Piombino, Tuscany, Italy with a seafront view from piazza bovio.

Road Trip from Rome to Tuscany

Published by Pat Dorri on January 19 2023

If you have ever wondered about the best way to explore the Tuscany region from Rome, this epic road trip of a lifetime will be a dream come true. This stunning drive will take you through the most iconic historical landmarks, medieval towns, pristine villages, and scenic routes as you discover the beauty of Tuscany at a leisurely pace.

This 830 km road trip from Rome to Tuscany takes about 13 hours to make a loop of the Tuscany region. Enjoy the coastal drive from Rome to Pisa, visit the cultural cities of Lucca and Florence and finish the loop via Siena, Arezzo, and Orbetello.

If you love the idea of this Tuscany loop drive, we suggest you go through the route details, places to stay, and things to do on this historical and cultural journey.

How far is Tuscany from Rome, and how long will the road trip take?

This road trip from Rome to Tuscany will cover 830 km and the estimated driving time is 12 hours and 30 minutes. Because this unique drive covers all major cities in the Tuscan region, we recommend you reserve 4-5 days to visit the many attractions along this fantastic route.

This route will take you straight to Pisa, then circle Tuscany, and then back to the western coastline of Italy. Although it is not the most direct route, it is the most efficient and ensures you cover the most ground.

Arezzo, Tuscany, Italy taken at Anghiari an Italian medieval village with a panoramic view.
Stop at the medieval village in Arezzo for stunning panoramic views.

Best road trip route from Rome to Tuscany

Because the Tuscany region boasts world heritage sites, excellent architectural lookouts, lush countryside, magnificent castles, spectacular cathedrals, and long stretches of vineyards, we have chalked out a round-trip route that covers most of it.

This road trip begins in Rome and continues northward along the Western coastline of Italy. You'll cross the cities of Piombino, Livorno, Pisa, Lucca, Florence, Siena, Arezzo, Cortona, and Orbetello.

You'll see historical ruins, majestic waterfalls, rustic fields, countryside views, medieval architecture, renaissance art, massive towers, and stunning cathedrals.

There is so much to see and do, be it the leaning tower of Pisa, the splendid cathedral in Lucca, the basilica and piazzas in Florence, or the ancient ruins in Siena. This road trip will allow you to explore most of the Tuscany region at your comfort and leisure.

The road trip route from Rome to Tuscany

As you start from the capital city of Rome, head eastward along the Tiber River and turn northward along Rome's coastline. You will soon reach Livorno and then Pisa, where you can visit the famous monuments, and enjoy an overnight stay.

On the next leg of your trip, head to Lucca and then westward toward Florence, passing the cities of Pistoia and Prato. After your visit to this mesmerizing city, head southward toward Siena.

Next beautiful city en route will be Arezzo, followed by the historic town of Cortona. Spend some time enjoying the museums and the local food before getting back on the road.

Continue driving eastward and enjoy the changing landscapes as you hug the border of Tuscany and Umbria and enter Montepulciano Stazione. Don't miss out on any sightseeing in this beautiful region.

Take the exit toward Grosetto and follow SS223 until you arrive there. Soon, exit towards Rome and hop onto SS1/ E80. Take a short detour on the right to reach Orbetello to complete your journey.

Cortona, Tuscany, Italy with a beautiful street of captivating Cortona town.
A picturesque street in captivating Cortona is one of the many stunning sights you will come across on this road trip.
Maciej Czekajewski/Shutterstock.com

Best places to stop between Rome to Tuscany

Since you will be driving the Tuscany loop from Rome, each part of the drive is a mini destination. You will need to make several overnight stays to enjoy this beautiful journey to its fullest.

To make this an unforgettable yet comfortable experience, we have chosen some of our favorite places for your overnight stays.

Admire the rich culture of Pisa

Although renowned for its leaning tower, Pisa is also known for many cultural landmarks. As you cover one-third of this road trip, we recommend you spend the night in the marvelous city of Pisa.

Pisa Cathedral and the Leaning Tower on a sunny day in Pisa, Italy.
One of the most famous landmarks in Italy, the Leaning tower of Pisa is a popular destination and offers a great photo opportunity.

Located on either side of the Arno River, Pisa is known for the Leaning tower of Pisa, Piazza Dei Miracoli, and numerous other Gothic and Romanesque churches.

Built in the 14th century, the world-famous monument- Pisa's leaning tower- remains the main tourist attraction. You could climb to the top for a view overlooking the Pisa cathedral or enjoy the view from the bottom. The tower is a part of the four monuments in the Piazza dei Miracoli complex.

One of the characteristic Gothic and Romanesque churches to visit during your Pisa trip is that of Iglesia de Santa Maria della Spina. The spines and gargoyles that represent Gothic architecture will amaze you.

