Slow Travel through the Tuscan Hill Towns

Advisor - Rebecca Hanson
Curated By

Rebecca Hanson

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  • Italy

  • Siena

  • Arts & Culture

  • Food & Wine

  • International Travel

  • Road Trip Travel

  • Foodie

  • Wandering

  • Multi-Destination

Rustic balcony of Siena in Italy's lush Tuscan hills on a sunny day.
Curator’s statement

A region of Italy with so many hidden gems - small hill towns, vineyards, stunning sites and local specialities - Tuscany is best explored in a slow pace. It's a place to take your time, enjoy long lunches and, in short, live "dolce far niente" (the sweetness of doing nothing; sweet idleness). I studied in Siena decades ago and continue to return as often as possible. I've curated a short list of my favorites from local eateries with shared tables to the best shops for hand-painted ceramics.

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Where to stay Tuscany

Borgo Santo Pietro

Antique countryside hotel in a 13th-century villa with sophisticated and cozy rooms.

Fora Perks
  • $100 food / beverage credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Grand Hotel Continental Siena - Starhotels Collezione

The only 5-star luxury hotel in the heart of Siena, elegantly furnished with frescoes and Tuscan cotto tiles.

Fora Perks
  • $100 hotel / resort credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Borgo San Felice

Upmarket eighth-century property amongst vineyards with quaint rooms and suites.

Fora Perks
  • $100 hotel / resort credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Advisor - Rebecca Hanson

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Things to do in Tuscany

Italian city nestled in rolling green hills in Tuscany on a gloomy day.

Vineyard tour & tasting at Borgo San Felice - one of the first vineyards to open its doors as a luxury hotel, San Felice's tasting room and vineyard tour is fantastic. You can stay for lunch after sipping their marvelous wines.

Walking tour of Siena - a private guide will walk you through the winding streets of this Medieval city. You'll visit the city's Duomo with its white and greenish/black striped marble (white and black are the colors of Siena), visit a Contrada museum (and learn about the significance of the yearly Palio) and the adventurous can climb the tower of Palazzo Pubblico for remarkable views of Siena and the surrounding countryside.

People watch in Piazza del Campo (Il Campo). Take a seat and enjoy a picnic lunch (there are some wonderful enotecas and sandwich shops to grab a gourmet lunch in a bag! I suggest Antica Salumeria Salvini - don't forget to have them uncork your bottle of wine!

Take a drive to Monteriggioni, a stunning example of a fortified Medieval city.

Visit the Etruscan city of Volterra (the alabaster city).

Sign up for a cooking workshop at Borgo Santo Pietro. Be sure to arrive early to walk about the grounds of this peaceful, intimate luxurious hotel. Borgo Santo Pietro is the gold standard of farm to table cuisine.

Visit the Abbey of San Galgano - just a few miles from Borgo Santo Pietro, this former monastery has remained through the ages (though its roof's lead was sold in the 1500s). This roofless wonder is magical.

Get lost in the winding streets of Siena. Every turn will delight you.

Places to eat & drink in Tuscany

Grapes on vines used to make wine in Tuscany.

Te Ke Voi?: The tables are small and tight (you may have to share one!), but the food is just delicious. A favorite "grab and go" right off of Il Campo.

Ristorante La Finestra: Lunch or dinner behind Il Campo. I've know the proprietor for 3 decades. Classic Tuscan cuisine - casual, delicious and classic Sienese cuisine.

Antica Salumeria Salvini: For some delicious cheese, meats and wine "on the go" - stop by before a picnic on the Campo.

Pasticceria Nannini: Indulge in wonderful sweets and coffee (a Sienese stronghold)

Al Mangia in Piazza del Campo: Drinks and pizza spot with outdoor seating and a view of the Palazzo Pubblico in front of you.

Trattoria sul'Albero: A wonderful restaurant at Borgo Santo Pietro - farm-to-plate par excellence and beautiful views. Worth a visit if you are not staying at this extraordinary hotel.

Osteria del Grigio: After a wine tasting, try some wonderful pasta on this casual restaurant on the estate.

For a more formal option at Borgo San Felice, try their Michelin star restaurant, Poggio Rosso.

Osteria La Pace: Classic Tuscan fare - try the pici al cinghiale (wild boar pasta).

Need to Know

Looking for more inspiration on traveling to Tuscany? Read our guide on the oldest horse race in Siena and exploring Tuscany's hidden gems: Lucca and Siena.

Advisor - Rebecca Hanson

Travel Advisor

Rebecca Hanson

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