6 Amazing Excursions around Florence

Are you searching for a day trip from Florence? In that case, there are a lot of available destinations. Florence is well situated, allowing you quick access to the countryside or to destinations replete with a rich history. Below we’ve listed some of our favorite day trips easily reachable from Florence with minimal hassle.

Piazza del Campo, Siena

Siena is just amazing – source

 

Wine and cheese tours from Florence.

Chianti

The Chianti wine region is a must see destination for any wine fan! Beautiful landscapes, sophisticated tasting events, and much to see are available at only half an hour’s drive to the south of the city. Although more crowded than other wine regions in the area, there is a reason for this: the vineyards in villages like Panzano and San Casciano are incredible!

Orcia Valley

Of course, if you want to skip the touristy sections of Chianti and the crowds, then you cannot do much better than visiting the Orcia Valley, or Val d’Orcia. This region is considered one of the most beautiful countrysides in the world, and is part of the UNESCO’s World Cultural Landscapes. The different villages, vineyards, and farms in this region provide an unforgettable experience. Some of the best food in the world is concentrated in this beautiful valley, with cheeses, wines, and meat that are unrivaled. Unfortunately, getting to Orcia Valley from Florence is quite a bit more difficult than a day trip to Chianti. While Chianti is at a mere 30-minute drive, the Orcia Valley is two hours away and unreachable by train. A great option in this case may be to hire a driver, with many packages available for interested connoisseurs.

Montepulciano and Montalcino

These two beautiful towns are essential viewing for wine lovers. Montalcino is home of Brunello di Montalcino, considered by many as the best wine this country has to offer. Montepulciano produces Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, a wine that has been produced since Medieval times. The scenery and sampling of local cheeses and wines is an unforgettable experience.

Tours to historical towns.

Lucca

The architectural wonders are not limited to Florence itself. Only an hour west of Florence you will find beautiful Lucca. This city, replete with palaces, old roads, churches, and forts, provides a wonderful experience for walking or even biking. Fans of the opera will also want to visit Lucca since it is the birthplace of Puccini!

Pisa

No visit to the region would be complete without a visit to the Leaning Tower of Pisa (you will definitely want to get a photo of this spectacular attraction, which is unbelievable when seen up close and in person. However, once you see the Leaning Tower, there is still plenty to see in Pisa. The city is replete with beautiful Renaissance and Medieval art. There are also wonderful palaces and the Baptistery of Pisa, all of which are well worth the visit. You can usually include a visit to Lucca along with a day trip to Pisa, which is reachable through the high speed train. It’s usually a good idea to visit Pisa in the evening, to avoid the crowds (just check the closing times for the different attractions in this city.)

Siena

Siena has one of the most beautiful churches in Europe, with art by masters like Bernini, Donatello, and Michelangelo. The frescoes in the library are also absolutely stunning. The Siena piazza has an impressive tower from the fourteenth century. There is also plenty to see, from incredible frescoes and religious iconography to the head of St. Catherine, on display at her birthplace! You can usually see the most important sights in Siena in three to four hours with the help of a guide. Thanks to its location, it is possible to visit Siena and the Chianti wine region in the same day.

Istria an untouched gourmet destination on the Mediterranean

According to the Irish Independent, Croatian cuisine continues to soar in global popularity. In fact, the former Yugoslav Republic’s coastline is an untapped haven for tourists and fine dining aficionados. For those lucky enough to discover the northern peninsula of Istria, an oasis of serenity and five star restaurants awaits. While Dubrovnik and Split have traditionally catered to holiday guests, Istria is now the premier gourmet destination for locals and visitors alike. Over the years, Croatia has become synonymous with world class chefs and mouth watering food. Whether for business or pleasure, the Croatian countryside offers a culinary and sightseeing experience like no other.

