The Italian Job. Getting Out and About in Tuscany

Travel News & Views

The Italian Job. Getting Out and About in Tuscany

It’s known and loved for its fine architecture and fabulous views, Tuscany’s beauty is undisputed, we’ve seen it in films and photographs. However, the best thing about a holiday in this fabulous corner of the world is actually experiencing it first-hand; the sights, the smells and even the tastes (nothing is better than a picnic of local delicacies outside). There’s more than one way to experience Tuscany’s countryside. Get out and about and you’ll discover its hidden depths... and you don’t have to overexert yourself!

Stay: Villa Sant’Antonia I. Sleeps 6/3 bedrooms

Walking in Celebrated Vineyards and Hilltop Villages

There’s no better way to get into the real heart of the countryside, and of course, all that delicious pasta and wine tastes even better when you feel you’ve earned it. Trekking hotspots include Garfagnana, Lunigiana, Casentino and the Florentine hills, and if you’d like to learn a little along the way, you can book a guide to go with you. The Brunello Trail takes you through some of the world’s most famous vineyards and ends in Montalcino or, if you’re a movie buff, you can follow in the footsteps of Russell Crowe in Gladiator (Val d’Orcia), Ralph Fiennes in The English Patient (the countryside around Pienza), Daniel Craig in Quantum of Solace (Siena) or Diane Lane in Under the Tuscan Sun (all over Tuscany, from Arezzo to Montepulciano).

Got on Your Bike and Experience L’Eroica!

Referred to by fans as ‘a poem written with a bicycle’ L'Eroica is an institution. With routes around the world, it’s a celebration of clean, green two-wheeled machines (and the cyclists who love them) and even if you don’t take part in the official event, which takes place in October in Tuscany, the route is so well sign-posted you can follow it whenever you fancy. It starts in Gaiole in Chianti, following white roads (unpaved, gravel tracks known as strade bianche) in a rough figure of eight. Go the whole distance and it’s 200km, but you can jump on and off and go at whatever pace suits you. It will take you into some truly off the beaten track corners of Tuscany, as well as delivering some of the classic highlights such as medieval Siena. The route snakes past Montalcino, famous for its olive oil, wine and honey, through the stunning countryside around Val d'Orcia and on to Crete Senesi, home of the coveted white truffle.

Villa Il Vigneto

Stay: Villa Il Vigneto. Sleeps 10 / 5 bedrooms

Tuscan Truffle Hunting

Black truffles are the most common, white truffles are rarer and sell for about £115 per 25g. Sotheby’s recently auctioned the “world’s largest” truffle for a staggering $61,250 to a phone bidder in China. Reason enough to get on the trail. Make your quest for this elusive underground fungus your reason for getting out in the great outdoors and experience the luxury end of Italy’s culinary traditions. You can join a certified truffle hunter and their dog on an expedition to see how it’s done and enjoy a cookery class afterwards.

Casale San Damiano

Stay: Casale San Damiano. Sleeps 8/4 bedrooms

Ballooning in Tuscany: an unforgettable pleasure

Visitors to Tuscany describe it as a highlight of their stay and ballooning remains a great way to take in that landscape in its epic entirety. There are various qualified organisations, operating the impeccable service and safety standards you really want when you’re floating up to 3,000 feet above the ground. With baskets able to accommodate up to 16, you can make it a family adventure - a wonderful way to start the day of a big celebration. Trips usually last about an hour and include breakfast. Check the age limits, as younger children may not be allowed to accompany you. Good companies will be insured for public and third-party liability, but it’s wise to check your own cover before you fly.

Campo Doccio

Stay: Campo Doccio. Sleeps 10/5 bedrooms

For these and many more options for your next curated stay go to If you would like to have a chat with our dedicated travel trade team, call 0208 142 4801 or send an email to

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