At the heart of Pisa, you will find 14th-century Palazzo Blu, an art museum, and an exhibition gallery to satisfy your inner art connoisseur.

Our vote goes to the centrally placed The Rif - Boutique Hotel for a hassle-free and comfortable stay. Many monuments, including Piazza dei Miracoli and Pisa's botanical gardens, are within walking distance of this location.

The hotel has a lovely outdoor garden to enjoy morning coffee and get a dose of vitamin D. Also, choose from their continental or Italian breakfast buffet.

After a long day of driving, relax in the hot tub and feel your stress melt away. The hotel boasts an authentic on-site Italian restaurant that you can take advantage of. Or feel free to explore many other bars and restaurants close to the hotel.

Follow the footsteps of Renaissance artists in Florence

About halfway through your loop, you'll encounter the beautiful city of Florence. Before you know it, you will be drawn by the stunning monuments, unmissable views, and world-class architecture of this capital city of Tuscany. And thus, it makes for an ideal stop in the middle of your journey.

Florence, Italy with a beautiful cityscape skyline of Firenze (Florence), Italy, with the bridges over the river Arno.
Cross the River Arno on one of the many bridges that take you to popular Florence.
Dennis van de Water/Shutterstock.com

Everywhere you look, there is a monument in your sight of vision. Ever wondered what the basilica-like structure is on Florence's skyline? It is the world-famous Il Duomo or Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore. This hard-to-miss dome represents a Tuscan/Florentine style of architecture.

Capture a spectacular view of the entire city from the viewpoint of Piazzale Michelangelo. You can visit it during sunset and stay till the city lights up for a postcard-worthy moment.

On your trip to Florence, you must go to the Uffizi gallery. This spot marks the beginning of the Renaissance era of art, and the gallery is dedicated to displaying unique artworks from the period.

Admire the magnificent palazzos, piazzas, galleries, and museums in Florence. Add the 13th-century Palazzo Vecchio, also the town hall of Florence, to your list of things to see in Florence for a viewpoint of Piazza della Signoria.

River Arno goes through the city, and you'll find Hotel Lungarno - Lungarno Collection on the Western bank. Our vote goes to this hotel for its beautiful riverfront view, a view overlooking the city, and an on-site Michelin-starred restaurant.

The Ferragamo family owns the hotel, and you'll find Italian marbled floors, original modern paintings, excellent décor, and designer toiletries at your disposal. Located 100m from the Vecchio bridge, you can take walks to the popular tourist attractions from this luxurious hotel.

Enjoy the medieval city of Siena

As you come closer to rounding off this Tuscany loop, this place is a perfect overnight stop. You'll reach here after covering two-thirds of the journey and fall in love with this incredible city.

Beautiful panoramic view of the historic city of Siena at sunset with an amazing cloudscape on an idyllic summer evening, Tuscany, Italy
The historic city of Siena has piazzas and beautiful architecture to explore - it's a beautiful city that'll you'll simply fall in love with.

Siena has so much to offer. The historic piazzas, the diverse art, and the beautiful architecture make for a wonderful visit. The entire city center will teleport you to medieval times. And the lush countryside scenery is just a bonus you must cash in. No wonder it is a UNESCO Heritage Site.

In Siena, enjoy a dream stay at the monastery-converted Hotel Certosa Di Maggiano. Located within a short walk of the famous Piazza del Campo, this luxurious getaway has free private parking, an indoor pool, a tennis court, and a fully functional gym.

Enjoy the rustic countryside vibes as you relax at this beautiful property. Step out and enjoy the gorgeous vineyards. While exploring, you must visit the olive groves surrounding the hotel and treat yourself to some rich olive oil. Go for a wine tasting or two.

Piazza del Campo is one of the must-visit places in this city. The Publicco Palace and the Tower of Mangia surround this shell-shaped center. This historic town center was built during the medieval period, and the gothic style of architecture shines throughout. A three-minute walk will take you to Duomo de Siena, a Romanesque-Gothic cathedral known for its pretty mosaic work and white walls.

Things to see on a road trip from Rome to Tuscany

As you travel north from Rome to Tuscany along the coastline and then via inland routes, you will experience Italy like never before. Your round trip will take you through some unmissable places, noteworthy monuments, wonders of the world, and capitals of art, culture, and religion.

We recommend you take your time and leisurely enjoy all the things listed below.

