recommended San GimignanoSwamped by tourists during the day, but quiet and lovely by night
recommended SpelloNext to Assisi, lovely village with few tourists
recommended Sienarecommended SienaA little small town in Tuscany that I loved even a short time when got a day trip from Florence.
recommended Civita di Bagnoregio
recommended Monterosso al Mare
recommended Montepulcianorecommended MontepulcianoI visited here with an Italian friend of mine. It's a gorgeous hill town (while these start to look all alike after a while, Montepulciano is really sweet) and, if you are a drinker, it's of course ... read morethe home of the Montepulciano wine. In my humble opinion, this is a more interesting and dependable grape than the Sangiovese which is the base for Chianti. Even the lower priced bottles are fruity-dry, and very drinkable. Stock up-maybe stopping in to one of the farms along the roads outside for some home-made montepulciano bottled for you right then and there. (look out for signs that say VINO)Julia P
Don't forget to do some driving around small towns - Montepulciano is really cute.
recommended Historic Centre of the City of PienzaNice village
commented on this list
Those are a few of the less obvious highlights from my recent trip. For others, check out my Tuscany guide. Enjoy!
- GilliPiazza della Repubblica, 39, Florence, Italyrecommended GilliPerfect breakfast spot. Stand at the bar, enjoy a coffee and a brioche. Looks touristy but full of locals. A Florentine institution.
- Io - Osteria Personale di Matteo FantiniBorgo San Frediano, 167/r, Florence, Italyrecommended Io - Osteria Personale di Matteo FantiniYou won't find a drop of red sauce at this charming modern Italian spot but what you will find is delicious inventions made with local ingredients and served with impeccable presentation.The tempura ... read morezucchini flowers stuffed with mozarella and served with tomato sorbet were exceptional. I couldn't help but feel a little sad when I had my last bite of the chocolate crumble mousse served with strawberries and balsamic gelato.The 4 course tasting menu is easy on the budget at 40 Euro. The owner, Matteo, is a charmer and I'd highly recommend having him choose your wine from the long list of niche local producers on the menu.Tucked away in a residential neighborhood, Osteria Personal is a pleasant 15-20 min walk from the historic center of Florence. Off the beaten path but popular with those in the know. I found this spot through an Italian friend who was emphatic that I go there.
- Borgo AnticoPiazza Santo Spirito, 6r, Florence 50125 Italyrecommended Borgo AnticoExceptionally good pizza that is off the beaten path. The Borgo is exceptional -- basically a caprese salad on a pizza crust. Delicious.
recommended 'InoThe balsamico was one of the best sandwiches I've had in my life. Fantastic. The atmosphere here is incredibly charming. This one is a must visit for Florence. Exceptional.
- Il SantoVia Spirito Santo 64R, Florence, Italyrecommended Il SantoGorgeous new wine bar with excellent food and an attractive crowd. Great place for a drink before heading to Il Santo Bevitore.
- Il Santo BevitoreVia di Santo Spirito, 64-red, Firenze, Italiarecommended Il Santo BevitoreWondeful wonderful wonderful. Yes, there are touristas but they have been well filtered and this place is extremely popular with locals. Reserve in advance. Il Santo next door is a wonderful ... read morepre-dinner option.
- Hotel Vecchia Oliviera.Landi 53024 | Angolo v. Landi 1, 53024 Montalcino, Italyrecommended Hotel Vecchia OlivieraThe bed is a bit hard and the room is basic but the setting and location here are perfect. Gorgeous views and a nice little pool to boot.
- Conti Costanti51–55 Via Moglio, Montalcino, Italyrecommended Conti CostantiWonderful family-run winery making Brunello. An award winning producer with a long history. Andrea and Angela are as lovely as their wines. Exceptionally good. Exceptionally friendly.
- Casa Degli OrsiVia Spagni 20, Montalcino, Italyrecommended Casa Degli OrsiDominico and Lina run this lovely guest house and cooking school. Located in central Montalcino, the location couldn't be any more convenient. You really feel like part of the family when you visit. A ... read moretruly special place.Dominico has an heirloom vegetable / herb garden in the back that supplies some of the cooking ingredients. The upstairs rooms are for rent. We didn't stay here but the rooms are very specious and come complete with a gorgeous terrace.A lovely experience.
- Osteria le Logge33 Via del Porrione, Siena 53100 Italyrecommended Osteria le LoggeWonderful restaurant with great atmosphere. Say "hello" to the maitre d', Mirko, and ask about the new wine cellar. The food and atmosphere here are great. Book in advance if you can.
