The most beautiful, best towns of Tuscany Italy

6 Most Beautiful Towns in Tuscany (That Should Be On Your List)

In Europe, Italy by JurgaThis post may contain affiliate links, which means that we may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. More info: Disclosure.

Planning a trip to Italy and wondering what are the best towns in Tuscany? In this article, we are highlighting only the most beautiful, best towns in Tuscany that are worth your time the most. These are one by one amazing places that are well worth a visit. We also included suggestions for the best things to do in each town, as well as best places to stay. Find out!

There are few places in the world like the Tuscany region in Italy. It really has it all: the most beautiful rolling-hills landscapes, medieval historical towns, Renaissance art, Italy’s best wineries, amazing food, and good weather.

No trip to Italy would be complete without visiting at least some of Tuscany’s most enchanting towns. However, with so many beautiful towns and villages in Tuscany, one more beautiful than another, how do you decide where to go if you only have limited vacation time?

Let’s face it – unless you have at least 2-3 weeks in the region, you won’t have the time to visit every beautiful town. So in this article we are only focussing on the very best ones, the most beautiful towns of Tuscany.

 

The good news is that the most beautiful towns of Tuscany from our selection are located within a relatively short driving distance from each other. Therefore, you can see all the best towns in Tuscany without having to spend too many hours in a car.

Here you can find our suggested Tuscany itinerary, but first, let’s take a look at what you can expect to see when visiting the most beautiful towns in Tuscany.

TIP: If you are short on time, it’s possible to visit several Tuscan towns in a day. In that case, it’s best to base yourself in Florence and take organized tours to the other towns. Here are some of the best multi-town tour suggestions: Pisa, Siena, San Gimignano with Lunch and Wine in Chianti or Pisa & Lucca Day Tour with Buccellato Tasting.

Best towns in Tuscany – OVERVIEW

 
Where to go in Tuscany - most beautiful Tuscan towns
 

Florence

Firenze (Florence) is the cultural capital of Italy with a great collection of some of the most famous art in the world.

Without a doubt, Florence is one of the most charming cities in Italy and the best town of Tuscany region. No matter how much time you have in Tuscany, Florence should be on your itinerary.

While you could spend several days in Florence, most tourists only visit this most famous town of Tuscany for a day or two. Below you can find our suggestions for the best things to see and do in Florence

Duomo of Florence

Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore, the Duomo, is the most famous landmark in Florence. Visit the cathedral, go up inside its spectacular dome and check out Campanile – the bell tower.

TIP: If you don’t want to spend the whole day waiting in line, get skip the line tickets for the Duomo tower. This ticket also includes entrance to the Cathedral, the Crypt, the Baptistry, and Museo dell’Opera. Alternatively, I recommend this highly-rated skip-the-line Duomo guided tour. You have to book in advance!

Florence is a must in any Tuscany itinerary
Florence
 

Uffizzi Gallery

The Galleria deli Uffizi hosts works of art by Botticelli, Michelangelo, Raffaelo and Leonardo da Vinci, just to name a few of the most famous artists. Perfect place to escape the heat of the day in summer.

If you visit just one museum in Tuscany, make it the Uffizzi Gallery. It’s a must!

TIP: Just as everywhere else in Florence, crowds at Uffizzi Gallery are huge, especially in high season. It’s best to get either a skip-the-line ticket or a timed entrance ticket. Timed entrance tickets are cheaper, but you really have to make sure to be there in time so that you don’t miss your slot.

Ponte Vecchio

Florence’s oldest bridge, the 14th century Ponte Vecchio is more impressive from the distance. Apparently, Ponte Santa Trinita is a good place to take pictures of this famous medieval bridge.

Ponte Vecchio in Florence
Ponte Vecchio
 

San Lorenzo Market

Whether you have the whole morning or just a few minutes, San Lorenzo market is a great place to explore for the whole family. The market is comprised of two separate markets. An indoor market, Mercato Centrale, is a food market. The outdoor market is where you’ll find leather, clothing, and souvenirs.

Piazza della Signoria

Piazza della Signoria is one of the most beautiful town squares in Florence. Admire the architecture and many beautiful sculptures.

Piazza Santo Spirito

The perfect place to end your day in Florence is Piazza Santo Spirito. With many cafés, bars and restaurants it comes alive every evening. It’s more of a locals’ place with reasonable food prices, live music and great atmosphere in the evening. Don’t miss!

