Tuscany Food and Wine Tours

Taste your way through generations of Italian tradition

Tuscany, in central Italy, offers a well-trodden path for passionate foodies, and it's not hard to see why. It’s a region steeped in history, from the magnificent art and architecture of Florence to Pisa’s famous tower and the winding medieval streets of Lucca and Siena. Add that in with lush, rolling hills, rugged coastal landscapes and a food and drink scene lathered with incredible diversity and flavours, and you’ll begin to understand why Tuscany remains a favourite holiday spot for foodies.

Contrary to what you may think, Italian cuisine is a lot more complex than spaghetti Bolognese and pizza. In fact, Italian cuisine varies widely by region, with each area of the country having its own flavours, cooking styles and local delicacies. Tuscany is no different, and you’ll see many dishes here that will be frowned upon in other parts of Italy. Tuscans are often referred to by their neighbours as ‘mangiafagioli’ – ‘bean eaters’, due to the peasant style of cooking of their region, which has slowly developed through generations of farmers living and eating in remote hilltop towns and villages.

One thing that all Italians can agree on is the importance of bread. You’ll see plenty of Tuscan dishes making the most of this staple ingredient, such as Ribollita, a soup made of cabbage, other vegetables, beans and bread. It literally means ‘reboiled’ and is a classic cucina povera - a traditional peasant dish.

For fish lovers, the Tuscan coastline’s Tyrrhenian Sea offers up plenty of fresh seafood. Heart-warming stews, rich with tomato, garlic, dried chillies and wine, are lovingly put together with octopus and squid, and for a true Tuscany experience foodies should tuck in while enjoying one of the region’s quaint fishing villages.

Market days are frequent and occur in almost every city, town and village in Tuscany. Expect the freshest local produce, vivid stalls of fruits and vegetables bursting with flavours, and a friendly farmer or two to answer all your foodie questions. A popular weekly food market is held in Pisa, which you’ll find produce sprawled across several streets in a maze of colours packed with local shoppers.

Tuscany is a region of stunning variation. From the sunsoaked beaches of the Versilia to the peaceful, rolling hills of Garfagnana, there really is something for everyonehere. Foodies will delight in tasty rustic dishes that follow the seasons while taking on board the combined knowledge of generations of Italian nonnas. Travel hungry, eat and drink where the locals gather, and prepare for a foodie adventure in a country where cuisine is a way of life.

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