To really see, experience, and taste Tuscany you can't just visit Florence or Siena, you must venture into the countryside. There is nothing quite like the charming countryside of Tuscany. And one of the best ways to experience this charm is to visit or stay in an "agriturismo."
Agriturismi dot the countryside surrounding Siena and Florence. They are typically small agricultural farms that grow grapes, olives, and/or other agricultural products. Most of these estates produce limited runs of their own wine and olive oil, which you can taste or purchase. Some are small B&Bs while others are larger luxurious estates with amazing amenities for a relaxing weekend away.
You can't go wrong with any agriturismo in Tuscany. All are small operations that focus on producing quality local and traditional foodstuffs, and since they are farm-to-table (and many of them are also organic), the meals (and wine) are amazing!
I have been fortunate to stay in several agriturismi over the course of my years in Italy. Tentuta San Vito is an estate that I have been visiting with students for more than 6 years. Located just over a half-hour outside of Florence, it is perfect for a quick afternoon trip. We take students to learn about their organic wine and olive oil production. After touring the estate and cellars, students get to sample several of San Vito's unique wines (the Madiere Tuscan red is my favorite) while eating a homemade farm-to-table meal overlooking acres of vineyards. As you can see from the photos the estate is stunning and so very Tuscan.
For the occasion I wore this fluid bell-sleeve dress. The weather was perfect -- a slight breeze with just a hint of spring chill left in the air. I loved the way the wind would catch the lightweight fabric of this dress. It is so hard to find comfortable and easy to wear dresses that are still flattering, so when I do, I scoop them up. I'm so happy I grabbed this one on sale just before I left and I am even happier with how it captured the feeling of San Vito's gorgeous estate for what will likely be our last taste of spring.
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