I think I could spend the rest of my life exploring the Tuscan countryside and never truly see all of its beauty. I would like to go back and just spend a week someday exploring the different cities within Tuscany.
HOW TO GET THERE:
You can get to many of the cities from Florence by bus within 1-2 hours travel time. The bus to these cities departs from the bus station near the train station (SMN is the bus stop if using one of the metro buses.) The first day we ventured to Greve to explore. The second day we went to Siena.
WHAT TO DO/WHERE TO EAT IN GREVE:
We had a great lunch at a restaurant with hands down the best scenic view I’ve seen in all my travels. Il Vescovino is located up a very steep hill in a small village called Panzano just a short walk from the Greve bus stop. They do take reservations but we didn’t have one and were able to get a table. Amazing food, wine and a million dollar view. What else could you want? We also visited a few local wine shops to sample their wines. We went to a winery, Castello di Uzzano, to do a tasting with snacks and were able to purchase some bottles for a great price.
WHAT TO DO IN SIENA:
Siena is much more crowded then Greve. I advise getting there early if you want to explore the town. The bus stop is right in the town center. We went to the Siena Tourist Center and they arranged a taxi for us to a vineyard for a tour. We decided upon Azienda Agricola La Lastra. Unfortunately when we got there my sister realized she had left her cellphone in the cab. The woman at the vineyard kindly called the company and the cab driver brought it back to us. I was truly shocked because I feel like in the states that would never happen. The tour took us all over the vineyards and it was breathtaking. Our guide was very patient with and took many photos for us. We then went to the cellar to hear about the aging process in the barrels. Our last stop was the tasting room with authentic olive oil that they make on site. This whole experience was truly one of our favorites of the whole trip. We ended up loving the wine so much we shipped two cases back home and they arrived within three weeks easily. I highly suggested buying as much wine as you can to send home!
Siena is a very cute medieval town with great architecture. I suggest walking around and taking it in.
We were able to taste four different wines at the tasting. They were also kind enough to allow me to taste Cabernet-Franc since I am an avid California Cabernet Sauvigon drinker. It actually ended up being my favorite of the whole trip and I sent three bottles back. I cannot say enough good things about La Lastra Vineyards!
My only regret is we did not have more time in the Tuscan countryside. Just a forewarning that many vineyards do require advance reservations and walk-ins are typically not welcome. Have any questions about traveling within Tuscany? I’d be glad to help you plan your trip! Shoot me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org