Tuscany Day Trips and Wine Tours
Our Region is world wide known for being rich in art and history. Especially historians often refer to Florence as the Cradle of Renaissance. Indeed the capital city was home of great artists like Donatello, Botticelli and Brunelleschi, to name just a few of them. But this is not the only reason attracting thousands of travellers every year. Also the evocative agricultural landscape with its rolling hills, ancient farmhouses and castles makes Tuscany one of the most appreciated destinations in Italy. Strictly related to our land, is the food and wine tradition with many officially acknowledged Wine Trails. Therefore, here we give you some useful information about possible Tuscany Day Trips to discover our huge food and wine inheritance.
From Florence to Chianti and more Wine Areas
Most of the travellers getting to Tuscany usually choose Florence as their first destination. This is a good idea not only for the incredible historic and artistic treasures hidden in this city, but also for the enchanting landscape right outside of the city borders. This is a landscape offering a huge variety of typical products that are strictly connected to the locals and their traditions.
Among the most appreciated products of the land, we find wine. Surely, many know that Tuscany is home to many DOCG wines such as Chianti Classico and Brunello di Montalcino. They hail from the Sangiovese grape, that has been locally grown since 1716 or even earlier perhaps. Chianti is certainly the most accesible wine district from Florence and also one of the most renowed Tuscan labels abroad. However, there are several wine districts in the region. All of them offer the possibility to taste unique wines paired to local products like salumi, honey, extra virgin olive oil and much more.
Official Wine Routes for Day Trips from Florence
From Mugello to Lunigiana, from Chianti to Maremma and the Etruscan Coast, the region of Tuscany officially aknowledged more than 20 Wine, Oil and Flavour Routes to promote Tuscan wines and more products of our land. Visittuscany gives travellers detailed information about each of them, helping the visitor localize the routes on a map. Each Trail aims to promote and protect our food and wine culture to share it at the same time with people interested in our traditions. They all go through magic landscapes dotted with vineyards, hamlets and olive grooves. In addition, they offer interesting views over historical and artistic attractions throughout the Tuscan territory.
Below we introduce you to some of the socalled Strade del Vino, dell’olio & dei sapori.
The Chianti Classico Wine District
This area extends from Florence to Siena. It develops around the Chiantigiana, a 69 km road crossing vineyards, olive grooves and romantic villages. Among them Greve in Chianti, Impruneta, Castellina in Chianti, Radda in Chianti and Gaiole in Chianti. The main product along this trail is wine, especially the Chianti Classico DOCG, that comes from the previous mentioned Sangiovese grapes or additional red varietals like Canaiolo and Colorino. The official symbol sealing the Chianti Classico Wine and Olive Oil Trail is the “Gallo Nero” since 1924. A chianti Classico Wine Festival takes place every year in the village of Greve in Chianti. Another wine product is the Chianti Classico Vinsanto DOC. This sweet dessert wine originates from the dried white grapes Malvasia and Trebbiano.
Like the other routes, it offers not only wine but other traditional products like the Chianti Classico Extra-Virgin Olive Oil DOP. You will dicover also tasty recipies from the rural Tuscan cuisine like Chianina meat, wild boar and cinta senese. In this area it is worth to mention several castles you can include to your visit, like Castello di Verrazzano. In Castello di Fonterutoli (in Castellina in Chianti) you can visit a big underground wine cellar built on three levels. One of the oldest wine cellars in Italy is located at Castello di Brolio. You can find more contemporary designed cellars few kilometers outside Florence, in the Cantina Antinori, hidden behid olive grooves and oak trees.
The Vernaccia di San Gimignano Wine Trail
In the very heart of Tuscany and south from Florence, San Gimignano is today famous for its characteristic skyline. Indeed, people usually refer to the village as the Manhattan of the Middle Ages for the medieval towers visible in the distance. The Vernaccia di San Gimignano is the white wine par exelllence. It represents also the only white wine in Tuscany to boast the DOCG label. Between 90% and 100% of its grapes come from the vineyards around the area. In the Italian wine history it played an important role. In fact, it was the first wine in the whole country to receive the DOC label. Even Dante Alighieri mentioned this wine in the Divina Commedia in 1276.
Tuscany wine tours along this trail bring our visitors to dicover not only wine, but also other local products like the San Gimignano Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, saffron and cold cuts like wild boar ham, finocchiona or a traditional salami with myrtle.
On the highest point of San Gimignano the Villa della Rocca di Montestaffoli offers the Vernaccia di San Gimignano Wine Experience. It includes an interesting museum and a tasting room to introduce visitors to history of the local wine.
Etruscan Coast Wine Route
The Etruscan Coast Wine and Olive Oil Trail extends from Bolgheri, south of Livorno, to the Val di Cornia. It covers more than 150 km along the Tyrrhenian coast, the Elba Island and some part of the province of Pisa. Compared to other routes, this one adds the beautiful deep blue sea to the background. It was here that the historical wine revolution regarding the socalled Supertuscans (like Sassicaia) took place.
Five are the DOC wine areas: Terratico di Bibbona, Montescudaio, Bolgheri (home of Sassicaia), Val di Cornia and Isola d’Elba (home of Aleatico). The route between Bolgheri and San Guido is very suggestive. Even the Italian Gioesuè Carducci mentioned the double row of cypresses in one of his poems. Around Bolgheri visitors several important wineries like Tenuta San Guido, producing Sassicaia, and Tenuta Ornellaia, making the Bolgheri Ornellaia). Another wine cellar to visit is the Cantina Petra in Suvereto boasting a very modern structure on the hills.
Private Wine Tours from Florence and Tuscany
Bellaitalia Tour offers real travellers and wine lovers the chance to join small group tours to discover the most beautiful spots in Tuscany. We can personalize the tour according to your wishes and schedule our programm to best fit your needs.
Usually we like to bring visitors to small-medium family ran businesses and show them real life and traditions. On our website you find all the possible tours not only from Florence, but also from othe Tuscan towns like Pisa, Lucca and the Versilia Coast. You will find a selection of trips to several wine cellars in the inspiring Tuscan countryside. Our wine destinations are located in the Chianti and also in other scenic areas like Montalcino and Montepulciano.
They can include a visit to the vineyards and the old cellars. A local expert will show you around and introduce you to the winemaking’s secrets. In addition, the tours include at least one wine tasting. You will sample special red and white wines, paired to local products like cured meat to complete your wine experience. Our groups are small and limited to a restricted number of partecipants to make your day exclusive and intimate.