It’s an Hotel aggregator that compares all the prices from the major players, I usually get great prices for Tuscany. It was time for me to write a guide on it (not sure why I waited so long). My suggestion here is to book them well in advance to avoid disappointments. Hi Jason, The agriturismo is a fantastic option, but double-check the accommodation to avoid disappointments. If you book an agriturismo you will be most probably stuck there. About the Hotel Villa Marsili, it’s one of the best choices in Tuscany, not only in Cortona. You will also be either close or in the middle of the Chianti area, another unique part of Tuscany. Through a combination of trains, buses, and carefully selected guided tours (we recommend several reputable ones in our Things to Do in Florence post), this Tuscany itinerary can be completed without a car, though the logistics will be challenging in certain places. We would like the Italian Villa experience, however would like access to a village for down days (no driving). I would personally stay between Florence and Siena, probably closer to Florence (which you will probably visit at least twice). The issue is that we don't want to rent a car nor do we want to feel stuck in our hotel or B&B. It’s just minutes away from the station and a 15-20 minutes walk from the centre of town. Thanks for your feedback. And yes you may experience snow, although it’s rare but it may happen. Service is great and parking is available. Ordinary bus and coach lines. They give the best deal analysing all the current prices from more than 30 rentals companies. Great service overall. I believe you have a reasonable plan, not in so much rush.Montalcino and Montepulciano can be done in a day. . We will take public transportation! Fantastic if you are travelling with kids (my suggestion is to rent a bike, plenty of options around), The trip from Florence to Siena takes around 1.5 hours, Similar time from Siena to Arezzo by bus (#138), There are many direct trains from Arezzo to Florence (just 30 minutes). 4 adults, 66, 65, 31, 28, none of us have ever been to italy. In Florence, I highly suggest visiting these sites below with a tour that will allow you to take the priority entrance, avoiding hours on a queue and enjoying the experience with a guide, Book Uffizzi Dome Climb Michelangelo’s Academia. The remaining part of your trip can be spent on short excursions. Really appreciated. Idea is travel around Tuscany and stay in campsites ! Thanks!! The Hotel Italia is one of the best bargains in Siena. We are doing our trip in Mid-April, 2020. I am thinking to stay in Agritutismo in Chianti area. If you are planning two weeks or more, keep reading till the next chapter. My third option of the best places to stay in Tuscany without a car is what I call the “perfect triangle“. Having a car will add a local pace, made of no timeline and breaks in villages that the organised trips usually skip. We are building our Tuscany itinerary from your page. A final note for anyone planning a trip without a car in Tuscany: MAP out where the lodging you like is located in BEFORE booking your stay. Do not venture in the medieval part of town, some of the streets can be quite narrow. Hello Stefano, Amazing website and very helpful blog. I was thinking about taking day trips to Florence, Pisa, San Quirico D’Orcia, and perhaps join some winery tours. You can stay at the Cavalieri Palace Hotel or the Elisa Guest House (more economical option). It is one of my favourite town, if not my favourite, in Tuscany. Great unbeatable prices. Check availability at Palazzetto Rosso Check price at Hotel Italia. Cavalieri Palace is one of the most beautiful and value for money accommodations in Florence. There is however something to be said about Siena. I have organised this guide with a few possible itineraries, both with a car and without a car, updated in 2020 (no old stuff). And this comes to a surprise because the town is really beautiful, with the main square, Piazza Grande, and the Cathedral being the top attractions. I just read that the bus to Monalcino is 1.5 hrs vs. 30 min by car?. Short answer? I suggest, however, to keep reading for more detailed information and possible itineraries. Hi there, It’s close to the highway and next to San Casciano In Val di Pesa, a nice town for that days you want to take it easy or just for dinner. Of course, what you do while you are in Tuscany depends a lot on where you stay. If you are planning a cultural trip then Florence is the best place to stay in Tuscany. Carlo, the owner, is so helpful. It has been secured in the last 10-20 years and today it’s a much safer attraction that it used to be. Located Oltrarano – on the other … Close to all you need. If you are already looking for accommodation you may have come across “Tuscany farmhouses” and “Tuscany agriturismo”. With its crenellated palaces, flowered windows, the beautiful Medieval Palazzo dei Priori and cosy family-run restaurants, Certaldocan’t fail to impress even th… As previously said, you may also consider to park your car outside the centre and commute by public transportation to the hotel. the agriturismo is a farm that rents a few rooms, cabins, units or just part of the main house to tourists. The drawback with mid-December is that a few wineries will be closed after the long working season. If you want to visit Florence then I would suggest staying there for 2 nights, then rent a car and go to explore Tuscany. You may, however, experience the noise from the working environment (tractors or animals). There is a train to go around Tuscany and you are also very close to the Cinque Terre, an outstanding place to visit.You can read more about it here. They have private and group tours available. Arezzo is the surprise one. Cheers, Great Info Thank you, I enjoy sharing what I know and helping others as they make their travel plans for Tuscany through our. In this way, you will be able to experience both the culture offered by the cities as well as the typical Tuscan countryside, without much stress, For local events and news about Tuscany, I suggest reading The Florentine and La Nazione (Italian only, Google Chrome translator works great on it). This will allow you to get a good overview. However, once you book the hotel, you can contact them and they will send you a special permit that you can use for your stay. They are two different kinds of experience. The Cento Passi dal Duomo B&B is the perfect accommodation to explore Arezzo. There are two of us. Me and my wife are planning 3 days in Tuscany from our 7-8 days trip in Italy. Read on . Always very appreciated Are we trying to do too much? Question: What do you think of chianti as a base to explore Tuscany, compared to Siena? Would you recommend this as a suggestion? The Villa del Cielo (https://mel365.com/VillaDelCielo), just outside Siena may be all you need. Vineyards, age-old cities, glorious scenery… enjoy every single morsel when you take a self-drive tour of Tuscany. If you have itinerary-related questions, please post them there. Cultural events, museums, churches, amazing architecture, parks and so much more. Have a look and hopefully, you will be able to join them You can read on the Italian Government Health website about the Covid-19 situation in Italy and Tuscany. Staying in Florence for the whole stay is a great option, however, it makes things challenging if you want to explore a few of the villages in the south at your own pace or you want to see Siena without the crowd (at sunrise and night). If you know already all about the towns and villages I suggest to skip the part below and jump straight to the best places to stay in Tuscany without a car (or with a car). I personally suggest to budget at least 2-3 days for Florence itself. It’s small enough, and far less busy than Florence and Siena even in high season. Try to visit them in the early part of the day, possibly at sunrise, and you will have both cities almost just for yourself. The weather is always a great question, especially in the shoulder season. Usually, the traffic in Siena, Pisa or Lucca is not that mad but keep in mind the streets can be quite narrow (especially in Lucca). But let’s start with a map of the Tuscany towns and cities. This is the race that stops the nation. It’s a perfect place for families with kids. Hi Steph, Price is a bargain. How do you find the weather in Tuscany for mid-December? Thanks for this great website! Greve in Chianti is a nice area/village to stay with a beautiful central square. Check the latest deal at the Relais Lorebian. We'll be coming from Florence and then heading to the Amalfi Coast following Tuscany. the Chianti region is a great choice. – Arezzo: off the beaten path, you will be surprised by how beautiful it is Montepulciano and Montalcino are better done from Siena. Sure it will be awesome , Great site thank you, learnt so much and will take up your recommendations (most of them) for our visit to this region in June. To make things easier, I always suggest seeing Tuscany as divided into 6 areas. If you are really into wine and are looking for that classic Tuscan landscape, then the Val d’Orcia area in Southern Tuscany might be a good fit. Minutes from the Duomo and the train station. By taxi it’s a 45 drive (approx time) Any suggestions where to start looking? There are many trains and public buses available that can take you to most of the major destinations. Check the value for money at the Hotel Italia, There are other towns as Pistoia, Livorno, Piombino, Grosseto that can be visited, but probably not on the first trip