Why I love Florence & Tuscany
“Tuscany won me over at a farm in the Garfagnana. We were tucking into dinner when the farmer's wife rushed in mid-secondi and urged us to join her in the stable to watch a calf being born. Later, when she joyfully declared 'We'll call her Kaya after your daughter!' I was speechless. So my seven-year-old now has a cow in Tuscany and I the honour of being privy to yet another intimacy of this wildly diverse, soulful,...” Read More
Top experiences in Tuscany
Tuscany in One Day Sightseeing Tour
Meet your local guide before heading for the hills on a scenic drive through the Tuscan countryside. Your first stop for the day is gothic Siena, famous for its medieval streets. Choose to join a guided tour through the city(free entry inside the Cathedral is included). Or, alternatively, you're free to marvel the sights of Siena at your own pace, enjoy a drink in an open air cafe and meet the locals. Enjoy a stroll among Chianti vineyards, olive groves and wine cellars before indulging in a traditional Tuscan lunch amongst the Sienese hills where Chianti wine is produced. Surrounded by grapes vines you'll have the opportunity to meet fellow travelers while feasting on local foods including cold meats, salads, pasta and bread. A wine-tasting class will be held during lunch including free samples of wine and olive oil (which are also available for purchase). After lunch you will visit San Gimignano where you can roam the maze of cobbled streets and small squares, grab a gelato and walk between San Gimignano's famous 14 towers. Your final stop is Pisa, where you can take an up-close inspection of The Leaning Tower, view the Cathedral, the Baptistery and monumental Cemetery in Pisa before venturing back to Florence where your full-day tour concludes. Want to skip the long lines at the Leaning Tower of Pisa?Upgrade to the Tour & Leaning Tower of Pisa option and you’ll receive pre-booked entrance tickets. Go to the front of the queue at the Leaning Tower of Pisa without having to wait in line and experience a once in a lifetime opportunity to climb the world’s most titled tower. Leaning Tower of Pisa has 296 steps over 7 floors. The climb will take approximately 30-minutes. You will arrive in Pisa approx. 6pm and leave 6.50pm. Children aged 8 years and under are not permitted to climb the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
Cinque Terre Hiking Day Trip from Florence
Led by your knowledgeable guide you will trek scenic trails and wander through vineyards and olive groves, over stone walls and along a spectacular coastline. This tour includes coach transportation, rail and boat travel between villages, entry in to Cinque Terre National Park and a delicious lunch. The Cinque Terre takes its name from the five picturesque fishing villages of Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso. Each town has a distinct character, but all share alleys, arches and steep stone steps, best explored on foot. An idyllic snapshot of old-world Italy, the villages are surrounded by sunny beaches, narrow lanes lined with shops and stalls, brightly colored fishing boats, seaside promenades and sleepy piazzas. The ancient trails are rough but manageable. Be prepared for the hiking – although the path is open to everyone, remember that the ground can be slippery, uneven, and in places steep and narrow. The charm of the area is that it is natural and unspoilt, so do not expect hand rails or safety rails when steps are steep or when the path is close to the edge.
Cooking Class and Lunch at a Tuscan Farmhouse
Meet your guide near Palazzo Vecchio in central Florence and take a 30-minute walk to Mercato Centrale, a historical food market in the San Lorenzo area, to see where the locals shop. En route, stop by a local bakery for some tastings and to buy fresh bread. Then follow your friendly guide around the market stalls, and meet butchers and farmers selling vegetables from their fields in Tuscany. The market teems with fresh fruit and quality local produce including cheese, cured meat, balsamic vinegar, sun-dried tomatoes, olives and many other Italian specialties. Select some of the finest ingredients to use later in your cooking class, and enjoy samples of some of the food and wine. Hop aboard your minibus and travel to a farmhouse, tucked away in the Tuscan hills, where your cooking class takes place. Don your apron, which you can keep as a souvenir, and help your chef prepare a full Tuscan meal, starting with a selection of appetizers. Learn how to make proper Italian pasta using freshly laid eggs, and discover the secrets behind traditional meat sauces, using ingredients from right outside the door!A pasta dish, pizza and classic bruschetta are all on the menu, so help your chef prepare them with fresh bread, tomatoes and extra virgin olive oil — each produced on site. When the dishes are ready, take a break to eat and enjoy your creations with a glass of the region’s full-bodied Chianti wine. Then, head back to the kitchen to prepare traditional Tuscan arista (succulent roast pork) with roast potatoes, seasoned with fresh herbs from the farm. As the pork cooks, prepare a classic tiramisu, layering delicately flavored mascarpone with liquor- and coffee-soaked sponge biscuits, and learn about strong and rich Italian coffee.The highlight of your tour comes next: sitting down to eat your 4-course meal! Savor your main course and desserts along with a carefully selected Tuscan wine while chatting to your chef and fellow lovers about your day of food.Then, return to your minibus and relax on the journey to the start point in Florence where your tour finishes.
