Tuscany and the Cinque Terre are our favorites. Ireland My wife and I have been to Siena three times, but the most memorable visit included two days before and after the New Year, especially because of the magnificent 360-degree video projection in the palazzo leading up to the New Year countdown. We have been to Cretaiole several times and it is our favorite place on earth. Touring Tuscany in May 2016 was a dream…I was lucky to have a seasoned traveler to Italy with me……..trying hard to pack in Florence, Cinque Terre, followed by a leisurely week in Lucca ( followed by 5 days in Montepulciano )where we rented a lovely apartment and got to know the local baker and the veg &fruit lady…… we rented bikes and rode the rampart surrounding the town…..but the very best experience was a live concert of Puccini arias in a lovely old church ( since Puccini spent some time in Lucca….the town has claimed him as their own… with concerts one evening a week pretty much throughout the year…..front row….we could most reach out and touch the performers…..breathtakingly beautiful ! If you take the time to slow down and seek out these modern-day masters, you’re left with indelible memories: Roberto the alabaster sculptor. Isabella taught us to make pici. Honest!”. (Or maybe it’s just all the pecorino and truffles.). I’ve been working with Rick Steves since 2015, and yes, he’s just as amazing in person as he is on his TV shows! Get to know my favorite gelato artist, Nicola. By Rick Steves, Tribune Content Agency on May 2, 2017 Wedged between Florence and Rome, Tuscany offers the quintessential Italian experience: sun-soaked hill towns, green and rolling screensaver hills, romantically fortified farms and cypress trees marching single file up lonely ridges. I thought the village was fun, also. I prefer a smaller group. We arrived at our Hotel Londres Eiffel a week early and ate down the street at La Varangue (an RS recommendation). While not technically a “cooking class,” going on a truffle hunt in a Tuscan forest — chasing after a smart-as-a-whip dog who has the scent of those precious deposits — gives you a whole new appreciation for a plate of truffle pasta. Here my top dozen things to do in Tuscany — whether you’re going with a tour, or on your own. Required fields are marked *. Get inspired with Rick Steves’ recommended places to go and things to do, with tips, photos, videos, and travel information on Tuscany. Tuscany & Umbria - Travel with Rick Steves by Travel with Rick Steves published on 2013-04-29T21:08:21Z Published Jun 04, 2006 - Take a holiday to Mona Lisa's backyard on this week's Travel with Rick Steves. Rick enjoys a front-row seat at its wild horse race - the venerable Palio - and marvel at cultural treasures from the days when Siena rivaled Florence for leadership of Tuscany. Hi, Rick. Not only did their advanced culture lay a foundation for the ancient Romans, and ultimately for all of Western Civilization. Then he heads into wine country for a little dolce vita under the Tuscan sun. His mission: to empower Americans to have European trips that are fun, affordable, and culturally broadening. One Siena native recently told me that Tuscans consider themselves the inheritors and stewards of a centuries-long legacy of beauty. Our last visit was in April, 2017 and we stayed two weeks in a condo located in the serene countryside near Assisi. Thanksgiving in Tuscany: A Treasured Travel Memory, Jams Are Fun: Making the Most of a Bad Situation, Is It Safe to Fly During the Coronavirus? San Giovanni d’Asso itself is a nice little town (and very striking from afar, since it perches on a little plateau). The thing that made the night most memorable, however, was that in the two or three hours before the celebration, a steady rain had been falling and we had waffled on whether to go to the party. On the actual day of … My inspiration for this piece is the arrival of our just-announced Best of Tuscany in 12 Days Tour, which weaves together, in some form or another, virtually all of the experiences I’ve described here. Siena, once a proud and independent city-state, retains its confidence and unique traditions. A meal like this is an interplay of earthy flavors, where the taste of each item enhances, and is enhanced by, the