Great Vacation Ideas in Tuscany Italy

Best Family Vacation Spots for Tuscany

Google Custom Search Family Vacation Ideas for Italy

There are many great vacation ideas for Tuscany, a land of breathtaking towns and countryside.

Tuscany is one of the most wooded areas of Italy. You can find a mixed forest of beech, oak, sweet chestnut and fir trees in the Apennines.


The hinterland coastline is covered with pine forests, while the Mediterranean Macchia is blanketed by an impenetrable scrubland of holm oak, myrtle, gorse, Erica, strawberry tree, and blackberry.

Great Vacation Ideas Gorgeous Tuscany Villas
High Above the Valley of Val d’Orcia Tuscany, at San Simeione Hotel, you can see the Breathtaking Scenery of the Tuscan Forests

In the area extending from Lucca to the southern Maremma, major geothermal activity has created thermal baths.

Great Vacation Ideas in Tuscany Trees Summer View
A Typical Fascinating Tuscan Countryside Scene in the Summer

There is a great variety of wildlife in Tuscany, including deer, roe deer, wild boar, badgers, foxes, martens and polecats. Some areas there are porcupines and land tortoises, and occasionally in the Apennines you may come across a wolf.

Consider hiking on walking trails as part of your great vacation ideas, as Tuscany is known for its beautiful landscapes, rich artistic legacy and great culture. Rent Tuscany villas and experience the history, culture and breathtaking beauty of the ancient architecture and manicured landscape.

Great Vacation Ideas Tuscany Trees Autumm View
Incredible Tuscan Countryside Scenery in the Fall

Widely regarded as the true birthplace of the Italian Renaissance, it has been home to some of the most influential people in history, such as Petrarch, Dante, Botticelli, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Galileo, Vespucci and Puccini.


The region of Tuscany is one of the best family vacation spots as it has many churches, palaces, art galleries, villages and piazzas, and museums to explore such as the Uffizi and the Pitti Palace in Florence, and others which can be found in towns and smaller villages.

Tuscany Italy is full of spectacular medieval walled towns to discover, such as Siena, San Gimgnano, Pienza, and Radda in Chianti.

There are many breathtaking and beautiful towns on top of hilltops, such as Montalcino, Montepulciano, and San Quirico d’Orchia with fantastic treasures of ancient cultures.

Great Vacation Ideas Explore Six World Heritage Sites in Tuscany

  • The historical center of Florence
  • The historical center of Siena
  • The square of the Cathedral of Pisa
  • The historical center of San Gimignano
  • The historical center of Pienza
  • The Val d’Orcia

Great Vacation Ideas San Antimo in Val dOrchia
Wonderful San Antimo in Val d’Orcia Southern Tuscany near Montalcino

Great Vacation Ideas – Feast on Tuscan Cuisine

Eating in Tuscany is an experience of indulgence. Each region has its own specialties form fish to game, mushrooms, green asparagus, artichokes, and chestnuts prepared fresh in the traditional Italian style.

Tuscany is well-known for its olive oil, which is made from the Moraiolo, Leccino, and Frantoiano olives.

Another specialty is the tasty pecorino cheese (made from sheep’s milk).

Great Vacation Ideas Breakfast in Tuscany
Tuscany Offers Fantastic Views for the Coolest Dining Experience

Along the coast, you can enjoy a variety of seafood dishes.

A favourite delight in Florence is the thick and succulent steak from the Chianina cattle, seasoned and grilled over a wood fire.

From Siena to Maremma, the locals prepare sausages made from wild boar and seasoned with fresh tarragon, pine nuts and raisons.

A Tuscan delicacy is the white truffles found around San Miniato, which appear in October and November.

Great Vacation Ideas – Savour the Mouth-Watering Tuscan Wines

Tuscany is famous for its wines, with the most famous being Chianti, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Morellino di Scansano and Brunello di Montalcino.

One of my favourite wines in Tuscany is Vin Santo (holy wine), an Italian dessert wine made from white grape varieties such as Trebbiano and Malvasia, and Sangiovese.

Vin Santo is not usually indicated on the menu and you may have to ask for it. The real treat is that Vin Santo is served with biscotti cookies which are intended for dipping into the glass of wine. Feel free to dip!

Great Vacation Ideas Tuscany Vineyards
Outstanding Vineyards of Tuscany

Tuscany has a diversity of trades, not only wine-making, with an industrial sector in mining due to the abundance of underground resources.

