What? Tuscany without Florence? That’s right! To us, southern Tuscany is THE most beautiful area in all Italy. Really. Better than Chianti and far less touristed. Incredible countryside. The itinerary outlined below is just a suggestion. We would concentrate more on hiking (or just walking) and motoring tours on backroads you choose at random. For nearly 30 years, we have told our clients: You never need venture north of Siena, never, and you will have spent your time immersed in Italy’s most beautiful landscapes.
The famous wine-producing hilltown of Montalcino, including a visit to a vineyard, plus nearby Sant’Antimo, our favorite abbey in all of Italy
Three beautiful hilltowns: Montepulciano, Pienza, and San Quirico d’Orcia. Lunch at a place like La Chiusa at Montefollonico.
Up to Siena for a full day’s exploration of this marvelous city
Coastal Tuscany: A day out at the delightful coastal town of Talamone, including a hike in the Parco Naturale della Maremma
You want authentic in Tuscany? Try this: A wonderful country drive, beginning in Scansano, with magnificent scenery and delightful untouristy hilltowns all the way. Follow a detailed map: Scansano, Poggioferro, Murci, Roccalbegna, Triana, a detour to incredibly picturesque Rochette di Fazio, Semproniano, finishing up in Saturnia. Spend the afternoon lounging in the hot springs at Saturnia, lately become rather fashionable.
Another gorgeous drive, this time concentrating on Monte Amiata: Start at Castel del Piano and follow the map: Castel del Piano, Seggiano, Abbadia San Salvatore, Piancastagnaio, Santa Flora and the beautiful 18th-century garden called La Peschiera, then to Arcidosso and finishing back up in Castel del Piano. All of the villages along this road are lovely and interesting. Try to do a hike up to the top of Monte Amiata, well-marked and not difficult
A well-deserved rest at home.
Three beautiful hilltowns: Pitigliano, Sorano, and Sovana. The approach to Pitigliano is unforgettable.
Another day down to the coast: Newly fashionable Orbetello, with its beautiful cathedral and spectacular lagoon setting, followed by a totally unexpected attraction: the Tarot Garden of Niki de St. Phalle, wonderful for children and adults alike.
A wine-tasting day in the vineyards of Brunello
A day in the Val d’Orcia, which to us has the most beautiful countryside in all of Italy. The village of Bagno Vignoni, immortalized by Tarkovsky, is truly memorable.
Volterra and Massa Marittima, the latter with the most beautiful cathedral square in all of Italy, and that’s saying something. The drive between the two is extremely unusual, as it passes through the boric acid “mines” in a landscape nicknamed the Valley of the Devil.
Two abbeys: Monte Oliveto Maggiore and San Galgano, the latter a wonderfully romantic ruin where concerts are held on summer evenings
Relax at home wondering why you didn’t complete even half the above