Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 80
OUR FAVORITE PLACES
Fine art, memorable meals, and that classic Italian countryside.
This is the Italy we'd leave it all behind for: famed vineyards and storybook villages, frescoed museums and medieval
stone bridges. And you know what's really fantastico? The region's cuisine. "No other place in the world moves me like
Italy," says Janet McLaughlin, a Cincinnati-based travel advisor. "Tuscany epitomizes romance." If we can't stay forever in
one of the region's hilltop castles, returning often is a solid second best.
Make Florence your hub.
"Florence is the heart of Tuscany and the birthplace of the Renaissance," McLaughlin says. "There's so much to see before venturing
out into the countryside." Check into the 80-room Hotel Savoy -
which recently emerged from a six-month renovation - and spend at
least four days there. McLaughlin's suggestions: guided tours of the
Accademia Gallery (home to Michelangelo's David) and the Ufﬁzi, a
day trip out of the city for winetasting or trufﬂe hunting, and plenty
of free time to wander, stopping for selﬁes in the Piazzale Michelangelo and bistecca alla Fiorentina (Florentine steak) at tiny, whitetableclothed ristoranti. Doubles from $537, including breakfast daily
and a $100 dining credit.
Pedal through the countryside.
Beyond Florence, Tuscany is deﬁned by charming hilltop hamlets -
Siena, Radda, and Pienza, to name a few - and the winding roads that
connect them, dotted with turreted castles and monasteries-turnedhotels. Destinations are spread out, so McLaughlin suggests renting
a car or hopping on a bike. Butterﬁeld & Robinson's six-day Tuscany
group biking tour covers all of the above, with stops for winetasting
and multicourse lunches along the way. Departures: Multiple dates,
July 1 through September 23; from $4,995.
From left: A moment with David at the Accademia Gallery
and the postcard-worthy Tuscan hamlet of Manciano.
WINE DOWN: "Tuscany is known for full and hearty reds that complement the region's cuisine," McLaughlin says. She sends travelers to
Ricasoli, one of Italy's oldest wine estates and the birthplace of Chianti.
V I RT U O S O L I F E
(TUSCANY) SUSAN WRIGHT, (ACCADEMIA) CHRIS SORENSEN/GALLERY STOCK