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Where to Stay in Tuscany in 2024 – 15 Best Areas

Explore Tuscany hidden gems with our guide on the best areas to stay. Our guide helps you find your ideal Tuscan base for an unforgettable journey.
Where to Stay in Tuscany

Tuscany, nestled in the heart of Italy, is an absolute gem, teeming with a rich tapestry of history. Personally, I find it to be one of the most enchanting places on Earth. This region, known as Tuscia or Etruria in ancient times, is crowned by its capital, Florence – a city that simply takes your breath away with its Renaissance art, medieval villages, and historic sites that create an atmosphere you won’t find anywhere else.

Moreover, Tuscany is famed for its winemaking and delightful cuisine. It’s a paradise for foodies and wine enthusiasts alike! If you’re planning a visit, I’d strongly recommend exploring the best areas to stay in Tuscany before booking your trip. Trust me, you’ll want to experience the very best of what this picturesque region has to offer.

1. Florence, best area to stay in Tuscany

Florence, Tuscany, Italy

Florence, the heart of Tuscany, is a city where culture and romance overflow in the cobblestone streets. With a history spanning over 3,000 years, it’s a treasure trove of art and architecture that’s just waiting to be explored.

In Florence, you’ll encounter world-class monuments, churches, and museums that draw thousands of visitors daily. The Duomo di Firenze in Piazza del Duomo is a must-see. This iconic cathedral, along with Giotto’s Bell Tower, the Baptistery of Saint John, and the Museo dell’ Opera del Duomo, all in the same square, are breathtaking.

And let’s not forget the renowned statue of David by Michelangelo in the Galleria dell’Accademia. Other must-visits include the Leonardo da Vinci museum, the imposing Palazzo Vecchio, and the enchanting Boboli Gardens.

Beyond its sights, Florence boasts the liveliest nightlife in Tuscany. Whether you’re in the mood for a relaxed evening with wine or cocktails or dancing the night away in a disco, Florence has it all.

Accommodation-wise, Florence has the largest network of hotels in Tuscany, ranging from luxurious to budget-friendly hostels. It’s an excellent base for exploring Tuscany, offering an abundance of experiences and sights. You’re sure to find plenty to do and see here.

Best Hotels in Florence

2. Siena, a medieval city in Tuscany

Siena, Tuscany, Italy

Siena, a charming medieval city, is renowned for its delectable wines, romantic vibe, and leisurely pace of life. It’s like stepping into a world where time slows down, allowing you to savor every moment. The city’s unique collection of churches, museums, and archaeological sites adds to its allure.

The central square, Il Campo, is one of Europe’s largest medieval squares, fascinatingly divided into nine sections, each symbolizing a fold in the Virgin Mary’s cloak, Siena’s patron saint. My personal favorites in Siena include:

  • The Palazzo Pubblico: A stunning example of medieval architecture.
  • The Torre del Mangia: This 87-meter tower offers breathtaking views of the city.
  • The Palio racetrack: Famous for its historic horse races.
  • The Gothic-style Duomo di Siena: This church is a treasure trove of art by masters like Donatello, Bernini, and Michelangelo.

Siena’s culinary scene is equally impressive. The region is a paradise for food and wine enthusiasts, offering a wide variety of wines that you’ll find in most restaurants and bars. The richness and diversity of flavors here are simply unparalleled.

Best Hotels in Siena

3. Chianti, best area to stay in Tuscany for the best wine and vineyards

Radda in Chianti, Tuscany, Italy
Radda in Chianti, Tuscany, Italy

Chianti, nestled in the heart of Italy, is the birthplace of the world-famous Chianti wine, made exclusively from grapes grown in this region. A visit here would be incomplete without a tour of a winery and vineyard, where the magic of winemaking comes to life.

In the heart of Chianti Classico lies Greve, a quaint village famous for its picturesque square and the Museo del Vino. This museum is a haven for wine lovers, showcasing the production and influence of wine in the region.

Don’t miss the medieval town of Radda, perched atop a hill with panoramic views of the surrounding vineyards. Radda is a certified wine hub and hosts the delightful Radda nel Bicchiere wine festival, an event I personally find enchanting.

