Where to Stay in Tuscany
Find the Best Places to Stay in Tuscany
Tuscany, that haven in central Italy, is a magnificent place. It consists of various provinces and towns, each with its unique environment but sharing in the same cultural heritage.
Seeing its vast area and wealth of options, I thought it best to compile some of the best places to stay in Tuscany. Whether you’re looking for a general area or a specific hotel or B&B, then I’ve got you covered with the best!
Florence: Tourist Hot Spot of Tuscany
If you’re looking for the tourist heart of Tuscany, you’ll find it in the city of Florence. Its Renaissance quarters are especially interesting, with sights like the Piazza della Signoria and the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore.
The city’s main claim to fame, aside from it being the cradle of the Renaissance, is its being foot-traffic friendly. There aren’t many cities in the world with as much history and examples of art within such a small area. So, you can literally drop off anywhere, head in any direction, and you’ll discover some of its best spots.
If even the city’s small span isn’t enough for you, you can find the epicenter of Florence’s treasures at the Galleria degli Uffizi, located at Piazzale degli Uffizi 6. This museum has the world’s biggest collection of Renaissance art. There’s around 100 rooms spread across two floors, lined up chronologically from ancient Greek art to 18th-century pieces.
While you’re in the neighborhood, don’t miss a chance to explore (and take a picture at) the Duomo, the most famous piece of architecture in the city. Its iconic cupola atop its graceful-yet-dominating architecture is impossible to miss.
Hotel Spadai in Florence
Now exactly where to stay in Tuscany’s Florence? Right in the middle is the beautiful and rustic Hotel Spadai. It gives you a piece of Florence’s historicity during your stay. Just a hundred meters from the Florence Cathedral, the hotel is a stunning mix of contemporary and antique furnishings that immerse you in the Florence atmosphere.
It’s complete with all you need for an amazing stay, such as a private spa and a staff that doubles as a tour company! Hotel Spadai is at Via dei Martelli. You can reach Florence through Vespucci Airport, or through the country’s railway network (most lines have a Florence station). If you’re taking a road trip, the A1 Motorway runs past the city.
Other Hotels in Florence
- Luxury: Golden Tower Hotel & Spa
- Luxury: Four Seasons Firenze
- Mid-Range: Grand Hotel Cavour
- Mid-Range: Room Mate Lucca
- Family Friendly: Family Apartments Signoria
- Family Friendly: Palazzo Uguccioni Apartments
- VRBO: Amazing Views of Ponte Vecchio and Uffizi
- VRBO: City View Gorgeous Apartment in the historical center
- Budget: Aparthotel Quadra Key
- Budget: Hotel Mia Cara
History and Walking Tours in Florence
- Florence: Michelangelo Guided Tour
- Florence Dome Climb: Priority Entrance
- Ultimate Uffizi: Priority Entrance Small Group Tours
- Other Florence Tours
Siena: Rich With History
Another picturesque town with a lot of cultural and historical treasures, Siena is also a great vantage point from which you can view the undulating and IG-worth Tuscan hills! Don’t miss the Campo Square and the Cathedral, Siena’s very own Duomo.
This Gothic marvel is stunning both in and out, with over 200 years’ worth of Biblical art laid in its floor’s 56 panels! If you can’t get enough of the distinct flavors of Sienese art, go to the Museo Civico via the Cortile del Podesta and check out some of the best secular works of art of the 1300s.
One of the best views is via the awesome Hotel Athena, which is also a mere walking distance from some of the province’s tourist attractions. Located in Via P. Mascagni, Hotel Athena is furnished with local handicrafts. Its terrace allows for a perfect view of the Tuscan hills, and its restaurant gives you a taste of fresh Sienese cuisine!
You can get to Siena from Florence via a 90-minute train ride, or via a rapidé SITA bus. If you’re taking a car, the travel time is around two hours but you’ll have to park outside the city walls.
