There are so many things to see and do, in addition to your wine tour in Tuscany, the difficulty is really where to start. Tuscany is the greatest repository of art in the world, from paintings and sculpture to frescoes and architectural masterpieces.
An excellent time to plan your wine tour in Tuscany is during the summer months. Not only are you able to see the grapes growing on the vine, there are a lot of festivals and seasonal events taking place.
Grapevines and wine have been an integral part of Tuscan civilization for almost three millenniums, since the Etruscans first settled in the territory. The Etrusians imported the grapevine from the Orient and made the cultivation of the vine an important part of agriculture. The grapevines of Etrusia were strong and wild; they grew like trees, producing so many grapes that the Etruscans could sell them from the beginning on markets beyond the sea.
After touring vineyards and drinking wine all day, why not take in the fireworks along the Arno river as part of the St. John the Baptist festival? Watch Calcio Storico being played in the dirt-covered square in front of the church. It is a game that combines soccer, rugby, and big time wrestling, all played while wearing 16th century costumes.
If you plan to be here for Easter you can take in "Scoppio del Carro" or the "explosion of the cart," an event that dates back 300 years. An elaborate wagon built in 1622 is dragged through the streets behind a fleet of white oxen decorated in garlands to the square between the baptistery and the Cathedral. The cart has been rigged with fireworks so to ensure a good harvest.
The Palio horse race is a colorful, bareback horse race around the dirt-packed Piazza del Campo, that takes place every July 2nd and August 16th. The square is filled with costumed pageantry before the race, and massive feasts are set up on long outdoor tables that can stretch for blocks.
If you are here on the night of June 16, you will be able to participate in the Luminara, Regatta, and Battle of the Bridge festivities. Over 70,000 candles light up the palaces along the Arno River with a fireworks display afterwards. A week later Pisa reenacts the "Battle of the Bridge," a medieval push-of-war contest that takes place on the central bridge in Pisa
Arezzo is the home of the Saracen Tournament, held twice a year on the third Saturday in June and the first Sunday of September. There is a colorful and lively procession preceding the event in which eight costumed knights charge towards a wooden representation of the Saracen, aiming to hit the shield with lances. The winner of the contest receives a golden lance.