Tuscany has so much to offer: art, history, local culture, food, wine, countryside and sunshine. It can be really tough to know where to start to get the best from the region. Personally I’m still discovering new delights, even after spending years here and after countless Tuscany tours.
So if you’re only visiting the region for a holiday period, then we’ve put together a one-day tour that will make sure you get a concentrated dose of its finest attractions.
The Best of Local Culture: 3 Hilltop Towns
In the morning, we’ll all meet at the designated point in Florence, where you’ll board your private vehicle with your guide to start your day of exploration. We’ll be taking the group to 3 iconic medieval hilltop towns: Siena, San Gimignano and Monteriggioni.
These towns have preserved the essence of local Tuscan culture and we make sure that you will have a chance to wander the charming cobbled streets, soak up the atmosphere over an espresso and even pick up a few traditional mementoes of the area.
The Best of Tuscan Art & History
The first stop on our tour is Siena, a Tuscan treasure that boasts impressive architecture, sculptures, artwork and more. This metropolis is particularly renowned for its twelfth-century cathedral (Duomo). In addition to admiring its intricate mosaic floor, you’ll have a chance to discover the cathedral’s precious paintings and sculptures, including celebrated pieces by Bernini, Michelangelo and Donatello.
After exploring the historic sights and sounds of Siena, we’ll take you to San Gimignano, a medieval settlement that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s commonly known as ‘The Town of Fine Towers,’ a name that derives from the municipality’s iconic towers. In the Middle Ages, these stone structures were commissioned as status symbols by local, affluent families. We’ll be taking you to see the 15 surviving towers for yourself as well as the town’s impressive array of architectural wonders, featuring Romanesque and Gothic styles.
In addition to the historic gems of Siena and San Gimignano, you’ll get to discover the cultural attractions of Monteriggioni with us. This township is world-famous for its walled castle, which dates back to the eleventh century and is a former military stronghold. The surprisingly well-preserved structure features 14 spectacular towers, which were even mentioned by Dante in The Divine Comedy.
The Best Local Food
One of the best – and certainly the most delicious – parts of our Tuscany tours is the food and drink, which are included in the price. For lunch, we’ll take you to a fantastic local estate, where you’ll savour seasonal and authentically Tuscan produce. The scrumptious and freshly prepared meal includes specialties that you’ll struggle to find elsewhere, such as Prosciutto di Cinta Senese, a very rare kind of ham that is made from the meat of an ancient breed of pigs.
Guests on past tours with us have particularly loved the olive oil and wine tastings. You’ll get a glimpse of the area’s finest olive groves and vineyards during these sessions. Buon appetito and cin cin!
The Best Tuscan Views
Of course, Tuscany tours wouldn’t be complete without taking in the area’s picture-perfect vistas. During our excursion, we’ll stop on route, from where you’ll have a breathtaking – and arguably the best – view of the Tuscan countryside.
In San Gimignano, I always encourage our more intrepid guests to climb up the town’s bell tower. Although the climb is steep, you’ll be rewarded with a panoramic outlook that you’ll definitely want to immortalise in photos.
The Best Tuscan Stories
Not only do we give you access to the best of Tuscany on our guided tours; we also bring the region alive with stories and tips along the way. Our guides are a bottomless source of fascinating facts and eccentric tales, which will introduce you to a Tuscany that you won’t find in a guide book.
One of my favourite anecdotes is about Assassin’s Creed, a video game that has become a global sensation. If you’re wondering how this relates to our tour, then make sure you join our friendly and knowledgeable guides who are ready to surprise you with intimate details of Monteriggioni’s role in the game!
Not only will you get the full scoop on the video game’s historical edge, but you’ll leave your tour brimming with other fun facts and stories that you can’t get from traditional guide books.
Tuscany contains a wealth of cultural, historical and gastronomic miracles, which is why we are committed to helping you experience the very best of the region.
The Practical Stuff
Tour Duration: 9 hours
Dates & Times: Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at 8:15 am between March and November
Suitable For: Art History Lovers, Nature Lovers, Food & Wine Enthusiasts, All Ages