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Life, art and travel in Italy and beyond

Active Tuscany: if you don't love art

I first came to Italy for the Renaissance art, but I quickly fell in love with the landscape, active life, food and other aspects of Italian culture that are available. This guide shows you the other side of Tuscany - no museums, just fun!


If you don’t have a group of your own, you can call ahead and see about joining a group tour. Tours can be personalized in length, challenge of terrain, and activities, and may include lunch. Tours run year round: in winter, be equipped with ski pants and gloves: in summer you’ll want to wear something...

Villa Campestri

Located in the Mugello area of Tuscany, this property produces some of the most delicious olive oil I have ever tasted. You can call ahead to book an olive oil tour.

Tuscany Bike Tours

Their Chianti bike tour is really fun: in one day, it takes you through olive groves, and serves you a big lunch with wine tasting, before pushing you back downhill to the city. Luckily, helmets are provided. The bikes are all mountain bikes.

Parco Avventura Vincigliata

This is an adventure park in the trees of the woods just outside of Florence. You can walk to the park in 20 minutes uphill from the nearest bus stop (ATAF line 10). Good for kids once they are tall enough and a bit coordinated (aged 7 or so) but there is a baby play area where toddlers can play free while...

500 touring club

500 Touring Club has been present in Florence for many years and is a really unique way to experience a part of Italian heritage. These adorable little cars are irresistible!! You can book private or group tours on various itineraries, from a short drive near Florence to a longer trip outside of the...

Birrificio Brùton

Iacopo Lenci illustrates how hops and local spring water have become a line of tasty beers from a light blonde to a dark English style brew. Call ahead for a visit +39 0583494955

Museo Piaggio

. Located in Pontedera in the province of Pisa, it is steps away from the train station so can be reached easily for a half day trip from Florence. Here you learn the history of an Italian myth, the Vespa, from its first clunky version from 1943 through Audrey Hepburn’s ride in Rome in the 50s to the...

Fiumara Beach

Slightly south of Castiglione della Pescaia but at the north end of Marina di Grosseto is Fiumara Beach, the wildest beach in this area, most apt for sporty types. This is kite surfing heaven. There is a kite surfing school here, and in the late afternoon when the wind picks up they come out in droves! To...


This is the closest ski resort to Florence (about 2 hours drive, one of which is one a pretty bad mountain road). It is not the best equipped resort in the world, but for a day trip it is pleasant enough. If you're in Florence, Pisa, Pistoia or Lucca in the winter and you're passionate about snow sports,...