to Tuscany. Winter is instead a great season to visit Siena, more livable, although it can be quite cold as well. Both of them could be visited from Siena, or Florence, on a day trip, however, you would spend more time travelling than actually enjoying the destination. If you have only 2 minutes, here below the most important points. You forget about the car and you walk all through the town. As an example, moving around the Chianti area by public transportation is almost impossible or it would require way too much time. It may even go up to 20C or stay down on 10C. Piazza del Campo is the stage for the race, changed and reorganised just for the event. This is the perfect destination for a romantic weekend of relax, art, good … There are other towns with ZTL (the centre is limited only to the locals). Cheers. Stefano runs travel photography workshops in Melbourne and around the world. We did not have in mind to spend half our day on a bus. I just love it. You can also opt for an AirBnb style. Perhaps its best to catch a train from Florence to Siena, which we can use as a base to do day trips to Chianti, Montepulciano, Monteciano. The walled town of Certaldo Alto makes it a perfect day trip from Florence. Where to stay in Tuscany – The best towns and countryside with or without a car, Best places to stay in Tuscany – In a nutshell, Best places to stay in Tuscany without a car, Itinerary #1: base in Florence and day trips, Itinerary #2: Florence and Siena, to visit the south at your own pace, Itinerary #3: Florence, Siena and Arezzo – the perfect triangle, Best places to stay in Tuscany with a car, Tuscany farmhouses vs agriturismo vs hotels, Best areas to stay in Rome (and where to avoid), best places to stay in Tuscany without a car (or with a car), the architecture is different from the other places in Tuscany, more from the Renaissance era and not the medieval time. Orta san Giulio, Orta Lake. We want to visit other wineries, take a cooking class and see other parts of the area. Is it not true that the trip to a place becomes the experience itself and not just a way to reach the destination. After a bit of research, I realized it is possible to see Tuscany without a car. I have spent a considerable amount of my life in this region. If you are a "do-it-yourself" kind of person and want to organize the wine tasting on your own, without a car, here are a few ideas of wineries that are popular and can all be reached by taking the bus from Florence. Here below another two drives that you may add to your plan too: If you stay in the cities, be aware that most of them, like Florence and Siena, have a ZTL area. Summer is also good, you may, however, experience some hot days over 30C and plenty of travellers around. We did not have in mind to spend half our day on a bus. Set in a historical palace, you may feel like stepping back in the glorious past of Siena. Different from the square concept, the town is still protected by the original, best of all, the entire wall has been reorganised as a pedestrian area with a bike path. What’s the weather typically like in this region the end of October? Mid-December is usually a cold month with short days. Looking forward to the hustle and bustle and atmosphere. Thank you for your article Stefano. It can be really really busy with tourists, up to a point where the small lanes become too crowded. so glad I finally came across your website. You are also in the middle of the Chianti area. Any suggestions on a town and the best site or suggestions for villas would be greatly appreciated. Hey! In the capital of Tuscany, besides visiting the city, you can also organise some of the day trips I described above. However, you will be closer to Assisi (1.5hours by car). Enjoy your trip!! You will be surprise by the amazing breakfast (usually very light in Italy, but surely not in Villa Marsili). My suggestion here is to split your stay between Florence and Siena. Explore Florence, Tuscany’s crown jewel. We will have a car and look to do half day trips most days for a week and would love to be close to a nice town for down days. Villa Barberino (https://mel365.com/TenutaVillaBarberino) in San Casciano is also a great place to stay, close to restaurants and not too far from both cities. I would, however, suggest having lunch and dinner at the restaurant or agriturismo, to have the real Tuscany experience. As I previously said, do not venture with the car inside Florence, unless you are looking for a headache which will start with the impossibility to park (unless you fork 30 euros, or more, for a day). If you plan to stay mostly in the countryside then check the previous chapter for all the options you have. They all require a short walk but, in Chianti - it is always worth it! Another more cost-effective option is