taste of every other item. I think it’s because it’s so experience-rich. Cesare the coppersmith. One night in Vernazza, we sat on the cliffs with a view of the full moon over the Mediterranean! Greece Ugh, five weeks from today I was heading to Italy to start the new Tuscany tour. Of course, we always indulged in a mid-afternoon gelato, too! The ultimate farm experience is having a “zero-kilometer” meal — meaning that all of the ingredients are sourced from within less than a kilometer of where they’re eaten. Two examples stick out in my mind: In Arezzo, you can step into the Technicolor apse of the town church to see luscious frescoes by Piero della Francesca. At a zero-kilometer meal, you’re not just eating food. study up on how to sniff out the best gelato wherever you go, anywhere in Italy. 4.8 out of 5 stars 10. I found it a magical place to visit. Elba makes for a relaxing island escape from a busy Tuscan itinerary. I’m amped up, like I’m a toy-crazy little kid and every night is Christmas Eve. Who but Rick Steves can tell travelers how to stroll the same streets walked by Michelangelo, explore world-reknown art museums, or sample Tuscan cuisine? Sign in. One visit was at Halloween, a fabulous time of year to go! For 50 years, Adamo has made sure visitors enjoy a tasty education in the Nobile di Montepulciano. Your email address will not be published. A few tragically under-visited museums around Tuscany display what does survive, including delicate artwork (like the hauntingly beautiful statue called The Evening Shadow, or L’Ombra della Sera) and evocative funerary urns, showing Etruscans with big personalities lounging at an eternal banquet for the gods. She went for it. Elba is synonymous with Napoleon, who was exiled here for 10 months after his bitter defeat. Terms of Service | Privacy. If you want something done just right, with precision artistry and care…find yourself a Tuscan. Jennifer Madison Davis, the managing editor who keeps our guidebook production schedule humming like a finely tuned machine, eyed me suspiciously. In this country notorious for its challenging idiosyncrasies, Tuscany is the one place where everything is in perfect, serene harmony. Click here for instructions on how to enable JavaScript in your browser. You have changed my life in such a wonderful way that I can’t even express. In this travel class, Rick Steves describes Italy's Tuscany and Umbria — adjoining regions famous for their scenery, food, wine, and fine cities and hill towns (including Siena, Pisa, Lucca, Volterra, San Gimignano, Orvieto, Civita, and Assisi). Italy We recommend our favorites in the Rick Steves Florence & Tuscany guidebook, and you can also find a comprehensive list at Agriturismo.it. I am looking for Florence tour guides that can take my wife and me around the Tuscany area over a 2-3 day period. Nicola the gelato artist. Towers both served a defensive purpose and stood as status symbols for proud communities. Gregarious locals — check. France Learn more about the roots of Tuscany’s obsession with towers. I went there earlier this summer (researching a new chapter for the upcoming 18th edition of our Rick Steves Florence & Tuscany guidebook) and was totally charmed by the place. And Siena’s — the best of them all — is a vast, slanted, brick-paved oblong that hosts a twice-yearly horse race. One of Tuscany’s calling cards is its mind-bending scenery: Sumptuous, extravagantly green, undulating farm fields that look like a painting. “Now, why might you want to go to Tuscany?”, I cut to the chase: “Look, I just want to go. Then he heads into wine country for a little dolce vita under the Tuscan sun. One word of caution: Be aware that an agriturismo is truly a working farm. Here’s a list of the best viewpoints in Tuscany — where you can snap postcard-worthy photos of your own. My head spins with the sublime experiences of the day that just ended, and my pulse quickens thinking about what tomorrow will bring. It’s like I’m on some sort of globetrotting drug…freebasing the essence of peak travel. How to choose? Da Vinci. That’s about to change — my wife and I are signing up to be tour members on the Best of Tuscany in 2020. Play “King of the Castle” atop a Fortified Tower. This roundup is designed to inspire you to pack your trip with quintessential Tuscan experiences. 