For accommodation in Chianti, you’ll find hotels in the smaller towns and rooms within villas amidst the vineyards. Staying in one of these villas, surrounded by the serene beauty of the vineyards, is a unique experience I highly recommend.

Best Hotels in Chianti

4. Val d'Orcia, a picturesque place in Tuscany

Val d'Orcia, Tuscany, Italy
Val d'Orcia, Tuscany, Italy

Val d’Orcia, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a picturesque valley encircling the Orcia River. It’s a canvas of lush green and golden landscapes, dotted with incredible vineyards, charming farmhouses, and rich medieval history.

The small, picturesque villages here are deeply rooted in agriculture, producing grains, olives, and livestock. A highlight of the area is the Cappella Madonna di Vitaleta, a quaint 12th-century chapel that’s a photographer’s dream.

For wine enthusiasts, the iconic ‘wine road’ between Montalcino and Montepulciano is a must-visit. The vineyards here adhere to strict quality standards, using specific grape varieties, resulting in world-class wines that are a treat for the palate.

When it comes to accommodation, Val d’Orcia is known for its classic villas, complete with pools and vineyards. Though the prices are on the higher side, they offer a luxurious escape from the hustle and bustle, perfect for those seeking an opulent, tranquil retreat.

Best Hotels in Val d'Orcia

5. Lucca, a small town in Tuscany

Lucca, Tuscany, Italy

Lucca, often referred to as the city of a hundred churches, sits gracefully along the Serchio River. It’s encircled by broad Renaissance walls, which not only protect the city but also add to its enchanting character. The intricate churches and rustic cobblestone streets add to its charm.

This well-preserved, independent city is a treasure trove of archaeological sites, towers, and 12th-century villas. A unique feature of Lucca is the large ring of walls, perfect for cycling or walking around to soak in the city’s beauty. A visit to the Roman amphitheater in Piazza dell’Anfiteatro and the bustling shopping street, Via Fillungo, is a must.

Many visitors, myself included, are drawn to Lucca for its elegant churches. The most famous is the San Martino Cathedral, home to the revered wooden Volto Santo, depicting Christ.

Lucca is brimming with restaurants, cafes, and shops, making it an ideal place to stay in Tuscany. Conveniently located near Pisa, Florence, and Siena, it offers a range of accommodations from Renaissance-style apartments to modern hotels and villas in the countryside. Whether you’re looking for history, culture, or just a relaxing Tuscan retreat, Lucca is the place to be.

Best Hotels in Lucca

6. Arezzo, best area in Tuscany for markets and art lovers

Arezzo, Tuscany, Italy

You might recognize Arezzo’s medieval square from the heartwarming film “Life is Beautiful.” Tucked away in Tuscany, Arezzo is a hidden gem, especially for art lovers.

Here are some must-see attractions in Arezzo:

  • The San Francesco Church, renowned for its “Legends of the True Cross” fresco.
  • The Piazza Grande, the city’s main square, is a bustling hub of activity.
  • The Palazzo delle Logge, designed by the famous painter Giorgio Vasari.
  • The Santa Maria della Pieve church.
  • The Mecenato Archaeological Museum, showcasing prehistoric and Etruscan artifacts.

For those who love shopping, Arezzo offers delightful stalls and markets where you can find unique souvenirs, textiles, and spices. If you’re looking for a relaxing getaway in Tuscany, Arezzo is a perfect choice. Its blend of history, art, and local markets offers a tranquil yet enriching experience.

Best Hotels in Arezzo

7. Pitigliano, one of the most beautiful villages in Italy

Pitigliano, Tuscany, Italy
Pitigliano, Tuscany, Italy

Pitigliano, with its rich multicultural history, has been a haven for Jewish people since the 16th century. But even before that, the area was steeped in Etruscan history, evidenced by numerous tombs scattered throughout the valley.

The Jewish Quarter, nestled in the heart of the city, is open for public exploration. Don’t miss the 14th-century Palazzo Orsini, a fortress housing Etruscan artifacts, and the medieval Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul.

Pitigliano is also famed for its network of underground tunnels and caves, along with the sacred paths, Vie Cave, which are open for exploration. These hidden wonders offer a glimpse into a mysterious past.