the Hotel Palazzetto Rosso, a converted medieval palace refurbished with modern and comfortable rooms with amazing interior design. This will avoid any disappointments. The Relais Lorebian is a budget accommodation that can work very well for 1 or 2 nights. Remember to validate it once on board. Most of the sites allow now free cancellation, so you can book now and cancel later if you change your mind. With a few stops between wineries of course The centre is open only to the residents and finding parking is a real challenge. and thanks for your comment. From there you can have a bus or train trip to Siena, easy. P.Iva 05515250487, Tuscany in One Day Sightseeing Tour from Florence, Pisa, Siena and San Gimignano Day Trip from Florence Including Lunch, Cinque Terre Day Trip from Florence with Optional Hiking, I'm from California but have called Florence my home for over a decade. Here below just two hotels I would personally suggest. Answer 1 of 4: Hello, My mom and I will be travelling to Tuscany for the first time during the first week of October. Budget 2 hours to go to Assisi by car Definitely a different experience, which can be really cozy with some wine in front of the fireplace . Check the latest deal at Elisa Guest House. Thanks so much for your help! I plan to visit Tuscany in February, do you have any recommendations for driving in winter? They have to serve breakfast and dinner (where available) only with products locally made. I am basically looking for a place to stay and then do daytrips with the car to other cities around, maybe not stay in the same city for the whole period but 3-4 places. If you have any info on this, I would appreciate your comments. They can be really romantic, they provide local products and they are usually cheaper than the hotels in the city. As a plus, the city’s walls provide a green space to ride a bike or walk, and it’s always a pleasure to take a rest from sightseeing. . We are planning a week in Tuscany without a car and I am starting to second guess myself. and Lake Trasemino. Pienza. If you are visiting on a day trip, you better park your car close to a train station outside the city and take a short trip to the centre. Thanks for your feedback, really appreciated. I am hoping to maybe do some cycling, exploring towns, and go on a vineyard tour. In planning my trip, I used Florence as a hub, figuring that it was a major artery for public transport through the Tuscan region. You can anyway cancel them, free of charge, up to 24 hours prior to the activity. The town San Casciano In Val di Pesa could be a great choice. You may also experience some snow which makes Tuscany really unique. It will save you a big headache, besides some money. The Chianti area can be easily visited from Florence with one of the many tours. Arranging car hire in Tuscany is the best way to ensure you sample the all the delicious treats this gorgeous Italian region has to offer. Siena has also probably the oldest horse race in the world, the Palio, that started in the medieval time and still runs on the 2nd of July and the 16th of August. I would personally stay in Pisa only if I had a late arrival flight or/and early morning one. You will find only a few famous villages and towns. With a map in hands, it’s probably easier now to discover the major towns and see the differences between them. Answer 1 of 25: We are planning on spending 2 nights in Siena. If you are visiting the city on a day trip, consider parking the car outside the centre and get a tram or bus to go in. I hope I was able to help. Vice versa, if you are thinking to move around the Tuscan destinations every second day, if not every day, then you should check out this unusual itinerary. In the next two chapters, I focus on possible short and long holidays based on your type of trip, with or without car, as a couple or with a family, in the cities or the countryside. Florence is a magical city, however, I highly suggest to NOT visit it by car. Renting a car/van could be an option to get around. A wonderful agriturismo in Chianti, Tuscany. wanted to get your opinion – I will be in the Tuscany for 10 days next week – I am coming by car this time – I have visited Florence, Siena, Pisa, Lucca already – what other places should be on my top list? The night before my husband was going to return the car, we both did not sleep. Best villages to stay in Tuscany, including the major cities. Hi there, sorry for the late reply. By law, agriculture or wine production has to be. The area south of Florence, down to Siena and Montepulciano, is probably the most spectacular part of Tuscany, with those beautiful rolling green hills that you have already seen in the typical Tuscany postcards. You can also mix the two. Breakfast could be improved though. From there you can