Piazzale Michelangelo

Piazzale Michelangelo, located in the Oltrarno district, is the most famous square of Florence with a magnificent panoramic view of the city. It’s a very popular for sunset.

Florence is one of the best towns in Tuscany
Florence as seen from Piazzale Michelangelo
 

Where to stay in Florence

Luxury accommodation in Florence
The St. Regis Florence
Four Seasons Hotel Firenze
Ville Sull’Arno (outside the city centre) – luxury at affordable rates

Mid-range accommodation in Florence
Firenze Number Nine Hotel & Spa
Alfieri9
Hotel Pendini

Cheaper, good price-quality hotels in the centre of Florence
Hotel Cardinal of Florence
Hotel Mia Cara
Hotel Azzi

Best Hostels in Florence
My Friends
Gallo D’oro
Hostel Archi Rossi
Plus Florence

 

Siena

Tuscany’s second city, Siena, is a smaller and more intimate town than Florence. Yet it has so much to offer.

The historic center of Siena, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is never as busy as its rival Florence. However, Siena is one of Tuscany’s most visited towns, so be prepared for the crowds.

The historic town center isn’t that big, so you can easily see the best of Siena in a day. Below you can find a short overview of the best things to do and places to see in Siena.

Piazza del Campo

Piazza del Campo (also called Il Campo) is the principal town square of Siena. It is one of Europe’s finest medieval squares. Il Campo is the heart of the city. It’s the place to relax, take in the views, sit down for some cappuccino or Italian gelato. You can climb the bell tower of Torre del Mangia for beautiful views over the historic city center.

Il Palio, the world’s most famous historical horse race, is held on Piazza del Campo. Twice a year, 2nd of July and 16th of August, Il Campo is transformed into a horse racetrack, just as it has been for centuries, since 1644. If you are coming for Il Palio, you may want to stay in Siena for 3-4 days, as there is so much to see and do in the days before the race.

Il Campo town square in Siena - one of the nicest towns of Tuscany region in Italy
Il Campo town square in Siena
 

Historic city center of Siena

Stroll around the historic city center of Siena and admire its many Renaissance buildings, visit the library – Biblioteca Piccolomini or one of its fine museums.

Duomo di Siena – Siena Cathedral

The beautiful cathedral of Siena has no equal in the whole of Central Italy. It’s stunning; both, on the inside as well as on the outside. If you visit one Church in Tuscany, make it this one!

TIP: Also here, it’s best to book your skip-the-line tickets for Siena Duomo Complex in advance.

Siena is one of the most beautiful towns in Tuscany
Siena Cathedral

Where to stay in Siena

Luxury: Grand Hotel Continental
Mid-range: Il Battistero Siena
Budget: B&B Il Corso
Siena accommodation for families: GH Paradiso Apartments

 

Lucca

Lucca is our favorite town in Tuscany. It’s hard to explain why, because other towns are just as beautiful from a touristic point of view. It has such a great atmosphere and there is just something special about Lucca. I know many people who feel exactly the same way – Lucca is one of the nicest, coziest, most beautiful towns of Tuscany. You really have to experience it.

Below you can find some of our suggestions for the best things to do in Lucca.

City walls of Lucca

Whether you do the whole 4 km of panoramic walkway overlooking the city of Lucca or just walk a part of it, the 16th-century walls surrounding the old town of Lucca are not to be missed. They are so wide that you can even explore by bike (there are many bike rental shops offering cheap hourly or daily rates).

Families with children will love the playgrounds and recreation areas with picnic tables in the shade just outside the city walls.

Amphitheatre Square

Piazza dell’Anfiteatro, the oval square built around the elliptical structure typical of Roman amphitheaters, is a not-to-be-missed jewel from Roman times. It’s a lively place with shops and restaurants and various events and concerts.

Amphitheater Square in Lucca - one of the best towns in Tuscany
Piazza dell’ Anfiteatro
 

Churches of Lucca

Lucca is sometimes also called the city of 100 churches. Obviously, it’s impossible to visit them all, but don’t miss the cathedral, Il Duomo, Basilica of San Frediano and San Michele in Foro.

The Guinigi Tower

Have you ever seen a tower with trees growing on top? Don’t miss the famous Torre Guinigi which stands out over other buildings in Lucca. make sure to climb the tower for the beautiful views of the city.

