The Best Tuscany Base

linda j

New member
After 3 days in Corniglia in late May, we have 6 days for Tuscany --(need to be in Milan late on day 7 to fly home.) We would like to see Lucca, San Gimignano, Florence and Siena. Thought it might make sense to go to Florence on day 6 and spend a night there before taking the train to Milan the next day. We don't want to race from place to place so what is the best place to set up base camp? We want a place we can take day trips from or simply relax if we choose not to do much else. We don't want to spend much time bucking crowds in Florence or elsewhere. Thinking of staying n a B&B within walking disctance to the center of San G. It sounds wonderful, but would it be better t to say in Siena or Lucca if we want to be able to go elsewhere?Would you choose Lucca over Siena to stay 3-4 days? If we must strike one of the places off the list which would you suggest? Is everywhere going to be mobbed in late May? THANKS


The Tuscan Expert ;-)
Staff member
I would consider staying close to San Gimignano - a B&B within walking distance of the town sounds great!

If you haven't decided yet, I would suggest you rent a car once you arrive in Tuscany - you don't need one in Cinque Terre and you can take the train down to Lucca (or Pisa), but once you're in the Tuscan countryside, it is the best way to move around without having to deal with bus schedules.
Search on the booking box found on here:
so that you can see whether picking up the car in Lucca or Pisa would be better/more convenient.

Late May should be perfect - not yet too crowded. Florence always has crowds, but it still manageable - not hordes and hordes yet. If you wish to visit the Uffizi and Accademia, however, I do recommend you book tickets ahead of time, as they are the most popular museums in Florence and do get long lines by then. You can book on (disclaimer: affiliate partner ;) )

SG is pretty central and with 6 days, you can do day trips to all of the places you're already considering, plus spend time in the area around SG and in Chianti.
I would suggest, if you wish to hang around the place you stay at and relax, to look for one with garden and pool. Take a look at Le Torri: It is walking distance to a small town nearby where you can go for dinner... but SG is definitely more charming ;-)


The best base? Montaione, Pistoia and Lucca

Hi there!
I think the best base cities are Pistoia and Lucca. If you book an hotel here you will have the possibility to visit all the most important places in Tuscany (may except for the province of Grosseto).
If you are instead looking for a little charming village where sleeping at night, I suggest Montaione (there's a fascinating rela tuscan weekly food market there!) or Montefioralle.
However, enjoy Tuscany!