Where to Stay in Tuscany

The central Italian region of Tuscany is one of the most picturesque landscapes in all of Europe. Sitting high on the bucket lists of well-cultured travelers from around the world, Tuscany has a wealth of traditional towns and quaint villages to explore.

Tuscany is a cultural overload in every sense of the word. From art and architecture to food and wine, Tuscany has something beautiful lying in wait around every corner. Big cities like Florence and Lucca are often high on the must-visit list for travelers planning their trip to Tuscany but there are many off-the-beaten-path destinations in the region that have a whole heap of wonders to explore. The hillside towns and villages like Montepulciano and Pienza offer travelers the chance to experience Tuscany at its most authentic.

Being such a big region, many travelers choose to spend a few days in each of the must-visit spots in Tuscany.

Let’s take a look at where to stay in Tuscany.

Florence

Florence

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Florence

Florence is the capital of Tuscany and can be found in the northeast of the region. Florence is a city that oozes charm and romance. There are dozens of masterpieces housed within the city limits of Florence. At the Galleria, dell’Accademia visitors can witness one of Michelangelo’s finest masterpieces – the sculpture ‘David’. Then, at the Uffizi Gallery, travelers can admire the works of Botticelli and da Vinci. For art lovers, Florence is one of the top destinations to visit in Europe.

Away from fine art, Florence has so much amazing architecture to explore. One of the most iconic buildings in Florence is the Duomo. This domed cathedral features a terracotta tiled roof, as is customary in Florence, and features architectural elements designed by Brunelleschi and Giotto.

Florence is an ideal place to stay in Tuscany for whistle-stop travelers who want to experience authentic Italy. Florence, too, is an ideal place to stay in Tuscany for travelers who want to have a home-base from which to explore.

Good For: Art Lovers, Active Travelers, Architecture Enthusiasts, Budding Historians, City Slickers, Couples, Culture Vultures, Families, Foodies, Shopaholics, Whistle-Stop Travelers, Roadtrippers

Neighborhood Highlights: Florence Cathedral, Galleria dell’Accademia, Uffizi Gallery, The Duomo, Ponte Vecchio, Palazzo Vecchio, Piazza della Signoria, Boboli Gardens, Santa Croce, Florence Baptistery, Santa Maria Novella, Bargello, Basilica di San Lorenzo, Medici Chapel, Museo Galileo, Leonardo da Vinci Musuem, Ospedale degli Innocenti

Hotel Recommendations:

Hotel Brunelleschi – Hotel Brunelleschi is a superb hotel in Florence that is set within a renovated Byzantine tower and medieval church. Hotel Brunelleschi actually overlooks Florence Cathedral, and many rooms offer amazing views of the city’s greatest landmark. All rooms feature contemporary design features and come with a laptop safe and work desk.

Hotel Spadai – Hotel Spadai is an exceptionally good hotel set in the very heart of Florence, just a two-minute walk from Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral. Offering a boutique feel and excellent facilities, Hotel Spadai is one of the best hotels in Florence. Drinks from the minibar in each room are complimentary.

Hotel Santa Maria Novella – Hotel Santa Maria Novella is a superb hotel that has been awarded a 4-star rating. Many of the rooms at Hotel Santa Maria Novella overlook its namesake basilica. Guests at the hotel have complimentary use of the sauna and the fitness room. Each room comes with a minibar and free WiFi.

Lucca

Lucca, Italy

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Lucca

The city of Luca is another of Tuscany’s historical gems. Sitting along the banks of the Serchio River, Lucca is photogenic and an incredibly romantic destination to visit. Lucca is best known for its Renaissance city walls that have been nearly perfectly preserved throughout the centuries. The whole city is built around the historical city center, with Piazza dell’ Anfiteatro sitting right at the heart.

It is the cobblestone streets that provide Lucca with a sense of old-world charm, in addition to the Renaissance buildings. When it comes to things to do in Lucca, there is so much to tick off. Lucca Cathedral with its Gothic edifice is not to be missed, nor is its adjoining museum. San Michele in Foro is an incredible church that dates back to the 1100’s.

One of the more obscure landmarks in Lucca is Guinigi Tower. This medieval tower is one of the tallest buildings in the historical side of Lucca and is topped by holm-oak trees.

