Life in the Tuscan countryside holds its own charm, and an estimated 48.2 million tourists visited this destination in 2018 with figures expected to continue growing. It has always been one of my favorite regions of Italy with the laidback lifestyle and the stunning natural beauty with its rolling hills and vineyards found throughout.
The Tuscan countryside in Italy holds some of the world’s most beautiful landscapes with its vineyards, gorgeous coastlines and medieval villages. Tuscany stands out as one of the most prolific wine regions in all of Europe. Check out one of the many delightful food festivals, folkloric rituals and historical re-enactments.
Learn more about why you should explore more of the Tuscan countryside in Italy with this guide that will let you take in all of the wonders of this incredible region.
1. Explore the Chianti Hills
Situated between Florence and Siena in the heart of Tuscany, since the Etruscan times (8th to 3rd century BCE), the Chianti Hills have produced some of the world’s most treasured wines. It boasts some of the best winemaking areas like Radda or Greve or Castellina. You can sip on some of the best world-class wines in this region. Chianti produces several wines including Chianti Rufina, Chianti Classico and Chianti Fiorentini. Each wine here includes its own distinct flavor. Most of the vineyards here produce wines with Sangiovese grapes.
Along with the wines, you will get breathtaking views, hilly landscapes and lush green forests.
2. Val D’Orcia: A Land of Beauty and History
Anyone who would like the typical experience of the Tuscan countryside should check out Val D’Orcia. The typical Tuscan experience would include vines, olive groves, rolling hills and cypresses. Val D’Orcia stands out as an incredible destination because of its many medieval villages and towns. Many of the towns rest on the hills of the surrounding landscapes.
Many travelers rank Val D’Orcia as the most beautiful valley in Tuscany. This is UNESCO World Heritage territory.
3. Maremma: Tuscany’s Wild Side
This large region boasts 155 miles of Tuscan coast and sits between Livorno and Grosseto. It takes up about a quarter of the region of Tuscany. They characterize the Maremma as giving you a diverse variety of landscapes. For an awesome hiking experience, check out Maremma Regional Park, located in Grosseto, with a vast forest of umbrella pine trees and trails all along the Tyrrhenian Coast. The Maremma sits along the southern border of Tuscany, and it has quaint towns, delicious foods and breathtaking views.
This is the wilder and less manicured version of Tuscany. It has dense forests, dry hills and hot springs. They have some well-preserved cities in this region like Roselle and Populonia. The most representative dish of the Maremma is called Acquacatta, meaning cooked water, and it depends on simple, local ingredients like water, onions and bread.
4. Taste Tuscan Wine: A Journey of the Senses
If you would like to taste the most popular wines in the Tuscan countryside, check out the classic red wines like Nobile di Montepulciano, Chianti and Brunello di Montepulciano. In truth, the region only makes up six percent of the country’s wine production, but Tuscany produces 90 percent of the country’s red wine. Most of the time, the red wine in Tuscany was made from Sangiovese grapes.
Throughout Tuscany, the region holds more than 157,000 acres of vineyards. They produce an estimated 7.3 billion ounces of wine every year, and with that in mind, you can taste some of the best wines of Italy here on a wine trip.
5. Visit Towns and Villages: A Step Back in Time
The oldest town in Tuscany would be Volterra, which dates back to the Middle Ages. At this city, you will find the historic city center and traditional city walls. Many of the medieval towns and villages in Tuscany sit on hilltops, which provide you with some incredible scenery of the rolling Tuscan hills. Some of the best medieval villages to visit in Tuscany include Vinci, San Gamignano, Monteriggioni, Volterra, Cerreto Guidi and Certaldo.
Tuscany is home to some of Italy’s richest medieval villages with many of them that remain in perfect condition. Learn more about the Tuscany towns.
6. Tuscan Landscapes: A Feast for the Eyes
Tuscan landscaping stands out as some of the most beautiful and distinct in the world. You will see some of the best views of rolling hills, olive groves and vineyards throughout the countryside. In the Tuscan gardens, many times, you will see hedges clipped into boxy shapes and pergolas, arbors, herb gardens, dining areas and water features like fountains or small ponds.
7. Relax in a Natural Hot Spring
Throughout the Tuscan territory, the region holds many natural hot springs worth a visit. You can choose from many places to pamper yourself, and you can find many Tuscan countryside hotels like in San Casciano dei Bagni or Bagni San Filippo that have hot springs as part of the package. Some examples of natural hot springs include the Val D’Orcia in the south to Lunigiana in the north. One of the recommended ones to check out would be the thermal waters at Saturnia. This would rank as one of the best-known sites for natural hot springs in the Tuscan countryside.
8. Enjoy an Agriturismo Stay
You can stay in many Tuscan countryside hotels where you stay at a type of accommodation where you would be at a working farm or vineyard. Doing this will show you the slower and more laidback lifestyle of the Tuscans in the countryside.