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In Istria you will indulge in eating Fish

Istria is blanketed by local eateries and unsuspecting dining establishments. These, of course, are set to a backdrop of captivating architecture and sunsets. Whether you are in the mood for fine wine or mouth watering dishes, this hidden gem of the Mediterranean simply has it all. The northern peninsula is also home to a number of small motels and cottages. This is perfect for weekend getaways or for extended family trips. Like the magic of the Adriatic Sea, Istria simply soothes the soul with captivating and compelling scenery. Whether traveling from Dublin or the North, this marvel of the Mediterranean will dazzle your senses and taste buds.

Istria captures the true allure and essence of the exotic Balkans. This is especially true when it comes to its selection of local and regional cuisine. From home made olive oil to black truffles and sea bass, there are countless delicacies and scrumptious entrees available. The Italian influence has also propelled the Croatian wine market to heights never before seen. In fact, Istria’s wineries can easily compete with the finest establishments in Paris and Venice. Whether you crave deep red or sparkling white wines, these tantalizing beverages are must with any meal or snack.

For the kids, Istria offers plenty of fun filled activities. This includes boat rides, along with seaside artists that specialize in portraits. Like other Croatian cities, Istria has a vibrant nightlife consisting of bars with ocean views. This is perfect for couples that want to dance the night away to their favorite tunes. There are even restaurants that feature candlelight dinners for a more romantic and relaxed atmosphere. When it comes to visiting Croatia, don’t waste your time on overcrowded hotels and saturated nightspots in Zagreb. Simply rent a car and take a nice scenic drive up the coast. If you love good food and want to experience Mother Nature at her finest, Istria will truly achieve your desired results.

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Fazana in Istria Capital of the grilled Sardin

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Crystal clear sea

 

 

Organic Olive Oil Importer in the United Kingdom.

Emilia Delizia is an official importer and distributor of the Siculum organic PDO olive oils from Sicily, if you are looking for an excellent new product for your shop, deli or chain of stores and you are based in the UK, we would love to arrange a tasting with one of tour representatives and make you discover this incredible product.

All secrets of D.O.P. Siculum Extra virgin Olive Oil

The story of Cugnata family and olive oil production started in the fifties when Vito Cugnata founded the farm Villa Ponte in Chiaramonte Gulfi countryside, in the province of Ragusa. Today run by Silvana and Giovanni Cugnata, the farm consists of 30 hectars of land cultivated with 2500 trees of the Tonda Iblea olive variety.

The flavourful extra virgin olive oil produced in the Villa Ponte farm has been named Siculum and is excellent on seafood, pasta, meat and vegetables. After the D.O.P. recognition, the Siculum olive oil has received many national and international prizes and honorable mentions at numerous competitions from 2002 to nowadays.

Features of Siculum DOP Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

Because of its exclusive aroma, you would hardly forget a meal where the main dishes have been dressed with this special green-golden olive oil. Delicate on the mouth as you first taste it, it will leave a sweet aroma balanced with notes of herbs and fruits.

The Secrets Behind a Good Olive Oil.

Cugnata family is determined to produce an oil that sells well. To do this you can’t escape from the basic rules lying behind its production. But the very best moment of the whole process, comes before the pressure. The hand picking method and consecutive pressure within 24 hour, are the key factors that allow to keep all olives organoleptic properties.
Then follows an accurate estraction with the dedicated presses and a perfect storage in appropriate stainless steel tanks certificated AISI 304 to preserve all olive oil flavor and taste.

Flavoured Olive Extra Virgin Olive Oils.

Villa Ponte also produce innovative and modern olive oils flavored with the amazing citrus fruits. In the range you will find extra virgin olive oil flavoured with Sicilian mandarins, lemons and and oranges. You can add a touch of freshness and Mediterranean zest to your salads or marinades.

The King of Mediterranean Diet.

In general, it is a good thing to follow a Mediterranean diet rich of fruit and vegetables to keep you healthy. What is more, it is demonstrated that monounsaturated fat helps to maintain good conditions when people are affected from heart diseases, diabetes, Alzheimers and cancers.

