Tuscany is a region in Italy that attracts many tourists. This is due to the impressive mix of picturesque landscapes, brimming culture and rich history, inviting everyone for an immersive one week in Tuscany. The region’s authentic cuisine and the lovely countryside sights on a misty morning provide a stunning view you’ll certainly enjoy.
For those of you who haven’t really given this place a thought, know that Tuscany is a region located in central Italy. The rustic farms, cypress-lined driveways, and many historic towns create an incredibly pleasant atmosphere.
In fact, this region is a very romantic nestle of small villages, stretching from the Umbrian border to the Ligurian Sea. The imagery changes from pastoral to rocky at the mountains, before it finally flattens with the sea breeze of Pisa.
Our full guide covers:
- Basic Introduction
- Where to stay in Tuscany
- How to get around
- What to see in Tuscany
- Things to do in Tuscany
- Tickets you have to buy before – must read
- Food and Restaurants
- Day Trips from Tuscany
- Itinerary for Tuscany
- Packing List
- City Map
The Chianti region, which is situated between Florence and Siena, is especially known for its wine production. On the other hand, Florence, the capital of Tuscany, is a place where every passage, street, and cultural site is magical. Pisa, Lucca and Siena are also quite significant towns that will attract you with their Italian Renaissance style, art and culture.
Spending one week in Tuscany is the best choice you can make, so make sure you prepare for it. To help you set sail on this exciting venture, I have prepared a full guide on how to spend an enjoyable week in Tuscany and breathe in the very best of Italy!
1. Basic Introduction
Before we delve into your 1 week in Tuscany itinerary, let me share a list of some basic information, before you start planning your trip.
Currency: EUR (€)
Language Spoken: Italian
Population: 3.73 million (2019)
Known for: breathtaking landscapes, historic cities, art, and culture
Accommodation: hotels, bed and breakfasts, agriturismos (farm stays) and rental villas
Find more details in our where to stay in Tuscany section below.
Public Transport: Train, bus, car
More under how to get around.
Safety: Tuscany is considered a safe region for tourists.
Electricity: 230V/50Hz (European plug). Remember to pack your travel plug adapter.
2. Where to stay in Tuscany
Preparing for your one week in Tuscany is surely a thrilling experience. There are so many places, both with historical and architectural value, that I’m sure you’ll enjoy. After all, Tuscany is a cultural treasure, a historic landmark of Italy, and one of the most beautiful regions in the whole country. So, here is a list of the few most important towns in the region, each telling its own story, waiting for you to explore.
2.1 Where to stay in Florence
This city is a living testament of the Renaissance period and the capital of the Tuscany region. It is located on the banks of the Arno River. The reason why you need to put it into your 1 week in Tuscany itinerary is because this place is a major tourist attraction.
Namely, it boasts unique landmarks, such as Florence Cathedral, Uffizi Gallery, Ponte Vecchio, Palazzo Strozzi and many more. Walking along Florence will take you to the many charming designer boutiques and vibrant marketplaces. Moreover, It also offers many different accommodations to stay at!
Hotel Palazzo Benci
Situated midway between Florence Cathedral and Santa Maria Novella Station, Hotel Palazzo Benci is a complete restoration of a 15th-century residence. It has a big garden and courtyard, perfect for relaxing while holding a drink you’ll order from the on-site bar.
Hostel Archi Rossi
Very close to the train station in Florence and within walking distance from the main tourist sites, Hostel Archi Rossi offers cosy and nice rooms, especially suitable for couples.
2.2 Where to stay in Siena
Settled in the heart of Tuscany, Siena is a gem of mediaeval history and architecture. This town is recognizable for its Piazza del Campo shell-shaped Square surrounded by preserved mediaeval buildings and streets and for its Gothic cathedrals. It is also well-known for Palio, a horse race held in the city centre. Having so many attractions, it’s definitely worth considering for your one week in Tuscany.
B&B San Francesco
Set in a 15th-century building in the heart of Siena, B&B San Francesco is opposite Bruco Fountain. The rooms, typically furnished and offering a city view, make for a great stay. Italian breakfast at the hotel includes coffee and pastries, making it a great place for couples.
Featuring spacious rooms in Neoclassical style that are comfortable and offer a city view or a football stadium’s park, Albergo Chiusarelli is housed in a 3-storey historical building, leaving a very pleasant impression.
