TUSCANY 5 DAY ITINERARY
A must visit when in Italy is the region Tuscany. Birthplace of the renaissance and Italian language evolving from the Tuscan dialect. Tuscany is an idyll of olive groves, vineyards, hill-towns and frescoed churches.
There is so much to and see while in Tuscany from popular tourists spots such as Florence and Pisa to lesser known places like Lucca and small villages. Beginning of August I visited Tuscany and fell in love with the region, I said to myself that I need to come back to Tuscany and stay a bit longer and explore the country side.
Continue reading for my 5 day itinerary for Tuscany. By no means are 5 days enough to grasp the beauty of Tuscany but it’s enough time to catch a glimpse of it and go through the popular spots.
Getting to and around Tuscany:
By plane- airports in Tuscany region are Florence Airport (limited number of airlines operate to this route), second option is Pisa International Airport 1h-1:20h from Florence) and Bologna Airport (40min to Florence)
By train- Italy is very well connected with trains, so it’s easy to get from one city to another. There are multiple train companies that have direct routes to Florence/Pisa/Siena from all over Italy. You can purchase train tickets online or on the train station. If you are visiting in high season (June-August) I would suggest to buy them ahead online, since they tend to sell out.
To get around Tuscany the best option is to rent a car, that way you can explore the most and visit places that are not covered by train/bus lines. However, if you don’t fancy driving taking trains is also an option. During my trip I actually went around with trains. I stayed in Florence and did day trips around.
Best time to visit:
It will be spring (April to early June) and fall (September and October). Summer months are overcrowded with tourists and the temperatures are boiling.
Where to stay:
You can hop around between cities and villages, or stay in one place and do day trips. One option is to rent a villa in the countryside and do day trips from there, for this you would need to rent a car. The second option is to stay in Florence, Siena or Pisa and do day trips from there. During my trip I was based in Florence and I did day trips to nearby towns.
Some general information & tips:
- Bit basic but the currency is euros, and cards are accepted almost everywhere, but make sure to always carry a bit of cash with you.
- From June to August, the weather will is hot and humid, temperatures go up to 38 celsius, keep this in mind since many accommodations do not have AC.
- Italy is very safe, however beware of pick-pocketers especially at the touristy sights.
Arrival in Italy and transfer to hotel. I flew in Bologna airport and took a train (40 minutes) to Florence. Depending on the time of arrival you may have time to do a bit of exploring and sightseeing. I arrived in the evening and did a small stroll through the town and Ponte Vecchio area.
Started the morning with coffee and pastries at Cafe Don Nino right next to the Duomo. All the places around the Duomo are pretty touristy and overpriced, but you pay for the view. After the light breakfast a stroll around the Duomo and visit the Santa Maria del Fiore cathedral, if you feel like it you can definitely climb the dome or the tower to enjoy a panoramic view of Florence.
Next up is exploring around, a shop that you must visit is the perfumery Santa Maria Novella dating back from 1222.
Continue your day with a visit to the Galleria Dell’Academia where you can find the famous “David” statue from Michelangelo. Continue with visiting Uffizi Gallery. Both place are super popular and crowded in summer, so I would advise to book tickets well in advance and book skip the line tickets.
After the museums head for lunch at the Sophia Loren restaurant, post lunch a gelato is must. Head to Peche No..! for one of the best gelato in Florence.
In the afternoon visit Ponte Vecchio and Piazza della Signoria and head for dinner at Michelin star recommended restaurant Zeb.
Day trip to Siena. Take a train/bus/car to the medieval city of Siena. One of the great medieval cities of Europe, it remains almost perfectly preserved. Start your day with coffee and pastries at Caffe A. Nanini before wanderinf around Siena. Make a stop at the beautiful Campo – the central, scallop-shaped market square, where the Palio is held, when bareback horse riders career around the cobbles amid an extravagant display of pageantry.
Continue with a visit to the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta and Palazzo Publico. For lunch stop by at Gallo Nero and enjoy some Tuscan dishes over Tuscan wine. After lunch head for some gelato at La Vecchia Latteria before continuing to get lost in the narrow streets of Siena.
In the afternoon catch a train back to Florence. Grab a dinner or drink somewhere. For a more detailed guide on Florence read my Florence guide.
Day trip to Pisa and Lucca. Take a train/bus/car to Pisa. Pisa has only a few sights so a couple of hours are more than enough. Head to the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Baptistery. You can go to the top of the Leaning tower for a panoramic view of Pisa. Take some touristy photos and then head for lunch at Ristoro Pecorino.
After lunch head to Lucca, a very charming town in Tusacny. Stroll around the cobble streets of Lucca and grab an aperitivo in one of the bars before heading back to Florence.
Start your morning with breakfast in the iconic Caffe Gilli. Then walk to Piazzale Michelangiolo for the best view of Florence. There you can also find a bronze statue of “David”. Depending on when you depart you can check out some of the following sights: Boboli gardens, Mercado Centrale, Palazzo Pitti.