Tuscany - Best Tours & Trips 2019

147 Tuscany tours from 45 tour companies. 371 reviews. 4.8/5 avg rating.
If you're looking for the quintessential Italian experience, there's not better place to start than Tuscany. The region houses everything, from classic wine regions, villas dotting hillsides, the historic centers of Florence, Pisa, and Siena, among others. It's the perfect place for a week long trip, or if you have more time, spread out for two weeks enjoying a leisurely picnic one day and museum exploration the next.
All Tuscany tours, river cruises, expedition cruises, and adventure trips. Find the best guided trips and expert planned vacation and holiday packages.
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Climate

Travel Style Travel Style Relaxed A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers.
Full on For those looking to maximize their sight seeing time. You thrive on a packed day’s schedule from 8 am to 6pm, with some (but limited) free time. Most activities and meals included.
Mixed You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included.

Itinerary Focus

Trip Type Trip Type Group Tour Groups are between 25-60 people, typically ~30-40. Usually there will be many opportunities to split off and enjoy meals and excursions in smaller groups. This is the most economical way to travel, saving up to 40% versus booking the same itinerary yourself.
Small Group Tour Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
River Cruise These vessels are smaller than most ocean cruisers, limiting which amenties are available. Passenger counts can vary. One of the biggest advantages of a river cruise is the ability to dock at smaller ports and local villages.
Small Ship Cruise Small ship cruises usually have a max passenger count of 500. The primary purpose of these trips is to spend time off the vessel in local ports (e.g. Mediterranean) or experiencing nature (e.g Galapagos or Antarctica). Cabins can vary from budget to luxury.
Private Guided Private tours give you the undivided attention of a guide, and often involve special access to sites and unique experiences not available to larger groups. This is a great option for families, couples, and small friend groups. Expect to pay a bit more for the extra service.
Self Guided / Independent Tour A travel company plans your itinerary and arranges all the logistics including lodging, local activities, and transportantion. You have the flexibility of a solo trip while still getting the convience and time savings of expert planning. Get 90% of the benefits of a tour, without a guide.
Vacation / Holiday Package Similar to a self guided tour, this usually involves a home base, such as a hotel or resort, with packaged activities and day tours as a part of the stay.
Large Ship Cruise This is the "floating city" experience, with multiple ways to enjoy your vacation aboard the ship as much as on land. Ships are multiple floors, provide several activities, culinary, and shopping options. They often make fewer stops and have less time available for shore excursions.

Lodging Level Lodging Level Camping Typically involves most nights sleeping in tents (sometimes permanent tented sites) or in rustic cabins and lodges.
Basic - 2 star You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping.
Value - 3 star Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Premium - 4 star 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards.
Luxury - 5 star The highest level of comfort and service. All accomodations are in four or five star hotels, boutique lodges or high-end homestays.

Price From*

$ 599 $ 10,000+

Price Per Day

Trip Length

Countries

Physical Level Physical Level Very Easy Minimal walking - motor vehicles available for all major parts of trip.
Easy Normal generally flat walking in urban or suburban environments.
Moderate Walking or physical activity half to most of day - no carrying equipment.
Strenuous All or most of day hiking or biking, hills included.
Extreme Very challenging all day hiking and backpacking carrying significant equipment.

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Travelers Age

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Rivers & Seas

Cities & Attractions

Activities

Solo Friendly Solo Friendly Good for Singles Trips that specifically cater to travelers looking to meet other singles.
No Single Supplement Trips where single supplement is usually not required for solo travelers.