Alternative Hotels in Siena
- Luxury: Grand Hotel Continental Siena
- Luxury: Residenze d’Epoca Palazzo Coli Bizzarini
- Mid-Range: Hotel Garden Siena
- Mid-Range: Villa Scacciapensieri
- Family-Friendly: Agriturismo Malafrasca
- Family-Friendly: Sangallo Park Hotel
- VRBO: Palazzo Bichi Ruspoli-Historical Res, near Campo Square and close to everything
- VRBO: Siena: prestigious dwelling with elevator, roof terrace and panoramic terrace
- Budget: Residence Le Meridiane
- Budget: Agriturismo La Grotta Di Montecchino
Sights That Make Siena Worth It
- Siena Duomo Complex: Fast Pass Entrance Tickets
- 2-Hour Siena Walking Tour
- Siena Guided Tour From Florence
- Other Siena Tours
Family Friendly Lucca
This is one of the more child-friendly parts of the Tuscan region, thanks to less tourist traffic and a decidedly more downbeat vibe. It is a great launching point if you want to go to the area’s coastal towns, like Forte dei Marmi or Viareggio.
Don’t skip town immediately, though — the Cattedrale di San Martino is a rustic Romanesque piece of architecture from the 11th century, and one of the locale’s best-kept treasures. There are also two museums, the Museo della Cattedrale and the Museo Villa Puccini.
Lucca is best enjoyed through villas like the opulent-yet-simple Villa Pardi, with its wide and pretty grounds. The simple yet opulent design perfectly captures the airy luxury of the Tuscan countryside, with its manicured grounds, tall rooms, and tasteful decors. Villa Pardi is located at Via di Poggio Seconda. You can get to Lucca through the train line that runs from Florence to Viareggio.
Places to Stay in Lucca
- Luxury: Villa Casanova Lucca
- Luxury: Hotel Noblesse
- Mid-Range: Hotel Villa La Principessa
- Mid-Range: Azienda Agricola Fabbrica Di San Martino
- Family Friendly: Best Western Grand Hotel Guinigi
- Family Friendly: Villa Romantica
- VRBO: 2 BEDROOMS Panoramic Penthouse Apartment with Balcony inside the walls of Lucca
- VRBO: Awesome apartment in Palazzo Pfanner (XVIIth century)
- Budget: Lucca in Villa San Marco
- Budget: B&B La Mimosa Lucca
Lucca Tours to Take
- Lucca Puccini Festival Opera Concerts and Recitals
- 2-Hour Lucca City Centre Walking Tour
- Medieval Lucca For Kids: 2-Hour Private Tour
- Flavors of Lucca Food Tour
- Other Lucca Tours
World Famous Pisa
Primarily famous for its leaning tower and its history as a maritime superpower, Pisa is even better if you wait until nightfall when the crowds have gone home. This brings out the real atmosphere of the place! Being a university student town, Pisa is more raw than either Florence or Siena. That does not mean it doesn’t have its own examples of fine art and architecture, such as the dome-upon-dome of the Battistero and the haunting quadrangle of the Camposanto.
Pisa is home to Bologna Hotel Pisa, which brings Pisa’s distinctive airs indoors, immersing you in the local flavor. The prestigious furnishings are unmistakably Italian, balanced between the practical and the dramatic. Just half a kilometer from the Cathedral and the main artery, this is the place to be.
Bologna Hotel is located on Via Giuseppe. You can get from Florence to Pisa via the ItaliaRail. You can also get to the town proper via the airport through either the Terravision or Autostradale buses.
Other Pisa Hotel Options
- Luxury: Hotel Relais dell’Orologio
- Luxury: Allegroitalia Pisa Tower Plaza
- Mid-Range: NH Pisa
- Mid-Range: San Ranieri Hotel
- Family Friendly: Hotel Alessandro Della Spina
- Family Friendly: B&B 4 Rooms Pisa
- VRBO: Dario’s House
- VRBO: 3 BEDROOMS APT NEAR THE PISA TOWER – FIRST FLOOR
- Budget: B&B SoleLuna Pisa
- Budget: Casa Betania Pisa
Tours To Take in Pisa
- All Inclusive Guided Pisa Tour
- Reserved Entrance to Pisa Cathedral and Tower
- Best of Pisa Guided Tour with Optional Leaning Tower Tickets
- Other Pisa Tours
Quaint and Charming San Casciano in Val di Pesa
Tuscany is not just about its famous provinces — there’s a specific charm to living in one of its small towns, too. This town, for example, has been almost completely rebuilt from the ground up after it suffered destruction during WW2.
