Tuscany Travel Guide

Get ready to get under the skin of Tuscany by visiting local markets, tasting some of the best cuisine in the region, meet the locals and explore some of Tuscany's best kept secrets. A digital guide of Tuscany curated by Plinius.

Made in: Tuscany
Podere Il Casale - Slow food restaurant near Pienza with amazing view over the Val d'Orsia

Restaurants Podere Il Casale - Slow food restaurant near Pienza with amazing view over the Val d'Orsia

Podere il Casale hosts a 0km restaurant. Sit in the cosy, inner room or my favourite spot, outside is a splendid panoramic terrace overlooking the entire Val d’Orcia. The dishes are prepared with great care, using fresh products from the organic garden

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Osmosi - Slow food restaurant -Montepulciano

Restaurants Osmosi - Slow food restaurant -Montepulciano

Slow food restaurant in a historic villa overlooking vineyards in Montepulciano, this restaurant offers some of the most interesting cuisine in the area. Although the menu features a few local specialities, the cuisine is mainly experimental, with a focus on imaginative dishes of the highest quality.

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il Conte Matto - Slowfood restaurant in Trequanda with amazing view

Restaurants il Conte Matto - Slowfood restaurant in Trequanda with amazing view

The castle’s 14C hunting lodge has been converted into a showcase for Tuscan produce with a panoramic terrace overlooking the hills and glimpses of the surrounding countryside from the guestrooms. Specialities include pici pasta in a Chianina beef ragù, veal tagliata seasoned with three salts and herbs from the garden, and cantucci biscuits served with dessert wine.

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Castello di Ama - Wine, Art, Enoteca & Restaurant

Activities Castello di Ama - Wine, Art, Enoteca & Restaurant

Castello di Ama is truly a unique place. Located in a medieval hilltop town just north of Siena in Chianti, this winery feels like a fairytale—one that's also a destination for contemporary art. Lush vineyards produce award-winning wine; gardens are a backdrop to 16 site-specific works and installations by international artists: a.o Anish Kapoor, Miroslaw Balka, Kendell Geers, Chen Zhen, Daniel Buren. ‘Ristoro di Villa Pianigiani’ offers tasting of the Great Wines, by the bottle and by the glass. Everything contributes to the uniqueness of Ama. The restaurant of Villa Pianigiani is open every day, except Tuesdays, for lunch from 12:00pm to 2:30pm and on Thursday, Friday and Staurday evening, from 7:00pm to 9:00pm, for dinner.

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Rent a vintage Fiat 500 & picnic - Pienza

Activities Rent a vintage Fiat 500 & picnic - Pienza

Another way to enjoy the Tuscan country side is on a vintage vespa scooter or vintage Fiat 500. A tour of the Val d’Orcia will take you through Tuscany that you are used to seeing on postcards. The road that takes you from Pienza to San Quirico is one of the most beautiful in Italy. Spellbinding views, well-cared-for roads nestled in the most famous valley of Italy, the Val D’Orcia. Here you will find the famous Chapel of Vitaleta and the house used in the film The Gladiator. Another beautiful route follows the road from Monticchiello to Montepulciano, all bends and cypresses…

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Podere Alberese - wine-tasting

Activities Podere Alberese - wine-tasting

Podere Alberese has been rewarded by the “Slow Wine guide” (published by Slow Food) for several years. It’s a collection of the best Italian wineries, with their production philosophy, and a story behind each bottle. The focus is on the "winemaker" and on his productive identity, an essential element to understand his wine.

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Rent a vintage Vespa Scooter, a drive along the strada bianca of Tuscany.

Activities Rent a vintage Vespa Scooter, a drive along the strada bianca of Tuscany.

Another way to enjoy the Tuscan country side is on a vintage vespa scooter or vintage Fiat 500. A tour of the Val d’Orcia will take you through Tuscany that you are used to seeing on postcards. The road that takes you from Pienza to San Quirico is one of the most beautiful in Italy. Spellbinding views, well-cared-for roads nestled in the most famous valley of Italy, the Val D’Orcia. Here you will find the famous Chapel of Vitaleta and the house used in the film The Gladiator. Another beautiful route follows the road from Monticchiello to Montepulciano, all bends and cypresses…

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San Martino - exquisite vegetarian restaurant surrounded by olive groves and a stunning view over Montepulciano

Restaurants San Martino - exquisite vegetarian restaurant surrounded by olive groves and a stunning view over Montepulciano

The exclusive plant-based vegetarian restaurant offers delicious vegetarian and vegan cuisine as well as a high quality selection of organic wines and local beers. Guests can eat outside on on of the terraces with view either on Montepulciano or to the Tuscany hills, or inside. Since the dishes are entirely freshly made dishes it is essential to book a table before coming here. Fattoria San Martino is open for lunch and dinner

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La Bandita Townhouse - Restaurant - Pienza

Restaurants La Bandita Townhouse - Restaurant - Pienza

Our absolute favorite place to go in Pienza for lunch or dinner is La Bandita Townhouse, a small restaurant and wine bar with an open kitchen. There is also a gorgeous covered outdoor seating area inside the walled medieval garden. John Voigtmann is the owner and manager of La Bandita Townhouse.

