The cypress-pierced Tuscan landscape arches up as if wanting to lift the trees even closer to the perfect blue Tuscan sky. Quaint farmhouses watch out over their metered olive groves that perch above the vineyards rolled out down the hillside. Towns nestle on the hilltops, sentries throughout the centuries. The roadsides are lined with red poppies and purple and yellow wildflowers that burst out from the green fields beyond. And the sun, the famous Tuscan sun perches in the sky above, ever watching as the Tuscan countryside swings past below each day.
At this time of year, the air presents you with occasional whiffs of perfume emitted from the wildflowers as they heat up in the midday sun. There is the amazing aroma of slow-cooked recipes, roasting meats and barbecues cooked over wood-fires in stone-walled courtyards around Tuscany. There is also the occasional sharp smell of just harvested grapes undergoing their first fermentation on their way to the end result of delicious Chianti and Tuscany wines produced in the stunning Tuscan surrounds, the whiff of promises of greatness.
Maybe it’s the views of Tuscany, the thrill of being in one of the most beautiful places to visit on earth, or perhaps the anticipation of our destination, but sheer joy seems to pulse through our veins as we drive along the winding Tuscan roads.
We’re on our way to the annual wine festival, Vino al Vino in Panzano. As we wind our way up and around the final curve, we find cars parked a fair way back from the town centre where the Tuscany wine festival is being held. Italians have a very creative approach to parking cars, and it is no exception here with diagonal parking, vehicles stacked in and around here and there along the road side like a game of Tetris gone askew.
Having parked our own car, we wander up and around the last curve, being enticed Pied Piper-esque by the sound of live jazz music that pulls us effortlessly up the last inclination towards our destination. Trees hang overhead, the gentle breeze whispering, ‘this way, this way’ in time with each step, and then, then we arrive at this great Tuscan wine festival held in the central Piazza Bucciarelli of this charming hilltop town nestled in the Tuscan countryside.
Entry to the Vino al Vino wine festival in Panzano requires paying a small entry fee (not much more than around 10 euro) to receive a glass that allows you to wonder from one Tuscan wine tasting stall to the next that lines the small central piazza, in which hundreds of people gather to savour the best of Tuscany – great wines produced in the Tuscan wine estates in the surrounding hillside, cheese and hams, and other great tastes of Tuscany.
Some dance, some quietly sit around the piazza’s central fountain to consumed by the music, others chatter away.
In the heart of Chianti wine region, Panzano is famed for its ‘Vino al Vino’ wine festival, which is hosted here each third weekend of September. However, the pizza made in the by-the-slice little store just across from the Tuscan wine festival is worth the visit in itself!
And here it is that we find ourselves, best pizza in town, tasting great Tuscan wine, sitting down on a cobbled garden wall as we look out over the stunning Tuscan countryside views before us as Tuscany slowly rolls out of the sunlight’s range for another day whilst live jazz music serenades the night.
Great food, great wine, wonderful company in bella Toscana.
To visit a charming Tuscan town on a great small-group guided Tuscany tour that includes a visit to this off-the-beaten-track charming Tuscan village town, we have 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.
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 too, as well as 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.
You can also see the stunning Tuscan countryside by bike on our Original Tuscany Bike Tour – a small-group guided bike tour through Tuscany including lunch and wine tasting.
If you are looking for some great things to do in Tuscany to explore the Tuscan countryside and 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.
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. You can also email us on firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.