Have you dreamed of visiting Italy on our cooking vacations in Tuscany?

Whether you want a Tuscany food and wine tour featuring the rolling vineyards of Chianti or the beautiful city of Florence, our cooking holidays in Tuscany mean hands-on cooking classes, visits to local markets, wine tastings, and much more. Our culinary tours in Tuscany have been recommended in numerous TV and print media features, but the true test of their excellence is in the glowing reviews from the culinary travelers who have taken our food tours in Tuscany. Journey with us to Italy on a culinary vacation in Tuscany and experience the trip of a lifetime!

Top Tuscany Cooking Vacations & Food Tours in 2024

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  • Best Winter Cooking Vacations & Tours 2024
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  • Hidden Gems
  • Intensive Cooking
  • Luxury Line
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  • Wine Themed

TRIP LENGTH

PRICE RANGE

Chianti hills with vineyards and cypress.

Chianti Cooking Vacation and Wine Tour

6 Nights Starting At $5,975

Sarteano village in Tuscany, Italy. Sarteano, the medieval castle at the top of the village. Siena, Tuscany, Italy.

Authentic Tuscan Cooking in the Val d’Orcia Valley

5 or 6 Nights Starting At $4,850

Chef Silvia's kitchen during your cooking vacation in Tuscany

Cooking Under the Tuscan Sun: Best Food & Wine Tours in Cortona 2024

3 or 6 Nights Starting At $2,175

Exploring the beautiful Chianti during your Tuscan villa cooking vacation.

Luxury Chianti Cooking Vacations in Tuscan Villa 2024

7 Nights Starting At $5,490

Tuscan Cantucci enjoyed during a cooking vacation

Luxury Lucca Villa Cooking Vacations & Food Tours

7 Nights Starting At $4,500

Sunset over medieval Cortona in Tuscany.

Tuscan Splendor - Luxury Cooking Vacations in Tuscany

4 or 6 Nights Starting At $2,990

A winemaker on our Tuscany wine tours.

Tuscany Wine Tasting Tour on The Western Coast: Truly Tuscany

5 Nights Starting At $4,180

A plate of vegetables ready to enjoy

Tuscany Cooking Vacations at Torre del Tartufo, Casa Ombuto & Villa Bellorcia

3 or 7 Nights Starting At $2,750

View of the Florence skyline during your Tuscany culinary tour

Best Food Tour in Florence, Italy 2024: Florence For The Food Lover

5 Nights Starting At $3,675

Discover Our Best Food and Wine Tours in Tuscany, Italy

Experience authentic Italy on our Tuscany cooking vacations and learn the epitome of Tuscan regional cuisine. Explore such renowned towns as Florence, Siena, Pisa, and San Gimignano, and imbue yourself in the thousands of years of history from the Etruscans to the present day. Partake of fabulous food and wine, and do it all while gazing upon some of the most famed vistas and panoramas, whether of the distant cypress trees and rolling vineyards in the countryside or the majestic cathedrals and towers in the Tuscany cities. These are all yours to enjoy on our Tuscany culinary trip.

The International Kitchen’s Tuscany food & wine tours will let you form new friendships in the kitchen and around the table, while you feast on luscious pastas and soups, meats and cheeses, wonderful produce, and mouth-watering desserts. The traditional Tuscany foods you might taste include ribollita, pappa al pomodoro, crostini, cecina, and cantucci, to name a few of the region’s most famous dishes. And to top it all off, our exquisite gourmet tours in Tuscany are accompanied by an abundance of excellent local wines, which you can explore during winery visits and wine tastings on our Tuscany wine tours. The wooded hills, olive groves, vineyards, and hill towns have long been the destination of travelers; now make them your home during our Tuscany culinary vacations.

Learn More About Our Cooking Tours in Tuscany, Italy

Culinary holidays in Tuscany with The International Kitchen may include:

  • Hands-on cooking classes featuring authentic regional cuisine;
  • Fabulous meals accompanied by fine Tuscany wines;
  • Foodie visits during your Tuscany cooking trip to meet local producers of cheese, cured meats, olive oil, and more;
  • Winery visits and wine tastings;
  • Market visits to shop for local produce on our Tuscany foodie tours;
  • Cultural excursions to see local sites of interest such as medieval hilltowns, famed churches, and ancient ruins;
  • Accommodations from authentic farmhouse B&Bs to luxury private villas;
  • Transfers and transportation;
  • Personalized service by The International Kitchen’s trained and experienced staff of tour planners.

Making homemade pasta with friends during a Tuscany cooking vacation with The International Kitchen.

Making homemade pasta with friends during a Tuscany cooking vacation with The International Kitchen.

FAQ About Tuscany Culinary Vacations

What food is tuscany known for, what is tuscany pizza, what is the best season for wine tasting in tuscany, read more about italian food and travel tips.

Pici pasta with ragu and parmesan cheese.

Recipes from Sarteano: Pici al Ragù Toscano

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Ready Set Italy

Articles , Cooking Tour , Tuscany , What To See And Do In Italy

Looking For A Tuscan Cooking Tour? Here’s Our Top 7

culinary tours in tuscany italy

This article has been written,  reviewed, and fact-checked  by Rick and I.  We live in Italy  and travel throughout the country to help you make the best choices for your trip. We wrote this piece  to help you have the best trip possible on your next trip to Italy.  Portions of this article have been written using assistive AI tools to help with tasks like research, spell-checking, grammar, and translation.

In this article, you'll learn how:

  • These tours provide opportunities to learn how to make traditional Tuscan dishes like pasta, truffle dishes, and other regional specialties, appealing to both novice and experienced cooks.
  • Visits to historic landmarks, charming towns, and stunning scenery are often part of the itinerary, offering a holistic Tuscan experience.
  • Participants get the chance to learn from and cook alongside local chefs. This hands-on experience is invaluable for understanding authentic Italian cooking techniques and recipes.

Are you passionate about Italian cuisine, if so, taking a cooking trip to Tuscany can be a perfect way to indulge in your culinary curiosity. Tuscany is not just the location of Florence and the birthplace of the Renaissance; it is also a culinary powerhouse. In fact, there are nearly 200 restaurants in Tuscany, some of which are Michelin Restaurants !

Rick and I live in Italy and have indulged in plenty of aperitivos while touring Tuscany , enjoying crostini, cured meats, fresh local cheeses, and Chianti. As such, we want to share our love of these delicious delicacies so you can bring a little of it home.

In this article, we’ve chosen the best Tuscany cooking tours that regional chefs conduct. A cooking holiday in Tuscany can be a once-in-a-lifetime experience thanks to the rolling Chianti vineyards, craft visits, and cultural excursions. With any/all of these tours, you’ll be preparing meals in the provinces of Tuscany.

Cooking With An Italian Chef In Italy: 10-Day Tour From Bologna

grayscale photo of man cooking

On this 10-day Tuscany cooking vacation, you’ll travel to Northern Italy, experience authentic Italian cuisine first-hand, and learn how to prepare it yourself.

Your adventure begins with chef Stefano Corvucci, who introduces you to the regions where classic Italian recipes originated. He will prepare and eat meals with you that include fresh vegetables, local meats, fish, salumi, cheeses from the area, white truffles, porcini, chanterelle mushrooms, and homemade pasta.

You might be curious about the Tuscan style of cooking. Let me tell you, Tuscan cuisine is often characterized by simpler dishes that do not typically use thick or heavy sauces.

Guests over 18 will taste the best Italian wines, including Barolo and Barbaresco, Valpolicella and Amarone, Sangiovese, Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino, and Super Tuscans. He’ll show you how to prepare Pellegrino Artusi’s classic recipes in his kitchen and take you on a guided tour of Bologna’s well-known food markets! Tip, try one of the famous drinks in Tuscany, the desert wine Vin Santo.

Exploring The Art In Tuscany

You will undoubtedly fall in love with Tuscany’s historical landmarks, breathtaking countryside, and delectable cuisine when you visit. However, another aspect of this Italian region makes it so unique: the art. 

The Sanctuary of La Verna is a great place to visit if you want to see Tuscany. St. Francis of Assisi established this magnificent sanctuary, home to some of Andrea Della Robbia’s most exquisite works of lead-glazed terracotta. You should also go to Borgo San Sepolcro in Tuscany, the home of Piero della Francesca, who created the famous murals The Resurrection of Christ and The Polyptych of the Misericordia while residing there.

If you want to see even more artwork from this area, visit Monterchi and see Madonna del Parto, one of Piero della Francesca’s most well-known pieces. Consider traveling to Montefeltro, the home of Federico Duke of Urbino, a Renaissance king, if you’re daring. There are numerous warm towns and villages where art blends with cuisine, the outdoors, and history, creating a unique charm for tourists.

7-Day Lost Flavor’s Bologna & Tuscany Cooking Vacations

cooked food on white ceramic plate

There is probably no better way to see Bologna than in these cooking classes in Tuscany. You can immediately check into your hotel or apartment when you get to the city. After meeting the chef and taking a brief stroll through Bologna’s historic district, you can go out for an aperitivo and dinner at a typical trattoria.

You will meet the chef at CIBO Cooking School at 8:30 AM after breakfast and depart on a historical tour of the city shortly after. Then it’s over to the market area, where you can shop at the stalls while deciding what to cook in the kitchen. Discover how to make two delectable lunch and dinner dishes, including homemade pasta. Choose between 3.5 hours of cookery instruction at the school or a guided walking tour of Bologna City Center in the afternoons. Then, you will return to the school at 6 o’clock to prepare dinner.

Tuscany Wine Tours And Handcrafted Ravioli

On day 4, you’ll embark on a tour of the Fiorentini Vineyards in Castrocaro. After snacking and tasting great Romagna wines like Sangiovese, Albana, and Famoso, stop to enjoy a lunch of piadina romagnola and handmade ravioli in a local trattoria.

And, in case you’re wondering, here’s the scoop about Italy’s drinking age !

In the afternoon, continue to the mountain retreat on Mount Fumaiolo. After check-in, you can take a short walk in the mountains. You can prepare dinner in the mountain house in the evening using regionally-sourced, seasonal ingredients.

Visiting The Sanctuary Of La Verna, Monterchi & Piero Della Francesca’s

On day five, you can go to the Sanctuary of La Verna, which St. Francis of Assisi founded. Before going home to prepare lunch, take through Andrea Della Robbia’s exquisite lead-glazed ceramic creations. It’s lovely to stroll up to the Eremo of Saint Alberico on Mount Fumaiolo. After that, you can prepare delicious local food and have dinner there. Head to Piero della Francesca’s Tuscan villa of Borgo San Sepolcro the following morning. Visit the lovely local museum to behold the Polyptych of the Misericordia and the Resurrection of Christ frescoes. After lunch at a traditional Tuscan Osteria, visit Monterchi to admire Piero’s Madonna del Parto. Wander up to Mount Fumaiolo’s Sorgenti del Tevere in the late afternoon. More delicious local food is available for you to prepare and eat at home. Before returning to Bologna on day 7, spend the morning exploring Ravenna .

A Private Full-Day Bolgheri Wine Tasting Tour Excursion From Florence

four wine glasses

It is lovely to be lost in the lush surroundings of the rolling hills, vineyards, and olive orchards. Take a full-day excursion from Florence, and your tour guide will bring you to the Tuscan coast.

Upon being picked up from your accommodation, proceed to the quaint town of Bolgheri. The most well-known Tuscan wines are produced here, including Sassicaia, Ornellaia, Macchiole, and Argentieri.

Like Florence, Pisa, or San Gimignano, the Bolgheri region is never crowded, allowing you to experience the authentic flavor of Tuscany away from the masses. Explore contemporary and historic Tuscany along the shore as your driver-guide points out the Etruscan remnants.

The actual inhabitants of this area were the Etruscans, who lived between the Arno and the Tiber rivers from 800 BCE to 1000 CE . There are still signs of their mining enterprises, agricultural, and transportation infrastructure. You can find out more information on the Etruscans. It is a fantastic approach to contextualize many of the Florence Renaissance landmarks.

Discover the contemporary culture in this region now while learning about the past. You might have a nice lunch in the Mediterranean or one of the hill towns. Enjoy the well-known aromas of traditional Italian cuisine while unwinding in the fresh Tuscan air.

Experience San Gimignano: Wellness Trip

cooked pasta

Seize the opportunity to unwind entirely on this exclusive tour. Learn how to search for truffles in a truffle forest while being accompanied by trained dogs and staff members. All ages are welcome on this tour.

Learn to locate, identify, and clean priceless truffles like an expert on this trip. You will gain first-hand knowledge of the methods for handling truffles and preparing delectable truffle-based dishes during the truffle hunt and cooking classes. And if curious, truffle prices generally range from €1,000 to €1,800 . For small truffles weighing 20-100 grams, prices often fall between €1,800 and €2,500 .

Drink wines produced by their winery for more than 13 generations after lunch with the Giachi family. Visit San Gimignano, a medieval city, to complete the itinerary and learn about its history and top shopping areas.

Truffle Cooking Class With Wine Tasting In San Gimignano

black and gray round ornament on brown wooden table

We recommend you join this tour if you wish to learn the techniques for making authentic Tuscan cuisine from a skilled Italian chef.

Cooking homemade pasta and a range of specialty sauces, meat dishes, and desserts calls for using the freshest, locally available ingredients. Handpick your ingredients from a garden on the winery’s premises. You can learn the step-by-step procedure to chop, braise, boil your chosen ingredients, and cook and roast the ideal Tuscan supper.

Sharing fine, traditional Italian food and wine with friends and family is lovely. You can make dishes that will stay with you forever in a relaxed, fun setting. Allow yourself to indulge in a lot of freshly baked bread with extra virgin olive oil drizzled over it. In case you’re curious, the key difference between Tuscan cooking and other Italian regional cuisines is that Tuscan food primarily uses olive oil for cooking rather than butter.

Chianti Wine Tasting And Cooking Class In Panzano

person preparing cooked dish

On a private day excursion from Florence to Panzano in Chianti, you can immerse yourself in Italian culture with Tuscan cooking instructions and wine sampling. On a guided tour of the vineyards, cook your appetizers and treats. After your meal, partake in a wine tasting to sample some of the estate’s specialties.

You can meet your amiable guide for the day after being taken up from your Florence lodging. As you enter Panzano after traveling through rural Italy, you will be able to see the gorgeous Chianti Hills.

You’ll enter a family-run winery on the slopes and tour the estate. And then, explore the Chianti wines stored in the cellar while strolling among the vines.

Get ready for your cooking classes by rolling up your sleeves and going to the kitchen with a view of the hills. With the help of a skilled chef, prepare antipasti, a first and second course, and dessert. Learn how to prepare a complete Tuscan feast using local ingredients by cutting, braising, boiling, and roasting.

After the lesson, sit down to enjoy your food and the results of your labor. Before returning to Florence, indulge in a Chianti wine and wine tasting.

Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese Factory Tour In Emilia Romagna

man with bouquet of roses standing in front of food display

Learn about the production of Parmigiano Reggiano, Modena balsamic vinegar, and prosciutto ham on this tour from Florence. See the local companies and estates and sample the Emilia-Romagna region’s goods. Enjoy a classic traditional lunch that uses only fresh, non-transported foods.

Take a step back to begin your journey and discover how Parmigiano Reggiano is made at a biological caseificio (cheese factory). Learn why only Parma, Modena, and Reggio Emilia regions can produce genuine Parmigiano Reggiano.

As they raise the Parmigiano Reggiano and heat the milk to separate the whey, observe the cheesemakers as they are at work. After that, they move to the aging room. Admire the endless rows of cheese wheels and breathe in their enticing aroma. Try ricotta and several varieties of Parmesan cheese with regional goods.

A Lunch & Vinegar Tour of Balsamic Vinegars

On arrival, you will be served a multi-course lunch typical of the Emilia-Romagna area at an acetaia (balsamic vinegar factory). You will discover the best foods to mix with balsamic vinegar. A variety of balsamic vinegar is thoughtfully combined with each dish offered.

Join a private tour of the estate’s cellars following lunch. Get a thorough introduction to the production of balsamic vinegar, from the pressing of the grapes to the boiling of the wort to the filtration and blending steps.

Try “Tradizionale” and “Extravecchio” balsamic vinegar, among other varieties. Go to a prosciuttificio next (prosciutto factory). You will take a tour of the facility, view the manufacturing areas, and gain an understanding of how ham is processed.