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The Best of Italy

SmarTours
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
9 days
$ 355 / day
$ 3,199
From : $ 4,319
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • Enjoy a tour to the Vatican which includes visits to St. Peter’s Basilica, the spectacular Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museum
  • Explore Imperial Rome
  • Visit the Colosseum
  • Walk under the Arch and marvel at the ruins of the Roman Forum
  • See Michelangelo’s celebrated David
  • View the famous Piazza del Miracoli and the amazing Leaning Tower of Pisa
  • Embark on a boat tour to the island of Murano
Visits:
Colosseum, Rome, St. Peter's Basilica, Umbria, Italy
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The Italy - Tuscany Untour

7 days
$ 128 / day
$ 899
From : $ 1,389
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • Visit Siena
  • Discover Abbazia di San Galgano
  • Explore Pisa, Lucca and Florence
  • Visit San Gimignano, Montepulciano, Volterra and Cortona
Visits:
Florence, Lucca, Pisa, Siena, Italy
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Tuscany Biking

Butterfield & Robinson
Preferred
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
6 days
$ 883 / day
$ 5,295
From : $ 6,036
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level : The highest level of comfort and service. All accomodations are in four or five star hotels, boutique lodges or high-end homestays. Luxury - 5 star
Highlights
  • Enjoy tasting of Tuscan reds
  • Explore vine-covered hills of Chianti
  • Explore Siena
  • Visit a private wine estate for a tasting
Visits:
Florence, Siena, Tuscany, Italy
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Italy's Great Cities Tour with 2 Days in Tuscany

STORY Land & Sea
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
11 days
$ 507 / day
$ 5,579
From : $ 14,558
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level : 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
Highlights
  • Local Expert Italian Guides: Easy-to-understand, Friendly
  • Hosted by STORY Tour Captain throughout your journey
  • Experience Wine-Tasting story Exclusive Tuscan
  • Story's Handpicked Deluxe Heart-of-City Hotels
  • Story's Complimentary Laundry Service Mid-Tour to help you pack lighter
  • Magic Portage included beginning to end
  • Internet WiFi Access for Story Guests
  • Included Gondola with our own Italian Musician's Serenade
Visits:
Assisi, Colosseum, Florence, Rome, Tuscany, Umbria, Venice, Italy
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Paris, Tuscany and Rome

14 days
$ 231 / day
$ 3,240
Travel Style : For those looking to maximize their sight seeing time. You thrive on a packed day’s schedule from 8 am to 6pm, with some (but limited) free time. Most activities and meals included. Full on
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
Highlights
  • Visit the intriguing Hospices Museum
  • Explore Swiss Transport Museum, or relax on one of the lovely lakeshore promenades
  • Explore romantic city of Venice
  • Visit a glass-blowing workshop where highly skilled artisans craft anything from delicate figurines to grand chandeliers
Visits:
Accademia museum, Alps, Burgundy, Colosseum, Florence, Lucca, Lucerne, Milan, Pantheon, Paris, Pisa, Rome, Siena, Sistine Chapel, Tuscany, Vatican Museum, Venice, Verona, France, Italy
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Venice, Florence, Rome & Sorrento

11 days
$ 155 / day
$ 1,703
Travel Style : A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
Highlights
  • Try out a gondola ride along the canals in Venice!
  • Enjoy a gelato, a Florence creation, as you wander through its stunning streets.
  • Toss a coin into the Trevi Fountain to wish for a return visit to Rome, see if the legend is true!
  • Explore amazing ruins and buildings as you make your way through Rome, also known as the Eternal City.
  • Take a day trip to Pompeii, Capri, or the Amalfi Coast out of the nautical city of Sorrento.
Visits:
Accademia museum, Amalfi Coast, Colosseum, Florence, Isle of Capri, Naples, Pantheon, Rome, Sistine Chapel, Sorrento, Tuscany, Vatican Museum, Venice, Italy
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Rome and Tuscany