Villa d'Este, Tivoli, Rome is a wonderful renaissance palace, Unesco World Heritage Site.
Villa d'Este is a renaissance palace and declared a Unesco World Heritage Site.
  1. Villa d'Este – Located just outside of Rome in Tivoli, Villa d'Este is a 16th-century villa that showcases gorgeous terrace gardens and magnificent fountains. This villa has been converted into a state museum and declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  2. Geothermal Museum – Know more about the history and science behind the success of geothermal energy as a source of energy. This museum is located at Larderello and was one of the pioneers in harnessing geothermal energy to power a business.
  3. Hadrian's Villa – Situated in Tivoli, the Roman emperor, Hadrian, built this villa 1900 years ago. You can look at the ruins and admire the architecture of that era.
  4. Orsini-Odescalchi Castle – Located at the shore of Bracciano lake, this 15th-century castle is breathtaking. Enjoy a tour of this renaissance castle/museum, one of the most popular wedding destinations for the rich and famous.
  5. Sacro Bosco – Experience centuries-old sculptures of grotesque creatures spread throughout the garden. Park of the Monsters, as it is rightly called, is one of the oldest sculpture parks in the world and is filled with fantastic creatures.
  6. Well of St. Patrick – This 16th-century well is yet another commendable piece of architecture from Italy. You can walk down the spiral stairs and admire the beautiful space. There are windows up and down that naturally illuminate the well.
  7. Lago Trasimeno – Experience the pristine beauty of the lake and its habitat. This spot is perfect for outdoor activities like birdwatching, cycling, and boating. You can also visit the three lake islands and the medieval towns on their shore.
  8. Terme Antica Querciolaia – Take a break from the drive and pamper yourself with an afternoon spa session at this property. Relax with spa treatments and enjoy indoor and outdoor pools amidst nature.
  9. Abbey of Sant'Antimo – Enjoy this beautiful Benedictine abbey that boasts the quintessential Roman architecture. This lovely property with serene gardens will transport you into medieval times.
  10. San Gimignano – Also known as medieval Manhattan, the town of fine towers has a skyline to remember. This walled World Heritage Site houses towers that are a beauty to behold. Drive up to the town at the top of the hill to enjoy the view.
  11. Chiesa di San Michele in Foro – Located in Lucca, this Roman Catholic church has been built on the ruins of the Roman forum. You'll be in complete awe of the massive structure at the entrance, which remains a popular tourist spot.
  12. Guinigi Tower – This majestic tower stands tall in the middle of Lucca. What was once a kitchen garden is now packed with tall trees on the top of the tower. The Guinigi tower has a Romanesque-Gothic style of architecture which is prevalent in the Tuscany region.
  13. Wineries – Wine season or otherwise, this region is a treat for wine lovers. We encourage you to try out as many local wines as possible. Just remember not to drink and drive!
  14. Beaches – The route takes you along the long coast of Italy and provides plenty of opportunity to enjoy the sun and the sand. Target the West coastline of Tuscany and the many lakes this region proudly flaunts.
San Gimignano, Tuscany, Italy with a beautiful view of the medieval town on a sunny day.
Enjoy stunning views of the medieval town of San Gimignano, which is also a World Heritage Site.

Best time to go on a road trip from Rome to Tuscany

The weather in Tuscany is pleasant all year long. In the peak Winter, the average temperature is around 9 degrees Celsius, whereas, during summer, it can go up to 40 degrees Celsius. So, technically, you could visit Tuscany any time during the year.

During summertime, you can enjoy the lovely outdoors and undertake activities like cycling, hiking, and sunbathing. Whereas during the winters when the region is not flooded with tourists, you could visit the museums, the ancient cathedrals, and castles.

If you love long drives, cool beach vibes, warm weather, and don't mind crowded places, then take this road trip during summer. Be warned that the temperatures range from 30 to 40 degrees during peak summer.

However, visiting during the warmer months will mean that you will have the opportunity to lie on the beach, enjoy spritzers, and experience afternoon siestas.

The average temperature in winter ranges between 3 to 7 degrees; depending on the region's elevation, it could be lower. You will likely face rain, snow, and sub-zero temperatures during certain parts of the journey. This might be a good time to visit if you love winter sports like skiing or snowboarding.

Because of the wine and olive season, fall is a popular time for tourist visits. This time suits wine enthusiasts as it brings finer wines into the limelight.

The temperature ranges from 17 to 30 degrees, which is great for road trips. You can take part in grape and olive harvesting traditions along the way and participate in various outdoor activities.

The entire Tuscany region is one of the most culturally rich places. It is no wonder that it boasts some of the most popular festivals. Most of the events take place during the summer.

Calcio Storico Fiorentino is a famous sports tournament in Florence in June. All four districts of Florence compete in this grand competition that combines football, rugby, and wrestling.

On the eve of 16th June, witness the traditional festival of lights- Luminara, along the banks of the Arno River. Soak in the night view of the lit skyline of the entire city of Pisa on this day.

In July and August, you can catch the horse races in Siena and Bravio delle Botti in Montepulciano. If you end up taking this trip in February, then ensure to experience the colorful Carnival that takes place in Viareggio.