La Dolce Vita, or “the sweet life,” has become synonymous with the Italian lifestyle, and it’s hard not to fall in love with the country’s rich culture, amazing food, stunning landscapes, and fascinating history. I’ve been traveling through Rome, Florence, and Tuscany for the past week (with one week to go) because they are some of the best regions in Italy to experience the Italian way of life and indulge in all that Italy has to offer.
Here are the top 5 must-have experiences you can’t miss when in Rome, Florence, and Tuscany based on my recent trip:
Chianti is one of Italy’s most famous wine-producing regions, and it’s easy to see why. The region boasts a picturesque landscape filled with vineyards and sprawling hills. The best way to explore the region is by taking a wine tour to sample some of the best wines and learn about their production. The region will awaken your taste buds from delicious Chianti to complex Brunello di Montalcino. Each winery is unique and offers different wine varieties and products, so take your time and savor each sip. We visited several wineries with unique personalities and experiences, so if you’re interested in learning more, we’d be happy to chat.
A cooking class is one of the best ways to immerse yourself in Italian culture and bring home a delicious souvenir to share with friends and family. Italy is famous for its culinary delights, and what better way to learn than from local chefs who know the secrets of Italian cuisine? In Tuscany, several cooking schools offer classes on making everything from pasta to panini and even traditional Tuscan dishes like ribollita and pappa al pomodoro. Along with the cooking, you will learn about the history and storytelling accompanying each recipe. We took a cooking class from Michelin Star chef Silvia Barrachi in Cortona, and now I’m OBSESSED with Pici Pasta with Pecorino!
If you’re looking for the epitome of luxury and service and want to experience Florence’s rich history and art, staying at the Four Seasons Hotel is a must! This 15th-century palace has been transformed into a lush and luxurious hotel, elegantly combining old-world charm with modern amenities. There are 116 rooms and suites, many with frescoed ceilings and antique furnishings. The hotel grounds are stunning, and the Spa is a must-visit oasis of tranquility. The hotel is located at the edge of the city center and is walkable to the sites but far enough to offer a tranquil setting away from the hustle and bustle. We stayed in the Renaissance Suite, with exquisite art on the walls, frescoes on the ceilings, and a perfect view of the gorgeous lobby. I never wanted to leave!
Adventurous spirits seeking something different can try hot air ballooning over Chianti. The white-grey villas, green vineyards, and rolling hills of Florence and Chianti look like a canvas when viewed from a hot air balloon. The experience is one of a kind, and it’s easy to see why it’s touted as one of the most unique things you can experience in Tuscany. Balloon rides usually happen early in the morning, so if you’re an early bird and aren’t afraid of heights, this is the perfect adventure. We took off from a small grassy area next to the Arno River and just below the Piazza de Michelangelo. During takeoff was the ideal time to take stunning photos of the Duomo and Ponte Vecchio
Tuscany is home to several well-preserved medieval towns that offer a fascinating glimpse into Italy’s history. I fell madly in love with Pienza and San Gimignano, two of Tuscany’s most famous historical towns. Each offers a unique experience of classic Italian architecture, great coffee shops, and local cuisine. You can visit the historic Piazza Pio II in Pienza, grab some local cheese, and taste some delicious gelato as you explore the town. San Gimignano is famous for its many towers – every noble family had to have a tower – of which only 14 remain today. The town also offers spectacular views over the Tuscan hills.
You probably figured out by now that Rome, Florence, and Tuscany are vibrant and rich destinations that offer visitors a unique blend of breathtaking natural landscapes, historical sites, culinary delights, and adventures. The beauty of these experiences is that you can mix, match, and create your unique spin on La Dolce Vita. From wine tasting to hot air ballooning and historic town tours, you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience in these mesmerizing Italian destinations.
We are experts in this region and would love to chat with you when you’re ready to experience everything Italy offers! Reach out to us HERE, and let’s get started!
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