Florence, Italy is without a doubt now one of my favorites cities. I could visit it 100 times and still have so much to enjoy and experience all around Tuscany... most importantly - the wine and people.
On this tour I changed it up and instead of going to another vineyard, tried out a wine tour in the city itself, but away from typical tourist areas and out of the hot sun. I chose the Made of Tuscany Sunset Wine Tour and it did not disappoint! Susanna, a local, personally hosted us, and has an exceptional team leading a vast amount of daily tours on behalf of Made of Tuscany. Susanna provides her wine tour guests with their own tasting glass and pouch that hangs conveniently over their neck. The pouch is such an innovative idea and I’ve never seen anyone do it before! Being able to legally drink outside is a plus, too.
We met Susanna at 7:15pm at Ponte Vecchio, the famous medieval bridge lined with jewelers and high-end shops arched over the Arno River. She guided us along the other side of the river and on to a local wine shop. On our way to the shop she pointed out the home of Antonio Meucci, the famous Italian inventor and first inventor of the telephone! (Gasp)
Susanna had lots of stories and information like that to share. As a local, she pointed out the best spots to eat pizza and gelato too. :-)
When we finally arrived to the first wine shop (after a short walk), we came upon locals enjoying their evening aperitif. They cleared out of the entrance and inside the shop sat a small table and chairs in front of a wall of shelved wine bottles.
Then the wine arrived: we tasted one refreshing rosato and two deep reds. As an added bonus, the wine was paired with breaded bites dressed with delectable toppings. Susanna made the tasting so comfortable that I kept forgetting to try the wine and just wanted to chat the night away about Florence!
We then went to another shop for a tasting accompanied by more appetizers. But first, Susanna led the way to a nearby bridge and took a lovely photo of us with an evening Firenze as the backdrop. Along our walk to she noted the cold evening and Alex and I began to laugh uncontrollably. We couldn’t wait to share that during our visit throughout Italy, we noticed everyone using the word “fresh” to describe something cold. At first, in restaurants, we didn’t understand this. We would ask for a wine recommendation for dinner and the waiter would describe: “The red is very good, but it is not fresh. The white is lovely and fresh.”
Why would you serve us wine that is not fresh!? And what does that even mean!?
Alex and I encountered this a few times until one day (in Venice) we brought chilled wine to a boat party and the host said “Wonderful! We can have fresh wine now! The refrigerator is broken so I’m trying to keep the others fresh with the fan!”
We realized fresh meant cold, not old!
Susanna laughed hysterically at our story, piecing together all the times she's used the word fresh where tourists have probably been confused, but never said anything!
Oh, the joy of translations.
We finally arrived to the wine shop and Susanna provided us with another glass of red to enjoy with bruschetta. As she handed us the tasting she said, “careful – the bruschetta is not fresh.”
Susanna clarified: “Well - it is very fresh, but not fresh!”
We laughed and walked on, sitting together into the evening in front of the breathtaking Duomo with wine, bruschetta, and a good time.
The Sunset Wine Tour runs evenings at 7:30 for two hours, and costs $39. They offer tours in five languages and all of their guides are licensed. For a listing of all Made of Tuscany tours in Florence, peruse their website here >>