Biking Through the Vineyards of Chianti, Italy

If you are looking for a way to see the vineyards of Chianti, taste some delicious wine and get out of Florence for a few hours, check out Tuscany Bike Tours.

While in Florence last summer, my friends and I went on their tour. Included was transportation to and from Florence to the countryside, tour of a castle, wine tasting, lunch, water break and a bike tour. It is worth every penny.

Here’s our experience of cycling through the vineyards of Chianti in Italy – from visiting a medieval castle to eating delicious local foods.

Cycling through the vineyards of Chianti
Cycling through the vineyards of Chianti

Biking through the vineyards of Chianti

Upon arriving at the Chianti castle, we got a tour of the castle and saw the wine and olive oil production sites. The tour included a panoramic view of the surrounding countryside, where we would later bike. The wine was delicious and the olive oil was amazing. All of the products are available for sale at the end of the tour.

The guides helped everyone get a bike and helmet that fit them. They made sure that everyone’s helmet fit correctly and that the bike was adjusted to their height. The number one concern was safety, as we bike on roads used by cars for the entire trip, and they made sure that everyone knew that if their biking skills were not up to par-they would be pulled off and ride in the van. This warning was serious. Two of my friends didn’t bike the entire time because they were poor bikers, they admitted to having a blast in the van though.

The bike ride was absolutely breathtaking and about 12 miles long. The rolling green hills were on both sides of the road. We passed countless vineyards and olive groves, some that are used to make the very wine and olive oil we tasted at the castle. The first half of the ride was hilly but mainly downhill.

You can go at your own pace, although if you’re too slow or unsteady, your guide will put you in the van. Lunch was a giant spread of bread, pasta, salad, dessert and more wine. It was great to meet more of the people on the tour-since you don’t really talk much when you’re biking.

The second half of the bike tour started out with 3 miles of flat roads. Then came a steep hill, with an 11-17% grade. Most people walked up the hill or rode in the van, the brave biked it. My tour guide said it was hard for him-so I opted out so that I could enjoy the end of the tour on rolling hills. There was a water break at the top before riding back to the castle. Not only was it a beautiful ride, but it was also relaxing and a great work out.

It’s worth every penny and a different experience than anything else that I encountered in my travels. I would recommend it to anyone that is in shape, is comfortable on a bike and loves wine.

Book a similar Tuscany bike tour here.


A Guide to the Best Cities in Italy to Visit

Are you already planning your unforgettable Italy trip?

Combining delicious food, glorious architecture, saturated history, and impressive art heritage, this extraordinary country has it all to make you fall for it from first sight. Thus it’s no surprise that the list of unmissable places in Italy can be simply endless.

For your convenience, below, we created a compilation featuring Italy’s best destinations making an excellent introduction to the region and its dolce vita lifestyle. This should help to make the best out of your Italy trip.

Eternal Rome

Indeed, the expression “all roads lead to Rome” is another confirmation that the heart of the country is a good starting point for any Italy expedition, especially for first-timers.

Attracting travelers from all over the world, this art-laden European metropolis can be easily called an enormous living museum. Among its narrow streets are hidden Renaissance palazzos, Baroque fountains, beautiful chapels, and charming piazzas. As for places worth checking out during your trip, make sure to visit the Roman Forum, the Pantheon, the Trevi Fountain, Saint Peter’s Basilica, and, of course, the iconic Colosseum.

The Colosseum or Favian Amphitheater is an incomparable icon of Rome and a must-see spot where you can find out more about epic gladiator fights, entertaining performances, and other legendary events.

Alluring Venice

With its limitless capacity to enchant, striking Venice is more than just a city. It’s an entire series of 118 tiny islands divided by dozens of canals and connected by over 400 elegant bridges.

Let yourself get lost among the little alleys, shop the stalls that line the streets or stop by the Rialto Market, and, as a highlight, explore lapping waterways on a traditional gondola to see the beauty of the town from another angle. Wondering what else can make your Venice travel experience even better?

Thanks to developed lagoon aquaculture, Venetian cuisine offers a mind-blowing selection of seafood dishes. Believe us, accompanied with bubbly prosecco, these mouth-watering delicacies will provide a total blast of your taste buds!

Antique Florence

Famous worldwide as the cradle of the Renaissance, charming Florence represents a paradise for all passionate art enthusiasts since it encompasses numerous exquisite masterpieces of the era.

Tour the Gallery of the Academy of Florence to see the original “David” by Michelangelo, stroll the library of San Lorenzo, and make sure to pop in Uffizi Gallery, which is home to incredible works by such skilled creators as Caravaggio, Rembrandt, and Leonardo da Vinci.

In addition to high-class museums, this fantastic town is dotted with various historical sites, monumental cathedrals, and glorious palaces, including the white-marble Baptistery, Bargello palace, San Miniato al Monte basilica, and the Medici Chapel.

Tranquil Siena

Situated just 43 miles (70 kilometers in equivalent) south of gorgeous Florence, this wonderful hill town in Tuscany has plenty of things to marvel at. According to ancient legends, Siena is considered to be found by Senius, son of Remus.

