Last month, we headed off on our annual family vacation, this year to Tuscany Italy. We flew into Pisa before driving to Vorno, a small town just outside of Lucca.

Here are a few things we’d recommend doing when visiting Tuscany

  1. Overindulge in the delicious food
    Italy isn’t short of amazing food that the whole family will enjoy: pasta, pizza, charcuterie, cheese, gelato …. Need we go on?

Our recommendations in Lucca include:

  • La Buca di Sant’Antonio – book ahead, because we were a party of 9 we got a private room and the service was impeccable.
  • Trattoria Da Leo – vino della casa (house wine) is delicious, all pasta dishes to die for!
  • Pizzeria Pub Io Skianto di Fabrizi Anna Maria Lo Schianto – perfect lunch spot just on the edge of the city, right next to the carousel

In Vorno:

  • Ristorante Pizzeria A Bimbotto – family run, great deco, SUPER delicious food.

  1. Sample local drinks
    Each town and region throughout Italy has its own unique beverages, be sure to ask your server for something local to compliment your food choice. We found ‘vino della casa’ did us just fine, and was very affordable! As an aperitif, you can’t go wrong with a prosecco or Aperol Spitz – when in Rome!
  2. Book a villa with a pool
    Temperatures in Tuscany, in the summer can hit heights of 40 celcius, we were so greatful to have the option to cool off with a quick dip. Make sure you buy an inflatable online and bring it with you – saves a fortune, and your pool cred 😎
  3. Visit the historic city of Lucca
    This ancient walled city is full of culture and fantastic food. Weave your way through the streets from square to square and you’ll pass some delicious gelateria, mesmerising churches and great museums.
  4. Hire Bikes
    Down the narrow streets in the cities or in the countryside, hire bikes to explore more of Tuscany. In Lucca, we were able to hire bikes and a 4-wheel cycle (perfect for keeping naughty toddlers at bay!)  by the hour to explore the city walls. Tandem bikes were also available, located near the entrance to the city on the south side – by the carousel.
  5. Visit a local vineyard
    Throughout Tuscany vineyards are abundant, scattered amongst the hillsides as far as the eye can see. We visited Montechiari Winery in Monte Carlo, and had a great time learning lots about the processes used to create their cabinet sauvignon and merlot wines from grape to wine. Surrounded by gorgeous views, we got to sample 4 wines and a champagne including appetisers for 50 Euros per person. It was so good our mum ordered a case of the champagne for her 60th birthday celebrations next year!
  6. Head to Pisa
    Home of the iconic leaning tower, head to the city to see this epic monument. Be sure to head there earlier or later in the day to snap that iconic photo with the tower with fewer tourists getting in your way.
  7. Visit Florence
    Florence is the capital of Tuscany and is a beautifully unique and majestic town. Be sure to stop to see Statue of David (Michelangelo) and Florence Cathedral.
    Get a lift up to Piazzale Michelangelo for an amazing viewpoint over the city.
  8. Take in the countryside with a nice walk
    Rolling countryside is in abundance in Tuscany, make the most of it and take your time to explore the local area.