25 Unforgettable Things to Do in Tuscany

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If you’re planning a trip to Italy’s famous region, we’ve rounded up all the essential things to do in Tuscany, including where to eat and where to stay. Plus we’ve included some helpful tips for traveling to this picturesque and historic country. 

Montepulciano Italy

As the second most visited region in Italy, second only to Veneto (where Venice resides), there is a seemingly endless list of things to do in Tuscany.

While most famously known for its rolling hills and award-winning wines, the region’s highlights are chock full of Renaissance art, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, outstanding cuisine, pristine nature, and some of the most significant architectural marvels in the world.

With so much to consider when planning your trip to Tuscany, it can be overwhelming. Especially since you won’t be able to see and do everything on your first visit.

This guide to the must-see things to do in Tuscany will help you narrow down your search and fill your time with the absolute best activities. 

In addition to all the sites and attractions, we’ve included tips for where to stay, how to get there, how to get around, and when to visit that will render useful for your trip planning. 

Tuscany Travel Guide

For more tips and advice for planning your trip to Tuscany, Italy, jump to the following sections (or just keep scrolling to see it all!).

Top things to do in Tuscany

If you’re looking for the very best things to do in Tuscany, here are our top recommendations: 

  1. Hang out in Florence
  2. Tour the countryside on a vintage vespa
  3. Go wine tasting
  4. Stay at an agriturismo
  5. Take an Italian cooking class
  6. Road trip through Val d’Orcia

Keep reading for more detailed information on each of these things and more ideas of fun things to do in Tuscany. 

1. Hang out in Florence

Things to Do in Florence Italy

As the capital of Tuscany, and the birthplace of the Renaissance, Florence is a massive, living museum in the heart of the region. 

A few days in the city is a right of passage for anyone exploring Tuscany. 

Travelers flock here for a chance to visit some of the world’s most famous art galleries, admire the architectural marvels, and get lost in its maze of narrow streets.

Top things to do in Florence

Santa Maria Novella Church Florence Italy

We have a complete guide for things to do in Florence, but if you’re looking for some of the highlights, here are our top recommendations. 

  • Walk along the Ponte Vecchio. The oldest bridge in Europe and the pulse of Florence.
  • Climb Giotto’s Bell Tower. The top of this Gothic masterpiece offers expansive views over the city.
  • Watch the sunset from Piazzale Michelangelo. Watch the sun fall behind Florence and its backdrop of Tuscan hills.
  • Marvel at Michelangelo’s The David sculpture. Arguably one of the most famous pieces of art in the world inside the Accademia Gallery.
  • Go on a food tour and discover Tuscan specialties like crostini toscani, Bistecca alla fiorentina, and pecorino cheese.
  • Gaze at Il Duomo from every angle. The largest masonry dome in the world is painted with iconic murals.
  • Check out the Galleria de Uffizi. Widely acclaimed as the best art gallery in the world with works by Michaelangelo, Da Vinci, Botticelli, and Giotto.

Need some help fitting this all together? Check out our ultimate 3 days in Florence itinerary, perfect for your first trip!

Want to save time and energy on planning?

We’ve spent a collective 6+ months living in and traveling around Italy, and we’ve been able to explore a lot of what this country has to offer!

We’ve compiled our experience to create a classic Italy itinerary that hits the top destinations for first time visitors. Our itinerary is spread out over 10 days and includes the highlights of Rome, Cinque Terre, Florence and Venice.

We’ll send you our complete 10-day itinerary, filled with tips and advice. Just click below to get your classic Italy itinerary today!

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2. Ride a vintage Vespa through the Tuscan countryside

Vintage Vespa tour (GYG)
Image source: Get Your Guide

Whizzing past the vineyards and rolling hills of Tuscany is one of the best ways to take in the region’s rustic and raw beauty.

On this Tuscan Countryside Tour, you’ll leave Florence in a fleet of vintage Vespas en route to jaw-dropping castles, villas, vineyards, and olive groves. 

Stop for a glass of Chianti wine,Tuscany’s best prosciutto, and cheese overlooking a magnificent view from the terrace before cruising back to the city. 

What you need to know:

  • Hours: 5 hours
  • Price: $162.96 USD / person
  • Location

What guests are saying

“To say that we had an amazing time on this excursion is an understatement! […] We stopped a few times to take photos of the Tuscan countryside and Firenze while Gabriel shared a lot of interesting information along the way. […] It honestly felt like a dream and that we had an authentic Italian experience…” – GetYourGuide Traveler (May 2023)

Prefer 4 wheels?

Tuscany Classic Car Experience (Airbnb)
Image source: Airbnb

This Classic Car Experience takes you around the hills surrounding Pisa, Florence, and Siena. 

Put your manual driving skills to good use, or have your own driver chauffeur you around in a vintage Fiat Spider, Alfa Romeo, MG B, VW Beetle convertible, or other iconic ride.

