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Sports & Activities in Tuscany

For those looking for an active holiday, Tuscany has everything you need. There’s also sorts of activities to get involved with, whether you enjoy sports, relaxation or walking, there’s something for everyone in Tuscany. You can still stay active whilst on holiday if you wish, or completely unwind and switch off.

Some of the popular sports in Tuscany include golf, tennis, bike riding and horse riding. If you prefer something a little more slow paced then head out hiking around the hills, see spectacular views of the Tuscan countryside from a hot air balloon or book a fishing trip. Tuscany also has many spas and hot springs to enjoy, relax in the thermal waters after a day of action packed fun.

We have put together a helpful list of some of the sports and activities on offer in Tuscany. Browse through the activity section below and book a trip of a lifetime to Tuscany.

Sports & Activities in Tuscany

Ballooning in Tuscany

Take a breathtaking flight over Tuscany in a hot-air balloon to admire the region’s beauty from the silent skies.

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Driving Experiences in Tuscany

Noleggio Chianti 500 is a rental shop of Vintage Fiat 500, Vespa and bikes. There is a wide range of Fiat 500 fully restored and serviced, ready to transport you in your discovery of the most suggestive places of the Tuscan region, it's good food and excellent wines which make it famous all over the world.

For those who prefer two-wheels, there area Vespa 125 cc, ideal for moving around on hot summer days and, for the sporty there area Scott bicycles available.
NOLEGGIO CHIANTI 500
Via IV Novembre, 35
53011 Castellina in Chianti (SI)
Tel. 0577 1481001 - Fax 0577 1481002
info@noleggiochianti500.it
www.noleggiochianti500.it

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Fishing in Tuscany

Tuscans love to fish and in most towns you’ll find a fishing and hunting shop. Call in and tap into their knowledge about good local places to fish and the licences you’ll need.

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Golf in Tuscany

Rich in art, history, culture and traditions, Tuscany also has fabulous scenery, great food and superb wine - all the ingredients of a relaxing holiday destination. Add the fact that it has some of Italy's finest golf courses and it makes the region an excellent target for discovery.

Until the arrival of Costantino Rocca, Italy hardly figured as a top golf nation but the emergence of 2009 Open Championship silver medallist Matteo Mannasero and World Cup-winning brothers Francesco and Edoardo Molinari, has sparked many people's interest in the country's golfing future.

Tuscany is widely known for its picturesque landscape of rolling hills and intriguing history and with golf stirring and added passion it seems the perfect place to be. I didn't know what to expect but I was very pleasantly surprised.

Tuscany has some of Italy’s finest golf courses; below we have listed a few of them with some tips from Grant Leggate – Assistant Secretary at Royal St Georges, Sandwich.

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Horse riding

Tuscany is an area of great beauty, steeped in ancient history with medieval villages, castles, fantastic food and of course Chianti wines. What better way is there to explore this picturesque landscape with its rich wildlife than to hire a horse for a day or perhaps for a few hours if the rest of your party do not ride?

There are a wide range of riding centres throughout the region all of whom can provide mounts and guides for excursions to suit all levels of ability. Please make sure you have a sturdy pair of shoes to wear and it is a good idea to bring your own hat and gloves if you are used to wearing them, as not all centres have these available for hire. Most of our villas in Tuscany are within easy reach of a horse riding stables.

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L’Eroica vintage bike event Gaiole Tuscany

L'Eroica is a vintage bike race which takes place at the beginning of October in Gaiole in Chianti in Tuscany, normally the first Sunday. It started in 1997 and aims to reenact historical cycling. It is open to everyone as long as a vintage bicycle is used. The bicycle is considered vintage if it is from before the 1980s and has a metal frame, gears on the frame and cage pedals.

There are various routes that can be done, from 38km to 205km, over both paved and the famous Tuscan 'white roads' (unpaved).
The event is not competitive. During the weekend there is a fantastic historical bicycle market and along the route there are various 'aid' stations which have local products ranging from bread and honey or salami to the traditional Tuscan bread soup (Ribolita). Many participates and volunteers are dressed in historical costumes making the event very colourful.

The route is completely permanently signed and is ideal for avid cyclists to follow throughout the year. For information about this visit: http://www.eroicagaiole.com/

For more information visit the L'Eroica website click here: http://www.eroicagaiole.com/
Our blog: tuscanguru.to-tuscany.com/get-pedaling-theres-an-ice-cream-waiting-at-the-top-of-the-hill/
Have a look at our villas within 10km of the start of the L'Eroica.
Please note that some of the villas have unpaved access roads, check carefully the approach road description if you are planning on biking to the start. 

