Rock Your Honeymoon: Tuscany… The Where to Go

Today I am nothing short of Jealous. Anita… long time commenter here at Rock My Wedding was married in Italy (cue green eyes from me) and then got to spend her honeymoon in Tuscany too. (I’m now beside myself with envy.)

However, I just happen to be planning a summer getaway as I type so I’m going to be eagerly looking for tips and tricks in our latest Rock Your Honeymoon installment, a road trip through Tuscany, taking in the beautiful rolling hills, Italian wines, stunning hilltop towns and villages, the wines, the culture, the food… did I mention the wines?!

I’d better hand you over to Anita to spill the beans on the first part of her trip before I mention it again 😉

A Tuscan Romance

We got married in Tuscany, so it made sense to stay there for our 12-day honeymoon. I had been to San Gimignano and Florence before but many years ago as a teenager – not the ideal age for appreciating art, culture and fine food and wine! In any case there were plenty of places I hadn’t seen and Mike had never been at all, so I started planning.

I got a couple of guidebooks on Tuscany and got a rough idea of the places I wanted to go to. I was adamant that I didn’t want us to try to do/see too much as I have been on those kinds of holidays before where you spend the whole time rushing from place to place and I wanted this holiday to be a bit relaxing too – it was our honeymoon after all! It was while I was still planning our route that I happened to be reading Rebecca’s wedding report, where she mentioned a villa called Vignamaggio which she had briefly considered as a wedding venue. I googled Vignamaggio and fell in love!! I knew it had to feature on our route.


View Larger Map

When I looked at the map, conveniently almost all our locations formed a nice little circle around central and northwestern Tuscany, from San Gimignano (where we definitely had to start from because that was where the wedding was), to Siena, to Greve (where Vignamaggio is), to Florence and then finally Lucca. We flew in and out of Pisa, but didn’t really bother about visiting it as everyone says that except for the famous leaning tower there isn’t much else there. The only other place I would have liked to visit was Cortona, but that was just too far away to make it possible on this trip, so it’s on the list for next time!

So we had our route, yay!! All our locations were close together enough that the longest we ever had to drive in 1 day was 2 hours, perfect, especially as this was always through beautiful countryside!! The longest drive was from Florence to Lucca, but we broke this journey in Pistoia as that happens to be where our wedding planner Ben lives, so we stopped for lunch with him en route. Needless to say there’s plenty of pretty ristorantes and trattorias along all the routes so you can stop wherever you want!

Fly Away

Our flights were booked well in advance as we couldn’t risk not getting to our own wedding! (We flew with Jet2 from Manchester to Pisa, very basic but they are (I think) the only airline which flies that route and as it’s only a 4hr flight I didn’t see the point of spending loads!) but I didn’t actually get around to booking the hotels for our honeymoon until about 5wks before!! With the exception of Vignamaggio (which I booked direct with them) all the other hotels were booked via https://www.lastminute.com for the simple reason that I get cashback from them (because I work for the NHS).

Our car hire was with Hertz who were mostly very good, however if you plan to share the driving, be careful as they will charge you extra per day to insure a second driver! We only discovered this when we arrived to pick the car up and it was over £100 more than we had expected to pay! We went for the most basic car and got a Ford Fiesta which was fine for us, but there are plenty of options to upgrade to something more fancy if you want to! We had heard a lot about the crazy driving in Italy but mostly we had no problems, although be aware most of the roads in Tuscany are quite narrow and winding. The only place which was a bit scary for driving was, not surprisingly, Florence – I let Mike do all the driving there!!

San Gimignano/Volterra

Because we got married in San Gimignano, we had made a flying visit there previously the year before to see our venues and meet our wedding planner. This year we were staying outside San Gimignano in the villa we had hired for a week for us and our friends/families (Villa di Ulignano https://www.villadiulignano.it/ however this has to be hired exclusively by a large group) however when we went last year we stayed in Hotel L’Antico Pozzo right in the centre of San Gimignano which was a beautiful old converted townhouse.

