Tuscany offers many different things to do and places to see to its visitors. They can choose between the main cities rich of history and art, or a tour to the small typical Tuscany villages to restore their spirit and body. If  not completely satisfied, they can even think to reach the coast of Versilia, Etruscan Coast, Maremma, one of the seven beautiful islands, and even a ski resort on the Apennines.

This post is dedicated to 10 small Tuscany villages I recommend you to visit during your travel in Tuscany.

The top 10 Tuscany villages to see

Pontremoli

Pontremoli view from the Castle lunigiana tuscany villages
View of Pontremoli from the Castle – Photo Credits: Nicola Bandini My Travel in Tuscany

Pontremoli is a really nice village located in Lunigiana just before the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines. In the past it was a stop along the Via Francigena and takes its name from the Latin “Ponte Tremulus” which means wobbly bridge. The most known attraction is the Castle of Piagnaro that hosts the museum of the “Statue Stele” (ancient Statue menhir). Do not  miss a walk along the centre and a tasting of the typical food as Testaroli and Sgabei.

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Castelnuovo Garfagnana

Castelnuovo Garfagnana Tuscany villages
Rocca Ariostea, Castelnuovo Garfagnana – Photo Credits: Nicola Bandini My Travel in Tuscany

In the heart of the wild area of Garfagnana, there is the hamlet of Castelnuovo Garfagnana. The symbol of the village is the “Rocca Ariostea”, an ancient fortress in the city centre that, from 1522 to 1525, was the dwelling of the Governor, the famous Italian poet Ludovico Ariosto.

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Montecarlo

Montecarlo di Lucca Tuscany Villages
Montecarlo – Photo Credits:Flavio Casadei Della Chiesa

Only 15 km (9 mi) away from Lucca, set on a hill overlooking the valley, Montecarlo appears. It is known especially for its white wine production, but I am sure you will love also the beautiful landscape, the smallest theatre in the world and the fortress with its fortified walls. Just outside the walls, look for the “oak of witches”, a wonderful centuries-old oak 24 m (78 feet) tall and 4 m (13 feet) of width.

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Vinci

Vinci Tuscany village
View of Vinci – Photo Credits: Bernd Thaller

The birthplace of the Renaissance Man Leonardo da Vinci, is located on a hill in the province of Florence. The historical centre is dominated by the Castello Guidi, also named “Castle of the Ship” for its shape that looks like a ship with the tower as mast. The complex hosts also the museum dedicated to Leonardo, which displays some of his drawings, machines and inventions. Just few miles out of the village you can visit the house of the Genius.

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Montescudaio

Montescudaio panoramic square Tuscany villages
Panoramic Terrace in Montescudaio -Photo Credits: Nicola Bandini My Travel in Tuscany

Montescudaio is one of the Tuscany villages renowned for its red wine tradition and is considered one of the most beautiful hamlets of Italy. Set on the top of a hill, it’s just few miles away from the sea of Etruscan Coast. On sunny days, from the panoramic terrace in front of the church, you can admire the amazing view of the valley with the Mediterranean Sea and the Islands as background.

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Montefioralle, Greve in Chianti

Montefioralle Tuscany villages
Montefioralle – Photo Credits: Giuseppe Moscato

The tiny hamlet of Montefioralle is located in the municipality of Greve in Chianti. Its origins date back to the 1100 and it seems to be one of the most ancient villages of Chianti. The village was build around the castle and it is still enclosed within the original fortified walls. Enjoy a walk along its narrow streets, visit the church of Santo Stefano and do not forget to taste the traditional food with a glass of Chianti Red.

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Massa Marittima

Massa Marittima Tuscany Villages
Massa Marittima – Photo Credits: Paolo Trabattoni

Massa Marittima is a splendid hamlet of art and one of the best Tuscany villages for its unique architecture. The square of the old city gathers all the most important buildings of a medieval city: the Dome, the palace of the Podestà, the town hall, the loggia of the market, the mint and the public spring. Instead, walking up to the new city, you will find the huge fortress with the Clock Tower.

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Buonconvento

Buonconvento Tuscany Village
Buonconvento in black and white – Photo Credits: Pedro Albuquerque

Buonconvento is a small medieval village born along the Via Francigena in the middle of the beautiful landscape of the Crete Senesi. Its name derives from the Latin “Bonus Conventus” which means lucky and happy place. There is only a main street (today called Via Soccini) that crosses the centre from north to south, connecting the two entry doors of the fortified walls.

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San Quirico d’Orcia

San Quirico D'Orcia Tuscany villages
San Quirico d’Orcia – Phot Credits: Georg Weis

San Quirico d’Orcia is one of the five Tuscany villages of Val d’Orcia, the wonderful valley with breathtaking landscapes listed since 2004 in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The village has ancient Etruscan origins and a medieval architecture. The picturesque historic centre is known for its narrow paved street, for the Romanesque parish church of the Collegiata and the splendid “Horti Leonini” gardens. The surroundings of San Quirico are the most beautiful and photographic sceneries of the entire valley with gentle rolling hills, wheat fields, cypress and the little Cappella di Vitaleta. The municipality of San Quirico d’Orcia includes also the hamlet of Bagno Vignoni, famous for its unique square and its natural hot springs.

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Monterchi

Monterchi Valtiberina Tuscany villages
Monterchi – Phot Credits: Claudio Biancucci

Monterchi is a medieval village on the top of the Monte Ercole (Hercules Mountain) located in the Valtiberina, a border area between Tuscany and Umbria region. The hamlet is known especially for one of the most important frescoes of the Renaissance, the “Madonna del Parto”, made by the famous Italian painter Piero della Francesca to honor his mother, native of Monterchi. Not too far from Monterchi, the first two weeks of September, the historic centre of Sansepolcro hosts the traditional Crossbow Games, a reenactment of the festival born in 1594.

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These 10 small Tuscany villages are only a short list of the many villages scattered all around the region, so I invite you to read also 10 most beautiful villages in Tuscany to find other tips and suggestions.

7 thoughts on “Top 10 Tuscany Villages to visit

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  2. leelaurino says:

    why are ALL the wonderful places not on train lines? I visit and stay in Italy for long periods of time but only can visit towns that I can reach via train… may be time for a car hometoitaly.com

    • Nicola Bandini says:

      Hello Leelaurino, thanks for your question. All these villages, and mostly all little villages of Tuscany and Italy are on the the top of hills or mountains, while trains runs easily across the valleys. Usually, few buses link the main towns with the small hamlets around.
      Probably the best way to visit the countryside of Tuscany is by car. Driving along the country roads you can enjoy amazing landscapes and stop whenever you want. If you have any request for your next trip to Tuscany, feel free to contact me. 🙂

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