March 11, 2010, 04:24 AM
Day Trip to Tuscany from Florence - Help Please
I'll be in Florence with my wife and her sister late March and we're trying to plan a fantastic day trip from Florence to Tuscany. We're renting a car and would like to tour the beautiful scenery while stopping at a few wineries, small towns/villages, and/or castles. Given our travel schedule, we must tour on a Sunday and question whether wineries and the shops/restaurants will be open. Has anyone done a similar trip or know about the region and can help? It would be GREATLY appreciated as I've had a hard time finding much info online.
I'm more interested in wine than my wife/sister, so we'd love to mix wineries with a more popular town and more off the beaten path but great towns.
We're looking at Chianti or Montapulciano regions.
THANK YOU SO MUCH.
March 11, 2010, 03:33 PM
One day in Tuscany countryside
If you are staying in Florence and you have just one day to spend in Tuscany, I suggest you visit Chianti.
It is located in between Florence and Siena and is easily accessible with your car. Montepulciano and Val D'Orcia, on the other side, are more far away from Florence and in one day you risk to spend most of your day driving.
Chianti is one of the most famous region in Tuscany, and maybe in Italy, for wine and landscapes. I think it can be the ideal choice for the three of you.
As a matter of fact in the Chianti region there are many wineries and wine shops where you can do wine tasting and wine cellars tours. But in Chianti there are also many beautiful villages and towns that will delight your wife and her sister, while you're drinking a good glass of wine
From Florence you can drive to Greve, Panzano, Castellina in Chianti and Gaiole. On the forum there are several threads about Chianti and wine tastings. I suggest you take a look to get more ideas.Here the article about a possible itinerary in Chianti.
On your way back to Florence, I recommend you find the time to stop visiting the beautiful medieval towns of San Gimignano and Monteriggioni.
I hope these suggestions help you planning your day in Tuscany with your wife and her sister.
please don't hesitate to ask any further question and to share your experience with us
March 11, 2010, 04:24 PM
Great info! Thank you. Will wineries and shops/restaurants be open on Sunday?
I will read that article and do further searches in forum for winery recmmendations.
March 11, 2010, 06:39 PM
yes, restaurants and some wineries are open on Sundays
Several wineries are open on Sundays but not the same ones every weekend. The best option would be to contact some wineries ahead of time if you really want to visit a specific one, otherwise what we did when visiting Radda in Chianti was go into the local tourism office and asked there, they knew the ones that were open and marked them on a map. Other towns will surely do the same, pointing out which ones are open in the surroundings.
Or keep in mind that all towns in Chianti have wine shops and if they are direct sale shops for a local winery, will also offer wine tastings as well.
Most restaurants are open on Sundays - it is a common day for locals to go and eat with the family so you shouldn't have any problems.
As you drive, you'll see signs both for wineries and restaurants off the road - keep a lookout for them as they're often right at where the turnoff is. This is very common - wineries will post signs to say they are open, while many of these restaurants off the main road will actually offer some of the best local Tuscan home-style cooking you'll eat! And they are often not listed on the internet, you just find them as you drive by.... if you miss an exit, don't worry, keep driving and when you can safely do so, go back. Just know that most roads in Tuscany are two-lanes and have no space to the sides for stopping, so you'll need to keep driving up to another road or exit where you'll be able to do a turn and go back.
Enjoy your time in Tuscany and do share with us any finds you discover along the way !
April 20, 2012, 08:06 AM
Tuscany Day Trip
As pointed out above, not everything is open on a Sunday, but moreover some restaurants close on other days mid-week and there is no set rule. Always best to check beforehand.
Another problem can be finding yourself stranded between 12.30 and 4pm as out in the villages almost everything (except restaurants) shut down for this period. It's not so much fun exploring the towns when all the shops are shut!
I would seriously advise taking a small group Tuscany day tour as an alternative to hiring a car and trying to guide yourself; you would get to see so much more in a day and be able to do a wine tasting at the vineyard with the benefit of someone else doing the driving!