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A weekend in Florence and San Gimignano

Are you in Florence for a weekend getaway and looking for an adventure in the green Tuscan countryside with a perfumed glass of Chianti in hand? Let me recount to you my extraordinary experience in the cradle of the Renaissance, between a sensational helicopter tour, a Fiorentina steak, and a creamy gelato within the old walls of San Gimignano.

A weekend in Florence and San Gimignano

A weekend in Florence and San Gimignano

In the warm September of 2022, my boyfriend planned a whole birthday surprise with Helifly, the luxurious Italian travel agency that helped me to fulfill my dream of visiting beautiful Tuscany.

With a blindfold over my eyes, I walked through the porticoes of Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance and a city full of history, art, and culture. Incredulous, we stayed overnight at Excelsior Hotel, a luxurious hotel located right in the heart of the city, overlooking the Lungarno and exactly a few steps away from some of the most famous landmarks, including the Duomo, Ponte Vecchio, and the Uffizi Gallery.

Garda Lake

On the day of my birthday, Matthew surprised me with a classic, hearty breakfast in bed, colored with the green of a soft pistachio croissant and a bouquet of red roses decorating the elegant hotel room.

We soon started the day with an elegant driver who picked us up and embarked us on what would be a breathtaking experience: at the city’s heliport, a massive helicopter was waiting for us along with a bottle of champagne, and as we lifted off from Florence, I couldn’t help but marvel at the stunning views.

The terracotta rooftops, the winding streets, and the grand Duomo all looked like something out of a postcard. But as we flew further away from the city, the landscape below transformed into a patchwork of vibrant green vineyards, golden fields, and charming farmhouses. The sights, the sounds, and the feeling of the helicopter’s blades slicing through the air all combined to create a truly unforgettable experience.

Garda Lake

Tenuta Torciano Winery

As we flew towards Siena and entered the famous Chianti region, our pilot made a special stop at Tenuta Torciano Winery, where we had the opportunity to taste just a small portion of the Italian lifestyle: food, idleness, and lots of laughter accompanied by funny hand gestures.

We were greeted by the owner, Mr. Pierluigi Giachi, and his knowledgeable staff, who made us adventure in their lush vineyards: the sun was shining down on us, the air was filled with the sweet scent of the grapes, and the silence of nature was surrounding our ordinary frenetic rhythm.

As soon as we sat down at the tasting table, ten glasses sparkling under the gazebo surrounded by roses built a wall of white, red, and rosy vices. The first wine was poured, accompanied by the classical Tuscan appetizer made of tomato bruschettas, fegatini crostini, pecorino cheese, and cold cuts.

As I took my first sip, I started a journey to a different world: Mr. Giachi taught us the art of mixing flavors and aromas, so complex and nuanced, but each one more delicious than the previous one. At that point, we began to experiment, guided by the staff, with the flavors: we would take the first wine and taste it with the various courses and then decide what combination we liked best. And so, we continued to do until the tenth glass, or at least that’s what I remember 😉

The winery’s wines were not just delicious, but they were also a reflection of the hard work and dedication of the winemakers. Every sip was a tribute to their craft and their love of wine.

Meanwhile, a creamy grandmother’s ragu lasagna was offered to us with the addition of a splash of fragrant truffle oil, while a red-hot Florentine steak arrived along with the roundhouse red wines. In short, the wine tasting at Tenuta Torciano Winery was not just about the wine, but it was an entire experience that started with tradition and kept going with innovation and passion.

Berlin view

San Gimignano

Once we left the winery, we drove to San Gimignano, where I was catapulted into the past. The city’s winding streets and picturesque piazzas looked like something out of a history book, the countless lives that had been lived there over the centuries were printed in the perfume, sound, and words inundating the village. In that small corner of the world, I felt a connection to the past, and a sense of wonder brought me to Dondoli, where I tasted the best and creamiest gelato in the world. I could not believe in actually realizing my dream!

As the tour came to an end, returning to Florence with the same helicopter that made us discover the amazing Tuscan vineyards of Tenuta Torciano, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of sadness. I knew that this experience was something I would never forget, but I also knew that it was something I would never be able to replicate. The memories and emotions that I felt during that helicopter tour will stay with me forever, and I am so grateful to have been given the opportunity to experience such an incredible place in such an incredible way.

If you ever have the chance to take a helicopter tour of Italy, don’t hesitate to contact Helifly. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience that you’ll treasure forever!

So, all that remains is to pack your bags, book your tour and get ready for an emotional adventure of a lifetime. And don’t forget to make a stop at Tenuta Torciano Winery!