City or countryside?


New member
Help! We are planning 10 days to Tuscany in September 2022. We are a party of 4 adults(2couples). We are hoping to do lots of exploring , wine tasting, and general sightseeing of the region. We will have a car and are hoping to rent a villa with apartments. Here’s our problem: some in our group want to stay in Florence so they can walk to cafes and restaurants ( even though we’ve all been to Florence once before) and some want to stay in the countryside. Is there a happy medium? Can you suggest accommodations in a wonderful small town or rural setting that is still close to places to eat/shop ….. AND is a good central base camp location? I’m absolutely overwhelmed and frustrated.

Thank you for any suggestions/advice.


The Tuscan Expert ;-)
Staff member
Sounds like a lovely vacation you've got in the planning!

Are your friends willing to stay in a smaller town or do they have to stay in Florence in particular?

Because I would, just from the top of my head, highly suggest as a happy middle ground to stay in SIENA instead!
Why? 1. It is smaller than Florence, 2. it has lots of cafes and restaurants, shops and more 3. it has retained a small town feeling, with countryside surrounding the town.
I've stayed at Hotel Athena, right along the old walls which has a lovely rooftop terrace with views of the countryside. You can look for other options (there are many villas) just outside the walls and within walking distance of town to head to dinner and cafes, but enjoying the countryside feel! It would be ideal.

Smaller towns where you can also enjoy similar experiences would be either staying in or just outside San Gimignano, Greve in Chianti, Radda in Chianti, Castellina in Chianti, Lucca, Arezzo. This just to give you some ideas, obviously the small towns in Chianti wine region are more limited in the number of cafes/restaurants overall than the bigger towns. This just to give you something to start working from, take a look and maybe consult with your friends ;).

You could also stay in Florence, but the places along the outer limits of the city would not make it easy walking distance to the cafes and shops, so it would be a slightly different compromise.