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Tuscany Travel Guide: Top itinerary & things to do

Tuscany Travel Guide: Top itinerary & things to do

Un week-end en Toscane : entre villes et nature

Ready to go for a weekend in Tuscany? Winalist gives you the essential steps to live during 3 days in Italy!

Located in the center-west of Italy and north of Rome, the Tuscany region attracts thousands of visitors from all over the world every year. Renowned for its agriculture, its fashion industry but also for its extremely rich cultural and political history, Tuscany is an essential place during a stay in Italy. Florence, its provincial capital, covers much of Renaissance art and architecture. We find there “David” by Michelangelo as well as the works of other world-renowned artists such as Leonardo da Vinci, Botticelli, Fra Angelico. Many authors have also allowed Tuscany to be so significant today, such as Machiavelli or even Catherine de Medici.

Tuscany is home to sumptuous and varied natural landscapes: the beaches of the island of Elba, the peaks of the Apennines, the many olive groves or the vineyards of the Chianti Valley. The Chiantigiana (or simply known as the SR 222) is the road that connects Florence to Siena. It is also one of the most beautiful roads in Italy, crossing hectares of vineyards producing the famous Chianti Classico DOCG.

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In order to visit and enjoy this region as it should be, we have put together a little travel guide for an unforgettable weekend in Tuscany! On the program: cultural visits, moments of relaxation, many culinary specialties and unusual wine tourism experiences to practice with the winegrowers of the region.

Day 1 of your weekend in Tuscany: direction Florence

To start your weekend in Tuscany, it is essential to visit Florence, one of the most beautiful cities in Italy. To do this, go to Caffe Rosano to take a coffee or tea with you and head to the Cattedrale de Santa Maria del Fiore. This Gothic cathedral, built in 1296 and consecrated in 1436, can accommodate up to 20,000 people and offers breathtaking views of the city from the top of its 463 steps.

La Cattedrale de Santa Maria del Fiore qui domine Florence
The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore which dominates Florence

Take a well-deserved lunch break to taste one of the Florentine specialties that is lampredotto. Considered the typical street food of Florence, this sandwich consists of thinly sliced tripe cooked in court-bouillon. You can also be served on a plate if you are not a bread lover (rare for a French person…).

The popular place for a good lampredotto is the Da Nerbone restaurant at Mercato Centrale.

Resume your walk by going to the Bargello Palace which is housed in a former prison. Composed of a museum, the Bargello houses various works of the most popular such as the bronze statue of Donatello, representing David, or even the beginnings of Michelangelo such as the Bacchus sculpture. This Palace / Museum is quite neglected by tourists, which allows art lovers to be able to contemplate these works quietly.

Arrêt indispensable lors de votre week-end en Toscane : à la découverte des vignerons
Essential stop during your weekend in Tuscany: discovering the winegrowers

To end your day in Florence, we invite you to go to the south of the city, to Prato, to the Tenuta di Capezzana Estate. The winegrowers will introduce you to the estate and give you a guided tour of the rose garden, the old cellar and the oil mill. In order to discover the wine specialties of the region, a tasting of two wines will be offered to you.

Day 2: discovering Pisa

For the second day of your weekend in Tuscany, leave early in the morning for Pisa, a city with exceptional charm.

Découvrez les secrets d’une bonne production de vin à l’italienne
Discover the secrets of a good Italian wine production

Very well known for its famous tower, Pisa has other assets such as its wine-growing lands. On your journey between Florence and Pisa, stop at Domaine Dalle Nostre Mani to discover the secrets of good Italian wine production. The winegrowers of the Domaine will guide you to the cellars, the vineyards but will also take you on a tour of their organic farm and their kitchen! You will be offered a tasting of red wine just out of the barrel. You can have lunch at the estate thanks to James, the professional chef, who will be delighted to give you a cooking class. You will then learn the secrets of a good preparation of fresh pasta such as spaghetti, tagliatelle or ravioli. Between May and October, the Domaine Dalle Nostre Mani puts its swimming pool at your disposal so that you can cool off before your trip to Pisa!

First essential stop: go to the Tower of Pisa. Leaning at an angle of 3.59 degrees to the south, this tower was built at the beginning of the year 1173 and its construction spanned two centuries. Indeed, in 1178, the tower began to lean following the addition of a third floor and construction was then interrupted for 90 years.

