Dare I suggest you to leave Florence, but I will admit there is a world to be discovered out there! If you are planning to come to Tuscany and want to make a city your base, Florence is for sure a great choice. Florence offers great food, sights, night-time activities, attractions, buzz and more. But after a few days, you might want to start exploring more unique parts of the Tuscan region, and escape the hustle and bustle of city life.
Here are some ideas for day trips from Florence and fun activities to connect you to the rest of Tuscany:
1. Take advantage of the great weather (granted its not sweltering) and rent a bike or take a bike tour in the Tuscan countryside! As detailed on a previous post (getting active on your vacation), a bike ride is a fun way to get exercise, take in gorgeous panoramas and of course taste local products, usually in a rustic countryside house or historical villa. Not a bad place to bike to and stop off for snacks! The roads are very safe and drivers are very bike friendly (knock on wood). There are itineraries which are set for any fitness level, so you don't feel like you're climbing a mountain, or you can if you want to! There is something rewarding about biking through the windy, scenic roads of Tuscany- it's an experience anyone who loves biking should have. Check out our active tours section for a couple ideas and be sure to contact us or I Bike Italy for more bike tour in Tuscany from Florence options.
2. If its sweltering hot in July and August, a bike ride may sound a little daunting. Still want to feel the breeze without working up a huge sweat? Consider a Vespa tour in Tuscany or a Vintage Fiat 500 tour from Florence! Besides fashion, art and food- the icons of Italy are also cute zippy Vespas and Fiat 500's. I recommend taking a guided tour since the guides will show you the ropes on how to operate these intricate machines and take you along the most scenic route that they know best as locals. Plus of course, none of the activities I recommend would be complete without tasting goodies such as local salty nutty sheep's milk cheeses, cured meats with notes of fennel, pungent Tuscan olive oil and smooth food-friendly Tuscan wine. Don't fret- wine is tasted in small quantities so you can still drive. Put some adventure into your vacation with a Vespa or Fiat 500 Tour and also get the combined benefits of experiencing the countryside and tasting local goods.
3. Being from the Pacific Northwest, I've come to appreciate a good hike or adventure through the mountains. Tuscany is a special region for outdoor hikes and outdoor exploration! Not only are there beautiful hillsides and natural sights, you may come across random ancient ruins, stones, buildings and art along the way. I once partook in a walking wine tour where we hiked from winery to winery and it was incredible. Walking through the forest then through the hills then through vineyards to then taste the land's greatest wines is truly an experience to be had. These particular experiences offered through We Like Tuscany look exceptional: Tuscany at Your Feet, In the Tracks of Stone Carvers, and Mountains and Sea.
4. Not the active type? Want to be pampered for the day? Consider an escorted wine tour where you can sit back, relax, see all the sights, drink and eat all the things with a friendly driving guide to take you around to the best wine producers in Tuscany and to the most scenic villages. As much as I do enjoy active tours, sometimes if you are on vacation you just want to be on autopilot and completely unplug from the city and from having to think much besides being in the moment to enjoy the experience at hand. The benefit of taking a guided wine tour versus doing it yourself are immense. Just to note a few: You don't have to worry about driving, getting surprise driving tickets 6 months later for "accidentally" speeding or driving in a residents only zone, worrying about drinking since you won't be driving, directions, getting lost (which is usually fun, but in Italy some roads are not so fun to be lost on) and ensuring you get to the best villages and wine producers possible, Check out our various wine cellar adventures including a Chianti Classico Wine Tour, Brunello Wine Tour, Bolgheri Wine Tour and more!
Need more ideas? Send us a note or leave a comment- we'd be happy to advise on your next trip to Florence! Contact us any time regarding food and wine adventures in Florence and Tuscany