For this reason, you should always prefer to dress salads with olive oil and use it in all recipes rather then butter, also to prevent any disease. Buying Siculum extra virgin olive oil is the best choice for the whole family.

Interested in this product? Please get in touch.

 

 

Small group tour

Food tours for small groups bigger than 2 people

Our gourmet tours.

The prices below are for groups of at least 3/4 people booking at the same time.

Children below the age of 12 might pay a reduced rate please enquiry. 

1) Original - Parmesan, balsamic, Parma ham tour and Lunch

http://www.emiliadelizia.com/three-gourmet-food-tours/

Our most popular gourmet tour – full day exploring the best of the foodie destinations.
Morning: parmesan production full tour of the production in details in English
Morning: Balsamic vinegar producer visit with tasting and guided tour in English
lunch option : Parma ham  visit with 3 course gourmet lunch, guided tour in English to the facilities producing Parma ham.Saturday and Sunday booking might attract a supplement for small groups.If we provide transport:
From Modena: 165 euros per person (departure at approx 8.15 am return at 3 pm)
From Bologna: 185 euros per person for at least 3 people & 165 per person for at least 4 people (departure at approx 7.30 am return at 4 pm)
From Parma: 185  euros per person for at least 3 people & 165 per person for at least 4 people (departure at approx 8.15 am return at 3 pm)
Coming to Modena? It takes only 20 minutes from Bologna by train.
 
If we do not provide transport:
Escorted tour with your own car 125 euros per person
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2) Organic winery 2 gourmet foods + farmer gourmet brunch 
Available from Modena or Bologna  2 best gourmet food plus a delicious cheese and ham brunch – taste all in one morning
 
Pick up from Modena/Bologna, visit to Parmesan production with tasting + best traditional balsamic vinegar at a private villa in Modena
The tour will include the famous wine, organic bread, cured meats and cheese brunch, tasting of home made organic breads from ancient organic wheat,  plus Organic lambrusco wines from local producers. At a a beautiful farm near Modena on the Castelvetro hills. 
 
If we provide transport:
From Modena: 165 euros per person (departure at approx 8.15 am return at 3 pm)
From Bologna: 180 euros per person for at least 3 people & 165 per person for at least 4 people (departure at approx 7.30 am return at 4 pm)
If we do not provide transport:
Escorted tour with your own car 145 euros per person
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Shorter and panoramic  tour with less distance involved.
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3) Cookery classes at the organic farm with 2 gourmet food tour
A Tour to the 2 gourmet food (Balsamic and Parmesan)  plus a pasta making class + organic farmer’s brunch
From Modena: group of 3 People 240 euros per person – 2 gourmet food tour + cooking class at the organic farm or 200 per person for a group of 4 people

 

 

Food tours prices for 2

Our gourmet tours.

booking: min 2 people
1) Original – Parmesan, balsamic, Parma ham tour and Lunch

Monday to Friday

http://www.emiliadelizia.com/three-gourmet-food-tours/

Our most popular gourmet tour – full day exploring the best of the foodie destinations.

Morning: parmesan production full tour of the production in details in English
Morning: Balsamic vinegar producer visit with tasting and guided tour in English
lunch option : Parma ham visit with 3 course gourmet lunch, guided tour in English to the facilities producing Parma ham.

Saturday and Sunday booking might attract a supplement for small groups.

If we provide transport:
From Modena: 185 euros per person (departure at approx 8.15 am return at 3 pm)
From Bologna: 235 euros per person (departure at approx 7.30 am return at 4 pm)
From Parma: 220 euros per person (departure at approx 8.15 am return at 3 pm)
Coming to Modena? It takes only 20 minutes from Bologna by train.

