Hidden Gems of Tuscany That You Should Visit

UPDATE November 2017!

I just come back from an amazing tour of Tuscany where I treat myself with this vacation package across some unknown area and now I felt the need to add 1 more place to the list (it will be the last one!)

Enjoy your reading!


When visiting Tuscany, there’s no doubt that there are lots of things to explore there. It may be in the form of places, foods, wines, culture, and much more. There surely are lots of things to explore there, and you will be amazed to find that some of them aren’t even mentioned in your usual travel blogs. If you are looking for something new or probably hidden for the eyes of many in Tuscany, then this article will provide you with that kind of information. Check out these hidden gems in Tuscany that you should witness for yourself.

Pienza – If you are looking for a historic town then this is the right place for you to start. This ideal Renaissance town has been rebuilt around 1460 by Pope Pius II and in 1996, it was declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. This town has some picturesque streets that are steeped in history. If you want to go to this place, then you can find it in the province of Siena which can be located in the south-east area of the region.

Il Giardino di Tarrochi – Otherwise known as The Tarot Garden, is located in the Maremma area in the southern area of Tuscany and is somewhere near the border with Lazio. Upon visiting the place, you will surely be amazed because of how it resembles a true work of art that rests on a tree green hillside. It was built by an artist named Niki de Saint Phalle during the late 70s until she passed away back in 2002. This esoteric sculpture is an image of her style in which it has some great influence from tarot cards.

Lucca – This town is somewhat similar to Pienza wherein it is famous for having Renaissance buildings and the in-tact city walls that still surrounds the centre of the town. If you want to visit this town, then you should head to the northern part of Tuscany. A lot of visitors would usually consider visiting this town instead of choosing the larger ones such as Florence and Pisa. You will enjoy the historical landmarks this town brings along with its lively atmosphere that also includes annual events like the Lucca Summer Festival and the Lucca Film Festival.

Montemassi – This fortified village is found to the north of the city of Grosseto in Maremma. You can find a ruined castle on the highest point of the village wherein one of which belonged to the Salimbeni family. When you’re in the location of the castle, you can enjoy a panoramic view of the surrounding valleys.

Hot Springs in Bagno Vignoni – If you love hot springs then this one is the right place to be considering that it has been used by both locals and tourists for hundreds of years already. You can find the old thermal bath in the centre of the town and even though that it may no longer be in use, you can take the short walk to the Parco dei Mulini to give its natural thermal springs a try. You can stay there for 1 day of more, since there are resorts all over the place. I used an organised tour but truth to be told you can easily do it yourself because they speak English quite well.

How to Explore Tuscany On a Budget

Tuscany can be a bit expensive which is why some people would take months to prepare their budget just to make their travel possible. However, what most tourists don’t know is that it is also possible to travel Tuscany even when you have a minimum budget. It only takes some skills and knowledge about the place for you to know which alternatives can provide you with lesser expenses and provide a great value for your money. So if you’re on a tight budget but want to pursue your travel to Tuscany, then you should consider our advice on this one.

Focus on the flight – Every traveller knows that the flight is the most expensive expenses you’ll have for your travel. But if you’re keen on looking for cheap flights, then you’re in for a treat. There are promo tickets being posted from time to time and if it happens that a trip to Tuscany is a part of that and there’s a noticeable price drop, don’t hesitate to book it right away. You will surely thank yourself that you did and always be on a lookout for that one since a lot of people also dream of travelling to Tuscany as well.

Search for an alternative accommodation – There’s no doubt that hotels are an expensive accommodation and not to mention that not all of them even has a 5-star rating. The only thing you have to keep in mind is that what you need for your accommodation is a place with a roof, a clean bedroom and bathroom. These conveniences aren’t only limited to hotels but also to cheap accommodations such as hostels, dormitories, and many others. So consider these alternatives to save some expenses.

Travel with friends – There are certain transportation, accommodations, and activities that offer discounts if you’re travelling as a group. It would also be wise to do this if it’s your first time to travel to a big place like Tuscany since doing everything with a group will divide your expenses to smaller numbers. Also, it would be more fun to do your travels like this.

Enjoy street food – If you’re new to travelling, then you should know that eating street foods is the best way to experience local foods. In Tuscany, you’ll be amazed to find that street food are what most of the locals fancy in eating there. They have a wide range of street foods for you to choose from and the taste doesn’t differ that much compared to what you will be eating in restaurants. So make sure to give this alternative a try, and you will surely be saving your money on your food expenses.

Use public transportation – Exploring a place using public transportation may not always be easy to understand at first but once you get used to it, you will surely be amazed of its convenience as well as letting you get a good glimpse of the entire place. Using public transportation will also help you have a good mix amongst the locals since you will be able to witness the Tuscans’ daily routines. Above all, it’s the cheapest way to explore the place compared to riding a taxi or using rental cars.

How to Live Like a Local in Tuscany

When you’re travelling, the best way to make the most out of your travel experience is to live like a local. Living like a local would mean that you eat at their traditional restaurants, dress the way they do, speak their native tongue (or at least know some key phrases), and much more.

In Tuscany, Italy, doing what the locals do will surely pay off. You will be amazed at how beautiful their culture is, and you may feel like not leaving from the place ever again. So if you want to maximize your experience in Tuscany then check out this advice on what locals do there.

Learn the style – The thing about Italians is that they sleep later and wake up later. This means that you have to do various rituals that range from the late afternoon passeggiata to the later aperitivo wherein they are essential a warm-up for your main dinner. Try to loosen up in this region by doing these rituals, and you will have a good time like a true Italian.

Order un caffe – Apart from wine and pasta, Italians are also serious when it comes to their coffee. Ordering one of these will give you a surprise because un caffe would mean that it’s an espresso unless you provide some specifics. You can also ask for a ‘lungo’ if you want a stretched espresso or a ‘corretto’ to add some liqueur. It would be great to learn these terms because it will impress the locals and it will feel like you’re trying to blend in.

Argue about the best gelateria – No one will mistakenly think you’re an Italian until they hear you arguing about where can you find the best gelateria in town. You should learn the basics first before you can pull off your expertise on this one. As a basic knowledge, gelato is somewhat similar to ice cream but it contains more milk and less cream, churned in a low speed, and its soft content has got lots of flavors in it.

Attend the Mass – Italians are always pleased to see visitors participate in a mass or drop in on a baptism. They are always delighted to see people heading into their church or chapels and then celebrate it with style at the trattoria right after the service.

Dress up – Wherever you may go, no matter how simple or exclusive it’s going to be, you will barely see an Italian that’s underdressed. This tradition would mean that you have to frequently check your wardrobe so that you can blend in with some of the best fashionistas in the country.

Travel with your family – In Italy, you’ll always hear Italians refer to ‘mi familia’ in every second sentence. That is because Italians always treasure family in everything they do. So to make your travel more lively, you should do it with the whole family because they will surely appreciate how you give so much importance to them.