Tuscany attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors every year, and it's not hard to see why. Home to some of the world's most recognisable Renaissance art and architecture, tantalising gastronomy, and endless landscapes of green hills and olive groves.
With beautiful cities, hilltop villages, and the stunning countryside, it's hard to know where to start when planning a trip here – that's where we come in.
This post will help you plan your trip to Tuscany in 6 days, making sure that you leave no stone unturned in seeing the best that this magical region has to offer.
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Where better to start than the capital of the region, and where the Renaissance all began? Florence is Tuscany’s most accessible city by air, rail, and road, so it’s the perfect place to base yourself at the beginning of your Tuscan tour.
Start your day at the Piazza del Duomo where you’ll be able to take in the city’s most famous symbol – the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore. This awe-inspiring monument took more than 140 years to finish and has one of the largest free-standing domes in the world.
After that (and scaling it if you’re not afraid of heights), continue on to the Ponte Vecchio, the medieval bridge over the River Arno where you’ll find artisanal jewellery shops, before heading to the Uffizi Gallery, where some of the most important renaissance artwork is housed, including works by Michelangelo, Da Vinci, and Botticelli.
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After a night in one of Florence’s many luxury hotels (or hostels, you can enjoy this city no matter your budget!), you’ll feel refreshed and ready to start day number 2. After seeing all of the art in the Uffizi, you’d think that would be everything, no? Well – no, actually. The Galleria dell’Accademia is another of the city’s art galleries, where you’ll find the city’s most famous resident – the sculpture of Michelangelo’s David.
You’re not done with Florence just yet – cross the Arno (take the Ponte Vecchio again if you really loved it on day one) and head for the renaissance palace Palazzo Pitti. From there, it’s only a short walk to the Giardino di Boboli, a park filled with 16th and 18th century sculptures, and even a Roman antiquity or too. Then, reach Piazzale Michelangelo, to enjoy a beautiful view over the city and take some pictures.
Of course, you’ll need to keep yourself fueled and full of energy as you explore the city on foot, so pop into a trattoria for lampredotto (tripe), Fiorentina (steak) or ribollita (Tuscan bread soup). Or if you are looking for a hands-on culinary experience in Florence join a cooking tour that includes a visit to the famous Mercato Centrale and cooking lessons from professional chefs. After a day of art and sightseeing, indulge in Florence's authentic cuisine with dishes such as tagliatelle, ravioli and delicious pasta sauces. You will also have time to share what you learn and enjoy what you prepared, accompanied by a glass of the best Chianti wine and you will also receive your Graduation Certificate.
Of course, you’ll need to keep yourself fuelled and full of energy as you explore the city on foot, so pop into a trattoria for lampredotto (tripe), Fiorentina (steak) or ribollita (Tuscan bread soup).
After another night in Florence, it’s time to head out of the city. What about a day trip to one of the world’s most famous monuments, the leaning Tower of Pisa? After all, you’ve not been to Italy if you don’t that famous picture of you holding up the leaning tower of Pisa! Pisa is just a short trip from Florence and the Piazza dei Miracoli, where the Tower, the Cathedral and the Baptistery are located
Spend the afternoon in another renaissance gem – Lucca. Known for its romantic cobblestone streets and beautifully preserved medieval walls, it’s a tranquil place to walk around – don’t miss the Guinigi Tower, St Martin’s Cathedral, and the bustling Piazza dell’Antfiteatro.
Siena is so beautifully maintained that the whole historic centre is a UNESCO world heritage site, and it’s a great location to base yourself for the second half of your Tuscan adventure. Enjoy some traditional Tuscan fare over a coffee in the fan-shaped Piazza del Campo, people watching and basking in the shade of the huge Torre Mangaia. Take a leisurely stroll through the winding streets to the city’s hilltop Gothic Renaissance Duomo Cathedral, before an afternoon trip to San Gimignano.
This this evocative town, which is immediately distinctive from miles back – the city’s famous towers jostle for position on the skyline like a medieval New York rising out of the Tuscan hills! You can ascend the towers for an unparalleled view of the countryside, before heading for a mouth-watering plate of pappardelle al cinghiale (wild boar ragu).
It wouldn’t be a trip to Tuscany if you didn’t sample some of the sublime wines, olive oils, and cheese that the region is famous for. There’s nowhere better to try wine than Val d’Orcia. Just south of Siena, the beautiful landscapes are dotted with charming villages like Montalcino, Montepulciano, and Pienza. And if those names are familiar, it’s because they’re associated with some of Italy’s finest wines!
In the valley, Sangiovese grapes are used to produce wines such as Brunello di Montalcino and Nobile di Montepulciano, revered along wine connoisseurs. If you want to sample the wines for yourself, it’s easy to book tasting tours and get to know the cellars and rustic farmhouses which house Tuscany’s greatest winemaking secrets.
There are a couple of options for visiting Val d’Orcia – renting a car is a great way to have freedom of the picturesque landscapes, but if you want to do some wine tasting, it’s probably better to book a tour!
So, in the 5-day itinerary, there’s not been a lot of time for rest, relaxation, and recuperation. Well, you’ll be happy to know that the last day of our itinerary will take you to one of the most tranquil and relaxing places in the entirety of Tuscany, Bagno Vignoni.
This picture-postcard town boasts a number of thermal baths, once used as healing baths for pilgrims walking the via Francigena to Rome. Nowadays, tourists can enter at no cost at all, however the main pool in the centre of the village is off limits. Although, you’ll be able to get some great photos for your Instagram there!
And that’s it – the end of a 6-day tour in magical Tuscany.
One of the things that we’ve not covered in our itinerary is for beach lovers – however, if you really need some beach time in your trip, why not visit Argentario in Southern Tuscany? Other great options are either Isola del Giglio or Isola d’Elba.
You should easily be able to fit these in before heading back to Florence or Rome to fly home. And if not, it just means you’ll have to stay a bit longer!