2.3 Where to stay in Pisa
Known for its Leaning Tower, a symbol of architectural ingenuity and quirks of history, Pisa is a vibrant town famous for its historic neighbourhoods. It’s also home to the famous University of Pisa, and the synergy built between the students and the locals can be felt in the vibrant atmosphere. The town is also known for the culinary scene making an indulging experience for your one week in Tuscany.
Grand Hotel Duomo
Staying at Grand Hotel Duomo means you’ll be a two-minute walk from Duomo Square and the Leaning Tower in Pisa. You can enjoy an American bar, a roof terrace with a breathtaking view of the city, as well as a comfortable stay in a cozy room.
Hotel Bologna is a great place to stay during your one week in Tuscany! The hotel offers very bright rooms with wooden floors and independent heating. The breakfast is served in the restaurant or on the terrace. The bar within the hotel is a place where you can taste Tuscan products for free. The Leaning Tower is only 12 minutes walking distance.
2.4 Where to stay in Lucca
This town has a musical legacy besides other monumental significance because it is the birthplace of Giacomo Puccini. The museum built in his honour offers a great insight into his work and life. Lucca has a few very vibrant markets, charming boutiques and an astonishing cuisine tradition. Some cultural treasures that you have to visit during your 1 week in Tuscany are the Cathedral of St. Martin, the Church of San Michele in Foro and the Guinigi Tower.
Hotel Alla Corte degli Angeli
Hotel Alla Corte degli Angeli is located within the ancient walls of Lucca. The rooms are very elegant but are equipped with very modern amenities inside.
Albergo San Martino
A very comfortable accommodation in the heart of Lucca, Albergo San Martino allows you to enjoy a hydromassage bath and the cosiness of the room as you come back from a long day spent sightseeing.
2.5 Where to stay in Arezzo
Looking for a place to visit during your one week in Tuscany? This ancient and culturally rich town offers an attractive mix of history, art and dynamic life. It’s an architectural treasure in the heart of Tuscany!
Namely, Arecco’s history is far in the past in the Etruscan era, which can be easily figured out from the architectural and archaeological remains. When there, don’t miss visiting Piazza Grande, the Cathedral of Arezzo, the Church of San Domenico and Casa del Vasari. The Antique Market is also a visit-worthy location, one you need to add to your list of things to do in Tuscany.
B&B VIA ROMA 25
A bed and breakfast accommodation with a coffee shop on-site, B&B VIA ROMA 25 is close to many landmarks of Arezzo.
Hotel Continentale is quite different from the others, offering luxury rooms with wooden floors and a minibar. The day here starts with a rich buffet breakfast. There is also an all-day bar offering drinks, which can be served on the terrace.
2.6 Where to stay in Cortona
The timeless beauty of this hilltop town attracts you to spend a week in Tuscany right there. In fact, Cortona is known for attracting artists, writers and travellers for centuries. Must-visit places include Piazza della Republica, the Cathedral and palaces and museums depending on how much time you will have.
Monastero Di Cortona Hotel & Spa
Monastero Di Cortona Hotel & Spa is a very elegant and stylish property offering a continental buffet breakfast. Choosing to stay here allows you to enjoy the roof garden and spa sessions.
Hotel San Luca
Hotel San Luca is very close to Lake Trasimeno. The rooms are in classical style and you can use the gym or enjoy the terrace with great panoramic views.
3. How to get around
You will definitely find many different ways to explore the beautiful region during your one week in Tuscany. Here are the most common means of getting around.
Train: The rail network is well connected and extensive, making travelling by train very easy among the bigger cities such as Florence, Pisa and Siena. The main train company is Treni Italia and there are several kinds of trains depending on the speed they move.
Bus: Another convenient way of travelling through Tuscany is by bus. Apart from being cost-efficient, it is also very convenient as it connects even the smaller towns. However, make sure to check the schedule beforehand as it frequently changes.
Car: According to many, this is the best way to explore the area during your 1 week in Tuscany. The car will provide a flexible and relaxing journey. Many of the car renting companies have offices at the airport, so you can rent a vehicle as you land in Italy.