The region boasts exquisite cuisine and wines, which I personally find irresistible. You’ll find a variety of cozy hotels and charming rental homes to stay in while you immerse yourself in the enchanting town of Pitigliano.

Best Hotels in Pitigliano

8. Pienza, a small town with beautiful architecture

Pienza, Tuscany, Italy

Pienza, perched atop a hill in the Val d’Orcia, is a quaint village famous for its charming square, ancient churches, and the traditional pecorino cheese.

The main square, Piazza Pio II, designed by Bernardo Rossellino, is surrounded by magnificent buildings. The Santa Maria Assunta Cathedral, built in 1459, stands as a stunning religious monument. Adjacent to it is the Palazzo Vescovile, which now houses a museum.

For cheese enthusiasts like me, Pienza’s pecorino is a must-try. You can find this delicacy on Corso Rossellino, especially in the artisanal cheese shops dotting the street.

Despite its small size, Pienza offers a variety of accommodation options, including hotels, bed & breakfasts, and villas, catering to all preferences and ensuring a comfortable stay in this picturesque village.

Best Hotels in Pienza

9. Montepulciano, a medieval town, known for wine

Montepulciano, Tuscany, Italy

Montepulciano, a town where medieval and Renaissance eras blend seamlessly, sits atop a Tuscan hill, offering some of the region’s finest red wines.

The town’s highlights include the Piazza Grande, its highest and most central square. The 14th-century Palazzo Comunale town hall, the Montepulciano Cathedral nestled within the Palazzo, and the stunning Madonna di San Biagio church are must-see attractions.

For wine aficionados, this area is a paradise. Here, you can indulge in the renowned Vino Nobile red wine, either in a local cellar or at the famous Contucci winery, a personal favorite of mine.

Montepulciano’s hotels are scattered throughout the countryside, providing luxurious accommodations amidst olive groves and the shaded trees of Tuscany, offering a serene and opulent retreat.

Best Hotels in Montepulciano

10. Pisa, a beautiful city, known for the Leaning Tower

Leaning Tower of Pisa
Leaning Tower of Pisa

Pisa, a captivating historic city on the western coast of Italy, is world-renowned for its iconic Leaning Tower. Constructed in the 12th century in the Piazza dei Miracoli, this tower, with its unmistakable tilt due to unstable foundations, offers a breathtaking view from the top.

Other must-see attractions in Pisa include:

  • The grand Santa Maria Assunta Cathedral.
  • The 54-meter tall Pisa Baptistery, adorned with striking orange tiles on its dome and arches.
  • The National Museum of Pisa.
  • The exquisite Santa Maria della Spina church.

Pisa is an ideal base for exploring all of Tuscany. It’s one of the few areas with a vibrant nightlife, boasting nightclubs, pubs, and wine bars. The city’s popularity, largely due to the Leaning Tower, draws numerous visitors. Thankfully, Pisa offers a wide range of accommodations, catering to all budgets, ensuring everyone can enjoy their stay in this historic city.

Best Hotels in Pisa

11. Livorno, a port city in Tuscany for families and kids

Livorno, Tuscany, Italy

Livorno may not be as famous as some other Italian cities, but it’s a stunning seaside destination with a rich history worth exploring. It’s perfect for those looking to escape the crowds and save some money.

Here, you’ll discover the 16th-century Fortezza Nuova, originally built to protect Livorno’s harbor. The harbor remains a bustling hub for commerce and travel, where you can watch ships and cruise liners unloading eager tourists.

Surrounding the Fortezza Nuova is the enchanting neighborhood of Nuova Venezia, reminiscent of Venice with its ancient canals and boats gliding through. It’s a picturesque area that I personally find captivating.

A visit to the Mercato Centrale is a must, with over 200 stalls offering fresh produce, clothing, accessories, and delicious food. Speaking of food, Livorno is renowned for having some of the best seafood on the Tyrrhenian coast.

Despite its modest size, Livorno has plenty of hotels and beautiful villas, making it an ideal destination even for those traveling with children who will surely enjoy the beach and sea. Conveniently, Livorno is accessible by train from Florence or Pisa, making it an easy addition to any Italian itinerary.