While it does not have a bunch of art and architecture to its name, it is the Tuscan hub for wine and olive oil production. It is also one of the centers of agritourism in the area.
Imagine just sitting back and enjoying some time trading stories with locals, surrounding yourself with amazing views such as the flowers of Le Dimore Mezza Costa (just one of the many top-notch bed and breakfast here). This quaint lodging is good enough to be a movie set, and modern enough with such amenities as flat screen TVs, free WiFi, and a private bathroom!
The B&B is located in Via Borromeo. San Casciano in Val di Pesa, particularly, is near enough to Florence but isolated enough from its hustle and bustle. It can be reached by a dual carriageway called by different names — autopalio, superstrada Firenze-Siena, and Raccordo Autostradele RA03. The line connects the place to both Florence and Siena, and is free for the time being!
Alternative Stays in San Casciano in Val di Pesa
- Luxury: Villa I Barronci Resort & Spa
- Luxury: Villa Il Poggiale Dimora Storica
- Mid-Range: Villa II Fedino
- Mid-Range: Villa Talente B&B
- Family Friendly: Salvadonica
- Family Friendly: Castello di Bibbione
- VRBO: a dream vacation in Tuscany
- VRBO: Typical Chianti farmhouse
- Budget: B&B Il Giglio Etrusco
- Budget: Castello Di Gabbiano
Pietrasanta: Little Town with Big Art
If you’d like a little more art with your stay, then consider this little town in the Versilia region. Aside from the slow pace, the area is also a haven of creativity and there’s always a work of art being born in the traditional Tuscan spirit of the airy and the earthy. In fact, there are lots of workshops and art galleries here.
Make sure to stop by the Via della Rocca, which leads up to the ancient structures of Pietrasanta. The place also has its own Duomo and Battistero, which are both worthy of your visit!
The La Sosta degli Artisti is among the best places to stay in in this town, and also among the most evocative of the artistic airs prevalent here. It’s one of the more boutique hotels Tuscany offers. They serve a mean organic breakfast, and they have a spa that combines color and music therapy — just what you would expect in an art-oriented B&B! They have themed rooms, too. You can reach La Sosta at the Viale Guglielmo Oberdan. Pietrasanta can also be reached via Trenitalia’s Firenze-Pisa-Livorno line.
Additional Hotels in Pietrasanta
- Luxury: Residenza Palazzo Visdomini
- Luxury: Mondial Resort & Spa
- Mid-Range: Hotel Central Park Pietrasanta
- Mid-Range: Arianna Hotel
- Family Friendly: Hotel Suisse
- Family Friendly: L’Alba Hotel
- VRBO: PRETTY APARTMENT IN THE HEART OF PIETRASANTA “LE MUSE”
- VRBO: VILLA WITH PRIVATE POOL WITH WHIRLPOOL, EVERY COMFORT, NEAR THE SEA
- Budget: Villa Corte Lotti B&B
- Budget: Riviera Residence
Barga: For The Nature Lovers
If you really love nature, Tuscany has plenty in store for you. And one of the best places for it is Barga. It’s a town which manages to evade the throngs of tourists in order to extol Nature’s beauty. But, make sure your camera can handle all the pics you would want to take here!
It has its spots of art, too. The streets themselves were built between the 15th and 17th centuries, along with the town’s Romanesque Cathedral.
It’s a small town with a small selection of lodgings. However, you can’t go wrong with La Serra di Barga with its breathtaking views of a lake and its proximity to downtown Barga. It even offers a view to the Duomo. This attractive B&B is located at 55051 Barga. The town itself is a three-hour bus ride from Florence. You start at the Via Delle Porte Nuove 17, then change at the Pizzale Verdi, and ending at P. Za Salvi.