Finish your visit with a sample of their products, which include raw and cooked hams such culatta, lardo, salami, prosciutto cotto, and prosciutto al tartufo. The cold cuts will be served with crescentine or tigelle, a traditional Emilia-Romagna bread. After that, you’ll return to Florence.

Are you prepared to travel to Tuscany for a culinary vacation?

A Tuscany culinary trip is exactly what you need if you enjoy fine food, wine, and the stunning Italian landscape. You’ll learn how to prepare traditional Italian dishes that the Tuscan people have been developing for hundreds of years. You’ll discover how to pair Tuscan food with regional wines and receive instructions for every word you cook!

Tuscany offers practical cooking classes as part of its culinary vacation. This implies that everyone can take part, regardless of prior cooking experience!

So why are you still waiting? Visit Tuscany if you’re ever in Italy for a memorable experience!

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BOLGHERI FOOD & WINE TOURS

Bolgheri & castagneto carducci, discover our unique medieval villages, local products, culinary excellence and world-class wines on our tuscan food tours. we’ll walk with you through our charming towns and introduce you to great food specialties while telling you stories about their history and culture. we’ll take you away from the crowds, sharing with you a delicious and memorable experience in two of the best towns in tuscany, join one of our tours.

Discover the enchanting village of Bolgheri. Stroll in its old historical center through narrow alleys with their typical stone and brick houses. Visit its 17th century winery located inside the castle with vaulted brick ceilings storing fine wines. You’ll learn about ancient history and wine culture while tasting traditional recipes from our favorite small restaurants and taverns, sipping amazing Super Tuscan wines and finally indulging in an authentic homemade gelato.

Where:  Bolgheri, Tuscany When : 7 days a week Duration: 4 hours Language spoken: English Cost: Starts from 150 € per person

CASTAGNETO FOOD & DRINK TOURS

Savor your way through the narrow streets and squares of Castagneto Carducci, a small Tuscan village, while learning about the history of this thousand-year-old hilltop hamlet as well as its authentic culinary and wine traditions. We’ll stroll through this unique village, home to the famous Italian poet Carducci, peek into its ancient castle and explore secret passages known only to locals. We’ll pop into specialty shops to meet artisans and taste a variety of delicious authentic food and drinks.

Where:  Castagneto Carducci, Tuscany When : 7 days a week Duration: 4 hours Language spoken: English Cost: Starts from 150 € per person

PRIVATE FOOD & WINE TOURS

Our food-cultural-wine experiences are perfect for celebrating a special day out: corporate team building, networking with clients or a special occasion with your family and friends. We can design a tour just for you!

Where : Bolgheri or Castagneto Carducci, Tuscany When : 7 days a week. Tour can begin at the time that works best for the group. Duration: We can customize your tour length, according to the tour requested. Language spoken: English, French & Italian Cost : Customized private tours are quoted based on the number of people and the chosen tour.

BOLGHERI FOOD & WINE + VINEYARD TOURS

Join us for a complete food & wine experience: start on The Wine Road with a visit to a stunning winery to taste 5 top wines and meet the producers. Continue your tour in Bolgheri to savor traditional Tuscan cuisine, discover its 17th century winery located inside the castle and taste its wines along with locally produced extra-virgin olive oil. We’ll make several stops for delicious food, drinks and a delicious homemade gelato.

Where:  Bolgheri, Tuscany When: 7 days a week Duration: 5 hours Language spoken: English Cost: Starts from 180 € per person

BOLGHERI WINE TOURS

Drink your day with a visit of two of our best wineries. Drive along one of the most scenic country roads, ‘La Strada del Vino,’ The Wine Road en route to the wineries. We’ll tour vineyards and cellars, meet the producers and learn about the prestigious Bolgheri DOC region. We’ll enjoy six superb Bolgheri wines along with some traditional cheese and charcuterie.

Where : Bolgheri, Tuscany When: 7 days a week Duration: 3 hours Language spoken: English Cost: Starts from 150 € per person

Quick Tour Facts

DO YOU ACCOMODATE DIETARY PREFERENCES?  Yes, provide substitutions ONLY for vegetarian diets. We do not provide for gluten-free or other types of food allergy. WHAT IS YOUR CANCELLATION POLICY? You can cancel and get a full refund up to 24 hours prior to the tour. We do not accept cancellations by phone, they must be in writing for our mutual records. However, no refunds are granted for cancellations within 24 hours from tour start time as your space is guaranteed at the tour.

DO YOU OFFER PRIVATE TOURS? Yes, we offer private tours with a minimum of 6 and maximum of 30 people. To request a private tour, please CONTACT US

CAN I BRING A CHILD? Children not eating can attend free of charge. You are welcome to bring a baby stroller. Please note we are touring medieval villages and the streets may not be evenly paved. Also, you might have to climb some steps.

DO YOU SEND PARKING INSTRUCTIONS? Yes, once you purchase your ticket, we will send you an email with directions, parking details and meet-up location. In certain places you will be responsible fo paying fo parking of your car.

IS THERE ENOUGH FOOD ON THE TOURS? We’ll do several food stops in each tour and you will be able to taste many different dishes and drinks. Food tour tastings make up a substantial lunch portion. It’s a food tour, you will not go home hungry!

GIFT CARDS To purchase gift cards, please visit the GIFT CARD page.

HOW DO I BUY TICKETS? Tickets can be purchased on line at the BOOK NOW page.

WHAT TYPE OF PAYMENT DO YOU ACCEPT? Payment is online, all major credit cards are accepted. Your credit card will be processed by Eztix that accepts secure online payments.

HOW LONG ARE THE TOURS? All of our tours are between 4 and 5 hours depending on the type of tour and the size of the group.

HOW MUCH WALKING IS INVOLVED? We walk about half a mile or 1 mile at all of our tours. We make plenty of resting stops in between. We walk at a slow pace.

ARE THE TOURS WHEELCHAIR ACCESSIBLE?  As we walk through medieval villages, please email us for further information and we will be happy to assist you.

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Cooking Vacations in Tuscany with TN&M

At Tuscany Now & More, we believe that the best way to learn about any local culture when travelling is through their cuisine. Far beyond mere sustenance, food is a tale of a country's history and culture. 

To give you a feel (and taste) for Italy, we've created an enriching cooking vacation that transforms your villa holiday into a gastronomic adventure . Under the guidance of an in-house chef in some of the finest villas in Italy, you'll immerse yourself in Italian food culture through a series of hands-on cooking classes, food and wine tastings and culture tours . All of this (and more) included in the villa rental price and available exclusively through Tuscany Now & More. 

Gastronomes have the choice of picking one of three programmes: The Art of Pasta Making, Nonna's Traditional Italian Recipes, and Italian Classics for Vegetarians. Each programme is designed to introduce you to Italian ingredients and cooking techniques , leaving you with knowledge of the essential flavours and secrets that transform simple ingredients into mouth-watering Italian classics. You will learn to make some popular Italian dishes like Pappardelle al Ragù, Parmigiana di Melanzane, Pappa al Pomodoro and Tagliatelle ai Porcini, among other recipes. Behind each great recipe lies a great story waiting to be told.

Pick your programme:

The art of pasta

The Art of Making Pasta

Learn to make authentic, fresh pasta from scratch and the secret to pairing pasta textures, fillings and sauces.

The art of pasta

Nonna's Traditional Italian Recipes

Explore a collection of Italian recipes, traditions and anecdotes passed down through countless generations

The art of pasta

Italian Classics for Vegetarians

Learn to make a collection of meat-free, plant-based recipes that stay true to the culinary heritage and cooking traditions of Italy

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Cook In Tuscany

Cook, Eat, Play, Travel

Indulge yourself in the Tuscan lifestyle and discover the region’s passion for food and fun.

Cook In Tuscany, Women Tuscany Cooking, Cooking Vacation, Separator

Much more than a cooking school, click to learn more about us.

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With a love of food and travel, Linda & George found their calling in Tuscany. Click to learn more.

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Can't get enough of Tuscany? A new, different week of fun & adventure.

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Nestled in the hills of Val d’Orcia, is your home for the week, LaChiusa.

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Culinary Vacation Testimonials

After sharing time in the kitchen with new friends and your new “Nonna,” we get to eat. We will sit around the table on patios, in gardens and sometimes in the kitchen and share the fruits of our labor. We will dine on homemade gnocchi, tagliatelli, bruschetta, herb chicken, stuffed flowers and original to Montefollonico–the thick ribbons of handmade eggless pasta–pici. And of course, no meal is complete in Tuscany without a few good bottles of vino. Did we mention we drink over 32 different wines (and that doesn’t include wine tastings) during the week? We will also travel to neighboring villages and dine at renowned restaurants each day.

After all the food and vino we are ready to play the Tuscan Way. Walk the cobblestone streets of villages, shop at local markets, visit wineries and cheese makers, see historical sights, stop for a cappuccino and locally made pastries and let us treat you to the best gelato in Tuscany. Leave all of your worries to us. We are with you every day–from morning to evening. Let George make you a morning cappuccino and walk the streets with Linda as she shows you all of the great shops and shares the history of the local villages. You are our personal guest. You will learn by being immersed in the relaxing Italian culture as we introduce you to our friends–the local people of Tuscany.

Local Classes Taught By Tuscan Women

If you’re looking for professional chefs, you won’t find them here. Our classes are taught by local Tuscan women; they immerse you in the local culture where you will experience a true Tuscan culinary “occasion” like no other.

https://www.benzinga.com/general/restaurants/20/05/15857176/will-consumers-return-to-restaurants-after-learning-how-to-cook-at-home

We Love Tuscany!

We love Italian food so much we started our own cooking school in Italy! And while we realize not everyone can come to cook with us in Tuscany, we love sharing our life and experiences. 

To learn more about us (Linda and George) and our adventures follow us at Cook, Eat, Play, Travel on FACEBOOK   and INSTAGRAM .

Our NEWSLETTER  is also available so you can keep up with what is happening here in Tuscany and our “other” cooking schools around the world.  

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The Chianti Masterpiece Siena™

Chianti cooking classes and wine tours ~ 3 and 4 days.

naples_cooking2

Join Signor Francesco, chef, wine maker and sommelier in his kitchen for our deliciously tempting Tuscany Cooking Vacations in Chianti. Gently sweeping hills adorned with pristine vineyards and grey-green olive groves, pretty country churches and imposing stone castles provide the backdrop for your cooking school vacation. Set on nearly 15 acres of Tuscan vineyards and rolling green hills, producing award-winning wines, this beautiful residence will be your home during your cooking vacation, as you allow yourself to become intoxicated by your hosts’ unique organic wines, savoring their many healing properties and discovering their hidden secrets. Enjoy a taste of Chianti Tuscan cheese, take a tour of the property’s winery, visiting the vineyard, tasting wines and learning about the Chianti Classico; enjoy accompanying your lunches and dinners with a delicious selection of house reds and whites; and opt to discover the wonderful healing properties of wine and grapes by adding on a wine therapy massage and jacuzzi at the property’s relaxing spa. Signor Francesco also produces extra virgin first-cold pressed Tuscan olive oil at the property.

Chianti in Tuscany

Gaiole in Chianti is located approximately 40 km southeast of Florence and northeast of Siena in the Chianti hills.  This region of Tuscany is well known for its artisan cheese, salumi, olives and oils, breads and honey too. Join us in Chianti in Gaiole – between Medieval villages and farms – where wine enthusiasts, connoisseurs and sommeliers sip, swirl and dine on exquisite Tuscan cuisine.

Chianti Tuscan Cooking Classes

Join Chef Fabio in the kitchen, whose philosophy is “see, smell and eat it” and each day, he is very particular and selects only the best fresh ingredients from the garden and the market for your hands-on cooking classes. The atmosphere in the kitchen is informal, encouraging you to ask questions, roll up your sleeves and get involved.  Your Chef is a true Tuscan food lover – preparing homemade antipasto, pasta,  risotto –  main courses – and desserts!

Tuscan cuisine is unique and based on the simplicity of raw materials, cooked with skillful craftsmanship. Tuscan history speaks of agriculture and simple living, therefore dishes are based around the use of the ingredients of common people who could not afford luxuries in the kitchen – olive oil replacing lard, vegetables as a base for the soups instead of meat, chestnut flour, and so on. Everyone will prepare genuine ingredients using ancient culinary traditions and methods, creating delicious Tuscan everything from panzanella, pappa al pomodoro, pici, lasagna, risotto,  roast pork loin, duck, tripe, to  cantuccini  and  tiramisù .

Each class is 2 to 3 hours long.  Following each cooking class, everyone dines together enjoying the foods that were prepared in the class with Signor Francesco’s Tuscan wine included.  This tour is an exclusive at Cooking Vacations Tuscany Italy.

Chianti Accommodations

Imagine a beautifully restored Tuscan villa nestled cozily in the Chianti hillside: this will be your home for the duration of your cooking program. Rooms and suites are marked by distinctive and charming elements: for example, one suite has a bed made completely from antique oak barrels. Floors are made of traditional terracotta tiles, exposed stones and beams give character to apartments, and furnishings are carefully chosen to reflect the traditional Tuscan style and comfort. Each bedroom has a private bathroom (some equipped with hydromassage), mini bar, TV, air conditioning, some of which boast private living rooms, and others private terraces in this Tuscan cooking tours.

Suites and apartments available for groups and families of different sizes. Please call for more information on accommodation options.

Click for Property Photo Gallery

Itinerary:  Select from 3 or 4 Days Cooking Tours 

Chianti in tuscany cooking and wine tours , 4- day – 3 nights  , program includes:.

  • 4 days, 3 nights, based on 2 guests in a classic room.
  • Daily breakfast and maid service.
  • Chef’s Welcome Dinner featuring a full course Tuscan tasting menu with wine produced on the property.
  • 1 hands-on Tuscan cooking class dinner following, including the foods that were prepared in the cooking class with a toast of wine and water included.
  • Vineyard tour followed by a Vertical Wine Tasting.
  • Gourmet Tuscan Dinner full with course menu, aperitivo and wine pairing, included.
  • Arrival and departure transfers from Chianti Train Station Montevarchi to the estate.
  • Cooking Vacations Welcome Bag with chef’s apron and Prosecco.
  • A copy of Lauren’s cookbook, It’s A Dream Place – Stories and Recipes of Food, Love & the Amalfi Coast

Program Price

$1,395 per person, based on 2 guests in a classic room.

3 Day – 2 Nights – 

  • 3 days, 2 nights, based on 2 guests.
  • 2 hands-on cooking class, with lunch or dinner following on the foods prepared in the cooking class with a toast of wine and water included.
  • Gourmet Tuscan Dinner with full course menu, aperitivo and wine pairing, included.
  • A copy of Lauren’s cookbook, It’s A Dream Place – Stories and Recipes of Food, Love & the Amalfi Coast.

$1,195  per person, based on 2 guests in a classic room.

For Single Guests: If you are traveling on your own, please call us for the best group price. We are happy to welcome you into an already scheduled group.  Round trip transfers from Florence can be added on.  Prices vary depending the size of your group

Check Availability

*Transfers are not included in this program. A rental car is suggested though not required to tour Tuscany on your own in your free time. Ask about adding on arrival & departure transfers and additional excursions to your program if you choose not to have a car.

2024 Dates: This program is available throughout the year. Check in and start your program on any day of the week. Rates are subject to change based on currency exchange. Call for updated rates. Airfare not included. Group transfers for any cooking tour or tours that include transfers, are for the group and are not private. Transfers before, after or to another destination outside of your cooking tour are not included in the program price. If you would like to add on a private transfer or transfers, let us know and we will send you pricing.

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The Roaming Fork

6 Best Tuscany Cooking Vacations 2024: A Taste of Tuscany

culinary tours in tuscany italy

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Embark on the adventure of a lifetime with these Tuscany cooking vacations, where foodies, avid travelers, and culture enthusiasts come together to savor the authentic flavors of Italy’s most enchanting region. 

Immerse yourself in the rich culinary heritage of Tuscany as you learn traditional cooking methods from talented local chefs, indulge in mouthwatering regional delicacies, and explore the picturesque countryside dotted with world-renowned wineries. 

As you journey through this beautiful land, you’ll experience the true essence of Italian culture and discover the timeless beauty that has inspired countless artists, writers, and dreamers throughout history. 

