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Things to do in Tuscany

This page will provide you with all the information, resources and links you need to plan and customise your Tuscan getaway yourself. Feel like investigating treasures of renaissance art and unearthing fascinating local history? How about shopping for bargain fashions and souvenirs, or relaxing in a luxurious spa? Get active, get lazy, get inquisitive and get comfy – whatever your desires and needs, Tuscany can provide.

We understand the value of carving out your own path and being truly independent. However, to ensure you’re making the right decisions, it’s important to have the right information. Our guide is written, researched and regularly updated by our team of experts and travel specialists. Come and explore the boundless possibilities.

Things to do in Tuscany

Tuscany for children

Tuscany is a great choice for families looking for a fun and relaxing break. There are plenty of attractions here for kids – large and small – enough to fill every day of a villa holiday in Tuscany.

Get their adrenalin going with the thrills and spills of white-water rafting or shooting down the region’s highest slide. Take them to meet the wilder residents of Tuscany at one of Italy’s top nature parks. Help them learn to make ice cream and get crafty at a top museum. Explore cool caverns together beneath Tuscany’s mountains or take a boat out to see the village drowned in a lake. And introduce them to Pinnochio or Tyrannosaurus Rex.

You’ll have no problem keeping boredom at bay on a family holiday in Tuscany.

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Local Events & Festivals In Tuscany

Don’t miss out on the chance to experience some of the festivals and wonderful local events that Tuscany has to offer. Tuscany is home to many historic towns and charismatic cities, both of which hold exciting and fascinating events throughout the year.

Attending a local festival or event will give you a true feel for the real Tuscany and enable you to immerse yourself in the local culture. You will learn more about the history and culture of this artistic and visually stunning region.

Tuscany hosts a wide variety of different events to suit every taste. Attend events such as local markets, food and wine festivals, theatre shows, carnivals, live music concerts and colourful parades.

We have put together a selection of some of the best events in Tuscany that are a stone's throw away from our luxurious private villas. Browse through the events below or check the Italian tourist board for more information.

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Shopping in Tuscany

Love shopping? Then you’ve chosen a great place to book your holiday villa. In Tuscany, you’ll find a mix of shopping experiences, whether you want to buy the latest designer clothes or a chunk of tasty local cheese.

Tuscany is well known for its wine, olive oil, and fresh local produce. It’s also a good place to pick up leather goods, lace and terracotta. Visit a local market early in the morning to purchase the freshest produce. And check out the markets across the region that specialise in artisanal crafts and antiques. The quaint traditional shops found in smaller villages are also a good place to seek out lovely hand-crafted products for a fabulous souvenir to take home.

There are fantastic factory outlets here, too, with many of the top Italian design houses selling luxury items at bargain prices, including Prada, Dolce & Gabbana and Gucci. While Tuscany’s cities – Siena, Arezzo, Florence and Pisa among them – have some great high-street shopping, too.

Check out our suggestions below on where to enjoy a shopping trip during your villa holiday in Tuscany.

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Chianti wine trail

Chianti wine trail: Florence to Siena
The Chiantigiana (or simply the SR 222), the road connecting Florence to Siena, is one of the most beautiful driving routes in Italy, passing acre upon acre of vineyards producing the world-famous Chianti Classico DOCG.

Chianti has been one of Italy’s most important wine-producing regions for more than three centuries. It was here that the family of the Grand Duke of Tuscany began cultivating grapes during the 18th and 19th centuries in the region that would become modern Chianti.
When is the best time to follow the Chianti wine route?
The best time of year to visit Tuscany is during the September harvest or just before to see the vines bowing under the weight of the ripening Sangiovese grapes – the variety from which Chianti Classico is made.

Another good reason to visit in September is to join in one of the local festivals that celebrate the harvest, such as the Vino al Vino, held on the third week in September, in the small town of Panzano, where many local wines can be sampled by the glass.
The Chianti wine route
You could be forgiven for thinking the Chianti wine trail was a straight path or circular route; instead, you will drive a series of zigzags. Don’t despair though, your efforts will be thoroughly rewarded with enchanting Tuscan countryside views, charming medieval towns and, of course, delicious wines for sampling.

For a truly inspiring tour of the Chiantigiana, make time to visit at least some of the ancient towns along the way and call by the vineyards. Most wineries are open to the public but double-check before you visit to avoid disappointment.