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L'Eroica - the beauty of fatigue and the thrill of conquest

Activities L'Eroica - the beauty of fatigue and the thrill of conquest

Held in Gaiole in Chianti - Tuscany, on the first Sunday in October, L'Eroica bike race is a Tuscan tradition with a unique charm. Cycling down the strada bianca (white gravel roads) on a vintage bike, in a retro outfit, crossing the wonderful landscapes of the Sienese Chianti, Crete Sense and Val d'Orcia. For those who don’t have the chance to participate in the official event in October, fear not! You can ride along the permanent route every day of the year. The path is open to everyone and can be completed in one or more days by all those wanting to test their skills or simply explore the area by bike.

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A day at the beach.... Sirolo

Activities A day at the beach.... Sirolo

A day at the beach... The seaside town of Sirolo is beautiful and the Spiaggia di Due Sorelle, "Two Sisters Beach", is often included among lists of the best in Italy.

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Italy Food Markets

Activities Italy Food Markets

Italy is one of the world’s great food cultures. It is an essential part of Italian life, and perhaps nowhere is that more evident than in the local Italy food markets.Markets in Italy are the beating heart of food and community, where locals shop for what’s fresh and friends gather over an espresso and pastry in the middle of the day.

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Tuscan Chef Little Kitchen - Italian Cooking classes

Activities Tuscan Chef Little Kitchen - Italian Cooking classes

Tuscan Chef Little Kitchen is a small cosy place where you can spend a few hours cooking and enjoying the company of other people. You will learn some of the secrets of Tuscan/Italian cuisine and can then taste the food which has been prepared together. The cooking school is located in via Umberto I, 140, in Montisi, a very pretty medieval hill top village near Siena, which is well worth a visit. The lessons are open to a maximum of 8-10 students and are totally hands-on. All the students will be involved in the preparation of each course. During the lesson, we will provide recipes to follow and drinks. There will be local wines paired with the meal. A fantastic experience with Tuscan Chef - Alessandro Piccinini

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Chiavi d'Oro - Arezzo

Restaurants Chiavi d'Oro - Arezzo

Situated in Arezzo’s historic centre, this restaurant boasts an original, minimalist ambience with an elegant wood decor. The main focus here is on the cuisine, which is among the best not only in the city but also in the region. Skilful interpretations of traditional dishes, with a focus on Tuscany, where the gastronomic pleasure increases with each course.

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La Grotta - Montepulciano

Restaurants La Grotta - Montepulciano

Restaurant “La Grotta” is set in an authentic and charming sixteenth century building with a garden terrace, directly opposite the Church of San Biagio (one of the best examples of Tuscan Renaissance architecture). La Grotta strives to offer a perfect balance between traditional Tuscan cuisine and modern gastronomy - its aim is to blend the authenticity of the region with innovation while, at the same time, respecting the centuries-old traditions. La Grotta's chef focuses on the quality of the ingredients, rather than on the complexity of the dishes. The wine list offers a vast range of locally-produced bottles alongside a wide choice of international labels

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Caffe Poliziano - Montepulciano

Caffè Caffe Poliziano - Montepulciano

Not exactly a hidden gem... but still a gem. Caffè Poliziano is an elegant Caffè in the historical centre of Montepulciano and a fine example of Art Nouveau design. For generations visitors and local residents have been able to enjoy a glorious view of of the Valdichiana from the balcony.

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Montepulciano

Culture Montepulciano

Montepulciano is definitely on the tourist trail but worth a visit for it’s stunning architecture – from the gracious elegance of San Biagio to the Piazza Grande with some of the best views in Southern Tuscany. Montepulciano is home to Vino Nobile – so called because the Vatican sent emissaries to this magnificent hilltop town for its local wine. The hill is honeycombed with tunnels and cantine where the vino nobile is made and stored in barrels and bottles. Plinius favorites: Caffè Poliziano (coffee / aperitivo), La Grotta (lunch/dinner), the Talosa wine Cellar, Fattoria San Martino (lunch / dinner)

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Abbey Monte Oliveto Maggiore (1313)

Culture Abbey Monte Oliveto Maggiore (1313)

