Cuisine Woman looking out onto fields in Tuscany, Italy

Published on August 2nd, 2012 | by Emma Hackwood


Tuscany: More than the Leaning Tower of Pisa

What comes to mind when you think of Tuscany? Is it the infamous leaning tower of Pisa? The Tuscan countryside home to Italy’s famous wines? Or perhaps the profusion of art and architecture that has fashioned Italy onto the cultural map? Colin McKenna recently travelled to Italy with Transat Holidays and shares with us his time at a Tuscan vineyard tour at Il Poggio:

The Leaning Tour of Pisa is a staple of Italian tourism. The tower is featured on the frescoes of Italian restaurants worldwide, graces almost all guidebooks about Italy, and is sold in small ceramic forms all over Italy for one euro. The tower is in the walled city of Pisa, a city unremarkable otherwise. Beside the tower is a beautiful cathedral and baptismal chapel.

Italy, leaning tower of pisa

While these sites are rewarding, if you’re going to travel this far to experience Italian culture first hand, be sure to tackle other activities as well, like a vineyard tour.


On the way back from a Pisa tour in May, our guide stopped at Il Poggio farm in Tuscany where a brief tour will get you excited about the delicious foods to come. The farm is set amongst beautiful hills and features olive trees and grape vines, honey farming and livestock. You will learn the techniques and difficulties of olive farming, and learn the difference between good olive oil and great olive oil. You can walk through the vineyard and take beautiful pictures of cypress trees and Tuscan villages. The tour is brief, but the centre piece is the great lunch.


We started with sundried tomatoes and olives, then bread with the local olive oil. The meal continued with prosciutto, salami and toasted bread. Course four of six was a home made pasta with a Bolognese made with the local ingredients. You can sample one of four wines, (or all of them) and finish off with a dessert of cheese, biscotti, chestnut honey and a lovely dessert wine.

After our Italian meal, I had to head over to the gift shop and bring home some for the family as it all tasted terrific and the prices were reasonable.

So while I have nothing against the Leaning Tower and the beautiful buildings around it, you are missing out if that’s all you plan to see in your day. Find a tour that takes you to Pisa, but then spend the rest of your day at a Tuscan vineyard like Il Poggio if you really want to take in the Italian culture.

Looking for more information on travelling to Italy or with Transat Holidays? Colin McKenna is a Team Leader at our Promenade Mall location in Thornhill, Ontario and can be reached online or calling 1-888-709-3330

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About the Author

Emma Hackwood

a freelance copywriter, amateur glider pilot and full-time adventure seeker, has travelled extensively in pursuit of her lifelong dream of simply seeing it all. Up to over 50 countries, she lists American Samoa and the seldom visited Marquesas Islands as her current favourite destinations, with a wandering eye on Guam and Tonga to complete her Pacific escapades.

3 Responses to Tuscany: More than the Leaning Tower of Pisa

  1. Ruddwells says:

    Have been there, but this makes me want to go again!

  2. When i went there my sweet wife did not go near to that tour. She don’t have a strong heart. This leaning tour makes feel weird. 🙂

  3. C Money says:

    Wow, I always heard that the leaning tower was the only thing to see there, and then you hop back into the car and continue on… good idea to take this chance to enjoy the culture!very good article. 

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