Here are some of our favourites:
Greve in Chianti
Greve, one of Chianti’s main market towns, oozes history, from its Franciscan monastery in the old quarter to the market on the triangular main piazza, where traders have been selling their wares down the centuries.
Wineries to visit:
Castello di Verrazzano
Visit the vineyards and cellars of this ancient castle, dating from the 12th century, to taste classic wines, olive oils and balsamic vinegar. There are lovely late-Renaissance gardens to stroll around, too.
Tel: +39 055 854243
Web: www.verrazzano.com
Vignamaggio
The winery at the villa of Vignamaggio, which dates back to the 14th century, produces Chianti Classico, Chianti Classico Riserva IGT and Vinsanto del Chianti Classico DOC. Pre-book a guided tour of the gardens and cellars, including a wine tasting and lunch. If you’re tight for time, just pop in the shop to sample the wine and olive oil.
Tel: +39 055 854661
Web: www.vignamaggio.com
Panzano in Chianti
This small town between Castellina and Greve, first settled by the Etruscans, is overlooked by an 11th-century castle, a hike to which, through the cobbled streets, is well worth the effort. The town’s piazza is charming – a place to while away time watching the elderly locals playing cards while sipping a Prosecco or enjoying home-made gelato.
Wineries to visit:
Le Fonti
Le Fonti, a charming, boutique, family-run winery set at the foot of Panzano, is open for cellar tours and tastings of its superb IGT and Chianti Classico DOCG.
Tel: +39 055 852194
Web: www.fattorialefonti.it
Fattoria Montagliari
A small family-run farm, Fattoria Montagliari has been producing wine using traditional methods since 1720. The Migliorini family, who bought Fattoria Montagliari in 1999, are the latest to cultivate its soil, producing Chianti Classico DOCG, Chianti Classico Riserva, Brunesco di San Lorenzo IGT, grappa, brandy, extra-virgin olive oil and aged Trebbiano balsamic vinegar. There is also a fantastic restaurant here, serving up authentic Tuscan cooking and beautiful views of the Greve valley.
Tel: +39 055 85 20 14
Web: www.montagliari.it
Castellina in Chianti
Castellina in Chianti is a sight to behold, sitting on its high ridge. It is thought to have been built on the ruins of a Roman settlement. But it’s the 14th-century fortress and the 16th-century church of San Salvatore that today’s visitors come to admire.
Wineries to Visit:
Gagliole
What’s your tipple, Chianti Classico or grappa? Both (and more) are on the tasting menu at Gagliole, a vineyard dating back to the ninth century.
Tel: +39 0577 740 369
Web: www.gagliole.com
Villa Trasqua
This vineyard offers guided tours of its cellars, including tastings of Chianti DOC and IGT wines.
Tel: +39 0577 74 30 75
Web: www.villatrasqua.it

For more information and the best things to do in Castellina in Chianti, visit our Travel Guide.
Radda in Chianti
The ancient market town of Radda has been key to Chianti’s fortunes and remains a community immersed in the wine industry. Stroll the cobbled streets to trace this town’s history down the centuries, in the old town walls, the Palazzo del Podesta, and the Propositura di San Niccolo.
Wineries to Visit:
Volpaia
Find out about the long tradition of winemaking in this restored hamlet, where wine tastings will take you from grape to bottle.
Web: www.volpaia.com
Castello di Albola
High in the Chianti hills, an amphitheatre of vineyards provides the grapes for some great wines that you can try if you drop by.
Web: www.albola.it

For more information and the best things to do in Radda in Chianti, visit our Travel Guide.
Gaiole in Chianti
Call by charming Gaiole and you’ll soon realise why the American magazine Forbes put this charming town at the top of its list of Europe’s Most Idyllic Places to Live. Yet, Gaiole is more than a pretty face. It was once a powerful community, one of the centres of the Chianti League.
Wineries to visit:
Castello di Brolio
The biggest winery in Chianti Classico, Barone Ricasoli has been linked to wine since the 12th century, when Brolio Castle passed into the hands of the family of this name. Learn about and appreciate the fruits of these vines on a selection of tours, including one held at sunset. You can take a closer look at parts of the Neo-Gothic castle, too.
Tel: +39 0577 730220
Web: www.ricasoli.it
Casanuova di Ama
Casanuova di Ama was bought by the Bencini family in 1967. For the following 20 years, they restored the estate’s buildings and planted new vineyards before finally putting their first wine on the market in 1984, sold in the iconic traditional fiasco, the bottle with a rotund bottom wrapped in straw.
Tel: +39 0577 746119
Web: www.agrariacasanuovadiama.it

