Tuscany

Tuscany

TuscanyThe Tuscany region starts at its west coast and extends east inland. Florence is its capital.

Florence: cradle of the Renaissance, home to Michelangelo’s David, countless art treasures in museums like the Uffizi and magnificent striped churches like its Duomo.

Its compact historic centre is easy to explore on foot. Enjoy markets, an incredible range of shops and foodie stops and at night, street performers in magical, lit up piazzas.

The Chianti wine country lies between Florence and Siena. Explore picturesque towns like Castellina or taste Chianti Classico at welcoming wineries.

Medieval jewel, Siena’s cathedral is a masterpiece, especially its colourful frescoes. In the ancient town hall on Piazza del Campo, admire art, and climb to the top of the tower for fabulous views.

South of Siena, wine lovers reach heaven at beautiful walled hill towns famous for Brunello and Vino Nobile, some of Italy’s top reds.

In Montalcino learn about and taste Brunellos in the wine bar in the imposing Medici fortress.

In Montepulciano’s centre lined with Renaissance palaces, gracious wine shop owners chat and pour Vino Nobile. Lots of good shops too, especially leather goods.

Between Montalcino and Montepulciano, in exquisite little Pienza, discover its famous pecorino cheeses. From the top of its medieval walls, admire vast views of rolling hills.

Walkers! Country paths take you into magnificent valleys and hills past fields, olive groves and vineyards. Food for your soul!

Some typical dishes: crostini with chicken liver spread, tagliatelle with porcini mushrooms, arista pork roll with herbs, almond biscotti dipped in vin santo wine. Top quality olive oil too!

Some Events

Florence Gelato Festival: four days, last week of May.

Siena’s Palio, famous horse race. July & August.

Cacio Al Fuso in Pienza. First Sunday of September. Pecorino cheese rolling contest.

Many wine festivals like: Greve in Chianti: Chianti Classico Wine Expo, second week of September.

San Miniato: White Truffle Festival, last three weekends in November.

Weather in Florence

Winter December 2-10 C, 36-50 F, January 1-10 C, 34-50 F, February 3-12 C, 37-53 F

Spring March 4-15 C, 40-59 F, April 7-18 C, 45-65 F, May 11-23 C, 52-74

Summer June 14-27 C, 58-81 F, July & August 17-31 C, 63-88 F

Fall September 14-26 C, 57-79 , October 10-21 C, 50-70 F, November 5-14 C, 41-58

Winter is cold, good for visiting museums and shopping. Bring winter coats and umbrellas.

Rainy times: wettest in November, also October, December, March and April.

Hot times: sunny, humid July and August. For much of August most businesses outside the historic centre, and many in the centre, shut for holidays. Poor time.

Best times: mid May, June, September and early October for warm temperatures.

Getting There & Away

Florence and Pisa have international airports. Many people land in Rome airport, about a two hour train ride from Florence. If you’re traveling to cities like Lucca or Siena, take the train or bus. Avoid driving in Tuscan cities where car access to the centre is very limited. For exploring the countryside, a private vehicle is a must.

Mama Margaret’s Tours in Tuscany

Cooking & Brunello Wine Tour in Southern Tuscany
3 or 6 nights

Want to experience authentic Tuscan life in Montalcino and Montepulciano? Enjoy Italian cooking school classes, drink and laugh with a cast of warm, local people from home cooks, to restaurant chefs, to artisan olive oil and cheese makers. Taste some of Italy’s top red wines, Brunello and Vino Nobile, with owners at their wineries.

Do you love strolling, shopping in exquisite, walled hill towns? Do you enjoy exploring lovely wine country by walking paths through hills with fabulous views?

If you also like elegant historic hotels, this tour is for you!

The four day Italy cooking and wine tour gives you a taste that’s sure to make you long to return. The six day tour lets you immerse yourself in the southern Tuscany so you leave feeling part of it.

View 3 Night Itinerary

Cooking, Wine and Tuscan Life Tour at a 13th Century Florentine Villa
7 nights

Do you want to live on a wine estate with a villa in the country, yet close to Florence? And cook a delectable, full menu lunch with Tuscan chefs in their Italian cooking school kitchen at home each time?