Take advantage of the opportunity to create unforgettable memories while honing your cooking skills and awakening your senses in the heart of Tuscany.

Further Reading: 10 Best Italian Cooking Vacations: Buon Appetito

Cooking in Tuscany: 6 Best Cooking Vacations to Try

8 day all inclusive cooking and wine tours in tuscany, province of lucca, 5 day all inclusive gourmet cooking course in garfagnana, province of lucca, 5 day seafood cooking holiday in tuscany, italy, 5 day truffles forest tour and cooking holiday in tuscany, arezzo, 6 day cooking vacation in the magical tuscany, province of arezzo, 4 day organic vegetarian cooking vacations in tuscany, province of arezzo.

best Tuscany cooking vacations

Experience the ultimate blend of beauty and flavor on this incredible Tuscany cooking vacation.

Located at the La Mezzaluna Bed and Breakfast, just 4 kilometers from Barga, an enchanting and beautiful medieval village with many tourist attractions.

The cooking vacation includes four days of cooking lessons, with each class lasting 3 to 4 hours, where you will learn to make basic meals and sauces such as ragu, as well as homemade pasta making, ravioli, gnocchi pie, fish dishes, pizza, and a delicious array of desserts.

Indulge in this Tuscany food and wine-tasting journey for an Italian cooking vacation you’ll never forget.

Highlights:

  • Visit a local market to buy fresh ingredients.
  • Visit a local Tuscan vineyard.
  • 4 traditional hands-on cooking classes
  • Tours of beautiful local villages
  • Excursion to Pisa to visit “Piazza Miracoli” with its cathedrals and leaning tower.
  • Live entertainment show

Price From: $1,844

Closest Airport: Pisa International Airport (Galileo Galilei Airport)

Airport Transfers: Yes

Skill Set: Beginner to Intermediate

Further Reading: 10 Best Cooking Classes in Rome for Italian Cuisine Lovers

best Tuscany cooking vacations

Join one of the best all-inclusive cooking vacations in the stunning northern region of Tuscany, where you can have fun while learning about Italian cooking techniques and Italian food traditions.

You will take in the local culture while exploring the local markets, where you can stroll through the charming streets of Barga, one of Italy’s most beautiful medieval villages.

Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to indulge in wine tasting and live entertainment while combining it all with cooking lessons.

A perfect location to enjoy one of the gourmet Tuscany Culinary vacations.

  • Wine tasting
  • Visit local markets
  • 2 hands-on cooking classes
  • Wine and soft drinks included.
  • 2 visits to Barga and Lucca
  • 4 nights accommodation
  • Daily meals (all the food is included)
  • Gluten-free and vegetarian available

Price From: $1,090

culinary tours in tuscany italy

Tuscany cooking vacations have become increasingly popular in recent years, but did you know that seafood isn’t typically considered a specialty of the region?

This Tuscany cooking vacation will amaze you with the wide range of seafood dishes using only the freshest ingredients.

Learn to cook spaghetti with clams, ravioli with chickpeas and squid sauce, seafood linguine, and cod-crusted Tuscany style, among many others.

Indulge in the finest wines and uncover the hidden gems of Arezzo, located in the picturesque heartland of Tuscany, midway between Florence and Siena.

  • Custom-made, organic menu
  • Cooking certificate and recipes book
  • 3 hands-on seafood cooking classes
  • Wine tour and historical village excursions plus dinner at a local restaurant
  • City break excursion plus lunch at a local restaurant
  • Daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner with drinks
  • 5 nights accommodation

Price From: $1,559 (1 Person)

Closest Airport: Perugia Airport (80 kilometers – 1.5 hours) 

Airport Transfers: Yes, at additional cost.

Skill Set: Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced

culinary tours in tuscany italy

Indulge in a culinary vacation that will blow your taste buds away! You’ll cook fabulous gourmet dishes with top-quality ingredients like truffles, mushrooms, chestnuts, and honey.

You will experience a breathtaking gastronomic adventure where you’ll explore the historical attractions of the Tiberina Valley and tour the most picturesque locations in Arezzo.

Your guide will give you the background history of every Tuscan location and ample time to take photos.

Don’t miss the chance to create unforgettable memories with this unbeatable experience without breaking the bank!

  • Cooking classes
  • A truffle hunting expedition
  • Experienced chefs and guides in English
  • A visit to a Unesco world heritage site
  • Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • Train station transfers

Price From: $2,561 (2 persons)

Closest Airport: Florence Airport, Peretola (Amerigo Vespucci Airport)

Airport Transfers: Yes.

best Tuscany cooking vacations

Discover the real Tuscany with this 6-day cooking vacation. Immerse yourself in regional culinary traditions and learn how to prepare authentic local cuisine with a contemporary twist using fresh, local ingredients.

The chef’s passion for reviving historic recipes will take you on a journey through Tuscany’s rich culinary history and natural beauty.

Take advantage of this unique and rare opportunity to experience the true essence of Tuscany.

  • Welcome aperitif 
  • Vineyard visit with a tasting tour
  • Cooking classes at Villa Restaurant Point
  • Meals with drinks (1 bottle for each meal)
  • Excursion to the historical site

Price From: $3,117 (2 persons)

Closest Airport: Perugia airport

Airport Transfers: Yes (additional fee)

culinary tours in tuscany italy

Indulge in the pleasures of the classic Tuscany cooking vacation by preparing Tuscan vegetarian cuisine using locally sourced ingredients.

In each cooking class, you will prepare vegetarian meals from the beginning. Enjoy discovering the local area with excursions, including lunch at a local restaurant.

  • 3 hands-on Italian cooking classes
  • Wine tour and historical village excursion
  • Organic ingredients from MangiarDivino’s production
  • City excursion with lunch at a local restaurant
  • 3 nights accommodation

Price From: $1,003 (1 person)

Closest Airport: Florence Airport, Peretola (FLR)

Tuscany cooking vacations, or cooking holidays, are a unique way to experience the region’s culinary delights. You’ll learn how to prepare traditional Tuscan dishes and explore Italian culture while indulging in wine tastings, excursions, and some of the best food around.

Summary – Tuscany Cooking Vacations

Tuscany cooking vacations are among the best ways to immerse yourself in the fantastic local cuisine and culture. If you are still deciding on the location of your cooking vacation, you might be interested in one of these posts:

  • 10 Best Italian Cooking Vacations: Buon Appetito
  • 50 Interesting Facts About Italian Food
  • Food Travel: My Top 10 Tips for Planning a Food Trip
  • 25 Inexpensive Gifts for Wine Lovers

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Ecco La Cucina Culinary Tours In Italy

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Ancient Puglia

culinary tours in tuscany italy

Medieval Tuscany

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Elegant Piedmont

Stay up to date on food, wines and our latest tours in italy with our monthly newsletter, experience italy through its food & wine.

Taste and see the best of Italy with our luxury culinary vacation tours. With winery tours, local food tours and guided visits to ancient hill towns, along with hands on cooking classes and delectable meals in traditional local restaurants, you will be immersed into Italy’s foods and wines, and its culture and history.

In Italian, Ecco La Cucina means “Here’s the Kitchen” and during our tours we explore all aspects of the Italian table, from the local food and wine to the history of this beautiful country.  Our small group culinary tours in Italy are expertly designed to give you an insider’s view and stress-free vacation where you can relax and enjoy the foods, wines and stunning landscapes. It truly is an experience of a lifetime and one that will become a cherished memory.

If your dream is to explore the foods, wines and culture of Italy without the crowds and live like a local, then travel with us, experts in Italian food and wine. We will show you the enchanting regions of Tuscany, Piedmont, Emilia Romagna, Veneto, Campania-Amalfi, and Puglia during our culinary tours in Italy. Each of our small group tours are designed to provide you with knowledge and special insights to this beautiful, rich culture. We can help you fulfill your dream as you taste and experience Italy, allowing you to truly understand the rhythm of Italian life.

Choose your culinary adventure:

Medieval Tuscany Culinary Tour

Elegant Piedmont Culinary Tour

Ancient Puglia Culinary Tour

  • Sparkling Veneto Wine Tour
  • Bologna & Emilia-Romagna Tour
  • Campania – Naples, Sorrento Amalfi Tour

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Couples, Friends & Solos Adults 18+ Women's Adventures Women 18+ Families with Young Adults 20s & Beyond Best for ages 20+ (min. age 18) Families with Older Teens & 20s Best for ages 17-23 (min. age 14) Families with Teens & Kids Best for ages 9-17 (min. age 4)

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2024 : May-Oct

Gourmet Adventure in Italy from Chianti to Val d'Orcia

Discover the joys of the Tuscan table as you learn its secrets on our active Tuscany cooking tour. Celebrate fresh seasonal ingredients prepared with passion, yet minimal manipulation. Slow down and let food be the focal point of the day. And savor this Tuscany culinary walking vacation that nurtures both body and spirit.

  • Walk through brimming vineyards and in old-world villages
  • Cook and delight in farm-to-table recipes passed down through generations— buon appetito!
  • Hike the cypress-lined white roads of southern Tuscany and sip Chianti Classico in the region it originated
  • Relish handmade cuisine, from your first plate of pasta to your final bowl-scraping spoonful of tiramisu

Italy Tuscany Active Culinary Walking &amp; Hiking Tour map

Start Arezzo

End Florence

Do not book flights until your trip details are confirmed.

We recommend flying into and out of Florence's Peretola Airport (FLR) and taking a train to Arezzo.

Please note that trip start and end locations are subject to change and can vary by departure. A Travel Planner, comnplete with trip details specific to your chosen date, will be sent to you at time of booking or soon after and will be viewable in your Backroads account.

* Start/End locations may vary. Do not book flights until your trip details are confirmed.

culinary tours in tuscany italy

Walk through vineyards, woodland and Renaissance hill towns • Get a taste of the region’s undulating terrain as you trek from Castellina to Vèscine • Homer once called olive oil “liquid gold”—discover why during our exclusive tasting • Explore Panzano, home to numerous fine Chianti wineries • High ridges and peaceful forests lead the way to our lunch spot in the home of a local friend—a one-of-a-kind experience! • Sip Chianti Classico wines and learn the secret to traditional recipes in a cooking class led by an engaging Italian chef • Relax at our beautiful hotel in the heart of the Chianti Valley.

culinary tours in tuscany italy

A 13th-century hamlet handsomely restored as a welcoming hotel with unsurpassed views of the Tuscan countryside. (pool)  

culinary tours in tuscany italy

From the town of Gaiole, hike from one unbelievable vista to the next, stopping for an alfresco picnic among the grapevines • Cook a home-style Italian meal alongside locals in the cucina of their cooking school • Lounge with a glass of the region's finest  vino by the fireplace at our elegant retreat.

culinary tours in tuscany italy

Located in the heart of the Chianti region, this boutique 14th-century manor house features spacious guest rooms with original frescoes. (pool, spa)   

culinary tours in tuscany italy

Follow the strade bianche (white roads) of southern Tuscany's Val d'Orcia • Savor local delicacies as we indulge in a sampling of the region’s traditional cuisine • Wander in Renaissance-style Pienza, Pope Pius II's utopian village • Lunch takes place at a working farm complete with a pasta-making demonstration • Say arrivederci to Tuscany with a leisurely hike in the countryside surrounding Bagno Vignoni.

culinary tours in tuscany italy

This elegant boutique hotel features a beautiful garden, a fantastic bar and pools fed by underground thermal springs. (pool, spa)

Our trips range in activity levels from leisurely (1) to avid (5) with plenty of options in between. Several routes are offered each day so you can choose your perfect amount of activity. Learn more

*Includes shuttle

  • Activity Level

What's Included

  • All breakfasts, 5 lunches, 4 dinners
  • Expertise and services of our experienced Trip Leaders
  • Snacks and beverages between meals
  • Additional guides and experts from the region on many trips
  • Van shuttles to support a variety of route options
  • Comprehensive Travel Planner with detailed pre-trip information
  • Private guided tours at museums, historic sites, wineries and other select attractions as noted in the Travel Planner
  • All gratuities at hotels and restaurants
  • Special events, including wine tastings and other select attractions as mentioned in the Travel Planner
  • On biking and multi-adventure trips, use of fully equipped Backroads titanium bike plus helmet and accessories
  • Trailercycles, carriers, and kid-sized helmets for Family Trips
  • Equipment and experienced guides for kayaking, rafting, snorkeling, sailing and canoeing as described
  • Park and other entry fees
  • Fares for trains, ferries and other modes of travel as listed in the Travel Planner
  • Select coach transfers
  • Baggage transfers and porterage

Not Included: Leader gratuities, transportation to and from your Backroads trip start & end locations, and on-your-own meals & activities.

Want more information? Download a detailed itinerary.

Itineraries include detailed descriptions of each day, tips on travel arrangements, regional highlights and more. It's the perfect tool to help you choose!

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Ideally located with ready access to trip activities, our Casual hotels are also known for their character and charm.

Hotels may vary based on departure. Any variations will be displayed when selecting a departure under Dates & Prices.

Casual Plus Hotel

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Small Group Pasta Making Class Wine Tasting in a Tuscan Castle

culinary tours in tuscany italy

  • Get in the kitchen of a Tuscan castle for a cooking class
  • Make two different types of pasta plus sauces from scratch
  • Shop in the farm store for saffron, honey, cheese, olive oil, and wine
  • Customize the experience with an extended four-course cooking class
  • Professional guide
  • Wine tasting
  • 3-course lunch
  • Cooking class
  • Transportation to/from attraction
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off (contact supplier for separate arrangement)
  • Via di Santa Brigida, 9, 50065 Pontassieve FI, Italy Departure Point: Castello del Trebbio Address: via santa brigida 9 50065 - pontassieve
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Stroller accessible
  • Infants must sit on laps
  • Infant seats available
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Child rate applies only when sharing with 2 paying adults
  • Vegetarian option is available, please advise at time of booking if required
  • Tour available for minimum 2 people (single booking not accepted)
  • We offer a private transfer service from and to Florence city centre with a starting price of 150€ for 4 people. If you wish this service we kindly ask you to request it on your reservation by giving us your address of staying in Florence.
  • We are open in respect of all Covid-19 laws: Our staff wears protective equipment. Fever will be measured before the tour starts.Travelers are required to wear personal protective equipment (masks) during the tour...of course not during the wine tasting. Participants are required to observe social distancing during the experience (1 mt. from each other). More frequent cleaning or sanitizing procedures in place.
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 15 travelers
  • All sales are final and incur 100% cancellation penalties.