For more information and the best things to do in Radda in Chianti, visit our Travel Guide.
Chianti Classico Wines and Produce
As mentioned above, Vino Chianti Classico DOCG is undoubtedly the most famous product you can hope to find in the Chianti region. Produced following a rigid regulation, this wine combines Sangiovese grape with other “bacca rossa” or red grapes such as Colorino or Canaiolo. You can instantly recognise a Chianti Classico by its “Gallo Nero” or Black Rooster emblem, proudly used since 1924.

This isn’t the only local delight you will find in Chianti though. Whilst you’re there, be sure to sample the exceptional Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Olio Extra Vergine di Oliva DOP Chianti Classico. Green/gold in colour, this speciality is derived from olives found in Frantoio, Correggiola, Moraiolo and Leccino.
Lesser-known local delicacies include:

Vinsanto del Chianti Classico DOC, a liquor aged for up to 5 years in small wooden barrels called “caratelli” and produced from white Malvasia and Trebbiano grapes;
“Carne di Chianina”;
hand-rolled pasta;
and cold cuts of meat, including pork, wild boar and the “cinta senese” pig.
Places to Stay near the Chianti Wine Trail
To truly make the most of the Chianti wine trail and immerse yourself amongst the vineyards and wineries, why not stay at a local private villa? We are lucky enough to offer a collection of beautiful villas right in the heart of the Chianti area ranging from one-bedroom romantic retreats to extravagant properties large enough to accommodate the entire family.

Explore our collection of Chianti villas here. (https://www.to-tuscany.com/tuscany-villa-search/siena-and-chianti/)

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Local Wildlife In Tuscany

The hot sun and long, warm days have encouraged a surprising diversity of wildlife to inhabit Tuscany. Tuscany’s national parks, wildlife reserves, mountains and vast woodland areas provide a habitat for wildlife to flourish.

Not many people realise that Tuscany has some fantastic local wildlife to see. Deep in the Tuscan countryside you may come across European animals such as hare, deer, porcupines, badgers, dormice, red foxes, pheasants, wolves, and even wild boar.

Tuscany is also a great place to go bird watching. A wide range of beautiful birds can be spotted throughout the region. Birdwatching enthusiasts should head to the mountains and marshlands to see birds such as the tawny owl, herons, ring ouzel and the rare glossy ibis.

Read about some of the most common animals found in Tuscany by clicking on the links below and book your Tuscan wildlife adventure.

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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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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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Chianti Sculpture Park

The Chianti Sculpture Park is located in Pievasciata, about 10km north of Siena and is the perfect place to sniff out some art in Tuscany while still enjoying its glorious sunshine. It’s a permanent exhibition of 26 contemporary installations and sculptures by artists from all over the world, including a labyrinth, a rainbow, a huge keel and more - all beautifully set within the surrounding woodland. Visitors to the park will enjoy the typical landscape and art in Tuscany at the same time, along a 1 km walking trail. It really is a pleasant walk through art and nature!
The park is also home to an amphitheatre, where concerts and other cultural events take place from May to September in a magical atmosphere.

Chianti Sculpture Park opening hours
Every day from 10am to sunset.
From November to March it’s advisable to call first.
If you intend to visit the Park we suggest you to download the free application ChiantiPark either from Apple Store or Google Play.
How to get to the Chianti Sculpture Park
From the Superstrada Firenze-Siena: Siena Nord exit.
Turn left onto SS222, towards Castellina and then take a right turn after 1.5km towards Vagliagli. Drive for about 8km and then turn right towards PIEVASCIATA. This is a country road and you will find the park on your right after about 4km.

GPS: Long. E. 11° 22' 53" – Lat. N. 43° 23' 36"
Contact
Loc. La Fornace S.P. 9
53010 Pievasciata (Siena)
www.chiantisculpturepark.it
info@chiantisculpturepark.it
+39 0577 357151

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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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Self guided walks

We have chosen some of our favourite self-guided walks with the best restaurants to help make your Tuscan walk dreams a reality, the walks are designed for experienced walkers who enjoy being independent. As there's no strict schedule to follow all you need to do is show up.

