Visiting Florence: How to Plan Your Tuscan Dream Vacation

By on May 1, 2014

By Brenda Belson −

Florence is a cultural mecca in a time capsule of historic proportions, what midsummer dreams are made of. As the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany, this metropolis encompasses French charm at its finest. The city offers an abundance of activities for all styles of travelers. Make the most of your Tuscan getaway with these must-see stops

Wine Lovers

The Tuscan fantasy begins and ends with a fine bottle of wine. What better way to enjoy the Italian countryside than indulging in the fruits of a vintner’s labor. Part of the decadence lies in the experience. Enjoy an authentic experience complete with alfresco dining at Il Santino. Experience Florence’s charm sitting curbside atop cobblestone streets. Enjoy fine local wines paired with hand picked cichetti (appetizers) for palate perfection.

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Photo by Quinn Dombrowski via Wikimedia Commons

Get the complete lay of the wine country cruising the Chianti countryside. The scenic drive leads you through rolling hills and olive groves to exquisite vineyards for a taste of Tuscany’s best local wines. Take a guided wine tour to some of the region’s best, off-the-beaten-path vineyards with Wine Tour in Tuscany, a small outfit that delivers exquisite service, fine wine, homemade cuisine, local history and plenty of charm.

Travel Tip: The Italian vineyard experience is unlike any other. Liking wine is one thing, appreciating the craft is another. Visit to find wine tasting classes near you. Become well versed in wine terminology to appreciate full Tuscan tasting experience.

Garden Enthusiasts

The city of Florence, rich in culture, history and beauty, can be overwhelming to the novice traveler. With so much to see, do and experience, one stop at the Boboli Gardens can appease all the senses. This enchanting park encompasses ancient architecture, captivating design and botanical beauty in one incredible public plaza. This once private garden now offers globe-trotters an opportunity to tour the vast beauty of Florence’s largest gardens.

Photo by Yair Haklai via Wikimedia Commons

Travel Tip: Make the most of your visit to Boboli Gardens with a self-guided tour. The Florence Web Guide provides a downloadable map complete with points of interest and historic facts located throughout the park.

Explore More

Venture out of the city to some of Tuscany’s best sights. Not far from Florence in the Chianti countryside, lies Siena. This 13th-century city remains true to its past. The Piazza del Campo, the city center, encompasses architectural from medieval times. Within the Piazza del Campo, the Museo Civic gives tourists a lesson in the cities ancestry. The jaw-dropping architecture of the Siena Duomo dates back to the early 1200s. The view inside treats visitors to unmatched design and intricate artwork.

Photo by Felicity and Philip via Wikimedia Commons

Travel Tip: Download the Lifelock Wallet app for worry-free city hopping. Rather than carrying all of your ID’s and credit cards, this handy app stores them safely in your phone so you can leave your bulky passport in the hotel safe.


Brenda Belson is a travel consultant, master sommelier, contributing writer.

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Visiting Florence: How to Plan Your Tuscan Dream Vacation