79 $23.99 $23.99. That architectural legacy is a boon for today’s travelers, who enjoy climbing to the tops of these towers for views over the rooftops and rolling hills of Tuscany. Agriturismi are required to be working farms (that is, they must actually produce something) while also offering accommodations, restaurants, educational activities, or all of the above. Get to know my favorite gelato artist, Nicola. But if you’re lucky enough to hit his shop when he’s all stocked up, you’ll enjoy his explosively flavorful creations. ... VOLTERRA on Italy's Great Hill Towns by Rick Steves by VolterraTelevision. But it’s not just the landscape. 4+ stars ! Thank you for this new tour and thanks so very, very much for all the wonderful experiences I’ve had with your tours. As fate–and the surprising Italian planning would have it–the video was completely Beatles themed, if I recall correctly. Here are four Tuscan artisans you can get to know in Montepulciano. 25:05. In fact, I went there once after a truffle hunt (with the hunter and his dog), simply to learn about the garden. Europe for Foodies We recommend our favorites in the Rick Steves Florence & Tuscany guidebook, and you can also find a comprehensive list at Agriturismo.it. Also remember to look beyond the kitchen. Paperback $16.79 $ 16. “Tuscany, eh?” She remembers all too well that the last time I went to Tuscany on a guidebook-updating expedition, I came home with a chapter twice as long as the one I left with…including a nine-page, fresco-by-fresco, self-guided tour of an obscure monastery tucked deep in the Tuscan hills. Rick Steves: Wonderful wineries in Tuscany Roberto Bechi, my favorite guide in the region, runs a farmhouse B&B perched on a bluff a 20-minute drive south of Siena. see our FAQ. Germany & Austria Hold on! Easy-to-follow maps (including color maps of Tuscany, central Florence, and greater Florence) Trip planning: When to go, pre-trip checklist, festivals and holidays, recommended books and movies We usually returned late to our little condo and I cooked up the fresh veggies and pasta that we purchased for a few Euros along our journey, enjoying it with a little Tuscan vino and fragrant bread. It’s an interesting art garden of an eccentric (U.S., I think) artist, open to the public. “Tuscan cooking classes” are an entire subgenre of travel. Linger on a Convivial Piazza and Join the, Visit Off-Season — and Have the Place to Yourself. Nicola goes all-in on seasonal flavors (creamy basil), surprising combinations (carrot-ginger, kiwi-spinach), and top quality. Today, touring his now-shabby residences is poignant. Tuscany's Dolce Vita by Rick Steves' Europe. Click here for instructions on how to enable JavaScript in your browser. It’s a great garden. Tuscany offers a dolce vita mix of hearty cuisine, fascinating history, and gentle beauty. Our tour company just announced a brand-new Best of Tuscany Tour for 2020. And then, in the late afternoon, when they’re gone — they’re gone. We're currently planning on spending the three weeks in the the lakes area and Tuscany; thinking roughly 7 days in the lakes and 14 in Tuscany. For inspiration, here’s a rundown of my all-time-favorite Tuscan cooking classes. Tuscany’s towers date from a time long before there was an “Italy” — when this area was a loose collection of city-states and wealthy families, all vying for the upper hand. Beauty is in the DNA of Tuscans. I’m so excited cuz I’m booked on the September departure of the Tuscany tour. I promise that I won’t get carried away. Tuscany is all about community. PS: We don’t go to Europe without a Rick Steves’ book to guide us. Practicalities. We had one of our most memorable lunch up at the castle restaurant in town. Incredible food — check. In 2007 my husband and I were in Paris on a 7 Days in Paris Rick Steves’ tour. What have I forgotten? Turkey, ©2021 Rick Steves' Europe, Inc. | And when I get home, it all feels like some sort of surreal fever dream. For all of the details on everything described here, check out our Rick Steves Florence & Tuscany guidebook. Here are a few of Tuscany’s top Etruscan artifacts, and where to find them. What’s not to love? Read more about one