A Tuscany Hotel in Barga
- Luxury: Renaissance Tuscany Il Ciocco Resort & Spa
- Mid-Range: Villa Moorings
- Family Friendly: Hotel Alpino
- VRBO: Romantic newly renovated barn private pool and a trout river, 5 mins to Barga
- VRBO: Alventura Villa With Private Pool
- Budget: Villa Gherardi
Pistoia: Tuscany’s Hidden Gem
This might not appear on the radars of many tourists. However, Pistoia is another great launching point for excursions into Lucca and Florence. This is primarily because it sits halfway between the two provinces, on a train line to each.
Hailed as a European City of Culture, it sits at the foot of the Apennine mountains. In fact, some of its best art pieces are stored in the Museo dell’Antico Palazzo dei Vescovi. The Cappella del Tau, on the other hand, is a treat for anyone who appreciates the Gothic style of architecture.
The town also has a raw feel, which is perfect for those looking for authenticity above all else. Make sure to stay at the Locanda San Marco Palazzo Caluri, whose grand and homey feel will transport you to an environment fit for a movie set. The place is a 17th-century structure, and is just 15 minutes from the train station (at Via Porta San Marco). Using the Trenitalia’s Firenze-Pistoia-Lucca line, you can reach Pistoia.
Where To Stay in Tuscany: Pistoia
- Luxury: Agriturismo Villa de’ Fiori
- Luxury: Hotel Patria Pistoia
- Mid-Range: B&B Palazzo Sozzifanti Pistoia
- Mid-Range: Hotel Villa Cappugi
- Family Friendly: Podere Delle Fanciulle
- Family Friendly: B&B Palazzo Sozzifanti Pistoia
- VRBO: New 1 bedroom cottage with pool and lovely garden
- VRBO: An Old Bishop’s House
- Budget: Casale Dell’Orso
- Budget: Agriturismo San Rocco
If you want to straddle isolation and ease of transportation, then Certaldo is hard to beat. This is a picturesque hilltop town with a railroad running at its lower part. In fact, you would have to love the hike. That’s easy to do, given the sweeping panorama of the surrounding country that Certaldo affords.
Certaldo’s walled half on the hill, Rio Castello, is a can’t miss. The Palazzo Pretorio, a keep that housed the governors from Florence during the 12th century, is also worthy of visit.
Adding to the local charm is the Podere Benintendi, which looks more like a mansion than anything — imagine a large property surrounded by well-maintained lawns and trees, with a pool set in the middle! In fact, the entire place is on a hill, therefore giving it an awesome view of the Tuscan valleys. It is located on Via Montebello Benintendi. Certaldo can be reached via the Firenze-Empoli-Siena line or the Firenze-Pisa-Livorno lines of the Trenitalia.
Hotels In Certaldo
- Mid-Range: Hotel Certaldo
- Mid-Range: Il Paluffo
- Family Friendly: Podere Mezzastrada
- VRBO: Tognazzi Holiday House – Chiara House
- VRBO: Panoramic villa on the hills between Florence and Siena
The Tuscan Countryside
True, this may not sound like an exact area. But you wouldn’t be in Tuscany if you had to be bound to a specific place just to enjoy it. In fact, the Tuscan countryside extends from Florence to Siena. It’s bounded in the east by Valdarno and in the west by San Miniato.
This section is particularly interesting because of its proximity to the many Tuscan sights, along with many of its villas and farmhouses. Luckily, the farmhouses have been turned into lodgings, some of which are available on VRBO! This means you can easily live the traditional laidback lifestyle in an authentic setting!
While you’re here, you’re in a perfect spot to explore the places that make this side of Italy so charming. There’s Pisa, Florence, San Gimignano, Lucca, and the Chianti wine area. The lush, rolling hills and sun-kissed vineyards surrounding you will in themselves be worth staying for.
Of course, your choice of lodgings would depend on your itinerary. If you’ve taken a tour such as those that Get Your Guide offers, it will be easier to be based off a main province like Florence or Siena. However, if you’re out to explore the local flavor and see what the locals are up to, then moving into one of the small towns is a better option, but it will be almost impossible to do without a rental car.
Though, whichever you choose, it’s pretty much guaranteed an adventure. Whether you stay in one of the luxury hotels Tuscany has or a cheaper vacation rental, you can’t run out of things to see and do during your Tuscany excursion!
Best Places to Stay in Tuscany was written by Karina Angela Ramos