Traveller Starter Pack – Tuscany

Ah, Tuscany, sweet Tuscany! Maybe one of the most famous places on Earth and a true flagship of what Italy stands for. If you’re planning to visit Italy and Tuscany is not on your list you might want to review your itinerary and avoid making the biggest mistake of your life. Ok, maybe I am being a bit dramatic, but hey, I am playing for my team after all! I will use my expertise as a local who was born and raised in Tuscany in order to help you travel around this amazingly beautiful region and enjoy the best it has to offer. Let’s get started!

Accommodation

First things first. When planning any travel you should firstly have a clue where your headquarter should be. This might be easier when dealing with just one city, but when exploring a region you should consider moving every two or three days. Tuscany is not that big and you can reach most destinations easily, however you will find some true gems in small villages in the middle of nowhere and there is no way you can get there by taking a highway! Some say travelling is not just about the final stop, but it lies on the journey itself. Take your time to move from place to place and don’t be afraid to try different accommodations. You’ll be more likely to find hotels in the main towns, while definitely more B&Bs in the countryside. Whatever kind of accommodation you prefer, you will be able to find it here. Nowadays, any of these facilities have multilingual staff and you’re going to be just fine even if you don’t speak a word of Italian. That said, you shouldn’t really worry about accommodation in Tuscany, there really is truth in the words of people saying we’re great hosts.  

Transportation

By Plane

Once you draw your ideal itinerary, make sure you also get an idea of how you are going to arrive in Tuscany and how you are going to get around. If you are travelling to Tuscany by plane you will land at one of the below:
  • Florence-Peretola (Amerigo Vespucci) Airport
  • Pisa (Galileo Galilei) Airport
Consider that the airports of Pisa and Florence are quite close to each other and the main difference stands in what kind of company you want to fly with. You are more likely to find low-cost companies flying to and from Pisa, while more high-profile companies in Florence. My suggestion is to check them out both and decide what’s your best solution according to your plans. Although some other Italian International airports are not located in Tuscany, there are definitely some quick and smart solutions worth taking into consideration:
  • Rome Fiumicino (Leonardo Da Vinci) Airport
  • Rome Ciampino (G.B Pastine) Airport
  • Perugia (San Francesco D’Assisi) Airport
If you think Rome is too far away from Tuscany you could not be more wrong. With its five different train lines between high-speed trains Frecciarossa, Frecciargento and Italo (the only one which is owned by a private company) and regular trains as Intercities and local trains, there are endless possibilities to reach your Tuscan destination. Note that some Frecciarossa and Frecciargento can get directly into the Rome Fiumicino Airport making your journey extremely quick and easy. All the other trains heading north depart from Rome’s main train station Termini and most trains stop in Florence. Differently from Fiumicino Airport, Ciampino Airport is closer to Rome city centre and it first existed as a military airport, where presidents and the Pope usually land and depart, so don’t be surprised if you see an incredible amount of policemen and military men around! Leaving useless pieces of information aside, you should know that there is no train line for this airport and don’t get confused if you hear there are trains leaving for Ciampino because that’s the town and not the actual airport. But do not worry, there are several coaches leaving from Rome Termini station at any hour of the day. For Rome means also getting stuck in traffic very easily, allow yourself some extra time so that you won’t miss your flight or your train. Lastly, Perugia Airport is a very handy facility for those travelling to Tuscany. It is so tiny that you might think you’ve been the victim of a tasteless joke, but trust the signs, that really is an airport! Being so small though, it also means there are not many flights during the day and from there you can only reach 5 destinations: London Stansted, Bruxelles Charleroi, Malta, Tirana and Catania. Same as for Rome, you will be able to reach many Tuscan locations by train.

By Train

Indeed, trains can be the perfect fit to get around in Tuscany. As a local though, it is my duty to warn you and make you aware of the fact that almost any train I took in my life was delayed and it is not because I am not lucky. Service can be great on high-speed trains, but it can be pretty awful on Intercities and local trains with technical issues at all hours of the day, temperature that for some reason never seems to be right and of course,  people who can’t behave in public transportation. I don’t mean to scare you, but you deserve to know all of this can happen.

By Car

I know there is a superhero inside you. And that superhero will want to drive once your feet touch the ground. Driving in Tuscany can be exciting and you will have the chance to see breathtakingly beautiful landscapes. Just make sure you don’t drive right after a wine tasting as we have pretty strict rules about drunk-driving and you would get in big trouble. Also, if you see locals driving confidently around curvy roads and tiny countryside roads, please don’t wake up your inner Lewis Hamilton and just drive at your own pace. Driving as we do takes a lot of practice and it’s easy to screw up if you’re not used to it. After my dose of grandma’s suggestions, it will be up to you to live your own Tuscan experience. And I am sure it’s going to be unforgettable.

Alba Nasoni

Travel geek, bassist & mess Mistress of a hard rock band. I love to live my life on the edge, always looking forward to the next adventure. My life is anything but boring!

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