1-800-454-5922 Toll Free

Sign in


Local Customs Tuscany

  • Customs

    While travelling in Italy you’ll be able to tell that habits, landscape, cooking and even language change considerably from north to south. Italy is a very young nation compared to other European countries and it’s been divided in several lordships and under foreigner kingdom, not to mention the Papal States, until 1861.

    However there are some common habits and customs found throughout Italy and you might find that they are quite different from the ones in your home country. Here are some of the most common to help you understand the locals.

  • Sweet breakfast

    Italian people, no matter where they live, start their day with sweets: biscuits, cakes, marmalade and jam, chocolate, pastry with custard. They go along with coffee, tea or cappuccino. Note that a cappuccino is usually a breakfast hot drink and Italians never drink it after 11.00, not to mention after lunch or dinner.
    A typical habit is to have breakfast at a bar/café of 'pasta e capuccino' (pastry and capuccino) which an Italian will eat while standing at the counter.

  • The Three Ms

    Italian society is said to be dominated by the three ‘M’s – Madonna - Mamma - Mangiare
    This is an exaggeration, but like all good generalisations, it contains several grains of truth.

    MADONNA
    The Italians are certainly a religious people, as the numbers and splendour of their churches testifies. Even quite small villages may have several churches and Sunday morning brings out scores of people and many family groups walking their way to mass. Most Italians devote the afternoon to play. For many this means walking or climbing, both popular sports. As the Sunday driver will find, many go cycling, Italy sharing with France a national passion for the sport.

    MAMMA
    Whether Italian society is matriarchal depends on who you ask. It is certainly true that, until a few years ago, Italian life was family orientated, and children were the focus of the social unit. Mothers were therefore of prime importance, caring for the children and ensuring their needs were satisfied. The system created a good number of spoilt children, but adult Italians seem none the worse for the experience – unless you include fanatical support for football or growing support for a more liberal attitude towards women.

    MANGIARE
    The final M is ‘mangiare’ – eating. This really is an important feature and Italians enjoy both the eating and its social side. For visitors this can only be good news.

  • Bell Chimes

    Churches in the area are an excellent way to keep a check on the time; just listen out for the chimes. Nowadays not all the churches mark the time of the day, but they usually still do it in the smaller villages in the countryside.
    Depending on the priest’s choice, you can hear two different sets of chimes:  
    Once  -- quarter past
    Twice  -- half past
    3 times -- quarter to
    Then bell chimes denote what hour it is, for example: Once – 1 o’clock

    Or
    Chimes for the number of the hour
    and once to mark half past

  • Kiss me!

    Italian lovers are supposed to be very passionate and which is the best way to express it than kissing each other? Although you are in a  Catholic country, it’s very common to see young and less young couple that kiss each other on the mouth in public, while walking in the streets or sitting in gardens. A habit that Italians share with French but not with many other countries.
    Italians will also kiss friends and acquaintances, once on each cheek, when greetings them or saying good bye.

  • Breast feeding

    If you have a baby and you are breast feeding, please feel free to do it while sitting at restaurant tables, public gardens and so on. There’s also a popular web site where you can find a list of baby and mother friendly shops where you can sit down and feed your baby, no need to buy anything! This website is in Italian only, but you just need to move your mouse on the map to see the shop’s name and location: children’s clothes shops, bookstores, public library and so on.
    http://www.lllitalia.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogcategory&id=65&Itemid=111

  • Dining out

    Dinner out at a restaurant, osteria, trattoria or pizzeria?              
    Italian menus are divided into starters, first courses (pasta and risotto), second courses (meat or fish), side dishes and desserts, plus a wine list. Please note that you cannot consider any of item as a single course and that Italian people usually have one of each for dinner, or at least they ask for starter and first course at lunch and opt for starter, second course and side dish at dinner.
    Trattoria and osteria were originally family runned, small cosy places where you could sit down and eat homemade local food reasonably priced. Nowadays they almost have the same prices or they might be even more expensive than a good restaurant.
    Pizzeria usually serves a wide choice of piazza plus starters, side dishes and desserts.
    Look at our list of suggested restaurants in Tuscany to help you choose one near you. These have been tried by ourselves or suggested by our villa owners

  • Let’s go in holiday!

