By Car

Italy has a good system of highways that are managed by the Autostrade. A visit to their official website is a must if you`re planning to travel by car in Italy as it has real time information on road and traffic conditions and driving directions. (www.autostrade.it/en/) The autostrade are toll roads so you pay depending on how much you travel on them. You can pay with credit cards, cash or Viacard. Viacards can be purchased from toll booths, fuel stations, some banks, tourist offices, and tobacconists.

Roads throughout Tuscany are generally good and include regional, provincial and state roads and motorways. Regional, provincial and state roads have blue signs with white lettering, while the motorways have green signs with white lettering.
The main north-south link through Tuscany is the Autostrada del Sole which extends from Milan to Reggio Calabria (it is called the A1 from Milan to Naples, the A3 from Naples to Reggio Calabria). The A1 skirts Florence and links to Bologna to the north on a busy, winding stretch with lots of tunnels (through the Apennine mountains) and to the south to Arezzo and Rome. The closest exits to downtown Florence are `Firenze-Certosa` and `Firenze-Signa`.

A fast expressway, called the Firenze-Siena, leaves the A1 south of Florence at `Firenze-Certosa` to connect to Siena. The A11 expressway begins just outside of the northwestern part of Florence, past the airport and near the `Firenze-Nord` A1 exit and connects Florence to Prato, Pistoia, Lucca and, eventually, to the A12 expressway along the coast.

If you have time, consider using the system of state roads (strade statali) which are sometimes multi-lane and are toll-free. They are represented on maps as `S` or `SS`. These allow you to cross into Tuscany in a far more picturesque style than the A1. You should also use the provincial roads (strade provinciali) even though they are sometimes little more than country lanes. These provide access to the more beautiful scenery in Tuscany as well as to the many small towns and villages in the Tuscan countryside. These are represented as `SP` on maps. You will be traveling on a lot of these if you want to see the smaller towns and villages in Tuscany.

For more information on driving distances between cities, click here.

Driving Licenses
You must get an International Driving Permit (IDP) to accompany non-European licenses and older-style green European licenses. The IDP has your driver license information translated into ten languages, but it is only valid as long as it accompanies your own driver`s license. The IDP must be issued in the same country as your driver`s license. If you have an U.S. driver`s license, you can apply for an IDP through AAA. aaa.com/vacation/idpf) The more recent EU pink/green licenses can be used in Italy without an IDP.

By Bus or Coach

About ten bus companies serve Florence and Tuscany. Most have their terminals on or close to the main train station in Florence. You can visit tourist offices or their websites for tickets and information on prices and schedules for long-haul buses (pullman).

SITA (Valdisieve/Mugello and Chianti/Valdarno, Siena)
Lazzi (Pistoia, Valdarno and Lucca)
CAP (Prato, Mugello, Siena, Chianti)
COPIT (Pistoia)
Florentia Bus (runs the bus to the McArthur Glen Shopping Outlets in Barberino)

Check the schedules on their websites to see which one is the one you`ll need to take. Unfortunately most of these sites are only in Italian so look for links that say `orari` for timetables and then the names of the places you`re interested in.

By Train

Trains remain one of the easiest ways to travel within Tuscany from city center to city center. Florence`s main train station, Firenze Santa Maria Novella, sits astride the main Rome-Milan line (with connections in Bologna and Arezzo) and is the terminus for two lines to the west: one to Livorno via Pisa and Empoli and one to Viareggio via Prato, Pistoia and Lucca. An indirect line goes down towards Siena from Florence passing through Empoli (sometimes requiring train changes in Empoli) and a line goes to Faenza in Emilia-Romagna (a scenic ride through the Mugello valley and Apennines). Italy`s main coastal route runs north-south through Tuscany linking Orbetello in Maremma in the south to Livorno, Pisa, Viareggio and Massa in the Versilia region to the north. To proceed to smaller towns near these main towns, you will often need to make a bus connection.

An inconvenience of rail travel to numerous Tuscan towns is their hilltop locations. This is the case for Siena, Cortona and Volterra. Although reachable by rail, the train station is at the bottom of the hill and you will need to either get a local bus to take you up to the town (usually a short ride) or prepare to walk a bit to reach your destination (not easy when hauling luggage).

For more information about train travel times between cities, click here.

By Bike

Touring Tuscany by bike has become very popular. There are many companies that organize bike tours, providing the bikes, meals and accommodation along the way. Good health and physical condition is required as many parts of Tuscany are hilly. You can also bring your own bike but check with your airline for charges; you`ll likely have to disassemble it and pack it well for the journey.

Once you are in Tuscany, many trains have a carriage set aside for bicycles, which makes it easy to tour different areas in Tuscany without the need to completely travel by bike. Check the timetables for a bicycle sign, but note that Eurostars do NOT have this service. You`ll have to pay a supplement for the bike (about € 3,50) for a 24 hour period from the time you stamp your ticket. So if you ride another train with your bike within that time frame you only pay once for the bike.