You can view all posts from my trip to Italy here.
If you read last week’s post, you’ll know that I fell in love with Florence! It’s such a beautiful city, and I enjoyed it much more than Venice and Verona. On our second day in Florence, we went on a tour of Tuscany for half a day. As soon as I bought my plane tickets to Italy, I knew I had to visit Tuscany because those rolling green hills looked so gorgeous. I looked into renting a car to drive around the countryside, but we decided to book a tour instead, and I’m so happy we did, especially after seeing all the tight, curving roads!
Doing tours in Italy were one of my favorite things because they were all excellent and we got to learn so much about the history and local life in different areas of the country. We did Row Venice in Venice and Hills and Roads in Tuscany, and it was worth every penny! They create tours specific to what you want to see, and we requested to see beautiful old towns, great views to take pictures, and a winery. Our tour guide, Carolina, picked us up from right outside our Airbnb, and we drove off into the beautiful countryside!
The Florence American Cemetery is where thousands of Americans who died in Italy during WWII are buried
Our first stop was Montefioralle, a Medieval village, and it’s one of the oldest villages in the area since it was built around the 1200s. It was walled because it played a role in the battles between Florence and Siena. It’s also the birthplace of explorer Amerigo Vespucci. We walked around and got to see some beautiful old homes, and since the town sits on a hill, we also got great views of the countryside!
Our next stop was Greve in Chianti, and we toured the town square for a bit. It was such a quaint area with local shops and cafes, and we loaded up on souvenirs (I got some postcards and locally made hand towels) and some absolutely incredible chocolate croissants! It was a really neat place to see some local life with butchershops and little markets without lots of tourists around.
(Also, if you go to Greve in Chianti and need a bathroom, there’s a little park that’s about a 5 minute walk and it has public restrooms for a euro)
After spending some time in Greve in Chianti, we went to a vineyard for a tour and lunch. We went to Querceto di Castellina, and it was such a beautiful place! I couldn’t get enough of the beautiful countryside, especially with the vineyards and olive trees.
We got a tour of the winery and learned all about their process for making wine (and olive oil) while we sipped on their rosé. Our guide gave a great tour and told us how their family started this winery and answered all of our questions. All the wines we tried were great, and they sell it in the U.S., including New Jersey if you live in Philadelphia! My friends and I bought a few bottles of wine, and I also got some olive oil and truffle oil.
After our tour, we had lunch and tried some more wine. Even though it was a winery, they made some of the best food I had in Italy! We started with a pumpkin lasagna, and it was absolutely delicious. In between courses, we had a lot of time to wander around the vineyard some and take pictures and chat with our tour guide, Carolina. It was really interesting learning about local life in Tuscany, especially growing up there.
After we ate and took a few more photos, we headed back to Florence. Our tour of Tuscany with Hills and Roads was one of the main highlights of my trip to Italy, and I highly recommend them if you’re in Tuscany! We learned so much about the area, and I’m dying to go back and see more of the pretty countryside (and maybe buy a house there when I win the lottery) 🙂
Shout out to Carolina for being such an awesome guide! 🙂