Are you looking for a balance of food and sights excursions to Florence, the Chianti wine country or a ceramic factory but with lots of free time to explore your way?

This Italy cooking school tour is for you!

Cooking with Four Chefs and Exploring Tuscan Towns
5 nights

In the Florence, Pisa and San Gimignano areas, experience authentic Tuscan life with a cast of fun loving local people. Cook with excellent home cooks in their town and farm homes and restaurant chefs. Visit wineries. Explore Tuscan Florence, Pisa, Volterra, San Gimignano and San Miniato.

In October, you walk in the forest with a woman truffle hunter and her dogs for a real truffle hunt! View truffle tour itinerary

If you’re looking for a Tuscan cooking tour with a great balance of local people, cooking, eating, wine, excursions to Tuscan towns and easy access to Florence, this tour is for you.

Cooking School with a Family in the Chianti Hills
5 nights

If learning to cook a variety of typical Tuscan dishes in the country with excellent family cooks is your dream, this Italy cooking school tour is for you! You stay in a nicely renovated farmhouse on a Chianti area hill with stunning country views. Every morning you cook a full menu lunch and dine on your creations with the family in their big kitchen.

You’ll have lots of fun as you cook, eat, drink wines, share stories, enjoy excursions to Chianti towns and relax in their beautiful gardens.

Discover Three Top Tuscan Wine Regions: Brunello, Chianti Classico and Vernaccia Wine Tour
3 nights

Imagine exploring three of Tuscany’s most famous wine regions with a sommelier as your local friend and guide. In three heavenly days, right where they’re made, taste over 20 excellent Tuscan wines like: Chianti Classico south of Florence, Brunello in the Montalcino area south of Siena, and Vernaccia in San Gimignano. Dine in renowned restaurants and experience these wines matched with fine Tuscan fare.

Farm Cooking and Long Weekend in Tuscany Tour
3 nights

In the Pisa and San Gimignano areas, experience authentic Tuscan life with a cast of fun loving local people. Cook with excellent home cooks in their town and farm homes and an inspired restaurant chef. Explore Tuscan towns Volterra, San Gimignano and San Miniato.

In October, you walk in the forest with a woman truffle hunter and her dogs for a real truffle hunt! View truffle tour itinerary

If you’re looking for a long weekend with a great balance of Italian cooking, eating, wine and exploring this part of Tuscany, this tour is for you.

Cooking & Brunello Wine Country Tours: Pre & Post Mediterranean Cruise Tours to/from Civitavecchia (Rome) Port
4 nights

Are you going on a Mediterranean cruise that starts or ends in Civitavecchia near Rome? Do you love top Tuscan red wines like Brunello and the food that enhances them? Before or after your cruise, a cooking and Brunello wine adventure tour in southern Tuscany’s magnificent wine country makes the perfect complement to your cruise.

Enjoy private wine tastings and tours with winery owners who make Brunello, one of Italy’s top reds, and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, a top Tuscan red. Cook delectable Tuscan dishes with creative touches with chefs in two renowned restaurants.

Learn all about olive oil with an artisan olive oil maker on his organic farm where he still uses the traditional granite wheel.

You’ll feel you’re part of Tuscan life with new Tuscan friends!

Stay at a historic hotel right in Montalcino, so you can step out, become part of the local scene and enjoy more Brunello wine.

Cooking, Wine and Walking Extravaganza Tour in Piedmont’s Barolo Wine Country, Cinque Terre and Tuscany’s Brunello Wine Country
5 or 8 nights

Do you want to explore Piedmont’s Barolo & Barbaresco wine country AND Tuscany’s Brunello & Vino Nobile wine country? On this cooking and wine tour, you can experience both in a short time. With a refreshing break with white wine by the sea in Cinque Terre too! Three different Italian cuisines and three different beautiful landscapes. Enjoy cooking classes in Piedmont and Tuscany.

Discover all three regions in eight days or two regions in five days: Piedmont & Cinque Terre or Tuscany & Cinque Terre.

View 5 night itinerary in Piedmont & Cinque Terre
View 5 night itinerary in Cinque Terre & Tuscany

Phone or email us today for more information or to reserve.