7 days
$ 128 / day
$ 893
Travel Style : A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • A self-drive vacation will allow you to take day-trips Siena, Arezzo, the Statue of David in Florence and beyond!
  • Enjoy Tuscany, known for its stunning landscapes and delicious wine, then stay in a villa set in Rome’s countryside.
  • During your time in Tuscany feel free to take day-trips to the Leaning Tower of Pisa in nearby Pisa!
  • Indulge in pizza, pasta, and gelato to your heart's content. Don't forget to try the local culinary specialties!
  • Purchase our upgrade and add breakfast daily, a Florence Walking Tour, and more!
Visits:
Colosseum, Florence, Leaning Tower of Pisa, Lucca, Pantheon, Pisa, Rome, Siena, Tuscany, Italy
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Cinque Terre, Carrara and Medieval Hill Towns

Road Scholar
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
12 days
$ 267 / day
$ 3,199
From : $ 4,049
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • Discover how inhabitants carved vineyard terraces along the steep mountainside in the Cinque Terre
  • Walk scenic paths with breathtaking vistas of the mountains that plunge into the Mediterranean sea
  • Consider the experiences of Romantic English poets who lived near and were inspired by the bay of Lerici
Visits:
Cinque Terre, La Spezia, Leaning Tower of Pisa, Pisa, Porto, Tuscany, Italy
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Tuscany, Italy's Heartland

7 days
$ 163 / day
$ 1,139
Travel Style : A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
Highlights
  • Drive through the vineyards of Tuscany to the Renaissance city of Florence.
  • A traditional pizza making class will make this Italy getaway unforgettable!
  • Discover the wine gems of your villa, followed up a Chianti Region wine tasting!
  • Treat yourself to local culinary specialties as you make your way from city to city.
  • Take a day-trip to Pisa, where you can pose with its famous leaning tower.
Visits:
Florence, Lucca, Pisa, Siena, Tuscany, Italy
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Italian Highlights: Rome, Tuscany & Venice

9 days
$ 104 / day
$ 933
Travel Style : A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
Highlights
  • Imagine the Colosseum as it was in its prime; the crowd, the excitement, the danger.
  • Treat yourself to a wine tasting in Tuscany, and learn about the process from grape to glass.
  • Takes easy day-trips while in Tuscany. You can visit Florence, Pisa, Siena, and many other medieval towns and villages within a short drive.
  • Discover the staple dishes in each region; try white pizza in Rome, pasta faglioli in Tuscany, and risi e bisi (rice and peas) in Venice.
  • Experience firsthand Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel ceiling, now on display at the Vatican Museums in Vatican city.
Visits:
Colosseum, Florence, Naples, Rome, Siena, Sistine Chapel, St. Peter's Basilica, Tuscany, Vatican Museum, Venice, Italy
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Lake Como, Florence & Rome

9 days
$ 231 / day
$ 2,078
Travel Style : A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • Explore picturesque gardens and villas while surrounded by the stunning lakes of Como.
  • Enjoy breathtaking views of the Italian countryside as you make your way from destination to destination by rail.
  • Stare into the eyes of Michelangelo's David in Florence.
  • Legend has it that throwing a coin into Rome's Trevi Fountain will guarantee you a return trip to the Eternal City; toss one in and find out for yourself!
  • Enjoy early entrance admission to the Vatican Museums, where you can experience Michelangelo's famous Sistine Chapel ceiling firsthand.
Visits:
Accademia museum, Colosseum, Florence, Lake Como, Milan, Piazza San Marco, Rome, Sistine Chapel, Tuscany, Vatican Museum, Villa del Balbianello, Italy
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Iconic Italy: Venice, Florence & Rome

7 days
$ 205 / day
$ 1,432
Travel Style : A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
Highlights
  • Treat yourself to a gondala ride in Venice!
  • Stare into the eyes of Michelangelo's David with a visit to the Accademia in Florence.
  • Indulge in a decadent serving of gelato in its home city of Florence!
  • Legend has it if you toss a coin into the Trevi Fountain, you will be guaranteed a return trip to Rome; toss one in and find out!
  • Take a walk through history as you visit the ruins of the ancient Roman civilization.
Visits:
Campo Grande, Cayo Santa María, Colosseum, Doge’s Palace, Florence, Parthenon, Piazza San Marco, Rome, Sistine Chapel, St. Peter's Basilica, Tuscany, Vatican Museum, Venice, Italy
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A Taste of Tuscany Culinary Tour