    Until a few years ago 90% of Italian people used to take their weeks off work in August, also because school holidays run from the middle of June to the middle of September. This causes more traffic on the weekends, overcrowded costal towns and busy mountain villages, while the major cities were almost empty of locals.  The most common summer destination for the Italians is the seaside although many will also go to the mountain resorts.
    The situation has slightly changed recently, since the economic crisis has made people work all year long and be more keen on choosing their holidays in cheaper periods. However, July and August are still the most expensive and busy months if you want to travel in Italy.
    Once at the seaside, how does Italians spend their holiday? Sunbathing, sea swimming, reading and chatting on the beach. 
    Another typical Italian holiday is the so called white week: January and February are the best months to go skiing in the Alps or Apennines mountains, and many Italians will take a week to go skiing at this time of year.

Experience an official tuscany tour with

Florence Bike Tour with Tuscan Food Tasting

Cycle and snack your way around Florence on a 3-hour food tour by bike, led by a friendly local guide! The fun morning sightseeing tour showcases three of the locals’ favorite eateries as well as a selection of the A-list attractions that the city is famous for including the Ponte Vecchio, Florence Duomo and more. While learning about the sights and the local Tuscan cuisine, chow down on popular snacks such as 'schiacciata all’olio,' a sinfully salty flat bread made with lashings of olive oil.

Numbers are limited to 10 people on this small-group tour, ensuring personalized attention from a guide.

from 46 US Dollar

Combi Tours: Accademia Gallery & Florence City Walking Tour

Join with us on a combined tour to the Galleria dell'Accademia di Firenze with a professional and friendly guide, where you will experience Michelangelo's David as well as other prominent Renaissance artworks & a walking tour to check out the highlights of the city and get the most out of your stay here in Florence. 
Highlights
• Accademia Gallery skip-the-line ticket, don't waste your time queuing for the whole day!
• Visit the stunning sights & discover the hidden treasures of the Florence city
• Learn from a passionate and art-loving local guide

from 137,99 US Dollar

Small Group Pisa Day Trip to Siena and San Gimignano by Minivan Including Wine Tasting

Discover the beautiful Italian towns of Siena and San Gimignano on this day trip through Tuscany, including a wine tasting. Traveling past rolling vineyards to the UNESCO World Heritage–listed city of Siena to visit Siena Cathedral and Piazza del Campo. Wander the medieval walled town of San Gimignano, enjoying amazing views from its hillside location, and end by tasting two of the region’s wines at a local winery.

This small-group tour is limited to 8 people andensuring a more personalized experience. Driver/guide will explain you everything about the two cities and you will be free to explore by yourself the places. Travel by minivan means also reach DIRECTLY THE MAYOR MONUMENTS and you will be leave quite close to Piazza del Campo instead needs to walk a lot such as per Bus

from 154,09 US Dollar

Montalcino Castle and Vineyards tour with tasting

Visit a famous estate in the Brunello region and discover how a wine is born, scenting aromas and flavors which vary each different day. This amazing winery in Montalcino opens its doors for curious travelers. Discover 600 years of history through the Castle with its courtyards surrounded by a frame of Brunello vineyards. A one hour tour through the castle, cellars, vineyards, ending with a tasting of Brunello in the historical courtyard of the guard. The tour starts from the ancient main entrance to visit the entire walls of the castle and reach the bridge of Baldassare Peruzzi, early sixteenth century, and the Chapel of the Virgin of the Veil still containing the relic of the fragment of the veil of Virgin Mary. Central part are the noble vineyards and the ancient medieval cellars. The visit ends with a selected tasting of our wines paired with local snacks. Inclusions: Tour of the castle, Brunello vineyards, medieval cellars, 3 wines tasting ( Brunello, Rosso, IGT), water, snack

from 31,05 US Dollar
Enquire