Km Zero Tours – Slow Travel Tuscany
It was last year I got to know Arianna who is running Km Zero Tours in Tuscany together with her partner Alessio. When I returned to Tuscany in March/April earlier this year I finally got to meet them both in real life, in Florence where they introduced me to the neighbourhood Oltrarno and where we had a lovely lunch at the organic and slow food restaurant. I remember how amazed and inspired I was about their story and the good work they are doing, both for the local producers in the area and also for tourists who want to explore the authentic Tuscany, which is all about SLOW – food, travel and living.
With the name Km Zero Tours, Arianna and Alessio are referring to the expression:
‘Km Zero‘ (litterally ‘no distance’) products means the conscious choice to buy quality products and to consume them as close as possible to the area of their production, ensuring this way freshness, seasonality and biodiversity, strengthening the link with terroir. – Km Zero Tours
As I value the philosophy of Km Zero Tours I trusted them fully when I asked for a full day tour in Tuscany together with my best friend from Sweden, since we had planned to celebrate our 25th Anniversary as best friends with a trip to Florence in May.
An Italian cooking lesson and a wine tasting – that was our wish, Arianna and Alessio organized a tour that gave us the most authentic experience we could ever have wished for. They came and picked us up by car in Florence and while we were heading to our cooking class, in Montefioralle, Arianna (qualified tour leader and an expert on Tuscany, she knows everything!!) and Alessio (a third-level sommelier and have a past as a pastry-chef) told us about the wines of Chianti and also the difference between Chianti Classico DOCG and Chianti DOCG wine, a very interesting history but also story behind these wines. It deserves a separate blog article, and in fact I would need to return and do more research ( I think I have found an excellent excuse to return to Tuscany ☺ ).
I was very pleased of the choice of cooking teacher made by Km Zero Tours, having Stefania, that is not only passionated about cooking, but also cooking fr a health aspect and using products based on seasonality, I found it very useful but also a fun and tasty experience ! Find out how our cooking together with Stefania in Tuscany went and see the photos I took before we endulged ourseleves with the delicious Italian food we made.
After our cooking class we took a walk in the medieval village Montefioralle, originally named Monteficalle refering to the fig trees growing in and around the village. If travelling in Chianti, you would not want to miss this well preserved village with narrow cobblestone streets and stonehouses and a stunning view over the rolling green hills covered with vineyards, olive groves and cypress trees.
In the afternoon we drove to the organic vineyard and winery, Il Bacio, were Franco welcomed us. We took a tour in his vineyards, where they follow the organic standards. All their grapes are handpicked and very little sulphur is added in the wine and there is no filtering in the process. It was easy to tell how passionated France was with his work and I invite you to read all abut this fascinating experience about our organic winetasting at Il Bacio.
On our way back to Florence we made a stop to see the house of Arianna and Alessio where they also are renting out a beautiful holiday home ( a swimming pool and a stunning view over the Chianti hills included !!). It was a pleasure to see their home that they had spoken so much about surrounded by the enchanting hills of Tuscany.
Arianna and Alessio have a close relationship with passionated, talented producers and artisans that they work with, Stefania and Franco are two of them that we enjoyed very much to meet while learning more about the Italian culture and the way of their living.
KM Zero Tours offer their services to their holiday home guests, but anyone, can make a booking for their tours. As long as they are available they would be happy to take you on a tour, visiting local producers and show you the authentic Tuscany. Together with Arianna and Alessio you won’t only see products or taste wine from Tuscany, but you will get to see the entire journey of the product, as they would say « from farm to table ». This way you are not only introduced to the product itself but also the history, traditions and hard work behind it.
I could continue for hours sharing the experience we had but also how much I’ve fallen in love with Tuscany, not only for it’s beauty, but also for the way many people live in harmony with nature and embrace the slow-living philosophy. This was my third time in Tuscany (in less than 7 months) and I have a feeling it won’t end here. But to make a long story short, I can truly recommend Km Zero Tours, me and my best friend had an unforgetable day and we will always keep this trip as a beautiful memory.
Grazie mille Arianna and Alessio, a presto !
The medieval village Montefioralle, where we had a cooking lession with Stefania and a tour in the village together with Km Zero ToursBreathtaking view over the green rolling hills surrounding MontefioralleThe view from the medieval village Montefioralle was stunning. Arianna and Alessio knew exactly what spots to take us too :-)Narrow cobbestone street in the village MontefioralleThe medieval village Montefioralle with its beautiful lanewaysEver wondered WHY roses are planted in the vineyard? One could think they are planted there for their beauty and their sweet fragrance…but Arianna explained to us that roses are more receptive for the fungal disease as the grapevine. Therefore, by planting a rose in front of each row, they serve as a warning sign and the vineyard owner would on an early stage know when and if he needs to take action and protect the grapevines. In fact the rose is the protector of the vineyard ;-)
On our way back to Florence we made a short stop to visit Arianna and Alessio’s home in Chianti, their house is to the left.Vineyards, olive groves and cypress trees as far as the eye could see…View from Arianna and Alessio’s home, who wouldn’t wish to wake up to this scenery?