When we think about the countryside in Tuscany, we think of idyllic landscape. Rolling hills, cypress trees, olive groves, vineyards dotted with beautiful farmhouses and ancient hamlets. But how to make the most of it? Let’s take a look at some of the amazing ways you can experience the Tuscan countryside.
Whether it’s a relaxing holiday, a biking experience, a hiking trip, a cooking class or a wine tasting experience – this place has it all. Not to mention of course riding a Vespa on the Tuscan hills!
Things to enjoy in the Tuscan countryside
Hiking in the Tuscan hills
If you’re the active type, walking in nature is a great way to appreciate all the colours and beauty of the Tuscan landscape.
You can follow in the footsteps of ancient pilgrims by hiking the Via Francigena, that crosses central Tuscany. This fantastic 8-km Trek Tour along the Via Francigena from Siena takes you past picturesque castles, villages and vineyards. and finishes on a delicious note. Once you reach the medieval walled village of Monteriggioni, you can reward yourself with a wine tasting session.
=> Serious athletes might want to check out the famous Chianti Marathon – 2nd June 2019 (official site), and the Tuscany Crossing in the Val d’Orcia – 26th/27th April 2019.
Exploring Tuscany on a bike
Bike tours are getting more and more popular in Tuscany these days. It’s a healthy and natural way to explore this wonderful region, breathing in the clean air and the green views. Joining a cycling tour is a brilliant way to exercise, surrounded by the most spectacular rural landscape imaginable.
True, the hills are a challenge, but many tour companies provide e-bikes for the less athletic riders, so you can concentrate on the views rather than catching your breath.
This exclusive Wine Tour from Florence takes you through the beautiful Chianti wine region on two wheels. Along the way through the rolling hills, you’ll stop at two different wineries to taste their wares and discover all about the process of wine making in the Chianti.
Join a Vespa tour
When in Italy, do as the Italians do. Hop on a Vespa and hit the winding Tuscan roads. The Vespa Tour is a fun, and daring activity that has become a must-do for many visitors to Italy.
This popular Vespa Tour from Florence combines the hills of the Chianti with some wine and olive oil tasting at a local farm. Or if you’re based in Siena check out this great Vespa Tour with lunch that includes the fortified village of Monteriggioni and the most scenic spots in the Chianti area.
There’ll be plenty of winding roads and panoramic spots for you to put your Vespa through its paces. What could be more Italian?
Wine tasting in style
Wine tasting is one of true delights of a Tuscan holiday. Go in search of the delectable local nectar in ancient cellars surrounded by rolling hills or modern wine making facilities where you can learn about wines; from the Sangiovese based Chianti and Brunello di Montalcino to the noble wines of Montepulciano.
Wine tasting here is an art. You can do it by yourself, by contacting the wineries to arrange a visit. Just don’t expect to to be able to turn up out of the blue, most of these wineries are not open all-day so you need to book in advance.
If you’d rather not drive you can join a tour: this Half-Day Chianti Tour offers you the chance to visit three wineries, taste different wines, visit the cellars and learn about the production process. The smell of the cellars, the bottles lined up on the racks, and even the ever-so-authentic dust, all contributes to the unique charm of Tuscan wine!
Searching for the perfect fruit
Grape harvesting, olive picking, truffle hunting. You name it, in Tuscany they probably do it. Nature gives a-plenty here when it comes to food. It’s a territory that produces some of the finest wines and olive oils in the world, using centuries old techniques and knowledge.
You can get inside the magical world of wine and olive oil making, by taking part in a harvest in one of the many agriturismi. Or experience Truffle Hunting in the Sienese countryside with a local guide and his truffle dog.
Cooking classes in the Tuscan countryside
Once the fruits of the earth have been harvested, it’s time to learn how to cook them. Cooking classes in the Tuscan countryside combine the benefit of learning a few Italian cooking tricks with the chance to taste local food made with the freshest ingredients.
This Cooking class in a traditional Tuscan farm in the Chianti hills will teach you how to prepare a traditional 3 course meal. What’s the best thing about it? You’ll be able to eat what you’ve prepared, and try out some amazing traditional recipes. Italians take their cooking very seriously, and the quality of ingredients is always top-notch.
Simply take it easy and enjoy the landscape
Of course one the simplest and most enjoyable past-times is just enjoying the landscape. Simply be at one with it, and take things slowly. Staying in a farm or agriturismo allows you to disconnect from modern life. Forget Wi-Fi connections – they are not at their fastest here! – and embrace the pleasant rhythm of the Tuscan countryside.
A holiday can be the perfect opportunity to reconnect with nature, and appreciate the sounds and the colours it gifts us every season. See how the light changes on the fields throughout the day. Look out for lizards, birds and crickets. And notice how at night the stars shine that much brighter when you’re far enough from the city.
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