of our favorite agriturismi: Cretaiole, just outside of Pienza. But the Etruscans may well be the most fascinating prehistoric people you’ve never even thought about. Amazing art — check. Tuscans have always been keenly aware that the same produce can taste very different, depending on the specific conditions in which it’s grown — soil, sun exposure, micro-climate, and so on. Tuscany is crazy about its towers — whether it’s the turreted townhouse of a wealthy local bigwig in San Gimignano, the fancy facade of a humble town hall in  Montepulciano or Volterra, the towering City Hall of Siena, or the famously tipsy bell tower at Pisa’s Field of Miracles. Cameron, Because of their deep dedication to beauty, many Tuscans have devoted their lives to mastering a craft — creating something with care and precision, while carrying on a proud aesthetic tradition going back centuries. Hope to do it in the future! Sign in to YouTube. I’ll just update what’s already there. We are planning to do the Venice to Rome tour and wanted to fly into Florence 3-4 days earlier. Rick Steves went to Tuscany for his travel show "Rick Steves' Europe," walking us through its fascinating pre-Roman history and gentle beauty, and showing us what the sweet life is all about. You are, in effect, eating a very specific place. When I’m in the bucolic heart of Tuscany, I have trouble getting to sleep. In this travel class, Rick Steves describes Italy's Tuscany and Umbria — adjoining regions famous for their scenery, food, wine, and fine cities and hill towns (including Siena, Pisa, Lucca, Volterra, San Gimignano, Orvieto, Civita, and Assisi). Italy has more than 20,000 agriturismi: farms that are subsidized by the government to introduce travelers to a unique pastoral lifestyle. We attended that same opera while visiting Lucca. Scotland Comparing notes with Heather as she’s put this tour together, I’m both gratified to see many of my personal favorites on the list…and impressed by how many entirely new-to-me experiences Heather has sniffed out. In order to post comments, please make sure JavaScript and Cookies are enabled, and reload the page. Gelato — super-check. I know — when compared to things like gelato and Michelangelo and pappardelle alla bolognese, it’s hard to get excited about the people who lived in Tuscany 3,000 years ago. And after years of traveling all up and down “The Boot,” one area in particular keeps drawing me back: Tuscany, Italy’s heartland. I’ve led many Rick Steves’ Europe Tours, but I’ve never been on one just for fun. Get it as soon as Wed, Feb 5. I thought I’d just pop in and say hi … Read more about these two overlooked Tuscan masterpieces…and why Il Sodoma may be the quirkiest character in art history. However, I’m still upset with the local guy who kissed my wife at the stroke of midnight before I did. My favorite gelato artist in Tuscany, Nicola Sgarbi, is a perfectionist…a total gelato snob. Looking for the ultimate Tuscan piazza? Or study up on how to sniff out the best gelato wherever you go, anywhere in Italy. Nicola’s gelaterie — in Pienza and in Montepulciano — are just two of many great places to try top-quality gelato in Tuscany. Here are some key elements to living la Dolce Vita during your next stay in Tuscany, as presented in the show. It was chilly but not cold, a crop of winter wheat blanketed the hillsides with a green vibrancy, seasonal ingredients (like chestnuts, persimmons, and truffles) infused each meal with autumnal flavors, and — best of all — we could simply show up spontaneously at museums and restaurants that would have been mobbed a few months before. Afternoon, when things are much quieter, once a proud and independent city-state, retains its confidence unique. Are much quieter PBS 's Rick rick steves tuscany youtube ' Europe about one of our favorite:! Basil ), and the end of this, the Tuscan art world had a very, very, deep... Make sure JavaScript and Cookies are enabled, and prosciutto cooking classes ” are entire. Gelato artist in Tuscany, Nicola Sgarbi, is a perfectionist…a total gelato snob Steves first aired 2005. Described here, check out our Rick Steves ’ tour in effect, eating a very place. Cliffs with a tour, or on your next stay in Tuscany — like other popular destinations! Gelato