Good For: Art Lovers, Active Travelers, Architecture Enthusiasts, Budding Historians, City Slickers, Couples, Culture Vultures, Families, Foodies, Shopaholics, Whistle-Stop Travelers

Neighborhood Highlights: Piazza dell’ Anfiteatro, Guinigi Tower, Lucca Cathedral, San Michele in Foro, Basilica of San Frediano, Lake Mssaciuccoli, Palazzo Pfanner, Puccini’s Birth Home, Ponte della Maddalena, Pisa Charterhouse, Villa Torrigiani, Museum of Villa Mansi, Natural History Museum of the University of Pisa

Hotel Recommendations:

Best Western Grand Hotel – Best Western Grand Hotel is a fabulous accommodation option in Lucca. The rooms are uniform but feature everything you could ask for in a mid-range hotel, and more. Each room features an ensuite bathroom, WiFi access, and a flat-screen TV. There is free parking available on site.

Eurostars Toscana – Eurostars Toscana is a fantastic hotel in the center of Lucca. Offering great service across the board and great room rates too, there is a lot to love about Eurostars Toscana. There is a fitness center, sauna and Turkish bath available for guests to use on a complimentary basis.

Albergo Celide – Albergo Celide is a gorgeous hotel in a great location in Lucca that offers guests the chance to stay in a chic and stylish environment. All rooms feature air conditioning and an ensuite bathroom. Rooms also feature premium facilities like a minibar, complimentary toiletries, and free WiFi. Free parking is available.

Arezzo

Arezzo

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Arezzo

Set in the east of Tuscany is the gorgeous city of Arezzo. Both a city and a commune, Arezzo is steeped in history and it is proud of its past. Arezzo is another of Tuscany’s must-visit cities for art lovers. In Arezzo Cathedral – sitting high upon a hill – travelers can observe a fresco of Mary Magdalene that was created by Piero Della Francesca in the 15th Century. Moving on to the iconic Basilica di San Domenico, art enthusiasts can witness the exquisite work of Cimabue in the form of the ‘Crucifix’. Art lovers are totally spoiled in Arezzo.

Despite the fact that much of the medieval center of Arezzo was destroyed as a result of bombings during World War II, there are still a significant number of historical buildings to explore. The Church of San Francesco is one of the most famous buildings in the city and is not to be missed by any traveler heading to Arezzo.

Good For: Art Lovers, Active Travelers, Architecture Enthusiasts, Budding Historians, Couples, Culture Vultures, Families, Foodies, Seasoned Travelers, Shopaholics, Off-The-Beaten-Track Travelers

Neighborhood Highlights: Arezzo Cathedral, Basilica di San Domenico, Church of San Francesco Piazza Grand, Medicean Fortress, Roman Ampitheater, Santa Maria della Pieve, State Museum of Medieval and Modern Art, Fraternità of Laici Palace, Abbey of Sainta Flora and Lucilla, Monument of Francesco Petrarca

Hotel Recommendation:

Hotel Continentale – Hotel Continentale is in an excellent location in Arezzo, just a five-minute walk from the Basilica of San Francesco. The whole hotel has been recently refurbished, and now features modern amenities as well as classical design elements. The outdoor terrace is the perfect spot to enjoy a coffee in the morning.

B&B 52cento – B&B 52cento is a modern hotel with a boutique feel in the center of Arezzo. There is free WiFi available throughout the B&B, and parking available on a nearby street. B&B 52cento offers family rooms and cozy double rooms too. Breakfast is included in the room rate.

Vogue Hotel Arezzo – Vogue Hotel Arezzo is a great hotel in Arezzo, ideal for travelers who want to have plenty of space. The rooms at the Vogue Hotel Arezzo are generous in size and each room features a private ensuite bathroom too. There are complimentary toiletries provided in the bathroom and fluffy towels.

Siena

Siena, Italy

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Siena

Siena can be found right at the heart of Tuscany and is often much quieter than bustling Florence. Siena features a fan-shaped central square that is known as Piazza del Campo. Within the Piazza del Campo, travelers can find the town hall, built in gothic style and known as Palazzo Pubblico. The town hall features a grand 14th Century tower that offers panoramic views of Siena’s beautiful cityscape.

Piazza del Campo is at the very heart of Siena, and feeding off from this central square are the 17 neighborhoods that come together to make the city one. The historic center of Siena is a listed UNESCO World Heritage Site for its embodiment of medieval charm.

Naturally, Piazza del Campo is not to be missed when in Siena, but there are a number of slightly less famous landmarks that should be scheduled into the itinerary too. Santa Maria Della Scala was once a civic hostel – but is now a museum housing frescoes from incredible artists.

