During our recent four days in Florence we booked a full day Best of Tuscany Tour with Walkabout Florence. Our exciting, jam packed day was the perfect introduction to beautiful Tuscany and included visits to the iconic Medieval town of Siena, the enchanting town of San Gimignano, an incredible Tuscan lunch in an organic farm and winery, a scenic drive through the Tuscan countryside and a visit to Pisa to get that “must have” photo with the leaning tower! Tuscany is without a doubt one of the most beautiful parts of Italy and has an incredible history, beautiful countrysides, a wealth of art, delicious food and superb wines! Our day trip was the perfect way to experience as much of this beautiful region as possible during a short period of time and we loved every moment!
Our tour departed in Florence at 8:30am where we boarded our modern, clean and comfortable coach which also had air conditioning which was fantastic as it was a very hot day! We met our friendly tour guide, Elisa who gave us a tour of Florence as we drove through the city and out into the Tuscan countryside! Elisa also have us maps and information for all the towns which we would be visiting for the day which were really interesting and helpful!
Our first stop of the day was beautiful Siena, which is one of the most iconic Medieval towns in Tuscany. We were lucky enough to experience Siena through the eyes of a local as we had a guided walking tour through the charming, medieval city. We learnt about the world’s oldest bank, saw Piazza del Campo, the site of the incredible 600 year old Palio horserace, and admired the interior of the Duomo which is bursting with stunning artwork. We then had free time to explore Siena further on our own and we had a lovely time strolling the stone streets and relaxing in the buzzing Piazza del Campo which is without a doubt the heart of the city.
Everyone was feeling a little hungry by this stage which was great as our next stop was a beautiful organic winery & farm for lunch! We had a tour of the farm where we learnt about the wines they produced and we met some very friendly cows on the farm! We then had an informal wine tasting lesson before enjoying our traditional Tuscan lunch of homemade pasta, cured meats, local cheeses, a garden salad and Tuscan biscotti paired with four delicious Tuscan wines including two Chianti, Vernaccia and a Tuscan dessert wine called Vin Santo! It was certainly a highlight of the day and both the food and wine were delicious! It was a lovely experience to dine outdoors in the sunshine whilst we admired the beautiful scenery around us and got to know our fellow tour mates a little better!
Everyone on the bus was a lot chattier after a few wines at lunch and it wasn’t long before we reached the beautiful enchanting town of San Gimignano where we had free time to spend however we wanted! San Gimignano is a charming, picturesque medieval town with beautiful streets and squares to stroll through, award-wining gelato and incredible, famous medieval towers. It is possible to climb one of the towers but instead we walked up to La Rocca di Montestaffoli which is the town’s fortress and has a beautiful public garden inside. We climbed up one of the ramparts which offers the most stunning views of both the Tuscan countryside around the town and also an unforgettable view of the towers of San Gimignano. We also found a gorgeous little wine tasting shop just outside the fortress walls where we tried a few Chianti’s which were delicious, incredibly cheap and we also had the best view in all of San Gimignano over the beautiful rolling hills of Tuscany. It was certainly a very Under The Tuscan Sun moment!
We then jumped back on the coach for a beautiful, scenic drive through stunning Tuscan countryside where we arrived at our final stop of the tour, Pisa! We had plenty of free time to explore the iconic Leaning Tower, Cathedral and Bapistery in the beautiful Field of Miracles! After our free time we all boarded a cute little train which took us on a brief tour of the historic heart of Pisa which is a beautiful city!
Our Best of Tuscany day tour was an excellent introduction into the beautiful region of Tuscany in Italy which is a place we’d both love to return to one day! We felt the tour was an excellent combination of guided tour, free time, sightseeing, food, wine and culture! Elisa was an amazing guide, she was incredibly friendly and knowledgeable and really took to the time to speak to everyone on the bus and answer any questions as well as give us a wealth of information about Florence and Tuscany in a really engaging way! If you get Elisa as your tour guide then you are very lucky as she was fantastic!
The Aussie Flashpacker experienced our Best of Tuscany Tour as a guest of Walkabout Florence.
Our opinions are as always, our own.