The 15 Best Places To Visit in Tuscany
May 2, 2024

The 15 Best Places To Visit in Tuscany

Tuscany is one of the best-loved regions in Italy. Known for its Renaissance influence, hilltop settlements and impressive reputation for wine, it’s a travel destination that promises a step back in time and a chance to slow down and enjoy many of the finer things in life at a relaxed pace.

If you’re planning on visiting Tuscany on an Italian holiday then you have plenty of places to choose from when it comes to deciding where to visit. You’ve got classic destinations like Florence, Pisa and Siena, but there are also hidden gems like Monteriggioni and Pienza, as well as gorgeous rural areas like the Val d’Orcia.

The best way to experience Tuscany is to explore multiple places around the region. In this guide, we share our recommendations for the fifteen best places to visit in Tuscany to help inspire you as you plan your trip itinerary.


Florence is the best-loved place to visit in Tuscany; the capital city of the region and the birthplace of the Renaissance movement which inspired iconic art and culture all over the world. If you’ve never been to this part of Italy before then visiting Florence is a must, as it’s truly one of the most beautiful places in Tuscany.

You’ll need at least a couple of days to enjoy everything that Florence has to offer, from the iconic churches and Duomo Cathedral to the art galleries and museums. Spending several days here also gives you time to explore at your own pace, allowing you to discover scenic squares, quiet side streets and authentic neighbourhoods.

San Gimignano

The centre of San Gimignano is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, so this is another of the best places in Tuscany to visit if you’re looking for mediaeval architecture. Most iconic are the stone towns that rise up among the town’s streets, overlooking the ancient walls that once protected the settlement and still give it a historic feel. 

San Gimignano is very popular with visitors to the region so tends to have a lively atmosphere. Admire the views from its hilltop position and enjoy gelato from the world-famous gelateria in the town centre. You can also sample the most famous white wine produced in this region here if you fancy a break from all of the reds; Vernaccia di San Gimignano.


When you’re researching what to visit in Tuscany, Pisa and its famous tower will be recommended time and time again. If you’re travelling the west coast of the region between places like Lucca and Livorno, it’s definitely worth spending at least half a day in Pisa to visit the Leaning Tower and the nearby cathedral. The city is also known for being a hub for art in Tuscany and is a great place to seek out local restaurants if you want to refuel after climbing the tower.


Another of Tuscany’s most popular cities is Siena, found in the heart of the region and offering visitors the chance to explore another beautiful and historic area. It’s best known for hosting the Palio horse race, which is hosted in the Piazza del Campo twice a year, but also for having a city centre that is UNESCO-listed thanks to the array of incredible mediaeval architecture. 

Spread out across three hills, there’s plenty to see and do in Siena no matter your interests. Visit the city to enjoy one of the best places to go in Tuscany for art, scenery, and a historic atmosphere.


If you have more experience with Tuscany travel and are looking for something a little different from the typical tourist hubs, we recommend you pay a visit to the city of Lucca. Located close to Pisa on the west coast of the region, you’ll get the same historic experience surrounded by preserved buildings and designs from the past centuries, but the atmosphere is more relaxed.

Many travellers choose to visit Lucca on a day trip from Florence, but if you’re planning on trying to visit all of the places of worship in the ‘City of 100 Churches’ you might have to return another time! One of the tourist highlights is the fact that you can walk along the city’s walls, admiring the views and getting a feel for the range of architectural styles.


As well as being famous for its iconic hilltop towns, Tuscany is also well-loved for its wine. When you visit Montepulciano you can enjoy both in close proximity, strolling historic streets and admiring views of the surrounding countryside, followed by sampling the products of the nearby vineyards. The Sangiovese grape is abundant here, producing the famous Nobile di Montepulciano variety of red wine.

Val d’Orcia

Undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places in Tuscany is the Val d’Orcia. Stretching between Siena and Grosseto, the whole area is a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site because of how authentic architecture, scenery and culture are all showcased here.