9. Discover Etruscan History
The powerful Etruscan civilization flourished in this region of Italy from the 8th to the 3rd century BCE. Soon, the Etruscans would become a big Mediterranean trading power with many Etruscan cities. Unfortunately, when the Roman Empire conquered them, much of their culture and history was lost, but you can still see traces of what remains of the history of this once great civilization.
10. Attend a Tuscan Cooking Class
Many Tuscan chefs have perfected their dishes over the course of generations. You can learn from master chefs who can show you how to make sauces and prepare pasta from scratch. During a cooking class, you will learn about Tuscan food and how to cook fish and meat in the traditional cooking styles of Tuscany.
Florence Full-Day Tuscany Tour
This delightful tour of Tuscany’s art, history and food will leave you astonished. You begin this day trip in Florence and discover the highlights of the region including out in the countryside. You will see many essential sites here like the Leaning Tower of Pisa and a gothic cathedral in Siena. Book now! Check the prices and info on this page.
When you sign up for this tour, you will ride a vespa through Tuscany. The tour begins in Florence, and it will take you through the beautiful hills of Tuscany. Important to note, only 15 people can sign up at one time. During the tour, you will ride your scooter and follow your guide into the Tuscan hills. Throughout the tour, you will keep a two-way radio to ensure you never lose contact with your guide.
During this tour, you will taste the food and drink the wine that you typically encounter in the Tuscan countryside. Check the prices and info and book on this page.
Vintage Fiat 500 Driving Tour of Florence and Tuscan Hills
This tour lasts about six hours, and you will ride behind the wheel of a retro Fiat 500. During this tour, you will drive through the country of Tuscany, and you will take in the panoramic views of Florence. At the same time, you will stop at the Church of San Miniato al Monte. You will eat your lunch on a private terrace before you return to Florence. Book and check the prices and info on their page.
This private tour will let you see Montepulciano, Pienza and Montalcino. During this tour, you will visit those three towns in Val D’Orcia, and you will do it on a private tour of the countryside. Your expert driver will take you down some of the trickiest country roads where you will see the best of everything offered. Along the trip, you will get to stop and take photos of the scenery. If you’d like to learn more check the prices and info and book on their page.
Horseback Riding with a Tuscan Picnic in Val d’Orcia
As part of this tour, you will ride horse for two hours in the countryside, and you will explore the countryside in a way that’s eco-friendly at the same time. The countryside here is full of vines and when you finish, you will relax and have a picnic with some of the best Tuscan specialties. This horseback riding experience suits people of all skill levels. At the same time, you get some of the most picturesque views of Valdichiana and Val D’Orcia in the Tuscan countryside. Both of those sites receive a listing as an UNESCO World Heritage Site.
For anyone interested in this tour, you can check the prices and get more info and book on their page.
Agriturismo Corti Di Valle
About a five-minute drive from Greve, Agriturismo Corti Di Valle produces and sells its own olive oil, and they sell Chianti Classico Wine, also. When you sign up here, the staff offer guided tours of the winery, and you can take a Tuscan cooking class or do a tasting session. For those who like horseback riding, you can do horse riding in this region as well. They have options available here with a garden view and a terrace.
Agriturismo II Casalino
The setting takes you to a 19th century farmhouse with panoramic views of the surrounding countryside with olive trees and vineyards in the surroundings. This is one of the Tuscan countryside hotels that will have terracotta floors, antique furniture and exposed wooden beams. The area surrounding the hotel has become popular for hiking and cycling. In particular, many couples have said that they liked this location.
Agriturismo Gli Etruschi
Coming with a kitchenette, this hotel sits about 10 minutes drive from the sandy beach of Baratti. You can get rustic-style accommodations here, and free wi-fi. This property includes a pool. At the same time, it’s a vineyard and farm that produces its own cheese, wine, vegetables and eggs. You can also do a horseback riding tour of the property.
Itineraries in the Tuscan Countryside
Experience the Tuscan countryside in one of the most beautiful regions of Italy. We would recommend that you either rent a car or bike with your Tuscan countryside itinerary. At the same time, you will get the chance to explore the towns of this region and take in all that it has to offer with its stunning views. Some of the towns you will see include Pienza, Monticchiello, Montepulciano, Montalcino and San Quirico d’Orcia. You can also visit some of the wineries of this region. The most popular wines here include Brunello di Montalcino and Nobile di Montepulciano. You can also take some great photos while in this area.
Your Tuscan countryside itinerary here would include sightseeing in the towns of Sovana, Sorano and Pitigliano. You will also see the hot springs of Saturnia. The Vie Cave is an impressive road network linking many of the Etruscan settlements and areas. These are mysterious pathways that the Etruscans cut through with their hand tools. This is a fascinating site with ancient carved inscriptions, which linked religious sites through deeply carved trenches.
First, you will begin your itinerary with a hike through Maremma Park. You will also visit the towns like Porto Ercole, Capalbio, Talamone and Porto Santo Stefano. During this itinerary, you will see the beaches of Castiglione della Pescaia, and you will end your itinerary seeing the medieval towns of Massa Marittima and San Galgano. All of this combines to make for one of the most memorable trips to the Maremma and a great story to tell your friends and family back home.