Road trip in Tuscany : our 2 weeks itinerary

février 27, 2024
Abbazia di Sant'Antimo

The covid-19 prevented us, one more year, to go to Costa Rica this summer. So we decided to take advantage of this unexpected change to go to Italy, a country we love. It remained to define the region that we would visit during our stay. We hesitated for a long time between the Dolomites and Venice or Puglia. It is however Tuscany which is going to hold our attention for our road trip. This destination has been recommended to us many times, it is accessible by car and conceals many treasures. We also took advantage of our passage in the big boot to discover the Lake of Como. We ended this trip with a stop in Annecy on our way back to France.

If you also want to discover this region, discover below the program of our two weeks road trip in Tuscany. For more information on the organization of a road trip in Italy, we invite you to consult all our advices and practical information. 

The program of our road trip in Tuscany 

Day 1

Our road trip in Tuscany started with a train from Gare de Lyon. We indeed started by taking a TGV ticket to Annecy. There we picked up a rental car for the next 2 weeks.

Once the bags were loaded in the trunk, we left for Italy. We chose to go through the Mont Blanc tunnel because it's a little bit shorter in time. Honestly, we don't know if the choice was judicious and on the way back we will try another route because :

  • The tunnel costs 46 € one way. We had not considered this price. We had rather imagined 15 or 20 € but now we find it exaggerated to save 20/30 minutes of travel.
  • There can be traffic jams to pass the famous tunnel. On our side it was fine but on the other side it announced 1h30 of waiting

Once in Italy, we made our way to Alessandria where we stopped for the night. What we saw of the city was not worth a detour but we stayed on the outskirts so we can't really judge. The advantage we saw was that it was halfway to the city and very close to the highway so no detour was necessary.

Day 2

We are on our way to Florence. The weather forecast announces a hot day so we try to leave early. The lunch break on the highway does not make us dream. And as we are not in any hurry. We decided to make a stop in Bologna. The heat is overwhelming but thanks to the many arcades that line the city we can be relatively in the shade. This allows us to have an overview of the city center. It is full of particularly beautiful historical buildings. This city deserves that we linger there more than the few hours that we had to reserve for it. It is not serious we will return!

We then took our way back to Florence and more precisely to the agriturismo La Fontaccia. A great address to discover Florence and the Chianti region that we told you about in detail in a dedicated travel diary.

Day 3

What would be a road trip in Tuscany without going to Florence! However, according to the specialists, this is the hottest day in 20 years... We have already booked our tickets for the Galleria Dell'Accademia to see Michel Angelo's David in the early afternoon. Impossible to change the plans! We leave by Train from Rufina (the station is to 2 kilometers of the Ethik Hotels) and 30 minutes after we are in the center of Florence. We take advantage of the relative freshness of the morning to stroll in the streets and to see from the outside the emblematic buildings of the city: the Duomo, the Ponto Vecchio....

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Day 4

After yesterday's scorching day, we need to cool down. The owner directs us to the Vallombrosa Abbey in the heart of a hundred-year-old pine forest! On the program picnic and small hike in the shade.

# More info :

We advise you to stop in Consuma at the ristorante Consumi. You can buy excellent foccaccia for your picnic.

Day 5

Today we drove to Montepulciano avoiding the highway to enjoy the Tuscan landscape. On the advice of Samuele from La Fontaccia, we made several stops:

  • Greve In Chianti
  • Monte Fioralle
  • Sienne
  • Buonconvento

Siena deserves a longer stop. If we had to do it again, we would plan a night here in our road trip in Tuscany. This would have allowed us to better enjoy the city as well as the stops on the road. Originally we had estimated the time of travel by highway and thus it left us the time to discover the city in one day.

Image

Our objective, after a year and a half in Paris with the Covid and the confinement, was above all the fresh air and nature. So we did not prefer cities and did not plan to spend several days there. However, half a day was really too short. Without doing a museum, if this is not your passion, a full day may seem more appropriate.

# Extra info:

To park and avoid the ZTL we recommend the parcheggio stadio. It's big and really close to the city center, so it's ideal to visit Siena. It is not free and costs 2€/hour.

However, be careful, the entrance is on the left at the end of the street and it is badly indicated. If you miss it you are entering the ZTL. To know more about these famous ZTL, discover our article: How to get around in Italy?

Day 6

Our objective, after a year and a half in Paris with the Covid and the confinement, was above all the fresh air and nature. So we did not prefer cities and did not plan to spend several days there. However, half a day was really too short. Without doing a museum, if this is not your passion, a full day may seem more appropriate.

# Extra info:

To park and avoid the ZTL we recommend the parcheggio stadio. It's big and really close to the city center, so it's ideal to visit Siena. It is not free and costs 2€/hour.

However, be careful, the entrance is on the left at the end of the street and it is badly indicated. If you miss it you are entering the ZTL. To know more about these famous ZTL, discover our article: How to get around in Italy?

Day 7

We drive to Sorano to reach Agriturismo Sant'Egle. Our room is ready at 10 am, so we choose to arrive in the early afternoon. We finally want to spend our first afternoon of rest. Only one stop today: Radicofani.