7 days
$ 671 / day
$ 4,695
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : The highest level of comfort and service. All accomodations are in four or five star hotels, boutique lodges or high-end homestays. Luxury - 5 star
Highlights
  • Testing mouthwatering recipes in friendly cucinas
  • Strolling through vineyards and sampling their wares
  • Seeing premium olives pressed into oil
Visits:
Florence, Italy
View Trip

Rome and Tuscan Highlights Summer 2019

Trafalgar
Preferred
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
9 days
$ 286 / day
$ 2,575
From : $ 3,167
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
Highlights
  • VIP ADMISSION to the Vatican Museums
  • CITY TOUR in Rome, Pisa and Florence
  • VISIT St. Peter's Basilica, the Tuscan city of Siena, San Gimignano, the Leonardiano Museum in Vinci and the Sistine Chapel
  • VIEW of the ancient sites of Rome including the Colosseum, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Santa Croce Basilica and the Duomo in Florence
Visits:
Florence, Rome, Siena, Tuscany, Italy
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Tuscany & the Italian Riviera

Collette
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
8 days
$ 234 / day
$ 1,869
From : $ 2,299
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Full day hiking or trekking over medium to long distances. Moderate expectation of physical fitness. Strenuous
Lodging Level : 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
Highlights
  • Enjoy an authentic Tuscan dinner expertly paired with locally produced wines.
  • Partake in an interactive pasta-making demonstration.
  • Savor regional wines with every included dinner.
  • Experience a guided tour including a visit to the beautiful Cathedral of San Martino.
  • Marvel at the magnificent architecture of the Piazza Dei Miracoli.
  • Spend 3 nights in a beautiful Tuscan Estate.
  • Journey to Florence for a tour of the "Cradle of the Italian Renaissance."
  • Explore the medieval city of Siena.
  • Stop in the medieval city of Lucca, encircled by 16th-century walls.
Visits:
Cinque Terre, Florence, Lucca, Pisa, Siena, Tuscany, Italy
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Top Tuscany Experiences and Attractions

Top Tuscany Experiences

  • Viewing Michelangelo’s David in the Accademia Gallery in Florence
  • Marveling at the artistic masterpieces in Florence’s Uffizi Gallery
  • Visiting the Duomo (cathedral), Florence’s most notable landmark
  • Shopping at the flea markets near the Duomo and along Florence’s Arno River
  • Relaxing at a winery for lunch and an afternoon tasting of the local vintages
  • Exploring towns where the houses cling precariously to the tops of hillsides
  • Admiring – and perhaps climbing – the Leaning Tower of Pisa
  • Attending the Palio, the famous biennial horse race held in Siena’s central piazza
  • Walking or biking the medieval walls of Lucca

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Tuscany Trip Reviews

371 Tuscany Tour Reviews - Summary 99% Recommend

4.8 out of 5
Excellent 301
Great 58
Average 11
Disappointing 0
Terrible 1
Value
4.8
Guide
4.8
Activities
4.8
Lodging
4.8
Transportation
4.8
Meals
4.8

Tour Reviews Write a Review

A True Taste of Italy

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0

Visiting Marche was a pleasant surprise for us. We were on a longer trip and decided to do the Taste of Italy for 5 days to visit a new area. What we most enjoyed about our visit was the city of Ascoli Piceno with its beautiful medieval center. In fact, we walked from our hotel after dinner every evening and explored the Roman amphitheater. A very different feel overall compared to the busy roads of the major cities. Our cooking class was exquisite and we were even given some home made fig jam to bring back to Seattle. Forget Tuscany next time, this is the real deal !! Thank you for showing us around, Ashley

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Operator The Italian on Tour

I really enjoyed ancient Rome and the Paris evening excursion!