If we do not provide transport:
Escorted tour with your own car 155 euros per person
we strongly encourage clients to have their own transport for maximum flexibility and savings
http://www.emiliadelizia.com/bolognaparma-food-tour-car/

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2) Organic winery 2 gourmet foods + farmer gourmet brunch
Available from Modena or Bologna 2 best gourmet food plus a delicious cheese and ham brunch – taste all in one morning

http://www.emiliadelizia.com/2-gourmet-food-tour-farmer-brunch/

Pick up from Modena/Bologna, visit to Parmesan production with tasting + best traditional balsamic vinegar at a private villa in Modena
The tour will include the famous wine, organic bread, cured meats and cheese brunch, tasting of home made organic breads from ancient organic wheat, plus Organic lambrusco wines from local producers. At a a beautiful farm near Modena on the Castelvetro hills.

If we provide transport:
From Modena: 185 euros per person (departure at approx 8.15 am return at 3 pm)
From Bologna: 215 euros per person (departure at approx 7.30 am return at 4 pm)

If we do not provide transport:
Escorted tour with your own car 155 euros per person
http://www.emiliadelizia.com/bolognaparma-food-tour-car/

======================
Shorter and panoramic tour with less distance involved.
======================

3) Cookery classes at the organic farm with 2 gourmet food tour
A Tour to the 2 gourmet food (Balsamic and Parmesan) plus a pasta making class + organic farmer’s brunch

From Modena: 280 euros per person – 2 gourmet food tour + cooking class at the organic farm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who is Dario Cecchini? The Butcher of Panzano in Chianti

Are you visiting Tuscany any time soon? If yes, watching a butcher at work may not be at the top of your itinerary but we recommend that you take the chance anyway. Dario Cecchini is not just the most famous butcher in Tuscany. He has been referred to as the world’s greatest butcher and it’s easy to see why when you watch him at work with his various knives and cleavers. He practically transforms the act of butchering into an art. He has been known to attract such personalities as Jack Nicholson, Bruce Springsteen and other such greats. People travel from near and far to watch him in small shop. With only 2 rooms in his shop, you will be lucky to get a spot.

Oh Dario!

Dario the Butcher seem to be very popular – source

His butchery is typical of any Italian butcher only better. All around, on counters, there are different cuts of meat that have been prepared in different ways depending on how they are supposed to be cooked. You will see seasoned meatballs, stuffed pork loin and many more. Dario doesn’t stop there. He ensures that every visitor who goes to see him gets a taste of some meat and some red wine. As you watch him preparing different meats, his small staff walks around handing everyone something to eat and drink.

Dario didn’t get started as a butcher. It runs in his family, with 6 generations before him making a living from this humble trade. He intended to become a vet and even went to veterinarian school to learn the skills of the trade. Life had other plans for him though and they were to transform his life forever. His father, who was a butcher, died suddenly and Dario had to step in and take over the business so as to be able to continue to provide his family with a livelihood. He did prove that he had a knack dealing with meat but vet studies didn’t go to waste. To this day, he ensures humane treatment of animals before they are killed and butchered.

So what makes him so different from other butchers? This famous butcher from Panzano in Chianti sets himself apart through his personality. He is open and welcoming and don’t be surprised if you walk into his shop and he stops what he is doing, cleans himself up and comes out from behind the counter to envelop you in a giant hug. At the same time, he can sometimes be heard reciting lines from Dante’s Inferno as he works. He enriches the lives of those around him with some kind of happy magic that comes from within.

Business has been good. From the 2 room butcher shop, he was able to open an art gallery next door, a Solociccia restaurant across the street. He has also utilized the top and the back of his shop to open 2 restaurants in one. During the day, you can enjoy a juicy MacDArio and if you come back in the night you will find Officina della Bistecca which can only be described as a carnivore’s haven and before each night starts, you will hear Dario shout a poignant question: to beef or not to beef? That is the question.

The Chianti area is also renowned for its wine, you can easily tour wineries with your own car or by a chauffeured mini van if you are travelling with your family or a group.