Tuscany in One Day Sightseeing Tour from Rome
Heading north out of Rome by luxury coach, your Tuscany day trip first takes you to Montepulciano, famous for its vino and views! Nestled in southern Tuscany, Montelpulciano is a Renaissance hill-town, famed for its Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, a red wine. With your guide, take a walking tour and see the Florentine-style clock tower, the Etruscan city walls, medieval wine cellars and the interestingly unfinished Duomo.After a stop for photos, get back on your coach to travel west into the heart of Tuscany, to the area surrounding Montalcino. Here you'll visit the gorgeous Sant' Antimo Abbey, where the stone walls ring with the sound of Gregorian chants, before admiring the views over the town's vineyards. The rich Brunello di Montepulciano red wine is produced at these vineyards, and you'll sample a glass over a three-course lunch at one of the area's traditional farms! Featuring produce grown on the farm, your lunch allows you to dine in true Tuscan style before enjoying a wine tasting of each of the wines grown on site.Spend part of your afternoon in the UNESCO World Heritage-listed town of Pienza, where you'll have approximately 45 minutes to explore at your leisure. The town's layout was designed by Pope Pius II in the 14th century, as he wanted to transform the look of his birthplace. As you explore independently, soak up the serene ambience that stays true to the Pope's vision, and marvel at the town’s beautiful ancient architecture. Be sure to look in the shops for Pienza's most famous product – Pecorino cheese!As your day comes to an end, meet your guide back at the coach for the relaxing return journey to Rome.
Florence Super Saver: Best of Florence Walking Tour, Accademia Gallery, Uffizi Gallery and Florence Duomo
Skip the Line: Best of Florence Walking Tour:Start your morning bypassing the line with your skip-the-line ticket, enjoy a guided tour of the Accademia Gallery. Check out Michelangelo's David, a magnificent 17 foot marble masterpiece -- easily the most famous statue in the world! You will also see the Slaves that welcome you to the room where the David is. Set off on a leisurely walking tour around Florence's historic center with your guide. Stop to rub the nose of Florence's piglet statue (Il Porcellino) for luck! Cross the Ponte Vecchio, a medieval bridge offering beautiful views of the Arno River, and stroll through Piazza della Signoria. Head past the queues outside the Florence Duomo for a tour of this stunning building, officially known as Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore. Learn about the Duomo's history from your guide.Your morning tour ends here and you have two hours of free time for lunch (own expense) before your afternoon tour starts. Skip the Line: Uffizi Gallery Walking Tour:Meet your expert guide outside the world-famous Uffizi Gallery, and bypass the queues with your skip-the-line entrance ticket. As you walk, your guide will entertain you with tales of the artists, architects and wealthy patrons who've contributed to the gallery's collections.Gaze at masterpieces by renowned Italian artists, such as Raffaello, Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo, and see Botticelli's famous Birth of Venus and Primavera paintings. Da Vinci's The Annunciation and Michelangelo's Doni Tondo paintings are also showcased here, and your guide will help you interpret these complex works of art.Your afternoon tour ends with a walk along the gallery's rooftop terrace to enjoy panoramic views of Florence.
Taste of Chianti: Tuscan Cheese, Wine and Lunch
Leave central Florence, and travel out of the city by air-conditioned 4x4 minibus. Soon, the views of Florence’s travertine buildings and bustling roads are replaced with the lush green hills of Chianti, the famous wine region nestled in the heart of the Tuscan countryside.Your first stop of the day is at a beautiful winery belonging to one of the most prestigious Italian aristocratic families. Here you taste three wines paired with cheese and two olive oils, but first there’s a fascinating guided tour of the historic wine cellars and to the olive mill through underground tunnels that pass under the villa, and to the enchanting garden of the villa.Hop back inside your 4x4 minibus and buckle up for an off-road experience, through stretches of Tuscany’s ancient woodland and rolling hills, to your next stop: a traditional Tuscan restaurant. Take a seat and treat your taste buds to some of the finest food that Tuscany has to offer; your lunch is sure to be a highlight of the tour! See the Sample Menu below for examples of the dishes.Feeling refreshed, continue with a visit to Greve-in-Chianti, a quintessential Tuscan town with pretty streets and quaint shops. Make the most of some free time to explore, enjoy a coffee (own expense) or simply soak up the unique Italian culture that abounds. Here you will also buy a selection of typical Salumi (cured meats) from one of Italy’s most famous butchers which you will enjoy later at the second winery.The rest of your afternoon is spent deep in the Chianti hills at a vineyard that produces Chianti Classico wine. In contrast to the well-established winery visited in the morning, this second winery is smaller and less-known, but it has produced two award-winning varietals. Sample these varietals, and learn how innovation and ancient traditions have combined to make them. Finish with a sweet treat, and then relax on the journey back to Florence where your tour ends.