What you need to know:

  • Hours: 3.5 hours
  • Price: $217 USD / person
  • Location 

What guests are saying

“This experience is AMAZING! […] Lorenzo was an absolutely stellar guide[…]  We had a great time and even stopped for a little aperitivo in the town. Overall, this was a great time for anyone looking to have a little fun and see some quiet Tuscan towns, great views of all the wineries, and enjoy some long drives in classic cars!” -Nina, United States (May 2022)

3. Go wine tasting

Wine tasting Florence Italy

Tuscan wines are respected for their prestigious pours all over the world. 

If you’ve ever indulged in a glass or two back home, there’s a good chance it’s been of the variety. While you can sip on them at wine bars around the region, nothing compares to getting it straight from the source in one of the best wine regions in Italy.

From small producers to artisan vineyards, there are a variety of different areas to taste the famous love affair with exceptional Tuscan wines. 

Different wine regions in Tuscany

Tuscany wine country

The regions that are most synonymous with the Tuscan wines are Chianti, Montepulciano, and Montalcino.

Chianti is arguably the most famous out of all the wine regions in Tuscany. It’s known for its world-class wines, particularly in the Sangiovese variety. It’s close to Florence and makes for a convenient day trip. 

Montepulciano and Montalcino are situated in the UNESCO-tagged Val d’Orcia, so they have more of the classic Italian vineyard experience with the expansive views over the region. The two are only separated by the town of Pienza, so they’re commonly visited together. 

Wine tasting tours in Tuscany

Small Group Wine Tasting Tour (GYG)
Image source: Get Your Guide

To visit the wineries in Tuscany you can self-drive with a designated driver, hire a private driver, or book a tour. 

By far, a tour is the best way to do this because you don’t have to deal with the logistics of getting around and it’s much cheaper than hiring a driver, which can cost upwards of $600 USD!

These are some top-notch tours around the region:

  • Small group wine tasting tour from Florence: Visit 2 acclaimed wineries in the Chianti region. Sample 6 different wines with local olive oils, cheeses, salami, and bruschetta over breathtaking views.
  • Unforgettable Tuscan wine tour: Gather in the Chianti region for an all-encompassing experience of wine making. Venture to a winemaking villa and two family-run vineyards to learn about the production processes, tour the cellars, and taste their wines with Tuscan specials. Conclude the tour with aperitivo in the heart of Chianti. 
  • 3 wineries Tuscan wine tour: Dotted in the Chianti shire, partake in tastings at 3 family boutique wineries. Learn how to properly taste wine, how to distinguish types, and learn about the processes from real experts.
  • Montepulciano wine tasting and cellar tour: A tour of this medieval wine cellar offers 5 DOC and DOCG wines paired with bruschetta and olive oil. Their ancient soil and quality aged wood produce their famous red wine.
  • Guided e-Bike and wine tour from Lucca: Cruise around Lucca’s historic highlights before peddling to the countryside for a tasting. Tour the cellar then sample wines with local bruschetta, meat, cheese, and olive oil.

4. Stay at an agriturismo

A distinct accommodation signature of Tuscany, Umbria, and Sicily, is an agriturismo, a working farmhouse that has been turned into a guesthouse.

Not to be mixed into a regular ol’ farmstay, agriturismos are distinct. 

They receive more money through agricultural practices than renting rooms, and you must be served local products from the farm during your stay like olive, oil, wine, and fruit. Any stay that doesn’t meet those requirements is considered a farm stay or B&B.

Consider these agriturismos for your dreamy stay in the Tuscan countryside:

Budget option: Agriturismo Pompilia

Agriturismo Pompilia (Booking)

Sandwiched between Florence and Pisa, this budget-friendly stay is surrounded by olive groves and vineyards in the hills of Volterra. They have a saltwater pool, restaurant nearby serving authentic dishes, an onsite bar, bookable activities, and a spectacular location. Each apartment comes with a kitchen, private balcony, free Wifi, and expansive views. 

Mid-range option: Agriturismo Baccoleno

Agriturismo Baccoleno (Booking)

A paradise near Asciano, you may never want to leave this hillside estate surrounded by rolling hills and cyprus trees. Relax in the hot tub, indoor pool, or on the patio with a garden view. Each apartment comes with a small kitchenette, dishwasher, and washing machine, making you feel right at home. The wine town of Montepulciano is only 40-minutes away and Siena less than an hour.

Mid-range option: Agriturismo Il Casalino

Agriturismo Il Casalino (Booking)

Situated between two wine towns south of Pienza, and right in the middle of the Val d’Orcia, the location of this stay is unmatched. This immaculately restored 19th-century farmhouse has free Wifi throughout, unparalleled views over the hills, bookable tours, bike rentals, and plenty of outdoor spaces for relaxation.

Splurge option: Agriturismo San Tommaso

Agriturismo San Tommaso (Booking)

Cradled by mountain views and the quintessential Tuscan backdrop, this stay is outfitted with an outdoor pool, hot tub, balconies in each apartment, kitchen, hiking trails nearby, and onsite bar. Authentic cuisine is whipped up onsite and nearby villages are just a short drive away.