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0

We had the time of our lives. We would highly recommend Image Tours Inc. to our family and friends. I really enjoyed ancient Rome and the Paris evening excursion!

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Operator Image Tours

We decided to trust Story to deliver one of our bucket list trips. THEY DID NOT DISAPPOINT!

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 4.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0

We decided to trust Story to deliver one of our bucket list trips. THEY DID NOT DISAPPOINT! The tour through Venice, Florence, Cortona, and Rome exceeded our expectations. Absolutely everything was FIRST CLASS. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. We gave it 5 stars only because there aren’t 6. The published itinerary was delivered in spades with special additions, sometimes twice a day. We never touched luggage, as it was moved for us from location to location. We never had to deal with tickets for transportation or museums. The local, private guides were super. The included dinners and wine were superb. This is a no driving, hassle free tour. We are planning to take another Story Small Group tour.

AND, as a special treat, the owner of the company was our tour captain. We tried several things that may be included in future itineraries. In the course of 9 days nothing flustered him. Everything was taken in stride, dealt with and resolved quickly. Nothing interfered with his fantastic service to his guests. We were not customers in any sense of the word. There was never a hint that Story was trying to watch the budget.

For those of you reading this and trying to decide, there are some things you need to consider. (When you have questions, call. You'll find that the Story help line is very knowledgeable and helpful.)

Small group - There were 15 people on our tour (16 is maximum). The tour caption had the time to get to know all of us. We saw lots of groups that appeared to be 40-50 people! You get to decide which is best for you. The smaller group = higher cost. We thought that it was easily worth it.

Walking - There is a lot of walking on this tour. There is always the option to use a taxi to get from place to place (extra cost). Some of the people on the tour with us had apps to count steps. Most showed more than 10,000 at noon time! MANY of those steps are on stairs and rough/cobble stone streets. Many of the stairs are inside attractions - not between them – so they can’t be avoided. By the end of our nine days, some tour group members were opting out of some planned activities. Opinion: If you can't complete a three mile walk, over uneven terrain, at a three mph pace (that's faster than most people walk), comfortably; get in shape. You’ll never do a constant three mile walk, on the tour – but it’ll feel like it.

Weather - We had fantastic weather! Temperature in the mid/low 70's and two sprinkles in nine days. Mostly sunshine. A great time to go.

Crowds - On the other hand, it wasn't such a great time to go. The crowds of tourists were overwhelming, everywhere except Cortona. I.E.: Our private, skip-the-line guided tour of the Vatican was especially BAD. We waited in line for about an hour and then once inside, we were literally shoulder to shoulder for the remaining two - three hours. It was nearly impossible to enjoy/understand what we were seeing. We spent more time trying to keep in sync with the group than looking at the art. The Sistine Chapel was NOT worth the time it took to get there. This was not something that Story could control. If the Vatican is important to you, go some other time of the year! If you are there during the busy season, opt out. There are thousands of fantastic things to see in Rome that won't be busy.

Security - We had a tour guide point out a small group of gypsy/pick-pockets as we exited the Vatican and steered us around them. That was the only "issue" in nine days - not a big deal. But, we were reminded to be "vigilant" many times - especially around crowds.

Navigation - Venice, Florence and Rome are VERY difficult to get around. There are many streets/alleys that run in apparently random directions. The maps available through hotels/tourist agents are not in adequate detail. Consider a hand-held GPS navigation system MANDITORY. Our phone did not have cell connectivity, so we down loaded the Google map. It worked once. Be very careful that you have a navigation device that works! Download a local map and test, test, test in airplane mode (?) before you go.

Driving – If you are going to Italy and renting a car, during the busy season, Venice allows no cars, problem solved. Driving in Florence and ESPECIALLY Rome is crazy. You've been forewarned.

