One thing I learned about myself over the trip is that I’m a quite good Vespa driver. Also, they are so much FUN. As I mentioned in a previous post, we booked a Vespa tour through Tuscany with Florencetown.com over our trip. If you find yourself in this area and have an open day and want a unique way to see wine country, this is a MUST.
Since we traveled during off-season in Italy, we were extremely lucky and only had one other couple in our group. Our head tour leader, Fransesco, was amazing. He was very knowledgeable about the history of the region, wine, and Italian history. I received top scores with my Vespa driving test (to make sure we were all safe operating the vehicle). I still wear that as a badge of pride.
There are really no words to describe the feeling of riding in the open air with the rolling hills of Tuscany around you. To my right and left were vineyards, olive farms, old farmhouses and “castles.” To imagine people LIVE here and get to enjoy and live this landscape everyday is insane.
To ensure we had picture opportunities, there were several “look-out” stops. On one of the stops, we happened upon an older gentleman preparing to go harvest olives. Let me tell you, I’ve gained a fine appreciation for why good olive oil is a little pricey. This was a highlight of the trip – very much unplanned but so fun to have this Italian guy walk us through (via translation by Fransesco) how he harvests the olives, an extremely TEDIOUS process.
One big stop of the tour was a stop at a winery and thorough education on how wine is made, stored and aged appropriately. I’m basically a professional Vespa driver and Sommelier now (kidding).
To wrap up the tour, we parked our Vespas and walked to a “boutique” winery and were served a family style Italian meal. Any dreams you’ve had of Italian cooked pasta, cheese, bread, and wine was this meal exactly. I yearn to go back.
So again, if you plan a trip to Italy, do this. You won’t regret it.