Splurge option: Agriturismo Le Gallozzole

Agriturismo Le Gallozzole (Booking)

Just south of Florence, this antique working farm is updated yet still maintains its historic charm in the Tuscan wine country. During your stay, you’ll have access to the outdoor pool, exceptional onsite restaurant, daily pastries, and the properties olive oil and wine. Each apartment has all the amenities and views you need for a memorable experience.

Important Note: They often have a minimum stay so keep that in mind as you search for the perfect one and plan your visit.

5. Take an Italian cooking class

Cooking Class Siena Italy

From the cities to the countrysides of Tuscany, chefs and nonnas alike offer a variety of cooking classes where you can perfect the art of Italian cooking.

Cook with Cristiana and Mamma Nora

Learn the secrets of homemade pasta and tiramisu just outside Siena during Cristiana and Momma Nora’s Cooking Class

You’ll cook using all their organic products like farm fresh eggs, ancient Tuscan grains, and seasonal vegetables. Create handmade pasta, a complimentary sauce, and the most famous Italian dessert in a warm and loving atmosphere.

What you need to know:

  • Hours: 5.5 hours
  • Price: $119 USD / person
  • Location 

What guests are saying

I took this cooking class on my last trip to Tuscany with my mom and we loved it!! It was one of the highlights of our entire trip to Italy! Take a look at the back-to-back reviews my mom and I left for Cristiana…

Airbnb reviews

Luca & Lorenzo, cooking in Chianti hills

Luca y Lorenzo Cooking Class (Airbnb)
Image source: Airbnb

In the woodlands of the Chianti Hills, you’ll cook homemade pasta, sauce, and a traditional Italian dessert during Luca & Lorenzo’s Cooking Class

Fueled with wine, snacks, and an aperitivo, you’ll use the freshest herbs, olive oil, and other ingredients to perfect your dishes. The chefs will tell stories and give expert instruction as you cook and gaze out at stunning vineyards.

What you need to know:

  • Hours: 6 hours
  • Price: $153 USD / person
  • Location 

What guests are saying

“This experience was everything we imagined and more[…] From the moment we met at the train station, we felt like they treated everyone as if we were all family. The pasta and tiramisu lessons were outstanding, especially for an Italian like me trying to learn how it’s all done!…” – Nicholas (May 2023)

Pizza and Gelato Class at a Tuscan Farmhouse

Pizza and Gelato Class (GYG)
Image source: Get Your Guide

For the most indulgent experience cooking in Tuscany, join this Pizza and Gelato Class hosted inside a beautiful Tuscan farmhouse. 

A professional chef will take you through the process of kneading and molding dough and choosing the perfect toppings picked directly from the estate’s garden. 

After devouring your handmade, wood-fired pizza, learn the special techniques to make creamy gelato as a dessert.

What you need to know:

  • Hours: 5 hours
  • Price: $192.29 USD / person
  • Location

What guests are saying

“This has been the highlight of our trip to Florence! The farm was beautiful, the teachers were informative and entertaining, and the process from start to finish was great all around. It was a hit with kids and adults alike who love gelato (who doesn’t?)…” -‘The Family with a Girl like the Air’ (April 2023)

6. Road trip through the Val d’Orcia

Val d'Orcia Tuscany Italy

An area that seems to have been painted by a Renaissance artist themself, Val d’Orcia is a UNESCO protected valley where verdant rolling hills are decorated with cyprus trees and poetic villages.

As the landscape that made Tuscany famous, every turn on a road trip through here will have you picking your jaw up off the floorboard, but here are some of the most famous stops:

7. Soak in a natural hot spring

Saturnia Hot Spring_STOCK-U (Alexis Rodriguez)
Image by Alexis Rodriguez via Unsplash

All across Tuscany you can dip your toe into natural soaking pools of all shapes and sizes.

The most famous hot spring in Tuscany, and in all of Italy really, is Saturnia Hot Spring. Its milky blue cascading pools gained their fame on Instagram, and rightfully so!

But if you want to explore other hot springs in the region, there are many in Tuscany worth checking out: 

8. Float in a hot air balloon over Tuscany

Balloon Flight Over Tuscany (GYG)
Image source: Get Your Guide

A Balloon Flight Over Tuscany takes you nearly 2,000 feet into the air and uses wind and fire to glide you across the region’s magnificent hills and vineyards. 

As you float, gaze out upon the main highlight, San Casciano in Val di Pesa, filled with castles and countryside scenery. At the end, you’ll celebrate wherever the breeze took you with a glass of champagne and breakfast.

What you need to know:

  • Hours: 3 hours
  • Price: $293.61 USD / person
  • Location 

What guests are saying

“What an amazing experience flying over Tuscany in October over the sunrise. It exceeded all of my expectations, and I would do it again in another location with these guys. Everything was very well planned with a wine and charcuterie picnic to celebrate at the end.” – GetYourGuide Traveler, United States (October 2022)

9. Test your skills at truffle hunting

Truffle Hunting (Airbnb)
Image source: Airbnb

On the grounds of a private 12th-century winery settled in the rolling Chianti Hills, you can join a Truffle Hunting Tour to search for rare fungi.

