As a melting pot of ancient and modern Western culture, Tuscany is a fascinating destination that offers up a true feast of art, architecture and cuisine. Taking a food trip to this stunning region of Italy is a memorable experience, to be enjoyed against a backdrop of palaces and piazzas, with a host of fine food and beverage highlights to be tasted along the way.
Food tours are fast becoming one of the most popular choices for savvy travellers, as they can get more out of the trip than the standard sights and flavours of a destination. With informed local guides and cooks who have spent their lives in the region, participants on a culinary tour of Tuscany gain an insider’s view of what makes each town and village unique, based on its food, people and history.
Tuscany is well known as a foodie’s paradise, and a food tour generously reveals secrets of cooking that have kept Mediterranean cuisine front and centre in the culinary world. Visitors can learn how the people of Siena add a light dash of extra garlic and herbs to traditional Tuscan fare, for example. Or how the restaurants in Chianti not only present Florentine foods, but often offer their own distinctive dishes such as papa al pomodoro – a dense tomato soup, ribollita – bread soup or panzanella – a salad of basil, tomato, onion and bread often served in summer.
Private vineyard tours are another highlight in Tuscany, with expert guides on hand to explain why different grapes are harvested at different times of the day, and why their placement in the rich and rolling Tuscan terrain influences each vintage. Visitors can also learn about the famous battles that took place during the spread of the Roman Empire, as it first absorbed Etruria, then went on to found the now-famous cities of Pisa, Siena, Lucca and, of course, Florence. You’ll walk in the same places the Romans chose to install what was then “new technology” – the first sewers, aqueducts and roads.
Each step of a Tuscan journey is richly enhanced for food-lovers taking a culinary tour, as skilled and friendly professionals explain and demonstrate a range of local dishes. Between enjoying the medieval buildings, renaissance piazzas and porticos, you’ll learn how cooking and art evolved into a sophisticated way of life that now informs much of Europe.
When you explore Tuscany from a culinary perspective, the experience will remain with you forever. Professional cooks and homemakers, food-lovers and culture fiends will all enjoy the personalized attention and informed details provided by trained guides, professional chefs and knowledgable historians.