Industries include textiles, pharmaceuticals, metalworking and steel, glass and ceramics, clothing and printing–publishing, leather and footwear in the south-west part of the province of Florence, hot-house planting area in Pistoia, scooters and motorcycles production in Pontedera, the manufacture of wooden furniture in the Cascina area, marble in Carrara, and ceramics and textile industries in the Prato area.

Include Monasteries, Wine Road and Tuscan Cuisine Tours in Your Great Vacation Ideas

If you are staying in Florence, start your trip by taking the Via Cassia, SS2 (Strada Statale 2), the old Roman road from Porta Romana in Florence.

Great Vacation Ideas Ponte Vecchio in Florence
A View of Ponte Vecchio and the River Arno in Fascinating Florence

This takes you in a southerly direction toward Siena through ancient landscape of vineyards, cypress-lined roads, fortified hamlets, medieval castles, secluded monasteries and lovely churches.

You can choose to go to Siena, or once you reach Colle di Val d’Elsa, head toward the Etruscan city of Volterra and then on to San Gimignano.

Great Vacation Ideas the Medieval Town of Siena
A View of the Stunning Medieval Siena City Hall

Along the way, you will find a range of several excellent trattorie and be able to sample some exquisite culinary delights.

You can also purchase wine and olive oil directly from the actual producers.

Start early in the morning, as these are full day trips.

Great Vacation Ideas for Wine Road Day Tours in Tuscany

On these road tours you can stop in and visit towns and villages to sample local wine and cuisine, and also stop in at the vineyards and wineries to sample and purchase the wonderful wines of this famous terroir (a group of vineyards sharing the same type of soil, weather conditions, grapes and wine making).

Great Vacation Ideas Tuscany Villa and Vineyards
A Chianti Villa and Vineyard With Cypress Trees and Olive Groves

Currently, there are 14 wine roads in Tuscany:

Province of Arezzo

  • Strada del Vino Terre di Arezzo

Province of Florence

  • Strada del Vino Chianti Colli Fiorentini
  • Strada del Vino di Montespertoli
  • Strada dei Vini Chianti Rufina e Pomino

Province of Grosseto

  • Strada del Vino Monteregio di Massa Marittima
  • Strada del Vino Colli di Maremma
  • Strada del Vino di Montecucco

Province of Livorno

  • Strada del Vino Costa degli Etruschi

Province of Lucca

  • Strada del Vino Colline Lucchesi e Montecarlo

Province of Massa

  • Carrara: Strada del Vino Colli di Candia e di Lunigiana

Province of Prato

  • Strada Medicea dei Vini di Carmignano

Province of Pisa

  • Strada del Vino delle Colline Pisane

Province of Siena

  • Strada del Vino Vernaccia di San Gimignano
  • Strada del Vino di Montepulciano

My Top Picks – Great Vacation Ideas for Tuscany

Abbey of San Galgano (Abbazia San Galgano)

Summer concerts, grand operas and theatrical performances in a Gothic church and nave with a roofless cathedral, open sky, flooded with sunlight during the day and full of stars at night.

San Francesco in Arezzo

See the frescos by Piero della Francesca.

Volterra

A medieval Neolithic settlement and an important Etruscan center. Visit the Pinacoteca (Art Gallery) in Palazzo Minucci-Solaini, founded in 1905 and consists mostly of works by Tuscan artists from 14th to 17th centuries.

Visit the Etruscan walls, including the well-preserved Porta dell’Arco (3rd-2nd centuries BC) and Porta Diana gates. Outside the city, in the direction of Lajatico, is the Medici Villa di Spedaletto. Also in the neighbourhood, in the Valle Bona area, are excavations of Etruscan tombs.

Chianti

Take a drive through the wooded hills, sprawling vineyards, fortresses and castles.

Great Vacation Ideas Fortresses in Tuscany
Scene of Wooded Hills, Medieval Village and Fortress in Val d’Orcia Tuscany

San Gimignano

This is an enchanting medieval city with tall towers and set in a beautiful countryside.

Great Vacation Ideas San Gimignano Tuscany
The Enchanting and Magical Medieval City of San Gimignano

Medieval Siena

The Duomo is an architectural marvel of Tuscan Gothic style. The city itself is a medieval gem, and the Palio is the largest festival in Italy.

Great Vacation Ideas Siena Il Campo
The Extravagant Palio Festival is Held Here in the Piazza Il Campo Siena

The Uffizi Gallery in Florence

Florence is a must, and a visit to the Uffizi Gallery is a must. Plan early to avoid the crowds. Buying tickets online may be a good plan.

