A Tuscany road trip is one of the most beautiful highlights you can do in Italy. Tuscany is one of the most beautiful and popular regions in Italy and is almost emblematic of the stunningly beautiful country in southern Europe. Everyone immediately has an image in their head when they think of Tuscany: winding roads lined with large columnar cypresses and a landscape characterized by rolling hills with olive groves and vines. In addition, there is culture in the form of such bombastic cities as Florence or Siena and the small villages in the Val D’Orcia.
Tuscany in Italy is really a top highlight and does not have to hide next to other popular Italian regions like Lake Garda or South Tyrol. We now tell you the best route through Tuscany, the most beautiful highlights on the round trip and what you should consider during your Tuscany road trip.
We are Sabrina and Andreas, two adventurous travelers who never miss an opportunity to discover the world. Whether by plane to distant countries or with our campervan Bruno, we just love to travel. We hope to give you helpful tips for your next trip on our blog.
Sabrina & Andreas Globetrotters, Travelers, Adventurers
Tuscany is located in central Italy, roughly between the capital Rome in the south, the city-state of San Marino in the east and Bologna in the north. It also includes the entire coast on the Mediterranean Sea, which was also one of the biggest surprises for us: Tuscany offers many very beautiful beaches!
We focus our Tuscany road trip on the most beautiful landscapes, the most exciting cities and the most fascinating natural highlights of Tuscany.
If you follow our Tuscany itinerary, you will get a great insight into this fascinating region of Italy and come back home with photos of the most beautiful highlights and sights.
We recommend to spend at least one week on your road trip in Tuscany, if you have more time available then this time can easily be extended to 10 days or even 2 weeks. Just let yourself drift, stay longer in places or regions when you just don’t want to leave, and move on when you think you’ve seen it all.
The stops for the 7-10 days Tuscany itinerary:
- Pisa: 1 day
- Florence: 2-3 days
- Siena: 1-2 days
- Val d’Orcia: 2-3 days
- Thermal baths: 1 day
Tips for your Tuscany Road Trip
Things to know about Tuscany
Tuscany is one of the most popular destinations in Italy and is famous for art and culture metropolises like Florence & Siena and of course for the typical Tuscan landscapes that everyone knows from TV.
Rolling green hills sweep for miles through the postcard landscape. There are olive groves and vineyards where the world famous Chianti is grown. And, of course, there are the famous cypress trees everywhere, often lining the streets of Tuscany.
Tuscany is also the origin of the world famous Carrara marble. Marble has been quarried here since Roman times and exported all over the world. So you see, whether you are into art, culture, cities or wonderful nature. Here you will find everything concentrated in a small region.
Best Time to visit Tuscany
In general, Tuscany is worth a trip all year round. Nevertheless, the landscape here changes quite a bit throughout the year.
In spring, everything blossoms and greens and the rolling hills of Tuscany are covered with lush green grass and the poppy blossoms make it wonderfully colorful here.
In the summer months, the lush green gives way to golden yellow, as wheat fields dominate the landscape at this time. Summer is of course also the hottest time of the year and the popular cities like Florence and Siena are teeming with tourists. Therefore, we would rather avoid this time.
In our opinion, autumn is a very good time to visit Tuscany and especially Val d’Orcia. There are fewer tourists on the road and also the temperatures are bearable again. The landscape becomes a bit more barren and dry, because the fields are all already harvested. The hills are rather gray-brown and do not shine as much as in other seasons.
Winter is the least popular time to travel in Tuscany, but still a good time to explore the region. There are few tourists around and the thermometer still barely hikes below the 0 degree mark. And in the hot springs in the south of Tuscany (Bagni San Filipo and Saturnia) you can relax in the warm water.
Conclusion: We would recommend spring or autumn for a road trip through Tuscany.
When is Tuscany at its best?
Although Tuscany is really worth visiting at any time of the year, we would recommend spring, when the landscape is at its most impressive. Everything is green and in bloom and Tuscany shows its best side. Also, it is not yet as oppressively warm as in summer and there are slightly fewer tourists on the road.
