Even a week is not enough to sample all that the beautiful region of Tuscany, in Italy, has to offer. The charming Tuscan countryside, the scenic hill towns and ancient cities demand that you spend longer than a week here. However, if a week is all you’ve got, fret not. You can take a short 7-day itinerary across Tuscany until the next time.
While the cities in the region are conveniently connected via rail service, you are recommended to drive/hire your own vehicle if possible. Doing so will ensure that you make the most of the short period of time available to you. Sure, you may not be able to visit or experience each and every delight that Tuscany has to offer, but you can cover most of the widely-recognized and best places in Tuscany.
7-day itinerary in Tuscany: Summary
- Day 1: Florence
- Day 2: Chianti
- Day 3: Siena and Monteriggioni
- Day 4: Val D’Orcia, Pienza and Montepulciano
- Day 5: Volterra and San Gimignano
- Day 6: Cortona
- Day 7: Montecatini
Day 1: Florence
You can start your week-long tour across Tuscany with Florence, the capital city. When in Florence, make sure you visit the Duomo complex – the town’s historic center, the Florence Cathedral for its renowned frescoes and the Giotto bell tower for a scenic view of the entire city. Don’t miss the Uffizi Museum, the Old Bridge and Palazzo Vecchio as well. You can easily walk around the city to enjoy all the streets and palaces in between the major attractions.
Day 2: Chianti
Reserve the second day for Chianti, the spectacular expanse between the cities of Florence and Siena. The Chianti region is world famous for its wine and you can walk through its vineyard covered hills and olive groves, as you help yourself to some. The Wine Museum in Chianti is houses up to 200 different kinds of wine.
Day 3: Siena and Monteriggioni
Start early on the third day of your 7-day itinerary in Tuscany and take the Chiantigiana Road SR 222 to drive through the beautiful countryside to Siena. Walk along the ancient streets of Old Town, visit the Duomo Cathedral and the Piazza del Campo.
Right outside the city of Siena lies the walled caste of Monteriggioni. The medieval castle stands with 15 towers intact, to this day. Walk into the castle but don’t forget to climb up and stroll along the walls to enjoy the surrounding scenery.
Day 4: Val D’Orcia, Pienza and Montepulciano
If your drive the other day whetted your appetite to bask in the Tuscan countryside, you will be in for a delight in Day Four. We suggest you drive through the Val d’Orcia, famed to be among the most breathtaking motor routes in the world. It will remind you of all the postcards you ever saw in your life with illustrations of Tuscan vales and villages.
The Val d’Orcia is home to some exemplary Tuscan towns like Pienza and Montepulciano. We recommend you spend some time touring these charming Tuscan regions as well.
Day 5: Volterra and San Gimignano
During the 5th day of 7-day itinerary in Tuscany, you can drive to the medieval walled hilltop town of Volterra. When in Volterra, don’t forget to visit the Etruscan Museum which documents the rich history of this charming town. You can also visit the ruins of the Roman Theatre.
The beautiful medieval square, Piazza dei Priori is also one of the best places in Tuscany. It is home to the Palazzo dei Priori, which contains beautiful frescoes in its council chamber and provides visitors with a beautiful bird’s eye view of the town of Volterra from its top.
You may also choose to visit the neighboring town of San Gimignano, which has been deemed a UNESCO World Heritage Site and draws visitors for its fourteen medieval towers. When in San Gimignano, make sure to visit the 200ft high Torre Grossa for breathtaking views of the countryside. Also visit the Piazza della Cisterna to tour its famed well, built in the 13th century.
Day 6: Cortona
You can drive on over to Cortona from Volterra. Cortona has been the setting of many famous Tuscan themed Hollywood movies and you might recognize your surroundings from “Under The Tuscan Sun” or “Life is Beautiful”. Cortona’s beautiful town squares – the Piazza Garibaldi, the Piazza della Repubblicca and the Piazza della Signoria offer plenty of sights for the hungry tourist to see.
Art aficionados can visit the Diocesan Museum. Others can simply walk about on the cobblestoned streets and drop into a café or two to sample authentic Italian desserts.
Day 7: Montecatini
On your last and final day, you can drive back towards Florence, where you started your journey. However, you have one last pit stop to make. You cannot check your “Best Places in Tuscany” list without dropping by Montecatini.
Montecatini is yet another of those charming Tuscan hilltowns with its own share of beautiful medieval churches, towers, and fortresses. Visit the many cafes, pubs and restuarants and round up your trip with a dip in the holy waters of the Montecatini Terme, believed to have healing properties according to folklore.
Think We Missed a Spot?
It isn’t possible for us not to. You cannot tour all Tuscany in 7 days. The region has so much to offer. In this article, we have tried to provide an itinerary for the best places in Tuscany.
It encompasses some of the more famous Tuscan cities and country towns. There are several other places in Tuscany that we are sure would captivate a visiting traveler. If possible, come with at least 2 weeks time, when planning a vacation to the Tuscan region.
Don’t forget to treat yourself to the delectable food preparations and wines of the Tuscan region when here. Tuscany is home to many charming cafes and pubs. Make sure you spend more than a couple hours when visiting them to take in the entire Tuscan experience and observe how the locals live their life.
Everybody’s aware of the more famous cities like Florence and Siena that Tuscany has to offer and while they might live up to their fame, don’t spend too much time on them and miss out on Tuscany’s hidden gems.
Volterra and Cortona are just as pretty and have as much of a travel experience to offer up to tourists as does Florence, Siena or Chianti. Last but not the least, the Tuscan countryside figures prominently among the best places in Tuscany for travelers, and you’d be a fool to miss out!