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Toscana e-Bike

Discover Tuscany slowly and intensely by e-bike. We offer tours by e-bike (electric bike) or self guided tours with detailed itineraries you can download to your smartphone. Toscana by (e)bike is situated close to Florence in an area dense with castles and villas. Come and explore this open air museum and have a day you will not forget!

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Photography course in Tuscany

Photography workshop - written by our UK agent Dympna Docherty

The question “would you like to do a photography course next time we are in Tuscany?” really didn’t need any thought before answering, “Absolutely!!”.  Tuscany needs no introduction to many people and I am lucky enough to be able to visit the region at least twice a year but not normally with any free time to indulge in my love of photography.
My tutor for the day would be Martino Balestreri from the PhotoArt Studio in Radda in Chianti.  His shop is full of the most wonderful photos and prints that he has taken throughout Tuscany – some of which are on my walls at home too!

I have loved photography from the moment that I received a Kodak Instamatic camera at the age of 7, I only got my own because my Dad was fed up with me always trying to use his camera and messing up his light meter.  Thousands of photos later and I finally in 2010 ‘upgraded’ my precious Canon SLR to a Canon DSLR.

The only requirement needed from Martino was to bring my own camera and to get up early - our day started at 6.30!  This was so that we could make the most of the sunrise and morning light and still have plenty of time to be shown how to make the most of the digital enhancement packages on his computer in the shop.

Martino will tell you that he doesn’t speak English very well, but he manages absolutely fine - he learnt most of his conversational English when he spent a year in the UK at a top London hotel in his other ‘guise’ as a pastry chef.

We spent the morning admiring and photographing the landscapes in the Crete Senese region, just South of Siena.  Martino has an amazing ‘Eye’ for what will make a good photograph and what would make an average photograph.  I was lucky enough that by having a Canon camera, it meant that I was able to use Martino’s vast array of different lenses.  A tripod is an essential bit of kit for photographing landscapes, luckily for me, Martino was able to provide one to save me having to bring mine on the flight.

We experimented with the various settings on my camera and the different photographic formats – JPEG and RAW.  This was fascinating for me as I have never used the RAW setting but found it very easy and it was particularly good for post-photography editing.

After a few hours literally on the roadside, we moved on for a welcome Coffee and to relocate to a picturesque town for some more photography tips; who would have known that photographing buildings and people is more complicated than capturing the different colours of a landscape!


Asciano is a typical Tuscan town with houses bunched together around tiny streets, washing drying above the pavements and the ubiquitous colourful pot plants on display year round.

Walking around the town with a professional pointing out the different angles and showing me things that I would otherwise have missed, was fantastic.  Martino is a great teacher and doesn’t insist on you staying with him, he was happy for me to wander off by myself to explore and find different angles and shots by myself, returning to him if when I needed to ask about composing a particular photograph.

All too soon, it was time to return to Radda but this was also, for me, one of the times I was most looking forward to – Photoshop!

When I bought my camera it came with software for my computer that enables me to change, enhance and improve my photos but I have never used it in the time that I have owned the camera; a bit of ignorance, laziness and a lot of ‘not-having-time’ is my excuse for that.

Obviously as a professional photographer, the equipment and the software that Martino uses is fabulous but you can achieve similar results from a general software programme.  Our main goal from this session was to make the landscapes come alive as it was winter-time and the normally verdant rolling hillsides had recently been ploughed and green shoots were only just returning.  The town photos also needed brightening up as the day was overcast.

An hour or so later and I was confident about being able to use my own camera software in the future and keen to use the tips that Martino has given me.

If you or someone you know is a keen amateur photographer looking to get better, then spending a day with Martino will ‘lift’ your skills and confidence.  If there is a particular type of photograph that you want to concentrate on, such as photographing churches or people, he is able to tailor-make your day too.

The cost for the day was 80 Euros (in 2012) and that can be for 8-10 people.  Obviously the more people there are, the less individual time you will get with Martino, but what a great way for a group of friends to spend a day.  Time back in Martinos shop, using his fantastic equipment and the Adobe Lightroom package, processing photos and even printing is also available for an extra cost of 100 Euros

I stayed in the heart of the Chianti region at La Stalla apartment in the Montebuoni hamlet – www.to-tuscany.com/montebuoni/lastalla/ - which offers accommodation from 2-6 people in a variety of apartments and cottages.  Montebuoni is 10 minutes drive from Martinos shop and has a swimming pool, tennis court and internet access.  The setting of the hamlet is in itself full of photographic opportunities in its own right as it is surrounded by woodland, vineyards and the hilltop opposite even has its own Tuscan Castle!  Wildlife abounds in the area and if you are lucky you will see wild boar, deer and porcupines.