- Il Borgo di Vescine - Relais del ChiantiLocalita Vescine, 53017 Radda in Chianti, Italyrecommended Il Borgo di Vescine - Relais del ChiantiLovely property that feels more like a luxurious village than a hotel. Rooms are well appointed and there lovely views of the surrounding hills and Raddi.
recommended LuccaLoved this place! Pretty relaxing town in the daytime. Stroll down the street inside the walled town. Rent a bicycle and ride along the top of the wall which completely surrounds the town. At night ... read morethe shops come alive and there are tons of restaurants to choose from. If you can find it check out Queens. The food is excellent and has a great atmosphere. Queens is a favorite of the locals.Jim Barton
Yep, Queens is a must if you are in Lucca!
- Ristorante Il LatiniVia dei Palchetti, 6
- Osteria L'OsteriaVia dei Rossi, 79/81 Siena, Italy 53100recommended Osteria L'OsteriaThe sign on the door says: "Here, eat slowly!" and indeed, and this great small Italian place, all you want to do is to forgot about your watch and eat...Elad Ben-Yosef
If you get to Siena, go to this place. I found this by accident, and it was one of the best accidents I have ever had :-)
- Pitti PalacePiazza Pitti 1, Florence 50125 Italyrecommended Pitti PalaceGardens are great and the palace is wonderful. Can be crowded in the high season.
- Fattoria Poggio AlloroVia Andrea Mantegna, 23, San Gimignano Siena, Italiarecommended Fattoria Poggio AlloroWe stopped at this farm as part of our Tuscany day tour with Walkabout Tours. You get to see where they make wine, the numerous cows they have for milk and meat, and the olive trees. The lunch is 99% ... read moreall made on the farm and is all organic and comes with 4 wine pairings. The pasta was amazing as was the cured meats. I also loved the pistachio biscottis though the sweet wine pairing with it was a little strong for me.
- Trattoria da GiorgioVia Palazzuolo, 100, Firenze, Italyrecommended Trattoria da GiorgioFor 13 euros for dinner, you can get an appetizer, pasta, and side dish. This also comes with a bottle of water or a glass of wine. In the 3 days we were in Florence, we had dinner here twice. That ... read moretells you how good it was. The food was exceptional. Everything was great. I really loved the caprese and the pastas were all good.
- NeroneVia Faenza 95, Florence, Italyrecommended NeroneThis is actually a large restaurant that has a quirky design to it. It's fun to look around at all the unique decor as you dine. The Nerone pizza was full of veggies and meat and was delicious. The ... read morelamb dish was a surprise as it was fried lamb chops, but it was very good!
- Cattedrale di Santa Maria del FiorePiazza del Duomo, Firenze, Italiarecommended Cattedrale di Santa Maria del FioreEven if you've visited a hundred cathedrals in Italy, this one can't be missed. The iconic dome and stunning architecture right in the heart of the city looks like something out of a postcard.
recommended Tutti a TavolaImagine this: You are sitting at a table with 20 of your new best friends, half Italian, half English-speaking cooking school guests. You spent the morning at the local farmers market, buying the ... read moresquash blossoms and wild boar you just spent six hours learning to cook. The four Italian grandmothers teaching you are either smiling or laughing most of the day, and you wonder how it's possible they don't have their own Food Network channel yet.
- L'Osteria Di GiovanniVia del Moro 22, 50123 Florence, Italyrecommended L'Osteria Di GiovanniWho knew ricotta and pear would go so well together in a savory pasta? (Giovanni, apparently.) Giovanni's is in the city center, but down an empty enough side street to be inconspicuous. You will ... read moreoften be the only tourist in the restaurant, but the staff is as friendly as could be.
- Galileo Science Museum Piazza dei Giudici 1, Florence 50122 Italyrecommended Galileo Science MuseumI'm a little embarrassed to admit this is one of my favorite museums in the world, but hey, Galileo's middle finger in formaldehyde apparently floats my boat. While you can see beautiful art around ... read morethe world, it's not often you can peruse through rooms of astrolabes, medieval obstetrical supplies and barometric gauges (this isn't really helping me sound any cooler, is it?). Plus, they have wonderfully detailed descriptions of each room in half a dozen languages (including English). In 2010, the museum was renamed the Museo Galileo for its dedication to all things Galilean like his telescopes and lenses, including the ones he used to discover Jupiter's moons.recommended Galileo Science MuseumThis is awesome. History of science is one of my hobbies, but this museum should appeal to almost anyone!