4. What to see in Tuscany- The Must-Do’s
These are the things that you shouldn’t miss while spending a week in Tuscany:
The Must-Do’s are:
- Visit the Uffizi Gallery
- Explore the Florence Cathedral (Duomo)
- Experience the Palio di Siena
- See the iconic Leaning Tower of Pisa in the Piazza dei Miracoli
More great sights to see in Tuscany are:
- Explore the vineyards and wineries of the Chianti wine region
- Marvel at the medieval towers that dominate the skyline of this UNESCO-listed town
- Explore the narrow streets and historic squares of Lucca
5. Things to do in Tuscany
One week’s holiday is by all means a dense agenda, but in Tuscany, it is worth every minute. Here is my list of recommendations for the best things to do in Tuscany:
Wine Tasting in Chianti
Chianti region is very famous for the production of red wines, among which the Chianti Classico is the most famous. Since many of the vineyards offer a guided tour, I suggest that you join one and learn every detail of the production process. The wine tasting includes not only tasting a few of the wines produced at the particular vineyard but also explaining the production of olive oil, and vinegar.
In many vineries, they will prepare authentic dishes in combination with the wine, so you’ll be up to a full experience. If you’re planning your one week in Tuscany during the high season, make sure to reserve your participation in advance.
Cooking Classes and Culinary Experiences
Joining a cooking class in the capital of Tuscany, Florence is a real delight! The fact that the oldest grocery shop is located there is one more thing that promises a great experience. Here, you won’t only learn how to cook traditional Tuscan dishes, but you’ll also experience what shopping for fresh groceries looks like. Later, you’ll also be instructed in food and wine pairing. There is a famous Cooking School in Siena. In case you’re a passionate culinary addict, you can also consider Truffle hunting.
Hot Air Balloon Ride
This ride will be a lifetime memory worth adding to your 1 week in Tuscany itinerary. After considering which of the regional hot air balloon operators are reputable and have experienced pilots and checking their safety records, you can book a tour.
There are also many starting points for these tours and you have to pick the most attractive for you. What can also be as amazing as the ride itself is the post-flight party with a champagne toast and a light breakfast together with the pilots. You will get a certificate after the tour and also do not forget to capture memories with your camera.
Hiking and Nature Walks
Tuscany is a great place to enjoy hiking and nature walks, mainly because of its mesmerising natural landscapes. Here are a few such things to do in Tuscany:
- Cinque Terre Coastal Trail consists of five beautiful fishing villages:
- Riomaggiore offers an unforgettable sunset view from the rocks
- Manarola, Vernazza is with the mountains that seem to be at the top of the surrounding hill
- Corniglia is interesting for the uncountable stairs to climb
- Monterosso al Mare is with the best beach in the line where you will enjoy the cooler watts of the Ligurian Sea
- Val d’Orcia trails – It allows you to enjoy the cypress trees, cute villages and hills. Then, you will continue through the Elba Island hike on the biggest island of the Tuscan archipelago and the MonteAmiata hike to the highest peak in Tuscany, which is a volcano surrounded by marble, dense forests and mountain picturesque landscapes.
Visit Thermal Baths
If you wish to add a relaxing experience to your one week in Tuscany, then don’t miss visiting Terme di Saturnia in southern Tuscany, Terme di Montecatini, or Banio Vignoni Terme di Petriolo. Whichever thermal baths you decide to visit, it’s very important to check the amenities they offer, so you can relax and fully enjoy your stay.
6. Tickets you have to buy before (Must Read)
Once you set a date for your 1 week in Tuscany, you can start thinking about the details. It’s good to buy tickets in advance, especially during high season. Here’s what you should have in mind:
- Museum Tickets
- Duomo Complex in Florence
- Leaning Tower of Pisa
Check out GetYourGuide for tickets.
7. Food & Restaurants
These are my recommendations for authentic traditional dishes you have to try, as well as some famous restaurants you should visit.
- Pappa al Pomodoro
- Bistecca alla Fiorentina
- Pecorino Cheese
- Crostini Toscani
- Ravioli di Ricotta e Spinaci
My recommendations for the best restaurants in Tuscany:
- Osteria Francescana (Modena)
- Enoteca Pinchiorri (Florence)
- Il Palagio (Florence)
- La Bottega del Buon Caffè (Florence)
8. Day Trips from Tuscany
How to do the day trips? There are 3 options:
During your one week in Tuscany, here are a few short trips you can consider taking:
- Florence: Florence Cathedral (Duomo); Uffizi Gallery; Accademia Gallery; Ponte Vecchio
- Siena: Piazza del Campo; Siena Cathedral (Duomo di Siena); Palazzo Pubblico
- Pisa: Leaning Tower of Pisa; Pisa Cathedral (Duomo di Pisa); Pisa Baptistery
- Lucca: Lucca City Walls; Piazza dell’Anfiteatro; Guinigi Tower
- Arezzo: Piazza Grande; Arezzo Cathedral (Duomo di Arezzo); Basilica of San Francesco
- Cortona: Piazza della Repubblica; Cortona Cathedral (Duomo di Cortona); Etruscan Academy Museum of the City of Cortona (MAEC)
9. Itinerary for 7 days
Day 1: Arrival in Florence
Once you get there, find your accommodation first, after which it will be a good idea to walk around your neighbourhood and discover the possibilities of getting from place to place. You can have whatever you wish for lunch, but definitely organise your dinner in an authentic Tuscan cuisine restaurant. After all, there’s no better way to enjoy the first day in the capital city of Tuscany than this!
