My time in Tuscany came and went in a flash. But if we’re being particular it lasted two weeks, all of which were green hills, cream beage castles, church towers in the blue sky and way too many types of pastas. Although I didn’t quite find the details of the agritourism, I did ask my friend who has lived in Florence for over 10 years. We did nothing fancy but we ate, swam and simply walked around the area based on her great advice.
Agritourism is one of the successful tourism trends for being able to spend more time outdoors, eat the local produce and stay with a local family. We spent the great majority of our time in lodges at the farm and walked around to enjoy the neighborhood.
Where to stay
I asked my friend whether she could find unique and reasonable stays under my three conditions. 1: swimming pool to overcome the heat of Italy, 2. having three meals at the lodge or nearby restaurants, 3. easy to access by public transportation from Florence. I prefered to avoid driving by myself in Italy.
Marzalla is a long-established farm which produces wine, olive oil and honey. We walked through the vineyards and their massive garden freely.
Every early evening, neighbors let their dogs run around the field. You would be surprised how trained dogs could run fast while freely listening to their owner’s directions. You can watch such relaxing scenery in order to enjoy Tuscany’s green bushes, brown fields and blue sky from the swimming pool. At La Ginestra, we had sliced prosciutto and salami, apples, breads and espresso for every breakfast.
A Day Trip to:
You can stay in the lodges the whole week without visiting other areas, but you might feel you cannot miss the chance to visit beautiful areas in Italian Tuscany.
Bologna – Bologna is located a 40-minute train ride from Florence, in the North of Italy and near Venice. Bologna is very different to Florence and offers a more relaxed day away from the crowds. Alma Mater Studiorum – Università di Bologna – is commonly regarded as one of the best known medical and law universities in Italy. Be sure to visit the first human anatomy operating room, but be prepared for the solemn atmosphere. The human anatomies have contributed to the progress of medical science since the 17th century.
Siena – Another great day trip, should you have more time to visit, is Siena, a one and a half hour bus ride from Florence. This historic horse race town is commonly regarded as one of the most beautiful photographic locations, with its clock tower standing on the edge of the improvised horse race track in the town’s Piazza del Campo. Aside from the epic scenery, beautiful old buildings and viewpoints that will leave you wondering if it is real, Siena is also home to some very hospitable locals, great food and unforgettable history.
Pisa – The city of Pisa is famous for its world-famous leaning tower of Pisa and also the city center itself is so small that you can explore and discover its true beauty. If you find yourself with more time, I would suggest spending a half day at Spiaggia Libera Molo di Viareggio or a public beach next to the Mediterranean Sea. If you’re looking for wine and seafood, Il Bar Sotto Il Mare is the best place to eat and you need look no further.
Florence – Florence is the hub to access Tuscany and is the most beautiful destination in Italy but you need to stay at least 3-4 nights to see around. Be sure not to miss iconic sites and attractions like Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore and Ponte Vecchio and L’importuno di Michelangelo (Michelangelo’s Graffiti).
There is an endless supply of arts to pass the time, Galleria degli Uffizi with Primavera (Spring) and The Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli, Galleria dell’ Accademia with the sculpture of David by Michelangelo and Palatine Gallery in Piazza Pitti. As a walkable city, Florence is great to explore effortlessly as we make our way around the streets. My favorite place is Il Papiro which produces paper items decorated with themes based on the tradition of Tuscany.