How to Spend 1 Week in Tuscany
Tuscany is a picturesque paradise of medieval hill towns and rolling vineyards and home to the Renaissance capital of Florence. With seven days, you can explore the city’s sublime art and architecture as well as the region’s captivating countryside. Here’s how to enjoy a week in Tuscany.
Days 1-3: Florence
As the birthplace of the Renaissance, Florence is one of the world’s most important repositories of art and architecture. Start your trip with an overview of the city’s style with a guided tour, then take in the city’s most notable works of art: Visit Michelangelo’s David, head to the Uffizi to enjoy works by Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, and Michelangelo, and climb the Duomo. These popular spots are very crowded, so early access tours and skip-the-line packages are imperative if you want to see as much as possible in a limited time.
When you’re not immersing yourself in art, head to one of the city’s many gardens to escape the crowds for a quiet stroll; be sure to visit Piazzale Michelangelo at sunset for the best views of Florence’s rooftops and Brunelleschi’s dome from above. Lastly, no visit to Florence is complete without an evening enjoying its traditional cuisine. Choose a food and wine tour, or join a cooking class to get intimate with local dishes.
Days 4-5: Siena and Chianti
After Florence, move on to the highlights of Siena, with its perfectly-preserved historic center and Gothic cathedral, and the Tuscan countryside. Siena’s highlights can be seen quickly with a skip-the-line tour, leaving you time to enjoy the beautiful regions of Crete Senesi and Val d’Orcia. You can enjoy views of the countryside from the air with a hot-air balloon flight or explore on the ground with a guided hike or horseback ride. Gourmands can also choose to take in the vistas during a truffle hunt.
Next, explore the winemaking region of Chianti with a tour through the area’s hilltowns or a countryside cooking class. Before leaving the region, make sure to spend at least a couple hours in beautiful San Gimignano to stroll through the medieval old town and enjoy local restaurants.
Day 6-7: Pisa and Lucca
End your week by exploring Pisa and the delightful town of Lucca. Pisa’s most popular sights—the Duomo and the Leaning Tower—are crowded in the mornings, so it’s best to opt for a tour of the historic center first, then visit the Piazza dei Miracoli and the UNESCO-listed Duomo complex (including the Leaning Tower) later in the day with skip-the-line tickets. Be sure to stop back in Piazza dei Miracoli after sundown to take in the Duomo and bell tower dramatically lit at night.
End your week by dedicating your final day to historic Lucca with a walking or bike tour of the walled old town. Take in the Cathedral of San Martino, with its mix of Gothic and Romanesque architecture and decorations by Tintoretto and Ghirlandaio, and stop in the adjacent museum to admire Renaissance treasures. Photographers can capture spectacular views of the city from the Guinigi Tower, the Torre delle Ore, or the tree-lined promenade topping the city’s medieval walls. Music lovers can visit the Puccini Museum and attend an evening concert at the year-round Puccini E La Sua Lucca music festival. End your week with an evening stroll along lively Via Fillungo and through Piazza dell’Anfiteatro, both crowded with locals out for the traditional passeggiata.