Planning a romantic Italian getaway? These romantic things to do in Tuscany will help you have a magical experience.
This is a guest post by Nick & Kia of The Danish Nomads.
When you are thinking about Italy, chances are it’s the rolling hills of Tuscany that first spring to mind. Maybe you imagine beautiful vineyards, stretching as far as the eye can see. Or perhaps it’s the iconic lines of Cypress trees or the many old Renaissance castles.
Tuscany is one of the top travel destinations in Europe and for good reasons. It offers breathtaking natural landscapes, charming medieval towns, and some of the best food and wine in the entire world.
All this is best experienced in the company of a significant other. Ask anyone who has been there, and they’ll tell you Tuscany is one of the most romantic places in Europe. Life seems to be moving at a slower pace, everything is beautiful, and you can’t help but fall in love all over again.
Not entirely convinced yet? We bet we can change that by going through some of the wonderfully romantic things you can do in Tuscany!
Wine Tasting at a Real Tuscan Vineyard
No visit to Tuscany is complete without sampling a few of the region’s excellent wines. Have you heard about Montepulciano, Montalcino, or Chianti? These are examples of famous sub-regions within Tuscany, and they all produce their own wines (predominately reds). However, whichever region you choose, the wines will most likely be excellent.
The best overall experience will be had by visiting a winery. Let’s be clear about this: If wine tasting on a real Tuscan vineyard isn’t already on your bucket list, it definitely should be! There’s just something special about sipping those red drops out in the field, amongst the grapes, and under the blue sky. We highly recommend you look for smaller wineries, though, where the experience will be more personal and more romantic.
Tuscany is not just famous for its grape-wizardry. Remember to pair those excellent wines with some locally produced cheeses and cold cuts. We dare say, you won’t find them better anywhere else on the planet.
Fall in Love With a Medieval Town
There are plenty of charming medieval towns in Tuscany. Our favorite was Lucca, a sizable town in the northern part of the region, which was absolutely packed with excellent restaurants and beautiful old buildings. It was sort of a merge between cobblestone streets and modern-day shopping. (PS: Could be a great chance to pick up some high-quality, locally made Italian souvenirs.)
If you prefer to visit a smaller town, take a look south towards San Gimignano. It’s a stunning old town, located on a hilltop, boasting 15 impressive medieval towers. Take a stroll around its pretty streets and share a real Italian gelato with your beloved. If you ask us, that’s the perfect recipe for a romantic day out and about.
The options don’t stop there, though. There are many, many more romantic old towns worth visiting, such as Siena, Montepulciano, Certaldo, Montalcino, and of course, Florence, the capital of Tuscany.
Watch the Sunrise from a Hot Air Balloon
Flying in a hot air balloon over the rolling hills of Tuscany, at sunrise, is a spectacular and romantic experience you will never forget. It may seem scary at first, but once you take off, be prepared for the smoothest ride of your life.
You are floating through the sky, in the most undramatic fashion, and can do nothing else but cuddle up with the love of your life, while you enjoy the view of beautiful countryside below. The morning air is cool and crisp, but your close embrace keeps you warm, and that’s a feeling you’ll remember for many years to come.
As the flight slowly comes to an end, you land in a field and are treated to a real Tuscan breakfast spread, complete with sparkling wine, fruit, cheese, and cold cuts. What a romantic way to start the day!
Bathe in a Hot Spring
Did you know that there are natural hot springs in Tuscany? You can thank Monte Amiata for that, a 5,700 feet volcano dome towering above the Tuscan countryside. Although the volcano is long dormant, the hot springs are still around. They were once used by the Romans to cure arthritis and colds, but nowadays, you can just jump in the warm water for fun. You’ll likely be accompanied by a strong sulfurous smell, but if you can look beyond that, this is a romantic activity not to be missed.
If you are in the region on a sweltering summer day, you may not want to submerge yourself in a hot spring. In that case, we suggest you visit the very top of Monte Amiata. Up there, on a clear day, you’ll find excellent panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. Better yet, the pleasant temperatures at this altitude will be a welcome relief from the scorching sun below.
Experience the Thrill of Truffle Hunting
Tuscany is a famous truffle region. Even if you don’t like the taste of these expensive little fungi, it may still be fun for you to go truffle hunting. If you are the outdoorsy types, or if you just like dogs, this activity is sure to impress.
You’ll go out in the forest with a local farmer, and his cute little dogs will help you find real Tuscan truffles. Yes, you heard right, contrary to popular belief, farmers no longer use pigs to dig up these little delicacies. They did so traditionally, but it turned out dogs were easier to train and were less likely to eat the truffles themselves!
When you get back to the farm, they’ll use the harvest for cooking your lunch. Trust us, even if you don’t usually like truffles, they will taste much better now that you’ve been on the hunt yourself.