Val d’Orcia is one of the best areas of Tuscany to stay if you want to enjoy a taste of the good life, with incredible food, quaint towns and villages and gorgeous swathes of rural scenery. If you’re looking to switch it up after exploring the region’s cultural towns, Val d’Orcia is the ideal place to relax.


Located in the Val d’Orcia, Pienza is a picture-perfect small town that is named after Pope Pius II, who was born there. It’s yet another town in Tuscany with a historic centre that has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with architectural highlights including the Pieve di Corsignano church and the Palazzo Piccolomini. Pienza is recognised for its pecorino cheese, and in September there’s a whole festival dedicated to the ingredient.

San Quirico

If you’re searching for where to visit in Tuscany for an experience that is relatively untouched by tourism, San Quirico is the place to visit. Nestled in the countryside in southern Tuscany, this small town is the perfect place to stay if you want to explore the surrounding Val d’Orcia whilst enjoying an authentic atmosphere and pastoral views of the countryside. The culinary scene here is also outstanding, so be sure to make reservations in the local restaurants while you’re staying here.


Right in the south of Tuscany you’ll find Pitigliano, a little town that captures the essence of the most popular Tuscan destinations with its own unique twist. Many of the streets and buildings have been carved out of volcanic rock, so the town appears to have grown out of the land itself and has been added over the centuries to feature other forms of Italian architecture. People are thought to have been living in Pitigliano since Neolithic times, and you can see remnants of these communities in the town’s museums.


If you’re already visiting places like Florence and Siena then make sure to add Volterra to your list of towns to visit in Tuscany. Established in the Etruscan period, the streets and houses in Volterra wind up the hillside like many of the best Tuscan towns, culminating in a historic centre at the top that offers incredible views of the landscape around it. This is another great place to visit if you’d like to see a side of Tuscany that feels more authentic and relaxed, but there are still a good number of attractions that make it a lovely part of Tuscany to visit.


If you’re looking to mix up your trip, visiting Elba should be top of your list of what to do in Tuscany.  Many people think that the region only consists of mediaeval towns and vineyards, but there’s actually an archipelago of islands off the coast of the region as well, and Elba is a highlight.

Elba is the largest island in the ​​Tuscan Archipelago, famous for being the place where the French Emperor Napoleon spent his time in exile. You can enjoy historical attractions around the island connected to Napoleon and the rest of its history, as well as several lovely beaches that are wonderful when the weather is sunny.


If you’re in the east of Tuscany, Arezzo is a great place to visit. The town has a rich history, with significant settlements in the Etruscan, Roman and Renaissance periods, including becoming part of the Medici family’s Grand Duchy. Cultural and historic attractions are plentiful, and it’s also a great place to enjoy Tuscany without as many crowds as some of the larger towns.


If you’re visiting Siena during your Italian holiday then Monteriggioni is one of the nearby best places in Tuscany to add to your itinerary. This beautiful walled village is a picture-perfect example of mediaeval architecture, perfectly preserved and one of the most iconic places in this part of Italy. Come here to enjoy a peaceful experience of the past, especially in July when a popular Medieval Festival takes place.


One of the reasons why Cortona has become one of the most popular towns to visit in Tuscany is that it is the setting for the book and consequent film adaptation of Under the Tuscan Sun by Francis Mayes. It’s a stunning spot less than two hours drive from Florence, surrounded by mediaeval walls and featuring winding streets up to the top of the hill it’s perched on. The views you can admire from Cortona of the Valdichiana Aretina are spectacular, and it’s also a great place to sample authentic Tuscan cuisine.


It’s clear to see why Tuscany is one of the most popular places to visit in Italy when you understand just how many beautiful towns and cities the region is home to. It’s an ideal place for history lovers, art fans and food fanatics, as well as being home to some truly incredible scenery. No matter who’s visiting and what their interests are, you’re bound to have a special experience when you come to Tuscany on holiday.

If you’re planning a trip to Tuscany and are looking for somewhere special to stay, The Villa Collection has a bespoke portfolio of holiday properties that are ideal for families and groups. Take a look at our luxury villas in Tuscany or explore our properties in the rest of Italy for some more travel inspiration.