You’ll explore the family estate with the winemaker before venturing into the woods alongside three friendly truffle pups to begin your hunt. After bringing back a generous haul, conclude the day with a home cooked meal and Chianti wine.

What you need to know:

  • Hours: 5 hours
  • Price: $173 USD / person
  • Location 

What guests are saying

“Trust the 5 star reviews. This experience was, without a doubt, the best of our entire trip! The truffle pups (3 pups!) AND the hosts were so friendly and fun! It’s an experience unlike anything else you’ll do in Italy…” – Justin, United States (May 2023)

10. Snap a cheesy photo in front of the leaning tower of Pisa

Leaning Tower of Pisa Italy

Holding it up or pushing it over, a photo with Pisa’s famous tower is nearly a right of passage when in the region as it’s one of the most popular things to do in Tuscany..

It began as an architectural mistake nearly 800 years ago, and today is one of the most famous landmarks in Italy. Beyond the tower, though, Pisa is worthy of a visit all on its own.

Psst! We have a complete guide on how to get to Pisa from Florence that breaks down all of your transportation options and covers all the details you need to know.

Other things to do in Pisa

We have a complete guide for things to do in Pisa, but if you’re looking for some of the highlights, here are our top recommendations. 

  • Take a free walking tour. Listen to the myths, legends, and history of the city with a local.
  • Explore the Square of Miracles. Historic square with four significant points of interest. 
  • Take a food tour. Savor the flavors and simplicity of Pisan and Tuscan food.
  • Go shopping in the Borgo Stretto district. Everything from Italian boutiques to western stores can be found in one of Pisa’s best shopping areas. 
  • Gaze at the Keith Haring mural. This vibrant masterpiece is the final work of this famed modern artist.

11. Stroll through the Piazza del Campo in Siena

Siena Italy
Image by Alessandro Rossi via Unsplash

A city celebrated for its Gothic and medieval soul, Siena’s architecture, expansive art collections, and authenticity is an experience for all five of your senses.

It boasts the same points of interest as the most famous cities in Europe: impressive cathedrals, sprawling piazzas, and fine regional foods. 

However, Siena leaves more of a lasting impression as you can explore with a fraction of the crowds and modern refinements. 

Visit the lively, shell-shaped Piazza del Campo that serves as Siena’s social center. Explore the Siena Cathedral and its famed duomo. Or, if you can plan it, visit in July to watch the world-famous horse race, Palio.

Top things to do in Siena

As an embodiment of a medieval city, there are boundless points of interest in Siena.

  • Marvel at the Duomo di Siena. Awe-inpsiring cathedral dome that rivals Bruneschelli in Florence. 
  • Get lost in the historic center. The whole city center is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site sewn together by walls, passageways, and streets.
  • Climb Torre del Mangia. This tower dominates the city skyline and is one of the highest in Italy.
  • Go on a food tour . A local will take you to the best spots in the city to sample wild boar, hare, Cinta Sense (pig), and many other regional delicacies. 
  • Wander the Santa Maria della Scala. This former 1400s hospital is now a museum and culture center with Renaissance art, exhibits, and archaeological digs. 

12. Become an expert in gelato tasting

gelato in Florence Italy

The ideal companion on any given afternoon in Italy is a scoop or two of gelato. Lucky for you, there are plenty of gelaterias to go around, so you’ll find plenty as you wander.

However, not all shops are created equal, so keep these tips in mind to find the best gelaterias:

  • Check the ingredients. Look for sugar, cream, milk, and fruit flavoring. 
  • Served out of steel bins. Avoid the tall piles.
  • “Produzione propria” or “gelateria artigianale”. Indicates handmade gelato.
  • Naturally colored. When in doubt, look at pistachio. It should be greenish-brown.

Insider tip: The best gelato in the world is found in San Gimignano at Gelateria Dondoli (see #15 on this list!)

13. Get familiar with Tuscan foods

Food Tour Florence Italy

Tuscany is a farming region, so its roots are in traditional peasant food. Rustic and simple, yet insanely flavorful.

These are some of the most popular Tuscan foods you need to try:

  • Bistecca alla Fiorentina: A famous, rare t-bone steak seasoned with simple herbs.
  • Crostini Toscani: The precursor to any Tuscan meal; chicken liver pate served on thin toasted bread.
  • Pecorino Toscano: Tuscany’s signature hard cheese made from sheep’s milk. 
  • Tagliatelle al tartufo: Long and thin pasta swirled into butter, garlic, and topped with freshly shaved truffle and parmigiano cheese.
  • Biscotti di Prato: Hard biscuits to pair with espresso or dessert wine.
  • Lampredotto: A typical Florentine street food made using the 4th stomach of a cow in a sandwich. 

