See the best of Tuscany in 7 days - one week trip itinerary through the most beautiful places of Tuscany region in Italy

See the Best of Tuscany in One Week

In Europe, Italy, Trip itineraries 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.

In my previous post you could read about some of the most beautiful towns in Tuscany. Now let’s see how you can combine all those beautiful places (and some more) and create the perfect one week Tuscany trip itinerary that allows you to experience the very best this picturesque region has to offer.

How to see the best of Tuscany in just a week

In order to see the very best of Tuscany and to experience some of its stunning landscapes it’s best to visit the region by car. On the other hand, you don’t really need a car in the cities. So if you want to, you can visit some of the most beautiful towns using public transport only. While this itinerary is made assuming that you have a car, you can easily adapt it to your needs and your way of traveling – just use this as an indication of what you can see and do in Tuscany in a limited time.

One week Tuscany trip itinerary map

One week trip itinerary for Tuscany Italy. Road trip guide to the most beautiful Tuscan towns and countryside!

Click on the map to enlarge


What to see and do in Tuscany Italy

Day 1 – Florence

One full day is a minimum time you need in order to see the main highlights of Florence.

You can find more information, tips and advice for visiting Florence in my previous post. It includes a sample one day itinerary and accommodation advice. Stay in Florence for at least one night in order to take the full advantage of your time there.

If you only have limited time and want to get a taste of real Florence, I can recommend one of the day tours in Florence. Taste distinctive flavours of Tuscany on a wine adventure or discover the city’s cuisine on a Florence food tour with a local.

Day 2 – Florence to Siena

Leave Florence early in the morning and drive to Siena. Via Chiantigiana – road SR 222 from Florence to Siena is very scenic, so you may want to take this road rather than a highway.

Spend the rest of the day exploring the beautiful town of Siena. Here you can read more about what to see and do in Siena. Stay in Siena for 1 or 2 nights.

Siena Cathedral

Siena Cathedral


Day 3 – Val d’Orcia – explore Tuscan countryside

Here is a scenic road trip suggestion through the picture-perfect Tuscan countryside – Val d’Orcia – that you can take as a day trip from Siena. If you have the time, you may want to spend a couple of days in this area.

From Siena take the road SR2 to San Quirico d’Orcia. From here continue East along the SR146 in the direction of Montepulciano. This is the most scenic road in Tuscany – the one with the typical Tuscan landscapes you see in the travel magazines and on the postcards. Take your time to explore Val d’Orcia and visit at least a couple of charming little towns in the area: Pienza, Montepulciano, San Quirico d’Orcia, Monticchiello, Montalcino… Don’t miss the Abbey of Sant’Antimo.

It’s best to buy a good map and a travel guide to get the most out of your visit to Tuscany. We use and strongly recommend Michelin Green Guides and Michelin Maps for any trip to Europe, also for Tuscany. Their star-rating system is very helpful for those who want to see the very best of any area in a limited time.

Day 4 – San Gimignano and Volterra

San Gimignano and Volterra are both relatively small towns and their proximity to each other means that you can easily visit them in one day. In my previous post you can read more about what to see and do in San Gimignano and in Volterra.

The towers of San Gimignano

The towers of San Gimignano


Day 5 – Pisa

Take your time to explore Pisa. Don’t limit your visit to the leaning tower of Pisa only! Here you can read more about what to see and do in Pisa in a day.

If you are touring around Tuscany by car, I’d advise to not stay in Pisa. Instead, drive to Lucca after you visited Pisa and stay there for two nights. Lucca has such a great atmosphere! Here you can find the best accommodation deals for Lucca.

Day 6 – Lucca

Lucca is our favourite town in Tuscany. You can see the main highlights in just one day, but you definitely won’t regret it if you choose to stay a bit longer. Here you can read more about what to see and do in Lucca.

Or discover Lucca with a local and join one of the food tours. And get ready to loosen those belt loops…

Day 7 – Lucca – Florence

There are several nice towns between Lucca and Florence. Collodi, Pistoia and Prato are all worth a detour.

We liked exploring the outskirts of Florence as well. You’re hardly out of the city, but the scenery is amazing. Take a road from Florence to Fiesole for stunning views and beautiful Tuscan landscape.

View over Florence from the road to Fiesole

View over Florence from the road to Fiesole


Best place to stay for exploring Tuscany

If you don’t like changing hotels and packing your bags every day, I suggest you stay at one central location in Tuscan countryside and take day trips from there. Sometimes you’ll need to drive an hour, sometimes two, so it’s not prefect, but it might still be easier and more relaxing, especially if you are traveling with kids.

Probably the best place to stay for exploring Tuscany would be the area close to Volterra or San Gimignano. It is very centrally located in Tuscany and is therefore ideal if you are looking to stay at just one hotel and explore Tuscany by taking day trips.

Here you can find the best deals for accommodation in Volterra and hotels in San Gimignano area.

In fact, a few years ago we did just that when we were visiting Tuscany with our kids. We stayed at just one hotel for 12 days and combined relaxing days by the pool with sightseeing. It worked well for us. You can read more in our Best of Tuscany – itinerary from one central location post.

