Tuscany

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ShermansTravel experts rely on years of collective travel experience to bring you the best money-saving tips for your vacation. We take a discerning look at all the attraction passes, public transportation options, and other local bargains to make sure you get the most bang for your buck while traveling.

Tuscany Money-Saving Tips

Tipping

A 15% service charge is usually included, but if the service is particularly good, it’s nice to leave a few extra euros.

Language

Pack a phrase book: remote areas of Tuscany frequently do not translate their menus into English. The Italians will also be appreciative if you make an attempt to speak their language.

Sunflower season

To see the sunflowers at their best, visit during the height of their bloom, from mid-June to early July. The area around Cortona is particularly spectacular.

Siesta-ready

Be aware that shops usually close for siesta from 1-4pm, so don’t plan on picking up any supplies during these hours. Most stores are also closed all day on Sunday.

Museums

Call ahead before you plan a day at the museum as many keep irregular hours. Most open in the morning; many are closed all day on Mondays.

Italian restaurants

There are three types of eateries in Italy: restaurants, which are usually expensive; trattorias which are family-run and offer fresh, local cuisine; and osterias, the most informal of the lot (food is usually eaten at trestle tables here).

The Italian menu

Antipasto means "before the meal" and is our equivalent of a starter; primo, usually soup or pasta, is the first course; secondo, typically meat or fish, is the main dish; contorno is the vegetable course; dolci is dessert.

Tuscan wine

Chianti may be the most popular Tuscan wine, but Brunello, from Montalcino, is reputedly the best. Another top contender is the Nobile de Montepulciano (both from Siena). If you prefer white, a favorite is Vernaccia di San Gimignano.

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