You can then go to the Battistero di San Giovanni, or the Baptistery of Saint John, which is the largest baptistery in Italy with its 55 meters high. This historical monument unites two different architectures: Romanesque and Gothic.

In a style very different from what is given to see in Italy, meet in front of the Church of Sant’Antonio Abate to do an introspection of its facades. On one of them, you will come across the “Tuttomondo” mural painted in 1989 by American artist Keith Haring. This work represents global harmony and the thirty characters present each offer a different aspect of peace in the world. You will see a woman holding a child in her arms to represent motherhood or two men lifting a dolphin and thus representing the relationship of man with nature.

tuscany travel guide - Tuscany Travel Guide: Top itinerary & things to do - 2022 - 8

After this cultural getaway, we invite you to recharge your batteries in the Migliarino – San Rossore – Massaciuccoli natural park. Inaugurated in 1979, this park consists of a lake and covers approximately 24,000 hectares along the coast. We find there fish, turtles but also 250 species of birds. The natural park includes the Massaciuccoli marsh as well as the remains of the ancient Pisan forest.

End of your weekend in Tuscany

Before saying goodbye to Italian landscapes, we strongly invite you to contemplate the extensive hilly area between Florence and Siena, the Chianti. The panoramas offered are breathtaking and this is why Chianti is renowned for being the “true heart of Tuscany”. This place or rather this name is also famous for a red wine known throughout the world, Chianti.

Picture “A Chianti tasting to end this weekend in Tuscany”

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End your weekend in Tuscany in style: the Château di Bossi invites you to a tasting of this exceptional wine within their estate. Three cuvées will be presented to you: the Chianti Classico, the Chianti Classico Riserva and the Gran Selezione Chianti Classico.

If you are passing through the Tuscan villages, do not hesitate to knock on the door of an Italian winemaker to enjoy a glass of Chianti.

The Tuscany region offers so many other sublime cities to visit, as much for their cultural beauty as for their wine-growing talent. If your stay is to be extended, don’t miss the wine tourism experiences of our Tuscan partner hosts on Winalist.

You will be greatly surprised if you thought that the Chianti wine route follows a straight route, or perhaps a circle. Instead, you will follow zigzag roads, typical of the region. But don’t be discouraged, your efforts will be amply rewarded with enchanting views of the Tuscan countryside and the discovery of charming medieval towns as you sample the delicious Chianti wines.

For an even more inspiring visit to Chiantigiana, take the time to visit at least a few of the ancient towns along the way. Also make one – or more stops in the small local vineyards. Most wineries are open to the public, but check well before you visit to avoid disappointment.

FAQ & Useful resources

What are the most beautiful villages in Tuscany?

– San Gimignano
– Fosdinovo
– Monteriggioni
– Montalcino
– Pitigliano
– Cortona
– Montepulciano
– Volterra

What to taste in Tuscany?

Other quality products are renowned, all over the world.
In the Valla dell’Orcia, in Pienza, the best Pecorino PDO Toscano is produced (the ancient sheep’s cheese that is found in all regions and especially in Sardinia). Many establishments in the surrounding countryside offer tastings.
The Pienzasolp company, for example, produces, in addition to the classic Tuscan pecorino, ricotta, caciotte and jams to spread on cheese.
For those with a sweet tooth, there is the “Chocolate Valley“: a valley that includes Pisa, Pistoia and Prato, renowned for the production of chocolate and a new way of looking at its consumption. For the visit, it is the De Bondt laboratory: a small artisanal company located in the historic center of Pisa which produces a very varied range of flavored chocolates. And then there is the olive oil of course! The PGI Extra Virgin Olive Oil consortium has 11,000 companies. Castagneto Carducci, located about 60 km from Livorno, is considered one of the towns of oil: a feast for the tasting takes place every January.

When is the best time to visit Tuscany?

The best month to visit Tuscany, Italy, is April: the beginning of spring offers a gorgeous weather and kicks off the beginning of the tourist season. Many hotels that close during the winter, reopen in spring for the Easter season. You’ll be immersed in Italian festivities for the Holy Week, Liberation Day on April 25 and the Flower festivals in May,

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