Dividing time between Florence and the southern part of Tuscany


New member
My husband and I plan to visit Tuscany for three weeks in the month of April. We will be flying in to Florence but would like to make Lucca our home base. Additionally, we would like to spend a week in a beautiful town in the Chianti region. We hope to relax this last week, drink good coffee, discover a wonderful bakery, and take in the beauty of the region. Can you please recommend an itinerary starting with two days in Florence and ending in the Chianti region? What cities are a must see? Is Lucca a good base? Is the Chianti region the most beautiful for our relaxation purposes or is there a better one? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I should mention that we do not want to rent a car and will have to depend on public transport. We will also be traveling with our small Jack Russell Terrier. Thank you and have a wonderful day!


The Tuscan Expert ;-)
Staff member
Ciao Bella and welcome to the forum!

Sounds like a lovely plan, spending 3 weeks to relax and unwind. I understand not wanting to rent a car and not have that stress during holidays, and rest assured it is doable.... just that it will mean a bit of compromise on what you can see since some places are hard to reach with just public transport. If you want to arrive and stay put, it will not be a problem! But if you want to explore and do day trips in the area, then it will need some planning.

First, Chianti is not the southern part of Tuscany - the Val d'Orcia area is - and it a bit more difficult to navigate without a car, so Chianti does make for a better choice both in reaching it and then using buses to move around and back to Florence.

Starting in Florence: here's a 2 day itinerary to get you started - https://www.visitflorence.com/itineraries-in-florence/two-days-in-florence.html but since you should have time while here, how about making it 3 days and take everything you do at a more leisurely pace? Here are ideas for 3 days - https://www.visitflorence.com/itineraries-in-florence/3-days-in-florence.html

You can easily reach Lucca by train: https://www.discovertuscany.com/lucca/
We stayed for 3 days at the Dimora del Borgo, check it out here: https://www.tuscanyaccommodation.com/le-dimore-del-borgo.html (suites and apartments, we stayed at apartment to be able to cook some meals).
You could do a week in Lucca and explore the coast, it is easy to do via train. You can also use buses to explore the Garfagnana area, including Bagni di Lucca (hot springs).

You'll need to go back through Florence to then move on to Chianti area..... here the hardest part will be to arrive at any place you choose with no car. Either you choose something walking distance from a town or stay within a town to have easy access to all the shops, including bakeries, restaurants and groceries. I'd recommend an apartment as a good solution for these longer stays as they permit you to alternate meals in and out.

Good towns to stay in for then moving around include: San Gimignano, Greve in Chianti, Certaldo, Poggibonsi (although less charming that other towns, it is a good central city well connected to everything around it), Colle Val d'Elsa.... and consider SIENA as well. While it isn't a hilltop town in Chianti, it does maintain its small town feel and is well connected to make it easy to use as a base to see all around. Check this article out - https://www.discovertuscany.com/siena/what-to-do/day-trips-from-siena.html

We've stayed in Siena several times and love it in the early mornings and evenings when lots of the day time visitors leave. Plus each area in town is its own Contrada and you'll enjoy getting to know the locals at the closest coffee shop after a few days of being there ;-).