Montecatina Terme

This is the place to come for an elegant spa experience in a nostalgic Belle Epogue setting. The presence of man in the area of Montecatini Terme is very old. Probably since Paleolithic times, the region was inhabited by nomadic hunters.

Vinci

This is Leonardo’s birthplace and here you will find a museum with displays of his designs and inventions.

Lucca

This is a beautiful medieval city and an ideal starting point for hiking trips to the Garfagnana and Apuan Alps.

Grotta del Vento

Europe’s longest limestone caves at 3,500 metres, with stalactites and stalagmites, near Fornovolasco.

Prato

Centro per l’Arte Contemporanea Luigi Pecci (Centre for Contemporary Art Luigi Pecci) at 277 Via della Repubblica, Prato near Florence, Italy, should not be missed by any lover of modern art. The centre is devoted to the contemporary arts of the last three decades. The building is designed in the shape of “U” having at its centre an outdoor amphitheatre which can seat up to 800 people.

Carrara

This is “marble city” set between the quarries of the Apuan Alp and the elegant seaside resorts of the Versilia. You can see the marble in the quarries as you drive by.

Campo dei Miracoli in Pisa

Visit the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Duomo and Baptistery, which form a monumental religious and architectural heritage in Pisa.

Great Vacation Ideas in Pisa
The Unmistakable and Intriguing Leaning Tower of Pisa

Arcipelago Toscano

The largest marine Park in Europe.

Tuscany Climate for Your Great Vacation Ideas

Tuscany generally enjoys a mild Mediterranean climate and the winter months are largely sunny. There are also some very cold days with the Tramontana winds blowing in from the mountains and the temperature can drop to -12C (10F). Snow is rare except in the higher mountainous areas.

Great Vacation Ideas Late Summer in Tuscany
Pleasant Weather in a Southern Tuscany Village (Rocca d’Orchia) in October

Spring and autumn tend to be very mild and are perfect for travel but also tend to be precipitous. July is the hottest month with temperatures soaring to 35C (95F) and above.

The humidity in the lower lying areas such as Florence and the Arno Valley can be oppressive but along the coastland and in higher altitudes the evenings cool down nicely.

Great Vacation Ideas Val d'Orcia in October
Tuscany in the Early Fall – Great Weather – Great Views of the Countryside

During August, the entire coastline becomes full of vacationers, but by September and October the coastline and the island of Elba are once again peaceful and a great time to visit.

Around this season, grape-picking is just starting and is a perfect time to stay at a Tuscany castle and visit vineyards in the region such as Chianti, Montepulciano and Montalcino.

Tuscany Villas

When you are deciding on accommodations, do consider renting a suite or an apartment in one of the stunning Tuscany villas as one of your great vacation ideas.

Experience the antiquity, history, beautiful gardens and vistas. Tuscany villas are what dreams are made of and to be included in your great vacation ideas.

Great Vacation Ideas Tuscany Villa San Simeone in Val d'Orcia
Want Adventure? Rent a Villa, Apartment or Farmhouse Accommodation Tuscany

Another of the great vacation ideas in Tuscany Italy is the agriturismo.

You can stay in a farmhouse accommodation Tuscany, which are farmhouses converted into lodgings whereby the farms offer meals made of ingredients grown on the property and you get to visit the regions’ countryside and enjoy more of the genuine local gastronomy and wine.


Tuscany is Divided into Ten Provinces

I guarantee you will find many great vacation ideas in Tuscany. Here is a list of the provinces and their main artistic and historical centers to help you with you great vacation ideas:

Arezzo: Arezzo, Castiglion Fiorentino, Cortona, Lucignano, Poppi, Sansepolcro
Florence: Florence, Fiesole, Certaldo
Grosseto: Grosseto, Massa, Marittima, Orbetello, Pitigliano, Roselle, Sorano, Sovana
Livorno: Campiglia, Marittima, Livorno, Piombino, Populonia, Suvereto
Lucca: Barga, Castelnuovo di Garfagnana, Castiglione di Garfagnana, Lucca, Pietrasanta, Viareggio, Villa Basilica
Massa-Carrara: Massa-Carrara, Pontremoli, Fivizzano
Pisa: Pisa, San Miniato, Volterra, Vicopisano
Prato: Carmignano, Poggio a Caiano, Prato
Pistoia: Pescia, Pistoia
Siena: Colle di Val d’Elsa, Pienza, Montepulciano, Montalcino, San Gimignano, Siena

Great Vacation Ideas Tuscany Cypress Trees
Cypress Trees, Fields and Flowers of Tuscany

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