Price per night when we stayed there was about £110 per night but this is nearly 2 years ago now so may have changed slightly.

Siena

We stayed in the NH Hotel Excelsior which was probably my least favourite of all the places we stayed. Although the lobby area was lovely our room itself was quite small and poky and unfortunately didn’t overlook the beautiful city, but the football stadium!

However it wasn’t really a big problem as we weren’t in the room much but out exploring Siena and the hotel is in a brilliant location, less than 10 minutes walk from Piazza Campo and only a couple of minutes walk from our favourite cafe!! Price per night was about £85 for bed and breakfast.

Greve/Vignamaggio

Our fabulous R&R stop!! We stayed, of course, at Vignamaggio which is not just a hotel, but also an ‘agriturismo’, which means it is also a working agricultural business, in this case making oil and wine.

We had a stunning suite at Vignamaggio overlooking the vineyards. Price was about £200 per night (not including breakfast!) BUT the place was stunning and we did have a suite (with 2 bedrooms, a living/dining area and kitchenette and bathroom).

Florence

We stayed at the Atlantic Palace Hotel which was a beautiful converted old palazzo and our room was decorated in gorgeous Art Deco style. We were 10 minutes walk from the Duomo and Piazza Repubblica which was great.

Importantly for central Florence the hotel has a deal with a nearby underground carpark so when you pull up at the hotel someone comes and drives your car to the carpark and then drives it back to the front of the hotel when you’re leaving! Price per night was £100 for bed and breakfast (but parking costs extra).

Lucca

The last stop on our honeymoon was at the Hotel Ilaria which was a modern, airy hotel inside the city walls.

Nothing is very far away from anything else in Lucca so everything was within walking distance!! Price per night was £110 for bed and breakfast.

I’m looking on the Jet2 website as soon as I finish this post. Italy here I come! And you can see what Anita did there next week 🙂

Now it’s your turn: Any amazing recommendations on where to stay in Tuscany to share with us lovelies?

Yours Truly,

Rebecca
xoxo

Author: Becky Sappor
Becky is at her happiest when dunking a slightly chilled chocolate digestive into a very warm, very milky cup of tea. She also loves her job and pinches herself every day to make sure that she isn’t in a graphic design dreamworld.

30 thoughts on “Rock Your Honeymoon: Tuscany… The Where to Go

  1. I just LOVE Toscana- go regularly for work (archaeologist) and love it more and more every time I go back. We aren’t going for our honeymoon though as I go so often (4 times a year and once of those for at least a month!) but it is so beautiful!

    I think this post really exemplifies that a honeymoon doesn’t have to be about far away shores- we are lucky to have Europe on our doorstep to explore as it is just as wonderful! xx

  2. Looks great – especially Vignamaggio which has to be everything you could want from a hotel in Tuscany. Sigh.
    We were lucky enough to go to a wedding in Tuscany last year and it was fabulous – you really can’t go wrong heading out to the hills and trying out the local food and wine.
    In Florence, we really love Residenza Johanna 1 (https://www.johanna.it) – just a short walk from the centre and utterly charming (plus free cake and tea throughout the day which is always a wonderful touch!).
    I’ve always wanted to stay in Villa San Michele in the hills above Florence (https://www.villasanmichele.com) – just a shame it’s so expensive! But the views are utterly divine. Maybe I need to drop hints at the husband for my 30th…

  3. My recommendations for Tuscany would be Pietrasanta – which is on the coast – the most gorgeous town and the beach is UHmazing. Also visit Il Bottaccio di Montignoso – the food and views are to die for! it’s also a hotel, has a cooking school and a spa. A friend of mine got married here last Summer and everyone was blown away by how amazing the place was.

    Do we have to wait until next week for part 2 Charlotte? Xxxx

  4. La Dolca Vita?

    The Boy and I kept our engagement secret for six weeks whilst he was in the jungle and I was waiting for him to come back so we could pick out the ring we had made.

    Then we went called our parents and headed straight to the airport. We flew to Rome for four days and stayed in Daphne Inn 10 minutes walk from the Trevi Fountain. Very chic (not honeymoon chic but nice all the same).