- Osteria da CiceVia San Pietro, 32, Siena, Italyrecommended Osteria da CiceSmall intimate restaurant with great food, from the appetizer, house wine to the main course everything was delicious.
- Antica Trattoria PapeiPiazza del Mercato, 6, 53100 Siena, Italyrecommended Antica Trattoria PapeiThis is a traditional family owned restaurant in Siena serving great roman food since 1939. In this restaurant I had the pleasure to experiment the best pomodoro sauce I had in my entire life. So ... read moregood!
- Ponte VecchioLungarno degli Archibusieri, 8R, Florence, Province of Florence, Italyrecommended Ponte VecchioStunning architecture but the amount of stuff being hawked on the street can be overwhelming in summer, otoh, street sellers have to live too!
- Piazza dei CavalieriKnights' Square, Pisa, Province of Pisa, Italyrecommended Piazza dei CavalieriThis is a wonderful piazza that is often empty during the day only to come alive at night.
recommended Arno RiverEquivalent to the Thames in London, this is the great dividing line in Florence. beautiful river.
- Leaning Tower of PisaPiazza dei Miracoli, 56126 Pisa, Italyrecommended Leaning Tower of PisaSee it while it's still standing, this is a rapidly deteriorating wonder of the modern world.
- Santo Stefano dei Cavalieri Piazza dei Cavalierirecommended Santo Stefano dei CavalieriIt's basically an homage to pirates. The order of St Stephan had a nasty habit of nicking other people's ships. Lots of awesome banners.
recommended FiesoleWonderful little town in the outskirts of Florence. Etruscan settlement is breathtaking and it's a convenient place to stay away from the crowds. Spend an afternoon at least. Accessible by local bus ... read morefrom Florence for a few euros.
- Uffizi GalleryPiazzale degli Uffizi, 50122 Florence, Italyrecommended Uffizi GalleryWow! Amazing collection of art, but the crowd control feels like a forced march in the high season.
- Boboli GardensPiazza Pitti 1, Florence 50125 Italyrecommended Boboli GardensGreat way to spend the afternoon. Liked it better than the Pitti Palace even. Just don't go in expecting French gardens or you'll be as disappointed as some of the visitors we overheard.
- Piazza del DuomoPiazza del Duomo 56127, Pisa, Italy
- Osteria dè BenciVia dè Benci, 13, 50122 Florence Province of Florence, Italyrecommended Osteria dè BenciAmazing local Tuscan restaurant. Had fabulous rabbit. Also known for its 'drunk spaghetti' and impeccable service. Won't disappoint.
- Museo LamborghiniVia Modena, 12, 40019 Sant'agata Bolognese, Province of Bologna, Italy
- Museo DucatiVia Antonio Cavalieri Ducati, 3, Bologna, Italy
- Piazza della Signoria Piazza della Signoria, Florence, Italy
- Piazza del CampoPiazza Il Campo, Siena 53100 Italy
- Piazza del DuomoPiazza del Duomo, Siena 53100, Italy
- Il Duomo of Florence Piazza Duomo 17, Florence 50122 Italy
- Piazzale MichelangeloPiazzale Michelangelo, Florence, Province of Florence, Italy
- Ristoro L'antica ScuderiaStrada Comunale di Badia, 17, 50028 Tavarnelle Val di Pesa, Florence, Italy
- Osteria di PassignanoVia Passignano, 33, Tavarnelle Val di Pesa, Province of Florence, Italy
- La CastellanaVia Di Montefioralle, 1, 50022 Greve In Chianti, Florence, Italy
- SoloCicciaVia Chiantigiana, 5, 50022 Panzano In Chianti Firenze, Italia
- Nerbone di GrevePiazza Matteotti n.22, Greve in Chianti Firenze, Firenze, Italy
- Enoteca Ristorante il Gallo NeroVia Cesare Battisti, 9, 50022 Greve In Chianti, Florence, Italy
- Gusta PizzaVia Maggio, 46r, Firenze, Italia
- GromVia del Campanile, Florence, Italy
- Palazzo VecchioPiazza della Signoria, Florence, Italy
- Accademia GalleryVia Ricasoli 60, Florence 50122 Italy
- Sesio At The WestinPiazza D'Ognissanti, 3, Florence, Italy
- Piazza Del DuomoPiazza del Duomo, Florence, Italy
- Via del AmoreVernazza, Italy
- Ciro & Sons - Antica Pizzeria dell'ArteVia del Giglio, 28-red, 50123 Florence, Italy
- Ferrari MuseumVia Dino Ferrari, 43, 41053 Maranello Modena, Italy