Similar experiences

culinary tours in tuscany italy

  • Melendsm1 0 contributions 5.0 of 5 bubbles Wonderful Castle & Wine Tasting Excellent wine tour and tasting! We took a bus to the castle from Firenze and it was a beautiful trip - less than 40min ride. Beautiful castle and grounds. Would highly recommend and plan visit again in the future! Read more Written September 10, 2023
  • M9580SSisabelleh 0 contributions 5.0 of 5 bubbles Amazing Such an amazing tour through the history of this castle and wine cellars finishing with a delicious range of meats, cheese and bread to pair with 4 of their best wines. We did the royal tour and the guide with curly hair (don’t remember her name!) was great and it was so nice to meet Anna the owner who was lovely. Thanks so much for a great day in Tuscany. Read more Written August 22, 2023
  • Thea T 0 contributions 5.0 of 5 bubbles Our perfect wedding weekend We had our wedding at Castello del Trebbio, and could not be happier. We were about 60 people and everybody had the time of their lives. Alberto welcomed us in the perfect way and he made sure the whole weekend was stress free and perfect for us. Alberto held a perfect wine tasting, tour of the castle and told us about the history of the old Castle. Every guest was happy with their room, every room was bigger and better than expected. The food was amazing, the guests still talk about it, and it was more than enough food. And the wine likewise. What makes Castello del Trebbio the perfect place for a wedding is not just the amazing scenery, historical castle, amazing food and wine or the houses to stay in; but also the fact that they have a nice "plan b" in case of rain, that is just at pretty as eating outside. We ended up having the dinner inside of the resturant and the "first dance" under the twinklelights on the terrace. We are definitely coming back for vacation! I could not give Alberto enough credit, he made the weekend perfect, so kind and welcoming. Read more Written June 22, 2023
  • kimrM8094UE 0 contributions 5.0 of 5 bubbles Wonderful wedding in Italy. We had an amazing weekend here for our wedding. Everything was planed perfectly and "Antonio" was an amazing host. We are forever thankful for this wedding weekend and will come back for vacation. Read more Written May 30, 2023
  • simenhalvorsen 0 contributions 5.0 of 5 bubbles Dream wedding at Castello del Trebbio After a lot of research we decided to have our wedding at Castello del Trebbio in beautiful surroundings. Once we had decided on the location we were invited to come out to the castle months ahead of the wedding and was met with the upmost hospitality. Alberto greeted us upon arrival and offered us their tasteful wine while we sorted out details for our wedding weekend in their lovely wineshop. Afterwards we got a personal tour of the area, including checking out all the rooms we had booked with Alberto giving us a lot of background information on the actual place and houses. This helped us out a ton during our planning in terms of sleeping arrangements and seating during the dinner. We also got a chance to see the inside of the castle where we would have our ceremony. Later that night there was arranged for a menu-testing including their wine options with all the food. Much appreciated service and help from all of the kitchen staff and especially from Mauricio! The food was absolutely amazing! When we came for the actual wedding weekend we felt very relaxed as all of the staff, with Alberto running point, had complete control over what were to happen and when, giving us some much needed assurances ahead of the wedding. You can tell by the way they handle everything that they have done this many many times. Not only the actual preparations for the wedding itself, but also helping the bride, groom etc and tending to their wishes and needs. They really went above and beyond to ensure this would be the perfect wedding and weekend for everyone attending. We had a fantastic wedding weekend which we will never forget! If you're ever going to Italy and staying around Florence, Castello del Trebbio is a must-see place. Perfect for weddings, couples, families, foodies and wine tasting. Read more Written April 10, 2023
  • ruiz_grecia 0 contributions 5.0 of 5 bubbles A must-do Tuscan experience The best part of our stay at the Castello del Trebbio was our group tour of the castle, cellars, and welcome buffet with wine tasting from the castle’s own vineyards and bread with olive oil from the castle’s own olive trees. We had this experience as part of our wedding activities and it was such a unique experience that had all our guests in awe. Alberto Peroni led our tour and he is such a charismatic tour guide and great storyteller, he even had the two little girls in our group (4 and 8 years old) listening to him attentively. He really enhanced our experience of the castle, the wine, and the olive oil and we learned what to look for in the grocery stores to buy quality olive oil and wine! We had the dinner in the Blue Room where the cellars are and it was just stunning. Read more Written November 15, 2022
  • Rondawg80 0 contributions 5.0 of 5 bubbles Fun and educational The cooking class was fun and delicious. I highly recommend the tour. The castle has so much history. Read more Written November 7, 2022
  • Sarah M 0 contributions 5.0 of 5 bubbles Dream wedding in Tuscany After extensive research online last year, I found Castello del Trebbio for our wedding in October 2022. Those three days were better than I could have ever dreamed. From the beginning, Alberto made the entire process seamless as well as stress free with his communication, planning, and quick response time even with the time difference. I loved that the wedding package was unique to what we wanted and all-inclusive (a huge bonus when planning an overseas wedding during a pandemic). Alberto went above and beyond to ensure every detail was set prior to the event. Once we arrived at Castello, we found the estate was even more beautiful and charming in person. Alberto greeted us with a very warm welcome. He was so kind and easy to work with. The castle and wine cellar tour with tasting the first night was fascinating and the welcome dinner was delicious. We added a brunch the morning of the wedding which was also very good and kept everyone full until aperitif and dinner that evening. The wedding and reception dinner exceeded our expectations. It truly was a fairytale wedding. The team working with Alberto delivered exceptional service. The florist, Chiara, worked with me directly to make sure the bouquets and decor were exactly what I wanted. Sara is a true makeup artist who will make every bride feel like a princess on her big day. The violinist, Simone, delivered every song during the ceremony perfectly and even played our special request of Harry Potter. When the cellist joined during dinner, it made for the most lovely atmosphere. The restaurant staff went above and beyond during both the aperitif and dinner. Our photographer, Giuseppe, was easy to work with and did a wonderful job in capturing the perfect evening. For the last day of our stay, we planned a tour to Sienna, a Tuscan winery, and San Gimignano, with a tour company per Alberto’s recommendation (Gianluca). It was a wonderful way to end the trip to Castello. Highly recommend Castello del Trebbio, Alberto and his team if you want the best wedding experience you could ever dream of. We can’t wait to visit Castello again for our anniversary! Read more Written October 29, 2022
  • 694bridgetp 0 contributions 5.0 of 5 bubbles Perfect experience!!! Alberto and the staff at Castello del Trebbio exceeded every expectation that I could have. They hosed 23 of us for a castle tour, wine tasting, wedding ceremony, lunch, and reception. Alberto responded to every inquiry within 24 hours. He was kind, understanding and flexible. It is scary to plan something overseas without ever having visited but he made the occasion perfect. The castle is more beautiful than you could ever imagine! I can not wait to go back again. Read more Written October 25, 2022
  • kimest2022 0 contributions 5.0 of 5 bubbles Fantastic Castello Del Trebbio We celebrated our wedding at the wonderful castello del trebbio. The area, the castle, the house and the restaurant were absolutely fantastic! The wedding was above all expectations and made this a wonderful day. The food and wine are of the highest quality. The staff working there showed super service throughout our stay. The house we stayed in during our stay was very nice and has a large private swimming pool. We will definitely be back! Thank you Alberto, and the rest of the staff for making this a week we will never forget. Distinti saluti Linn & Kim Read more Written September 9, 2022
  • Shumi-Renato 0 contributions 5.0 of 5 bubbles A magical Wedding experience Our wedding day was by the far the most special day of our lives. The director Dr.Alberto and his team literally made our dreams come true. From start to finish I could not have asked for a more dedicated and professional service working to make everything happen. It was truly a magical day. The details were all perfect from the design of the menu and wine tasting, the vendors including the florist, DJ and the execution of how everything turned out was beyond expectations. I am truly happy and would 100% recommend Castello del Trebbio to any future bride to be without hesitation. We spent 3 days with our guests at the villas surrounding the beautiful Castle all with breathtaking views, fresh air with tranquility only I imagine is possible in heaven. We treated our guests to a Castle tour with incredible history insights and stories of the preservation of wine, oil and natural products they produce with such care and attention. We commenced with wine tasting and buffet dinner organised by the Castle owners family which gave the experience a personal touch, eating naturally home grown products - how can life get better than this? This was so unique, not to be missed and enjoyed by all our guests. The day of our wedding was like we floated to a magical world truly spectacular! Well organised and not a detail out of place. The restaurant dinner was exquisite compliments to Maurizio the restaurant director and his chefs. The vendors worked incredibly hard to a superb standard, our florist Chiara and DJ Paulo were absolutely marvelous, beyond words. The final day we chose to treat our guests to a barbecue dinner, this experience was out of this world! The cuts of meats all so tender served by courteous staff with delight. Overall the most memorable wedding day. Our guests have told us this is the best wedding they have ever attended (and they have attended many!). We will be back and our heartfelt thanks to Alberto for everything he is the glue that bonded us to create a magic day beyond my dreams. Thanks a million xxx Read more Written September 8, 2022
  • MarieS1086 0 contributions 5.0 of 5 bubbles Amazing experience We did the tour during our wedding weekend at Castello del Trebbio and Alberto made a great figure of telling about the amazing history, showing us the wine cellar and finishing up with a wine tasting. It was perfect atmosphere 😍 Read more Written July 19, 2022
  • dannithewinelover 0 contributions 5.0 of 5 bubbles Outstanding experience with great wine in the most beautiful castle We got married at Castello del Trebbio recently and used the castle tour and wine tasting event as a 'welcome dinner' for 60 people. It exceeded our expectations. Alberto is amazing, and told the story of the history of the castle in a funny, charming and interesting way, the guests were all enamoured by him. The castle itself is set in stunning rolling Tuscan vineyards so is a must-visit if you're staying in Florence. The wine itself is gorgeous, and we opted to do a buffet dinner cooked by the family who live there which was really amazing, lots of different dishes but all made using high quality, simple indegredients. We have found recipes online to recreate them at home. Overall I would definitely recommend doing any of the tours or cooking classes at Castello Del Trebbio, the views, food, wine and company are outstanding and we will definitely be back. Grazie Alberto! Read more Written June 4, 2022
  • 226abbeyc 0 contributions 5.0 of 5 bubbles Amazing experience Leaving your entire wedding planning to someone you have never met before, along with being halfway around the world and speak different languages is not the easiest decision to make, but I am so THANKFUL I choose Castello and Alberto to make my wedding dreams a reality. Pictures truly can't give this grand property justice and I truly felt like I was in a fairy tale. Beyond the grounds the staff are truly what make this place magical, Alberto was so attentive and kind and made all the right recommendations for vendors and scheduling and I will be forever grateful for him. We were also fortunate to meet members of the family who reside on the estate and we felt more like friends than visitors, they were beyond gracious and we can't thank them enough for their hospitality. This is one place that I will recommend again and again! Along with the perfect wedding we did a small wine tasting and tour which was both delicious and informative! We also were treated to a cooking class which was so much fun, we learned a ton and laughed while doing so! Read more Written June 3, 2022
  • martinkI6917KF 0 contributions 5.0 of 5 bubbles An unforgettable, magical, overwhelming, kickass wedding My significant other and myself discovered this gem through a wedding planner in Norway. From the very first interaction we had, we were sold. Our 3-day, 60 person wedding was beyond what we could ever dream of. The level of service and hospitality have been out of this world! Even though they do around 60 weddings this year, it never once felt like we were "just another one". I think a lot of that is thanks to Alberto, an incredible person who we got to know quite well before and during our stay. Funny, compassionate, hospitable, knowledgeable, informative, entertaining... the list could go on. Alberto helped us with just about everything. When it was just my SO and myself, he was the best. When we had 60 guests, he was the king, and everyone enjoyed his stories, jokes and engagement. The place itself is to die for, with several secluded apartments surrounding the actual castle. Everything was clean, designed in a classical rustic Tuscan style. 3 pools, ensuite bathrooms for just about every room, very tasty and simple food from local ingredients, delicious wine made at the castle... I could keep going. But I would rather recommend that you get in touch if you're looking to get hitched. It has truly been an experience of a lifetime, both for ourselves and for our guests. The only thing I wished we had more of, was time. Read more Written May 18, 2022

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Small Group Pasta Making Class Wine Tasting in a Tuscan Castle provided by Castello del Trebbio

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Food & Culinary Tours in Italy

Head out on a truffle hunting adventure in Tuscany , sip on the freshest limoncello at the Amalfi Coast or indulge in the finest berried blends in Sicily . Ignite your inner epicure with melting Margherita pizzas and spoon-swirling spaghetti on an Italian food tour. Whether you're indulging at a bàcari in Venice or celebrating la dolce vita with an aperitivo in Milan , there's no competition for the best food experiences in Italy.

120 Food & Culinary tour packages in Italy with 660 reviews

Grand Tour of Puglia-Basilicata, from Matera to Lecce Tour

  • Food & Culinary
  • Christmas & New Year

Grand Tour of Puglia-Basilicata, from Matera to Lecce

Small Group Sicily Food & Wine Tour (Maximum 8 Guests) Tour

Small Group Sicily Food & Wine Tour (Maximum 8 Guests)

I had the best experience with Sicily Activities. The tour was super fun and I don’t think I would have experienced everything without being in this tour. The tour guides were so friendly, especially Orozio, Antonio and Stefania. It was worth every penny, a trip I will remember forever ❤️
  • 10% deposit on some dates Some departure dates offer you the chance to book this tour with a lower deposit.

Italy Real Food Adventure Tour

  • Wine tasting

Italy Real Food Adventure

Italy Real Food Adventure tour is amazing! I'm happy to travel around the cities in Italy and eat all of the food there!

Taste of Salento-Authentic Culinary Experience Tour

Taste of Salento-Authentic Culinary Experience

My husband and I just returned from our week-long stay at Masseria Linazza, and it was one of our most fun and unique vacations ever! Chef Emilio, wife Clara, brother Michele, and father Antonio were the most gracious, kind, hospitable, and accommodating hosts! They are very flexible and want to ensure that all of their guests have a memorable experience. They took us to different parts of the Salento region each day and told us about the history of the area, answered questions, allowed time for photos, and in some cases let us decide how much free time we wanted before returning to the masseria. We stayed in a B&B that was a 5-minute walk from the masseria. Our room was very spacious with a queen bed and single bed, plenty of closet space, and a large bathroom. We found fresh towels on the bed every other day! A short walk from the B&B is a cute coffee shop where we enjoyed delicious coffee with the locals before walking back to the masseria for an abundant breakfast of delicious pastries, yogurt, fresh cut fruit, fruit juice, and more delicious coffee. We loved the small-group “family feel” of this tour, as well as the peaceful atmosphere around the property (especially after having spent the previous week in bustling, fast-paced Rome). My favorite part of each day was gathering for dinner at the restaurant to enjoy Emilio’s fantastic dishes, fine red and white wines from the region, amazing desserts, and great conversations with our new friends. Due to the casual/flexible nature of this tour, do not expect to do everything listed in the tour description or to follow the daily schedule exactly as shown. Just relax and know that you will be treated to some stunning sights with some amazing hosts who want you to experience the best that their region of Italy has to offer. My husband and I highly recommend this tour! Final note: Omar at Soleto Travel was excellent to work with! He was very responsive and helpful as we planned for this tour.

Private Sicily Food & Wine Lovers Tour Tour

Private Sicily Food & Wine Lovers Tour

This is a MUST for any foodie. Our guides were amazing and it was nice to have a true foodie tour while still learning a lot and having a ton of fun. While each day was filled with beauty and delicious food, my favorites were being by Mt. Etna (because, it's Mt. Etna!!) at the winery and farmhouse, then the cooking class in Taormina. Our chef was so kind and always smiling! It's a truly wonderful experience. The wineries we visited gave us that feeling that life can't get any better. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that my husband and I will never forget. Everyday was a new and exciting memory. I didn't stop smiling throughout the whole trip. What really stuck out were the people and how kind everyone was. They really wanted you to have an amazing time...job well done, everyone!

Discover Matera and Taste of Salento Tour Tour

Discover Matera and Taste of Salento Tour

Best decision I've ever made. On the masseria on the country side you will be surrounded by a lovely family running the restaurant making sure you will experience the local life, la dolce vita. The food was the best I've ever tasted. Fresh, simple (almost no additional ingredients!) comfort food and very very tastful. Lots of raw fish, fresh pasta, cheeses, cold meat, good olive oil and complementing wine. The chef Emilio is very modest but he's a star really. They make you feel like you're their guest at home, I felt so welcome and as if I was part of the family/a friend. So warm. When you book the tour (I really recommend this!!) with overnight stay, the group will be no more than 4 persons (nice and cozy!), I was a solo traveller and stayed together with another woman. Every day the family (mostly Clara, lady of the house) drove us places (nature, beaches, cities, churches, you name it) to experience the local life and to see all the Salento treasures. The program is very flexible, they discuss the program day by day, as you wish. Very pleasant and also a good combination of trips and free time. Really everything was taken care of, total relaxation, felt like a queen but as if it was my own family/friends taking care of me. There are so many things I would like to say to compliment them, I truly recommend this place. I am home for 2 weeks now and I genuinely miss them. After that I stayed at Matera for 3 days in a very nice hotel and had some private city tours with a very pleasant tour gide. Matera is truly enchanting, such a romantic and historical city. The view is stunning, and the (enormous) hotel room actually inside the Sassi is quite an experience! Breakfast at the hotel was really luxurious and dinner outside the hotel every day was also luxurious, you are really taken care of. The food/wine tasting was also delicious and the people were so nice and generous! I really enjoyed these last days, the accommodation was really luxurious and there is lots to see in the Sassi area of Matera. All in all it was a very balanced tour. I booked my tour at Salento Travel (Omar), he was really helpful during booking this tour, kind, always quick with responding and also very flexible. Asked for a late airport transfer on the way back as I had a night flight. No problem at all and I had the best car and driver I could wish for. I really recommend this trip, you won’t regret it!

