Florence, Tuscany, and Sardinia
Collected by Kristin Zibell, AFAR Local Expert
Two weeks, two friends, a shared love of wine and food, and a rental car.
SP94, 07021 Arzachena OT, Italy
There are few places that blend dramatic scenery, old-world history, and stellar food culture as beautifully as Sardinia. In early summer, wildflowers color the island, cherries are at their juiciest, and many regions are surprisingly tourist...
3625 1 St, Naramata, BC V0H 1N0, Canada
Just a short hour drive away from Kelowna, and only a 5-10 minute drive from Penticton, Naramata sits hidden with acres of green vineyards cascading off of clay cliffs into Lake Okanagan. In the heart Naramara is the historic Naramata Heritage Inn...
Via Castruccio Buonamici, 352, 55100 S. Anna,Lucca LU, Italy
My husband and I visited Lucca, Italy, in May. Just when I thought the charming town couldn't get any more beautiful, the sun went down and the lights came on, exposing a whole new beauty. Lucca is not a place to be missed, and make sure to stick...
50052 Certaldo, Metropolitan City of Florence, Italy
Traveling to Italy had always been a dream of ours, and since we love culture, food and cooking more than we enjoy sightseeing, we wanted to find a place where we would be able to explore Italian cooking but have some freedom to go to other places...
Localita' Villa La Rocca, San Gimignano, Si 53037, 53037 San Gimignano SI, Italy
San Gimingnano is an old Etruscan walled town that is famous for their white wine, Vernaccia di San Gimingnano and their town center gelateria, Gelateria di Piazza San Gimingnano. This mid-spring view over looking the Tuscan land scape is what...
53026 Pienza SI, Italy
One of the most charming towns we visited during our May trip to Italy was Pienza, situated in Tuscany between Montepulciano and Montalcino (also worth a visit if you're in the area). Pienza is best known for its delicious pecorino cheeses,...
del Borghetto, Strada Comunale, 53026 Pienza SI, Italy
For two weeks, I volunteered as a WWOOFer at Podere Il Casale where after a day in the gardens, milking goats, or serving cheese tastings to tourists, we all gathered for a staff meal. We ate simple, delicious food like chestnut linguini with...
Piazza Garibaldi, 1, 52044 Cortona AR, Italy
If you've just arrived in Cortona, Italy (the Tuscan hill-town made famous in Frances Mayes' memoir, Under the Tuscan Sun), I recommend dining on your first night at Ristorante Tonino. Your seat on the outdoor terrace guarantees a spectacular...
Str. di Certosa, 82/86, 53100 Siena SI, Italy
There is an intimate hotel in the hills of Tuscany near Siena called Certosa di Maggiano. It is pure magic. Tranquil and filled with old Italian charm, this is a place to go and chill out. Strada di Certosa 82/86, 39/0577-28-81-80. Rene Redzepi...
Costa S. Giorgio, 2, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
The Bardini Garden is one of Florence's best kept secrets. It was built in the 12th century as part of a large estate owned by the Mozzi family. During the 20th century it was closed for many years and only reopened in 2005 after significant...
Via Privata Adelchi, 5, 20131 Milano MI, Italy
Birrificio Lambrate is a well-kept secret in Milan, a city that generally prefers bitter cocktails to beer. The microbrewery opened its second gastropub just outside the city center last year. It’s already much loved for its free happy-hour...
Piazza del Duomo, Milano MI, Italy
The historic and modern center of the city, the Piazza del Duomo (the square surrounding the cathedral's base) remains a popular meeting place, hangout and hub of Milanese life. Local vendors setup shop (selling fresh coconut in the summer, toys...
Bastioni Marco Polo, 41, 07041 Alghero SS, Italy
Located near farm and sea, the northwest city of Alghero is the place to try regional specialties. The restaurant Angedras expresses the city’s Catalan influences with local ingredients; try the mussel-and-clam soup, or the grilled pecorino...
53017 Radda in Chianti, Province of Siena, Italy
Not sure how La Petraia remains a secret. Set in the hills and surrounded by cypress trees, this property offers all possible Tuscan delights. Everything, from honey to wine, that Chef Susan Grant prepares, from the honey to the wine, is produced...
Via Ercole, 52, 09040 Torre Delle Stelle (Maracalagonis) CA, Italy
When I was planning my trip to Sardinia, I heard that the north of the island was where the yachts and the European fanciness resided. I wanted the exact opposite in my Sardinian vacation. I looked for a town to relax in, where the vibe was chill,...
Piazzetta del Teatro, 4, 53045 Montepulciano SI, Italy
The store may overwhelm you at first—there are handcrafted copper items covering every surface—but spend a little time here and you'll see each piece serves a purpose as a tool for the Italian kitchen. There are sauce pans in every size, wine...
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