There are a few regions in Europe that are famous for their beautiful landscapes, delicious gastronomy and rich cultural cities… and Tuscany is definitely one of them. From Firenze, Pisa, the Chianti vineyards and the beautiful medieval villages basking in that famous golden light, Tuscany is one Italian region that will always leave the traveler in awe.
Autumn is a beautiful period to visit Tuscany, as it is slightly less touristy and the weather is still nice and warm. There would be a lot to say about the whole region, however we will focus on the Southern part of Tuscany, the regions of Grosseto & Sienna and the costal area of Maremma. So here are our favorite places and things we really enjoyed doing as well as local addresses for an incredible experience between the hills and the sea.
Siena is the eponymous Tuscany Province’s capital. It used to be the one of the most important Renaissance city. We highly recommend that you take a day to visit and walk along the narrow medieval streets.
Must do: Visit and admire the Duomo (the central black and white marble cathedral) and its collection of art including works by Michelangelo, Donatello, Pinturicchio and Duccio.
Siena is Firenze’s only rival when it comes to Renaissance palazzi, the classic and beautiful medieval architecture and art treasures in Italy. While smaller and less famous, Siena is also less packed with tourists – except during the famous Palio di Siena – which is one of the most exciting horse races on the planet, that takes place around the Campo, the city’s shell-shaped main square.
Restaurant recommendation: Tre Cristi, Vicolo Provenzano 1-7, 53100 Siena SI
Saturnia hot springs
You will find a dozen of thermal cities in Southern Tuscany, with luxurious spa hotels and institutions, but also natural hot springs, open to the public. The thermal waters at Saturnia are an enchanting and enticing stop while exploring Tuscany. Take advantage of the free entrance to the hot water springs called “Cascate di Mulino,” located less than 6 km outside of the town of Saturnia and 3 km from the Terme di Saturnia Resort.
A former island off the coast of Tuscany, now connected to the mainland via three narrow sandbars, Monte Argentario is a very unique spot for those looking some fun by the sea and the mountain, all in one place. The peninsula, located in the South of Maremma (the Southern Tuscany coast) has only two main villages, Porto Ercole and Porto Santo Stefano, which are two lovely former fishermen cities. The Italian elite as well as the German and British tourists love this place, especially in summer, so if you can, try to avoid the months of July and August.
There a few beautiful “secret” creeks and natural beaches you can access after a 20 minutes hike which makes this place very special. You will discover an authentic, natural outdoor experience with refined restaurants if you wish to socialize.
Where to stay
We have a beautiful villa located in the hills of Porto Ercole. This beautiful 4 BR house is bright and tastefully decorated with an oriental inspired design. Our villa is perfect for a sunny Mediterranean holiday and has all the amenities and equipment that you might need. Not to mention, this villa has an amazing indoor and outdoor living area, as well as a beautiful floral garden and a pool to relax in.
Tarot Garden by Nikki de St Phalle
This park was designed by Nikki de St Phalle, the French-American female artist, famous for her “Nanas” and “art shootings.” In this great park, she created huge colorful statues that represent the Tarot de Marseilles figures. Just a 20 minute drive away from Monte Argentario, this park is a fun, artsy outdoor escape, especially for the kids.
There are many well known beautiful villages scattered in Southern Tuscany. Each village has its own cathedral, castle or tower and special cultural details. If we had to choose one, our favorite would be Montepulciano, a medieval hilltop town surrounded by vineyards. If the name sounds familiar, it is because Montepulciano is famous for its delicious vino nobile red wine. Not to mention, the village is full of elegant Renaissance palaces, ancient churches, charming squares and hidden corners. It also boasts vast panoramas all over the wonderful Val d’Orcia and Val di Chiana valleys that surround it. It’s a must visit spot for wine lovers or a wine tasting with a gorgeous view!
Take a break at Caffè Poliziano, Via di Voltaia Nel Corso, 27/29, 53045 Montepulciano
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