Travel Tuscany | Art, History, Food, Wine
This Italian Treasure has it all!
Florence, the epicentre of Tuscany, is home to some of the most cherished art in the world. There is so much art, it’s hard to know where to begin. If seeing Michelangelo’s statue of David at the Accademia Gallery isn’t enough for you, simply walk over to The Gates of Paradise by Lorenzo Ghiberti at the Duomo (you can’t miss it!). Still not sated? Then off to the Uffizi Gallery! There you’ll find Botticelli’s Birth of Venus on the second floor. This priceless painting lives among thousands of incredible objets d’art. Those who have enough after an hour or two, or those who can spend days and days looking at art will all be delighted with the city.
Art and History
Art and history are intertwined. You have the best of both right here. The Ponte Vecchio (literally ‘Old Bridge’), also in Florence, was built before 996 when it first appeared in a document. But Tuscany is far more than just Florence. First settled by the Etruscans around 1000 B.C., Tuscany includes ten provinces, all nestled between the Tyrrhenian and Ligurian seas. A total of seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites lie within its borders. Here is the laundry list: Florence (we’ve talked about that), Pisa’s Piazza dei Miracoli (you may have heard of a certain leaning tower), San Gimignano, Siena, Pienza, Valdorcia and The Medici Villas and Gardens. Every one steeped in history and every one worth a visit.
Food and Wine
That leaves us with food and wine. Let’s start back in Florence. A wonderful foodie walking tour will help you get your bearings. You’ll get up close and personal with some of the best purveyors of classic, Tuscan cuisine. From learning about Super Tuscan wine to the proper way to make Gelato (the really fluffy stuff is mostly air), Toni from Taste Florence knows what’s what.
Then, it’s off to visit some of our partners in the rolling hills of Chianti and Brunello di Montalcino. Sangiovese is the grape of choice, mainly because of the DOC/G rules for winemaking. In general, this variety is required to be the majority of any wine including the certification. Thus, the creation of the unofficial ‘Super Tuscan’ category. They break the rules and produce some incredible wines as a result. Taste as many as you can along the way. You’ll develop a sense of the diversity of wines from Tuscany despite its very narrow reputation. If you can wait, watch for an Opimian food and wine tour of Italy in the fall of 2022. If you can’t, reach out to our Member Service department and we’ll put you in touch with some of the producers in the area. You’ll be treated like royalty when you arrive.