Visit Tuscany on a Low Budget and within a Limited Time

 

Every year many people visit Tuscany. Located in the centre of Italy, it is known for its landscapes, traditions, history, and artistic legacy. Many hilltop villages, UNESCO sites, museums, Chianti routes, cultural events, and beautiful beaches represent its unique cultural identity.

View of Tuscany hills from I Parigi Corbinelli Residenze, Tuscany, Italy
View of Tuscany hills from I Parigi Corbinelli Residenze

Many of us are not full-time travelers and only use our annual holiday to travel around.  How do we visit Tuscany on a low budget and within a limited time?  Based on the experience from our trip to Tuscany, we have drawn the conclusion that it is quite stressful to arrange activities such as booking a wine tasting tour or doing a self-driving tour on our own.

For example, we drove along the Carrara Marble Route on our own.  Part of the road is unpaved and an off-road car is actually required for this purpose. With the usual car, we had to take precautions.  Some of the places are also not accessible by individual visitors.

Walk way in front of Church in Serravalle, Tuscany
Walk way in front of a Church in Serravalle, Tuscany

Another example was the wine tasting tour.  Some local websites are in the Italian language only and each of them also has its own schedule.  Some wineries only offer wine tasting tours to the visitors who stay on their premises.  So we were unable to join any wine tasting because we booked a hotel somewhere else already. If you book a tour through a tour operator then you might not need to stay there.

Day Tours that combined several places

It is quite obvious that to join a local tour is the best way to visit Tuscany on a low budget and within a limited time. It is not difficult to find tours starting in major cities, such as Florence or Pisa. Some tours cover many popular tourist sites and activities. Based on research, the following tours are very popular, and they have very good reviews as well. If you visit Tuscany, you should take a look at them during your planning:

San Gimignano, Siena, Chianti Guided Tour from Florence

Many people choose Florence as a base when they visit Tuscany. Therefore it is also easy to join a tour in Florence. This is a full-day tour of Tuscany’s villages and wine regions. You will travel into the heart of the beautiful Tuscan countryside. The duration of the tour is around 12 hours. The highlights are:

  • Enjoy the gently rolling hills of the Val D’Elsa in luxury, air-conditioned coaches
  • Visit the medieval town of San Gimignano, home to Vernaccia di San Gimignano wine and saffron
  • Explore the immaculate town of Siena, world-renowned for its Palio horse race
  • Visit a splendid Chianti estate and take part in two exclusive wine tastings

For further detailed information about the trip please click here.

View from the highest tower in San Gimignano, Tuscany
View from the highest tower in San Gimignano, Tuscany

Montalcino, Pienza & Montepulciano Food Tour from Siena

Depart from Siena and cross the Tuscan hills, you will visit wineries that produce wines such as Brunello di Montalcino and Nobile di Montepulciano and learn wine-making traditions. The tour takes about 10 hours. Some of the highlights are:

  • Taste the food and wines of Tuscany at local wineries
  • Sample Brunello di Montalcino and Nobile di Montepulciano wines
  • Drive across the gentle, rolling hills of Tuscany
  • See medieval castles and historic towers on hillsides
  • Stroll the charming streets of Montalcino

For further detailed information about the trip, please click here.

Full-Day San Gimignano, Siena & Chianti Tour from Pisa

The journey will travel into the heart of the beautiful Tuscan countryside. You will enjoy a day tour of Tuscany’s villages and wine regions, visit the town of San Gimignano, have exclusive wine tastings at a splendid Chianti estate,  take a guided tour of Siena and explore the medieval fortress of Monteriggioni.

The tour takes around 11 hours. For further detailed information about the trip, please click here.

Torre del Mangia in Siena, Tuscany
Torre del Mangia in Siena, Tuscany

Siena, San Gimignano & Monteriggioni Tour from Florence

The tour includes the visiting of charming medieval towns of Siena, the UNESCO World Heritage Site San Gimignano, and discovering the dazzling hilltop town Monteriggioni. Its highlights are:

  • Visit San Gimignano, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Discover the views in Monteriggioni, a dazzling hilltop town
  • Enjoy a local lunch followed by a tasting of traditional pastries
  • Wine tasting in a farmhouse located in the heart of Chianti

For further detailed information about the trip, please click here.

A silent corner in romantic settings,Monteriggioni, Tuscany
A silent corner in romantic settings, Monteriggioni, Tuscany

Florence: Timed Entrance Ticket to Michelangelo’s David

The ticket will allow you to enjoy the priority entrance to the Accademia Gallery and admire Michelangelo’s masterpieces. You can benefit from the advantages of a timed entry slot, and stay as long as you like in the Gallery.