Delle Ore Tower

Another tower you should visit when in Lucca is the medieval clock tower, Torre Delle Ore. If you climb just one tower in Lucca, I’d go for the latter. It’s less busy than the Guinigi Tower and provides magnificent views, also of the nearby Guinigi Tower.

Guinigi Tower as seen from Torre Delle Ore in Lucca - Tuscany, Italy
Guinigi Tower as seen from Torre Delle Ore

Where to stay in Lucca

Hotels: Hotel Alla Corte degli Angeli or Hotel Palazzo Alexandro
B&B’s: B&B Arena di Lucca or B&B Il Seminario
For families: Hotel La Luna or B&B Villa Corte Degli Dei

 

Pisa

After Florence, Pisa is probably one of the best-known towns of Tuscany. Who hasn’t heard of the leaning Tower of Pisa…

But not many first-time visitors know that there is so much more to Pisa than the famous tower. Below you can find some suggestions for the best things to see in Pisa.

Piazza dei Miracoli & the leaning tower of Pisa

Before we visited Pisa, I have never even heard of Piazza dei Miracoli. It’s a beautiful square with many truly impressive buildings. It appears that the tower of Pisa is just one of the many monuments of the Miracle’s Square. Make sure to also visit the Cathedral, the Baptistery and the graveyard.

TIP: Keep in mind that pretty much everyone who comes to Pisa wants to visit the tower, so the waiting times can be really long. If you want to climb the tower, it’s best to reserve your timed entrance tickets in advance.

Piazza dei Miracoli and the leaning tower of Pisa
Piazza dei Miracoli with the leaning tower of Pisa
 

What to see in Pisa, other than the Pisa tower

Also the town center of Pisa is well worth a visit. The number of tourists decreases exponentially the further you go from the Miracle’s Square. So take your time to explore the old town center of Pisa. It’s the best way to escape the crowds and it’s really worthwhile!

Borgo Stretto is an ancient shopping arcade is a nice lively (with locals) place to have lunch or do some shopping.

Make sure to take a walk on the Arno promenade following the Arno river.

A tiny picturesque church of Santa Maria Della Spina is also worth a short detour.

Pisa - one of the most underrated towns in Tuscany Italy
Arno Promenade and Church of Santa Maria Della Spina in Pisa

Where to stay in Pisa

Hotel Bologna
Il Campanile B&B
Hotel Alessandro Della Spina
For families: B&B Tuscany Gallery

 

San Gimignano

San Gimignano is a smaller and lesser-known comparing to the other famous towns of Tuscany. However, it’s definitely one of the most beautiful ones, so don’t miss it!

San Gimignano is famous for its fourteen medieval towers rising above the Tuscan countryside. Originally there were 72 towers in San Gimignano, all built by the patriarch families competition to display their wealth.

The town isn’t that big, so you can easily see the best of San Gimignano in just half a day. Stroll around the old town, don’t miss Piazza della Cisterna and climb to the top of the Torre Grossa. Dating from 13th-century and 54 meters high, this is the tallest tower in San Gimignano, and the only one that is open to the public.

If you happen to visit on Thursday, come early as it’s a market day and the small town center tends to get very busy.

San Gimignano is one of the nicest small towns in Tuscany Italy
Piazza della Cisterna in San Gimignano

Where to stay in San Gimignano

Hotels: Hotel Sovestro, Leon Bianco, Hotel La Cisterna, or Hotel La Collegiatta
B&B: B&B I Coppi
For families:
Donna Nobile or Agriturismo Macinatico

 

Volterra

Volterra is a charming medieval town and while not as impressive as the previous five, I think it well deserves a place in this list of the best towns of Tuscany.

It’s a small town that you can visit in just a few hours and since it’s located very close to San Gimignano, you can easily visit both these towns in one day. Stroll down the historic town center of Volterra – it has a great atmosphere, especially in the evening.

The medieval wall surrounding Volterra was built in the 13th century and six gates allow entry through the wall into the center of the city. Don’t miss Porto All’Arco.

Take a quick look inside the Cathedral and the Baptistery. Palazzolo dei Priori, Pinacoteca and Museo Civico are worth a visit as well.

Acropolis houses several buildings and the foundations of two ancient temples. There are many Roman remains to visit as well, like the Roman Theatre and the Medicean Fortress.