Abbey Monte Oliveto Maggiore is located on the edge of the charming village of Chiusure. The Abbey itself was founded in 1313 and fully restored in the 19th century. It is considered to be one of the masterpieces of the Renaissance. Lunch is served at the vegetarian restaurant at the entrance to the abbey. The abbey is still in use by the silent monks, dressed in white robes who live here. To give the monks some privacy during the day, the abbey is closed between 12:00 -3:00pm Guest (religious or non-religious) are also more then welcome to attend the religious services; Mass on Sundays is in Gregorian Chant, which is a very unusual experience. Plan Your Visit to the Abbey of Monte Oliveto Maggiore

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Trequanda

Culture Trequanda

The tiny historic village of Trequanda is a 20min walk, 3min drive from Podere Invidia. We love to start our day with a hike to the village and enjoy a good cappuchino together with the locals on the square at Bar Caffe La Torre. Trequanda also has a bakery, butcher, small grocery store, an historic castle and the excellent slow-food restaurant "Il Conte Matto"

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Truffle hunting with Nico - Montisi

Activities Truffle hunting with Nico - Montisi

There are a lot of truffles around the Trequanda area and nearby San Giovanni d’Asso hosts a wonderful truffle festival in November each year. In Trequanda you can go truffle hunting throughout the year, hunt for black truffles in the summer months and white truffles in the winter. Truffle hunting takes place in the early morning and takes around 2 hours with a truffle breakfast to follow. Alternatively you can go in the late afternoon and make arrangements to have a truffle dinner afterwards.

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Bagni San Filippo - Hot springs

Activities Bagni San Filippo - Hot springs

Bagni San Filippo is a beautiful hot spring in the forests of Tuscany and is among the insider tips of Siena region, far away from mass tourism. During a visit you will be amazed by the hot sulfur springs, which bubble directly from the earth into the midst of untouched nature. Of particular interest here are the white limestone deposits, which have created impressive rock formations and cascades over the millennia. With really pleasant water temperatures of about 25 °C you can have a wonderful swim in the river of Bagni San Filippo and enjoy a unique atmosphere in the forest.

Monti Verdi - Restaurant

Restaurants Monti Verdi - Restaurant

This town in the heart of the Val d'Orcia is pretty as a picture. The 900-year-old hamlet of Castiglioncello del Trinoro, off a winding gravel road that snakes across the hillside, was largely in ruins over a decade ago. Since then, it has been lavished with love and attention. Monteverdi is now a place where world-class musicians, artists, chefs and guests come together to create an experience all its own.

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Bagno Vignoni

Culture Bagno Vignoni

Famous for its wonderful thermal baths which have been in use since Roman times. This small town is just a half hour drive from Invidia. It makes a lovely half day outing or a full day if combined with nearby San Quirico d’Orsi

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Tuscan Gems

Culture Tuscan Gems

A few of our favourite villages near Invidia that are definitely worth a visit. Take a bicycle, vintage scooter or Fiat500 and set off along the Tuscan country lanes

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English Patient in Tuscany

English Patient in Tuscany

Monastero Sant'Anna in Camprena

Il pellicano

Restaurants Il pellicano

For lovers of Italy and a fresh lifestyle, somewhere to revel in Tuscany’s sensuous nature on a cloud of light luxury. Visit their michelin star restaurant or chill out on one of the best beach spots you'll ever visit!

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La Locanda Rossa

Restaurants La Locanda Rossa

Larossa restaurant is immersed in the greenery of the Tuscan countryside, with tables by the pool in the garden of the Locanda Rossa or in the glassed-in lounge surrounded by Mediterranean plants.

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Parco della Maremma

Activities Parco della Maremma

Maremma means 'located by the sea'. The nature park has varied landscapes: from grassy plains and forests full of pine trees to sand dunes and beaches.

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Pitigliano

Shop Pitigliano

This little village carved out of tufa stone (which is actually the same stone used at the lower level of Villa Maremma) is definitely worth a trip!

Learn Italian in Montepulciano, Tuscany

Activities Learn Italian in Montepulciano, Tuscany

One of our Plinius founders has studied here with great results! Language school "il Sasso" offers many different courses, from individual, to group or culture courses. The school is in an historic building in the heart of the town. It has 8 large, airy classrooms for Italian language courses, individual tuition and culture mini-courses and a hall that's used for conferences, exhibitions and events. There's a terrace with a lovely panoramic view - a favourite place for students to take their class breaks during the summer months - as well as an Internet point, free wifi access and the opportunity to study the Italian language or watch a film at the school at any time throughout the day.

