Tuscany is one of the most beautiful regions of Italy to visit offering amazing food, wine, and adventures!
This past autumn I had the pleasure of traveling to Italy for two months, and the entire focus of my trip was to truly explore the beautiful countryside of Tuscany.
Most people don’t realize just how massive Tuscany is. On a map, the region doesn’t look giant, but it’s much bigger than most people would think. A major reason for this is that none of the roads in Tuscany are direct. The roads are winding, curvy, and include many, many hills.
During our two months in Tuscany, we rented a Fiat 500 because I thought it would be fun to rent the traditional Italian car that you see everyone drive in the movies. It’s all about the romance right!?!
Well…Our tiny, low-lying Fiat 500 barely handled the giant hills and uneven gravel roads, especially with our luggage in the trunk. Our saving grace was my Irish husband who is well used to the incredibly narrow roads of Ireland, so he took the task of driving like a champ! It was a quick lesson that while the Fiat 500 is cute for photos and makes parking in tiny hilltop villages a breeze, it’s not ideal for off-the-main-road Tuscan adventures!
All tiny car problems aside, traveling to Tuscany in Autumn was simply magical!
The rolling hills of yellow, red, and orange vineyards made our drives seem like something out of a movie. The fresh country air, the crunch of the fallen leaves, and the smell of the fresh dirt made every walk a real sensory experience. BUT the biggest highlight of Tuscany was the food and wine.
Italians expect only the best because they are surrounded by so many incredible quality products. In Tuscany, nearly every road you go down could lead you to a winery, a cheese farm, an olive oil mill, or a cured meat and local butcher shop. It’s heaven on earth for food and wine lovers!
Fun Facts About Tuscany
It’s one of the largest regions in Italy and spans nearly 9,000 square miles!
Tuscany is the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance!
Sangiovese is one of the main grapes grown across the region. Yum!
You’ve seen Tuscany make many appearances on the big screen including films like Under the Tuscan Sun, The English Patient, A Room with a View, Twilight, House of Gucci, and the TV show Succession!
The story of Pinocchio originated in Tuscany!
Tuscany Wine Adventures
There is a TON of ground to cover when visiting wineries in this region, and I am happy to say I made a small dent in the list! Chianti is one of the most prolific wine-producing areas in Tuscany, and I had the pleasure of visiting a family-run winery by the name of Le Filigare.
Alessandro, the third-generation Winemaker at Le Filigare, is the most humble, warm, and friendly human being. He refuses to take personal credit for these beautiful wines because "It takes more than one man to create wine. It takes a team and a family coming together." Le Filigare's biggest bottle production is his Chianti Classico (a traditional blend) which makes 40,000 bottles! When I told him we were staying just down the road he told us to pop by anytime for some more wine, a chat, and a tour of his home.
Tuscany Food Adventures
Half the reason you travel to Italy is because of the amazing food, right!? Tuscany provides you with non-stop, scrumptious restaurants that will give you the best food coma of your life. Italy of course is home to pasta, and when I say be prepared to eat more pasta than you can imagine, I mean it!
Located in the hilltop village of Cortona, Ristorante La Loggetta was my favorite meal. It doesn’t hurt that the restaurant is located in a historic building from the 1200s and in the spring and summer, you can dine outdoors as well with views like this:
Let me give you a rundown of the amazing foods we had during our visit:
Wild Boar Ragu with Homemade Tagliatelle
Medio Sangue - steak cooked to absolute perfection!
Mille-feuille with Cream + Berries
Pan-Seared Cod with Roasted Potatoes, Tomatoes, and Olives!
From the setting to the service, La Loggetta was just one of many fantastic meals we had in Tuscany. One of the things I love about sharing a meal abroad is the relaxed atmosphere. The staff truly understand your meal is an experience, and there is no rush to hurry and eat. Rather, they want you to take your time, talk, and enjoy one another’s company. Perfection!
One of my favorite experiences hands down was a hot air balloon ride through the countryside. I was particularly excited to have the opportunity to share this experience with my dear friend who came to visit.
Your day begins with the most magical flight of your life. You see and experience the Italian countryside from the clouds! Stunning views and picture-perfect moments will simply take your breath away.
After landing in a farmer’s field, you are welcomed to the most beautiful feast you could imagine. Pastries, fruit, and of course, Prosecco! From start to finish, this hot air balloon experience will be something you talk about for years to come and it is perfect for couples, families, and independent travelers.
Incredible Wine, delicious food, and magical moments in the sky are just some of the many reasons to travel to Tuscany. But there is so much more!
In Closing: The longer I travel, the more I truly, truly believe that less is more.
Whether you have been to Italy many times or are looking forward to your first trip, I would suggest an adventure exclusively to Tuscany.
Tuscany allows you to experience Italy in an entirely different and off-the-beaten-path way. It’s something that can be harder to do in the larger and more populated cities.
I’d urge you to people-watch at the local trattoria with a glass of wine. To lay in bed and listen to the church bells chime on a Sunday morning. To awaken early and watch the sunrise over the Tuscan hills. Be brave and order your daily espresso standing with the locals at the cafe. Or go on a drive in your tiny car while listening to Italian arias with the wind blowing through your hair.
These moments make up some of the sweetest chapters of our lives. Make sure you take the time to truly enjoy them.
Biggest Hugs sent from Europe!
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