Good For: Art Lovers, Active Travelers, Architecture Enthusiasts, Budding Historians, Couples, Culture Vultures, Families, Foodies, Seasoned Travelers, Shopaholics, Off-The-Beaten-Track Travelers

Neighborhood Highlights: Piazza del Campo, Siena Historic Centre, Siena Cathedral, Palazzo Pubblico, Torre del Mangia, Santa Maria della Scala, Basilica of San Domenico, Fine Gaia, Pinacoteca Nazionale, Civic Musuem, Palazzo Samlimbeni, Piccolomini Library, Museo dell’Opera del Duomo, Palazzo Chigi-Saracini, Fontebranda

Hotel Recommendations:

NH Hotel Siena – NH Hotel Siena is a very good hotel in Siena, in Piazza la Lizza. Offering modern and minimalist rooms and clean-cut edges, NH Hotel Siena is a great choice for travelers who want a taste of luxury while in Siena. The breakfast buffet is an incredible spread that definitely requires a second sitting.

Hotel Italia – Hotel Italia is an exceptionally good hotel in Siena. For starters, their impressive breakfast buffet offers options for travelers with any and all dietary requirements. Hotel Italia is a charming hotel and the staff is very welcoming. They know the city well and are happy to share their knowledge with guests.

Palazzo Ravizza – Palazzo Ravizza is set within a historical building and is designed with elegant 1920’s furnishings. Palazzo Ravizza oozes charm and character and is a real home away from home for travelers in Siena. The hotel features its own private garden and guests can enjoy views of Tuscany’s beautiful rolling countryside.

San Gimignano

San Gimignano

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San Gimignano

San Gimignano is one of Tuscany’s more off-the-beaten-track destinations. The big cities of Florence, Lucca, and Siena attract the main bulk of the crowds, but the hill towns of Tuscany often get overlooked. San Gimignano is one of the most picturesque of Tuscany’s hill towns and features as much amazing architecture as the bigger cities.

San Gimignano is a fortified town that is encircled by walls that were built way back in the 13th Century. The focal point of San Gimignano is Piazza dell Cistera. This town square is actually triangular in shape and is encompassed by medieval townhouses. The skyline of San Gimignano is peppered with towers – the most iconic of them is stone Torre Grossa.

San Gimignano is another of Tuscany’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and there has been plenty of investment in preserving the town’s historical charms.

There are some fabulous restaurants in San Gimignano that serve some traditional Tuscan dishes. Cum Quibus Ristorante and Ristorante San Martino 26 both get rave reviews.

Good For: Art Lovers, Active Travelers, Architecture Enthusiasts, Budding Historians, Couples, Culture Vultures, Families, Foodies, Seasoned Travelers, Off-The-Beaten-Track Travelers

Neighborhood Highlights: Piazza della Cisterna, Palazzo Comunale, Torre Grossa, Piazza del Duomo, Collegiate Church of San Gimignano, Cum Quibus Ristorante, Ristorante San Martino 26, Sant’Agostino Church, Mueso della Tortua, Rocca di Montestaffoli, Torre del Diavolo, Museo d’Arte Sacra, Arco dei Becci

Hotel Recommendations:

Villasanpaolo – Villasanpaolo is set in the beautiful Tuscan countryside just a five-minute drive from the heart of San Gimignano. Villasanpaolo is surrounded by olive groves which make for a really authentic Italian atmosphere in the hotel. The in-house restaurant, Lampolla, serves up some simply incredible Italian and Tuscan dishes.

Agriturismo Mormoraia – Agriturismo Mormoraia is a superb hotel set just out from San Gimignano town center. There is an outdoor swimming pool in addition to a hot tub, a sauna and a Turkish bath. Traditional Tuscan design can be found throughout Agriturismo Mormoraia. The complimentary breakfast features everything you could possibly dream of.

Hotel La Collegiata – Set within a 16th Century Convent, Hotel La Collegiata is a gorgeous hotel in San Gimignano. All the rooms feature period design features and high levels of comfort. There is a good-sized swimming pool at Hotel La Collegiata, and guests are more than welcome to take a relaxing stroll through the hotel’s ample grounds.

Pitigliano

Pitigliano, Italy

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Pitigliano

Pitigliano is a tiny Tuscan hill town that is often only visited on a flying visit as part of a day trip around Tuscany. It is such a shame, as Pitigliano is a town that is full of old-world charm and is certainly deserving of more than a few moment’s sightseeing.

Pitigliano is perhaps one of Tuscany’s best-hidden gems, as it is rarely visited by first-time tourists to Italy. Much of Pitigliano has been carved out of volcanic stone. Pitigliano dates back to the Bronze Age and survived an onslaught of bombs during World War II. This tiny town is steeped in history and is more than a little resilient.

