Remember the film Under the Tuscan Sun ? That was the first time we had ever heard about Toscana. Ever since, we’ve been fantasizing about going on a road trip to explore this picturesque region that extends from Rome to Florence. If I had to summarize Toscana in only 3 words, I would say it’s: CULTURE, LANDSCAPES and FOOD. However, I believe the effortless blend between the hills, the vineyards and ancient villas is what results in such a delicate harmony.
Have I already convinced you to book your next holidays in Toscana? I have to stop you there. If you wanna go on a perfect planned trip, where everything goes according to a schedule, and no restaurant is fully booked (or has a 45-minute waiting time), then my friends: this may not be the best kind of trip for you.
On the other hand, perhaps you are seeking an authentic experience. This could go from visiting fewer places instead of trying to cover everything in just a couple of days to sleeping at a local B & B where you will be able to connect with the hosts and their culture, discovering genuine Italian delicacies…
This, my friends, is called Slow Travel, and Tuscany is the queen of Slow Tourism.
Bearing this in mind, we were able to enjoy the charms of Toscana at their fullest. Frankly, we did have a rough idea of the little towns we wanted to visit, but also left room for improvisation in case we wanted to take a spontaneous detour.
Here are our tips for an unforgettable trip to the region of wine, pecorino and agriturismo:
How to get around?
We strongly recommend renting a car. That way you will have the freedom of improvising an alternative route and following local tips. For example, we’ve stopped countless times to admire the golden fields, a pink sunset or simply to try home-made traditional cheese. Remember that what makes a trip memorable are the moments you collect on the way.
Where to stay?
The best way to support the local economy and getting the chance to learn more about Italian culture is staying at an Agriturismo. If you’ve never heard about this concept before, I would define it as: travel that is organized around farming, small-scale food production and animals.
We were lucky to stay at two totally different places. Both of them were family owned and made sure we had a unique experience in contact with nature.
The first one was a former monastery and school, which in the 19th century turned into a family villa. At Il Bosso di Toscana, we shared the same roof with an Italian family. At their home there’s only one spare room and it’s entirely dedicated to travellers. They made our visit a special one by telling us all about the whereabouts of their home restoration and what life in such a small town as Abadia Agnano is like. The freshly home-made breakfast was one of the highlights of our stay, together with the shooting stars we were able to see in the evening !
Afterwards, we were delighted to spend time with Elisabeta, Samuele & Django (their cute dog) at Agriturismo La Fontaccia. Offering their guests a privileged location high above Rufina, this agriturismo’s views are out this world. The olive and fruit trees surrounding La Fontaccia allows this Agriturismo to produce home-made olive oil and delicious jams, which fortunately we were able to taste.
Sunset was our favourite time of day: as the sun goes down the atmosphere turns even more magical. And what’s better than that if it’s combined with a delicious candlelight dinner ? Try to picture this for a moment: home-made italian food…a glass of wine… a Tuscan little town on the background… the scents of the countryside… the moonlight… Those are the kind of genuine, unforgettable experiences I was telling you about before.
Some of the pretty towns we visited
This recommendation is only a guide, I suggest you trust your instinct and stop at the towns that attract your attention. That’s what we did with the ones at Chianti. I will let the pictures speak for themselves here 😉
Radda in Chianti:
Panzano in Chianti:
Last but not least: What to eat /drink ?
Well, this a very difficult question because Italian cuisine is so good, you will enjoy trying out everything, I guess. However, I wouldn’t leave Toscana without sipping a glass of the local wine from the Chianti region and tasting the Canelloni, at least once 😉
These are all my tips for now. If you would like read my following blog posts, please remember to like my Facebook page here .
Thank you for reading!