Following our suggested routes is a great way to slow the pace and opens your eyes to hidden treasures offered up time and again at every turn. We have designed these walks for you, and hope they help to bring you closer to the contemporarily wild and tamed landscape that is iconic and admired across the world.

Our walks are updated from time to time to match your requests, so let us know if you have any questions or suggestions that we can add to our guides.

Email experiences@to-tuscany.com with your ideas.

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Self-Guided Cycle Ride - The Senese Valdelsa Chianti Cycling Tour

Castellina in Chianti (578m) – Castagnoli (427 m) – Bivio Talciona (150m) – Church of Sant’ Agnese (410m) – Castellina in Chianti
Distance: 41km
Time: 4 hours
Road surface: Unpaved for about half the ride, then on quiet asphalt roads.
Difficulty: Requires average athletic preparation. Several steep ascents of medium intensity in the re-ascent to Castellina.
Route: This mountain-bike ride starts and finishes at Castellina in Chianti via the State Road for Poggibonsi. After 2km turn off for the castle at Castagnoli. When the asphalt ends, the wide dirt road descends into lovely countryside, with views across the Staggia and Elsa valleys.

Soon, you’ll come upon several hairpin bends; take great care because it’s easy to lose your balance on the very steep slope and gravel roadbed. Close to Villa Rosa and Gretole, the route appears to follow flat ground yet crosses a ridge with views across the fields. Continue on asphalt until reaching a crossroads signposted for Talciona.

After looking around Talciona, return to the crossroads and head uphill to admire the little presbytery of Santa Maria, which has an architrave sculpted in 1234, bearing a rough but charming Adoration of the Magi. Continue uphill along the little asphalt road that soon becomes a track, in the direction of Villore. The unpaved road meets the State Road from Poggibonsi on a bend. Here, head towards Castellina to finish the ride.

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Self-Guided cycle ride - The source of the Pesa

Fattoria San Michele (847m) – Volpaia (617m) – Dogole (625m) – Badiaccia a Montemuro (706m) – Fattoria San Michele

Length: 14km
Time required: 4 hours 30 minutes
Road surface: Mainly tracks and a short stretch of asphalt.
Difficulty: Average physical challenge. Be very careful on the Volpaia to Dogole stretch, because it is unmarked and becomes tricky near Dogole.
Recommendations and notes: The signposts are old and several segments of road are unmarked. Take a map, preferably to 1: 25.000 scale, and plot the following instructions on it.
Ideal season: All, except very rainy periods, during which the ground becomes very muddy.
The route: From Greve in Chianti, ascend Monte San Michele on the smooth dirt road to the wine estates of Melazzano and Caprolo, enjoying panoramic views of the countryside as you go. Your first stop is the ruins of the medieval presbytery of the church of Santa Maria.

Continuing towards the summit of Monte San Michele (892m), the highest peak in Chianti, cross the road that ascends from Lucolena, climbing continually until you reach the nature reserve at San Michele and the entrance to the estate of the same name.

On leaving the San Michele estate, continue in a southerly direction along the edge of the fields. At the first crossroads, turn off the track and bear left, continuing straight and descending slightly. This is CAI path 30 and 32. At Poggio Sereno you’ll pass through lush pine woods, followed by bush-covered and open terrain.

On reaching a crossroads, continue in the direction of Lamole, ignoring CAI path 30, and head south on the same level as far as Poggio Querciabella. Here, a steep shortcut on the left makes it possible to descend to the dirt road that leads from Panzano to Volpaia, which can be seen amid the crops.

Visit Volpaia then set off along the old mule track to Badiaccia, constantly descending. The route keeps to the left of the valley until it crosses a ditch, then starts to climb through dense woods to the abandoned houses of Dogole. The ancient path here is covered with branches as far as the ditch below the Lungagna house, from where it becomes smooth again, all the way to Badiaccia a Montemuro.

Travel across a few hundred metres of asphalt on the quiet provincial road leading to Lucolena, until the beginning of CAI path 9 appears on the right. Exactly opposite is a track that ascends to roam the southern slopes of Monte San Michele, before returning back to the first crossroads encountered after leaving the San Michele estate.

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