Click here to see our yearly client photocompetitions

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Spa & hot springs in Tuscany

Tuscany is the ideal place to travel (and often decide to stay) for those  who love to indulge in hot and therapeutic waters. It’s volcanic territory has several spas where you can stay for a day treatment or for several days holiday. .Montecatini and Chianciano are probably the most famous and celebrated ones thanks to the host of celebrities that used to visit them during the sixties. No wonder Federico Fellini chose to shoot his masterpiece “8 e mezzo” in Chianciano Terme.

Hot water springs from under the ground but its benefits and chemical composition are very different from one area to another. Spas in the north of Tuscany area, as well as in Montecatini and Chianciano, are recommended for their depurative and curative properties for liver, stomach and kidneys. Hot springs in the Sienese area, such as Rapolano Terme, San Casciano Bagni, Bagni San Filippo and Bagni di Petriolo, are rich in sulphur and calcium carbonate are indicated for respiratory disease and joint pains.

The Etruscan and Roman people already knew about and were keen in indulging in hot springs. The Etruscans had built a temple dedicated to the god of Good Health, close to the Silene springs where the newer quarter of Chianciano stands today. News of the curative power of this water became well known during Roman times, as Horace visited this area in the south of Siena on the advice of his physician during the 1st century BC. Luxurious Roman villas were built in the area near the thermal baths and wealthy Romans had it as an honor point to spend a day at the spa at least once a week. Ruins of the ancient ones are often visible still nowadays next to the modern spas.

It’s still possible nowadays to relax open air in hot water, free of charge, 24 hours a day. Here are three tips if you want to behave like an ancient Etruscan!

There are many spas in Tuscany, north to south. For further information about type of water and treatments available, please visit this website and find a link to each of them.
www.termeintoscana.com

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Tennis in Tuscany

While on holiday you might want to continue to partake in your favorite sport especially if you have some extra time for yourself. The following are the tennis courts in Tuscany, Orvieto and Perugia where you can go and play even if you are not a club member. Please note that you should book in advance since they allow club members first and they have tennis lessons all year.

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Tuscany by Vespa

Iconic and very Italian, the Vespa scooter is the fun and authentic way to explore Tuscany. Riding through the region’s hilly countryside and villages, with the mild sun caressing your head and the wind in your hair will make you feel totally free. Stylish, easy to drive and carefree, the colourful vehicle of fun is really worth a try, so check out these Vespa rental companies in Tuscany.

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Chianti by bicycle

Tuscany Bicycle is a rental bike shop located in Gaiole in Chianti. We rent high quality Bianchi road bikes, Olympia MTB/ Hybrids, Ebikes and Vintage Bikes.  We carry bike related merchandise and accessories. Tuscany Bicycle has two locations: Gaiole in Chianti and Valdarno. We offer door to door delivery service to your hotel, B & B or rental property for a small additional charge, from either location. The company is run by Elizabeth and Filippo. Elizabeth is an ex champion road bike racer.  She has been living and working here as manager for leading bike tour companies for over 20 years. Filippo is from Tuscany, and an avid MTB rider. Elizabeth and Filippo are happy to give you great recommendations about rides in the area. Bike rental is for 1 day minimum and prices are available upon request.

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Chianti Bike Tours

Meet Gian Marco, a qualified mountain-bike instructor who, with his team of friends, offers cycling tours of the Chianti hills. Born in Siena and now living in Radda in Chianti, Gian Marco knows the area intimately, so tours follow quiet, lesser-known highways as well as off-road trails through the woods and open countryside, taking in some of the area’s best scenery as it changes through the seasons. Chianti Bike Tours can create itineraries of different intensities depending on your ability, for individual cyclists or small groups, and tailored routes are also available on request.

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Val d'Orcia by bicycle

Tecnoferramenta is a shop located in San Quirico d'Orcia. It has 8 bikes available for rental. They must be booked in advance. Email massimogenerali@hotmail.it to book.

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Yoga & Wellbeing in Tuscany

Yoga holidays are becoming extremely popular at the moment, and for good reason. They offer many health benefits and the opportunity to take some much needed ‘you time’. What better time to practice yoga than whilst you are on holiday, at your most relaxed?

Tuscany is an up and coming yoga destination with new schools opening across the region. It’s perhaps the perfect location to indulge in some deeply calming and reinvigorating yoga. Yoga enthusiasts will be pleased to discover that there’s lots of places offering yoga classes and retreats throughout Tuscany.

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Guided - Walking and biking

Discover the Tuscan countryside during your villa holiday on a walking, cycling or scooter tour. There are many routes to follow, and they can be enjoyed independently, but why not consider hiring the services of a professional guide? A good guide can take you off the beaten track to places only the locals know and tell you about the history and traditions of the area for an even richer experience. Plus, as many of the rural paths and bridleways in Tuscany are badly signed, it helps to explore with someone who knows the area well.

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