So, you’ve booked your wine tour, and chances are you are really excited! You’ll get to spend the day enjoying the beautiful sights, smells and tastes of the idyllic Tuscan countryside, and learn a lot about the incredible products this land has to offers its natives and visitors alike. However, depending on the time of year for your visit to Tuscany, you might want to make some careful considerations regarding how you pack and prepare to dress for your tour.
First, what time of year did you book your tour for? While people always imagine Italy as warm and sunny, part of what gives it its vast agricultural appeal is the variable climate throughout the peninsula. In Tuscany, for example, weather varies considerably depending on what time of year you plan to visit. Know that in the Spring and Fall it tends to rain quite a bit, so although you will surely get some sunshine and beautiful views, remember those hills are so green for a reason! Be sure to pack an umbrella if, and to check the forecast before you head out. Frequently the weather changes hourly, so again you’ll want to remember to wear layers. If you are going on your tour during the high season, or summer months, then you will want to dress appropriately. Again, layers are key, as some wine cellars will remain cool and provide a stark contrast to the hot, humid weather outside. Bring a light jacket just in case!
Next, you want to look cute, but also be practical. Wine touring is a lot of fun, but it can also be a lot of work. You’ll be walking a lot, so be sure to wear comfortable shoes. You’ll also probably be climbing stairs, so just bare that in mind. You may also get to visit a church on occasion, so if you head out with bare shoulders or short shorts, remember that you might be asked to cover up. It’s unlikely, but you never know. It’s the worst when you stumble upon a small gem of a town and can’t go in the church to see the Renaissance masterpieces hiding inside!
Another tip is to dress light! Meaning, don’t load yourself with a large backpack or bags that you’ll have to lug around. Unless you need to carry a diaper bag, you’re going to want to keep your accessories to a minimum. There is less of a chance of something getting left behind (remember, you’re going to be drinking wine), and you’ll be able to move around more freely. In a general sense, try to keep it simple. You’re going to spend an enjoyable day out in the countryside, and you may even be asked to help a winemaker out unexpectedly! This is not the day to wear the best dress you brought to Tuscany. Think practical and casual. You’ll be meeting people who work on farms for a living and they don’t expect you to feel the need to impress them. Just be sure you learn about the wine and buy some bottles to bring home!
Last, you don’t want to wear your best because there is always the likelihood that you might get spilled on! While wine tasting is an elegant endeavor, in Tuscany we tend to do things a little more on the rustic side. A wine tour is more than just a tasting – it’s an opportunity to explore the terrain, meet the people, and really walk through history as you learn about the wines you are going to experience. Definitely make sure to dress comfortably and above all not to stress about how you look. You are going to learn something and have a good time! The most important accessory will be a corkscrew for when you get back to your hotel or villa!