This is the perfect itinerary for people who want to sample some of the best food and wine in Italy.
With pretty medieval towns, rolling vineyards and hidden trattorias, the regions of Tuscany and Umbria are ideal for trying some of the wine and food that Italy is most famous for. Start in Tuscany with a flight into Pisa and a short stop to see the Leaning Tower. After that, drive to one of the towns in Northern Tuscany. The north of the region is more populated with cities like Florence, Siena and Lucca all offering a wide choice of restaurants. Florence has some great markets where you can sample street food, Siena has family-run Osterias serving up classic dishes using wild boar, a popular meat in Tuscany, and Lucca has its famous circular piazza that’s filled with cafés.
Head south to get to the real heart of Tuscany and the famous Chianti wine region. Scenes of rolling vineyards are broken up by medieval towns and you’ll find delicious wine tasting opportunities almost everywhere. Montepulciano has some of the best. Known for its Vino Nobile red wine, you’ll find a big concentration of small wineries inside the walls of the tiny town where you can do tastings.
The landlocked region of Umbria is lesser visited than Tuscany but is well known for its cuisine. Elusive truffles grow here in abundance and we recommend joining a tour where you can hunt for your own. They taste amazing grated over fresh pasta, which you’ll be able to enjoy in almost any restaurant here, along with hearty meals like stews that use seasonal ingredients. For wine lovers, make sure you try Orvieto’s renowned white wine. It pairs perfectly with that truffle-coated pasta.
Add On: For foodies, there’s really no better region than Emilia Romagna. Just north of Tuscany it’s easy to add a few days on here before embarking on your road trip. Parma ham, parmesan cheese, balsamic vinegar and ragu alla bognese are just a few of the foods that originated here. For the ultimate foodie experience, head to Bologna’s old food market where you can buy the region’s specialities. The wine is great here too with Albana, the first white wine in Italy to obtain a DOCG recognition and Lambrusco, a sparkling red wine that’s served chilled.