When speaking about this lively city, it’s impossible not to mention its main pride, Il Palio, or exciting horse race. This thrilling competition is run around the central piazza two times in summer. Interestingly, you can also see this event in action in the famed James Bond film called Quantum of Solace!

During your stay, save some time to peacefully wander the cobblestone streets, visit the eye-catching Siena Cathedral, and overlook the city from Torre del Mangia, an 85-meter high tower constructed in the 14th century.

Bustling Milan

Being one of the most visited destinations in Northern Italy, the world’s fashion and design capital offers plenty of things to see and do.

As a base for the city’s awesome shopping scene, chic outlets and luxurious boutiques are scattered around the area dictating contemporary fashion trends and attracting everyone with their bright showcases.

Apart from high-quality shopping, think about delving into Milan’s cultural legacy and paying a visit to the city’s remarkable museums and galleries. Witness the grandeur of Milan Duomo, stop by the famous La Scala Theater, traverse the historic Brera district, and pop in the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie to see the grand Leonardo da Vinci’s fresco “The Last Supper.”

Vivid Cinque Terre 

How about visiting not just one, but the whole five towns at once? Nestled in the region of Liguria, the Cinque Terre coast is a UNESCO-listed destination that represents a claster of  Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore fishing villages.

Each one of the five strikes with its petite colorful buildings, breathtaking sea views, and heart-warming coziness but still having its own unique character.

Apart from offering some of the most dramatic sceneries on the planet, Cinque Terre provides plenty of hiking opportunities. For centuries, the only way to get around the area was on foot! Thus today the local network of mountain trails is heaven for adventurous hikers eager to conquer unoccupied hills and enjoy untouched natural beauty.

To guarantee great comfort for all guests, the paths here differ in complexity and the length of the journey, so you can easily choose the one according to your preferences.

Summing up, miraculous Italy has everything to satisfy even experienced tourists. And apart from choosing the right destination, a well-planned route is a key to having an unforgettable holiday.

To see many-sided Italy at its best, as an option, you can build your travel itinerary with Triptil and make your travel dream come true!

Best Places to Visit in the Amalfi Coast in Italy

Fortunately, there is no such thing as the ultimate vacation scenario, as everyone has their own idea of what a dream holiday is.

Yes, planning a getaway would be much easier if there would be some universal answer, there is no arguing that. But life would be so much duller that cost just doesn’t justify the means.

However, there are several popular ideas on what makes a perfect trip setting. For some people, it’s the tropical paradise from the Bounty chocolate bar commercial, while others long for the unique larger-than-life atmosphere of the capital cities. Quite a few dream of snow, fjords, and the miracle of aurora borealis.

And, the gem of Italy, the stunning Amalfi Coast is definitely one of the most interesting options on the list of the favored vacation destinations. And with so many incredible places to visit in the Amalfi Coast, it’s no surprise!

The picturesque coastline seems to belong to another world, a window to a paradise realm from a different universe. The pure beauty of the sceneries takes your breath away even if you’ve been to this remarkable region multiple times before.

Everything seems to be too good to be true: nature, food, limoncello liqueur, and brilliant sights, so deciding what should go on your must-see vacation list can be rather challenging.

So, let’s explore some of the most interesting options to look for with Italy vacation packages

Best Places to Visit in the Amalfi Coast: Sights Not to Miss

It’s bold (to say the least) to assume that someone can visit all the impressive landmarks of the region during one holiday, so why not start with something less ambitious?

For example, you can pick three interesting places you would like to visit for your first trip, and it will leave you some time to enjoy a gastronomic tour, explore the cities you’ve chosen for your stay, and set off on some impromptu excursions. 

Blue Grotto on Capri Island

A stunning natural wonder, the Blue Grotto, is an extraordinary sea cave that can easily become the highlight of your trip. This magical natural wonder belongs to another planet and feels like a setting for one of the Doctor Who episodes. 

The entrance to this not-so-secret landmark hardly stands out, two meters wide and about a meter high, so you need an experienced guide to get inside. Visitors have to lie on the bottom of a rowboat to be able to get in, but this minor inconvenience is well worth the stunning beauty that waits for them inside. Upon entering, they see a wide cave going deep into the cliff and illuminated by the rich blue light, coming from the seawater, so clean it seems impossible.

In the Roman times, this place was a bathing hole of the second Roman emperor and looked more civilized – decorated with sculptures (two of them you can find in Anacapri museum) and boasting a few resting areas, but time erased the traces of luxury, and the Blue Grotto now seems as untouched as it once was.

Cathedral of Saint Andrew & Cloister of Paradise

The city of Amalfi boasts plenty of fascinating sights, but if you don’t have much time and have to pick just one of them to explore thoroughly – check out the Cathedral of Saint Andrew, also knows simply as Amalfi Cathedral.

It’s probably one of the most visited places in the Amalfi Coast.

You won’t miss it, because the sight is a real head-turner, dominating the views of the Piazza del Duomo, the heart of Amalfi.

To be fair, a place like that, combining unique style, fascinating history, and unparalleled cultural heritage, makes quite a bizarre sight, neighboring with cozy and always busy streets filled with shops and cafes. But such an interesting position only adds to its charm.

