‘How do you say ‘clothes dryer’ in Italian?’, I asked a top English-speaking Italian friend.
A puzzled look came over his face as he replied, ‘You mean the clothes line? Or the clothes rack?’
‘No’, I said.
‘Then you must mean the sun – ‘il sole’, he tried.
‘No, no – I mean the electric clothes drying machine.’
Comprehension still evaded our friend, who asked what use could there possibly be for a machine for drying clothing when there is the sun and the fresh air for free. And in winter, there are the radiators or open fire places to heat the room and dry the clothes.
This is why we love Tuscany, and Tuscans for that matter.
The basic things in life are so good that they not only suffice, they satisfy. They satiate. And they sustain throughout time.
Our friend has a law degree, has travelled the world, is fluent in English and Italian, and yet lives in a town where clothes dryers don’t exist, where lunch breaks involve two hours spent with the family to enjoy great home-cooked meals using grandma’s recipes. Mushrooms are found in the nearby fields, fruit and vegetables come from the ‘orto’ (fruit and vegetable fields) of friends, freshly produced extra virgin olive oil is gifted each season by friends who own olive groves.
And there is no take away food within miles and miles, just unblemished Tuscan hillside in the distance.
Stunning hillside spiked by the typical cypress trees, peppered with historical Tuscan villa estates. The down-slopes braided with carefully cured vineyards that produce the famous Tuscan wines, as clusters of olive trees form nearby groves.
It is impossible not to feel invigorated by these surroundings, to have life be put into perspective by the history in which you are surrounded. The important things rise up from life like the rolling hills, everything becomes clearer and you realize, the Tuscans are onto something with their focus on the really important things: good food, good wine, good company, good living.
If you are looking for some great things to do in Tuscany to enjoy local cuisine, explore the Tuscan countryside in a small group, taste Tuscan wine and the like, we have a great range of small-group Tuscany tours.
Visit a Tuscan villa on the Taste of Tuscany at the Villa wine tour. Explore the historic wine estate before undertaking a wine tasting. Tread through the terrain, enjoying spectacular views of the Tuscan countryside up-close and personal.
Stroll through the Tuscan countryside, join us for a Perfect Morning in Tuscany small-group walking tour. Leaving from Florence’s city centre and heading to the surrounding countryside, this small-group walking tour includes, well, walking in Tuscany, as well as lunch with wine at a stunning Renaissance Villa Estate, accompanied by an expert tour guide.
If you would like to immerse yourself in the Tuscan countryside and be part of the scenery that has inspired so many great artworks, we have a small-group Best of Tuscany tour visiting Siena, San Gimignano and Monteriggioni, and stopping for lunch and wine tasting at an award-winning wine estate. See the highlights of Tuscany in one spectacular day tour from Florence – Best of Tuscany small-group tour.
To learn about the traditional Italian ingredients and learn to make delicious, typical dishes before indulging in a delicious meal made by you, we have hands-on cooking classes in Florence.
To explore other areas of Italy, can check out our Artviva Walking Tours website to read more about the tours we have to offer in Florence, Rome, Venice, Cinque Terre, Umbria, Naples, Pompeii and more.