 

Going to Florence? Eat Bistecca alla Fiorentina

If you will be travelling to Florence anytime soon, you should prepare your palate for the delight that is Bistecca alla Fiorentina. What makes this meat dish so special is that it is made from only one ingredient; meat alone. It is a T-bone steak that’s at least 3 fingers thick. The meat isn’t from just any cow; it comes from Chianina cows which are found in Tuscany. Because the diet of the cows affects the taste of the meat, they are fed on very specific grasses that grow in the region and nothing else. The cows are left to wander free where only these grasses grow. They are usually slaughtered at the age of 2 years which means that the meat is very tender.

過癮!!

Bistecca alla fiorentina – source

Bistecca alla Fiorentina stems from a centuries old tradition. It came about during celebrations to honor one of the Medici family which ruled for 200 years since the 13th century, Lorenzo de Medici. During the festivities, crowds would gather in the streets around fires and roast large chunks of meat. The tradition was easy to pass down because there were no additional ingredients to confuse people. Today, the meat is in the form of a T-bone steak that is prepared carefully over hot coals.

The quality of a Bistecca alla Fiorentina is determined by the quality of meat. It has to be very tender and it has to be ringed with a little fat. If you decide to prepare this little treat yourself, make sure that the T-bone steak that you choose has a lot of fillet – some butchers trim off fillet to make an extra buck. The best grilling results are achieved with woods such as ash and oak which add a special flavor and aromas to the meat. You don’t need to add salt or oil during the grilling process but once the steak is served, it can be sprinkled with a little olive oil and seasoning. This doesn’t mean that the meat needs any help – it is delicious just without olive oil or seasoning.

Grilling a Bistecca alla Fiorentina is a two step process. First, when the grill has become very hot the meat is placed on it for between 3 and 5 minutes. This is to harden the surface so that it can hold the juices in. After a crust forms, reduce the coals so that you have less heat for passive cooking. The meat is placed on the grill bone first and then roasted slowly. Traditionally, it is eaten rare but there is no reason why you cannot cook it until it is well done if that’s how you like your meat. It is usually served with baked potatoes and red wine.

If you plan to eat Bistecca alla Fiorrentina in a restaurant, you are better off getting recommendations from locals. Although many serve it, there are some that have distinguished themselves for serving excellent quality cuts. In some restaurants, you will even be able to choose a cut yourself and then have it roasted. If you choose this option, make sure you have a lot of time to wait for your Bistecca alla Fiorentina to roast. And if you are cooking it by yourself you can check our guide how to cook bistecca alla Fiorentina.

Day Trips ideas from Florence

According to the Guardian, Florence remains the epicenter for true Italian culture and heritage. There are, however, a number of quiet towns and restaurants that blanket this popular and inspiring city. Florence also has a backdrop with breathtaking scenery, including stunning mountains, wineries and monasteries that rejuvenate both body and soul. These venues are located within a few hours of the city and truly make for great day trips. If planning to visit this historic city, there are a number of destinations that simply cannot be missed.

The Magic of Barga

If you want to avoid museums and crowds, Barga is truly the place to be. This medieval hilltop town features twisting lanes, cobbled streets, and spectacular floral arrangements. The town is primarily made up of artisans that effectively capture the allure and essence of Italian culture. From ceramic shops to small art galleries, Barga has everything you need to refresh the soul. Visitors can easily reach the town via train or car. There are also convenient and affordable guest houses for tourists and locals alike. Whether it is Villa Moorings or the Apuan Alps, Barga offers serenity at its finest with a touch of class.

Enjoy Certaldo Alta

Certaldo Alta is just a stone’s throw from Florence. Known for its quiet old town bars and restaurants, this picturesque town is a haven for tourists and visitors. With mouthwatering cuisine and even cooking classes, you will truly enjoy the culinary excellence this amazing town offers. Certaldo Alta also showcases a summer arts and music festival. Whether you love jazz or modern hits, the old church offers tantalizing tunes that easily blend in with its scenic environment. If planning to stay the night, the Fattoria Bassetto will easily facilitate your needs and that of your loved ones. This former Benedictine convent is the best budget hotel and hostel in the area. If you want to experience a great Italian day trip, Certaldo Alta will meet all your needs within time and budget.