Volterra town in Tuscany Italy
Volterra

Where to stay in Volterra

Park Hotel Le Fonti
Hotel San Lino
Volterra In
Hotel La Locanda, also for families

 

So, this is our list of the most beautiful towns in Tuscany. This stunning Italian region has much more to offer than these 6 amazing towns, but if you are visiting for the first time and want to see the very best of Tuscany, then this list is all you need.

TIP: You really cannot go wrong with any of these Tuscan towns. However, if your time is limited, start with Florence and work your way down this list; we listed the very best ones first.

***Read also our suggested one week Tuscany itinerary that covers all the best towns and more!***

More tips for your trip to Italy:

If you found this post useful, don’t forget to bookmark it and share it with your friends. Are you on Pinterest? Pin this image!

Best towns in Tuscany Italy
Best towns in Tuscany region in Italy

Comments

  1. Hi Jurga,
    I am planning on going on a trip to Tuscany for 7 days with 10 friends. We will be 18 and we have found a really nice villa with a pool etc only about 1 km from the centre of Sienna. We like it because it has the feel of being remote whilst also being close to things to do. I am conscious that Sienna isn’t the biggest town, do you think 7 days is too long to stay there for some teenagers who want quite a relaxed holiday not doing too much each day or is there too much to do for us to get bored in that time in and around Sienna? If you think it’s not too long could you possibly suggest any enjoyable things to do maybe not necessarily in Sienna but in areas closely surrounding it too?
    Thank you in advance!
    James

  2. We are headed to Montauto, small town overlooking San Gimigmano…. we are coming from Orlando Fl and wonder should we fly to Florence or Rime and take the train? Then rent a car or hire transportation to villa? We plan to do some amazing wineries and Florence. Any suggestions?

    1. Author

      Hi Lynda, I’d just book the flight that is best suitable or best priced. It doesn’t matter much whether you fly to Rome or to Florence.
      If you are staying outside of major towns
      I’d definitely book a car. You can find great deals here.
      I have no experience with wineries, but it might be wise to take a tour so that you don’t drink and drive. You can find some great tours here, search for location wine tour, so e.g. Florence wine tour and you should find plenty.
      Hope this helps. Enjoy your trip.

      1. Just as they say, “When in Rome, do as the Romans”, you HAVE to drive in Italy! And make absolutely sure it’s a convertible! That way you can enjoy all the sites and sounds with a full panoramic view. My wife and I rented a little Fiat convertible every time we went (we lived in Germany for 10 years) and believe me, it’s the only way to go! Plus you can stop and take pictures, without getting outa the car!

        1. Author

          This sounds like the perfect Italian road trip, Jack! Wish we could do that… We have been dreaming of touring Italy or Greece in a convertible for so long, but with 3 kids, it ain’t going to happen any time soon. I’m jealous 🙂

  3. Hello! That’s a great blog with such beautiful pictures. I have been to Rome and Venice, but never been to Florence and all these amazing pictures inspire me to plan my trip soon.

    1. Author

      Italy is amazing – we can go back again and again! It’s always worth it.

  4. Hi Jurga, I am assuming it is est to rent a car to visit these places most easily no? We are arriving in Rome but thought to just take the train from there to Florence as we have done in the past. I am not sure about driving in italy! It seems daunting!

    1. Author

      Hi Jill, coming from Belgium, we always drive in Italy, with a big family van, and never had any issues anywhere. It depends a bit on the area, and parking is often hard to find in the most popular places, but for the rest, it’s just driving as anywhere else in Europe. You do need to be aware, though, that some very popular places have traffic restrictions and signs are usually in Italian, so in that sense, it’s not always easy. But you can always just ask people if you are not sure about something…
      It’s possible to take a train between the bigger cities and you can always book an organized tour for the places that are more difficult to reach by public transport, but exploring by car definitely gives you more freedom. For places like Rome or Florence – you don’t need a car, so you can still take a train there and only rent a car for a day or two when you want to visit the countryside for example.
      Car rental in Italy is usually not too expensive, especially if booked well in advance. You can find some of the best car rental deals on the Rental Cars website.
      It’s really your decision, I can’t really tell you how you’ll experience it, as everyone is different and a lot depends on what your previous driving/travel experience is.
      Whatever you decide, I’m sure you’ll have a great trip. Italy is simply amazing.

