If you have been keeping up with us at Explorateur Travel for any amount of time now, you will see that we have a very evident and excitable love for all things Italy, especially Tuscany. Aside from the bountiful supply of vino, this beautiful countryside offers visitors unparalleled views and a culinary experience like no other. So how do you get to this Italian slice of paradise?! There are two international airports in the region, Pisa International Airport Galileo Galilei and Florence Airport Amerigo Vespucci, with direct flights out of some of the major US airports. Fiumicino International Airport in Rome offers the most economical flight options and is only a 2-3 hour drive.
Best Times to Visit: The best times to visit Tuscany are between late September and October and between April and May. During these months, travelers will find comfortable temperatures and fewer crowds at the major sights.
The best part about Tuscany?! It is included on our Eat Italy group trip. If you are looking to add Tuscany to your list of summer travel plans, join us May 31st - June 9th for the Italian trip of a lifetime! Check out our full itinerary and trip details HERE!
Things to do:
Stay at an agriturismo. For a long time, this was one of Italy’s best kept accommodation secrets because it is truly one of the best ways to experience Italy’s countryside. An agriturismo is an independently-owned farm where the owners are typically farmers who have decided to use their home partially for accommodation purposes. An agriturismo allows you to truly experience the countryside as well as the flavors and traditions of Italian cooking firsthand!
Take a cooking class. Other than the wine, Italy is so well known for it’s sensational cuisine. However, because many of the country’s best food traditions can not be found in swanky restaurants it is best to experience from a local first hand at a cooking class!
Go truffle hunting. Tuscany is Italy’s largest supplier of truffles, which are a staple in most Italian meals. Truffle hunting is an age old tradition in Italy, and a “do not miss” on any Tuscany vacation! It involves walking the woods with a hunter and dog who is trained to sniff out truffles underground.
Indulge in wine and olive oil tasting. This one may seem obvious but we couldn’t not include it! The wines and olive oil of the region are truly unique and there is not a better way to learn more about Tuscany than through a tasting!
Pack a picnic and spend the day biking around the countryside. Getting lost and venturing away from the crowds can be one of the best ways to see a region. Spend some time finding the perfect lunch spot, pack a bag and bottle of wine, and simply take in the views this beautiful region has to offer!
Feature Hotels: Castello del Nero, Borgo San Felice, Villa di Piazzano, Castiglion del Bosco
Know Before You Go...
Summer months get warm, so it is best to make sure that your accommodation has air conditioning. Many do not and even though the stone walls can keep it cool, you may find yourself somewhat uncomfortable. Also, we definitely recommend finding a property with a pool in summer months!
Forget everything you think you know about Italian food. Italian food is regional so do not expect to get the same tastes at every place you visit within the country.
Tip wisely. There is a service charge required and included in your bill, however tipping isn't included nor added on as on option. If you get great service, feel free to add a few euro to the total or round up on your total bill but there is no set % expected for tips.
Consider renting a car to get around. The Tuscan roads are easier to manage than the cities and you will get the most out of your stay if you can explore on your own. Transfers can get pricey and then you will be in the countryside without a means of getting to the main towns easily to explore (and eat since many don't have full service restaurants on site).
See more tips here!