How To Plan a Luxury Vacation to Tuscany
Rolling hills dotted with romantic old Italian farmhouses, beautiful towns dripping in culture, Tuscan cuisine, gelato and wine – oh, the wine! If you’re looking to treat yourself to some luxury, Tuscany is the place to be.
Lucky for you, Tuscany is filled with gorgeous places to stay. Luxury accommodations in Tuscany are truly worth your money. The Tuscan region is filled with beautiful homes and villas that have been redesigned to be enjoyed by visitors, and provide a wonderfully authentic experience for tourists looking to skip the hotels. From city homes in Florence to the summer homes of nobles turned vacation villas, the opportunities for luxury accommodation are endless.
Get Some Wheels
Tuscany is filled with so many great places to visit that travelers are best off renting a car. For those wanting to travel in style, an unforgettable way to explore the Tuscan region is to rent a luxury vehicle. A convertible Porsche 911 zips through the sprawling Italian countryside with ease. Or, for the true Italian luxury experience, splurge on a Ferrari.
More: 9 Places to eat the best food in Italy
A Day in Florence
Drive into Florence early enough to arrive on time for a true Italian espresso at the famous espresso bar Rivoire on Piazza della Signoria. Accompany your coffee with a freshly baked pastry and start your day with some people watching. Italians are known to be some of the classiest people around!
From here stroll through the cobble stone streets up to the Ponte Vecchio, a medieval bridge consisting of three arches which spans across the Arno River. The bridge is unique in that shops are built along the entire structure! Its truly a sight worth seeing!
Then continue walking through the beautiful city, until you get to the breathtaking Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore – or as the locals call it ‘Duomo’. Gawp up at this beautiful 37,000 ton masterpiece for a bit, and then realize your stomach is growling once again and continue on your merry way to find some lunch!
Take your time to enjoy lunch with a side of culture at Alle Murate, located in the historical Palazzo della Arte dei Giudici e Notai – a breathtaking location that is both restaurant and museum and thoroughly romantic.
Explore and Bathe in Thermal Springs
Tuscany is home to many thermal springs, known (and enjoyed!), since roman times for their healing properties! Nature has really outdone herself here and created luxury to be enjoyed openly in nature! Pack a picnic of wine, some olives and bread and jump in that luxury car you rented, and head to the thermal springs outside the small town Bagni San Filippo in the woods of Val d’Orcia. Between the lush green forest, the white rocks, and the pale blue thermal water, this area is a feast for the eyes! Pack a swimsuit too, because access to the pools is completely free, and the water is pleasantly warm year round! A good tip is to continue walking past the first shallow springs you’ll come across, until you reach the larger spring, which is referred to as the Balena Bianca or the White Whale.
Go Island Hopping
Rent a boat and pack a bottle of Italian rose and set sail along the coast to Giglio Island. This pretty island location is a hidden gem on the Tyrrhenian Sea. The water is blue and clear, and the coast is rocky and green. If you venture more inland from the coast you’ll see olive trees and Cyprus growing on the rocky ground, but also beautiful old villas, and authentic fruit stands and delis selling the best cheeses, olives, and fresh pasta. Take a look at some cultural sights while you’re there too: Cosimo de Medici and Giglio Castle are both very much worth a visit. Its easy to pass a full day here, so perhaps an overnight is worthwhile (either onboard your rented boat, or on the island)
The following morning, continue to the island of Capraia. A fun fact about this small island is that it has been ruled by Greece, Genoa, Sardinia and even pirates from North Africa! This island is dramatically wild, with untouched beaches, large cliffs, and even an extinct volcano. Snorkelers may want to jump ship here to explore the underwater archeological sites.
Then, sail along the coast of the famous island of Montecristo. This island is closed to visitors in order to preserve its delicate ecosystem, but viewing it from the boat is still worthwhile!
From here, continue along to the very flat island of Piano. This island was a prison for many years, and the isolation of the island has allowed its fauna to really flourish. Nowadays only 250 visitors are allowed to disembark upon the island per day, so you wont feel overcrowded during your visit.
Between the gorgeous Italian architecture, good food, luxurious springs for soaking in and the island studded coastline, your trip to Tuscany is sure to be remembered!
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