Enjoy a Romantic Dinner
Italian food, in general, is world-renowned, and of course, they know how to cook in Tuscany too. Let’s just say, if you like pasta, you won’t go hungry! It’s just so unbelievably fresh, and they can transform even the simplest of pasta dishes into a masterpiece. Using only three or four quality ingredients, they somehow create taste explosions. Of course, there’s something charming about the setting too. Being in Italy, Italian food almost automatically tastes like heaven.
In Tuscany, you can have pretty much all the standard Italian food. However, make sure also to try out some of the local specialties such as Pici, a type of pasta made without eggs, or pretty much anything with truffles.
Drive Through the Rolling Hills
The natural landscape of Tuscany is breathtaking, but the best way to see it is not from a tour bus. We suggest you rent a car and get on the road yourself.
Imagine, just you and your significant other cruising around the rolling hills, your favorite music on the loudspeaker, and maybe even the wind in your hair. You can stop in at one of the medieval towns, or at a vineyard, for lunch, and later in the day, find the perfect spot to watch the sunset.
But why stop there? Not all couples link road trips with romance, but if you are a fan of them, you may be delighted to learn that the French Riviera is relatively close by. How about a little detour? If you have around a week or more in Tuscany, you have time to visit a few towns in Southern France as well, such as Cannes, Nice and/or the Principality of Monaco.
They are all incredibly romantic places and can be experienced within the span of just a few days. On the way there, you may even decide to stop by the unfathomably romantic “Cinque Terre” on the Italian Riviera. These five little towns, nestled right by the sea, are world-famous for their beauty. You can’t drive between them, but the day hike along the coast is absolutely legendary.
Another possibility is to drive south towards Rome. It’s just a few hours away and offers an exciting contrast to the more laid back nature of Tuscany. Rome is a whole other beast compared with even the largest city in Tuscany (Florence), but big-city getaways have a funny way of feeling romantic. Especially so in Europe!
Stay at the Perfect Romantic Hotel
Finally, complete your list of romantic things to do in Tuscany by staying at a wonderfully romantic hotel. Here’s a little inspiration for where you might stay on your romantic getaway in Tuscany. You really are spoilt for choice in this region, so these are just a few ideas to get you started!
Romantic Places to Stay in Tuscany
ULTRA-BUDGET: CAMPING AT PODERE IL CASALE
If you are on a tight budget, but would still like to indulge in the excellent food and wines of Tuscany, why not save money by camping? On our first visit, we actually brought our tent, and in addition to being friendly on our wallets, it was very romantic too! We got the sort of privacy we wouldn’t have had in a hostel, and we could cuddle up close in our sleeping bags each night.
You may think there is nothing romantic about campsites, but you would be wrong. We found a cozy little agriturismo, the Italian word for a farm stay, where there was only room for three tents. There were plenty of cute dogs, goats, cows, chicken, and peacocks wandering around the grounds, and the onsite restaurant was excellent. It even featured a fantastic view of the Tuscan countryside, with Monte Amiata in the background.
BUDGET: AL PODERE DI ROSA
If you would like to stay near Lucca, arguably our favorite town in Tuscany, take a look at Al Podere di Rosa. It’s a romantic little guesthouse located just outside of town in the beautiful countryside. You get a lot of bang for your buck here, so there’ll be more left to spend on food and wine! Click here to check prices & book.
MID-RANGE: AGRITURISMO IL SEGRETO DI PIETRAFITTA
Tuscany is famous for it’s agriturismos; however, they can often be a bit rustic. This one is more of an upscale choice, but with a sensible price tag. You’ll be within walking distance of San Gimignano, and you’ll have a view of this beautiful medieval town to go with dinner. Click here to check prices & book.
HIGH-END: RELAIS LA CORTE DEI PAPI
Relais La Corte dei Papi is a high-end boutique hotel situated in a restored 18th-century residence. It’s located near the medieval town of Cortona, on a hillside with beautiful views of the surrounding countryside. It isn’t exactly cheap, but Tuscany is worthy of a little overindulgence! This could definitely be one of the most romantic hotels in Tuscany! Click here to check prices & book.
LUXURY: CASTELLO BANFI – IL BORGO
If the price is not at all a concern for you, take a look at this ultra-luxurious wine resort in the heart of the legendary Montalcino region. You won’t even have to leave the property, as there’s a castle, a vineyard, and an award-winning restaurant (with cooking classes) on site. Of course, picture-perfect views of the rolling hills of Tuscany keep you company wherever you go. Click here to check prices & book.
About the Authors: Nick & Kia are a Danish travel couple, who above all else, love to go on adventures together. They realized that life is too short not to follow their dreams, so they quit their jobs and sold all their belongings to travel the world full-time. It’s the best decision they ever made. Now they help others live a life of adventure as well, through their travel blog: The Danish Nomads. It offers plenty of travel inspiration, motivation, and guidance to help people get out there and explore the world for themselves. Their mantra is: It’s never the wrong time to go on an adventure!