Travel Italy: Vacation Packages, Tips, Tours of Italy


»» Day Trips from Siena to Countryside of Tuscany

If you are planning day trips from Siena to the hill towns in the surroundings, renting a car is the way to go.

The other option you have, transfer by bus, will limit the number of towns or places a day you can visit.

If you are not afraid of driving there — driving there is easy if you use common sense driving habits — in a couple of days you could visit the major places in the surroundings.

Strongly suggested the following hill towns: San Gimignano, Colle Val d’Elsa, Volterra, Certaldo, and towns located along major wine roads such as Montalcino, Pienza and Montepulciano or in the Chianti area: Castellina in Chianti, Gaiole in Chianti, Greve in Chianti and Radda in Chianti. (See map of Chianti area and countryside of Tuscany).

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»» Quick Advice on Visiting Wineries in Tuscany

In Tuscany, as in most of the wine growing regions in Italy, most of the wineries are small and family run.

So, you should expect to pay for visiting it and tasting wine and the snacks they provide. The fees range from $10 to $60.
The wineries usually require appointments.

For locating the wineries offering these services, you can also have a look to these guides detailing wineries in two of the most-known wine-growing areas: Chianti and Montalcino.

- If you plan to tour the Chianti area, check here .
- If you plan visits in the Montalcino area have a look here.

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»» Video of Grape Harvest and Wine Making in Montalcino

A 4 min. video about grape harvest and wine making in a farm located in Montalcino, the land of well-known “Brunello“.

(via YouTube).

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filed in: Food & Wine & Tuscany

»» A Day in Montalcino

From the town of Montalcino, Tuscany, worldwide known for its Brunello wine, we start the first episode of a audio phrase book series targeting travelers willing  to learn basics of Italian for survival.
The series is being podcasted. That means you’ll able to directly download the content and also getting it automatically delivered to your PC and portable audio player.

Montalcino offers more than a chance to admire  the typical Tuscan landscapes and to plan excursions to the several historic towns located in the surroundings. However, the wine is its main attraction, so this episode is centered around it. (See the area on the interactive map).

Italian phrase book for wine tourists including full audiocast

- I would like some red wine = Vorrei del vino rosso;
Brunello di Montalcino
- red=rosso; sweet still = dolce non frizzante; sparkling sweet = dolce frizzante; dry=secco; full bodied = corposo;
- aging: minimum two years = invecchiamento: minimo 2 anni;
- more Montalcino wines: Moscadello di Montalcino, Rosso di Montalcino;

Listen by native Italian speakers

Below a few photos (more…)

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»» Week-end Culinary Festivals Round-up: Olive Oil & Wine in Tuscany

by - Extra virgin olive oil and wine in Tuscany, polenta and sausages in the surroundings of Rome, they are a few of the themes for the culinary festivals we suggest for next week-end.

In the surroundings of Pisa, the town of Casciana Alta celebrates the production of extra virgin olive oil, with the festival “Sagra dell’olio nuovo” October 28 and 29 (for more details see municipality’s website).
Extra virgin olive oil celebrated also in the surroundings of Siena, in the village of Montisi, from Oct. 28 through Nov. 1st.


The town of Castiglion Fiorentino, around 100 km away from Florence, is dedicating an event, “I Giorni di Bacco“, to the famed wines from the surroundings areas of Montepulciano, Montalcino, Chianti, and (more…)

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