Tuscany is one of the most popular regions in Italy, and with good reason. Stretching from the Tyrrhenian Sea to the Apennines and containing some of Italy’s most beautiful cities, it is still small enough to travel end to end in a few hours. How you choose to travel that distance can make a big difference to your experience of this idyllic area, and knowing the pros and cons of your available transport modes before you arrive is absolutely essential. Engel and Völkers have offices in Florence, Siena and Monte Argentario, and have built up a fount of local knowledge that can help keep your Tuscan travels as smooth and convenient as possible.
If you’re travelling to one of the region’s major cities, such as Pisa, Lucca or Livorno, taking the train can be a good option. Tuscany’s main train station is in Florence, which hosts a convergence of train lines to take you on picturesque routes to your destination. Journey times will vary depending on which train line you take: an InterCity train to Arezzo will take you about 40 minutes, but the same journey might take you more than double the time if you take the Regionale.
Some of Tuscany’s most attractive towns are located on hilltops, with the train stations at the bottom, so be warned that travelling to places like Volterra often necessitates an exerting climb to the top. There are buses, but their schedules can be inconsistent.
While Tuscany has good options for public transport, you can’t beat a car for a truly flexible travel experience. Italy has relatively high petrol prices, but what you pay to fuel up will be returned to you tenfold in convenience. Driving through Tuscan cities can be more than a little chaotic – people will drive very close to you, which may rattle the uninitiated or those used to driving on the other side of the road. In historic centres, cars are usually banned, so it’s often worth parking on the outskirts and enjoying a leisurely stroll into the city.
In the countryside, the quickest way to get about is to take the autostrade – the A1, A11 and A12. These are toll roads, however, so many people prefer the slightly slower, more scenic alternatives.
The SGC highway connects Florence, Pisa and Livorno, and the Firenze-Siena is a convenient way to reach parts of Tuscany beyond Siena. The speed limit on these and most roads outside of the cities is 70km/hour, but use caution – roads in Tuscany are often narrow, winding and steep away from the main routes. It is also important to know that outside the cities, you are required to use your headlights at all times when on the road.
Tuscany’s charm lies not only in its major cities, but also its smaller towns: all travellers should see the towers of both Pisa and San Gimignano – and enjoy the process of getting there, too. If you’re considering investing in a Tuscan property, we at E&V will use our expert knowledge and experience to ensure your journey runs smoothly through every step of the buying process, with services tailored to your needs. Visit E&V’s website to find out more.