14. Go on a Tuscan food tour

All over Tuscany there are a variety of food tours where you can discover true Tuscan cuisine and as an added bonus, they usually include wine!

Tuscany Wine & Food Tour with Guide

Tuscany Wine & Food Tour (GYG)
Image source: Get Your Guide

This Tuscany Wine and Food Tour gives you the best of both worlds at three different, organic wineries in the Chianti region.

Sample the finest wines, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and foods made using authentic cultivation traditions from the region. As you indulge, gather knowledge about winemaking and this special region.

What you need to know:

  • Hours: 8 hours
  • Price: $161.87 USD / person
  • Location

What guests are saying

“Our day trip from Florence to Tuscany was phenomenal. Our guide, Sofia, was funny, engaging, and knowledgeable. Each winery had their own uniqueness-you get to tour different parts of the wine making process and their estates….” – GetYourGuide Traveler (May 2023)

Chianti Wine & Food Safari

Chianti Wine & Food Safari (GYG)
Image source: Get Your Guide

An adventurous way to get your grub on in Tuscany is aboard this Wine & Food Safari

In a rugged and custom 4×4 truck, you’ll travel down scenic back roads to tour and taste at a winery owned by one of the most prestigious Italian aristocratic families and a Chianti Classico vineyard.

What you need to know:

  • Hours: 10 hours
  • Price: $200.98 USD / person
  • Location 

What guests are saying

“Do not book any other wine tour. This tour was so unique and a wonderful experience I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. Latvi and Enrico we’re incredible!!! […] Unreal views and laughs. 100% recommend.” – GetYourGuide Traveler (April 2023)

15. Eat world-famous gelato in San Gimignano

San Gimignano gelato Tuscany Italy

The award-winning scoops of gelato in San Gimignano are among some of the best in the world.

In fact, a staple experience in this little medieval town is queuing up for your fair share of this sweet treat.

Most famously, though, Gelateria Dondoli is the talk of the town (and the world!) as people of all likes have traveled here just to eat this gelato. They have actually won the World Championship of Gelato multiple years and counting. 

You can’t go wrong with the classics, but be sure to check out their seasonal and experimental flavors once you get to the counter. I tried the Mango Sticky Rice and Grapefruit Sparkling Wine flavors and was in heaven!

16. Walk the ancient city walls of Lucca

Lucca Italy

Standing apart from other bustling metropolises like Florence, Milan, and Rome, Lucca is a breath of fresh air where you instantly feel at ease.

While compact, it’s bursting at the seams with the essentials of any quintessential Italian city: a medieval tower, cathedral centerpiece, impressive piazzas, and of course, its own signature cuisine.

But unlike other spots that need a concrete plan of action, a visit to Lucca thrives on a slower cadence and unhurried nature. One step within the city walls and you’ll be traveling in true Italian fashion.

Top things to do in Lucca

Lucca Italy

Within this famous walled city are plenty of sites to reel you into its charm.

  • Walk or pedal the town walls. The symbol of the city that gave it its UNESCO status.
  • Climb the Clock Tower for sweeping views of the entire city. 
  • Visit the Lucca Cathedral.11th-century seat of the archbishop with a treasury museum, medieval crucifix, and climb-worthy bell tower.
  • Rent a bike and cruise the city. Two wheels is the best way to transit like a local in this laid back town.
  • People watch at the Piazza Dell’anfiteatro. This elliptical-shaped square used to be a Roman amphitheater, but was redesigned and lined with shops, cafes, and restaurants in the 1800s. 
  • Marvel at the Church of Saints Giovanni and Reparata. Uniquely placed church that sits on a partially exposed archaeological site.

17. Go on an olive oil tour

Olive Oil Tour (Airbnb)
Image source: Airbnb

In a rural Tuscan farmhouse, you’ll join this Olive Oil Tour led by experts that have been making extra virgin olive oil since 1861.

You’ll step into their world of oils as you tour their processes from cultivation and olive harvest, all the way to the bottle. Partake in an oil tasting using the techniques of oil sommeliers, then finish the tour with an unforgettable dinner paired with wine.

What you need to know:

  • Hours: 4 hours
  • Price: $65 USD / person
  • Location 

What guests are saying

“After this amazing olive tasting experience you will have a completely new perception and understanding of olive oil, and will think twice the next time you buy it in the supermarket. […] It was an unforgettable perfect time.” – Vera, Germany (September 2022)

18. Go horseback riding through vineyards

Traveling in Tuscany as they did in medieval times allows you to see so much more of this treasured region. These two tours take you to places few others have been able to see.

Horse riding among vineyards in Tuscany

horseback riding (Airbnb)
Image source: Airbnb

In the tranquil hills of Montespertoli, this Horseback Riding Tour takes you through the evocative vineyards and olive groves of Tuscany.

As you take in nature, trotting along, you’ll also pass by a bertini forest, glittering lake, and storybook castle, Poppiano del Conte Guicciardini.

