When the film adaptation of Frances Mayes’ “Under the Tuscan Sun” came out in 2003, the idea that Tuscany was indeed a place of romance, Chianti wine, olives, aromatic cooking and, of course, sunshine was deeply embedded in our brains. Today, many travellers visit this glorious region in northwest Italy to escape the hustle and bustle of Rome or Milan and instead take in the Italian countryside. The combination of castles-turned-wineries-turned-hotels, elegant cypress trees, cascading hills and sprawling vineyards is simply heavenly.
Time seems to slow in this effortlessly idyllic place. And what better way to unwind than by savouring a glass of vino or eating homemade gnocchi under the Tuscan sun?
Tuscany travel guide for first-time visitors
Best Months to Visit
The best times to visit Tuscany are between late September and October and between April and May. During these months, travellers will find comfortable temperatures and fewer crowds at the major sights. As expected, summer ushers in high temperatures and heavy crowds. If you want Tuscany all to yourself, visit during the winter low season, but expect the cold and lots of rain.
How to Save Money in Tuscany
- Stay in an Agriculturismo Instead of staying at a fancy (and expensive hotel), consider staying in an agriturismo — or an authentic Italian farmhouse, villa or winery. Most offer all-inclusive deals that are incredibly cheap.
- Bike or walk Taxis and public transportation get expensive. Many of the towns in Tuscany are small and easily walkable.
- Skip the menu touristico Many restaurants — especially the touristy ones — will offer all fixed-price menus for tourists, except often times these are more expensive than ordering al la carte. Not to mention, you should probably just skip the restaurants offering menu touristicos altogether.