So much varied and very good accommodations exist in Tuscany, almost all of them budget, that to single some out seems almost an injustice. The lodgings fall into three categories; the first are small hotels. Since there are no hotel chains beyond the big cities, all hotels are small, most family-run and very family-priced. It’s easy to find one under 100 Euro per night. The second—bed and breakfasts—are found in cities, towns and the countryside, and usually go for less. The last category, Agritourism—farm stays—are even better. Do not cringe; you will not be pursued by sows or buffeted by flying roosters, most of these farms are wine estates, or hobby farms with all the elegance and luxury of a four-star hotel. These apartments, by law, have to have functional, though often small, kitchens which means you can save substantially on meals by not having to incessantly eat out.
Tuscans have a cleanliness fetish that goes with simplicity, so whatever type of accommodations you choose, you can expect a spotless accommodation with few frills. As to what you’ll get, it can be anything from a renovated villa, to a castle, to a restored farmhouse on a knoll, to comfortable rooms in the middle of Tuscany’s busiest city. If you are a light sleeper, a word of advice: always ask for a very quiet room. The Italian tolerance for noise is high (they talk all the time, even in their sleep) so be warned. If you’re traveling through the region during the off-peak season, you can have the chance to stay at a luxury hotel for an affordable rate. Don’t be shy to ask for their best rate, or a free night after the third. Tuscans love to do favors; it’s in their blood.
Hotel Santa Caterina (Siena)
A converted eighteenth-century villa, Hotel Santa Caterina is a home away from home in the heart of Siena’s central plaza. The rooms and public spaces are full of classic Tuscan furnishings. The highlight is their outdoor space. You can enjoy a pleasant breakfast in the garden with a view of the beautiful Siena landscape.
Al Porto di Lucca B&B (Lucca)
Conveniently located between Florence and Pisa in the perfectly preserved city of Lucca, this recently renovated, bed and breakfast is located a few hundred meters from the city’s central plaza. A traditional Tuscan breakfast is served in the beautiful veranda or delightful gardens. If you book through their website (as of November 2014), they offer a free room upgrade or quality complimentary bottle of wine for a minimum two-night stay.
Hotel David (Florence)
The family-run Hotel David offers remodeled, spacious, and comfortable rooms (complete with typical Florentine antique furnishings) and is located centrally enough that it is an easy walk to all the sights yet in a quiet district of Florence. Wi-Fi, breakfast, happy hour, parking—and most civilized: the mini bar—are included basic amenities. There is also a garden for quiet time.
Hotel Perseo (Florence)
If you want to be in the dead center of the action, this is the place for you. Hotel Perseo offers rooms with views of the main cathedral—it’s literally a stones throw, even if you never played center field—and is surrounded by all the best shops. It’s complete with old-fashioned furnishings and hospitality that can’t be beat. Located in the heart of Florence, this prime spot makes this budget stay ideal for walking to the sights and saving your Euros for shopping.
Hotel Bologna (Pisa)
Hotel Bologna, a four star (out of five stars in Italy) hotel with amazing value, is situated in the center of Pisa. It is one of the city’s understated stays. The Cathedral and the main streets of the Corso district are minutes away by foot, making it a hidden gem. Friendly frescos. The large tree-shaded, flower-surrounded terrace looking onto an elegant garden is perfect for the breakfast buffet or a quiet drink after seeing the sights.