easily organise day trips. Florence and Siena are popular spots. Europe - Where to stay in Tuscany without a car? Unfortunately, one side of the soil is much softer, which explains the leaning. Sorry my geography is kind of terrible. That would make your life so much easier. Having a car will simplify your trips and give you more freedom, but don't give up, you can still explore Tuscany if you don't have a car. And remember to pre-book your tickets to avoid the very long queues to the Uffizzi and the other attractions. My suggestion here is to book well in advance as it tends to get full. Do not hesitate to leave a comment if you need more information. Chianti is a very convenient location to stay in Tuscany thanks to its central location in Tuscany, as it lies between Siena and Florence. They look the same but they are actually not. We are travelling from Switzerland to Tuscany with our T6 camping bus and our idea is to stay in some nice campsites also some beach campsites would be cool. Without a car, modify our suggested itinerary like this: On Day 7, bus from Siena to Montalcino (stay here three nights). The farmhouse is more of a hotel/motel accommodation but in the countryside. You will have a headache driving around. If you want to keep it as a base, I suggest staying close to Lido di Camaiore, more in the north (it’s very popular for holiday). I love the area of San Quirico D’Orcia, however if you want to see Pisa and Florence then an accommodation between the two cities may be better. Both Montalcino and Montepulciano are lovely villages to walk around, seat for a glass of wine and enjoy the life passing by.’ Thanks for your feedback, really appreciated Stefano Ferro is the founder and editor of MEL365, a travel & photography website made to enhance the travelling experience and improve the photography work.Stef is a professional travel photographer with past experience in the cycling and film industry. Another possibility is to stay between Florence and Siena. Also do you suggest any winery day trips from Siena? and what would town/city you recommend to stay as a solo traveler besides the ones above? Steph. I typically use Auto Europe to find good prices on car rentals. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts. Thank you for providing such helpful information! My wife and I are travelling to Italy for three weeks in December this year. The best places to stay in Tuscany with a car are the farmhouses or the agriturismos. . Right in the middle of the “action”. In the following two chapters, I will suggest a few itineraries of Tuscany, with a rented car or without. There are plenty of bedrooms to host everyone. If you have the car and you want to visit Florence then I suggest parking it just outside the city at one of these two places: TIP: Don’t leave any bag in the car that people can see, even if there nothing inside. You can literally walk all around town, without the worry of any car. They offer trips 3 times a week, more often in summer. T uscany has a pricey rep. You can spend hundreds on a hotel room or luxury villa, travel everywhere by car (diesel €1.75 a litre), and shop Florence's Via Tornabuoni boutiques. For one of the most memorable experiences in life, you can try the Grand Hotel Continental. We also are looking at the Hotel Villa Marsili in Cortona. If you are thinking to stay in the Tuscany countryside then you should plan to also hire a car. They all have lots of character and they are all somehow different. Lucca is definitely something else. You will be within one hour within Siena, Florence and many other beautiful places. It’s in an old property with lots of character. Ask at the station for the closest stop you need to get off as this may change based on the time you will take the bus (different routes). Siena have a ZTL area and you cannot drive inside the old centre. Stay safe If you are asking yourself where to stay in Tuscany for a romantic stay than one of the below destinations surely will provide the answer. About your question. So do not think you will not be lucky, you will experience a unique white landscape . Hi, I’m looking for a name of a company who does wine tours from Siena for a half day. Another alternative, especially if you are travelling in a group of friends or with kids, is to book a villa. February and January are usually the coldest months in Italy. A possible plan for a 10 days itinerary would be: Check availability at Cavalieri Hotel Check price at Elisa, Check availability at Palazzetto Hotel Check price at Hotel Italia, Check availability at Cento Passi Check price at the Locanda. Thanks! This region can be absolutely visited without a private or rented car. They do include food too which is a great enjoyable plus. 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