Day 2: Uffizi Gallery and Historic Sites
One week in Tuscany is a perfect time to spend in Florence and explore what the city has to offer. You can start with the world-famous Uffizi Gallery where the masterpieces from the Renaissance time are set. It is located in the centre of Piazza della Signoria and features work from Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and Botticelli. The Florence Cathedral, Duomo- Santa Maria del Fiore, offers 470-something stairs to climb and enjoy the panoramic view. Next, you can visit the Basilica Santa Croce, a resting place of many magnificent Italian artists such as Michelangelo, Galileo and Machiavelli. If you’re travelling as a couple, Ponte Vecchio and all those key chains are yet another perfect ritual. Lastly, pay a visit to The Gucci Museum, which is a sign of a fashion family history.
To rest after a long day, spend exploring, book a nice and fancy restaurant for the evening and think of the beauties you have been through during the day.
Day 3: Michelangelo’s David and Florence Highlights
There isn’t a book in History of Art that will not mention this sculpture which is exhibited in Galleria dell’Accademia in Florence. This 5.17 metres high sculpture is the first marble statue, attracting visitors from all around the world to admire its beauty.
Day 4: Siena
This is a very charming and historic town in Tuscany. There are many landmarks to visit, so start the day by visiting Piazza del Campo, a shell-shaped squire. Next, go to Palazzo Publico and Torre del Mangia and relax at the square, enjoy an Italian coffee and feel the vibes. Then, go on visiting the Siena Cathedral, the Piccolomini Library and Museo dell’Opera del Duomo. Walk along Siena’s alleys and streets and enjoy your evening in a nice traditional restaurant.
Day 5: Chianti Wine Region
On the fifth day of your one week in Tuscany, visit the Chianti wine region. This region is located between the cities of Florence and Siena. You can make the best impression by joining a wine tour and enjoying the day. Do not miss out on tasting the Chianti Classico wine and other wines produced in the region. If you combine it with traditional dishes, you’ll have a full experience.
Day 6: Pisa and Lucca
Yes, it’s possible to visit these two towns in a day. Reserve the morning for Pisa, where you’ll visit the famous Leaning Tower, the Cathedral and Piazza dei Miracoli. You may also plan your lunch to be while in Pisa in one of the restaurants at the square.
In the afternoon, travel to Lucca, which is a 30-minute drive away from Pisa. There are few spots in Lucca that are worth visiting when you have a short time available, so start with Lucca’s City Walls, Piazza dell’ Anfiteatro, and the Cathedral of St. Martin. You can also walk through the narrow streets of Lucca and find a cosy trattoria to enjoy dinner.
Day 7: Val d’Orcia and Departure
Located in Southern Tuscany, this is a place of many small picturesque villages. Pienza and Montalcino are two of several and are worth visiting. Admiring cypress alleys before finishing your one week holiday in Tuscany will be a fantastic experience. And don’t forget to have a nice lunch and enjoy local specialities before you start preparing to travel back home.
10. Packing List
There are a few things we recommend for your packing list Tuscany.
- Lightweight clothing
- Comfortable walking shoes
- A light jacket or a sweater for breezy evenings
- Sun protection factor
- Sunglasses and a hat
- Scarf for covering your shoulders when you visit a church
Optional but always useful:
I hope that my recommendations for one week in Tuscany will help you plan an unforgettable trip. For more interesting destinations and travel advice, make sure to check out the rest of the blogs.
11. Printed Guides & Map
These guides are best for the ones looking for a printed version.
Once you come to Tuscany, you will also receive a paper map of the city.
- Rick Steves Florence & Tuscany (Travel Guide)
- Tuscany, Italy: Small-town Itineraries for the Foodie Traveler
- DK Eyewitness Florence and Tuscany (Travel Guide)
Here is again our map of Tuscany with the recommended hotels and neighborhoods.
Questions? Contact us
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