Spring drives me crazy: yesterday it was warm enough to be outside in short sleeves and today it’s cold, windy and rainy.
We had planned to attend Festa della Pina on Monte Amiata, by the beautiful Pieve ad Lamulas near Arcidosso, but from my window in Civitella I can see that it’s pouring on the top of the mountain. So, no point in going.
We have had many guests at Casina di Rosa, our vacation rental near Siena, ask what they could do if it rains while they are here in Tuscany. This is certainly a place where you can have a completely different experience when the weather is nice, being the perfect spot for drives, hikes and lazy wandering around in the countryside and to the hill-top towns of southern Tuscany such as Montalcino and Pienza or Massa Marittima and Pitigliano.
So, here are 10 things to do in Tuscany when it rains (besides hoping for the sun to come back soon!):
- the obvious: visit a museum or an exhibition. Siena is just 35km away and it has some incredible galleries and museums, and frequent temporary exhibitions as well. The website of the Fondazione Musei Senesi has a nice collection of links to museums in the city and in the province. Another useful website to check is Terre di Siena, the official APT website. Florence is just over 1 hour drive, no need to provide links for the museums in the regional capital city: Uffizi and Accademia are just two of the many options available. Maybe one could choose a less visited museum such as one of the minor museums of Florence or one of the museums in the Chianti area, or the Ciclomuseo Bartali, a museum dedicated to cycling, or a thematic museum such as Museo del Tessuto (textiles) in Prato, the four science museums in Florence, the wine museum in Greve in Chianti or the Museo della Civiltà Contadina (rural life) in Montemassi. Grosseto and the Maremma area have much to offer too in terms of museums. Grosseto is home to a beautiful archaeological museum and if you like archaeology, the AMAT museums association website is a goldmine of information on museums and sites in Tuscany, including the beautiful Museum of Palazzo Orsini in Pitigliano. If you are travelling with kids, something they might like is the Museo d’Arte per Bambini (Art Gallery for Children) in Siena, or the Museo dei Ragazzi di Firenze. I also remember having enjoyed the museums in Massa Marittima very much when I went there as a kid. There are a mining museum in an old mine, an old olive press and an old carpenter shop and you can also visit a medieval tower, besides a beautiful archaeological museum and a museum dedicated to sacred art. Or you could try and scare them a bit at the Museo della Tortura in San Gimignano.
- Take a cooking class. You can choose among a plethora of courses. If you wish to learn traditional family cooking in Tuscany, we can arrange a cooking class for our guests at our place, and then enjoy a meal and a good glass of wine together!
- Go on an olive oil tasting tour. We can help our guests arrange a great olive oil tasting tour in our area of Tuscany. You visit an olive press and then try out different types of olive oil. If the weather is not too terrible, you can visit the olive groves, but otherwise, you can enjoy looking at the olive trees from a comfortable chair in a Tuscan farm kitchen!
- Learn everything about the wines of Tuscany in the heart of Siena. It might not be the same as visiting a vineyard, but it can be just as as good an experience if you want to get to know the different wines and it can serve as a perfect introduction to a more traditional wine tour. The teachers are really expert, and really nice.
- Visit a cheese producer. Tuscany is famous for the quality of its pecorino cheese. You can visit a cheese producer in Volterra, near Pienza, or near Manciano.
- Visit Florence Central Market with Judy of Divina Cucina. She knows everything and everybody there and she knows the products too!
- Take an art class. You can learn to make a ceramic vase, to paint, or spend the day in a goldsmith’s workshop.
- Spend a day at a spa. In the area there are many wellness centers, such as the Grandhotel Terme di Petriolo, Terme di Saturnia and more.
- Visit the Abbey of Sant’Antimo and enjoy the Gregorian Chants.
- Go shopping at one of the outlets, such as the Valdichiana Outlet Village.
Or just stay home and cuddle!