Expert guide to Tuscany
An insider's guide to getting to Tuscany, including flights to the region, as well as recommendations for car hire, train services and public transport. By Lee Marshall, Telegraph Travel's Tuscany expert.
The main Tuscan airport is Pisa (pisa-airport.com). Florence’sPeretola airport (aeroporto.firenze.it) has no capacity for intercontinental flights, and as the low-cost airlines avoid it, it’s also a relatively expensive destination. Busy Pisa is served by, among others, British Airways (ba.com) (Heathrow), easyJet (easyjet.com) (Bristol, Gatwick) and Ryanair (ryanair.com) (Stansted, plus other UK destinations in the summer and some continental European destinations).
There are direct trains from Pisa Aeroporto train station to Florence every 2 hours (journey time 57 minutes), and more frequent connections that involve a change at Pisa Centrale.
The train is a reasonably fast and efficient way to get between Tuscany’s main towns and the places in-between (info, booking and prices at trenitalia.com). The one exception is Siena, connected to the main network only by cute but slow branch lines. Here the bus may be a better bet: check timetables at fsbusitalia.it.
Buses connect most smaller towns and villages (useful regional operators include Lazzi (lazzi.it) and Sita (sitabus.it), though they can be scarce on Sundays; tickets should be bought before boarding, generally in newspaper booths or tabacchi (look for the blue T sign). Don’t forget that train and bus tickets always need stamping: for trains, in the orange machines on platforms and in station buildings, for buses, in the machines on board.
Driving is the best (sometimes the only) way to explore the remoter rural areas. Tuscan roads are generally well-maintained, and 24-hour petrol stations are reasonably common, though don’t always count on being able to use your credit card in the machine. Parking in many historic towns is restricted or metered.