Hotels - As it says, the hotels are in the center of the city/attractions. For example: the hotel in Rome was 200 feet from the Pantheon! This means that some of the buildings are more than 1,500 years old. You'll get used to seeing corners that you'd think should be 90 degrees, but aren't. Be prepared to spend time learning how things work and how to find your room - it'll be different from hotel to hotel and what you are used to! WiFi worked good in each hotel, except Rome. (See review of Grand Hotel de Minirva on TripAdvisor)

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Operator STORY Land & Sea

Having tested first-hand this package I wholeheartedly recommend it.

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0

I participated in the trip organized in May 2017 and was very pleased at the level of effort the organizers put into organizing such a nice package. All the locations are beautiful, all the guides and chefs are very good and a lot of information is covered. Even I learned a few things! Having tested first-hand this package I wholeheartedly recommend it.

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Operator Buonjourney Italy

Wonderful

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0

We were very happy with Untours and will definitely consider going on another Untours trip. While traveling with Untours allowed us to be independent, we had our local contacts as a safety net. Also going with Untours took all the detail hassle out of our trip. Our apartment, transportation, suggestions for day trip tours , were all taken care of so we just had to show up. Staying in an apartment allowed us to shop live more like the locals. We shopped locally, bought certain items at the Farmacia, and mingled with local vendors. We had coffee in the morning with locals. It was wonderful.

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Operator Untours

Our Rick Steve's "Best of Italy Tour," starting in Varenna, October 18, through Rome, November 3, 2015.

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0

We flew into Milan and toured the town on our own a few days. Then we took the train to Varenna on Lake Como to formally start our Rick Steves tour with our guide, Lisa Anderson. She was excellent; very organized, helpful to a fault, and took us to a lot of out-of-way places not on the itinerary. What I liked most was the mixture of planned activities and time our own own; a nice balance which I believe gave us a good feel for the people, culture, and historical places we toured throughout Italy. You can read any itinerary for this trip and learn about what you're going to see, but getting to know your traveling companions (there were 28 of us) well, share food (and a cold- achoo!) made it all the better. I would highly recommend this tour to anyone who would really like to get a taste of Italy from Rome north. I had no interest in visiting Italy before, but would go back in a heartbeat. I especially enjoyed our time high up in a ski village in the Dolomite Mountains. Seeing the "big three" of Venice, Florence, and Rome was great, but I also enjoyed seeing Pisa and Assisi, and spending time in places I had never heard of before - Cinque Terre , Siena, and Orvieto. While I know you can't pick your tour hosts, I would give the highest marks to our guide Lisa, her assistant, Alex, and our bus driver extraordinaire, Adrian. They helped put an excellent adventure over the top. Kudos to you Rick Steve's! We'll book another one of your tours in the next few years.

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Operator Rick Steves

Tuscany Tours and Travel Guide

Tuscany Attractions & Landmarks Guide

If you're looking for the quintessential Italian travel experience, there's not better place to start than Tuscany. The region houses everything, from classic wine regions, villas dotting hillsides, the historic centers of Florence, Pisa, and Siena, among others. It's the perfect place for a week long trip, or if you have more time, spread out for two weeks enjoying a leisurely picnic one day and museum exploration the next.

Along with Venice and Rome, Florence – the capital of Tuscany – forms the third part of a rough triangle that connects Italy’s three most famous cities. Florence should be a must-see on everyone’s list – and many visitors don’t want to leave -- but there’s much more to Tuscany than its capital, great as it is.

Watch for Italy tours that make time for other medieval and Renaissance cities such as Siena, Pisa, and Lucca, explore the backroads and vineyards of Chianti country, and visit some of the most photogenic hill towns in the world – little villages that cling to the hilltops and seem lost in time.

Exploring Florence, the Art Capital

Don’t let Florence’s traffic and crowds deter you – this is an amazing city, replete with some of the world’s greatest artworks. It enjoys a beautiful location in a valley along the Arno River, and was the heart of the Italian Renaissance, nurturing artistic geniuses such as Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and Raphael.