Charming Sicily Food & Wine Small Group Tour - 8 days Tour

Charming Sicily Food & Wine Small Group Tour - 8 days

Overall our tour was wonderful. We had a great time. Denise, especially was a very good guide, very knowledgable and personable. The cooking class and our Palermo Street Food tour was, probably my favorites. A few areas that could have been improved upon: - A little more communication prior to the tour would have been reassuring. In this day of fraud it is a little unnerving to send all that money into the internet and not get much of a response. - The final communication, our itinerary, was a definite problem. We were told by Tour Radar that we would receive it 10-14 days before we left. The tour operator (ClickTours/Mossimo) told us we would receive it 8 days before we left. I finally called Tour Radar 6 days before we left

Sicily Food Adventure Tour

Sicily Food Adventure

Valentina was the best guide and made the trip so much fun and educational!

8-Day Foodie Tour Of Northern Italy Tour

8-Day Foodie Tour Of Northern Italy

  • €50 deposit on some dates Some departure dates offer you the chance to book this tour with a lower deposit.

South Italy Campania Escape Tour

South Italy Campania Escape

Hotel room was large and comfortable = 5* Hotel location was difficult : NO buses, NO subway close by. We had to walk a LOT , even to reach meeting points for daily tours !! (2*) Staff was VERY friendly and helpful. (5*) TOUR to POMPEI / VESUVIO was excellent, considering the conditions... Excellent LUNCH and wine testing (5*) We did the VESUVIO hike, all the way to the TOP ! (5*) TOUR of NAPOLI was good. / We saw many more places, and took the subway (5*) Note : we had problems with the street food . Difficult to find good, relaxing places to have dinner in NAPOLI. ..Next time we will consult a TOUR GUIDE BOOK.

5 Days Italian  Cookery Getaway in Umbria Tour

5 Days Italian Cookery Getaway in Umbria

Staying at let’s cook Umbria and doing the cooking course with Raffaella was the highlight of our time in Italy. The location was gorgeous and the cooking was lots of fun. We loved it and Raffaella is an excellent host

A Taste of Tuscany - Hilltop Towns and Vineyards Tour

  • In-depth Cultural

A Taste of Tuscany - Hilltop Towns and Vineyards

5 Luxury days on the Sacred Land of Umbria Tour

5 Luxury days on the Sacred Land of Umbria

Northern Italy Gourmet Luxury Tour - 8 Days Tour

Northern Italy Gourmet Luxury Tour - 8 Days

Everything about our tour was just amzingly great... from the tours, to the arrangements, to our chaufered driven Mercedes. One suggestion about our last stay at Locandia Marquesi di Alfieri. It is a very small village, and no nearby restaurant open on Mondays. Without a vehicle, it can be difficult, so it would be good to inform your clients. Also, the goodbye dinner was at Blue Rose, which would require a walk down to and back up the steep road. At night it can be a challenge and even dangerous, with no sidewalks. I would suggest either Osteria il Re degli Ignoranti or Ristorante Concordia, which are much closer to the Locandia Marquesi di Alfieri Hotel.

Gourmet Rome, Sorrento & Capri Tour

Gourmet Rome, Sorrento & Capri

Reviews of food & culinary tours in italy.

I can’t say enough good things about our experience in Sicily thanks to Mossimo and his team. Excellent, informative tour guides…Denise, Carlos, Antonio and Sem. The cooking class may have been the highlight, but all of the activities were fun and the pace of the tour, planned activities/free time mix was perfect. Will definitely recommend!
Italy Real Food Adventure tour is amazing! I'm happy to travel around the cities in Italy and eat all of the food there!
Continued.. Besides both Carla and Emilios own knowlege and history of each place they had Profesional guides to take you around to the other places. Nice to be in a private car. Great food like I said before. Emilio really takes care and you can see the passion in every dish he makes. Very well put together tour. Loved my stay at the farmhouse learning about the olive trees. Overall a Wonderful experience during my week in brindisi. Will visit again! Crystal

Food & Culinary Tours

  • Wine tasting (13)
  • Cooking classes (8)

Regions in Italy

  • South Italy (42)
  • Central Italy (28)
  • Northern Italy (23)
  • Tuscany (19)
  • Puglia (13)
  • Apulia (13)
  • Campania (12)
  • Sicily (11)
  • Amalfi Coast (11)
  • Emilia Romagna (11)
  • Lazio, Marche & Abruzzo (9)
  • Piedmont (6)
  • Prosecco (6)

Travel Styles

  • 10 Best Food & Culinary Tours 2024/2025
  • Italy Travel Guide | All You Need to Know
  • Itinerary Ideas for 10 Days in Italy, 2022-2023
  • Best 7 Day Italy Itineraries 2024/2025 (with Reviews)
  • Discover the Best Italy Vacation Packages 2024/2025
  • What is the best time to visit Italy in 2024/2025?

International Versions

  • Deutsch: Italien Kulinarikreise Rundreisen
  • Français: Italie : Voyages culinaires
  • Español: Viajes gastronómicos en Italia
  • Nederlands: Eten & culinair Rondreizen in Italië
  • Montalcino wine tour
  • Chianti wine tour
  • Montepulciano wine tour
  • Montalcino and Montepulciano wine tour
  • Supertuscans wine tour
  • Cortona wine tour
  • Sagrantino di Montefalco wine tour
  • Orvieto wine tour
  • Umbria wine tour
  • Arezzo wine tour
  • San Gimignano wine tour
  • Organic, Biodynamic and Natural Wine Tour
  • Bike & Wine
  • Cheese maker for a day
  • Truffle hunting tour
  • Grandma’s home cooking school
  • Michelin star chef cooking class
  • Emilia Food Valley Tour
  • Bologna food tour
  • A day in a Tuscan farm
  • Be a local! A lifestyle experience
  • Private Sommelier at home
  • Events Planner & MICE
  • The Tuscan Somm Blog

wine & food tours in tuscany and italy

TASTE THE EXPERIENCE

tailor made W ine &  F ood Tours around Tuscany and Italy with private driver and guided wineries visits and tastings

Vino! Experience unique wine and food tours with private drivers, professional sommeliers and expert food guides; let us lead you through the best Tuscan and Italian boutiques wineries’ visits, intimate wine tastings and delicious foodie experiences

cooking school in Tuscany cooking the best traditional Tuscan and Italian dishes

Pasta, pasta, pasta! Italian family style cooking class with grandma? Or a masterclass with an Italian Michelin star chef?

private sommelier for private tastings experiences at your villa

Looking for a private tasting experience at your villa? Hire a Tuscan Somm and let you guide and enjoy the best Tuscan and Italian wines

event planner creating your special event in Tuscany and all Italy

Life is good! Enjoy your private experience in Tuscany and all Italy with the help of a professional event planner and manager

Experience the heart of the best Italian wine regions and taste the finest Tuscan wines with passionate local guides and experts, specialized in individual and small-group private wine tours in Tuscany with departure from Siena, Florence, Cortona, Montalcino, Montepulciano, Chianti, San Gimignano, Assisi, Orvieto, Arezzo, Perugia, Pienza and all Tuscany and Umbria. Discover the top wine tours in Tuscany and Italy with our local travel specialists and our guided winery tours with tastings and transportation.

Food Tours  & Cooking Classes

Discover the food highlights of Tuscany and Italy with our special food and culinary tours with enthusiast local guides and experts designed to get a true taste of Italy. Food tours and activities available with departure from Siena, Florence, Cortona, Montalcino, Montepulciano, Chianti, San Gimignano, Assisi, Orvieto, Arezzo, Perugia, Pienza and all Tuscany and Umbria. Experience authentic cooking classes, learn and get all the Gramma’s secret!

Sit back and enjoy the tour 

Private transportation with drivers  using comfortable and luxury sedans and minivans Mercedes – Benz included. Customization of all the tours and costumer assistance 

We come to you

Food & wine tours from Siena, Florence, Montalcino, Chianti, Cortona, Montepulciano, San Gimignano, Arezzo, Assisi, Orvieto, Perugia  |  Pick up from all the locations in Tuscany, Umbria and Italy

Taste the Experience!  Get started on planning your tours!

Clear information & competence, guidance on customizing your services, sommelier at home.

Directly and comfortably at your holiday villa and home a private Sommelier-guided tasting experience with top wines. A Tuscan sommelier for private dinners at home with selected wines, for events, parties, birthday parties, anniversaries, wine tasting sessions and for wedding receptions in all Tuscany and Italy.

Celebrate it! Event Planner & MICE

Our expert event planners will design and coordinate your best private experience. From weddings, anniversaries and elopements, to private dining and events, and to team-building and incentive tours in Tuscany and all Italy

The Wine & Food Experience

wine tours and tastings  food tours and activities cooking classes  sommelier at home event planner and MICE

 Tuscany and Italy as you have never seen The Wine and Food Experience comes from an idea of GET TOURS , an incoming tour operator, and a private driver and car service company founded in 2014 and based in Cortona (Tuscany). We are a young but very experienced team with a passion for travel and care of detail, specializes in tailor made travel experiences and bespoke tours in Tuscany and other Italian regions.

Taste the Experience!

© 2024 The Wine & Food Experience all rights reserved | [email protected] | +39 334 750 8079 | Provided by GET TOURS www.get-tours.it

Amawater ways burgandy 2024

Culinary Tour to Tuscany Italy

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You've heard the hype:

  • Tuscany, Italy is as beautiful as a postcard.
  • The food is incredible.
  • The landscape is breathtaking.
  • The streets are vibrant and full of charm and history.
  • The wine is, arguably, some of the best on Earth.

And it's TRUE!

A week in Tuscany culinary nurtures both body and spirit. Imagine spending the morning overlooking the vine-covered hills of Tuscany as the sun peaks through the mist, cooking with the best locally produced ingredients, and then enjoying meals al fresco with exquisite wines we've discovered along the way. We'll explore the Tuscan culinary scene, visiting artisan cheese makers, olive mills, and vineyards that produce some of the best wines in the world.

The Tuscan table celebrates fresh seasonal ingredients prepared with passion yet minimal fuss. We'll create traditional dishes with the bounty of Spring. This is a place to slow down while enjoying delicious food and wine with new friends who feel like family. 

When we're ready to relax and take it all in, our meticulously renovated 16th-century villa awaits! And the best part of this extraordinary week is that I will be hosting this trip alongside my dear friend, Valentina Lizzo, proprietor of this lovely villa. You will be in excellent hands!

** Price listed is per person and based on double occupancy.  A single supplement charge applies for solo travelers. Limited availability for sIngle occupancy rooms. Airfare not included.  Deposit of  $2000.00 per person required to secure a spot.  See tour Terms and Conditions here.

Reserve Your Space

culinary tours in tuscany italy

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Tuscan Villa Accommodations

We'll stay at the luxurious and beautiful Villa Valentina in the heart of the Chianti region just outside of Lucca- my favorite Tuscan city, famous for its incredible wine and the best olive oil in the world! 

This gorgeous 16th-century renovated estate is situated among olive groves, cypress trees, vegetable gardens, grape vines, and rolling hills. With its grand villa, tennis court, and swimming pool with incredible Tuscan scenery, our home for the week will make you feel like you're in an Italian paradise! Amenities abound, including Wi-Fi and spa services.

Each spacious room in our villa is beautifully furnished and features stunning views that look like a painting! There are two huge suites with sitting rooms, bathrooms the size of my kitchen, and gorgeous frescos. There are also 3 deluxe rooms which are more spacious, grand, beautifully appointed, and have stunning views. Room upgrades are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Please inquire upon registration.

Don't just take my word for it. Watch this virtual tour!  

Tuscan Cooking Classes

This tour will include several hands-on cooking classes focusing on seasonal Tuscan cuisine. We'll cook in the villa's gorgeous well-equipped professional kitchen using the freshest ingredients from outdoor markets and butcher shops in the village. Since we'll be there in time for Spring, we'll create some dishes with the bounty of local fresh produce and use plenty of the region's delicious olive oil and cheeses!

We'll make handmade pastas, like garganelli, and top it with a tomato sauce finished with crispy shards of guanciale.   Then we'll create some of my favorite recipes, such as spinach ravioli filled with ricotta and mint, creamy risotto, and decadent desserts like Caramelized Chocolate Almond Budino. Oh, and since we have a giant wood-fired oven, we'll have to invite the best local pizzaiolo or master pizza maker to come to the villa and make pizzas with us!  

Tuscan Day Trips

In addition to our cooking classes at the villa, we'll explore the region together in comfortable touring vans. There are so many options for our excursions! I am sure we will visit a winery or two to taste and learn about Chianti wine and the Sangiovese grape, Super Tuscan, and Brunello wines - some of the world's most exceptional wines.

Tuscany is also famous for its olive oils and pecorino cheese, so it would be fun to possibly visit an olive mill and cheese producer to see why! Then, we might head off to Pistoia for the incomparable open-air market. Here, we will find the best local produce we can gather for our evening class and dinner. On the way back to the villa from the market, we might visit the beautiful hilltop town of Montecatini Alto and enjoy lunch in the picturesque square. The options are limitless.

Tuscany Trip Details

This tour begins on the evening of first day with a welcome reception and dinner at the villa and concludes after breakfast on the final day. Group transfers are available for pick-up late afternoon at the Pisa Airport or the Porta Santa Maria Information Center, at the corner of Via San Paolino, in central Lucca. Return group transfer is offered the morning of the final day-- time to be determined, as we aim to accommodate the majority of guests with the included transportation.  

This tour costs $6500.00 US per person, based on double occupancy. A non-refundable deposit of $2000.00 US per person is required to register for the journey. Limited single occupancy rooms are available, and a single supplement charge of $1500.00 US applies for solo travelers. Please inquire about upgraded rooms and suites. See the  Terms and Conditions  for more details.

Accommodations, cooking classes, excursions and day trips, transfers, transportation during the tour, wine, and meals, excluding one optional dinner out, are included. Airfare is not included. Final payments are to be made by personal check or money order.

We strongly recommended that participants obtain travel insurance.  Please note that travel insurance policies and their provisions vary greatly.

During this tour, we are committed to following Federal, State, and local health guidelines to the best of our ability.

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May 11-17, 2024 Please inquire about availability.

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Culinary Tour to the Island of Crete, Greece

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Join me on a Greek Island full of ancient legends, delicious cuisine, crystal-clear blue water, and glorious sunshine.

October 15-21, 2024

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Portuguese Riviera

The secret is out — Portugal is a food and wine lover's dream destination!

October 7-13, 2024 Please inquire about availability.

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Seville, Spain

Explore a vibrant place filled with history, delicious cuisine, and flamenco in Southern Spain!

April 29-May 5, 2024 One room available!

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Prepare to be astounded by the endless vineyards, food and vibrant lifestyle that make this destination so special!

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Where to Dine and Taste Local Wine in the Tuscan Region of Bolgheri

Le Macchiole’s Cinzia Merli reveals the secrets of this sea-bounded Tuscan wine region.

culinary tours in tuscany italy

CHARISSA FAY

“This area, Bolgheri, is very special for potatoes,” Cinzia Merli is saying as she rolls out a rope of gnocchi dough on a cutting board dusted with flour. “If I ever had to change my life completely, I could grow potatoes. And what’s the secret to gnocchi? Good potatoes.”

Merli is the proprietor of one of Bolgheri’s benchmark wineries, Le Macchiole. She makes world-class reds (and one white) from the Tuscan estate’s 86 acres of vines, wines that live in the same rarefied atmosphere as the great Super-Tuscans that brought the region its fame (Sassicaia and Ornellaia, particularly). But she also makes excellent gnocchi. “January through April? You can’t make good gnocchi,” she says, slicing the dough into small, even pillows. “The potatoes lose too much water. The new crop comes again in May.”

In her kitchen at the winery, the light slants through the windows and the open door — it’s a temperate day, with a soft breeze off the coast rustling through the vine leaves outside. Though Merli will claim over and over that she’s not a great cook, this is just her nature. She’s modest about everything except her wines. (Those she is justifiably proud of.) She says, “My mother is a much better cook than I am. And my younger son even says that! ‘I made some ragù, do you want some?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘OK, how was it?’ ‘It was good, but Nonna does it better.’”  What can you do?  her expression says.

Both of Merli’s sons are now in their early 30s and work for the family company. Elia, the older, oversees the vineyards; his younger brother, Mattia, helps with sales and marketing. Le Macchiole has been their life. Elia says, “Officially, I started in 2013, but the first time I worked in the vineyard, I was probably 6 years old. I had my small scissors, I harvested two vines, and I said, ‘OK, now I am tired.’ But every Saturday, I went in the truck with my father to go sell the wines.”

