Standing on the terrace or by the pool of your Tuscany villa rental, you may think that the scenery is impossible to beat. It is also likely that you will take countless photos around the luxury villa, capturing the amazing Tuscan light, hills or landscapes, and even the finer details, like the flowers or shadows of the trees. However, any Tuscany vacation offers you a rare chance to set up your camera (whether it is contained in your phone or a full-blown DSLR) and get unforgettable shots.
To help you get the very most out of photographic excursions in Tuscany, we recommend these picture-postcard-perfect locations that will have everyone at home jealous and yearning to book their own Tuscan holiday.
You have seen the paintings and the other photos of this most famous of roads, but you may not have ever known where to find it. Dotted with cypress trees, saturated with gorgeous colors, even at midday, you can find your ideal spot by driving two hours south of Florence headed towards Val d’Orcia National Park.
Now comes the best news – you get to drive through the park along the main road – Strada Provincale 146. You exit this road at Strada Vecchia Senese and you will soon see the signs for La Foce. Pick a hilltop, set up the camera, and record the scene over the course of an hour or so to enjoy the best changes in light and shadow. Don’t forget to bring your picnic and just take in the scenery.
Tine and isolated, the photogenic chapel rests at the far end of a cypress-lined road just outside of San Quirico. Head towards Pienza Cappella Vitaleta and roughly half way along the journey, you will see the chapel in the distance. You will need to drive slowly and walk a short distance to get the best shot, but if you frame it with the wheat fields, the flawless cypresses, and the pines, it is photographic bliss. Try an early morning or late day visit for the best light.
Val d’Orcia and Its Poppies
You may feel like the witch from the Wizard of Oz as you cry out “poppies, poppies…” but yours won’t put anyone to sleep. If visiting this region during May and June, be ready to take time to explore the park and find the amazing fields of poppies in bloom. We think that the best time is larte April when there are still some rains, and to head to the SP451 from Buonoconvento. Along this route you will encounter iconic images of poppy fields with classic Italian structures in the background.
If you would rather wander, just take side roads between Siena and Montepulciano during the spring months and you are sure to find some amazing photo opportunities.
Siena and Its Sunflowers
Don’t let anyone mislead you. Though you can drive main roads throughout Italy during the summer months, such as the popular A1 and see fields dense with sunflowers in the distance, you won’t get the same experience as you will when you get off main roads and highways. If your photographic goal is to capture a field packed with “girasole”, you will want to take the SR2 as it runs between San Gimignano and Siena. The fields near Cortona (east of Siena) are especially show stopping.
Any Part or Scene in Pienza
From the rows of pecorino cheeses that line quaint store shelves to the flawless city planning done by Pope Pius II during the 1400s, your camera will capture something at every turn. Yes, it is a town that is typically described as “off the beaten path,” but it is impossible to beat for its photogenic powers. It sits on a hill above Val d’Orcia and offers impressive views from above, below an everywhere in between.
As you might have guessed, these photographic tips also encourage you to get out and explore the Tuscan countryside. Though your luxury villa may be difficult to leave, you will get so much out of a single day of exploring, and you will never regret all of those photos!