Best Way to Visit the Tuscan Countryside

The glorious region of Tuscany is a picture-postcard destination in northwest Italy. It’s easy to see why great artists and visionaries such as Da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Galileo made Tuscany the birthplace of the Renaissance. Several towns and cities are designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites and superb photo opportunities are available at every corner. But some of the best things to do in Tuscany are just being present and soaking in your surroundings. Discover local traditions, sample mouth-watering Tuscan cuisine, and sip aromatic Chianti wines. Or go on a Tuscany tour with a local guide and get a deeper insight into the local history and culture. Be sure to check out where to stay in Tuscany. Our guide on the best ways to visit the Tuscan countryside tells you everything you need to make the journey!

Tours to the Tuscan Countryside

Tours in Tuscany

There is certainly no shortage of ways to get around Tuscany. However, navigating yourself around the countryside can result in lots of wasted time. Perhaps the best way to see the highlights while you simply enjoy yourself is a guided tour or package tour of Tuscany. Tours start from the major towns and cities such as Florence. Among the most popular tours of the Tuscan countryside are:

Alternatively, for an entirely hassle-free and curated experience, try a Tuscany Tour package.

How to Visit the Tuscan Countryside by Train

Tuscany by train

Florence is the main rail hub for Tuscany. Most visitors arriving from Rome, Milan, or Venice by train will transfer here for the Tuscan countryside. It’s easy to reach larger towns such as Siena, Lucca, Arezzo, and Pisa from Florence with regular services and reasonably priced fares. Pisa also has frequent train services to Lucca, Livorno, and Grossetto. If you plan to visit picturesque towns and hilltop villages like San Gimignano and Volterra, there are bus links from Poggibonsi station to your destination. Train tickets are well priced with fares ranging from $5 to $12 USD depending on the length of your journey. Carriages are clean and comfortable, ensuring you arrive at your destination ready for adventure.

Traveling to the Tuscan Countryside by Bus

Tuscany by bus

Traveling by bus is a great option if you want to get off the beaten track, with good services connecting most cities, towns, and villages throughout the Tuscan region. Every major city has a handful of bus companies which they use to get around. In Florence, LAZZI offers regular connections to Lucca, Pistoia, Pisa, and Prato. And SITA provides links to Siena and the Chianti wine region. If you’re staying in Pistoia, the Pistoia Mountains and Montalbano regions are easily accessed via Copit buses. And Michelangelo’s birthplace of Arezzo is served by ATAM bus company. While you’re there, take a private walking tour or cooking class to get a feel for the place. It’s also possible to organize themed bus tours via many hotels and excursion companies in the region. Food and wine day trips, tours to see historic sites, and private tours are all available.

Driving to the Tuscan Countryside

Driving through the Tuscan countryside

By far the best way to navigate the Tuscan countryside is by car. Imagine driving along winding cypress tree-lined roads, Italian style, in a Fiat 500 or Alfa Romeo convertible, stopping at charming trattorias for lunch, or breaking at a vineyard to sample local wines. Tuscany is easy to navigate by car, with just a few main road arteries connecting the region to major cities. You can reach Arezzo and Siena from Florence via the E35, and if you plan to drive to Lucca and Pisa, take the A11. This route takes you past Pistoia and Montecatini Terme – a famous spa town with mineral-rich waters. If you’re traveling by car in the Tuscan countryside, consider adding some experiences to enhance your trip. For example:

Check out hotels in Siena for places to stay nearby and the best tours in the area. The Siena 5 Day City Break Tour Package is a great option for discovering Siena and its surrounding attractions over several days.

Flying into Tuscany

Florence airport

If you fly into Tuscany, you have a choice of 2 airports. Amerigo Vespucci Airport in Florence or Galileo Galilei Airport in Pisa. There are also flights into Bologna, Perugia, and Rome which are all within driving distance. Check out the full story in our Florence Airport Guide. From Florence and Pisa, you can catch buses, trains, or rent a car to reach the Tuscan countryside. Alternatively, take the hassle out of your itinerary and book a day trip to Chianti wine country, Siena, or Lucca! With its excellent hotels, Florence makes a great base for Tuscan explorations – here’s our take on where to stay there. Tours like the Best of Tuscany Day Tour and Tuscan Market Tour and Cooking Class are great ways to explore the countryside from Florence – no navigation needed!

Cycling Through Tuscany

Visit the Tuscan Countryside

If you want to keep those pasta kilos at bay, a bicycle tour is an excellent way to explore the Tuscan countryside. Many towns and cities in Tuscany rent bicycles for a few hours to a day or longer. The Chianti E-Bike Tour from Siena will see a local guide lead you through stunning backroads in the Tuscan countryside. Alternatively, you can go the most old-school route on a Chianti Hillside Horseback Riding Tour from Siena. Riding through the rolling Tuscan hills on horseback is undoubtedly the most romantic way to experience them.