    Then we took a train to Florence and had a room looking all over the Duomo. Gorgeous.

    Then we took ANOTHER train to Venice and had a waterview suite at the Hotel Canal Grande. AMAZING.

    AMAZING AMAZING AMAZING.

    Then flew back out of Venice.

    I would heartily recommend travelling by train in Italy. It was FAB.

  5. Fiesole. When I went to Florence this was the one place I was determined to visit…living my A Room With A View dreams of being seduced in a field of flowers overlooking Florence. Sadly that did not occur, but the view was nothing short of astounding. Florence has one of the world’s great skylines and Fiesole shows it to perfection nestled amongst the hills and vineyards. Great honeymoon post!

  6. Posts like this are life saving for me, thank you girls!

    I have just passed some time on tripadvisor researching Pietrasanta, and places to stay etc. The difference being now with Baby O’s arrival imminent we have to consider things like how practical travelling around will be with a bubba. But I am loving the idea of getting the train around Italy, and am going to propose we spend a week in Tuscany for our first family holiday this year. Italy has been top of my list for yonks now.

    A stupid question… but is Italy a good destination for a first family holiday? I think we can take the baby anywhere but I might be a bit naive thinking that….

    Jenny x

  7. I want to take up permanent residence in Vignamaggio and never leave. I want to drink wine and possibly the oil all day every day and be fabulous and Italian.

    Anita, I am tres jealous.

    xoxo

  8. We got engaged in Tuscany last summer (in San Gimignano in fact!) and it’s so utterly beautiful we are going back there on our honeymoon this year too!

    Echoing Anna K – Fiesole is a must!

    We stayed (and are returning to again we loved it so much!) at the Villa Bordoni in Greve – pricey but beautiful and the staff could not do enough for us.

  9. @Jenny – Italy is a perfect family holiday – the Italians are so family orientated and just love a baby, they’ll fuss over it like no tomorrow!

  10. Jenny – I agree totally with Bubblegum – the Italians love children and everywhere is so family friendly. Perfect 1st holiday en famile! Any news on Baby O yet? xxx

  11. @ Jenny- I’m with Anni and bubblegum- Italians LOVE bambini and will fuss him or her silly!

    Also, the trains are beautifully organised and often air conditioned- they are soo reasonably priced too.

    Its just over the border in Umbria, but Orvieto has to be one of my favourite places in Italy- its a wonderful town on the top of a tufo plateau- so so beautiful and perfect for a weekend break- as it is so high up there’s usually a breeze too xxx

  12. Anita – your hotel in Lucca looks especially lovely.
    We visited Florence in October staying here. https://www.hotelorologioflorence.com/
    It’s really central – and great to explore. Although as the name suggests there are lots of paintings of clocks.
    I really like Luxe guides (https://www.luxecityguides.com/?m=guide_inner&guide_id=43)
    they’re amazing for seeking out great bars, restaurants and shops.
    Alas there isn’t yet one for Seville where we’re off to at Easter. This post, and today’s sunshine, has made me even more excited about our Easter trip there.

  13. What I love about Italia is that I come away feeling really sexy. I love a country that appreciates curves. When I go to Thailand I spend the whole time feeling like a massive GIANT.

    I also love the fact that its 50p for a carafe of wine and £5 for a can of coke so its legitimate to spend the entire time giddy and then the Gelato.

    Oh dear god the Gelato.

    Rachel,

    We went to Seville ages ago and its nice enough. Our hotel was cosy but I wouldn’t recommend. It’s great though, we ate tapas until about 4am every morning and I actually danced in a square (on the edge of a fountain, not in it).

    Jenny, STILL no baby. Please don’t mention anything that will make me blush! But come on Baby O.

  14. I’m with you on the feeling like a giant in Thailand. I love the place but I always end up resenting my massive pale western ankles!

    I am loving the sound of Tuscany more and more, esp the wine. And the gelato. But mostly the wine. I will make sure I mention it to Mr O when he’s been out to wet the baby’s head (always agree’s to things when he’s sozzled!)

