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liltoni Apr 18th, 2005 03:07 PM

Wine tasting in Tuscany - any recommendations?
I will be docking in Livorno for 1 day and would like to go wine tasting. I have only found 1 full day tour w/tasting and lunch included = $650USD. Anyone have any other recommendations for Wine tours? Thanks!

Weadles Apr 18th, 2005 04:12 PM

That seems very expensive to me. You might want to check, or have the driver/guide we used in the summer ( Siena based, but does pickups and day trips in Chianti, Florence) customize an itinerary for you. His name is Luca Garapa and he can be reached at We went to several wine tastings with Luca, and didn't spend anywhere near $650 US!

Nick101 Jun 2nd, 2005 08:43 AM

I would try asking a driver/guide like Marco. His English is excellent and he worked out super well for us (at a MUCH better price) although our tour didn't start in Livorno. I doubt he would ask anything near 650 USD! His e-mail is [email protected]

julia79 Jun 9th, 2005 10:41 AM

hello again Nick! looks like i'm stalking you on this topic!!!Just to confirm that Marco worked out great for us. Unexpensive and reliable.

dcd Jun 9th, 2005 10:52 AM

I second the recommendation for Luca at We used him in April to tour Tuscany/Umbria for 1 1/2 days and were extremely pleased. Excellent English and very knowledgeable. He's 35 and does this type of work full time. Uses an air conditioned SUV which was new a couple of months ago. He charges by the hour, see his website for details.


rgando Jun 9th, 2005 11:28 AM

Dave, I tried getting into the website you mentioned for and I couldn't get in. Is there something else that needs to be typed in along with it? Thanks, we're leaving tomorrow for 18 days in Italy. Rick

Eloise Jun 9th, 2005 11:31 AM

Yes, "www" as in

jleone Jun 9th, 2005 11:34 AM

I highly recommend Antonio at Country Tours. It is like being shown the countryside by a friend. He tailors the entire trip to you. We did a half day tour with him, and it was around 230 Euros if memory serves. That included lunch, a winery tour/tasting and a visit to a castle. He does small groups or couples/individuals only, so no buses or anything. He takes you around in a nice Jeep Cherokee and it is very relaxing. He knows the area like the back of his hand and is committed to showing you a great time. His English is excellent and it was so nice to talk to someone about the economy, politics, etc., to learn more about Italy. He also owns the hotel we stayed in--he takes pride in his hospitality. He is based in Siena, but works all over Tuscany. The website is:

eliza54 Jun 10th, 2005 07:06 AM

Just got back from a trip to Italy (Florence and Rome). When considering the Chianti option, my husband an I were undecided on what to do: rent a car a or hire a driver/guide?

We ended up hiring a driver, which I think was the best choice. Given the nature of this discussion, I would have to vote for Marco. In fact he was our guide. We found him on the internet. His e-mail is [email protected]. He gave us the best tour ever! Easy going yet professional and efficient.
I don't think he has a home page so you have to send him an e-mail and ask for the particular tour you have in mind. He will then come up with a tour tailored to your needs. My husband and I wanted to see a castle and Marco brought us to a couple of fascinating ones (including a castle which was also a luxury hotel with a pool overlooking the amazing place!). The tour continued with wine tasting in the Chianti region. Stops included various wineries and towns like Greve in Chianti and Montalcino (that was actually outside the Chianti area, I believe, as it is some 25 minutes south of Siena). I must say we tasted some fine wines. The weather was great, perhaps a bit hot, but we had air conditioning in the car and it cooled down a lot after 4 pm. We also had an excellent lunch at a place he knew.

I highly recommend the trip. Hiring a driver is the way to do it. I don't know about the other drivers and guides you speak about above in the discussion but as far as I can say Marco was great!

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