Merli and her husband, Eugenio Campolmi, founded Le Macchiole together in 1983, against his own parents’ wishes. “Agriculture was not good at the time, and wine was worse,” Merli says. “But he bought this property anyway and took out a 500 million lire mortgage [about $300,000 at the time]. It was a big problem.” Both of them had grown up in the area; Campolmi’s family owned a small restaurant, and Merli’s family were farmers. Campolmi’s instincts about Le Macchiole’s potential proved correct. “In 1995, that was when everything changed,” she says. “There was a France-versus-Italy tasting of the 1992 vintage at Vinitaly [the massive wine trade show that occurs yearly in Verona]. Sassicaia, Ornellaia, Redigaffi, us, against Château Pichon Lalande and the other great Bordeaux properties. And Le Macchiole was second overall. Nobody knew us, and suddenly, everything changed. Overnight. Everyone was coming to our booth, wanting to taste.”

The late 1990s were halcyon years for the couple. Then, Campolmi was diagnosed with lung cancer, and in July 2002, he died. He was 40. Merli was 35; Elia and Mattia were 13 and 9. Even then, women rarely, if ever, ran wineries in Italy. Everyone in the region, in the standard chauvinistic way of the times, assumed she would sell — everyone except Merli herself. She kept on.

“I lost my husband in July, and the harvest that year was the worst in 15 or 20 years: cold and incredibly rainy. Then 2003 was really hot — so hot. And I started to think,  This is a sign. I’m being told not to do this. This is not my work, not my destiny.  But my brother came to me and said, ‘Listen: one more vintage. Then you decide.’ So, 2004. I think the moment for me was when we released the 2004 vintage, and our wine Messorio got 100 points. And probably a lot of people thought,  OK, she actually can do this. ” She smiles. “Well, yes.”

Today, Le Macchiole is internationally recognized as one of Tuscany’s greatest estates. It has changed in some ways: The original 10 acres of vineyards have grown to 86 over the years. All are farmed organically. “We went organic because Eugenio got sick,” Merli says. “I didn’t want to expose anyone else at the winery to those risks.” But it is still very much a family business, and a farm, more than anything else. “My family are farmers, and I like to think of Le Macchiole that way,” Merli says. “Not just as a wine producer.”

Bolgheri has changed, too. It never fit the classic idea of Tuscany — the hilltop towns; the yellow and orange villas; all that  Under the Tuscan Sun,  languorous, find-your-bliss-through-pasta cliché. Bolgheri is on the coast, a subregion of the larger Maremma (specifically, it’s in the Maremma Livornese, or Alta Maremma), the lowlands of which were, until the mid-1800s, more or less a malarial swamp. As one old Tuscan folk song has it, “Everybody tells me about Maremma, Maremma / But it seems to me that Maremma is bitter / The bird that goes there loses its feathers / I lost a loved one there / May Maremma, Maremma be damned.” Cheery! But in the 1820s, the Grand Duke of Tuscany, Leopoldo II, brought in some 5,000 workers to turn the swamp into fertile land, and that fertile land proved — at least by the 1980s — to be perfect for wine grapes. Not the traditional Sangiovese of Tuscany, but French varieties, which are what, in 1983, Campolmi and Merli planted: Syrah , Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot, among others.

In essence, Bolgheri is where the hills of Tuscany meet the sea, and as a place to visit, it offers the best of both. Fresh fish abounds in its restaurants, but so does the famed Chianina beef of Tuscany’s inland regions. You can buy wild-boar prosciutto at a salumeria in a tiny town perched above the coast (Specialità Mucci e Staccioli, in Monteverdi Marittimo) then descend down winding roads and find yourself sipping a spritz at sunset in an outdoor bar with a view of the water (Colto e Mangiato, just down the street from Le Macchiole). Spend time with Merli, and inevitably you’ll end up at some of her favorite spots: the Piccolo Biscottificio Castagnetano in Castagneto Carducci, where the Biagioni family makes traditional corolli incesi, biscotti with an eagle-shaped outline that references the coat of arms of the noble Gherardesca family; Osteria Magona, where chef Omar Barsacchi will cook you a massive bistecca alla Fiorentina to go with Le Macchiole’s complex, compelling Paleo Rosso red; or La Pineta, where you can sit at a table looking over the Tyrrhenian Sea at sunset and know that the fish on your plate came from that water a few hundred feet away. Or you can just spend a day sunning yourself on the beach, not an uncommon pursuit, especially for the residents of Livorno to the north. “The Livornese are tan from March to November,” Merli says. “They’re like lizards on the rocks as soon as the sun comes out.”

But if you are lucky, you’ll just sit down to eat whatever Merli herself decides to cook. On a recent day, that meant those gnocchi, tossed with asparagus and pancetta, risotto with zucchini and shrimp, and an herb-crusted roast pork loin. We talked about Bolgheri, what it was and what it’s become. It’s more visited than it once was, no question, but it still lacks the hordes who descend on Siena or San Gimignano (or, even more alarmingly, Florence). There’s also been a boom in wineries, the number rising from 45 to 70 just since 2019. “Tourism really started picking up 10 years ago,” Merli says. “I’m convinced it’s the richness of our region. Not just the wine — the wine is the money, sure. But we have so many things to offer. And we help each other. In Bolgheri, success is a currency shared by everyone.”

Bolgheri wines to try

2021 le macchiole bolgheri rosso ($40).

There’s no better introduction to the wines of the region than this elegantly powerful red, a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc , Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah. But to truly experience the brilliance of Cinzia Merli’s wines, seek out her  2021 Paleo Rosso  ($125). It’s aromatic, long-aging, and inarguably one of the world’s greatest Cabernet Francs.

2021 Chiappini Felciaino ($45)

The Chiappini family moved to Bolgheri in the 1950s and has been making wine here since the 1980s (and now farms 100% organically). This Cabernet-based blend is vivid, with lots of red cherry–berry flavor and fine-grained tannins.

2020 Grattamacco Bolgheri Vermentino ($50)

Grattamacco was one of the earliest estates in Bolgheri and helped build the region’s reputation. Its white — floral, peach-inflected, full-bodied but crisp — is a standout with any kind of seafood.

2020 Poggio al Tesoro Sondraia ($95)

This is the flagship red of Marilisa Allegrini’s stunning property in Bolgheri. (The Allegrini family also owns wineries in Brunello and in Valpolicella.) Primarily Cabernet Sauvignon with small amounts of Merlot and Cabernet Franc, it’s structured and complex, meant for aging.

2020 Ornellaia ($310)

One of the stars of the region, Ornellaia’s 2020 vintage is a gorgeously layered, structured blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon with Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot. At a more modest price, look for the  2020 Le Serre Nuove dell’Ornellaia  ($70) ,  which leads with Merlot . It’s still very impressive — a good option for drinking now.

A local's guide to Bolgheri

Where to dine and sleep in bolgheri, osteria magona.

Chef Omar Barsacchi’s bistecca alla Fiorentina is second to none, and his wine list at this converted farmhouse features lengthy verticals of Bolgheri’s greatest reds. Barsacchi himself, 6 feet, 5 inches tall and bearded, looks like he stepped right out of  Game of Thrones.  When I met him, he was headed out the door, on his way to Sweden to hunt woodcocks with his father. osteriamagona.com

Colto e Mangiato

Appealing seasonal, open-air bars are a growing trend in Bolgheri. This one is a primo place to order some local wine and a plate of excellent housemade charcuterie, then settle in at a picnic table on the bar’s expansive lawn. coltoemangiato.com

Il Bucaniere

At this seaside restaurant in San Vincenzo, chef and fisherman Fulvietto Pierangelini does wonders with fresh seafood, like a tartare of raw shrimp, ricotta, and artichokes, and with pastas as well. “He doesn’t speak much, but he’s amazingly talented,” Cinzia Merli says. ristoranteilbucaniere.com

Lo Scoglietto

This whitewashed seaside spot in Rosignano Marittimo is a favorite of local winemakers, not least because of its extensive Champagne selection. Sit outside, order the delicate and ultra-fresh frittura mista, pop a bottle of bubbles, and people-watch the bathers on the beach. loscogliettorosignano.it

“I was born two kilometers from here,” Merli says about this elegant yet unpretentious eatery on the beach in Marina di Bibbona. “I played on this beach when I was a child. It’s my home.” Expect local fish, caught fresh daily; sublime pastas like spaghetti with mussels, mint, and lemon ; and, overall, remarkable cooking from chefs Andrea and Daniele Zazzeri. lapinetadizazzeri.it

Relais dei Molini

This charming B&B sits on a hillside in Castagneto Carducci and has gorgeous views of the sea in the distance, not to mention an excellent breakfast. It’s an ideal home base for any Bolgheri wine trip.  Rooms from $156, relaisdeimolini.it

Where to taste and shop in Bolgheri

Emilio borsi.

This small shop opened its doors in 1800 as a pharmacy selling quinine tonics to combat malaria in the region. Today, it trades in alluring digestifs made much the same way, with quinine bark and bitter and sweet orange peel, among other recipes. borsiliquori.it

Specialità Mucci e Staccioli

Alessandro Staccioli’s crowded shop in Monteverdi Marittimo is a paradise of pork (and pecorino, which he makes with milk from his own sheep). Go for the prosciutto di cinghiale (wild boar); stay for Staccioli himself, an unstoppable impresario whose energy level goes to 11. specialitamucciestaccioli.it

Rita Salvadori studied art but fell in love with growing peppers, and now she organically cultivates 22 varieties. Stop here for a tour and tasting, and you’ll never settle for flavorless, industrial, flaked red peppers again. peperita.it

Piccolo Biscottificio Castagnetano

This tiny bakery located in Castagneto Carducci is run by Alberto Biagioni, who uses his grandmother’s handwritten recipes for local delicacies like corolli incesi, crunchy biscottilike treats scented with anise.

Le Macchiole

Book in advance for a private tour and tasting at Cinzia Merli’s Le Macchiole, one of Bolgheri’s greatest wineries. Over the course of an hour and a half, you will visit the vineyards and the winery and end with a tasting of four of the estate’s five wines.  $109 per person, lemacchiole.it

The Chiappini family has been farming in the Bolgheri region since the 1950s and has been certified organic since 2010. From the second-floor tasting room, on a clear day, you can see across the Tyrrhenian Sea to Elba and Corsica. Tours include a tasting of five wines.  $60 per person, giovannichiappini.it

Poggio al Tesoro

The brilliant Marilisa Allegrini planted this substantial estate with her agronomist brother Walter in 2001. Walter died unexpectedly in 2003 and is memorialized in Poggio al Tesoro’s top wine, Dedicato a Walter, a gorgeous 100% Cabernet Franc red.  $65 per person for a tour and tasting, poggioaltesoro.it

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Cooking Vacations & Culinary Tours in Italy, Portugal & Croatia

Culinary Vacations with the best hands-on cooking classes & cultural tours in Italy, Portugal & Croatia. Culinary Tours in Tuscany , The Amalfi Coast , Sicily Portugal and more. Learn to cook traditional Italian recipes with local Nonnas, famous chefs, pastry artisans & pizza masters. Our Italian culinary holidays are all inclusive, authentic, and include market, vineyard & cultural tours and once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Make wine in Tuscany’s vineyards, go truffle hunting in Umbria, make limoncello on the Amalfi Coast, Cannoli in Sicily, Tortellini in Bologna, experience "local" Croatia, and exclusive Portuguese dishes in Portugal. You are Family in our Italian, Portuguese and Croatian Kitchens, and share our love for cooking and family on our culinary vacations in Italy , as well as our culinary vacations in Portugal and our experiential vacations in Croatia .

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It starts with location. There is nothing quite like small town hospitality when you get away from the areas infected with mass tourism. The people are warm and welcoming, and the more you eat their food and drink their wine, the more they fill with joy. That sense of Italian hospitality is our number one priority with every guest on our culinary holidays. Our goal with each guest is not to simply show you the sights and offer culinary experiences. It is to bring you into our family . Everything we do revolves around that premise. It is all so relaxed and fun. Our guests quickly find that we don’t treat them like customers. We treat them like visiting relatives (The kind we enjoy having, that is!). Of course, this sounds like marketing mumbo jumbo, but it simply isn’t. It is one of the reasons our guests so regularly tell us we far exceeded their expectations .

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culinary tours in tuscany italy

15+ Things To Do In Tuscany Italy

T uscany. The word itself evokes a feeling in you of green rolling hills, Tuscan trees, wine, a slower pace of life, and the Tuscan sun! In this post, we will share our list of the top things to do in Tuscany.

When planning a trip to Europe you will want to have Tuscany on your list (along with Cinque Terre and Rome )! The food makes it 100% worth it not to mention that Tuscany is one of the most instagrammable places in Italy .

Tuscany is a region located on the western side of central Italy bordering the Ligurian and the Tyrrhenian Sea. It is home to large cities like Florence and Pisa and has a gorgeous landscape of hills and mountains.

It is a region known for its agriculture and wine. Being home to influential figures in the history of art and science and amazing museums. It is a large area to cover so you will want to decide how you want to spend your time in Tuscany.

  • Agriturismo Farm – You can choose to immerse yourself in the Tuscan culture by staying at an Agriturismo Farm.
  • Big City – You can explore the big cities of Florence and Pisa and spend days exploring the city, restaurants, history and the museums.
  • Walled Cities – You can explore the historic walled cities and all of their tiny small streets, delicious gelato and history.
  • Wine – Make it all about the wine and wine tasting. Don’t forget to try the olive oil too!

Whatever you choose you are going to love Tuscany and everything it brings to the table. Below we share our recommendations on how to do a little bit of everything when you are in Tuscany.

Getting Around

If you want to explore all around Tuscany you are going to need to rent a car, hire a driver or join a tour. If you are just going from Pisa to Florence you can take the train but getting out into the Tuscan countryside (which we do recommend) you will need another way to get around.

When we went we took a train to Pisa and rented a car at the airport there . We did have to walk from the train station to the airport it was about a 20 minute walk.

Renting a car in Tuscany was not difficult and I am glad we did it, it gave us the freedom to stay where we wanted to and to explore all over Tuscany!

The roads are tight but you are driving on the same side of the car and road as in the US (I’m looking at you UK!) so it wasn’t that bad at all. It just took a minute or a few miles to get used to it. We only ended up driving the wrong way on one street . . . really that was all and it all worked out. 

After our week in Tuscany, we returned the car and took the train from Pisa to Florence. We would not recommend a car for visiting Florence. It isn’t needed.

Where To Stay

Tuscany is a large area. Here is a map of where we stayed and how far out the different places we visited were. If you have specific cities you want to visit while in Tuscany you may want to find a place that is close to those.

The roads are almost all country roads and none of them are just straight. That means there is extra time added on for driving. From our location at the Diacceronia Agriturismo it was a 1 hour 15 minute drive to get to Lucca. Volterra – even though it looks a lot closer was 30 minutes and San Gimignano was about 40 minutes.

Florence was almost a 90 minute drive but we didn’t plan to explore Florence while we were staying at Diacceroni. Instead we stayed in Florence for 3 nights which we would definitely recommend you do.

We thought our location was perfect for what we wanted to do and we would recommend it IF you have a car. But based on the activities you want to do and the cities you want to visit you will want to pull up a map.

Agriturismo Farm

Stay at an Agriturismo farm . These are farm stays and one of the coolest ways to truly experience the Tuscan countryside. I researched a variety of places to stay when we were in Tuscany and they ranged from bigger cities like Pisa to small towns like San Gimignano. Throughout my search, I kept coming across these Agriturismo options and knew I needed to dig in deeper!

The further I looked the more I knew this is where we needed to stay. In a sense, it is staying on a company’s farm/property usually in an apartment, villa, or in our case a glamping tent! The place we picked made wine, wheat, Prosecco, jams, and many more delicious things! 

When we were going it was the off-season so unfortunately, we missed out on the daily planned activities that started just a couple of weeks after we left. But what that meant is we almost had the whole place to ourselves and we really got to know the owner and the amazing people working there. It was one of our top experiences in our whole 3-month trip to Europe!

