With this Tuscany in 3 days itinerary you can see Florence and some of the region’s highlights, and get a taste of this wonderful part of central Italy.
This itinerary takes you on a road trip around the central part of Tuscany, where the main sights are. Here we give a complete 3 day itinerary, and suggest a couple of alternative places to visit, depending which part of Tuscany takes your fancy.
Of course, having more time allows you to have a deeper and more relaxing experience. If you decide to extend your stay time, check out our Tuscany in 5 days itinerary.
If you only have 3 days and you don’t want to rent a car, the best option is to base yourself in Florence and take day trips. You can use public transport or join guided tours to make the most of your time. This way you can see the most famous destinations, including Siena, the Leaning Tower in Pisa and the Chianti vineyards.
Tuscany in 3 Days itinerary
DAY 1 – Florence
Florence’s historic centre is compact enough that it can be explored in one day. This means you’ll see the famous Cathedral, Piazza Signoria, the Ponte Vecchio,Piazza Santa Croce and if you make an early start, you can fit in one museum visit in your day. In this case you need to book the entrance in advance, to avoid wasting time in queues. Same thing if you’d like to climb the Cathedral’s Dome, book in advance!
You could also join this popular Best of Florence Walking Tour to have a professional guide introducing you to the city’s highlights and learn some fascinating stories.
=> Follow our One Day in Florence complete Itinerary.
DAY 2 – SIENA & THE CHIANTI REGION
On the second day, you can drive from Florence to Siena, winding your way through the beautiful countryside of the Chianti region. Have a look at our road trip in the Chianti region to see the most scenic spots along the way. It’s a great idea to stop for lunch at a winery, and include some wine tasting. You are after all in one of Italy’s most acclaimed wine regions.
Arrive in the Medieval gem that is Siena and allow a couple of hours before dinner to explore the highlights. Make sure you see the Cathedral, and enjoy an aperitivo and/or dinner in the magnificent piazza del Campo to really get a feel for the city.
Driving distance: Allow a couple of hours (minimum) to drive from Florence to Siena, crossing the Chianti region (this timing doesn’t include any stops). Bear in mind that you’ll be driving along some narrow, winding roads, so the going can be a little slow in some stretches.
GOOD TO KNOW – Parking: parking in Siena’s historic centre can be a challenge. Check with your hotel if they have a private parking, or ask for the nearest parking. Same goes for Florence: free parking in/near the city centre is impossible. If you’re staying in the city centre, check with your hotel about the ZTL (Limited Traffic Zone), they’ll organise a permit for you.
Insider’s Tip => Book a wine tasting experience in advance. Wine tasting always needs some planning. Don’t expect just to turn up at a wine estate, as most have set hours for tours and visits. Check out this family-run Winery near Greve in Chianti that organises visits to the cellars and wine tasting.
If you rather be based in Florence and join a guided tour, avoiding the stress of driving (especially if you like the idea of trying some Chianti wine!), this is a great FULL- DAY TOUR from Florence: including the Chianti region, Siena, and the Medieval hilltop town of San Gimignano. The tour includes a traditional lunch with wine tasting.
DAY 3 – PISA & LUCCA
On your third day it’s time to see another of Tuscany’s famed wonders, the Leaning Tower of Pisa. It takes about 1 hour to get from Florence to Pisa (by car or train). The Square of Miracles, a Unesco site and one of Italy’s most impressive piazze, is an absolute must.
Keep in mind that it’s busy and crowded, especially if you’re visiting in the Summer. We suggest you pick a Guided Tour of the Piazza dei Miracoli Complex to better appreciate the historical relevance and artistic details-highlights of this place, and make the most of your time.
You can then spend the rest of the day in Pisa, or if you’re feeling energetic you could drive another 30 minutes and spend the rest of the day in Lucca. This delightful walled town welcomes its visitors with lovely squares and historic churches, lively bars and plenty of shopping opportunities.
ALTERNATIVE DESTINATIONS for a 3 DAY ITINERARY in Tuscany
VAL d’ORCIA Iconic Views
If you’d like to see those iconic Tuscan countryside views – isolated cypress trees lining a distant hill – you need to head to the dreamy Val d’Orcia. This area, located south of Siena, includes Montalcino and Pienza, some of Tuscany’s most picturesque small towns. This One Day Road trip around Val d’Orcia points out the most scenic spots of the area.
TOUR FROM FLORENCE VAL D’ORCIA STRESS FREE -> Explore a trio of the most charming towns in Tuscany’s UNESCO-listed Val d’Orcia region. Taste prized red wines like Nobile di Montepulciano and Brunello di Montalcino, stroll through picturesque Pienza on this all-inclusive tour.
A Day in Eastern Tuscany – Cortona & Arezzo
While the hilltop town of Cortona, made famous thanks to the bestselling novel “Under the Tuscan Sun” is well places on the tourist map – offering great views and a intriguing Medieval vibe – Arezzo is a more of a ‘knowledgeable traveller’ kind of destination. A handsome town with a splendid main square, great shops and because a little less touristy, an authentic feel.
What is like to drive in Tuscany? => Planning a Road Trip to Tuscany, insider’s tips.
One last thing => Some people ask if 3 days is enough to see Tuscany. To really appreciate the region’s artistic treasures and natural beauty you surely need more time, but in 3 days you can get a taste of this region, because some of the main sights are within easy reach from Florence, and travelling around is quite easy with a bit of planning in advance.