How many days to you need in Tuscany?
If you don’t have a lot of time and don’t necessarily want to visit every museum or every little place along the way, then you can complete a Tuscany road trip in a week (or even less). If you have more time and want to drift around, then you can spend 2 weeks or more in Tuscany.
Cell Phone Reception in Tuscany
Cell phone reception in Tuscany is generally good, but especially in rural areas it can be difficult. LTE is no longer available nationwide. Especially if you like to spend the night in the nature with your camper, it can be that you have (almost) no reception in rural areas. In the metropolitan regions, however, cell phone reception is no problem.
In any case, you can benefit from free EU roaming in Italy.
The Roads in Tuscany
We would never have imagined before, but the condition of the roads in Tuscany is really catastrophic! We’ve been on the road by car in many countries around the world, but it’s never been as bad as it is here – consistently. Not in the Atacama Desert, in Tanzania or on Iceland.
It has to be said that it’s even a little worse in the south than in the north of Tuscany. South of Siena there are even on normal main roads large potholes and bumps that our camper almost jumped into the air.
And on the side roads it gets even worse. Here you almost feel like you’re on a dirt road in Africa. From Siena or Florence northward, the road conditions are slowly improving, but still you should always drive carefully and be prepared for some shaking and rumbling.
Tuscany with the Campervan
We have toured Tuscany with our campervan Bruno (by the way, we have already been to beautiful South Tyrol) and can only recommend it. Free standing or wild camping in Italy is generally forbidden, but tolerated. So you will find in the popular camping apps (such as Park4Night) very many beautiful free pitches.
There are also many (often inexpensive) campsites, so you have a wide choice of accommodation in Tuscany.
What can be a bit problematic is to find a parking space in one of the big cities like Siena or Florence. Especially if your campervan or motorhome is longer than 6 meters. Then it can help to park a little further outside.
Do the Italians in Tuscany speak English?
In the tourist centers like Florence or Siena English is spoken almost everywhere. Especially at the world famous sights like the Duomo of Florence you will get along very well with English. In the rural areas such as the Val d’Orcia, the situation is somewhat different, as you won’t get very far with English at the supermarket checkout.
It makes sense to know a few words of Italian. A nice grazie (thank you), scusi (excuse me) or prego (please) can make a big difference.
Tuscany Route Day 1 | Pisa
Highlights: The famous Leaning Tower of Pisa
How long? 1 day is enough here
Since you will probably start your Tuscany road trip in the north, Pisa is your first destination. The city is world famous for its Leaning Tower and every tourist who comes to Pisa also visits this tower. Conveniently, the other sights of Pisa are all located in the same square, the Piazza dei Miracoli.
Because right next to the tower is the imposing Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta and next to it the Baptistery, the largest baptistery of Christianity. Just a few meters away is a cemetery that is not recognizable as such. In fact, it is housed in a hall built of white marble.
In our opinion, the sights in Piazza dei Miracoli are the most beautiful and worth seeing in Pisa. You don’t have to go to the old town, because you won’t find anything there that you can’t find elsewhere in Tuscany.
Tickets for the Leaning Tower of Pisa
Especially in the high season the queue in front of the tower can be very long. So it is worth to reserve a ticket in advance: Book tickets for the Leaning Tower of Pisa*
Accommodation Tip in Pisa
Perfect location directly at the Leaning Tower
– Located directly in the center of Pisa
– Self-check in possible
– Modern & comfortable furnished room
La Lu cozy rooms | Book Now*
Day 2-4 of Tuscany Road Trip | Florence
Highlights: Art & culture galore, Duomo, Ponte Vecchio, Piazza della Signoria
How long? 2 days minimum
You could certainly tick off the most beautiful sights of Florence within one day and would have seen the most beautiful things already (superficially). But we would recommend you to spend at least 2-3 days here. There is simply too much to discover and experience. We are not really city people and appreciate the nature mostly more, but I could not get enough of Florence.
Florence is famous for the Renaissance architecture of its old town and the world-famous works of art that can be seen in the numerous museums. These include Michelangelo’s statue of David and many paintings by Botticelli and Leonardo da Vinci.
