Best base city from a week in Tuscany


New member

My wife and I are travelling to Italy in Europe/12 and planning on spending a week in Tuscany region.

We would prefer not to change accomodation every day. We will hire a car and use it to take day trips through the region.

So... where is the best place to base ourselves - Florence, Siena, Chianti region....

We are also interested in a day trip to the coast (can we reach cinque terre from Tuscany as a day trip?) and Pisa.

Any thoughts, suggestions etc, much appreciated.

M. Bonato


The Tuscan Expert ;-)
Staff member
Ciao M.,
A base for your week's stay in Tuscany makes sense - the Chianti area is definitely central for visiting the main destinations, including Pisa and a day trip to Cinque Terre.
Take a look at some of the lodgings in Chianti here - you can choose between a farmhouse if you're interested in having your own small apartment where you might cook a few meals in, or a B&B if you're just interested in breakfast since you'll spend most of your day out sightseeing. For example, both Romitorio di Serelle and Cellese are farmhouses near Castellina which is really close to the Florence-Siena roadway making it easy to then quickly travel north and south. The Palazzo Malaspina, a B&B, is another good choice if you want to stay within a hilltop village with restaurants a few steps away. Staying at a farmhouse often means being in the countryside so requires a short drive to go out for dinner.

Hope this info is useful - there is so much choice out there but definitely do recommend one place for the entire week and out in Chianti. Let me know if you have any other questions!! :)


New member
Thanks Lourdes by the information!!!

I saw the Palazza Malaspita site and enjoyed a lot.

Do you know how many time takes to travel from Chianti area to Cinque Terre by car?

It's easy reach 5 Terre by car or it's better go by train?

I divided my time in Italy on this way:

2 days in Venice;
1 day driving from Venice to Tuscany through Modena to visit Ferrari museum;
2 days in Firenze;
1 day Siena;
1 day in Lucca, Pisa and maybe Cinque Terre;
1 day driving through Val d'Orcia;
1 day driving through Chianti, Montalcino, Montepulciano, Pienza;
1 day driving through San Gimignano region;
3 days in Rome;

Do you think this is a good trip plan? Have some advices?

Thanks a lot!!!

M. Bonato


The Tuscan Expert ;-)
Staff member
Ciao again!

For driving time from Chianti to Cinque Terre (Rio Maggiore is the first town you reach so you could start from there), you should calculate about 3 hours. It is definitely easy to reach by car, but once you're in the first town, you should use the train to move between the five towns as it is easier to use.

I am glad you are including it in your itinerary - we definitely also plan to go back next year to help the towns get back the tourism they desparetely need to rebuild Vernazza and Monterosso after the major flood they had at the end of October.

As to your itinerary in general, I think it looks perfectly fine until the day after Siena.
If you want to see Pisa, Lucca and the Cinque Terre (which are five separate towns), I definitely think you should give yourself at least 2 days to do that. Maybe do Pisa and Lucca on the first day, arrive at the first of the five towns in Cinque Terre, sleep there and then spend the entire following day visiting them - they definitely merit the time!

You have a day to drive through Val d'Orcia with the following day Montalcino, Montepulciano and Pienza -- but these three towns are all actually in Val d'Orcia so this actually frees up a day to spend between Cinque Terre and Pisa and Lucca!

If you're staying somewhere central the whole time in Tuscany, somewhere like Palazzo Malaspina or elsewhere in Chianti, I'd suggest some slight changes to the plans after you leave Venice.

2 days in Venice
1 day driving from Venice to Cinque Terre, with a stop in Modena to visit Ferrari museum (the museum is actually in Maranello, about 19km outside of Modena)
1 day in Cinque Terre (sleep there)
1 day visiting Pisa and Lucca, head on to your base for the rest of the time in Tuscany
2 days in Florence
1 day in Siena
1 day driving through Chianti and San Gimignano area
1 day through Val d'Orcia - including Montalcino, Pienza, Montepulciano
3 days in Rome

How does that seem to you? This way you take the drive from Venice and move south and west first without having to do backtracking and spend time driving all over the region. Once you're in your base for the week, will have day trips each day in different directions, always returning to your central point. :)