What you need to know:

  • Hours: 2.5 hours
  • Price: $88 USD / person
  • Location 

What guests are saying

“This was AMAZING! It’s the perfect way to see a lot of Tuscan countryside while having a fun and relaxing time. This experience was such a good value too, in the heart of Tuscany with beautiful views and great horses for a great price. […] The whole experience was such a highlight of our trip!” – Elyse (March 2023)

Tuscany Horseback Riding Tour with Wine Tasting

Tuscany Horseback Riding Tour (GYG)
Image source: Get Your Guide

This Tuscany Horseback Riding Tour is taken to the next level when your stop for lunch doubles as a wine tasting. 

Start your tour in Ulignano, traversing native woods, lush vineyards, rolling olive groves, and byways of Tuscany to arrive at the Tenuta Torciano Winery. 

Feast on an authentic lunch with a complete menu of courses. Afterwards, join a wine tasting class where you sample Chianti, Chianti Classico, Super Tuscans, and more prestigious pours before meandering your way back through the countryside.

What you need to know:

  • Hours: 3 hours
  • Price: $233.57 USD / person
  • Location 

What guests are saying

“Loved everything! The tour was very well organized. It was a hundred plus degree day in Florence but the countryside was not very comfortable. Would highly recommend” – GetYourGuide Traveler (June 2022)

19. Head to the beach

Island of Elba Italy
Image by Daniele Fiaschi via Pixabay

While Tuscany isn’t well-known for its beaches, it has its fair share of coastline that’s worthy for partaking in sunbathing and Italian beach culture.

Stretching from Versilia in the north to Argentario peninsula, there are many beaches to choose from, many of which have their own beach clubs.

  • Island of Elba: Off the coast from the region in the Tuscan archipelago, this island has pebbled beaches and crystal clear waters reminiscent of the tropics.
  • Versilia: This area is essentially one long, wide beach filled with lidos from Forte dei Marmi to Viareggio. It’s high-end and in its prime during the summer months.
  • Cala del Gesso: One of the most stunning turquoise coves in all of Tuscany.

20. Learn about balsamic vinegar

Balsamic Vinegar Food Experience (Airbnb)
Image source: Airbnb

A masterpiece of Italian culinary tradition, balsamic vinegar of Modena that is aged at least 12 or 25 years can be tasted at this Balsamic Vinegar Food Experience.  

During the tasting experience, you’ll sample 10 different kinds of aged vinegar and walk through the processes and techniques of what makes this variety so distinct. 

Book in advance at least 2 days and ask to extend the tour to taste typical dishes where the balsamic shines and have the opportunity to buy a bottle for yourself to take home.

What you need to know:

  • Hours: 2.5 hours
  • Price: $65 USD / person
  • Location

What guests are saying

“This was an absolutely amazing experience. Guido went above and beyond […] He was kind enough to share many special tastes of balsamic through every step of the aging process, even going so far as to allow us to try a few drops of the vinegar his father made for him when he was born. […] I would highly recommend it.” – Coleen (May 2023)

21. Check out the Chianti Sculpture Park

Chianti Sculpture Park in Tuscany Italy
Image source: Parco Sculture del Chianti

Deep in the forests near Siena, the Chianti Sculpture Park showcases 26 of the world’s best contemporary-sculpture artists and their installations sprawled across wooded grounds.

Walking along the pathways you can discover each one, entirely unique than the last, and ponder your favorite. 

22. Visit a castle or two

Castello di Banfi
Castello di Banfi | Image by Gabriel Kiener via Unsplash

Tuscany is adorned with castles from Pisa to Arezzo that serve as standing pillars to the region’s history.

These are some of the most famous castles in Tuscany worth the drive or day trip to visit:

  • Castello di Brolio: This 12th-century castle is the birthplace of Chianti wine. The winery, olive groves, museum, gardens, and restaurant are highlights of this family estate.
  • Castello di Sammezzano: Experience one-of-a-kind architecture at this gem in the Tuscan hills.
    • This castle is currently closed to the public but the outside is still worth a visit.
  • Castello di Banfi: On a hilltop surrounded by sprawling vineyards, this castle looks like it was pulled straight from a fairytale.

23. Go hiking in the Apuan Alps

Pania della Croce (Massimo Beneforti)
Image by Massimo Beneforti via Alltrails

Between the valleys of the Serchio and Magra rivers, the Apuan Alps are known worldwide for the Carrera marble used to sculpt some of the greatest artistic works in history.

Arts aside though, these mountains conceal more than a thousand underground karst caves like the Antro del Corchia and the Grotta del Vento, and offer miles of alpine hiking trails:

24. Visit the Tarot Garden

Tarot Garden Tuscany
Image source: Tarot Garden Tuscany

Inspired by Gaudi’s Parco Guell, the colorful and quirky Tarot Garden described as an esoteric walk between nature and culture, was a 20-year art project by Niki de Saint Phalle.

On a visit, you’ll stroll among human and imaginative figures inspired by tarot cards, all colored in using mosaic-style patterns. The grounds offer a peaceful escape from the crowds as it’s one of the most unique and off-beat things to do in Tuscany.

