Tuscany is a region like nowhere else in the world! With cities like Florence; the city of art, rolling golden landscapes, cypress tres, natural hot springs and charming hilltop villages it is no wonder Tuscany is on the whole world's bucket list. We spent a week in Tuscany back in September 2021 and it was a week to remember for sure. I've written my itinerary down for a Tuscan road trip 🚐💨 so you can find inspiration for your own trip. Hopefully!
E. Val d'Orcia
F. Bagno Vignoni
G. Bagni San Filippo
H. Terme di Saturnia
First stop on the list is visiting Pisa and more precisely: the Leaning Tower of Pisa of course. Pisa is perfect for a half day of wandering around. When visiting the leaning tower, you can't miss the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta. It is as beautiful as the tower – you can see both on the image below. Another nice thing to do in Pisa is to walk along the River Arno and the shopping street of Borgo Stretto.
30 minutes from Pisa, you'll find the charming village called Lucca. After Pisa we went for dinner here in the old roman amphiteater, Piazza dell'Anfiteatro. It has the circular shape of an amphiteater, but now it is full of restaurants with delicious Italian food.
Florence; the capital of the Tuscany region and also one of loveliest, romantic cities of Italy. The city is packed with art and majestic architecture! Definitely spend at least a day or two here to make the most of it. Visit some of the bridges going over the Arno – most famously the Ponte Vecchio. An astonishing bridge that might be one of coolest bridges in the world. The bridge hosts the prettiest goldsmiths and jewelry shops. Of course visit the Duomo, the most famous landmark of Florence. Oh and visit the leather markets here if you are in need of anything leather. They are the bomb and fairly cheap.
Some wonderful gems to experience here is:
✿ Ponte Vecchio over the River Arno
✿ View of Ponte Vecchio from the river side at Uffizi Gallery
✿ Piazza del Duomo
✿ Piazza Michelangelo
✿ Piazza Santa Croce & the Santa Croce Basilica
✿ Piazza della Repubblica
Sunsets are extra magical here and there are two places to watch it from: At Piazza Michelangelo and from one of the pretty rooftop bars with views of the Duomo. We visited a small one called View on Art on Via De' Medici 6 for lunch one day and that would have been perfect for sunset but probably pretty booked up. What we did for sunset was my favorite part of all of my Florence adventures. We did the short hike up Piazza Michelangelo. From here we had the best view of the city from above with the mountains in the background.
After Florence we drove an hour south to Siena, a little medieval gem. We spent most of the day here visiting the Piazza Del Campo, the medieval square and main public space in Siena. Next was Siena Cathedral, the prettiest facade with the majestic Piccolomini Library inside. One place we didn't visit, but I've heard good things about is Panorama del Facciatone – it's suppose to be the best view point of the city and it is included in the Museo dell’Opera ticket.
E) VAL D’ORCIA
About one and a half hour from Florence is the prettiest area of Tuscany. When you leave Siena, you enter the beautiful Tuscan landscape with fields of gold and cypress trees. The best spot is Agroturismo Baccolena for late afternoon/sunset, known as the perfect winding road.
Input “Agroturismo Baccoleno" into google maps and you’ll find the house that the winding road leads up to. You can’t actually go onto the winding road with the pretty cypress trees as it is private, but to the left of the driveway is a path where you’ll find plenty of picture perfect view points! You will probably have to share it with other sunset seekers and photographers, but there's plenty of room for all.
F) BAGNO VIGNONI
After sunset we drove to the little village of Bagno Vignoni to sleep so we could enjoy the small natural hot spring by ourselves for sunrise.
This unique little hot spring goes through the city and becomes a little outdoor shower and then it ends in bigger pools further down in the valley. If you want to take a “shower” here you have to be here for sunrise as there’s only this one and it can get crowded. To get here, start at the top and follow the water down the cliff. You’ll have to go under the railing to get down there as there’s not a real path that leads here (also a good reason to come before there’s anyone around). The water felt amazing in the early morning weather and it was so peaceful to have it all to ourselves! You can also just enjoy the thermal water the top, by dipping your toes in small streams going through the city, or you can go to the bottom of the valley and visit the bigger pools.
G) BAGNI SAN FILIPPO
The next stop was a 15 minute drive to a bit bigger hot spring. We found some free parking nearby on google maps and walked approx. 500m to get there. It’s not visible from the road as you’ll have to go into the forest, but there’s signs that leads the way so it’s very easy. At around 7.30-8am we shared the place with 4 other people. Pretty amazing! It’s one of the bigger hot springs and pretty unique because of the “white whale” cliff next to it.
If you start at sunrise the other place, you can easily do both of these stops on one morning. Here it is possible to really relax and just lay in the thermal water hot pools. When you are finished, you can drive for about 5 minutes to see the picturesque boulevard of Cypress trees at Poggio Covili.
H. TERME DI SATURNIA
This one is actually named Cascate del Mulino and it’s the most famous one in Tuscany and also the biggest. It’s an hour drive from the others (on not the most camper friendly road but we managed) and has a big parking lot nearby. Even though the hot spring is free and open 24/7 all year, the parking is not unfortunately. There’s a huge parking for normal cars 500m away and a few kilometers away there’s one for campers because they are not allowed in the other one.
We ended up being there at 10am and it was packed with people haha. That was still pretty cool and we had no issue with finding a good spot in the pools. BUT if I’d go again, I’d go on another day and then stay nearby so I could be here for sunrise. I think this place is awesome to be in all by yourself! And the water is probably really nice and cozy in the cold morning air.
The water is full of sulfur so remember to wash your swimsuit right after. If you are in a regular car, you could stay at a nearby agroturismo and then take a shower there after the swim. We were in a camper and stayed in a campground, which had showers, a few kilometers from the hot spring.
And that is it for our Tuscany adventure! We then drove along the coast line back and stopped for a day at a beach I can't remember the name of. Another way to do continue the road trip is to continue further south to Rome and the Vatican City!