Ok, so now that you know you should say at an Agriturismo Farm while you are visiting Tuscany let’s get into more details on what to do. And never fear there will be more details on our stay down below under our Where To Stay section. Make sure to keep reading to that section so you don’t miss out on pasta making, truffle hunting, wine tasting, and more!! 

Top Things To Do In Tuscany

We were able to experience the truffle hunting, pasta making and wine tasting with 5 course meal at the Agriturismo farm we were staying at and we wouldn’t have it any other way! 

Truffle Hunting

What an experience! They had a local Truffle hunter come with his 2 dogs and they took us truffle hunting on their property. He showed us how to truffle hunt, talked about the history of truffle hunting, and off we went!

We found multiple truffles – well the dogs did! And the kids were able to dig them up. After we found them they brought them to the chef and he made us an appetizer with the truffles. AMAZING!!

We also got to meet his sweet dogs and got to know more about them. When in Tuscany do this!! 

Pasta Making

We knew we wanted to do Pasta Making while in Italy and it was perfect that they offer this right on-site. Each one of us had our own station and the local chef walked us through the process of how to make multiple different kinds of pasta from scratch.

We got to choose which kind we wanted to make. After that, we used a few ingredients they had given us and made our pasta. 

We came back later that night and enjoyed our pasta for dinner! They also offer Pizza making classes which would be awesome to do too. 

Wine Tasting with 5 course meal

We did this one with just Craig and I and my parents. It was exactly how you would picture a Tuscan dinner – relaxed, long and delicious!!

They brought out 5 different courses and 5 different wines. It was done at a leisurely pace with history shared on each wine and dish we had. It was such a fun night. Another top recommended thing to do when visiting Tuscany! 

One of the beautiful sites of Northern Italy is the Apuan Alps. These majestic mountains overlook the coastline. To the locals, this mountain range is known as the Marble Mountains, because of its famous marble quarries. If you love hiking the Apuan Alps are filled with amazing trails and one of the largest cave systems.

Traditional Cooking Class with Dessert

Can you really go to Italy without learning how to make pasta and dessert? With this great cooking class , you will learn how to make 3 different types of authentic pasta and a traditional dessert. And the best part is after the class you get to eat what you prepared.

Places to visit in Tuscany

When in Tuscany we knew we wanted to visit as many walled cities as we could. What I didn’t really plan for was where we were staying and how close/far everything was. If you are someone who likes a tight itinerary where everything flows and makes sense I recommend picking out what places you want to visit in Tuscany first and from there figure out what part of Tuscany you should stay.

We did the opposite. But in the end, it all worked out and there was no way we were going to see all of Tuscany in 1 week so it was all good. 

I listed Volterra first because it was my favorite. It is so hard to believe that these types of towns actually still exist. It was literally like stepping back in time. This gorgeous hilltop town in Tuscany should not be missed.

No matter what you do when you are here make sure to set aside time just to walk the streets and explore, take pictures and just imagine yourself here hundreds of years ago. 

Here is what we did when we visited.

Parking In Volterra

You can’t park in the town. This is serious – don’t do it. It will ruin your trip to come out and find a ticket, or worse, your rental car towed away! 

Instead, find a lot to park in outside of town and be prepared to walk up the street and when I say up I mean uphill to get into Volterra. 

We parked here as this made sense based on the direction we came into town and because it was by a grocery store and we needed to get groceries before heading back to our glamping tent. Parcheggio “Torricella”, Viale Carlo Cassola, 56048 Volterra PI, Italy

A few other options we came across were: Parcheggio Porta Fiorentina parking lot (GPS: 43.403735, 10.860952), Parcheggio Macelli (GPS: 43.404381, 10.861361) or you could try the Parcheggio Docciola lot (GPS: 43.403384, 10.863572). The Vallebona lot is residents only so even though it looks tempting don’t do it! For any of these make sure to read the signs and that they haven’t changed anything about who can park here.

Map Of What We Did In Volterra:

Click here for the Interactive Map.

View point Teatro Romano

From here you can view the Teatro Romano ruins. They are really well preserved and it was interesting to look down at them from above and imagine what they were like hundreds of years ago. 

You can go down to explore the ruins and see the museum. But unfortunately, when we were there they were closed. 

San Michele Arcangelo

In Europe, you can’t not stop in a church. They are almost all unique and have amazing architecture and a story to tell. Admission into the sanctuary is free but you have to book a guided tour if you want to see the crypt.

L’isola del Gusto Gelateria

You don’t go anywhere in Italy without getting Gelato! This one did not disappoint! Be prepared for each shop to tell you that they are the best in Italy and why. It is fun to hear and we loved everyone’s passion for Gelato!

Palazzo dei Priori

We kind of stumbled into this one. It is the Bell Tower that you can pay to climb to the top of! Ask them about the city pass so you can also get entry to the Cistern and Archeologico park. Or book a private tour of Volterra and visit Palazzo dei Priori and the Cathedral.

Cisterna Romana

An old cistern that you can climb down and into. It was huge down there! Warning, if you don’t like tight spiral staircases you might want to sit this one out. If you make the trek to the bottom you will be amazed at how well-preserved this cistern is.

Parco Archeologico “Enrico Fiumi”

This green space is located in the middle of the city and is another set of ancient ruins to walk around and explore or a great place to stop and take a break. Be sure to check out the view of the Medici Fortress from the park.

La Mangiatoia

Stop here at the end of the day for a HUGE pizza. Seriously it was the largest pizza we had in Italy! 

Map of the day: https://goo.gl/maps/B1Jy5SfP8XCpbs8y6  

San Gimignano

We had heard a lot of good things about San Gimignano. We actually almost stayed here. I am glad we didn’t since the Agriturismo farm was so good. But after visiting I could see coming back to stay for 2-3 nights right in the middle of town. 

It is another walled city on the top of a hill and had so much charm!! Unfortunately the day we were there it was super rainy. But that didn’t stop us from exploring. 

We also knew we had to get Gelato here. We heard again that it was the best in Italy. I told you people like to say this! 

Parking in San Gimignano

Parking was very easy here. We parked in this lot: Parking Publico, Via Bagnaia, 89, 53037 San Gimignano SI, Italy.

Map Of Our Day In San Gimignano

Click here for the interactive map.

Piazza della Cisterna – Town Square area

When we first got there we walked the streets and made our way to the Piazza Della Cisterna. It was like the town square area and was so cool to just stand in the middle and look around. 

Gelateria Dondoli – Gelato

Right in the Piazza is the Gelato place! We got our Gelato and continued exploring San Gimignano. The architecture, the doors, the towers. It is all so cool!

San Gimignano 1300 – Model of the city

We didn’t even plan to go here but came across the building and went in and they have this awesome model of the whole town. Well worth a stop! Plus a cute gift shop. 

Chiesa di Sant’Agostino Church

From the outside, you couldn’t even tell this was a church. But once you opened the door and walked in it was gorgeous. 

Cheese Shop

Via S. Matteo, 66, 53037 San Gimignano SI, Italy (website: https://www.formedarte.it/ )

Another random stop that was so worth it! Cheese is like Gelato for me in Europe. I see it and I want it! We came across this shop that wasn’t even on Google maps and headed in. The lady inside was amazing and she let us try all different kinds of cheeses and told us all about where they come from, and why they tasted different, and asked us questions to try to figure out which cheese we would prefer. 

With it being such a rainy day we didn’t get to explore San Gimignano the way we wanted to. But what we did say definitely made us add it to this list and we 100% want to go back! 

Lucca is one of the bigger cities in Tuscany and still has the full wall around the city intact! Here is what we recommend when you visit Lucca. 

Parking in Lucca

Depending on where you are coming in from you are going to park in a lot that is located outside of the city walls. You should put: Parcheggio gratuito into Google maps and see what comes up for you based on the route you are taking into Lucca. Parcheggio gratuito means free parking.

Map Of What We Did In Lucca

I used this view for the map so you can better see where the city wall is and how it goes around the whole city.

For an interactive map click here.

We also downloaded the GPSMyCity guide of Lucca so we could learn more about the city and share it with the kids.

Ride Bikes Around The City Wall

There is a path that goes around the whole top of the City Wall. When we got there we found the closest bike rental place and rented 4-person bikes to take around the wall! 

We rented our bikes from the corner of Via Francesco Carrara & Via San Girolamo, 55100 Lucca LU, Italy. The place isn’t listed on Google – but it looked legit . . . so we went with it. We took the bike up to the top of the wall and made our way all the way around the wall.

The route is 2.7 miles. Click here to see the route.

It was a little bit of a workout but not bad and was a great way to see the city!

Piazza San Martino

This large piazza, located in the center of Lucca, holds many events for the city and also has a Romanesque style cathedral that is worth seeing! We didn’t go inside but from the outside it is very impressive to look at.

Guinigi Tower

We paid to climb a lot of steps up to the Guinigi Tower. You can see the tower from all over town and it has full-grown trees on top of it! 

It was cool to climb up there and it gave us a great view of the city.

Piazza dell’Anfiteatro

This circular shape piazza is built on the grounds of an ancient Roman amphitheater. It is one of the most recognizable piazza’s in Tuscany due to its shape and the colorful buildings around the piazza. You can access the piazza from 4 “doors” that lead you into it.

Walk through the city

It is always good to just wander through the city streets to see what you come across and to just explore the city without a plan! There are also a variety of Piazzas throughout the city that you can stop at. 

Pizza – Pizzeria da Felice

You can’t eat enough pizza while you are in Italy. It’s all so tasty and a very cheap meal. This was a little shop where you order the pizza and bring it outside to stand and eat or grab one of the 2 small tables inside.

Be aware you are eating along a very narrow street that cars do come down! The cars go slow but just a heads up this isn’t going to be a sit down and relax kind of meal.

Visit the historic city of Siena and check out the Piazza del Campo. It is said to be one of Europe’s greatest medieval squares. Siena is one of 7 Unesco World Heritage Sites in Tuscany. While walking through the city be sure to check out Duomo to see the masterpieces made by Michelangelo on a guided tour .

You can never eat too much while in Italy. Be sure to take a Food and Wine Tour of Siena to experience the best tastes the city has to offer.

I am not going to include Florence in this post as we have a whole post coming on Florence AND Florence needs its own trip! When you visit Florence you will want to stay in the city so you can walk everywhere. See the amazing renaissance art at the Uffizi Gallery, do a local food tour, visit the Piazzale Michelangelo for sunset, and check out the Ponte Vecchio to name a few things!

When you visit Tuscany you will want to stay out in the Tuscan countryside or in one of the walled cities. If this isn’t an option there are a lot of day trips from Florence that you can take to explore more of Tuscany.

Here are a few great options:

From Florence spend a day visiting the beautiful medieval cities of Siena, San Gimignano, and Monteriggioni. This great tour includes wine and olive oil tastings.

Explore the Tuscan countryside and winding roads via Vespa on this guided Vespa tour.

See the beauty of the floating city of Venice with this great guided tour that leaves from Florence. Spend a full day exploring Venice on this amazing guided tour.

We went into Pisa to rent the car but that was it. But we were just too excited to get to our glamping tent that we didn’t take the time to explore Pisa. We have heard great things about it and of course you can go and see the leaning tower of Pisa!

Here are a few other things we saw that would be fun to do in Pisa:

Learn about the history and architecture of Pisa including the iconic Leaning Tower on a guided walking tour . You can even climb up the tower for great views of the city.

Visit Pisa’s Square of Miracles and get fast-track tickets to the Cathedral, the Opera del Duomo Museum, Baptistery, Cemetery, and the Sinopie Museum with this audio-guided tour .

Explore the magic of Pisa on this private sightseeing walking tour . Find out what makes Pisa unique from a local.

Diaccorni Farm Stay

We stayed for a week at Diacceroni Agriturismo Farm and it was amazing! By staying at a family-run place for a week you really get comfortable and start to feel like you are part of the family. 

The owner is walking around all the time and checking in on you. So are all of the workers from the waitresses to the chefs and the social media person. We felt so welcomed and had an amazing time!

If you come in the summer season they have weekly activities set up (pizza making, welcome dinner, etc). We came in the off-season so none of this was going on yet. Which may have been better?? Since we got to spend more time with the people who work here since they weren’t as busy! 

The one we stayed at is known for its wheat production and also has a delicious line of wine. At the front store, they had a shop filled with pasta, wine, sauces, etc. You were able to select whatever you wanted and write down in a book what you took and how much it was. At the end of the week, you pay for all of it. 

They also had a huge breakfast spread every morning and would make omelets to order. It was a set fee for the all-you-could-eat buffet-style breakfast with yummy coffee and juices too. 

You could make a reservation for lunch or dinner and order off of the menu. We did this a couple of nights and got the Florentine steak multiple times! Most of the food is local from the farm which means it is so fresh!! 

When the weather was nice we were able to sit out on these gorgeous spots overlooking Tuscany. It was so nice to be able to just walk everywhere, have a nice leisurely breakfast or dinner and walk back. In the summer they also have a saltwater pool available. 

Besides all the great food they offer a variety of activities that they offer on-site: Horseback riding, 4X4 rides, wine tasting, and tours.

We are going to stay true to our one recommendation of the Dacciaroni Agriturismo Farm . They have a variety of options for what type of place you can stay in. We opted for the glamping tents and loved it!

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The post 15+ Things To Do In Tuscany Italy appeared first on Crazy Family Adventure .

Tuscany Italy is an epic bucket list travel destination. Discover things to do in Tuscany Italy to plan your family vacation.

Italy holidays 2024: The best places to visit

Planning a trip to the European hotspot? These are the destinations to tick off your Italian bucket list...

view of varenna town at lake como, italy

Whatever the time of year or your holiday style, there’s an Italian destination for you. Browse our pick of the best Italy holidays for 2024 and you'll find places that are perfect for checking into an Airbnb , spots that are ideal for booking a holiday package on the beach, and other destinations that are best explored on a guided tour or luxury cruise, allowing you to truly immerse yourself in La Dolce Vita.

Our selection of top Italy holiday destinations includes classic favourites you'll want to visit time and time again, as well as ideas that will take you off the beaten path and far from the tourist crowds. Here are the best places in Italy for a 2024 holiday.

Italian Lakes

italy holidays italian lakes

Soak up the sublime scenery of Northern Italy by visiting the great lakes, where you can explore iconic and glamorous Lake Como, discover little-known Lake Orta or cruise around Lake Maggiore’s enchanting Borromean Islands, while taking in some of Italy's most spectacular gardens and villas.

You can see the best of the region with Italian lakes specialist Inghams . Alternatively, try a Lake Como tour that takes in one of the best holiday destinations in Italy with a day in Switzerland and a ride on the amazing Bernina Express . Or you can explore gorgeous Garda as you take in the mountain views by train and discover the Dolomites.

italy holidays venice

With its winding alleyways, picturesque canals and countless historic corners (some of which still remain unexplored by visitors), you’ll never get bored of wandering the streets of Venice.

You won't want to miss getting to know the colourful nearby islands of Burano and Murano either, famed for their glass making and lace making. You can experience all the beauty of Venice on an eight-day cruise where you'll be joined by top chef James Martin. CRUISE VENICE WITH JAMES MARTIN

Amalfi Coast

italy holidays amalfi

Made for lovers looking to experience one of Italy’s most memorable holiday destinations, the Amalfi Coast offers the very best of the Med, from its Hollywood-worthy towns to the chic beaches. Sorrento makes for an ideal base from which to visit the likes of Positano, Amalfi, Ravello and Praiano.

You can visit the glorious Amalfi Coast on a very special tour with the company of Carol Kirkwood, whose latest novel is set in this enchanting part of the country. You'll explore the charming towns of Ravello, Capri and Positano and also pay a visit to the jaw-dropping archeological site of Pompeii.

VISIT THE AMALFI COAST WITH GH

italy holiday destinations

The capital of Emilia-Romagna has a well-earned reputation as Italy's foodie capital - it is the home of tortellini and ragu (bolognese sauce), after all. An underrated Italian city, Bologna has its very own leaning tower, 25 miles of arcaded streets and cafes frequented by well-heeled locals and the many students who reside here. If you're looking for an Italian city destination without the crowds, Bologna is a great choice. See the highlights of the city on a mouthwatering gourmet tour .

VISIT BOLOGNA ON A FOODIE ADVENTURE

a bridge over a river

The perfect Italian destination for wine-lovers, northern Italy's Veneto is the home of Prosecco, made from grapes grown in the vineyards which dot the hills in this sunkissed region.

