Tuscan Town Day Trips
Florence – 1 hour drive / train ride
Florence is the capital of the Tuscan region and is considered the birthplace of the Renaissance. Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Donatello, and Brunelleschi all called this gorgeous city home. Old cobblestone bridges straddle a central river, and churches reach towards the heavens. You can also make a visit to the botanic gardens and see the iconic statue of David – considered one of the most perfect images of renaissance masculinity and beauty.
Siena – 15 minute drive / taxi / train ride
Siena is one of the most picturesque renaissance towns in Tuscany. It has charming artisan shops, wonderful cafes and pizzerias, a serene botanical garden, and a bustling central piazza. You can wander all day taking in the local quaintness of this town. We visited the town right before getting engaged and we highly recommend it.
Active Day Trips
Click the image for my detailed blog post of the ride from Siena to Monteriggioni. If you rent a bike from DF Bikes in Siena, you can take a scenic trip along the Tuscan countryside admiring villas, olive orchards, and vineyards along the way. You can also ride to Monteriggioni which is a medieval fortress town. On a hot day, the hills can be challenging, so be sure to bring lots of water!
Hike the Via Francigena from Siena
The Via Francigena is a pilgrimage route from Canterbury to Rome. It travels through Siena and you can take it into the countryside either North or South for a day hike. The scenery is sure to be wonderfully rustic.
Culinary Day Trips
There are countless wine tasting and vineyard tours, as well as cooking classes in the region. Below are the two that caught my interest while searching.
Although I can’t personally vouch for these tours (I wish I had done one!) Viaggi di’Ambra is the highest rated tour company in the region. Their Chianti Classico tour offers pick up from wherever you’re staying, a 4 hour tour and tasting of local wineries, and drop-off at your hotel. You have to inquire on their site for availability and cost.
Cooking Classes with Nona Ciana
Also highly rated, the cooking classes with Nona Ciana look wonderful. Hosted in her home around 5 miles outside of Siena, and close to the wedding venue, you’ll cook a variety of authentic dishes learning the local Tuscan flavors and culture. The website is pretty bare-bones and you’ll have to email to find out availability and pricing, but it looks well worth the effort.