If you want to learn more about the background and history of Florence, it’s worth taking a guided tour of Florence*.
You can visit world famous Tuscany highlights like the Florence Cathedral, the Ufizien Gallery or the Ponte Vecchio bridge or just stroll aimlessly through the old town of Florence. It’s just phenomenal here!
Accommodation Tip in Florence
Absolute luxury directly at the cathedral
– Located directly opposite the Florence Cathedral
– Luxury suite with private Jacuzzi
– Free breakfast & air conditioning
Palazzo Niccolini | Check Rates*
Day 5 | Siena
Highlights: The Duomo, Palazzo Pubblico, Piazza del Campo
How long? 1-2 days
Siena is like Florence’s little sister. The city offers a beautiful old town, a spectacular cathedral, but is (in our opinion) much less impressive than Florence. Still, you should visit Siena and spend at least one day here.
Siena is one of the largest and most impressive cities in all of Tuscany, and with its medieval architecture in the Italian Gothic style, it is also considered one of the most beautiful cities in Italy. Nestled in the beautiful hilly landscape of Tuscany, Siena offers a lot of art, culture and Italian history.
The Siena Cathedral is the architectural highlight here and can be seen from far away. In our opinion, it is even more impressive than the cathedral in Florence and should definitely be visited from the inside. It’s best to book your ticket for the cathedral* in advance.
Accommodation Tip in Siena
Beautiful monastery Hotel just outside Siena
– located in an old monastery
– wonderful ambience with pool and olive trees
– quiet location, but you can quickly reach the cathedral
Hotel Certosa Di Maggiano | Book Now*
Day 6-8 of Tuscany Itinerary | Val d’Orcia
Highlights: Cypress trees, gorgeous hillside landscapes, vineyards and olive groves
How long? 2-3 days
The valley with the typical Tuscan landscape is located in the south of the Siena region and got its name from the river Orcia. The Val d’Orcia (Orcia Valley) is not a valley in the true sense of the word, but the hilly landscape makes you feel almost like you are in one.
The landscape is so special that the region has even been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2004. If you want to take a Tuscany road trip, then the Val d’Orcia must definitely be one of them.
The landscape of Val d’Orcia is truly prototypical of Tuscany. Vines, olive groves, cypress trees and the many rolling hills. The Val d’Orcia is full of medieval towns, often built on the largest hills in the region. Towns like Pienza or Montepulciano are true highlights of the region and shape the landscape immensely.
Accommodation Tip in Val d’OrciaAgriturismo Cavalleggero | Check Prices*
Day 9 | Saturnia Thermal Baths & Bagni San Filippo
Highlights: Swimming in hot sulfur springs
How long? 1 day is enough here
The Saturnia & Bagni San FIlipo thermal baths are located in the very south of Tuscany, but are well worth the short detour. Especially the thermal bath Saturnia is a spectacular highlight in Tuscany. You haven’t seen anything like it yet!
Saturnia is probably the most beautiful and impressive thermal spa we have ever seen. Thousands of tourists are attracted to this small town in the south of Tuscany every year to take a relaxing bath in the hot spring and, of course, to take a photo or two. Saturnia, or rather the Thermal bath Cascate del Mulino is really very instagramable and a photographic highlight in Tuscany.
The hot spring Bagni San Filippo is located a little further north of Saturnia. Here you can bathe in beautiful sinter terraces in 25 degrees warm sulfur water. The water contains of many minerals with health-promoting effects such as calcium and sulfur. At the bottom of the pools there is also a lot of mud, which many visitors use to rub themselves with.
The natural thermal spring Bagni San FIlippo is no longer an insider tip, but well worth a visit.
Legend has it that the hot springs of Bagni San Filippo are the oldest thermal springs in the world used by humans and were already used by the ancient Etruscans.
- Want to know more about Saturnia? Travelogue about Saturnia in Tuscany
- Want to know more about Bagni San Filippo? Travelogue about the thermal bath Bagni San Filippo