  5. Hi Jurga – thx for Full Suitcase – it’s very helpful. We (family of 4 adults) have 5 nights to spend in Tuscany in early July’19, before heading south to Amalfi. We’re thinking a couple of days in Florence and then several days at other smaller towns of interest. Trying to decide if we’re better off staying in a central villa (outside Florence, Siena, other?) and taking day trips – or staying in local hotels as we drive around. Is Cinque Terre a worthwhile day trip (or overnight stay)? Any suggestions on central location for a villa and/or must see locals, are appreciated.

    1. Author

      Hi Russell, you can find some suggestions here – Tuscany itinerary. It also has some suggestions for where to stay.
      Cinque Terre – you can see the best of it in one day – more info here: Cinque Terre in one day.
      It’s really your choice – to stay in one place or change hotels every night. It’s definitely possible to just stay at one place, we did that, but it also means more driving up and down of course. So the choice is yours.
      I’m sorry but I really can’t help you further because there are just too many options on how you can spend 5 days in Tuscany, so you’ll just have to decide which places interest you the most. Once again, please check our itinerary suggestions, it might help a bit.
      Enjoy your trip!

  6. Hello,
    How about Cinnique Terre .. we are travelling next week with our 4 months infant baby. We have planned 2 nights stay at Florence and checking for day tour packages to Pisa and Cinnique Terre.

    Also plwase suggest if car renting will be a good option in Florence.

    1. Author

      Hi Bibhu, here you can find all the practical information for visiting Cinque Terre and here you can find our suggestions on how to see the best of Cinque Terre in one day. You should better take a train or a guided tour. Renting a car is ok, but it’s a bit a waste of money if you only visit Cinque Terre, since you’ll have to leave it at a train station in La Spezia anyway (and pay for the parking).
      If you decide to rent a car, we usually use and recommend Rental Cars search engine to find the best deals. I would only rent a car if you are traveling around Tuscany for several days, because in Cinque Terre it’s really useless.
      Hope this helps.

      1. Thanks for the quick reply Jurga. I need some further details as we are planning for a trip to Dolamite mountains from Venice . We have rented a car from Venice Mestre station and thinking for a day trip to Dolamite mountains.
        The weather is not ao friendly as we are seeing now online. Would it be worth for a drive to the dolamite mountains with an infant around ?
        Worst case we are thinking for sightseeing and then comeback if not to the mountains.
        Kindly advise.

        Thanks in advance!
        Cheers
        Bibhu

        1. Author

          Hi Bibhu, we spent a week in the Dolomite mountains and haven’t seen a small part of them, so I really don’t know what to tell you in terms of a day trip. I guess you can always visit one place, but do some research up front where you want to go. I wouldn’t worry about the weather forecast – we also had rain and thunderstorms on the forecast every day when we visited, but in reality, it hardly ever rained. It’s usually very local and passes quickly. Check the specific hourly weather forecast for the place you want to visit the day before you go and you’ll have a much better idea how it is, but even then – it changes so quickly in the mountains.
          If you rather visit something else, then consider Verona or Lake Garda. In one day, with a car, you could do the eastern side of Lake Garda, stop at a few places, don’t miss Malcesine. I think it would be easier and more enjoyable from Venice. Here you can find more information about Lake Garda towns.
          Enjoy your trip!

  7. Is Monteriggioni worth a visit? Looks beautiful from the air!

    1. Author

      Hi Dan, I really wouldn’t know as we haven’t been there. I guess it’s nice to see if you have an hour or two to spare, although it looks really small from the pictures. On the other hand, sometimes little off the beaten path places can make for some of the best travel adventures and memories, so if you are nearby and have some time, why not just give it a try…

  8. Great tips for Florence, so many wonderful museums and architecture – and many free to see too. Santo Spirito and other neighbourhoods across the Arno River are my favourite areas to see the ‘real life’ Florentines. I’ve written about this and other things you can do aside from the art and museums part of Florence: http://www.tripchow.com/traditional-trattoria-florence/

  9. ooo you’re taking me back to our trip! Isn’t Tuscany just gorgeous! Although we never made it to Lucca which I would’ve loved to have visited so I shall save this page for when we do. Thanks

    1. Author

      You’ll love Lucca! As I said, there is just something special about it… Thanks for leaving a comment, Alex!

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.