“Tuscany,” Goethe observed, “looks like Italy should.” Fortunately for today’s visitors, not too much has changed in the centuries since the German writer and statesman traveled in Toscana. Although its cities have many visitors, the region quickly gives way to a wondrous countryside.
Your clients are traveling the world, so you must be ready to curate their experience. In travel, YOU are your clients’ biggest ally. And education is YOUR biggest ally. A great educational resource for you is the wealth of knowledge contained in The Travel Institute’s Premium Library—from its array of White Papers and archived webinars to The Institute’s destination, niche market, and expert courses—all at your fingertips.
Tuscany is hot right now, so read on for topics inspired by our Italy Destination Specialist Course and our Southern Europe Destination Specialist Course (both included as a benefit of Premium Access). And for insider tips on parts of Italy only the locals know about, don’t miss TODAY’s fascinating and practical webinar, The Immersive Experience of Italy, by Andrea Grisdale, CEO of IC Bellagio.
Here are some of the many highlights of Tuscany your clients may enjoy:
Special and Unique Experiences
Travelers come to Italy, and especially to Tuscany, for many reasons. Some come in search of fine art experiences; others want to explore the beautiful countryside. Gourmets and wine lovers descend on the region to enjoy the wonderful food and drink. Walkers enjoy the mountain paths; cyclists love the rolling hills; and summer visitors delight in the sea and islands. Special experiences are particularly attractive for repeat visitors.
- Cooking Classes Up and down the peninsula, schools teach travelers how to cook the Italian way. The experience of hands-on work enriched by housing in a villa and guided tours of the countryside is a sure winner.
- Bicycle Touring Cyclists can explore Tuscany’s back roads on a bicycle tour. Participants pedal their way on itineraries that feature cycling through the beautiful countryside, stopping overnight in four-star hotels, shopping for regional specialties (such as ceramics and leather goods), enjoying the region’s cuisine and exploring the art-filled city centers.
- Truffle Hunting This fun activity is an ancient tradition in Tuscany. The tube mushrooms grow singly or in clusters, each kind with a unique perfume. Truffles are difficult to locate because they grow under the earth among the roots of trees. They are found mainly by dogs and to a lesser extent by pigs.
- Wine Tasting Southeastern Tuscany is the source of some of Italy’s finest red wines: Chianti Classico, Brunello di Montalcino, and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. The Chianti Classico Wine Region is between Florence and Siena. Only Chianti from here may boast the black rooster seal on the bottle. The Barone Ricasoli Winery and Brolio Castle is a good place to start a tour. The winery is Italy’s oldest and the largest in the Chianti Classico area. The formula for Chianti Classico was invented there. Visitors can taste wine, tour the small castle museum and have lunch at a good osteria. Another great place to visit is the Verrazano Castle, which offers a tour of the vineyard and cellars, followed by a gourmet food and wine experience. It’s an absolute must for anyone in the Chianti region, according to Don Capparella CTC, the CEO and Founder of Quality Travel Solutions.
- Spas Italy has been known for its hot springs with therapeutic thermal waters since Etruscan days. The largest and best-known spa in Tuscany, Montecatini Terme, is located between Lucca and Florence. The town’s Liberty-style architecture is an adaptation of Art Nouveau. A funicular (hillside railway)—built in 1897—takes visitors to see the old town of Montecatini Alto, a fortified medieval town with great views of the countryside. Terme Tettuccio is a legendary thermal resort in Montecatini Terme. The spa is noted for its lavish architecture.
- Shopping The fashion and textile industries are important to the local economy. The Via de’Tornabuoni, the top shopping street in Florence, has some of the world’s most luxurious clothing and jewelry houses, such as Cartier, Ferragamo, Gucci, Versace, and Bulgari, to name a few. And Florence’s covered Straw Market is centuries old and worth a visit.
Clearly, the Tuscan region has much to offer. Want to learn more about Italy? Head over to the Premium Library today and start exploring!