  • Entrance fee: €14.00
  • Hours: open from April 1st to October 15th, daily from 2:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Last entrance 6:15 p.m.

25. Catch a sunset

sunset over Montepulciano Italy

Tuscany’s rolling verdant hills getting painted with brilliant golden hues is a staple way to conclude your days touring and tasting the region.

While you’ll be hard pressed to find a bad sunset spot in Tuscany, there are plenty of places that will make the final light of the day a bit more memorable. 

Before the sun sets, find your way to the top of a city bell tower, along city walls, anywhere in the countryside, or at panoramic vista point for the most eye candy.

How many days do you need in Tuscany?

San Gimignano, Tuscany, Italy

As the largest region in Italy, you’ll want to carve out an ample chunk of time to explore Tuscany. 

While you can visit some of the highlights of Tuscany in just a few days, we’d recommend spending at least a week to really take it all in. 

With a week you’ll just scratch the surface, but with more time you can really slow down, explore, and take everything in. 

Best time to visit Tuscany

Tuscany is a year round travel destination, but some seasons are better than others for planning your trip.

The most popular time to visit Tuscany is June through August. However, we’d recommend avoiding the high season as prices go up, crowds are jam-packed, and temperatures can get very hot.

For optimal weather and fewer crowds, aim for mid-April to May and September to mid-October. Note September to October is the wine harvesting season in the Chianti wine region, so that, plus fall foliage, make these fantastic months to visit.

You can visit Tuscany in the winter and be welcomed with minimal crowds and cheap prices, however the cold and dreary weather may impact your visit.

Psst! Find out the best time to visit Italy based on seasonal weather patterns in each region and your personal travel style.

How to get to Tuscany

train in Italy

There are several ways to get to Tuscany, but the most common are flying or taking the train. 

The best way to get to Tuscany from elsewhere in Italy, is taking the train to Florence. Florence is the largest city in Tuscany and will likely be your hub for arrival and departure to and from the region. 

Here is a quick breakdown of the most popular routes. Book your train tickets via Trenitalia.

  • From Rome: 1 hour, 45 minutes
  • From Milan: 1 hour, 54 minutes 
  • From Venice: 2 hours 13 minutes 

Insider Tip: You can use the Trenitalia app to book your train tickets up to immediately before boarding. Just be sure you enter the train station names in Italian. The main station in central Florence is Santa Maria Novella, listed as ‘Firenze S. M. Novella.’ Rome is ‘Roma – Termini,’ Milan is ‘Milano Centrale’ and Venice is ‘Venezia S. Lucia.’

If you are coming from outside the country, flying directly into the Florence International Airport (FLR) is an option. Be sure to check out our guide for how to get to Florence city center from the airport if you choose to fly. 

Otherwise you can fly into the Pisa International Airport (PSA), which is 88.1 km (54.7 miles) west of Florence and just under an hour on the high speed train.

How to get around Tuscany

rental car in Italy

It’s very easy to get around Tuscany as there is always a train, bus, or taxi that can take you to where you need to go.

Train travel in Tuscany

To get around to the larger cities, trains are the best method of transport. Trenitalia is the one stop shop for train tickets around the region. 

There are two main types of trains throughout Tuscany: high speed and commuter. 

As the name suggests, the high speed trains are fast! While these trains are often more comfortable, they are also more expensive. But if you’re looking to travel quickly across Italy, this is a great choice.

The commuter or regional trains are best for local travel and run frequently between smaller towns. This is the best option when planning day trips from Florence. They are much cheaper in comparison to the high speed trains and make for more scenic, albeit lengthier trips.

If you’re using commuter trains, it isn’t necessary to book tickets in advance, though it can be more convenient if you have the app. Alternatively, you can show up to the station a little early and purchase from the ticket office.

Bus travel in Tuscany

Where the trains don’t travel in Tuscany, there is likely a bus that does. Flixbus and Autolinee Toscane have affordable and convenient routes. 

Taxis in Tuscany

To get around the larger cities, taxis are an option. While the most expensive option, they can render useful since Uber is widely unavailable.

Getting a rental car in Tuscany

driving a rental car around Tuscany Italy

Having your own vehicle when visiting will give you a lot more freedom to explore the best things to do in Tuscany. It’s the only way to get to some of the more off-the-beaten-path destinations in the Tuscany countryside. 

We personally like using Discover Cars when we rent vehicles around the world, as they gather options from all sorts of rental companies in one place. It makes it really easy to compare prices and vehicles so you can determine which is the best option for you.

Search & Compare Rental Car Prices

  • Discover Cars: We personally use this aggregate site to compare rental car prices from all the big name companies and get the best price possible. 
  • Booking.comWe’ve had good experiences finding rental cars with this site (formerly RentalCars.com) in the past. 

