Tuscany is home of the Medici family, the Duomo of Florence and the Leaning Tower of Pisa. It’s famous for its artistic and cultural heritage but it is also a fertile agricultural region which produces wines which are known for their excellent quality all over the world.
Row upon row of vines grow up and down the region’s gentle hills amidst ancient roads and small medieval towns. There are many driving tours you can take to discover some of these Tuscan wines and sample some delicious traditional local dishes. These driving tours are known as ‘Strade del Vino’, or ‘Wine Trails’ and along with the ‘Local Flavour Trails’, are one of the best ways to get to know the undiscovered corners of the region. You can get to know many characteristically Tuscan places, villas, farms and wine cellars where you can taste the best wines. A visit to this region means having the opportunity to see where the most famous grapes in the world grow and also to learn about how wine is made, to sample some local dishes and even get to know the local people.
Many of the roads that make up the Wine Trails are simply tracks that lead across picture-postcard landscapes to the discovery of ancient flavours and traditions. Red wine lovers might want to visit the Colli di Candia or the Lunigiana vineyards. Or perhaps the wine cellars at Montecarlo, Strada del Chianti Rufina, Pomino or Strada Medicea in Carmignano. A tour of these areas will take you through an ever-changing and unforgettable landscape, such as there is in the Pisan and Florentine hills. How can you not lose yourself amidst the towers and Vernaccia wine in San Gimignano or in the Pistoia mountains? Here, the local cuisine is full of many succulent delights, especially the ricotta based dishes.
There are many driving tours you can take in Tuscany to discover both the art, small towns and gastronomy of the region. From the Costa degli Etruschi (the Etruscan Coast) or the Maremma area to the splendid countryside around Montespertoli and Montepulciano (towns also famous for their wine).
It’s impossible not to be spell-bound by the country roads which lead to Siena and Arezzo, an area immersed in wine-culture and famous for its full-bodied reds. Visitors to Leonardo’s birthplace in the Montalbano area will fall in love with the blue sky and gentle rustling of the olive leaves in the breeze.
Another must is a visit to the Mugello to taste the famous marrons glacés made there. There’s so much to see and do in Tuscany. From Casentino to Mount Amiata and from the landscape of the Valdorcia to Vatiberina: you’ll come across so many of Tuscany’s hidden treasures, far from (but no less important than) the region’s large artistic cities.
The Tuscany you will discover is all about the fruits of the earth, local traditional agriculture, delicious flavours and the outstanding hospitality which is so common in this part of the world.