Set just an hour away from the sea, Pitigliano is a great place to stay in Tuscany for road trippers who want to stay in a truly authentic Italian town without the busy crowds. Unlike Florence and Lucca, where hiring a car is a crazy idea, exploring Pitigliano and beyond by road is a great move.

Good For: Art Lovers, Active Travelers, Architecture Enthusiasts, Budding Historians, Couples, Culture Vultures, Families, Foodies, Seasoned Travelers, Off-The-Beaten-Track Travelers, Roadtrippers

Neighborhood Highlights: Medici Aqueduct, Lake Mezzano, Museum of Palazzo Orsini, Via Cava, Le Vie Cave, Fortress Orsini, Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul, City Gates, Piazza Becherini

Hotel Recommendations:

La Casa Degli Archi – La Casa Degli Archi is a highly recommend hotel in Pitigliano. Offering homely yet luxurious accommodation, La Casa Degli Archi is a truly authentic hotel in the heart of Pitigliano. The beautiful rooms all feature a spa bath, complimentary toiletries, and cozy seating area. On-site parking is available.

Affittacamere La Magic Torre – Affittacamere La Magic Torre can be found at the heart of historical Pitigliano. The rooms all feature an LCD TV with cable channels, as well as a seating area and a generous ensuite bathroom too. Affittacamere La Magic Torre is set in a period building with exposed wooden beams.

Le Camere Del Ceccottino – Le Camere Del Ceccottino is a superb hotel in a great location in Pitigliano. The staff are welcoming and kind and go out of their way to ensure guests have a great stay. The rooms are simple but homely and feature very comfortable beds. The ensuite bathrooms feature a bathtub.

Pienza

Pienza, Italy

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Pienza

Pienza is a gorgeous Tuscan town that blends the class and charm of Florence with the quietness of a town like San Gimignano. Pienza has a whole heap of architectural gems to explore – not least Pienza Cathedral. Pienza Cathedral can be found in the same square as the Town Hall, both of which are two of the must-visit landmarks in the town.

Pienza is surrounded by lush Tuscan countryside and set just outside the town center – down the hill, travelers can explore Pieve di Corsignano. This is a Romanesque church that dates back to the 7th Century. The naves of Pieve di Corsignano are of great significance. Within one of the three naves, travelers can observe the original baptismal font. From this font, both Pope Pius II and Pope Pius III were baptized.

Be sure to time your visit to Pienza in September so as to not miss the town’s famous Fiera del Cacio – the pecorino cheese festival. During the festival, travelers can celebrate with locals.

Good For: Art Lovers, Active Travelers, Architecture Enthusiasts, Budding Historians, Couples, Culture Vultures, Families, Foodies, Seasoned Travelers, Off-The-Beaten-Track Travelers, Roadtrippers

Neighborhood Highlights: Pienza Cathedral, Pienza Town Hall, Pieve di Corsignano, Fiera del Cacio Festival, Palazzo Piccolomini, Piazza Pio II, San Biagio, Chapel Vitaleta

Hotel Recommendations:

Hotel Corsignano – Hotel Corsignano is in an excellent location in central Pienza. The rooms are all generous in size and feature sturdy, dark wood furniture. Some of the rooms feature a seating area and all rooms have a private ensuite bathroom. Hotel Corsignano is an authentic family-run Tuscan hotel.

Piccolo Hotel La Valle – Piccolo Hotel La Valle is just 150-meters from the historical center of Pienza. Guests are welcome to relax in the roof garden or on the outdoor terrace. There is free parking available on site at Piccolo Hotel La Valle, which is ideal for road trippers. Many rooms offer amazing views of the Val D’Orcia valley.

Hotel Residence San Gregorio – Hotel Residence San Gregorio is an affordable hotel in Pienza that offers great value for money for travelers in Tuscany. The breakfast buffet at Hotel Residence San Gregorio is an impressive spread and features dozens of freshly baked pastries. The rooms are spacious and bright, each offers free WiFi and a flat-screen TV.

Where to stay: Best Hotels in Tuscany, Italy
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List of Image Sources

Where to Stay in Tuscany:

Pitigliano, Italy

  • Florence: Mikadun / shutterstock
  • Lucca: DaLiu / shutterstock
  • Arezzo: Marco Taliani de Marchio / shutterstock
  • Siena: JeniFoto / shutterstock
  • San Gimignano: canadastock / shutterstock
  • Pitigliano: FotoDruk.pl / shutterstock
  • Pienza: Jaroslaw Pawlak / shutterstock