The gallery is one of Italy’s top attractions.  With a reserved entrance ticket it will save you some time so you can arrange your visit in advance. For further detailed information about the trip, please click here.

Carrara Marble Quarries Day Tour

The tour begins in the stunning Apuan Alps, home to one of the most precious building materials in the world, the Marble of Carrara. With a friendly, local driver/guide, you will have the opportunity to visit one of the many quarries of the Tuscan region, witness how the marble extraction process was performed in the past.
Visitors will also have the opportunity to see where Michaelangelo lived and chose the marble used in his works. Then, the tour moves onto Pietrasanta. This picturesque town on the Tuscan coast is not only known for its “ateliers” of sculptures but also as the town where Michaelangelo started a new extraction site in the local caves.

You should join this tour if you are around Carrara. For further detailed information about the trip, please click here.

San Gimignano and Volterra: Day Tour from Siena

Your journey starts with a scenic drive from Siena to San Gimignano with a stop in Monteriggioni to see the well-preserved fortress built in the 13th century.

Then you will explore San Gimignano, admiring its many medieval towers. Afterward, the tour continues heading to a small family-run farm to enjoy lunch made with the farm’s seasonal products and accompanied by Vernaccia wine.

Continue to Volterra, stopping at a small alabaster workshop to see the ancient art of sculpting.

For further detailed information about the tour, please click here.

This tour offers the priority entrance to climb up the Florence Duomo (Cupola)  and the top of Brunelleschi’s dome for panoramic city views. Throughout the tour, you will learn more about the historic centre of Florence and hear how construction began at the end of the 13th century and took two centuries to complete.

It will save precious time with a fast-track entry ticket to Florence Duomo and get more time to see the sights of the cathedral complex with an expert guide. For further detailed information about the tour, please click here.

Florence Dome; visit Tuscany
Florence Dome

On this 9-hour tour, you will visit two beautiful cities of the Renaissance, Lucca, and Pisa. The main activities include discovering the intact walls of Lucca, tasting a typical pastry of Lucca in a historic café, wandering the dazzling Piazza dei Miracoli in Pisa, and admiring the Leaning Tower from the outside.

If time permits, you can go inside the staggering Pisa Cathedral.  The tour starts from Florence. For further detailed information about the tour, please click here.

Bell tower next to "Duomo di San Martino", view from Lucca city walls, Tuscany
Bell tower next to “Duomo di San Martino”, view from Lucca city walls, Tuscany

All-Inclusive Cinque Terre Day Tour from Florence

Cinque Terre has a very different landscape compared to Tuscany’s. It is a rugged region of the Italian Riveria. This tour starts from Florence and will see four of five charming villages from the Cinque Terre.

You will explore the narrow lanes and steep stairways in Vernazza and enjoy the beautiful beaches ( for example, the beach from Monterosso al Mare) of the ancient fishing village.

For further detailed information about the excursion, please click here.

The colourful houses in Manarola, Cinque Terre
The colourful houses in Manarola, Cinque Terre

Conclusion of how to visit Tuscany

Tuscany is not only about the landscape but also the cultural tradition.  These tours offer various opportunities to experience Tuscan’s life. You will be rewarded with great value by spending limited time and paying reasonable prices for the tours.

Many of us are not full time travelers and only use our annual holiday to travel around. How do we see the best of Tuscany during the limited travel time? Based on the experience from our recent trip to Tuscany, we have drawn the conclusion that it is quite stressful to arrange activities such as booking a wine tasting tour or buying train tickets and so on. #tuscany #tuscana #italy #italia #europe #vacations #femaletraveler #solotravelers #hotel #florence #trip #explore #tourist

 

9 Comments

  1. The first time I feel curious about Tuscany is when I watched Diane Lane’s Under the Tuscan’s Sun. It was a lovely movie, and I thought, yes – I will definitely visit this place.

  2. Wow I never thought to visit Tuscany but now I want to! The architecture is so beautiful! I especially like the wineries like the Brunello di Montalcino and Nobile di Montepulciano you mentioned.

  3. Interesting place. Its like a movie set really. Its rare for me to like these kind of places which has a western vibe really. Nice pictures too.

  4. Italy is still in my bucket list, love to visit this country as it has the most Unesco World Heritage sites. Glad to find out this post, a very good guide for me to prepare for my Italy trip. I will include Tuscany and it is so beautiful.

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