Better to stay in Arno valley or further West?


New member
First trip to Tuscany. Family with kids.

We get rental car from Venice Sunday morning. We return car to Bologna on Thursday noon. Admittedly a very short time!

We are looking at two Airbnb options:

1. Near Montevarchi, in Arno valley
2. Just north of Tavernelle val di Pesa, just west of the highway between Florence and Siena.

Wondering which would be best? We are not trying to cram "everything" in. Our main focus is seeing some Tuscan villages and relaxing; getting some good food, seeing some beautiful countryside, and tasting olive oil and wine. We can skip museums in favor of natural beauty.

For example, if we stay in Montevarchi I'm not sure we want to drive 2 hours one way to see Pisa or Lucca (4 hrs in the car in one day with kids is too much). But is there enough other stuff to see in the Arno valley area?

Or are we better off being more "centrally located" (if there even is such a thing). I see San Gimignano on a lot of itineraries. Maybe we are better off staying closer to there?

thanks for any help you can give!


Well-known member
Centrally located for beauty


Montevarchi is definitely centrally located if you are interested in Florence (so much to see even without the museums!), Arezzo - another great city to visit, Chianti and the local wine region and Siena is the same distance as Tavernelle val di Pesa.

Check out this article which will give you a quick overview of the areas nearby to Montevarchi:

As for Tavernelle, it too is a lovely area and there are lots of things to do nearby (including Siena, Florence, and Chianti) Chianti doesn't have to be all about the wine, check out this article with some kids stuff:

Buon Viaggio,

Donna Denise


The Tuscan Expert ;-)
Staff member
If Pisa and Lucca are on your list, then I'd definitely choose Tavernelle over Montevarchi to cut on driving times!

San Gimignano is a must, so for that reason too, I'd suggest Tavernelle as a better option.