While youâ€™re sure to get a glimpse into Tuscanyâ€™s best architectural and artistic gems when you visit Florence, walking tours and other popular excursions in and around city generally miss out on two of the regionâ€™s major perks: its world-famous wines and olive oils. In order to experience these Tuscan troves, youâ€™ll have to venture away from Florenceâ€™s hordes of tourists and into the surrounding countryside, whose bucolic landscapes are reason enough to go off the beaten track.
If youâ€™re looking for an excursion that combines exceptional sights and exceptional tastes, a wine and olive oil tasting tour in the Tuscan countryside ticks all of the boxes. Hereâ€™s what you can â€“ and should â€“ expect from a reputable guided outing.
Say â€œBuongiornoâ€ to Stunning Scenery
After getting their bearings on a Florence walking tour, visitors often follow up this outing with a wine and olive oil tasting in the afternoon. At this time of the day, you have the best chance of experiencing the Tuscan countryside in its complete, sundrenched glory.
While itâ€™s possible to go on a hike, this option â€“ while beautiful â€“ is not time-effective when youâ€™re trying to make the most of your Italian getaway. Instead, I recommend that you book a tour thatâ€™ll take you up to the panoramic peeks of the Tuscan hills in a clean and comfy minivan. This method of transportation will enable you to see the scenic sights of the region in an effortless and timely manner. Why not snap some photos to immortalise your experience?
Say â€œWowâ€ to Natural and Cultural Exploration
Although youâ€™ll begin by exploring the countryside in a minivan, donâ€™t worry: youâ€™ll have plenty of time to experience the wonders of the area firsthand. There are several Tuscan villas that are nestled in the regionâ€™s rolling hills, and the best tours will arrange for you to visit these. From these historic spots, youâ€™ll enjoy a breathtaking view of the surrounding natural scenery, and will also receive a guided tour of the properties, which are owned by Italyâ€™s nobility.
Say â€œDeliziosoâ€ to Tuscan Wine and Olive Oil
While the first two parts of these rural excursions appeal to nature, history and architecture lovers, the final element is sure to tantalise your tastebuds. Along with learning about the villaâ€™s on-site vineyards and wineries (and, in some cases, olive mills), youâ€™ll be able to taste the regionâ€™s award-winning Chianti wines. If youâ€™re not an oenophile yet, youâ€™re certain to become one after the English-speaking wine experts share their passion for these full-bodied reds with you.
In addition to getting an insider glimpse into the villasâ€™ production of Chianti wines, youâ€™ll learn a thing or two about the regionâ€™s extra virgin olive oil, which is best enjoyed on a piece of fresh Italian bread. While you may think that the difference between your local supermarketâ€™s extra virgin olive oil and Tuscanyâ€™s is minimal, youâ€™ll definitely change your opinion upon sampling this local delicacy. Make sure to leave some room in your suitcase for bottles of wine and olive oil â€“ trust me, youâ€™ll need it!
Say â€œCin Cinâ€ and â€œBuon Appetitoâ€ on a Tasting Tour
If youâ€™re ready to feast your eyes and palate on Tuscan treasures, go beyond the basic introduction that youâ€™ll receive on a Florence walking tour. To experience the sights and tastes of rural Tuscany, why not sign up for our guided Wines of Nobility Tour? After this exciting and delicious experience, youâ€™ll emerge an expert on the regionâ€™s natural and gastronomic delights â€“ in only four hours!
Rose Magers is an Australian-born Italophile and the founder of ArtViva. With an international reputation for excellence and creativity, ArtViva are at the forefront of escorted day tours in Italy. Rose has indulged her own passion for history and the arts by designing an innovative range of exceptional small group day tours and experiences, whether a Florence walking tour, an unforgettable Tuscan wine tasting tour, or an afternoon of grape stomping.
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