To almost everyone who hears the name, Tuscany is the epitome of Italian romance and authenticity. This beautiful district in the center of Italy (with a tendency to the north) concentrates within it the best of the best of rural Italy, with all that implies. Green fields, vineyards and wineries scattered in every corner, the Chianti region and its famous wine, centuries-old inns with a burning fireplace and much more. All these make Tuscany one of the most sought-after destinations in the world for both couples and families.
Besides its rural charm, Tuscany is also one of Italy’s richest regions in cultural and historical assets. The battles between the towns located in the pastoral district are commemorated to this day in their rivalries and in festivals and competitions that stir up the atmosphere. It is enough to come to the horse festival of the Tuscan town of Siena, in order to understand that they have not forgotten (and perhaps will not forget) the tough rivalry with neighboring Florence. Fortunately for us, the bloody battles between the cities and towns (among them Florence, Siena, Arezzo, etc.) remained the property of history, and today it is enough that we make sure not to call his countryman (Arezzo) by a Florentine title, and we are fine.
Tuscany is not a small province, and as such it contains countless cities, towns and villages. In addition, in each part of it you can find a different view, so that you can spend a long trip there without feeling that you have exhausted it. In addition, it was (and is) home to so many great names (such as Michelangelo, Dante, Leonardo da Vinci and more), that the amount of history in it amazes even the greatest seekers of knowledge. However, fear not. You can plow the district in a rented car even if you have relatively little time, and thus get a taste of the many activities and experiences it has to offer. Here we will review several examples, but it is not recommended to limit your imagination to them. It is important to emphasize that a trip with and without a car will be very different in Tuscany, and we will try to cover both options.
If you are traveling without a car, it is recommended to sleep in one of the big cities (Florence, Siena, Pisa and more). In these cities, apart from the many tourist sites and the rich history of each of them, you can find transportation options that will allow you to explore the surrounding countryside as well. Staying without a car in a small Tuscan village can be a once in a lifetime experience, but keep in mind that you won’t be able to move around too much.
Naturally, accommodation in the big cities of Tuscany will be more expensive than in the smaller villages and towns. However, the level of tourist services will be correspondingly higher, which can turn out to be especially important when traveling with children.
A trip with a car makes you more mobile, and then the recommendation is to sleep in one of the many magical hostels scattered across the length and breadth of Tuscany. The recommended area is the part south of Florence, as it is relatively close to a variety of attractions and pilgrimage centers for tourists.
For those looking for a romantic vacation, the recommendation for a country lodge is even stronger. You won’t believe what a night or two in a guest house surrounded by vineyards, built a hundred or two hundred years ago and still operated by the same family, will do for your vacation.
And finally, Tuscany can be divided according to landscapes. The north of the province is characterized by mountains and hills, and is less typical of Tuscany in general. That’s why you can skip it on your first trip, and reach it on subsequent trips or on your way to northern Italy. In western Tuscany you will find Pisa and Lucca, and of course the beach. These are not particularly interesting cities (certainly if you’ve already seen the tower leaning on its side), but they will allow you access to both the sea and the center of Tuscany.
The most touristic area is central Tuscany and the south, i.e. the area of Florence and Siena. This is the area with the most vineyards, wines and points of interest, so you can be sure that you will find everything you want in Tuscany and more. If you are looking for a more authentic and less touristy experience, the recommendation is to turn to eastern Tuscany and the region of his country.
In order to experience the real, beautiful and rural Tuscany, the recommendation is to arrive from mid-September to the end of October, or alternatively in the months of April and May. These are the months when the weather is the most comfortable, and the district is not as crowded with tourists as in the summer months. Apart from that, the Tuscans take advantage of the beautiful weather to hold many festivals (some of which are also related to agriculture), and the autumn harvest celebrations are an experience in themselves. The moderate load of tourists also ensures that accommodation prices will not skyrocket.
In the summer months, however, Tuscany is filled with tourists from all over the world looking to vacation during the summer vacation. Although due to the size of the district it is certainly possible to avoid the hordes of tourists, but keep in mind that the main cities and tourist sites will be busy and hot. In addition, the crowds of tourists who book accommodation long in advance lead to a sharp increase in prices, which is very noticeable throughout the district.
Finally, if you’re willing to risk fickle weather but earn lucrative deals on lodging in places you couldn’t afford in the summer, the winter months are the time for you. Although Tuscany can be snowy, and the amount of rainfall there is certainly impressive, but with proper planning of the trip you can enjoy both the absence of tourists and the relatively low costs.