We can all agree that Tuscany is very photogenic, and the variety of landscapes and architecture make gorgeous subjects when it comes to being creative with your shots. But what things should you keep in mind to capture the essence of Tuscany, the dreamy countryside and picturesque towns, on camera? And where are the best shooting locations in a region that has always been inspiration for artists and creatives?

You’ve probably seen hundreds of picture-perfect views of Tuscany, and we’ll tell you where to find exactly that. But maybe you’re looking for something different, more original, maybe you like the idea of showing another side of Tuscany.

Whatever the case, here are some tips for taking the perfect photos in Tuscany.

Tips for Taking the Perfect Photos in Tuscany

Get a feel of the place. Learn about it beforehand

Having some background knowledge about the places you’re exploring helps when it comes to adding atmosphere to your photos. Some research (like you’re doing right now!) is vital to help you pick your locations and plan your creative endeavour. Learning a bit about the history, customs and traditions of a place can enrich your experience as a traveller, and as a visual creator.

And once you arrive, pay attention to your first impression. What struck you? What do you notice about your destination right away? Is it a particular colour, like the terracotta of Florence’s roofs, or the way the light changes the mood of the countryside?

Each place we visit has its own particular look, character, and ambiance. If we want photographs of our travels to be good and lasting, they should capture all of these qualities, and say as much about a place as give the literal look of it.

Roberto Caputo, National Geographic
tips for taking pictures in tuscany
Image source: Depositphotos.com

Iconic Tuscany Landscapes and Where to find them

If your desire is to capture the signature landscapes of Tuscany in all its beauty, then book a few nights in the Crete Senesi and the Val d’Orcia. This is where you find the endless wheat fields, the solitary cypress tree, the farmhouses atop velvety, rolling hills. This is heaven for landscape photographers. Vast spaces, wide angle opportunities, and plenty of atmosphere. Take your time driving around to get a feel for the place, and find the perfect combination of natural elements to capture the essence of legendary Tuscany.

Popular shooting locations in Val d’Orcia include Agriturismo Baccoleno near Asciano, Terrapille Agriturismo 3 kms. south of Pienza on the way to San Quirico d’Orcia, the cypress road near Montichiello, Podere Belvedere, Vitaleta Chapel => Follow our Val d’Orcia driving itinerary for some scenic spots.

To find some perfectly combed vineyards to point your camera at, choose to explore the Chianti wine region => Find more idyllic views on our Chianti scenic drive itinerary, and the road between San Casciano and Certaldo.

Drone shots of the Tuscan countryside come out spectacular! Here you can find out what you can and cannot do while flying a drone it Italy.

Photographing Florence

Each city has its very own look and feel, and when taking photos it’s important to capture what’s unique about that place. Is it a particular architectural style? Or maybe it’s a predominant colour, a mood, or its landmarks that have made it famous.

In Florence the place to start is undoubtedly Piazzale Michelangelo, the panoramic terrace from where the city is, quite literally, spread at your feet. This is the spot where many photographers come in search of the perfect skyline of Florence, with the massive Duomo that looks so close, the expanse of red roofs and the Arno river snaking through the middle. This ample view gives you a feeling for the whole of the city, with the hills embracing the puzzle of Medieval and Renaissance architecture that is Florence.

=> See the Top 10 Places to Take Photos in Florence : sunset on the Lungarno, top of the Cathedral Dome, and more.

florence in january

Don’t follow the crowd

Florence’s historic centre can get pretty crowded. Its narrow streets can be difficult to shoot and famous buildings are virtually always surrounded by groups of tourists. Get up early and wander around Florence at dawn. This might be the best way to escape the crowds, and capture the quiet side of Florentine piazzas and lanes (…and of course, you can always cancel people using Photoshop!).

Moving away from the busier tourist sites can also give a different perspective, and help to get a better feel for the place. You might even find a quiet, hidden corner that reveals another side of the city.

When you photograph a building or a statue, think about what they represent. What feeling do you want to create? Is it better to have a bright of cloudy sky on the background? Get a feel for the subject, then choose the angle, light, and the time of day that best communicates it.

In Tuscany photographers have a choice of great architectural wonders. From the famed Leaning Tower of Pisa, where people vie to create the most outlandish pose, to Siena‘s magnificent Piazza del Campo.

But of course, in any popular destination the trick is to escape the crowds and clichéd pictures. So wander to less touristy parts, get lost in the moment, and dedicate time to find your personal favourite spots.

=> Check out some Unusual Landscapes in Tuscany for more great photo opportunities.

Tuscany small towns. In search of picturesque corners

Tuscany’s smaller towns and villages are real treasure troves for anyone looking for picturesque. Crumbling walls, flowery windows, green shutters and red roofs. An intricate bronze handle on an old doors, ancient stone arches. Don’t rush, the more closely you look the more details you’ll find!

Tuscany’s picturesque small towns offer plenty opportunities to capture intriguing details on camera: interesting architectural elements, lonely corners where the texture of an ancient wall, and a solitary terracotta vase make great subjects for creative shots.

INSIDER’S TIP => Keep in mind that in many Tuscan towns you can climb the Medieval towers and from up there get a perfect view. A few examples? Torre del Mangia in Siena, Guinigi Tower in Lucca, Torre Grossa in San Gimignano.

=> Discover the beauty of Lucca though the eyes of photographers

=> Finding Picturesque Villages in Tuscany


Best time to take pictures in Tuscany

Photographers refer to it as the ‘golden hour’, the magic hour – the period of daytime just before sunset and after sunrise – where natural light is just perfect, not too harsh, and the colours come alive. So check the time and plan accordingly (roughly half an hour before the sun sets and half an hour after dawn) if you want to have the best photo.

Spring will reward you with intense green fields and flowery gardens (see the Best Gardens in Tuscany), in Summer (usually mid July) is when the sunflower are in bloom, early November is best time for fall foliage viewing in Tuscany. Winter is quieter, less colourful and very atmospheric.

Check out our Instagram page and #lovefromtuscany to get ideas of places and shooting locations.

Find more inspirations on @volgotoscana , @tuscanygram.

=> Great Tips for Improving your Travel Photography

=> 7 Popular Photoshoot Locations in Tuscany