Tag Archives: Italy

Florence International Airport

Firenze Amerigo Vespucci international Airport

View on runway at Florence International Airport Amerigo VespucciKnown to locals as “Peretola”, Amerigo Vespucci International Airport (IATA: FLR)  is close to Florence with good connections to the city center by taxi or bus. In 2001 Amerigo Vespucci International Airport was among the first European airports to obtain UNI EN ISO 9001/2000 certification for the quality of its services.
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Pisa International Airport

Pisa International Airport Train stationGalileo Galilei Airport (IATA: PSA, ICAO: LIRP) is an airport located in Pisa, Italy. It is one of the two main airports in Tuscany, together with Peretola Airport in Florence. It is named after Galileo Galilei, the famous scientist and native of Pisa. It is located in the San Giusto neighbourhood, less than 2 km from the central train station, relatively close to the city centre.
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Chianti and Tuscan Wine Tasting

Experience Chianti and Super Tuscans at a wine tasting

Grapes ready to become Chianti wineTuscany is famous for its wines and not without reason. The earliest documentation of a “Chianti wine” dates back to the 13th century when viticulture was known to flourish in the “Chianti Mountains” around Florence. Not only the high quality wine and the fame of the Chianti make Tuscany so attractive to wine lovers from all over the world. The hospitaly of the wine makers and their great knowledge of their vino, have an enormous added value.

Many of the wine estates in Tuscany offer (free)tours around their vineyards and are happy to tell you about the process of wine making and let you taste the various wines. We are happy to offer you a list of small, often family-run, estates that offer these tours and tastings. The list is courtesy of La Vera Toscana

The following estates offer a wine tasting on site:

  • Agriturismo Le Fonti a San Giorgio [with online booking form]
  • Agriturismo Le Gret
  • Borgo Stomennano
  • Castello del Trebbio [with online booking form]
  • Castello di Vicarello [with online booking form]
  • Castello Sonnino [with online booking form]
  • Fattoria Casa Sola [with online booking form]
  • Fattoria di Corsignano [with online booking form]
  • Fattoria la Loggia
  • Fattoria Torre del Castellano [with online booking form]
  • Fattoria Tregole [with online booking form]
  • Villa Cicolina [with online booking form]
  • Chianti grapes wine chianti

    Florence in Tuscany

    Florence: Renaissance capital of the world

    The Duomo in Florence by Brunelleschi in Florence TuscanyBuild along the Arno River in a natural basin surrounded by stunning hills. Florence, or Firenze as it’s called in Italian, is THE city of the Renaissance, of Italian culture and art. The most famous places in Florence… The Uffizi Gallery, Palazzo Vecchio, Ponte Vecchio, Piazzale Michelangelo, but also many other gems, attract millions of visitors from all over the world every year.

    As mentioned earlier, Florence truly is the Renaissance capital of the world, with his famous sons like Leonardo, Dante, Machiavelli and Michelangelo. The world-famous Duomo with Brunelleschi’s cupola and the marble clad baptistery are simply breath-taking, but not all the monuments are like this. A lot of streets of the historic town centre are often narrow and dark and still breathing that medieval feeling. The palaces are often robust and intimidating, but then you find yourself wander onto one the amazing squares in Florence: wonderful Mediterranean places where you will like spending hours sitting down, having a few beers and just watching people passing by.

    A view at the bridges crossing the Arno in Florence from one of the viewpoints surrounding the cityTo get a great overview of Florence, you have plenty of choices: climb the “Cupolone” of the Duomo or the Giotto Tower, head for Piazzale Michelangelo in Oltrarno (South or literally “other” side of river Arno) or go a bit further, up to the church of San Miniato.