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Locanda Demetra

Restaurants Locanda Demetra

This little restaurant was named one of the top ten restaurants in Tuscany, and luckily only half a kilometer down the road from Villa Palazzetta. Every day there are new dishes and the menu radically changes as the season changes and different fresh items become locally available. I promise this will be one of the most memorable eating experiences you'll have in Tuscany. You'll eat, drink and laugh your way through an amazing culinary experience. But take it from me, book your reservation

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Locanda Drogheria Franci.

Restaurants Locanda Drogheria Franci.

In addition to its wonderful wine list, which has made it a favorite for local producers, and more traditional Tuscan fare like tagliatelle with white truffles, the spot has lighter options, for example quinoa salad with raw vegetables, mint, and sunflower seeds. Monday and Tuesday Closed Lunch from 12:30 to 14:30 Dinner from 7.30pm to 10pm

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Enoteca la Fortezza - Montalcino

Enoteca Enoteca la Fortezza - Montalcino

The tasting room in the fortress of Montalcino is the only place you can sample most of the area’s producers in one spot. We highly recommend the 2012 Diecianni Brunello Riserva.

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Cooking class with Raffaella - Montalcino

Activities Cooking class with Raffaella - Montalcino

Born in Como in northern Italy, Raffaella’s first career was in TV and film production in Milan before she moved to Val d’Orcia in 2003. Sharing her Tuscan life with Montalcino architect Marco Pignattai and their two sons, she finally has the time to knead all the pasta, pizza and pastry dough she always wanted to. Raffaella’s cooking is based on seasonal ingredients and the distinctive flavors of Italy’s regional recipes, which have been handed down from generation to generation. In her kitchen taste is king, but looks aren’t unimportant either.

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The Truffle Hunters (2020)

Activities The Truffle Hunters (2020)

Going on a truffle hunt in Tuscany comes highly recommended. To get a better understanding of the life of the truffle hunter, watch the movie The Truffle Hunters. “A scrumptious cinematic journey. Try not to fall hard for the joy it spreads.” “Gorgeous. Unique. Delightful. Visual Poetry. A fascinating glimpse inside a world of arcane knowledge and the luxury market that feeds off it. A constant feast for the eyes and a nourishment for the soul, giving the illusion of a journey back in time to a pre-technology age of simpler pleasures.” “An eccentric world that you have never heard of, never seen...”

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Taverna del Grappolo Blu - Montalcino

Restaurants Taverna del Grappolo Blu - Montalcino

The name of this typical restaurant hints at Montalcino’s main activity (grappolo is the Italian for a bunch of grapes). Traditional Tuscan dishes made from carefully chosen ingredients served in a pleasantly convivial atmosphere. Michelin Guide: Bib Gourmand

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Boccon DiVino - Montalcino

Restaurants Boccon DiVino - Montalcino

In a farmhouse on the edges of town, this restaurant has a rustic dining area with modern tables and chairs and a beautiful summer terrace with a view. Authentic local Tuscan dishes.

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Campo del Drago - Montalcino

Restaurants Campo del Drago - Montalcino

This top quality, contemporary restaurant is strategically located in the centre of the village. It offers fine cuisine, an elegant ambience and attentive service, ensuring that guests enjoy a relaxing dining experience. One MICHELIN Star.

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Sailing from Portiglioni to Elba

Activities Sailing from Portiglioni to Elba

It's easy to rent a boat from any harbour, with /without a skipper with clickandboat. The owners of villa Palazzetta made it a full day trip; leaving at 8am, lunch at a nice little restaurant in Porto Azzurro on Elba and back for a sea-food dinner at nearby Castiglione della Pescaia, back home at 11pm.

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Casa Boscherini - home restaurant

Restaurants Casa Boscherini - home restaurant

The most amazing dining experience, Six kilometers up a very narrow winding road and 600 meters above the upper reaches of the Arno River, nestled in the Apennine Mountains is Casa Boscherini. This tiny "Home Restaurant" is now booked months in advance. There is one table that seats a maximum of eight people, a wood cookstove, geese, chickens and Tacco the turkey . Edoardo uses fresh goose eggs and chicken eggs from his local team in his cooking along with many wild herbs sourced from around his house. But make no mistake, he's also a true gourmet chef.

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Osteria di Porta al Cassero - Montalcino

Restaurants Osteria di Porta al Cassero - Montalcino

This is Montalcino. Simple food prepared in the way the locals appreciate. Family operated it provides a buzzy atmosphere where you can have local food at local prices. Good wine-list as well. Osteria di Porta al Cassero is a slowfood restaurant. Always busy, booking recommended

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Wine, Prosecco, Grappa, Craft beer, and Olive oil.

Shop Wine, Prosecco, Grappa, Craft beer, and Olive oil.

Products you should definitely try, buy & enjoy at the Boscarello Estate are the award-winning organic wine, Prosecco, grappa, craft beer, and olive oil.

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