Good Housekeeping has a six-day self driven tour of Veneto, with private, behind-the-scenes tours and tastings at some of Prosecco's most prestigious wineries including the Andreola-Prosecco Valdobbiadene winery. You'll be staying in a beautifully restored villa right in the heart of Pieve di Soligo's historic old town.

TOUR ITALY'S PROSECCO REGION

The Dolomites

italy holidays dolomites

The Dolomites, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the world’s most beautiful mountain ranges, are best explored on an active break, where you can discover the jagged pinnacles of the imposing rocks rising above picturesque valleys by hiking, cycling or climbing.

Head there in the summer to see the stunning scenery in all its glory, with holidays in the Dolomites available from Inghams . Alternatively, explore the Dolomites by train on Good Housekeeping's fantastic rail tour . SEE THE DOLOMITES WITH GH

Italian Riviera

italy holidays italian riviera

Home to some of the chicest places in the country, the Italian Riviera attracts the jet-set to its photogenic towns and quaint fishing villages. Colourful Cinque Terre is popular for day trips, while elegant Santa Margherita and Rapallo offer a wonderful, laidback atmosphere.

For an exclusive getaway, look no further than Portofino, where you might even spot an A-lister. You'll find affordable trips to one of the best holiday destinations in Italy from Inghams . BROWSE HOLIDAYS

italy holidays matera

This UNESCO World Heritage city is an absolute must-see. Located in the region of Basilicata in southern Italy, historic Matera is carved into the rock face and is home to sassi , prehistoric cave dwellings set beneath the mountainside.

You can experience the city like a local by checking into an Airbnb . While here, taste specialities like orecchiette pasta and the tasty local bread. For an incredible holiday that combines Matera with Puglia's lovely towns and villages, join our unique tour , where you can taste your way around the region. VISIT MATERA WITH GH

italy holidays tuscany

One of the most picturesque regions of Italy, Tuscany captivates and delights visitors with its unforgettable cities, remarkable countryside and excellent vineyards. From irresistible Chianti to fascinating Florence, there’s so much to see and do on a trip to Tuscany.

Discover its rolling hills and medieval cities on a trip with Good Housekeeping. You'll get to experience the very best of the region with a strong focus on food, relaxing into Tuscan life with city tours, wine tastings and lots of farm-to-table dining. VISIT TUSCANY WITH GH

italy holiday destinations   capri

For a seriously stunning island that's as glamorous as they come, look no further than Capri. Here, you'll find elegant villas adorned with bougainvillaea, dramatic cliffs and the bluest of waters. It's no surprise that Capri attracts celebs and wealthy travellers to its shores and whatever your budget, this picturesque isle is worth a browse.

Booking.com has a huge selection of hotels and places to stay in Capri, including the lovely Villa Calypso . CAPRI HOTELS

italy holidays sicily

Packed with architectural treasures, bustling markets and mouthwatering cuisine, with specialities ranging from panelle and arancini to cannoli, Sicily offers a diverse island escape. Don’t miss a visit to Mount Etna, Europe’s largest active volcano, or checking out the Church of Santa Lucia from The Godfather , where Michael Corleone’s wedding was filmed.

You can visit Sicily on a special tour with Good Housekeeping designed for solo travellers. You'll see some of the island's most incredible sights and historic gems with the company of an expert tour manager. SEE SICILY WITH GH

trevi fountain, the largest baroque fountain in the city and one of the most famous fountains in the world located in rome, italy

The capital of Italy hardly needs an introduction. Rome is a supremely stylish city, with something for everyone. If you're looking for buzzing nightlife, you might want to check out the Monti district, which has transformed into a bit of a hipster hotspot in recent years.

Rome is best known for its unrivalled collection of historic monuments. From The Pantheon to The Colosseum, you'll be hard-pressed to find another city in Europe with as much history along its streets.

There is a huge number of excellent hotels to choose from in Rome. We love the Anantara Palazzo Naiadi , overlooking the newly restored Fountain of the Naiads, and Mama Shelter , just a stone's throw from the Vatican. ROME CITY BREAKS

italy holidays calabria

Prefer to see a side to Italy that most travellers overlook? The less-travelled southern region of Calabria is ideal for getting to know the real Italy, from its white-sand beaches and hilly landscapes to its medieval villages.

Head to Tropea for some of Italy’s best beaches and child-friendly sands, which make it a great spot for family holidays. Expedia offers packages to one of the best holiday destinations in Italy. BROWSE HOLIDAYS

italy holiday destinations

Tuscany's capital and a world centre of Renaissance art and architecture, Florence is the city of dreams. It's romantic, cultural, foodie and packed with sights you could spend a lifetime exploring. Don't miss checking out Ponte Vecchio, the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore and seeing another side to the city in Oltrarno.

As you'd expect from such an elegant and culture-packed city, there is a good range of excellent hotels to choose from in Florence, one of the smartest being the Four Seasons , set in a gorgeous Renaissance palazzo. BROWSE FLORENCE HOTELS

italy holidays puglia

See a side of the country that the Italians have managed to keep untouched, where vineyards sprinkle the countryside and sandy coves characterise the coastline. Here, you can live out your dream of staying in an authentic Apulian trullo, visit wild beaches and wander the ancient streets of Otranto, Ostuni and Fasano.

You'll find sun-kissed holidays to Puglia from British Airways Holidays but for an unforgettable trip to Puglia, you'll want to check out our amazing six-day escape that includes iconic trulli, a bakery tour, olive oil tasting and more. TASTE YOUR WAY AROUND PUGLIA

metropolitan cathedral of santa maria assunta e san geminiano and the palazzo comunale, city hall, in piazza grande of modena at sunset emilia romagna italy

Another of Italy's foodie gems, Modena is the home of the famous Italian export Balsamic Vinegar, which is made from freshly harvested white grapes grown in the wider region's vineyards and aged in wooden barrels. The city also has plenty of historical architecture to boast about and also attracts fans of luxury sports cars as the hometown of the Ferrari brand.

Join Good Housekeeping on a trip to Modena and you'll visit a local Balsamic vineyard and enjoy a cooking lesson with a local chef. VISIT MODENA WITH GH

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More Americans are moving to Tuscany, where their money goes further, the pace is slower, and the wine flows freely

  • More Americans are moving to Tuscany, a part of Italy known for medieval walled cities and wine.
  • They're drawn by greater affordability, the charm of the local culture, and its relative safety.
  • Some locals say it's keeping their economy alive, but others are starting to grumble.

Insider Today

Leanne Davis has always had a taste for wine.

The California native runs her own winery, Via Romano Vineyards, outside Sacramento. So it's perhaps little surprise that her love of the grape is leading her to her next home: Tuscany, the lush enclave in central Italy famed for its vine-covered hills and bushy olive trees.

A decade ago, Davis and her husband, Jon Chewning, fell in love with the region when they were married by the mayor of Montepulciano, a romantic hilltop town about an hour and a half from Florence, the regional capital.

Over the years, the couple returned, leading clients of their wine club on tours. Davis and Chewning were so enchanted that, in 2022, they spent $32,000 on a home in Boccheggiano, a medieval town about two hours northeast of Florence.

Davis and Chewning were already repeat customers in Boccheggiano, having co-purchased a $28,000 vacation home with friends there three years earlier. Now, they're planning to be fully settled in Tuscany by next year.

"It's got everything," Davis told Business Insider. "It's beautiful. It has fantastic wines, the landscape is just unbeatable. It almost looks like a painting." Most importantly, she added, "the people are so friendly."

The couple is part of a growing wave of Americans relocating to Tuscany for part or all of the year, trading their Bud Lights, hamburgers, and white picket fences for free-flowing local wine, platters of charcuterie and cheese, and stately villas that date back centuries.

Some, like Davis and Chewning, are moving because they prefer a slower-paced lifestyle full of food and beautiful vistas. Others are motivated by Tuscany's relative affordability, made even cheaper by a strong dollar — especially as the cost of living and retiring in the US has skyrocketed. It's also historic, art-filled, and objectively gorgeous.

"It just felt like it was basically living in a museum, an outdoor museum where everything has a story — every street, every bridge, every arch," said Georgette Jupe, a 39-year-old American communications consultant who moved back to Florence in September.

While Florence has long been the main port of call for American expats, real-estate agents and locals say more newcomers are pouring into smaller towns . On par with Boccheggiano or Montepulciano, where Davis and Chewning have ties, are the walled cities of Lucca and Siena.

The influx of Americans, locals said, can be at once a booster of fortunes and an irritating imposition. They bolster the property market: Home prices in Lucca went up 6% from 2021 to 2022, in part due to foreign investment, according to real-estate consulting firm Knight Frank. Americans hire property managers and caretakers; they spend money in stores, at bars, and in restaurants.

But some Italians worry about the outsize role Americans play, especially in Florence. Dozens of American universities have outposts in the city, attracting roughly 15,000 college students each year. American tourists love Florence, but their presence has consequences — like a sharp increase in the number of Airbnbs that the Associated Press reported makes it hard for local doctors to afford to live near the city center.

Other downsides to the region's popularity, some residents added, include being priced out by the deeper-pocketed newcomers, and more mundane concerns like traffic and crowds.

For many Americans, though, Tuscany remains a dream.

Davis said locals often assume she's on vacation. When she tells them that she owns a home in Boccheggiano, they're confused.

"They're like, 'Why would an American want to come and live in such a tiny town?'" she said. "When we tell them it's the quality of life or it's the slow pace or the people — or whatever — they just say, 'Oh, we've always dreamed of moving to California.'"

American interest in Tuscany is on the rise

Throughout the pandemic years, Americans have flocked to Europe , seeking more affordable lifestyles with more manageable paces .

Tuscany has its own charm. Relatively sequestered from the hustle and bustle of Rome or the crowded canals and alleyways of Venice, Tuscany's rise in 21st-century popular culture is often tied to Frances Mayer's 1996 memoir " Under the Tuscan Sun : At Home in Italy," about a woman who moves to Italy after a divorce, buys a dilapidated farmhouse, and finds love again.

Almost 30 years later, it's easy to see the region's continuing allure. Numbeo, a data provider that uses self-reported stats to track the cost of living worldwide, says it's nearly 20% cheaper to live in Italy than in the US, on average. Inflation has also risen at a slower clip , and average life expectancy is a few years longer .

Michele Capecchi, a lawyer in Florence who helps Americans secure Italian citizenship, opens his inbox every Monday morning to find about 150 new emails — roughly a third of which are from Americans seeking help in relocating to Italy.

"You read about Italy, and the sun, the culture. Of course, the bureaucracy doesn't help," Capecchi said. "But the standard of living , the cost of living — there are multiple factors that make Italy very attractive for a lot of people."

Americans can stay in Italy visa-free for up to 90 days. After that, non-residents need to obtain a permit of stay, according to the US Department of State .

Erin Lewis, an American yoga instructor who has lived in Italy full-time since 2015, currently lives near the Tuscan city of Chiusi. Lewis, 43, and her partner, whom she met in Italy, bought land and broke ground on a house in 2020.

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"I had no Italian blood, but I just felt like somewhere deep down, maybe I was an Etruscan in a past life or something," said Lewis, referring to an ancient people who inhabited the area millennia ago. "I just felt totally at home and wanted to find a way back."

In recent years, more American friends of Lewis' have sought her advice about making the move to Italy themselves. Many are hoping to get away from America's tenuous political landscape and the plague of gun violence, she said.

The number of Americans registering to live in Italy is indeed rising, data show. It jumped from 3,951 in 2019 up to 6,813 in 2022 (the most recent year for which data is available) — a 42% increase in just four years, according to the Italian National Institute of Statistics. The number of Americans specifically calling the region of Tuscany home increased by 6% between 2019 and 2023, growing from 2,193 four years ago to 2,323 now, according to the institute's foreign census data.

Italian home-listing website Gate-away.com told BI that 29% of its inquiries in 2023 came from Americans. And 20% of those inquiries — the most of any region — were for properties in Tuscany.

Danilo Romolini, a specialist in Italian luxury home sales at Christie's International Real Estate, said that 40% of new requests he fields come from the US — a figure that's been on the rise during the pandemic years.

Emboldened by the dollar's recent strength, he added, some buyers are even confident enough to pull the trigger, sight-unseen. Recently, he sold a more than 4,000-square foot farmhouse with sweeping views of the Val di Chiana and a listing price of 1.6 million euros ($1.7 million) to an automobile-industry professional from Austin, Texas.

Locals' response to the influx of Americans is mixed

Luca Tudor runs AJ Tuscany, an upscale jewelry boutique on Montepulciano's steep main artery, Via di Gracciano nel Corso.

Tudor, who's called the region home since he was 12, says the arrival of so many Americans —  a phenomenon that's become "bigger and bigger in the last two, three years" — is helping keep the ancient cities that dot the landscape from turning into ghost towns.

"A lot of people love what is called 'piazza life,'" Tudor, 33, explained, "which means getting into your own apartment and never taking the car again."

Sam D'Avanzo, a 29-year-old Florence native who owns a nightclub and concierge travel service in the city, said the influx of American residents has buoyed local lifestyle and entertainment businesses.

Americans may eat out as often as two or three times a week, he said, whereas Tuscans might only dine out a few times a month. In a typical meal, he added, Americans tend to spend 30% to 40% more on food and drink than Italian diners do.

Some family friends of D'Avanzo's from Houston, Texas, recently bought a five-bedroom apartment in Florence's historic center, he said. Now they live there year-round.

Not all locals seem so enthused.

"For everyone who will say that international investors or people deciding to move their life here is a good thing for our economy, you will find someone there that says they are actually depriving Tuscany or local citizens of entire pieces of their city," Capecchi, the Italian lawyer, said.

One area where tensions appear to be running high is in schools, which have become so inundated with inquiries from foreign families that some have been relegated to waiting lists, Capecchi added.

In years past, many American families would come for a year or two to soak up Italian culture before moving home, but now some are staying longer.

At the International School of Florence, which has served Florence's English-speaking community since 1952, 27% of this year's class is made up of American students, versus 23% last year and fewer than 20% during pre-COVID times, according to the school's admissions office. In conversations with administrators, the admissions office added, parents often cite quality of life and alarm over US school safety as reasons they've made the move.

"We are reached by a lot of families who say, 'We're sick and tired of having our kids having to do shooting drills in the school,'" Capecchi said, adding that some families have likened attending US elementary schools with metal detectors to going to the airport.

In private Facebook groups for Italians, some locals vent about more cumbersome summertime traffic getting in pedestrians' way. "A lot of locals say that a place like Montepulciano cannot handle all those tourists because it's a small city," said Tudor, the jeweler.

Tourism alone, though, doesn't seem to account for the increase in Americans since pandemic lockdowns started to subside. In fact, tourism numbers haven't quite rebounded to pre-COVID levels, according to data from Federalberghi, an Italian hospitality industry trade association. In 2019, before the pandemic, Tuscany received 1.05 million tourists. In 2022, it welcomed 956,000 visitors.

Some American residents who are staying for the long term seem aware of the effect they've having.

"A lot of locals have seen themselves priced out of rentals," said Jupe, who returned to Florence in 2023 after a three-year stint in Switzerland. She conceded that some locals struggle to find affordable properties to rent or buy: "There are so many people that want to live here. And so, of course, that can cause a bit of resentment."

Newcomers also bring new opportunities

Bendetta Ercolani, 31, lives in an apartment block in Montepulciano where she's the only Italian. One other resident is Albanian, she said, while the remaining two units are home to American families.

Her family owns a winery that has used traditional methods to produce their vintages for generations. But newcomers from the States have even local stalwarts like the Ercolanis contemplating new opportunities.

In 2021, Cantina Ercolani debuted its first sparkling wine. It was a decision partly influenced by Americans, Ercolani said, who were seeking a thirst quencher to cool off during sweltering Tuscan summers.

The sparkler is made entirely from Sangiovese grapes harvested on the family's land. At first, she said, Cantina Ercolani tested a production of about 3,000 bottles, and now it's scaling up, with another 5,000 on the way.

Americans, Ercolani said, "spend money and they appreciate the quality of the food and the wine that we have."

"Tuscany," she added, is "like a brand."

Watch: Was Italy's $1 home scheme worth it?

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