Certaldo Alto

Certaldo Alta – source

 

Experience San Gimignano

Located in the Tuscany region, San Gimignano is known for its captivating vineyards and olive groves. Surrounded by green hills and pastures, the town is a haven for fine wine enthusiasts and connoisseurs. Just an hour by road from Florence, San Gimignano is blanketed by ancient farm buildings, tranquil gardens, and aesthetically pleasing backdrops. Whether it is capturing the sunset or a quiet picnic for two, this lavish and elegant town offers true romance at its finest. The area is also perfect for hiking, biking, and especially nature walks. If you need a break from the daily grind, San Gimignano truly offers a day trip experience like no other.

You Will Love Lucca

Lucca is also the perfect getaway for those seeking true solace. As the birthplace of Puccini, this traditional yet vibrant town remains a true gem. From scrumptious food at Trattoria Buralli to its signature bricked tower at Guinigi, the town simply offers something for everyone. While vacations to Florence are still great, daytrips to neighboring towns seem to be soaring in global popularity. For more information on the best day trips to Florence, speak to your travel agent or simply check the web.

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Tower in Lucca

How to Visit a Balsamic Vinegar Producer in Maranello

Guided visits at Acetaia Clara in Maranello, Emilia Romagna Italy.

If it happens to be in Maranello visiting the Ferrari Museums remember that we also conduct balsamic vinegar tour there. Specifically we visit acetaia clara an artisan producer with a passion for quality vinegar. The acetaia has more than 300 caks holding the precious liquid. The owners have been running the place for over 30 years. Beside being certified producers of balsamic vinegar of Modena DOP they offer very competitive prices for their excellent products, so it is indeed a place for shopping for some bargain souvenirs.  The visit is in the language of tour choice and it lats about 1 hours, it also include tasting of Saba (cookeed grape must) a vinegar aged for 15 years, a second one aged for 25, and a reserve vinegar aged in juniper casks only. The tasting include ricotta topped with saba, Parmesan cheese topped with 25 years old balsamic, Balsamic and chocolate. And to finish some Nocino liquour  that is a speciality of Modena.20140614-174029-63629326.jpg

 

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What to do in MODENA in three hours

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Visit the perimeter of Maserati factory, you can spot many Maserati super cars running around, and see them test driven.

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The Maserati factory has a small showroom where you can see the cars but you can also buy Maserati gadgets, T-shirt and so on. You do not need any appointment to go to the showroom, you can just turn up. However factory tours are harder to get.

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This is the Maserati tower it is the headquarter of the company, note the Trident which is the symbol of the Maserati and it is sitting on top of the building, the Trident  was chosen as it was also represented in the Piazza Maggiore fountain in Bologna.

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Nearby you can find another supercar Museum. It is just five minutes away, it is Casa Natale Enzo Ferrari, and it is located at his house where the car maker was born, now it is a museum with plenty to see.

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This is the main building of the Ferrari Museum and host many super car collection that are changed regularly. From here you can also take a shuttle bus and go to Marenello, where the other Ferrari Museum is.

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This is the oldest delicatessen in the world it was open in 1605, it belonged to the GIUSTI family for a very long time. They were salami and ham makers in Modena and their products were exported all over Europe. Now is still a deli but also a renowned restaurant, featuring traditional fare but make sure that you book well in advance. It is open only for lunch.

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In Modena people eat your gnocco fritto, it is a local speciality, it is simply a fried dumpling but is very tasty as it is fried in pork fat. You can order it for breakfast with your espresso. Or have it for dinner with slices of Parma ham.

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This mercato Albinelli, here are you can buy many local specialties and super fresh meat, fish vegetables and fruits. It is in liberty style and built at the beginning of the 19th century. It is a focal point of the city, if you want to see the locals and what they eat, mercato Albinelli is the right place.