Insider Tip: If you are renting a vehicle when you are already in Florence, the best option is to rent from the airport and take the tram there from the city center (SMN station). The tram costs just €1.50, as opposed to a taxi ride which will run you about €25. (I learned this lesson the hard way *face palm*)

Another option for traveling in Tuscany that we HIGHLY recommend is to hire a campervan. We truly believe this is the best way to explore, plus you can save money because it’s your transportation and accommodation all in one! 

We have an entire guide to the best campervan rentals in Italy to help you plan the ultimate road trip.

Tips for visiting Tuscany

Ponte Vecchio Florence Italy

Here are some things to keep in mind for your trip to Tuscany.

  • Take things slow. Embrace the Italian pace and know you won’t see absolutely everything on your first visit.
  • Keep cash on you. Cards are widely accepted, however small shops still take cash. Plus, it’s nice for smaller purchases. 
  • Book attractions/accommodation well in advance. Especially in major cities like Pisa and Florence during the summer high season. Start looking at tickets and hotels at least 6 months in advance to avoid premium pricing and limited options.

Where to stay in Tuscany

Florence is the capital of Tuscany and well-connected to the rest of the region, so it makes an ideal base for you to use as you explore. Many of Tuscany’s top sights can even be done as day trips from Florence.

However, there are other cities in the region that are worth checking out. Most notably, Pisa, Lucca, and Siena. The former have access to the northern part of the region, while Siena is based near the Chianti wine region and jewels in the south.

Budget hostel in Florence: Hostel Archi Rossi

Hostel Archi Rossi (Booking)

Situated in the historic city center, this hostel is close to all the main attractions in the city, including the main train station. There are private and shared rooms, an outdoor garden patio, washer and dryer facilities, free coffee, cafeteria, and clean rooms.

Mid-range couples stay in Lucca: Luxury Corte Di Re Artù

Luxury Corte Di Re Artù (Booking)

Medieval and unique, this bed and breakfast is a gem just a stone’s throw from Lucca’s historic center. It’s situated in a 19th-century building, but still has modern day comforts: AC, free Wifi, a relaxing garden, scenic patio, excellent location to all the main landmarks. 

Agriturismo stay in Siena: Pensieri di Cavatina

Agriturismo Pensieri di Cavatina (Booking)

You’ll discover true Tuscan living at this farm stay just east of Siena. Hands down, the highlight of this stay are the views of rolling hills and vineyards for miles. It comes with everything you’ll need for a comfortable stay: full-service kitchen, onsite restaurant, washer, private garden, terrace, and free Wifi.

Mid-range budget option in Pisa: Elegant Apartment

Elegant apartment in Pisa (Airbnb)

This spacious and bright apartment makes you feel like a local with its location near the central train station, airport, and Leaning Tower. It’s recently updated with 3 balconies, a full-service kitchen, spacious living areas, and free Wifi. Plus, it’s connected to the airport every 5-minutes by electric shuttle.

Splurge hotel in Florence: Grand Hotel Baglioni

Grand Hotel Baglioni (Booking)

This luxurious hotel is conveniently located just across the street from the train station within the history center. Elegant rooms, a breakfast buffet, rooftop garden, and free Wifi are steps away from all the best restaurants and attractions of Florence.

What to pack for traveling to Tuscany

San Gimignano Tuscany Italy

There are a variety of different activities you’ll want to pack for when visiting Tuscany. Here are a few essentials you don’t want to forget.

Be sure to download our complete packing list for Italy! It’s packed with good suggestions and insider tips to help plan your Italy trip. And it’s completely FREE, so why not!?

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Round up of the best things to do in Tuscany

Here’s a recap of all the best things to do in Tuscany so you can see everything in one place.

  1. Hang out in Florence
  2. Ride a vintage Vespa through the Tuscan countryside
  3. Go wine tasting
  4. Stay at an agriturismo
  5. Take an Italian cooking class
  6. Road trip through the Val d’Orcia
  7. Soak in a natural hot spring
  8. Float in a hot air balloon over Tuscany
  9. Test your skills at truffle hunting
  10. Leaning Tower of Pisa
  11. Stroll through the Piazza del Campo in Siena
  12. Become an expert in gelato tasting
  13. Get familiar with Tuscan foods
  14. Go on a Tuscan food tour
  15. Eat world-famous gelato in San Gimignano
  16. Walk the ancient city walls of Lucca
  17. Olive oil tour
  18. Go horseback riding through vineyards
  19. Island of Elba
  20. Balsamic vinegar food experience
  21. Chianti Sculpture Park
  22. Visit a castle or two
  23. Go hiking in the Apuan Alps
  24. Visit Tarot Garden
  25. Catch a sunset

Are you planning a trip to Italy?

We have lots of resources on travel in Italy and destinations throughout the country. Check out our Italy Homepage for everything you need to know, or start by reading some of our favorite Italy articles here:

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Things to Do in Tuscany | Two Wandering Soles
Things to Do in Tuscany | Two Wandering Soles

We want to hear from you!

Have you ever been to Tuscany before? What was your experience like? Which of these things to do in Tuscany are going straight to the top of your bucket list? Leave your comment below and we’ll do our best to get back to you!

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