If you have 3 days to spend in Tuscany

A vacation blueprint for how to spend your time if you have just three days in Tuscany (Florence + Pisa or Siena)

Florence—Tuscan Day trips (Pisa, Chianti, Siena, San Gimignano, Monteriggioni)

Days 1–2

Where to spend the night
Hotels in Florence (days 1-2)
Hotels in Pisa (day 3)
Hotels in Siena (day 3)
Spend the first two days in Florence:

Day 3 - Day trip: Best of Tuscany (Siena, Monteriggioni, The Chianti, San Gimignano, Pisa)

Il Campo
Piazza del Campo in Siena. (Photo by Zyance)
Take the tour!
The only way to fit it all in on an all-day escorted tour with partners at Viator.com:

• Tuscany in One Day Sightseeing Tour (12 hrs)

There are other day trip options if you want to take things more slowly and do just a few of the towns:

Siena/San Gimignano:
• Siena and San Gimignano Small Group Day Trip from Florence (8 hrs)
• Private Tour: Siena and San Gimignano (8.5 hrs)
• Siena and San Gimignano (8.5 hrs)

Pisa:
• Private Tour: Pisa and the Leaning Tower from Florence (4 hrs)
• Pisa and the Leaning Tower Half-Day Trip from Florence (5.5 hrs)
• Private Tour: Lucca and Pisa from Florence (10 hrs)

The Chianti
• Small Group Chianti Wine Region Day Trip from Florence (8 hrs)
• Chianti Region Wine Tasting Half-Day Trip from Florence (5 hrs)
• Private Tour: Chianti Wine Tasting (5–9 hrs)
• Chianti Region Wine-Tasting and Dinner Half-Day Trip (8 hrs)
• Horse Riding in Chianti Day Trip (6 hrs)
• Vespa Day Trip to the Chianti (6 hrs)
• Tuscany Bike Tour in the Chianti (7 hrs)

• 5-Day Best of Italy Trip (5 days/4 nights)
Take the third day to make some day trips.

You could conceivably fit in two or three of those towns listed above on your own using public transportation—maybe four if you rent a car and do everything at a dead run.

But honestly, the only reasonable way to cram this much Tuscany into one day is to let someone else do the driving—and the parking, and the guiding, and the entry tickets, and the taking care of finding everything and knowing all the background information...

That's why I highly recommend the Tuscany in One Day Sightseeing Tour offered by our partners at Viator.com. It is a long one—12 hours, getting up at 8:30am and not returning to Florence until 8:30pm—but you get a lot for your $108.

Cruise past the walled hilltown of Monteriggioni en route to the king of the Tuscan hilltowns, Siena, which you can tour with the guide or on your own. (If you opt for the latter, try to squeeze in both the wondrously frescoed rooms of the Palazzo Pubblico town hall on the main square, the gorgeous sloping scallop-shell of Il Campo, and a quick spin around the zebra-striped 12th century Duomo, with its medieval carved pulpit and a library frescoed in bright, Fujifilm colors by Umbrian master Pinturicchio—helped by a young apprentice named Raphael).

The towers of San Gimignano
The towers of San Gimignano.
After a drive through the Chianti—and lunch and a wine-tasting class at a Chianti vineyard—you check out the Medieval Manhattan of San Gimignano, a picture-postcard hilltown bristling with stone towers.

Last stop: Pisa, with its gorgeous gaggle of Gothic buildings on the Campo dei Miracoli (The "Field of Miracles"), and a chance to climb the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa.

The tour drops you back off in Florence around 8:30pm—exhausted, but with loads of famous Tuscan sights added to your list of vacation accomplishments. Time for a celebratory dinner—and early bed time.

» Stay: Florence

Before you leave home:
 Book plane tickets
 Book hotels
 Check train times
 Book entry tickets:
    Florence: Uffizi, Accademia (David)
 Learn more about Italy
 Practice your Italian

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This article was written by Reid Bramblett and was last updated in February 2011. All information was accurate at the time.

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