Tuscany and Umbria are two of Italy’s most stunning regions. They share a lot. Both are known for their beautiful rolling hills, vineyards, medieval towns, and delicious food. They are also located in the middle of Italy, right next to one another.
The regions are however different. Ask the Italians living in Umbria and Tuscany: They are quite competitive with each other! You are trying to decide whether you want to go on a short trip or a longer one. Are you looking for a longer trip to one or both of these regions? Here are some suggestions!
Both have stunning scenery.
You can find rolling hills, cypress trees, olive groves, sparkling lakes, and medieval hilltowns, as well as a variety of forests in either region.
But if you want to see the beaches or sea, go to Tuscany
Umbria lacks one thing: a coastline. The coastline. Umbria is a landlocked region. Tuscany is the best option if you want to reach the sea. Keep in mind, however, that the Maremma region is home to most of Tuscany’s top beaches. It’s a longer drive than Florence.
Florence is a great place to visit Umbria or Tuscany.
You can easily reach both Umbria and Tuscany by car from Florence. It’s Tuscany. To reach some of the most beautiful areas in Tuscany–the Chianti wine-making area, for instance–it takes only half an hour. You will need to travel a bit further to reach Umbria. However, it is still within your reach. In just over an hour on the road, you can cross the border between Tuscany and Umbria. From there, you can be in the area around Lake Trasimeno and Chiusi. It takes just two hours to travel from Florence to Perugia by train.
We’ll take you on our Tuscan Daytrip from Florence if you want to see the beauty of Tuscany and sip fine Chianti without you having to drive the country roads.
(And by the way, check out our video adventure through Tuscany’s most breathtaking scenery! ).
But Umbria can be reached easily from Florence and Rome.
In the meantime, Tuscany is a little further than Umbria from Rome. From Rome to Pitigliano (a beautiful town just over the border with Lazio in Tuscany), it takes approximately two hours. Umbria is closer: It takes 1 hour to drive to Narni, a medieval hill town, and 1 hour 15 minutes to drive to Orvieto. Both Rome to Orvieto or Rome to Narni–Amelia can be reached in as little as one hour by train.
You can take public transport to Umbria if you want to. Check out our post about how to travel to Umbria by bus and train.
Hidden gems are found in both regions…
Friends who traveled to Tuscany only saw the tourist hotspots should not be misled: There are many medieval towns in Tuscany that have been left unexplored by large tour buses and ignored by tourists.
Umbria may have even more
Despite Umbria being less well-known than Tuscany, there are still many gems off the beaten path in Umbria. While Tuscany’s most picturesque towns and rural areas are well-known, Umbria’s finest offerings are still unknown. Like Spoleto, Spello, Todi, Montefalco, Norcia, Narni, Amelia, Bevagna, even Perugia. You can also discover small towns in the countryside that are not subject to tourism.
Deals in Umbria and Tuscany are available
Even more so if you choose to go off the beaten track.
…but, in general, Umbria is cheaper
Although Umbria is becoming more popular, there’s less tourism. Therefore, most things, such as eating out or staying in a villa, or Agriturismo will be less expensive than the equivalent in Tuscany.
Both Umbria, Tuscany, and other regions produce exceptional wines.
Despite being a smaller region, Umbria is home to some amazing wines such as the world-famous Sagrantino wines and its DOC-protected Orvieto wine.
But Tuscany is home to some of the most sought-after wines in Italy, including some of its best-known wines.
Tuscany is the best place to go if you want to taste some of Italy’s most famous wines. The most well-known and well-established labels are found in Tuscany. Tuscany is home to the highest concentration of DOC/DOCG wines in Italy, after Piedmont and Veneto. The wine country can be found throughout the entire region. What wines are made in Tuscany? Vin Santo, Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano are just a few of the big names.
Are you still unsure of which region to visit? You don’t have to choose one region? Why not try both?
They are both right next to one another. They each have so much to offer.