Best Hotels in Livorno

12. Viareggio, where to stay in Tuscany for beach life

Viareggio, Tuscany, Italy

Viareggio, often hailed as the “Pearl of the Tyrrhenian Sea,” is a charming, sandy beach town that has seen significant development in recent years. It’s become a vibrant seaside destination, buzzing with activity in fishing and shipbuilding.

The beach stretches over 10 kilometers along La Passeggiata, a lively promenade lined with cafes, restaurants, and shops. If you’re a fan of vibrant nightlife and water sports, Viareggio won’t disappoint. The expansive beaches of Plage Maurizio and Bagno Irene are perfect for a relaxing holiday.

Another highlight of Viareggio is the Carnival of Viareggio, attracting thousands of visitors. Held from late January to early March, it’s a spectacle not to be missed. If you plan to visit during Carnival, make sure to book well in advance – it’s a popular time in the city!

With its blend of beachside relaxation, lively entertainment, and cultural events, Viareggio offers a unique and enjoyable experience for all types of travelers.

Best Hotels in Viareggio

13. San Gimignano, a small walled medieval town in Tuscany

San Gimignano, Tuscany, Italy

San Gimignano, a quaint medieval town encased in ancient walls, is renowned for its medieval towers. Once boasting 72 towers, 14 still stand proudly today. Its rich history has earned it a spot as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, making it a must-visit destination.

Here’s what you shouldn’t miss:

  • The triangular, cobblestoned Piazza della Cisterna
  • The impressive Palazzo Razzi
  • The Piazza del Duomo
  • The 12th-century Collegiata church with its stunning frescoes
  • The “Torri Gemelle” or Twin Towers

San Gimignano also offers incredible dining experiences with traditional cuisine. And for wine lovers, the town’s Vernaccia di San Gimignano is one of Italy’s finest wines. This charming town is a delightful blend of historical architecture and culinary excellence, a combination I always find irresistible.

Best Hotels in San Gimignano

14. Crete Senesi, a magical area in Tuscany

Crete Senesi, Tuscany, Italy
Crete Senesi, Tuscany, Italy / photo: wikipedia

Crete Senesi, located southwest of Siena, stands out distinctly from other Tuscan regions. Its terrain is rich in clay, creating a lunar-like landscape intermingled with forests and hills.

This area might not be brimming with tourist attractions or activities, but it’s a splendid choice if you’re looking to stay away from city bustle. I recommend spending a day in the quaint village of Aciano, known for its unique architecture. Another must-visit is Buonconvento, one of Italy’s most beautiful villages.

The heart of Buonconvento is Via Soccini, bustling with restaurants and cafes, along with the Museum of Sacred Art and the Chiesa dei Santi Pietro e Paolo church. Also, don’t miss the 14th-century Monte Oliveto Maggiore Abbey, home to Renaissance artworks.

Best Hotels in Crete Senesi

15. Cortona, a charming small town in Tuscany

Cortona, Tuscany, Italy
Cortona, Tuscany, Italy / photo: wikipedia

Cortona, famed for its picturesque setting in the film “Under the Tuscan Sun” is a charming town in southern Tuscany with Etruscan roots. Perched on a hill and encircled by ancient stone walls, it offers breathtaking panoramic views of the valley and Lake Trasimeno. Despite its small size, Cortona is rich in museums, fortresses, and archaeological sites.

Make sure to visit Piazza della Repubblica, the heart of Cortona, and Piazza Signorelli, known for its bustling Sunday outdoor market and the historic Palazzo del Capitano with its town hall and bell tower.

A tour of the Museum of the Etruscan Academy is a highlight, showcasing artifacts from the Camucia and Sodo tombs. The town is a treasure trove of Etruscan tombs and an extensive network of Roman roads, offering a unique glimpse into ancient history.

If you’re visiting in the summer, don’t miss the Tuscan Sun Festival. It’s a popular event, so I’d recommend booking your stay well in advance to ensure you don’t miss out on this cultural extravaganza in this stunning Tuscan town.

Best Hotels in Cortona

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