Start with Michelangelo’s David, the world’s most famous sculpture, which now resides in the Accademia Gallery; get there early to beat the longest lines. (You can view a replica in the square while you’re waiting.) You’ll also find Michelangelo sculptures at the Bargello Museum and the Medici Chapels, among other sites in  the city.  

The Uffizi Gallery contains the world’s greatest collection of Renaissance paintings – along with works by Michelangelo, da Vinci, Raphael, and Giotto, don’t miss Botticelli’s masterpieces, Birth of Venus and Primavera.

Other stops include the ornate 14th-century Palazzo Vecchio – where the Medicis once ruled and which remains the seat of government – and, across the river, the Pitti Palace, which displays Renaissance paintings in a palatial setting.

A number of Florentine churches also contain notable artworks, and the Duomo – the city’s cathedral and its major landmark – is an unforgettable sight with its red dome and white, green, and pink marble exterior. The immense Gothic structure dominates the city skyline and you can climb winding stairs to the top of the dome’s interior – not for the faint of heart.

Florence is also a shopping mecca, especially for leather goods. The open-air market stalls near the Duomo and the shops along the Ponte Vecchio (old bridge) over the Arno are fun places to browse.

A Trip to the Leaning Tower of Pisa

Ever since it was completed in the 13th century, the Leaning Tower has leaned. Built on soft soil next to Pisa’s cathedral – it’s actually the church’s bell tower – The Leaning Tower’s 5.5-degree tilt made it one of Italy’s most renowned historical landmarks.

But, in danger of eventually toppling to the ground and bringing the Pisa economy crashing down with it, it was anchored in the 1990s with its lean reduced to 4 degrees – thus (presumably) saving it for the foreseeable future. Seven stories high, it contains some 300 climbable steps. The adjacent cathedral and baptistery are worth a look as well. Pisa is just 50 miles west of Florence.

Sidetrips From Tuscany - Lucca and Barga

Lucca is much less known than Pisa – it lacks a leaning tower – but many visitors consider it a more interesting destination.  Like most Tuscan cities, it has the requisite medieval winding streets, a cathedral, a thriving flea market where you can find just about anything, and excellent food.

But Lucca’s top attractions are its historic walls, wide and flat enough to walk or even bike along for nice views looking down at the city. Just 40 miles northwest of Florence, Lucca also makes a possible stopover en route to Pisa.

Barga, about an hour by car or bus from Lucca, is one of those impossibly beautiful hill towns that you often see in Tuscany – but Barga is more equipped than most to accommodate visitors.

The roads leading up the hillside through town are too narrow to accommodate automobile traffic, so you park your car at the base of the hill and walk up, passing trattorias, bars, and little shops selling enticing edibles along the way. A church crowns the top of the hill, as is typical of Tuscan hill towns, and views sweep over the countryside below.

The Lure of Siena

Siena, located south of Florence, is an ideal base for exploring the nearby hill towns and vineyards of that region. All streets lead off of fan-shaped Piazza del Campo, one of Italy’s largest and most attractive central plazas, and the site of the Palio, a biennial horse race drawing competitors from the city’s 17 districts – one of the most colorful, exciting pageants in all of Italy. Siena’s heart is mostly medieval, with steep, narrow streets snaking up the hills from the Piazza del Campo.

Touring the Tuscan Wine Country of Italy

Tuscany’s wine country is known for its food and wine, of course, but also for its rustic atmosphere and authentic feel, made more so by its centuries-old -- and sometimes crumbling -- villas and farmhouses.  Along with its sun-kissed cuisine and wines served on trellised terraces, its rolling hills, picturesque villages and pastoral landscapes dotted with vineyards and olive groves make for an irresistible combination.

Tuscany’s – and Italy’s -- most renowned wine is the soft red Chianti; Sangiovese and Montepulciano are other varietals to try. Castelo Banfi and Biondi Santi in the Siena region are two of Tuscany’s largest wineries, but that little vineyard down the dusty path miles from nowhere may be the ideal Tuscan setting you’ve pictured in your imagination.