The cathedral houses the relics of Apostle Saint Andrew, and its interiors can make even seasoned travelers gape in awe. 

Cloister of Paradise, adjusted to the cathedral is also an interesting sight to stop by. This beautiful place is a small garden with palm trees and amazing flowers, the kingdom of green and blossom, and it was designed as a graveyard for the rich merchants of Amalfi, but it’s nothing like any cemetery you’ve seen before.

This island of tranquility is surrounded by a majestic peristyle, supported by over a hundred columns. During your visit, make sure to keep an eye out for the ancient sarcophagi, nestled around the cloister. 

Vallone delle Ferriere

Even if you are not a big nature fan, take a short break from the famous sandy beaches of the Amalfi Coast and give the famous Vallone delle Ferriere hike a chance.

A truly remarkable way to see a different side of Amalfi, enjoy some breathtaking views, and take advantage of a few unique photo opportunities. Don’t worry, no special physical training is needed to explore the trail, it’s relatively easy and mostly descending

The path will lead you through a beautiful valley where you can see the ancient ruins of the medieval foundries, passing old water mills (once the engine, powering the world-famous paper industry of Amalfi) and majestic waterfalls. The whole hike takes about three hours, and it’s better to set off early in the morning if the day promises to be hot.

The best advice I can give you – wear your trainers and don’t forget your swimming suit, and make sure to thank me later! 

As you can see, even these three places to visit in the Amalfi Coast, a bare minimum of an Amalfi Coast tour, already make a fantastic reason to choose this sun-kissed vacation as your next holiday destination!

But you can rest assured, that there is so much more to see and do there, that you will want to come back to this unique Italian region time and time again.

Reggia di Caserta: A Hidden Gem of Italy

When traveling to the southern half of Italy there are many sights to see.

You might want to soak up the sun off of the Amalfi Coast, visit the ghost town of Pompeii, or even see the volcano that caused its dismay from the Bay of Naples in the bustling city.

But, what if I told you that some of the best sights are off the beaten path that previous tourists have paved? A great example of this is a palace hidden away in southern Italy. Most people know it as “the place they filmed Star Wars”, but there is so much more to it than that!

Reggia di Caserta: The Hidden Gem

Nestled away in a small town named Caserta is the Reggia di Caserta, which translates to Royal Palace of Caserta in English.

Caserta lies in the Campania region of Italy, and is located less than an hour from the city of Naples. This region is best known for its rugged coastlines and rich historic sights, which the place is no exception to.

Reggia di Caserta began its construction in 1752 by Charles VII of Naples. The palace wasn’t finished until the 1800’s when his son decided to take over and complete the lifelong project. The finished product came with 5 floors, 1,200 rooms, and a 120 hectares long park.

Today, the palace is recognized as a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Site. This means that the palace has cultural significance to the country and the citizens that live here.

So, why should you visit Reggia di Caserta?

  • Next, you get to explore the 120-hectares of fountains and shrubbery that extend behind the palace. You will find locals jogging along the reflecting pools, getting in their daily workout. You will also find families having picnics among the luscious grass and hedges.

    As you explore the land behind the palace it will become clear that Reggia di Caserta is a place where residences of the town like to spend their day. The beauty of this space holds something for all ages; shade for adults to relax and a small play castle for children to exhaust their imagination!

    At the very back of the park you will find the fountain of Diana and Acteon. This fountain beautifully illustrates the Roman tale of the two, and adds to the magical element of the palace.

  • I have a secret tip for you! Above this grand fountain you will see a tower sitting atop of the cascading water. If you are lucky, the stairs to the tower will be open; which are located to the right and left of the Diana and Acteon sculptures. If you are one of the lucky ones to make the ascend, you will see the Palace from above; just as Luigi Vanvitelli meant for those to see his completed work.
  • Another thing to check out is the English Garden. After walking to the very back of the park you will notice a path to your right. This path leads to the botanical garden which houses plants and flowers from around the world, beautiful sculptures, and hidden waterfalls.

    You can walk around and see the actual ruins of Pompeii that were transported to the 24-hectare garden, just adding to its beauty. Stop and take a walk through the Cryptoporticus, which is masterfully replicated to look like a Pompeiian ruin.

    If you are looking for a place to rest, take a seat next to the Bath of Venus. Admire the statue of Venus as she dips into the pond, and take in the breathtaking waterfall while kicking back and relaxing.

  • So, I talked about what there is to do in the daytime at the palace, but what about in the evening? At night, the palace shuts its doors to everyone, the business is closed for another day. But, the square welcomes locals and visitors to mingle on the grounds.

    Many nights I would sit at the square with my friend, drinking wine and eating food, while talking to the other locals. We would light sparklers and set off paper lanterns, it truly was magical! 

    At night, the palace is lit up every color you can imagine, even the colors of the Italian flag!

Overall, Reggia di Caserta is a sight that most travelers do not know about. It is a hidden gem nestled in a town that is a sight to see itself.

When traveling it’s important to see the sights you want, but it’s also amazing to see the sights many do not know about!