Tuscany Holidays

A region with so much to offer

Olive groves and vineyards, art-filled museums, historic towns and rolling hills – there are countless reasons why Tuscany holidays are a popular choice for travellers. Florence, the region’s capital, is for many the jewel in Tuscany’s crown. Home to several globally important art collections, the city is often held to be the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance. Among its eye-opening architecture and impressive squares, Florence boasts unmissable landmarks such as its spectacular Duomo and the medieval Ponte Vecchio.

As exquisite as Florence is, holidays to Tuscany offer plenty to explore beyond the city, from picturesque hillside villages to the Apennine Mountains and a characterful coastline. The ancient cities of Siena, Pisa and Lucca are all within reach of Florence, as is the medieval hillside town of San Gimignano. Nestled in the central Tuscan hills, its frescoed churches are well worth exploring, and the views from the town’s medieval towers and fortresses are not to be missed. Not only that, the world-renowned Chianti region – and its fertile vineyards, olive groves and verdant hills – can be found between Florence and Siena, while fans of the outdoors can explore the Apennine mountain range and thermal spa towns. So if you’re looking to soak up the best in Italian history, culture, wine and cuisine, Tuscany is most definitely the place for you.

Three tips for a top trip

Catch the bus

You could hire a car or join an organised tour, but you can also easily explore Tuscany’s famous Chiantigiana wine route, between Florence and Siena, by bus.

Embrace aperitivo hour

Enjoy a pre-dinner drink at a bar or café – also known as ‘aperitivo’ – and chances are you’ll receive an array of complimentary snacks, or access to a buffet filled with local produce.

Head to the coast

The pretty medieval town of Castiglione della Pescaia is a much-loved seaside resort. Surrounded by green countryside, and hugged by the Tyrrhenian Sea, it’s easy to see why.

Best attractions to see in Tuscany

The Uffizi Gallery

Housing Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus and other celebrated works of art from the Italian Renaissance, this emblem of Florence is one of Italy’s most-visited museums.

Palio di Siena

Marvel at Siena’s medieval horse race, which sees bareback jockeys hurtle through the city’s historic cobblestone streets. The event takes place in July and August.

Leaning Tower of Pisa

No trip to Tuscany is complete without a visit to the world-famous lopsided bell tower in Pisa. Climb the few hundred steps to the top for views of the city and beyond.

Your Tuscany questions, answered

In central Italy, slightly north of centre, Tuscany borders the regions of Umbria, Lazio, Le Marche, Emilia-Romagna and Liguria. It is also flanked by the Mediterranean Sea.
Don’t miss the popular Tuscan ‘ribollita’ soup, made with bread, beans and vegetables, wine from nearby Chianti and hand-pressed extra-virgin olive oil from local groves.
June to early September bring the most tourists to Tuscany. It’s hot and sunny and the cities can be crowded, but there’s a lot to do, with festivals and markets creating a lively atmosphere. If you visit during April and May, or September and October, you'll still have pleasantly warm weather, and the attractions are less crowded. Spring and autumn are beautiful in Tuscany, as you either catch the blooming flowers or falling leaves.
Popular destinations in the region include Florence, Pisa, Lucca, Arezzo, Siena, San Gimignano, Castiglione della Pescaia, the Apennine Mountains and the Chianti wine region.
Versilia is one of the most popular areas for Tuscany beach holidays and is famous for its beach clubs and upmarket nightlife. Keep in mind, you have to pay to access the beaches in this area, although you do get facilities from changing rooms and showers to bars and snacks. Livorno also has a good choice of beaches with coral reefs that you can snorkel among. You can also hop on a ferry to the island of Elba for the unspoilt stretches of sand and turquoise seas.
Tuscany is perhaps most famous for its wines, with vineyards covering the rolling green hills. This region of Italy is also popular because it has a historic vibe and is famous for its small hilltop villages and towns as well as the lively cities of Florence and Pisa, full of iconic tourist attractions. Tuscany is also known for being a major foodie destination where you can enjoy authentic Italian cooking and book tables at several Michelin-starred restaurants.
Many visitors to Tuscany choose to hire a car and enjoy relaxed drives through the countryside. But it is possible to get around many areas on public transport. The Treno Regionale connects Florence with the smaller cities and towns and there’s a good network of buses that run between the small towns. However, you will have to be happy travelling at a laid-back pace. If you want to visit the vineyards, consider a guided wine tour. Then you can enjoy the samples without worrying about driving back to your hotel.
Tuscany may seem like an adult-only destination, but it’s actually extremely family-friendly and there’s plenty for kids to enjoy. You can opt for a villa with a pool in the Tuscan countryside or one of the family-friendly hotels close to the beaches. Both let you spend your days swimming and relaxing. Kids will love visiting the caves and grottos around the area or taking walks through the countryside. A day in Florence can be spent seeing museums and historic sites. And don’t forget the Leaning Tower of Pisa, which is hugely popular with younger visitors.
If you’re looking for lively nightlife, go for Florence or Pisa, which both have a good selection of bars and nightclubs. There are also live music and festivals to enjoy, especially during the summer months. The summer also brings lots of nightlife to coastal areas such as Versilia, with the beach clubs throwing parties until the early hours of the morning, and lots of upmarket, stylish bars for high-priced cocktails.