Dreaming of wildflowers, wine and the Italian countryside – head to Tuscany.
Located in central Italy and stretches from the Apennines to the Tyrrhenian Sea. From the sandy coastlines to the rolling hills and vineyards, the allure of Tuscany is undeniable.
The people of Tuscany are wildly passionate about their wine. And, after one sip of a local Chianti or Super Tuscan (or literally any Tuscan wine) you’ll be passionate too.
Tuscany is known as one of the world’s most famous wine regions. Within Tuscany, there are actually several distinct smaller regions and sub regions. Each of them boasting their own unique climate, grape varieties and growing and harvesting traditions.
You won’t be lacking for wine tour options in Tuscany. One of the most beautiful and fascinating regions is the Bolgheri region. Found along the Etruscan Coast, the Bolgheri region offers a change from the very Italian grape variety Sangiovese. The region rose to fame in the 1960’s after the marquis Mario Incisa della Rocchetta decided to plant French vine varieties (cabernet sauvignon & cabernet franc) on his estate. Many thought he would fail. Today, the Bolgheri region produces two of the most expensive wines in the world – Super Tuscans: Bolgheri Sassicaia and Ornellaia.
If wine doesn’t centre your mind, body and soul, the natural hot springs of Tuscany sure will. While many of Tuscany’s hot springs have resorts built around them, there are some gems you can visit on your own.
Saturnia is possibly the most famous thermal bath in the region. Legend has it, the first the Etruscans and later the Romans believed Saturnia was a gift from the gods. They believed the springs were born in the exact point where Jupiter’s thunderbolt fell during a battle against Saturn. And the thunderbolt left a scar on the Earth resulting in the steamy waters. Whether you believe the legend, or just want to soak your troubles away, Saturnia is the perfect place to do so.
The hot springs of Petriolo are halfway between Siena and Grosseto and located below the ruins of fortified thermal baths dating back to the Roman era. With waters of up to 42 degrees, this the perfect thermal bath to enjoy on a slightly chilly Autumn morning or afternoon.
The waters of Bagni di San Filippo have been popular for hundreds of years. Even princes of the Medici family were known to have enjoyed the warm healing effects of San Filippo. You can choose between the pool carved in rock known as ‘balena bianca’ (white whale) or take a mud bath.
Drive Chianti Classico Road
For wildflowers, countryside elegance and a wine-inspired journey, drive the Chianti Classico Road. Also known as Road 222, you’ll travel through the Sangiovese capital of Tuscany. The main road runs between Florence and Siena. It’s not long and could be complete in a few short hours – but where’s the fun in that? Stop in to wineries and olive oil farms along the way for a true taste of Italy.
Villa Pomona is a traditional-style farm estate along the Chianti Classico Road. The estate is surrounded by vineyards and olive-groves. Learn about the picking methods of the Sangiovese grapes and how to hand harvest olives to make oil.
Greve is probably the most famous town in Chianti. Not far from Florence, Greve has a weekly market overflowing with local and organic products. The market takes place in the town square, which was built in the shape of a triangle in the 1500’s.
They say, all roads lead to Rome. A more accurate saying for Italy would be, all road lead to wine. Whether you cruise along the Chianti Classico Road, soak in the healing hot springs with the Medici’s (well, sort of) or enjoy some of the world’s most expensive wine, the Tuscan region of Italy is a destination to savour.
For more personalised information tips and advice, or to book this incredible holiday contact your local TravelManagers’ personal travel manager here.