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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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