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One week trip itinerary - how to see the best of Tuscany in 7 days

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  1. Hi, great post!. I will be traveling next March and we are planning 6 days to road trip around Tuscany (excluding Florence). I understand that March is not that busy, so I’m planning in looking accommodations on the road without being bound to an itinerary. I know that it is always better to have everything booked before-hand, but in your opinion is it to risky not to have hotel/airbnb reservations in March? Thanks and greetings from Mexico.

    1. Author

      Hi Cesar, I think the problem in March might be to find accommodations that are open. Except for the big cities, most accommodations in small towns in Italy tend to close between November and April. Of course, this might be region-specific and more the case in some places than in the others.
      So yes, if it was me, I would book in advance. But if that’s really not how you travel, then at least try to look it up in advance so that you know how availability is in general and which accommodations will be open.

  2. Hi there
    I’m travelling from Melbourne Australia in sept oct 2018
    I want to go to Tuscany hope to follow your 1 week itinerary
    I won’t have a car
    Do I need to book ahead from here or can I find accom in each town I visit
    Just worried I won’t have a place to stay at a reasonable rate and I am travelling alone
    Would love to hear your thoughts
    Thanks Sandra
    I really enjoy reading
    The Full Suitcase 😊

    1. Author

      Hi Sandra, I guess you meant you’ll be in Italy next year, in 2019? I think there is a big difference in when you travel – September or October – as September will still be high season in many places. But even October, especially the first half, is still very busy in Italy.
      In any case, my advice is to always plan a trip and book all accommodations in advance. There is so much more choice and better prices if you book upfront. Also, you can choose where to stay based on the location that best suits you and not waste your precious holiday time looking for accommodations every night.
      If you don’t have a car then try to stay in bigger towns that have good public transport connections. In general, trains are quite reliable in Italy, definitely easier than traveling by bus.
      Hope this helps.

  3. We will be traveling by train, can we reach the areas you recommend in Tuscany from Florence by train?

    1. Author

      Hi Brenda, to tell you the truth, I’m not really sure since we always travel in Italy by car. But I think there are good connections between the biggest towns, so Florence, Pisa, Sienna shouldn’t be a problem. I don’t think there is train going to San Gimignano or Volterra.
      If you just go to Google Maps and choose directions between any two places, choose public transport as an option (a little train icon in the top left corner) and Google will show you the best way to get there.

  4. We’ll be in Pisa from the 28th December till 2nd January. How can we go to Cinque Terre.? All day tours seem to stop in October!! Thank you for your advice.

    1. Author

      Hi Frances, yes, indeed, the tourist season in Cinque Terre seems to stop around mid November. I found just one private tour that goes there from Pisa the whole year round, but it seems crazy expensive to me.
      However, you can always take a train from Pisa to La Spezia and then switch to another train to Cinque Terre from there. Another option is to rent a car and drive, but then again, it’s best to not drive in CT itself and leave your car in La Spezia. There will be no boat tours running in winter, but you can visit the villages by train. Hiking is probably not ideal unless it would be very dry, which is unlikely in winter. Please check our practical guide to visiting Cinque Terre and our suggested one day itinerary for Cinque Terre.
      Enjoy your trip!

  5. Hi this itinerary is so helpful! Can you share the hotels you stayed in and where you recommend staying?

    1. Author

      Hi Anisha, our kids were very young when we visited Tuscany, so we opted to stay in just one place the whole week. Our hotel was in Montaione area. We liked the fact that it was so central and we could do day trips to all the main towns. But you do need a car for this. You can find a bit more info here. It’s a very old post and from what I see the accommodation we stayed at isn’t available at the moment, but there are many other hotels and accommodation options in that area.
      If you don’t mind changing hotels a couple of times and want to drive less, then you can also opt for 2-3 nights at several places. In that case I’d probably stay close to Siena and then somewhere close to Florence. If you are planning on taking a train, then stay in the city centre, close to the railway station.
      A lot depends on your travel style and also on where you start and end the trip. Hope this helps a bit.

  6. Hello, i’m John and i just start planning my second trip to Tuscany next year. I’m going for two week in June and staying in a Agrotourismo farm in Staggia. From there i’m circling all around Tuscany.. I’m taking note of the areas that you visited and i cant wait.. Congratulations on your pictures, very impressive work. I’m a semi-pro photographer and i can recongnize high quality picture.. Thanks for sharing with us this beautiful adventure.JD

    1. Author

      Thank you and enjoy your trip to Tuscany. It’s such a beautiful region to explore and in two weeks you should be able to see a lot!

  7. Thank You so much for your wonderful suggestions! We loved Tuscany so much & would like to return for a longer stay! There’s so much beautiful & scenic photo’s that we regrettably missed, it begs for a return visit indeed! Thank you again!

    1. Author

      We feel exactly the same way – could go back to Tuscany again and again. The whole of Italy actually. We’re trying to visit at least one place/region in Italy every year and it never disappoints. Last year we went to Cinque Terre and the Ligurian coast and it was stunning too. This summer we’re off to Italian mountains and it looks amazing too. It’s difficult not to love Italy!

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