inspiration2022/08/04

Tuscany Travel Guide: Where To Stay, Eat & Visit

by Georgiana Rosca

Travel has widened my horizon as a designer and I also find inspiration for Noria Anis, my clothing brand, from the places I have explored. Tuscany is one of those places, from images of golden rolling hills followed by winding paths with cypress trees, countless vineyards and picturesque villages to impressive architecture and renaissance art.

If you want to experience the Italian dolce far niente, Tuscany is the best place to do that, and I have prepared a list of my favorite places in Tuscany, including a few hidden gems.

Stay:

Located in the heart of the small Medieval village of San Donato in Poggio, you will find a B&B full of charm, Le terraze del Chianti.

Enjoy a famous red Chianti wine on the romantic terrace with breathtaking views of the Chianti countryside. Or try out dining alfresco at Antica Trattoria La Toppa, a typical Tuscan trattoria opened in 1964, on the attractive street which is full of character.

Visit:

Crete senesi: travel Via Chiantigiana (SR222) and enjoy the panoramic road of Crete Senesi. The view offered is truly unique and the most picturesque part is the one that leads from Siena to the town of Asciano, that is the Strada di Leonina.

Tip: Stop and take a moment to enjoy the sunset over the winding path with cypress trees at Agriturismo Baccoleno, located near Asciano. Be sure to bring your own picnic, find a peaceful corner and admire the golden light that clings to the landscape.

Val d'orcia: this is the most scenic road in Tuscany, with the typical Tuscan landscape we all know from magazines. Take your time and visit few of the charming little towns in this area, with stone houses among vineyards. Enjoy the view from Tuscany’s hilltop towns such as:  Montepulciano, Pienza, San Quirico d’Orcia, Montechiello, or my favorite small town in Tuscany, Montalcino.

Tip: Go for a picnic in the countryside at Caseificio Cugusi and enjoy a variety of local made cheeses, such as pecorino, or local meats, all accompanied by Montepulciano wines. The scenery of Montepulciano overlooking the Temple of San Biagio is absolutely breathtaking.

Valdelsa: In the west region of Tuscany you will find the town of San Gimignano and Volterra, two relatively small towns that you can easily visit in one day. Both towns have a medieval feel and it’s nice to just stroll the streets, eat a gelato and have a delicious Tuscan dinner.

Tip: You will find the best ice cream in San Gimignano in the main square at Gelateria della Piazza. Try the inventive ice creams like saffron with pine nuts or the seasonal house specials.

Florence: The capital town of Tuscany – Florence, the cradle of the Renaissance, belongs on any list of the world’s most beautiful cities and is also on the UNESCO World Heritage List. 

Discovering the fascinating history and strolling the world-class museums is a huge draw, along with indulging in the best Italian cuisine.

Make sure to book tickets in advance for Ufizzi Gallery, home to the most impressive collection of renaissance art, and Galleria dell'Accademia, the second most visited art gallery in Italy, where you will find Michelangelo’s masterpiece, David.

Tip: Enjoy the sunset in Piazzale Michelangelo and grab a glass of wine and snacks at one of the local shops.

How to get around Tuscany: 

Consider basing yourselves in Florence, Siena or my favorite pick and less crowded, San Donato in Poggio, and renting a car that will allow you to explore Tuscany’s more rural regions.

When to visit:

Tuscany's best travel months April, May, June, September, and October, but I do prefer end of summer when the gold color of the wheat fields emerges overwhelmingly.

Independent
Designers

Free 14-Day Returns
Worldwide

No Animal Testing
No Fur