Tuscany 3-Day Road Trip

tuscany road trip

There is nowhere in Italy quite as iconic as Tuscany. The rolling green countryside of olive groves and vineyards are punctuated by pretty hilltop villages, Cyprus trees and little winding roads that lend to road trips using a car hire Italy. Inland are the towering Apennine Mountains, while the coast’s gorgeous beaches look out over the Tyrrhenian Sea. At it’s heart is the ancient city of Florence, home to Renaissance art including Michelangelo’s David statue. Though visited by millions of people each year, there are some surprisingly budget car rental Italy options available.

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Best time to visit and weather

During the high season summer months, pretty fields of sunflowers dominate the Tuscan landscape. If you plan to car hire Italy between July and August, you’ll be treated to long, hot days which are ideal for road tripping. However, don’t discount the outer months. Spring and fall can be arguably even more scenic, with lush green countryside and vineyards bursting with ripe grapes. With less tourists to contend with, after you’ve picked up your car rental Florence, you may very well have the country roads all to yourself. Bliss.
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Rules on the Road

If you plan to drive in Tuscany in your car rental Florence, there are a few rules of the road which are worth remembering. The speed limit on the autostrade (highway) is 110 kilometers an hour. This reduces to 70 kilometers an hour or smaller roads, and no more than 50 kilometers an hour in towns and cities. Gas is particularly expensive in Italy coming in at around € 1,70 per liter. While gas stations on the highway tend to be 24-hour self-service, many others will close between 12.30 p.m. and 3.30 p.m. Try to avoid driving in the historical center of cities, as parking can be almost impossible, and more often than not, it is banned anyway.
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Road trip distance

This leisurely 3-day road trip through Tuscany will take you along winding country roads, fascinating old towns and to some of the best places to experience true Italian cooking.

Road Trip Distance:

Florence Airport to Florence: 9 kilometers
Florence to Pontassieve: 19 kilometers
Pontassieve to Siena: 90 kilometers
Siena to Colle di Val d’Elsa: 31 kilometers
Colle di Val d’Elsa to Florence Airport: 54 kilometers

florence car rental

Tuscany Road Trip Day 1 – Florence

There is no better introduction to Tuscany than the Renaissance city of Florence. When you arrive at the airport, pick up the keys for your car hire Florence inside the terminal building and take the short drive down into the city. It’s a short journey which shouldn’t take you more than 20 minutes. With such a range of accommodation in Tuscany, it can be hard to know where to start. In the capital, you can’t go wrong with Hotel Mario’s. Housed in a charming 17th century former private home, the hotel is located along the beautiful Via Faenza and has plenty of parking for your car hire Florence. It’s located in the city’s heart making it the perfect base for exploring.

If this is your first time in Florence, you can’t miss the classics. Wander down through the old city to the Il Duomo di Firenze (the Dome of Florence in the Cathedral of Saint Mary) and climb the 463 steps to the rooftop to admire the spectacular view. Be prepared to queue if you want to see Michelangelo’s David, the 5-meter tall statue carved over 500 years ago. Finally, you’re not going to want to miss the Uffizi which houses one of the greatest collections of Renaissance art in the world including work by Botticelli.

Florence is not short on places to eat, and you’ll rarely walk for any more than a minute before spotting some tasty looking trattoria, but not all are made equal. Our tip is to avoid any of the restaurants which are filled with mostly tourists and look out for local joints. If you want to treat yourself to a Michelin star meal without breaking the bank, try Ora d’Aria. Expert Tuscan dishes like roasted pig with rabe, kale tortelli and an interesting snail ragu.

siena italy car hire

Tuscany Road Trip Day 2 – Florence to Siena

This morning, you’re going to begin your road trip proper. Jump in your car and hit the road for a short 30-minute journey out to the beautiful town of Pontassieve. Located on the confluence of two rivers, this pretty town if well worth some time to explore. Hop into one of the pizzerias for a fine example of Italy’s most famous foodie export washed down with a glass of Chianti.

After lunch, continue south for just over an hour to Siena. When you arrive, check into the 17th century Grand Hotel Continental, arguably the most luxurious accommodation in Tuscany. Spend the rest of the afternoon exploring this fascinating city and be sure to visit the seriously photogenic Siena Cathedral and the Piazza del Campo. For dinner, try La Taverna di San Giuseppe which serves up some of the most traditional Tuscan food in town. Expect pici pasta dishes and Tuscan beef steaks. Finish off the meal with a fine example of Italy’s famous tiramisu.

car hire Colle di Val d'Elsa

Tuscany Road Trip Day 3 – Siena to Florence

En route back to Florence airport, stop off in the town of Colle di Val d’Elsa. This pretty hilltop town has an interesting old town to explore. Both the Archeological Museum and the Civic and Diocesan Museum house some interesting artwork and are well worth an hour or two. Stop off at the Osteria Sapia along Via del Castello. The restaurant serves up some delicious pasta and meat dishes using fresh local produce on their outdoor terrace. Drive the hour or so back to Florence Airport to drop off your car and fly back home.

 

Have a great road trip!

Your four-wheel travel buddy Carrentalia 🚗