It is a city recommended by the backpacker's guide as being a point of interest but little known and therefore far from mass tourism. Indeed it is a pretty small town, not very frequented. Without souvenir store, it is a sign! The village square offers an exceptional panorama on the surrounding countryside. It is also shaded, which makes it a good place to stop for a picnic. If you want to go even higher, you can go to the ruin of the old tower that overlooks the town.

We then head back to Sant'Egle, the 2nd Ethik Hotels we met on our journey. To learn more, read our travelogue of our stopover in southern Tuscany.

Day 8

We stay around Sant'Egle and we enjoy this area less touristy but also full of richness. We start the day by discovering Pitigliano, classified among the most beautiful villages of Italy. Built on the side of a cliff, it lives up to its reputation.

We then take the direction of the Etruscan necropolis of Sovana. It is located 2 km down from the center.

At the end of the day, we discover the beautiful village of Sorano. It is also built on the side of a cliff. When we walk there, before having dinner, we discover a very nice atmosphere. It is really one of our favorites.

Day 9

The latter only opening at 2:30 pm, on the road, we stop to visit 2 villages that are worth the detour:

MancianoCapalbio, a second favorite with its ramparts. You can also eat there before visiting the garden. By the way

# Extra info:

If you decide to visit the garden in high season, book your tickets a few days in advance to be sure you can get in.

Day 10 / 11 / 12 et 13

We rented a house in a property with a swimming pool shared with the owners and the other tenants. The objective was to rest a little and to rest. So we alternated between a day visiting the surrounding villages and a day around the pool.

Here is the list of what we discovered during our stay:

  • Abbazia di Sant’Antimo
  • Montalcino
  • Arcidosso
  • Montegiovi
  • Seggiano

Day 14

On the advice of a friend we make a detour on the road towards Lucca and we stop to visit San Gimignano. This village really deserves that we stop there, it is superb. It also offers very beautiful panoramas on the surrounding countryside.

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However, it is very touristic and it can be complicated to park. When we went there, the 4 paying parking lots were full. We did find some free parking in the streets, but it takes a little patience.

Day 15

From Lucca, in the morning we took the train to Pisa. The journey takes 25 minutes. This avoids the risk of running into a ZTL and looking for a place to park the car. Honestly, for us, Pisa is not worth the detour. There is the site to see obviously but it is extremely touristy. The city, in our eyes, is not very interesting.

In the afternoon, however, we fell in love with Lucca. We walked around the city walls, discovered the plaza del amphitéatro and visited the Pfanner Palace. It's a really beautiful city with a serene atmosphere, where you feel good. We really recommend you to stop here, it deserves it.

After our road trip in Tuscany: discover the rest of our journey

If, like us, you want to extend your stay in Italy. Here are the additional steps that we realized. We took the opportunity to meet 2 other Ethik Hotels.

Stay at Lac de Côme

Day 16

This day was dedicated to the trip between Lucca and Bellagio, on the lake of Como. Before leaving I did a jog on the ramparts of Lucca. The place is really good for that, I recommend it to all runners!

We arrived in the late afternoon in our 3rd Ethik Hotels in Aqua & Co. We enjoyed the pool in the late afternoon and went down to the center of Bellagio for dinner. To learn more, find all our tips to discover Lake Como.

Day 17

We discovered the beautiful village of Lenno and the villa Bablbianello located at 2km walk from the city center. The latter has been used as a set for many movies: Stars Wars, Casino Royal... We then headed to Varenna. Another beautiful village on the right bank. On our way back to Bellagio we made a detour to the point before returning. It allows to have a panoramic view on both sides of the lake. Bellagio is indeed cleverly placed at the junction of the two branches of the "Y" that the lake forms.

# Extra info:

There is a day ticket for boat trips on the lake. It costs 15 € and allows unlimited trips between the villages located in the center of the lake.

Day 18

Exhausted by our 16 km walk the day before, we decided to slow down the pace. So we dedicated our day to Bellagio and mainly to the sublime gardens of the Villa Melzi located at the edge of the Lake. Then it was a relaxing afternoon by the pool.

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Back to Lake Annecy

Day 19

For this day nothing exceptional except the highway to return our car to Annecy. However, as planned, we avoided the Mont Blanc tunnel. Let's admit it: it was not the idea of the century!

  • It costs 47,3 € so a little more expensive than the Mont Blanc
  • we also waited to pass it between 20 and 30 minutes
  • the journey took 30 minutes longer by this route except waiting (it's not much if we gain on the other points but there...)

At the end of the day, once we arrived, we took possession of our apartment at Concept Cote Ouest, 4th Ethik Hotels of our trip. Remember we already stayed there last October. We loved it, see our article on the blog. After our first stay here, we wanted to discover the lake in summer. It is done! A second article will follow soon.

Day 20 / 21

These are our last days of vacation. Our program is mainly rest, cycling around the lake and swimming in the famous lake with turquoise waters.

We also took advantage of the Annecy Paysage exhibition to wander around the historical center of Annecy and discover it differently.

This is the end of our vacations. I hope this will make you want to discover Tuscany. Are you ready to pack your bags? 

Anne Chéné
CEO
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