Best Area To Stay In Tuscany In 2024

Tuscany Italy travel

Tuscany- best areas to stay in 2024

Wondering what area would be best for you to stay in while on vacation in Tuscany? We’re here to help! Italy is a main contender for the title of our favorite country, and we have travelled several times to different areas of Tuscany as a family (and yes, that is Andreea in the photo above).

There’s one thing we can say for sure – Tuscany felt like it had something different to offer every time. The kids have gone from a little more than toddlers to teenagers, so our travel objectives have changed, as we have changed.

So, when looking for the best area to stay in Tuscany, look at yourself first. Ask yourself what type of traveler you are, know your expectations and limitations. Are you an art lover, looking forward to spend hours in museums and art galleries? Or would you rather spend your days roaming through the Tuscan countryside, in search of local dishes and out of this world Italian gelato? Will you be driving, or do narrow Tuscan country roads sound too daunting? Kids or no kids? Small impatient kids or teenagers with an attitude and sarcasm on the rise? All of these will shape your options – so let’s get started!

1. Tuscany – best areas to stay: Florence (Firenze in Italian)

Florence is an obvious choice if you love art and history, as there is plenty to see!

TuscanyFlorenceDome

Enter the 15th century Duomo di Firenze (Florence Cathedral) and climb the 463 steps up the dome (Cupola di Brunelleschi) for breathtaking views of Florence. Or do as we did, and climb the 414 steps to the top of the 14th century Bell Tower (Campanile di Giotto) next to the cathedral and capture a stunning image of the Cupola from the same height (see left, our photo ).

Visit the Uffizi Gallery, the Academia Gallery (for the statue of David by Michelangelo), the Palazzo Vecchio and the Pitti Palace and immerse yourself in art and history. And don’t forget to walk across the famous Ponte Vecchio (“old bridge”), relax in Piazza della Signoria and stroll on the narrow streets in search of ice-cream, great food and happiness.

If you are flying into Tuscany, Florence will most probably be your destination airport. Using Florence as a base, you can take advantage of one of the day trips to the medieval towns of Siena and San Gimignano, or even Pisa (to see the famous Leaning Tower).

Conclusion – is Florence the best area for you to stay in Tuscany in 2024?

YES, if:

  • you like art, history and spending time in museums and historical buildings
  • you fly into Tuscany and don’t intend to rent a car during your stay
  • you have kids with needs that are better catered to in a city
  • prefer city vibe to countryside vibe

NO, if:

  • you are more outdoors-oriented, not into museums and art
  • you come to Tuscany by car (not worth driving in Florence)
  • you don’t like crowds (summer in Florence can be very hot and crowded)
  • prefer the countryside and natural scenery to city streets

2. Tuscany – best areas to stay: Val d’Orcia

Val d'Orcia area Tuscany Travel
Taken in one of our trips to Val d’Orcia

Val d’Orcia is home to that perfect Tuscany scenery that you’ve been looking for. A photographer’s dream. The heart of authentic rural Tuscany. It’s one of the best areas to stay in Tuscany if you want to enjoy the slow pace of life in the hilly countryside, drink good wine and yet remain close to many of the region’s historic towns and villages.

Stay at an agriturismo (“farmstay” – but do not be fooled by the name, there are plenty to choose from, ranging from the more basic to the outright luxury ones). Drive around (you will need a car to fully enjoy this area)! You are guaranteed to feel the need to stop by the side of the road and take pictures every 5 minutes or so.

Enjoy the fine food, wine and desserts and the narrow streets of the beautiful historic towns like Pienza, Montepulciano, Montalcino, Monticchielo or Bagno Vignoni. From Val d’Orcia, you can also quite easily reach Siena (1 h drive), Monteriggioni or even San Gimignano (about 1.5h drive).

Us in Pienza, 2022
Coffee with ice-cream in Pienza, 2022
Streets of Pienza, Tuscany
On the streets of Pienza, Tuscany, Italy

Conclusion – is Val d’Orcia the best area for you to stay in Tuscany in 2024?

YES, if:

  • you (and your kids) are more outdoorsy
  • you come to Tuscany by car or you rent one
  • prefer the countryside and natural scenery to city streets
  • you enjoy wine and/or photography

NO, if:

  • you like art, history and spending time mostly in museums
  • you fly into Tuscany and don’t intend to rent a car during your stay
  • you have kids with needs that are better catered to in a city
  • prefer city vibe to countryside vibe

3. Tuscany – best areas to stay: Pisa/Lucca area

Although it is further away from the center of Tuscany, the Pisa area can be an interesting choice for several reasons. First, Pisa has its own airport, making it easier to fly in and out Tuscany (the other choice would be Florence). Then, there’s the one and only Leaning Tower, of course :). The city of Pisa is very close to Lucca’s medieval walls, and an hour’s drive to Volterra and it’s 10th century cathedral. You could also make arrangements for a daytrip from Pisa to Florence.

Leaning Tower of Pisa

If you are a beach person and would like to add a day or two by the Tuscan seaside, staying in or around Pisa is a good option. You can probably find better beaches in Italian regions like Puglia, Sicily or Sardinia. Still, you will certainly enjoy the beauty of Tuscan beaches as well.

One other reason Pisa is a good area to stay in when visiting Tuscany is, well… it will allow you to see more than Tuscany. A little up north, accessible by train (1h trip) (and by car, up to La Spezia), lies the world famous Cinque Terre region and its fishermen villages with colorful houses built on the rocks by the sea.

FamilyTravelJoy Cinque Terre Italy
Village of Riomaggiore – Cinque Terre

Conclusion – is Pisa the best area for you to stay in Tuscany in 2024?

YES, if:

  • you have to/prefer to fly into Tuscany from Pisa
  • you would prefer to mainly use public transport (a car would allow you to see places like Volterra or Siena). Still, for Pisa, Lucca, Cinque Terre or a trip to the beach, public transport will do)
  • you plan for a day or two at the beach
  • you want to have a chance to see (some of) the Cinque Terre during your stay
  • you and your kids like being outside, walking and using public transport

NO, if:

  • you intend to spend most of your time in Florence, Siena or Val d’Orcia areas. While the distances may seem small, there are few high-speed motorways and almost all of the things worth seeing are on winding, beautiful country roads
  • you have very small kids and using public transport would be a complication. Also, Cinque Terre involves a lot of walking uphill and downhill and children under 8 are not allowed up the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
  • you are more of a “museum” person, in which case Florence is better suited for you.

Best area to stay in Tuscany in 2024 – let’s sum it up!

Have a chat as a family and decide together on what are the things you will not want to miss on your trip to Tuscany. There’s the museums and art. But also the countryside, the small historic towns, the wine, the cathedrals, the food! It’s up to you to weave through it all in search of the experience of a lifetime. The best area to stay in Tuscany? – that which you get to fill your life with experiences that bring joy to your soul. And, remember, you will most probably have to return to Tuscany at least a few more times to see it all and get it all.

Hugs from the four of us to you all!

PS: Here is a post with with some great ideas about the best regions to visit in Italy. It may help you choose your next Italian destination!

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