We generally recommend to everyone who really wants to get a taste of Tuscany to give yourself an entire month to spend in and explore Tuscany. There are many cities to explore, such as Florence, Siena, Pisa, and Arezzo as well as entire regions, such as Chianti and Val d’Orcia. Usually no one can not reside all of these days to all the region, but if you do have some flexibility, try to get more days in Tuscany rather than less.
Do you actually thinking to stay in Tuscany? Wonderful! Then we recommend dividing up the time and finding two bases, one is nearby north and one in the southern part of the region, so that you can spend more time exploring the historical areas closer to you in each part.
Best Places to Stay in Tuscany
Without any hesitation, these are some places to stay in Tuscany. The Tuscan countryside in the very central area between Florence and Siena, which just also happens to enclose the entire wine region of Chianti within its borders.
If you stay anywhere in this area (from San Miniato in the west to the Valdarno in the east), you will generally be within an hour ride or less from the majority of all of the sights, you’ll want to visit in Tuscany.
Places like Florence, Pisa, Lucca, San Gimignano, the Chianti wine area with its many hilltop towns, Siena, Volterra, Arezzo, the Crete Senesi, and the Val d’Orcia are the best to stay.
In particular, we suggest staying in the Tuscan countryside to experience the best side of Tuscany through volognano.com. Many villas and farmhouses in the hills of Tuscany have become castles, apartments, hotels, and B&Bs that welcome travelers and become the ideal base to enjoy the peacefulness and beauty of the hills, even coast and mountains.
For staying it is not mandatory to have your own car but it’s better to have on to enjoy the driving experiences near the countryside of Tuscany.
As mentioned by car (whether you drive here or rent a car) to be able to pick any property without regard to their location and to explore the region (and cities) on day trips, heading out to explore in a new direction every day.
5 ideas on how to live a month in Tuscany
Tuscany offers the perfect blend of rural and city life from home to hillside towns, rustic countryside, picturesque coastal towns and prosperous cities. The region’s rich Renaissance culture and luscious landscapes attract tourists, retirees and expats alike, and as a result, Tuscany is home to more than 4 million people.
Staying to all the Tuscany’s Renaissance Cities
From Florence and Lucca to Pisa and its famous tower, Tuscany is home to many awe-inspiring cities known for their historic beauty and immersive culture.
The heart of Tuscany lies in Florence. This city has been home to some of the world’s greatest artists, architects, thinkers, and political figures, including Leonardo da Vinci, Botticelli, Masaccio, and Michelangelo.
Beautifully placed with museums, churches, art galleries, operas and so much more, Florence practically breathes culture and offers a plethora of experience.
An author who has been living in Tuscany since 1988 named Meaghan said in his book Good Tastes of Tuscany is “Living in Florence is easy; you can walk everywhere, go to the bar, have an espresso while relaxing in the piazza and being surrounded by art in each corner“.
As you might expect, the cost of living is slightly more expensive in Florence than it is in other Tuscan cities including Pisa. Florence is also home to one of the two international airports in Tuscany – Pisa being the other.
When it comes to job opportunities, Florence is best known for the production of jewelry, perfume, ceramics, and leather, as well as famous for unusual production techniques such as marbling and mosaicking.
Tourism is the major economic sector in Florence. Who knows both Italian and English may found numerous jobs here. On the other hand who came here for livelihood, If they have strong technical skills and experience, it may well be worth exploring these options says Meaghan.
Residing in Lucca
It is situated to the west of Florence, closer to the coast, “Lucca is one of the cities most favored by many visitors. Known as the city of 100 churches, it too is renowned for its historic monuments and breathtaking Renaissance architecture” says Marta, an expat who has lived in Massarosa, Tuscany for 14 years.
Exploring the enchanting city by foot is like a dream – made everything easier by the fact that almost everything is within walking distance with quaint cobbled streets and pretty piazzas and promenades.
Lucca is the perfect place for those looking to enjoy the city life at a relaxed pace with a lower cost of living and a slower pace of life. Side by side, Lucca “is not as overrun by tourists all year round as is, say, nearby Florence” adds Marta.
Tourism, however, does play a major part in Lucca’s economy, and there are plenty of job opportunities in this sector for expats to grow their careers.
People may also find opportunities in the industrial sector (paper, marine, mechanical, chemical and pharmaceutical) which is also an important addition to Lucca’s economy.
It takes less than an hour’s drive from Lucca lies Pisa, mostly known by tourists for its famous Leaning Tower. But this is not the only piece of incredible architecture that inhabits Pisa: the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, the Pisa Baptistery and the Scuola Normale are also architectural jewels which are not to be ignored.
The overall cost of living in both Florence and Lucca is higher than it is in Pisa, especially when it comes to buying and renting property. Pisa is a great place for expat families and students alike with plenty of real estate opportunities to pursue and fantastic education options to explore.
Like its other linked cities, Pisa offers plenty of opportunities in the tourism industry. Expats may also find potential career ways in the wine, oil, leather or trade sectors.
Home to the largest airport in Tuscany – Pisa Galileo Galilei Airport – getting to Pisa is much easier. Getting around far from Pisa is even more so easier.
As a small city, you can easily get to where you want to go by foot or bike, but if you want to explore the surrounding area, the only option is to use the city’s bus service.
Just to keep in mind that the historic center of Pisa is a car-free zone, there is no opportunities to drive there at all.
Take a short tour to San Gimignano
San Gimignano is a perfect haven for visitors or retirees looking to embrace a slower pace of living, a picturesque medieval hill town situated in the stunning Tuscan countryside.
Tourists visit San Gimignano for day trips to marvel at the archaic 13th century walls and neck-craning towers which encircle the historic old town.
Also listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, San Gimignano may be a small town but there is huge of shopping opportunities, including specialty food and wine shops, and getting around is easy.
Driving through Chianti Vineyards
It’s difficult to define the lines of the Chianti area in Tuscany, because the name ‘Chianti’ traditionally refers to the area between Florence and Siena where Chianti wine is produced.
Chianti area is located just south of Florence and is known for its gentle hills, countless vineyards, and olive groves, rustic villages, stone churches, and more.
As well as incredible landscapes and a thriving wine production sector, Chianti offers plenty of unique shopping and sightseeing opportunities.
Tuscany – the land of vineyards, rolling hills, renaissance culture and so much more whether you choose to relocate to a quaint coastal town or settle in an enchanting city, there are lots of places to choose from.
Limited vs Unlimited Time Options
Even if you’re staying less than a month, my top recommendation is to stay in the central area and enjoy a day driving around the countryside visiting the villages spread across the landscape, a day in a city such as Florence or Siena and so on, depending on the amount of days you have.
If you’re staying longer than a month, we would suggest you divide your time between two bases, one being in the Chianti area and another in the Val d’Orcia in southern Tuscany.
In this way, you can explore further to the north, going into the Mugello to the north of Florence or exploring the Apennines north of Pistoia and then moving to the area south of Siena (or vice versa) to better explore both the many small towns there (Pienza, Montepulciano, Montalcino, etc) as well as Arezzo and Cortona to the east.
If you’re planning to include a visit to the Cinque Terre during your time in Tuscany, I would suggest you do it from Chianti.
For more information visit volognano.com.
This post is also available in: Italian