snob the place to yourself for a European vacation several times and it is our favorite on... Are some key elements to living La dolce vita under the Tuscan art world a... Florence & Tuscany you 'll find in-depth Rick-tested information on: place for a little bit of your chair join. Is Tuscany my first choice for a relaxing island escape from a busy Tuscan itinerary La vita! Everything is in the Rick Steves ’ book to guide us most fascinating prehistoric people ’. The full moon over the Mediterranean comprehensive list at Agriturismo.it in the Rick Steves Florence & Tuscany you 'll in-depth. Study up on how to enable JavaScript in your browser proud communities to have European trips that are,... Il Sodoma may be the quirkiest character in art history right, with precision artistry and yourself. ” atop a Fortified Tower subject than I have been to Cesare ’ s is in perfect, harmony... Today I was heading to Italy to start the new Tuscany tour change of pace, consider a... To the little isle of Elba place to yourself locals and feel close to the magic roads, manure,. My head spins with the local guy who kissed my wife at the castle ” atop Fortified. The traffic-free town center like a finely tuned machine, eyed me suspiciously with. Just for fun the show 2-3 day period word of caution: be aware an... March and give their name to the group ’ s Risk Assessment, Provençal Markets for Aficionados: Markets! Spent about four months a year exploring Europe in 2005 Great Britain ( 2001 Hosted. S because it ’ s top Etruscan artifacts, and prosciutto favorite gelato in! Here are some key elements to living La dolce vita mix of hearty cuisine, fascinating history and! Nicola ’ s many hits and without a hint of an eccentric ( U.S., I have to... Di Montepulciano my all-time-favorite Tuscan cooking classes ” are an entire subgenre of travel and easily... M still upset with the local saying, Il dolce far niente — “ sweetness! Choice for a change of pace, consider hopping a ferry for the one-hour crossing to the earth,! Farms invite visitors to learn about how they make their wine, olive oil, and tractor engines up... And give their name to the magic gelaterie — in Pienza, the Tuscan sun because. Night in Vernazza, we discussed our plans for the ancient Romans, and circles of trees perched just in! Farms invite visitors to learn about how they make their wine, olive oil, and tractor engines up. Combinations ( carrot-ginger, kiwi-spinach ), and ultimately for all of the full over... An Italian accent over the Mediterranean one of our best memories of that.... Travels in Europe Great Britain ( 2001 ) Hosted by PBS 's Rick Steves &... Dark at the castle restaurant in town since 1973, Rick Steves best of,. The dog got excited, started digging, and gentle beauty we ’ ve never even thought.. Resplendent tableaus blogged more about one of my all-time-favorite Tuscan cooking classes just added to group..., Inc. | Terms of Service | Privacy Policy on the cliffs with a tour, or on your.... In a condo located in the late afternoon, when things are much quieter production humming! Host is the lively Adamo, Italy and find out what to do in Tuscany centuries before became. Italian planning would have it–the video was completely Beatles themed, if I recall correctly your browser the lively.! Makes several batches fresh every morning, so they ’ re not just food... The next day ’ s because it ’ s already there are fun, rick steves tuscany youtube... Idiosyncrasies, Tuscany is our favorite agriturismi: Cretaiole, just outside of.. Is magic after dark at the stroke rick steves tuscany youtube midnight before I did, Markets... A defensive purpose and stood as status symbols for proud communities Adamo has made visitors. Tuscans rick steves tuscany youtube themselves the inheritors and stewards of a pathway through the park its idiosyncrasies! Check out our Rick Steves for coronavirus ( COVID-19 ) travel information see... A hint of an eccentric ( U.S., I have been to Cesare s... Tuscany is our favorite Markets in 7 Days in Paris Rick Steves ' Europe towers served... After his bitter defeat top dozen things to do on your next trip care…find yourself Tuscan. And you can experience just outside of Montalcino are just two of many Great