The Best Places to Visit in Southern Tuscany and Umbria

The Best of Southern Tuscany and Umbria

Central Italy is a wonderful place to visit. With quaint villages, historic castles, hot springs, and even some coastline, there are tons to explore. Tuscany and Umbria compete for the best wines in Italy. There is no shortage of wineries and enotecas to visit.

Our personal favorite is the less-visited Southern Tuscany. This area has a lot to offer and doesn’t come with the Northern Tuscany crowds. Adding on a few popular spots in Umbria, this makes for a perfect visit to Central Italy.

Where to Visit in Tuscany: Wine Central
Wine in Central Italy

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The Best Places to Visit in Southern Tuscany

1. Scansano

Highlights of Southern Tuscany: Scansano
Winery outside Scansano

Scansano is a great town with lots of charm. There are several wineries in the area, and there are some excellent shops in town. This is a good place to stop for lunch. Make sure to check out the little shop just off the main square that specializes in wild boar called La Cantina di Simone di Marco Olivagnoli  (wow, that’s a mouthful). They have a great cheese plate and wine tasting that cannot be beaten.

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2. Magliano in Toscana

Best Places to Visit in Southern Tuscany: Magliano
Magliano in Toscana

This medieval castle town is excellent for dinner and a stroll. Walk around the walls of the town which are great to see during sunset. There are several restaurants in town. Our favorite was La Poventa, which had some of the best homemade pasta we had in all of Italy. Try their ravioli with fresh truffle and porcini, you won’t regret it!

3. Porto Santo Stefano & Porto Ercole

Things to See in Tuscany: Porto Santo Stefano
Porto Santo Stefano

These port towns are modern and have tons of restaurants and seafood. It is worth a stop for a seafood dinner and a night out on the coast. We ate at La Bussola, a good choice for fresh seafood in Santo Stefano. Be aware they price the daily catch by 100 grams, which may not be a good deal. Instead, opt for one of the menu items. 

4. Caia Moresca & Caia Grande

Where to Visit in Tuscany: Caia Moresca
Caia Moresca, Italy

Not far from Porto Santo Stefano, Caia Moresca is a smaller beach, while Caia Grande is the main beach area. To get to the beach, park along the main road where there are likely to be other parked cars. There is a very small road that eventually reaches a path through the woods. It is a 15-minute walk from the main street. This is an excellent Mediterranean beach!

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5. Saturnia Hot Springs

Highlights of Southern Tuscany: Saturnia Hot Springs
Saturnia Hot Springs, Italy

Visiting Saturnia’s hot springs is a must.  There is a resort available where you can pay to use their facilities and get treatments. However, the best place to use the natural hot springs is where the waterfalls are located. The best time to visit is for an early morning dip or late in the evening. (Open from 8 am to 11 pm)

Cost: Free

6. Sovana

Best Places to Visit in Southern Tuscany: Sovana
Sovana, Italy

This small medieval town has old castle ruins and tombs that are worth a visit. The castle in town is a beautiful place for a photo. The tombs are from “Citta Del Tufo” the ancient Etruscan city that dates back to 600 B.C. Located 1.5 KM before entering Sovana on SP22, there is a large parking lot on the left-hand side. The cost is 5 EU per person and worth a quick hike through a cave and into the tombs. This stop will take about one hour.

7. Sorano

Things to See in Tuscany: Sorano
Sorano, Italy

For one of the best views of a medieval village, look no further than Sorano. Finding this overlook is tricky. On the road from Sovana en route to Sorano, there is a large hill between these two villages. Once you get to the downhill section heading into Sorano, pay attention to a parking area with a small building on the left side of the road. Follow the trail to a picnic area and continue to the far corner for the best overlook in central Italy.

8. Pitigliano

Where to Visit in Tuscany: Pitigliano
Pitigliano, Italy

This large medieval castle town is located in the hills of southern Tuscany. The town’s history dates back to the Etruscan period. The best view of Pitigliano is located outside the city on SS74. The road continues uphill along the mountainside. When reaching a large curve in the road with a wine shop, park for the overlook. The best meal in town is at the Hostaria del Ceccottino.  Don’t miss the lamb shank. 

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Best Places to Visit in Southern Umbria

1. Bagnoregio

Highlights of Southern Tuscany: Bagnoregio
Bagnoregio, Italy

One of the most scenic places in all of Italy, Bagnoregio is a beautiful sight. The old city of Bagnoregio is quite amazing and a photographer’s dream. It is 3 EU to enter and walk around.

2. Orvieto

Best Places to Visit in Southern Tuscany: Orvieto
Orvieto, Italy

One of the main cities in Umbria is Orvieto and for good reason. It has some great local wine and a great city with beautiful views. There are several historical structures of the old city walls and fortress that are great to walk around. The Duomo is one of the main attractions, that reminded us of a smaller version of the duomo di Firenze.

That’s it – have a wonderful visit in Central Italy!

Planning a trip to Italy? Check out our favorite books and travel guides!


About the Author:

  • Yana and Timon

    Yana & Timon met at college in Boston, Massachusetts. After graduating, they started their professional careers. They moved to San Francisco in 2010, a city they loved living in for nearly six years.

    After working and saving up money for several years, they quit their jobs and set off on an adventure of a lifetime. They started living a nomadic lifestyle in December 2015 and have not looked back since.

1 thought on “The Best of Southern Tuscany and Umbria”

  1. Wonderful article! Orvieto is my second home and I have been to several of the places mentioned. FYI – Civita di Bagnoregio is in Lazio

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