan.
So if you are planning to visit, check out our Cinque Terre Travel Guide, which has all the information you need.
It’s good to know that you should book your accommodation and attraction tickets in Florence well in advance. Once you’ve arrived in Florence and have checked into your hotel, it’s time to explore the Renaissance city.
Day 2 – Best things to do in Florence
Florence, the capital of the Tuscany region, is a cozy small city with impressive architecture, famous Renaissance art, and delicious food and wine tours. It is one of those cities you must visit in Italy, such as Rome, Venice, and Milan.
Florence is a walkable city, and the main attractions are close together. During our time here, we walked everywhere and enjoyed exploring the sights. Florence is well worth a quick visit, you can see the famous places in just 24 hours, but we highly recommend staying longer. Take time to explore the museums, walk through Florence’s historic streets and enjoy the beauty of the artworks.
Read the full post → 2 Days in Florence Itinerary
A perfect Florence itinerary starts at the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore and ends at the popular sunset viewpoint of Piazzale Michelangelo. If you want to visit all the museums, we recommend adding an extra day to your Tuscany itinerary to make your stay more enjoyable.
Best things to do in Florence
- Visit the Duomo & Explore the inside
- Climb to the top of the Duomo or Go up the Giotto’s Bell Tower
- See the Baptistery
- Explore the Uffizi Gallery
- See the Statue of David
- Walk across Ponte Vecchio
- Visit the Boboli Gardens and the Pitti Palace
- Stroll through Piazza della Signoria
- Eat at Mercato Centrale
- Shop at the Leather Market
- Catch the sunset at Piazzale Michelangelo
- Take a day trip to Pisa, Siena, Cinque Terre, or Rome
Day 3 – Short visit to Siena & Arrival in Montepulciano
Start your morning like the Italians, have a coffee with a croissant, then rent a car in the city center or at the airport.
Take a short trip to Siena, 1 hour by car or 1.5 hours by train. Trains from Florence to Siena run regularly from Santa Maria Novella train station and cost €10.
The historic center of Siena is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most visited places in Tuscany.
Here are the → 10 Best Places to Visit in Tuscany
Explore the center of Siena, have lunch in Piazza del Campo and then visit the Fortezza Medicea for a fantastic view of the town.
Good to know that you cannot drive into the center of Siena. You can leave your car in one of the car parks, where you can park for €2/hour.
If you stay longer, spend 1-2 days in Siena and visit nearby places like San Gimignano, Volterra or Greve in Chianti.
After arriving from Siena, take a walk around Montepulciano. Montepulciano is a charming little town in Val d’Orcia, was our base in Tuscany. Our trip to Montepulciano was a great experience with stunning landscapes.
We recommend you plan more time to get there as it is worth stopping for these views. The town is located on a hilltop between the ancient city walls, so you’ll need to leave your car outside.
One of the best things to do in Italy is wine tours, and your Tuscany itinerary is not complete without tasting some of the famous wines.
On a visit to Montepulciano, we found a fantastic place with friendly staff, delicious wines, and a free tour.
You should take a wine tour of Montepulciano’s best cellar at Cantina Ercolani. Where you can visit the underground wine cellars and taste the famous Tuscan wines, don’t miss the Vino Nobile red wine.
Day 4 – Explore the Tuscan countryside
One of the best places in Tuscany is the Cascata del Mulino. The hot springs is a famous Instagram with turquoise pools and hot springs. It offers fantastic photo opportunities at sunrise, and you can enjoy hot springs for a whole day.
Because of its incredible popularity, we recommend avoiding high season and weekends. As the thermal water has a year-round temperature of 37°C, you can also visit in autumn or winter.
Admission is free, and the Cascata del Mulino is open 24 hours a day, all year round. No parking on the side of the road. Use the car park a few minutes away. The best way to get to the hot springs is to rent a car and drive there or spend the night in Saturnia.
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From Montepulciano, we reached the Cascate del Mulino in 1.5 hours and had a beautiful sunrise. It’s good to know that the high sulfur content of the hot springs makes the spa water smell like rotten eggs. There are no changing rooms, so you should either come in your swimsuit or change your dress in the car.
There is a lovely café near Cascate del Mulino, have breakfast there and drive back to Montepulciano. It’s time to explore the surrounding area, take a short visit to the charming little village of nearby Pienza. After that, see some iconic Tuscan places such as the Poggio Covili Farmhouse, Chapel of the Madonna di Vitaleta, and the Cipressi di San Quirico d’Orcia.
Visit the small village of Asciano, known for its natural beauty and beautiful landscape.
Here you will find the most famous place, where you can enjoy a romantic sunset. In Asciano, you can enjoy spectacular views, walk through the Tuscan hills, and end the day at Agriturismo Baccoleno.
After arriving, you can park along the road and follow the small path to the left of the gate to the viewpoint. This place is the most popular sunset viewpoint, so arrive early and book the best spot.
GPS coordinates: (43.200398, 11.589611)
Day 5 – Leave Tuscany and travel to Amalfi, Rome, or Venice
On our last day, we did a walk around Montepulciano, had breakfast here, and then drove back to Florence.
The journey time between Montepulciano and Florence is 2 hours, but that doesn’t include the stops we made. The Tuscan countryside is beautiful, and you must catch this magical scenery.
After arriving in Florence, we gave back the rental car. We visited the beautiful Florence Cathedral one more and bought some souvenirs. Florence is a great starting point for visiting other Italian cities, so you can decide where to go next. Most people go to Milan, Rome, Venice or Amalfi.