Hill towns in the Tuscan wine country include Montepulciano, Volterra, Montalcino, and San Gimignano, which, between them, feature a sufficient number of castles, fortresses, walls, medieval streets, and vistas to satisfy anyone’ fantasies of how he truly authentic Italy should look and feel.

Top Tuscany Travel Companies

Things to Know Before You Go

How Big is Tuscany? 

Italy is made up of 20 different regions. Tuscany is the fifth largest region at around 8,900 sq. miles and is just a little larger than the state of New Jersey. While Tuscany is large, you can easily get around with local trains or buses. 

Many Tuscany tour packages include day trips from the major cities of Florence and Siena to the top Tuscan sites since these cities are centrally located. 

Where is Tuscany? 

Tuscany is located on the northwestern coast of Italy between Genoa and Rome. The region shares its borders with the Ligurian Sea and five other Italian regions, including the ones home to Rome, Milan, and Bologna. 

What is the Weather Like in Tuscany? 

With its central location in Italy, Tuscany sees all four seasons. Temperatures can range from over 100 degrees during the summer to below freezing during the winter. 

Tuscany during the summer can be extremely warm. The warmest months are July and August with days full of sunshine and few clouds. These two months can be very stifuling since there is very little rain during July and August. 

The fall is similar to that of fall in the Midwest in the United States. Days are still warm without being unbearable, but you will see rainy days in the late-fall. 

Winter in Tuscany varies depending on where you visit. The days are mild, but the nights get colder. On the plateaus and in the cities of Tuscany the days stay cool, but if you are visiting the mountains you will have to face snow and freezing temperatures. 

Spring is full of flowers, rain, and sun. March is one of the rainiest months in Tuscany so make sure you take an umbrella, but as you get closer to May the days get sunnier and drier. 

Wine Tasting Etiquette in Italy 

If you’ve ever done a wine tasting in California or another part of the U.S., you may be in for a little surprise when doing a wine tasting in Italy. 

Generally, you have to pre-book a wine tasting in Tuscany, whereas in California you can usually just pop in and try some wine. If you make an appointment with a winery, it is extremely important that you keep your appointment. Also, many of the wineries don’t keep normal business hours, so booking a tasting is ideal. 

Drinking wine is a relaxing, longer process in Italy than other countries. Many Italy wine tours only include a couple of wineries so you can get to know more about the wine and the local businesses. 

If you are traveling to Italy for the first time, visiting Tuscany on a tour is a good alternative if you’re not sure where or which wineries you want to see as tour companies have hand selected wineries for you. 

Best Time to Visit Tuscany

It is said you can visit Tuscany at any time of the year. However, there are a few months when you can see and fully enjoy this flavorful region. 

May is considered to be the best time to visit Tuscany. The weather is warm, the days are sunny, and May is right before the beginning of the tourist season. Many small group tours to Tuscany plan their tours for May so you are able to visit all of the major sights before the large crowds arrive. Additionally, going in September is also ideal since it’s cooler out and the tourist season is winding down. 

If you visit Tuscany on a tour during July and August be prepared for a large amount of people, extremely warm weather, and some closings. Like many other cities in Italy during the late summer, Tuscan cities are empty of locals as they head for the coasts to get away from the heat. This means that many stores and shops may be closed during these two months. Also, this is high season for Tuscany and the streets and attractions will be very crowded. 

Don’t forget about winter! Not many can say they spent Christmas in the Tuscan hills. The Tuscan villages are a wonder to see during the holidays and if you are an avid skier or snowboarder, you will have an amazing time in the resorts scattered across the mountains in Tuscany. 

All Tuscany tours, river cruises, expedition cruises, and adventure trips. Find the best guided trips and expert planned vacation and holiday packages. Average rating of 4.8 for all Tuscany trips.

147 trips from 45 tour companies with 371 reviews

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