From masterpieces of Renaissance art to picture perfect natural beauty, Tuscany truly has it all. However, it is also overflowing with tasty reasons to visit. For many visitors, the food is as much a part of its appeal as are the markets and traditional festivals that light up its squares every fall.
For those who wish to explore these tastes and traditions, we have the perfect option for you — three wonderful, fully-guided tours being offered this autumn.
Organised by Vitalia Tours, these tours give you the chance to see the best of Tuscany, savour typical dishes, taste perfectly aged wines, and take cooking lessons from a local chef as well as visit autumn food fairs, a spectacular Medieval festival, and local artisans at work.
The Farm to Table Tour & The Fall Festival Tour
For foodies, The Farm to Table Tour and the Fall Festival Tour are a feast for the senses. Both of them take place over eleven days after the grape harvest at the beginning of autumn. They provide a full-immersion into the world of Tuscan food, while showing you the highlights of Florence, the Chianti region, the towns of Cortona and Arezzo, and other quaint villages.
These are hands-on experiences, where you will do everything from visiting olive mills to watching a Tuscan truffle-hunter and his dog scout for their precious bounty. There are food festivals to attend, a visit to an exclusive boutique winery, wine tastings, and a trip to Pienza to see how Pecorino is made.
Then, there are cooking lessons where you’ll learn how to prepare delicious local dishes yourself. With the help of an expert chef and using time-honoured techniques, you will combine local ingredients into a savoury meal. Needless to say, every day comes with a different gastronomic treat, and you can expect to enjoy multi-course dinners in beautiful areas all around Tuscany.
Both tours give you the chance to explore the cultural side of Tuscany, from the beauty of Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance, to magical Cortona and Arezzo, where Roberto Benigni’s “Life is Beautiful” was filmed. You’ll discover the Chianti wine region, its vineyards, and the otherworldly beauty of the Val d’Orcia, where you can wander the streets of Montepulciano and visit the romantic city of Pienza.
The Traditions of Tuscany Tour & the Joust of the Saracen
If you wish to mix your food enthusiasm with your taste for living history, the Traditions of Tuscany Tour throws in some real-life Medieval excitement. On this ten-day tour, you’ll have the unique chance to visit the Giostra del Saracino, or Joust of the Saracen, one of Tuscany’s most famed Medieval festivals, as well as visit wineries, farms and olive mills.
Arezzo has always had a long tradition of jousting and tournaments, and this is one of the most spectacular. Also included is a visit to the perfectly preserved Piazza Grande, dressed with banners and colours representing the different districts, it is one of the most beautiful squares in Tuscany.
On this small group tour, you’ll play witness to the magical allure of these cultural traditions. And like everything in Italy, these traditions seek to bring people together with good food and good wine at the table. You’ll have the opportunity to observe and learn about the Italian rituals and traditions of making everything from Tuscan bread to coffee and chocolate, and from farmers producing prosciutto and cheese, to olive oil and of course, wine.
You’ll see the best of Tuscany in an experience that includes major historical sites as well as off-the-beaten path destinations. You’ll be able to watch artisans at work, and take in the Fiera Antiquaria — a busy market that is perhaps the biggest and most beautiful antique market in Italy. You’ll also be able to explore the traditions of the Chianti and the exquisite gem of Cortona, the backdrop to Francis Mayes’ bestselling book, “Under the Tuscan Sun.”
On the Fall Festival Tour, you’ll stay in a real Tuscan farmhouse with a scenic view of the surrounding hills and valleys. On the Farm to Table Tour, accommodation includes three nights in Florence, two nights in the Chianti, and five nights at an agriturismo in the Tuscan countryside. Lastly, the Traditions of Tuscany Tour include four nights in Arezzo in a 16th century farmhouse, and five nights in an agriturismo in the Tuscan countryside.
There is so much to savour here — the only difficulty is choosing which tour to go on. Buon viaggio!
This is a sponsored post produced by Love from Tuscany on behalf of Vitalia Tours & Celebrations