Venezia Santa Lucia (Venice, Main Station) to Firenze Santa Maria Novella (Florence)
Travel Time: 2h 5 min
From Venice, I took the evening train to Florence. I was going to be in Florence for four days before heading to Amalfi Coast. I actually had a friend fly out to Florence from Basel, Switzerland just to go around for a few days before I flew my sister out (we were going to spend a week together in Italy since we never travelled together internationally). The Airbnb we stayed in was great because they had casual breakfast set up every morning and it was within walking distance of all the major tourist spots (eg. museums, cathedrals).
4 Nights in Florence
Via della Colonna, 13 Num/Terzo Piano
Florence, Tuscany 50121 Italy
Total: $355 (for 2 people)
Total per person: $177.50
We spent the entire day going on a wine tour throughout Tuscany. It was a pretty amazing itinerary – we went to two wineries to taste traditional Sangiovese wine and olive oils, had a three-course meal at a Tuscan restaurant, and had a pit stop in Greve-in-Chianti to check out the butcher shop. I think the wine tastings weren’t too bad but I’m not too big on full-bodied red wines but it was definitely a great experience because I never really drank wine prior to this tour.
Chianti Wine Tour: $149.04
Duration: 10 h
You can book the tour here
The Tuscan lunch was really delicious! We ate “Crostini mixti” which are slices of toasted bread with various toppings and this was my first time trying lardo. It’s a salumi that is pretty fatty but oh-my-goodness was it delicious! We also got to eat spaghetti with minimalistic, fresh ingredients and delicious, chewy pasta and honestly, it was the best spaghetti I’ve ever had in my life. I was never a fan of spaghetti and this dish proved to us why pasta is best done in Italy – the fresh tomatoes and very simple tomato sauce was heavenly! After lunch, we kept on exploring the rolling greens of Tuscany, learning about the requirements of what is considered Sangiovese wine.
We eventually ended up in a small town called Greve-in-Chianti (where Chianti Classico Wine Festival is held every year). There is a small butcher shop there with an incredible cheese cellar but the best part about this shop was that they also sold gelato in the most interesting flavors! I ended up getting all three flavors because I was curious has to how they all combined. They were: mozzarella gelato with prosciutto, vino & biscotti gelato, and honey gelato topped with pecorino cheese! I actually found the most normal sounding gelato to be the most lackluster – the other two were really great! A little too heavy on the toppings but wow, the meats and cheese were very high quality! The best part about this wine tour was that I got to meet this Chinese-Australian couple who were on their honeymoon. We ended up hitting it off on the spot and spent the entire tour together. They were so sweet and we connected with each other on social media and still keep in touch! (I send the wifey postcards on my travels). I think this tour is great for those who want to visit Tuscany without the stress and hassle of hiring a car and driving (Italian drivers are pretty crazy).