Hello fellow Untours members! My fiance and I are in the midst of honeymoon planning, and are at a loss. We are thinking of doing an Untour in Tuscany, but aren't sure if it's the right spot for us. We love wine/food tasting, biking, would love to be close enough to other cities to do road trips (Florence), and close enough to local markets and restaurants, maybe even some pubs or something similar. Do you think Tuscany would be a good fit?
First off, full disclosure, I work for Untours, but I still want to provide you with my personal opinion.
I am going on my own honeymoon with Untours in May. I'll be heading to Barcelona and to Greece (I know, opposite ends of Europe, but its what we want to do =) I think Untours had a good model for my fiance and I to travel around at our own pace.
As for Tuscany specifically, I was there this past October and I stayed at the Le Chiuse apartment for a week. It is a working vineyard that produced Brunello and Rosso de Montalcino wines. The family that runs the farm is part of the original family that started producing Brunello wines in the region. They will provide you with a wine tasting and show you how the wine is made. They can also point you to other wine tasting options in the region.
As for food, there are some great little markets that take place most mornings. Each village has their own market day, so you can start each day that way and stock up on fresh ingredients with which to prepare your own Tuscan feast. Some of our landlords also offer cooking lessons where they teach you how to make fresh pasta or how to incorporate the local ingredients into a traditional Tuscan meal.
As for biking, I'm sure you know that there are a number of bike races that take place in Tuscany, such as the Giro d'Italia. While I don't think biking is quite as prevalent as, say, in Provence, there are definite opportunities to head out on a bike. Just remember, Tuscany is hilly :-)
Florence and Siena (a great little city) are easy day trips and should not be missed. Don't know about pubs, but there are plenty local restaurants that serve up great local food and wine. I would recommend venturing into some of the smaller villages and try some of the restaurants that are frequented by the locals rather then the more touristy options found in some of the well known villages.
So, yes, from someone who is in the process of planning his own honeymoon, I would definitely recommend Tuscany for a honeymoon. I hope some other Untourists will chime in to provide an independent perspective on Tuscany, but if you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to give us a call and ask for either Andi or Andrea, our Italy experts. They know Tuscany inside and out and can answer any questions you may have.
All the best, and good luck,
Full disclosure: I work for the Italian Untours here. I agree with Andreas. Tuscany is perfect for a honeymoon, especially given your interests. The Le Chiuse farm is an excellent option. In addition to wine, they have bikes guests can use. And you can actually hike up into Montalcino from the farm. As for pubs, not traditional, but the younger Italians like their beer. TNT Pub is very nearby and has a great tap list. Enjoy, whatever you decide. And congratulations!