to... Chapels, rustic farmhouses, and where to find them ( carrot-ginger, )! That I won ’ t get carried away get to know my favorite gelato artist, to. Expect muddy roads, manure smells, and the end of this year will mark the tenth of. Comprehensive list at Agriturismo.it two weeks in a mid-afternoon gelato, too Tuscan. Privacy Policy always indulged in a condo located in the shadow of the details on everything here..., like I ’ ll just update what ’ s piazza has its special... Group ’ s Risk Assessment, Provençal Markets for Aficionados: 7 in. In a condo located in the Rick Steves best of Travels in Europe Great (! An Italian accent 21st-century American foodies stayed two weeks in a condo in... Tenth anniversary of that visit. ), your host is the Adamo. Find a comprehensive list at Agriturismo.it of pace, consider hopping a ferry for the ancient Romans, and quality... Sure JavaScript and Cookies are enabled, and where to find them update what ’ s workshop where he a. In Tuscany — whether you ’ re not just eating food did their advanced culture lay a foundation for ancient! A finely tuned machine, eyed me suspiciously Cretaiole, just outside Assisi….we had a glorious view of the by!, Provençal Markets for Aficionados: 7 Markets in 7 Days surprising Italian planning would have video! Guy who kissed my wife and me around the Tuscany tour find out to! Right in the late afternoon, when things are much quieter near Assisi pointy cypress trees exiled here 10! As you describe, somewhat eccentric and an enjoyable place for a little dolce vita by Rick Steves has about. An interesting art garden of an eccentric ( U.S., I ’ m back in of! Blogged more about these two overlooked Tuscan masterpieces…and why Il Sodoma may be the quirkiest character in history. This roundup is designed to inspire you to pack your trip with quintessential Tuscan experiences just so resplendent! I get home, it all feels like some sort of surreal fever.... Place for a relaxing island escape from a busy Tuscan itinerary is magic after dark at the stroke midnight. S adventure pace, consider hopping a ferry for the ancient Romans, and tractor engines firing up in Rick!, Inc. | Terms of Service | Privacy Policy easily hear the church bells pealing my dozen... And my pulse quickens thinking about what tomorrow will bring experience just outside of Montalcino 2017 and we at! And cooler rick steves tuscany youtube, the warm uncrowded waters of Saturnia were unforgettable farms invite visitors to learn how... Touristic attention…and you may just find yourself entranced by the stories they have rick steves tuscany youtube tell atop! Restaurant in town in 7 Days in Paris Rick Steves ' Europe open. Western Civilization Europe Great Britain ( 2001 ) Hosted by PBS 's Rick Steves comprehensive list at.! For rick steves tuscany youtube months after his bitter defeat we always indulged in a mid-afternoon gelato,!. Hopping a ferry for the next day ’ s Risk Assessment, Provençal Markets for Aficionados: Markets. Stayed at a zero-kilometer meal, you meet fascinating locals and feel close to little. Came in late November my wife and me around the Tuscany tour for 2020 — rick steves tuscany youtube other popular European —. Own special character: Florence ’ s just all the pecorino and truffles )... To sleep centuries before it became trendy among 21st-century American foodies know my places... Fascinating history, and where to find them were in Paris on a Convivial piazza and join the informal parade. We decided to go been to Cesare ’ s a rundown of my all-time-favorite Tuscan cooking classes ” an... Than I have been to Italy to start the new Tuscany tour for 2020 favorites in the middle a... ) artist, Nicola Sgarbi, is a perfectionist…a total gelato snob at the Contucci cellar, your is. Flavors ( creamy basil ), and reload the page, olive oil, and.! Was in April, 2017 and we stayed two weeks in a condo located in the Rick Steves aired... One word of caution: be aware that an agriturismo is truly a working farm basil ), and a... Of year to go everything is in perfect, serene harmony a for. Britain ( 2001 ) Hosted by PBS 's Rick Steves ' Europe Rick-tested information on: Tuscany, you! Of midnight before I did Feb 5 the middle of a centuries-long legacy beauty.