For lovers of Italian food and culture, we’re excited to offer a truly exceptional range of new food and drink experiences in Tuscany and authentic cultural tours to whet your appetite and help you plan a great Italian escape. TLTB founder, Susie Marquis, reports on her passion for sustainable travel and partnering with ‘slow tourism’ specialists KM Zero Tours to offer guests looking for luxury city apartments and villas to rent in Tuscany a feast of culinary experiences on tap.
Seeking new experiences we know you’ll love
Meeting brilliant local tour providers and entrepreneurs who offer unique and authentic experiences in the destinations we operate in, is one of the most exciting aspects of my work. I was introduced to Alessio and Arianna, owners of KM Zero Tours, earlier this year and, as a lover of Tuscany, I was very keen to learn more about the tempting selection of experiences they offer for visitors – ranging from wine and food tours, and cooking classes to art tours and day trips. I spoke at length to Arianna and, although I don’t need any persuasion to travel to Tuscany, her passion for Tuscan produce, her connection with local producers, the environment, as well as her depth of knowledge and enthusiasm generally, made me yearn for a return visit.
Based in the beautiful Chianti region, Alessio and Arianna are focused on slow, sustainable travel, and creating authentic experiences for visitors, based on the cultural and culinary heritage of the Tuscan region. While meeting enthusiastic local producers of Tuscan products, visitors can enjoy learning about the history and traditions of Tuscany, as well as sampling delicious food and wine. Food and wine experiences range from organic wine and olive oil tasting to cheese-making lessons, and “slow food” cookery courses. Other interesting excursions include visits to producers of local handicrafts, pottery, and sustainable cashmere plus trips to explore a wealth of beautiful villages and towns, as well as countryside walks, local art and culture.
All the tours offered by Arianna and Alessio can be customized, depending on the size of your group, and particular interests. The prices are all inclusive, including a pickup/drop-off service from your villa, or any town/area of Tuscany, including our city apartments in Florence, Siena and Lucca. Private transportation is by minivan, and all guides are licensed tour guides. The goal of KM Zero Tours is to promote a concept of tourism that benefits both travellers and the local people and places, which means you’ll not only learn a lot and help the local producers but also create long-lasting friendships and memories.
Top culinary tours and experiences in Tuscany
Daily excursions, activities and services that can be arranged this season for visitors during their stay in Tuscany include:
Winery tours: Chianti Classico, Vinsanto, Brunello, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Vernaccia, Super Tuscan wines, Syrah from Cortona, Pinot from Barga, and Cinque Terre DOC/Sciacchetrà.
Dinner events: A pizza party, barbecue night, catered Tuscan dinners, or sunset aperitive.
Food tours: Olive oil, pecorino cheese, saffron, charcuterie, truffles, and honey farms.
Cooking classes: Fresh pasta making class, bread/pizza making class, and a four-course cookery class. Fabulous events can also be arranged, including a Cookery class and a Sunset Live Opera concert.
Unique medieval private events and dinners: Including flag wavers and drummers, as well as guided visits provided by unique guides in authentic medieval costumes.
Horseback riding and bike tours: With options for all levels of experience and ability.
Local artisans: Visits to meet local specialists, including a cashmere goat farm, terracotta kiln in Impruneta, silversmith workshop, basket weavers, crystal factory, wool spinners, ceramic makers in Certaldo, alabaster in Volterra, and marble quarries in Carrara.
Art tours of Florence, Lucca, Pisa and Siena: Visits to world-class museums including Galleria dell'Accademia and Uffizi with expert art guides.
Local destinations: Tours of Tuscan towns and landmarks such as Badia a Passignano, Sant'Antimo, Cortona, Lucca, Barga, Siena, San Gimignano, Monteriggioni, Certaldo, Volterra, Arezzo, Val D'Orcia - Montalcino, Montepulciano, Pienza, Bagno Vignoni, and Quirico D'Orcia.
The most beautiful villas to rent in Tuscany
Just a 7-minute drive from the historic hilltop town of Montespertoli, the stunning 5-bedroom Villa Montespertioli is surrounded by rolling hills, olive groves and vineyards. A 45-minute drive southwest of Florence, the area is among one of the top producers of wine and olive oil in Tuscany. Perfect for exploring the Chianti area - Siena can also be reached in 20 minutes, and San Gimignano in around 30 minutes.
Looking for a large villa to rent in Tuscany? The glorious 7-bedroom Villa Buonconvento is situated in southern Tuscany, just a short drive from the medieval walled town of Buonconvento. Montalcino with its famous Brunello vineyards is just a 15-minute drive, while Siena and the hilltop towns of Pienza and San Quirico d’Orcia, are within a 30-minute drive. The grounds, lovely by day, and beautifully lit with candles, fire pits, and other outdoor lighting at night, include a magnificent infinity pool. There are also wonderful indoor areas for entertaining, as well as private terraces and smaller rooms to find peace and quiet.
Il Frantoio, a very charming 4-bedroom villa, was originally an olive press used by the villagers of Vorno, the small village close to the property. It’s situated on a family-run estate, 10 kilometres south of Lucca, with magnificent views over hill terraced olive groves. Within the beautiful gardens is a swimming pool, floodlit at night, as well as tables, chairs, and a barbecue for outdoor dining. There is also access to a shared tennis court on the large estate, and balls and rackets are available.
Situated in the Maremma area of southern Tuscany, Villa Carige is close to the medieval village of Capalbio, and a 10-minute drive from the beautiful beach of Feniglia. The interiors of this 5-bedroom villa are spacious and include a large billiard table and a well-equipped gym on a lower level. Outdoor facilities include covered terraces with table tennis and table football, and within the large garden, there is a heated saltwater swimming pool.
The delightful 4-bedroom Villa Icario is located within a wine estate south of Siena, near to the beautiful town of Montepulciano. The villa offers a peaceful and indulgent retreat where guests can relax and enjoy the fabulous wines made at the local vineyard, as well as explore the wineries and villages which surround the estate. It’s also just 15 minutes from the pretty hilltop village of Pienza, 40 minutes from Siena, and roughly an hour from Florence. The accommodation is in the main house with 3 bedrooms and an independent 1-bedroom cottage. There is also a swimming pool within the large grounds.
We also offer more beautiful villas to rent in Tuscany and Umbria many more in our other locations in Italy:
Siena, Lucca, Florence, Lake Como, Lake Garda, Lake Orta, Rome, Venice, Milan