    Recommended things to do in Florence

    If you really want to get a taste of the town, it’s best to travel on foot with a city map in your hand and just take your time. For a more in depth look at the city and background information on the historic wealth of Florence we can only advise you to book a guided tour or even take an entry class in art history for 3 days including visits to the Uffizi, important churches and some Medici-villas. The best place to do this is at arthistoryflorence.com. A professor in art history will tell you all about the famous Medici-family, important paintings and buildings in Florence. Also highly recommended is the guided tour of the Medici gardens

    Recommended Hotels in Florence

    Hotel Price Range User Score
    *** Hotel Rosso 23 € 117 per night per room 9,3
    **** Grand Hotel Baglioni € 261 per night per room 8,1
    **** Kraft Hotel Florence € 130 per room per night 8,8
    Search all 375 hotels in Florence

    Getting to Florence

    Florence has it’s own airport, Amerigo Vespucci International Airport (IATA: FLR). The airport is pretty close to the town centre so you won’t loose much time there. With a bus or taxi it takes about 15 minutes to get to the centre of Florence.

    Modern high-speed Eurostar Italia trains from Milano to Rome or Napels stop right in the town centre at Firenze Santa Maria Novella Station. There are also overnight trains from Paris and some German cities like Munich. These will get you in Florence in the morning and you’ll have the whole day ahead of you exploring this wonderfull city.

    Driving your car to Florence is not really recommended. It can be quite expensive to park your car for the whole day and on some days it’s not even allowed to drive in to the city centre due to possible smog in the summer. Best place to park is under the central train station Santa Maria Novella or at the other side of the Arno in Oltrarno.

    Getting around in Florence

    By Bus
    Visit Google Transit for the updated timetable of Florence town

    You can also take a look at the following bus companies that operate in and around Florence

    ATAF for Florence town
    FLORENTIA BUS for Mugello, Valdisieve and Valdarno
    LAZZI for Lucca, Pistoia, Empoli
    SITA For the Chianti area or Val di Pesa
    Florence to Siena by bus or Siena to Florence by bus every hour, departure near the Santa Maria Novella train station.

    Pictures of Florence

    A small collection of images of the beauty of Florence can be found on the page Pictures of Florence

    Cortona in Tuscany

    La Vita é Bella in Cortona

    City of Cortona, Tuscany by nightFrom a high Tuscan hill, fifty miles from Florence between Arezzo and Perugia, rises the equally ancient and nobile city of Cortona. The history of Cortono, the city that has became famous among millions due to “La Vita e Bella” (Life is Beautiful) by Roberto Benigni, dates back to Etruscan times.

    Once you’re inside this beautiful town you get some magnificent panoramas to every point of the compass including views of Lake Trasimeno.

    Aerial view of city of Cortona in TuscanyThe best way to discover Cortona is on foot as the town is pretty small and parking or driving is close to impossible. The narrow lanes and alleys winding up and down the slopes within Cortona can be confusing; it’s a good idea to get a street plan before you start exploring this inviting town.The town is small enough to make it your destination for a day-trip including a nice glass of wine and fine meal in one of the small bars or restaurants on the charming squares.

    Outside the city walls parking areas, some even free, are available.

    Under the Tuscan Sun

    Under the Tuscan Sun in Cortona Umbria ItalyOne of the best-selling books about Italy in recent years, Under the Tuscan Sun is set in Cortona, and is a new tourist attraction for the town. There is also a film with the same title that is loosely based on the book by Frances Mayes.

    To give you an idea about the book, we’ll provide you with the details as printed on the jacket of the book:

    UNDER THE TUSCAN SUN is one woman’s enchanting account of her love affair with Italy and the home that changes her life.

    Frances Mayes – widely published poet, gourmet cook and travel writer – opens the door on a wondrous new world when she buys and restores an abandoned villa in the spectacular Tuscan countryside. She finds faded frescoes beneath the whitewash in the dining room, a vineyard under wildly overgrown brambles – and even a wayward scorpion under her pillow. And from her traditional kitchen and simple garden she creates dozens of delicious seasonal recipes, all included n this book.

    In the vibrant local markets and neighboring hill towns, the author explores the nuances of the Italian landscape, history and cuisine. Each adventure yields delightful surprises – the perfect panettone, an unforgettable wine, or painted Etruscan tombs.

    Frances Mayes’s sensuous memoir takes you into the heart of Italy and tells of a renewal, not only of a house, but also of the spirit.
    (© Chronicle Books)