    Induction has been booked girls, for this Thurs. Baby has been given an eviction notice – most exciting! (sorry to hijack this wonderful post)

  15. Well Hello ladies 😉
    I’m glad you have all enjoyed the first part of the honeymoon report -it brought back so many lovely memories!!! I thoroughly recommend Italy in so many ways – as Lucy says it is so stunning and yet you can be there in just a few hours!
    Anna K, we went to Fiesole briefly and yes, unbelievable views (you will see a few of my photos in part 2 but sadly they don’t do it justice!)
    Rebecca, your engagement-moon sounds amazing – we are planning to go back to Italy this summer to celebrate our first anniversary and are thinking of going to Venice, any recommendations?!!
    Jenny, oh yes, you simply MUST go to Italy on your first family holiday, can’t imagine anything better! And gelato – yes – more on this next time too!

    But, of course, as always the best comment and the one which has made me laugh out loud comes from Mahj – I want to take up permanent residence in Vignamaggio and never leave. I want to drink wine and possibly the oil all day every day and be fabulous and Italian.
    – which is the biggest compliment I think my honeymoon report could possibly have!!! (and Mahj, just wait till you see the pictures of what we actually did in Vignamaggio!)

    Happy travelling ladies, xx

  16. Can I recommend Relais Castel Bigozzi where we stayed on our honeymoon for a few nights on a tour of Italy. Small and rustic, it was lovely to be somewhere that wasnt a big impersonal hotel, but had the most perfect location, and pool, gardens etc It was close to Monterigioni which is the most beautiful little walled town, and within easy drive of Florence, Siena and San Gimigiano.

  17. We’re getting married in Tuscany this summer. We too have decided to stay on for our honeymoon. For the wedding week we are staying in a large villa with our family near both florence and siena. For our honeymon week we have decided to spend 5 nights in the Maremma at this place https://www.querciarossa.net/ which has amazing reviews on trip advisor. For our last two nights we are staying in Lucca, just outside the walls. I can’t wait!

    Looking forward to part two for your tips!

  18. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaagh I am getting married in San Gimignano in June! SO excited it is amazingly beautiful. We drove down last year to see our villa and meet our wedding planner. Driving through Tuscany in a convertible Mercedes was just brilliant. So much to recommend but obviously Siena and Florence are amazing. Think we will go to Lucca on our way to our wedding. And then we are going to Venice afterwards! Can’t wait for Part 2 for obvious reasons!!!!!!!!

  19. Amazing post! Love Italy. Been 4 times and can’t wait to go back. Tuscany and Umbra are amazing but would recommend Sicily too.

    I would recommend seeking out agritourismas (as suggested) but also look for resenzia d’epoca (spelling????). They are historic buildings run as amazing little B&Bs/hotels. We stayed in the most amazing ones in Sienna, Lucca, Florence and Montepulciano.

    We’re off to Kuala Lumpur, Langkawi, Borneo and Dubai for our honeymoon (7 weeks today we leave). We got our first jag tonight. Can’t wait.

  20. Loved this article! I am fairly new to RMW (first comment in fact, exciting times) but it has quickly become part of my daily routine. AND I am getting married at Vignamaggio next year! or at least we have it on reserve and are in the process of finalising the details.

    I am beyond excited and even more so after reading this post and seeing the images. Thanks for making my day!

  21. Ooh, Lorien and Laura, that’s fab, I LOVE coming across other Italy brides!! Lorien, are you getting married in the Sala Dante in the town hall in San Gimignano?? It is the most beautiful room, I felt so lucky to be saying my vows in there. And Laura – marrying in Vignamaggio – words fail me.

  22. We basically drove and camped this holiday last year for 3 weeks! We did San Gimignano, Lucca, Florence, over to Switzerland for a climb up the Matterhorn and stayed at Lake Maggiore too. The MOST fabulous holdiay ever, we were just so happy there. We got engaged in Venice on our second trip there, so Italy holds really precious memories. It will make a fab honeymoon destination. x

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