Wine isn’t just a drink to enjoy with local cheese and cold meats; it’s a way of life in Italy. You simply cannot visit Tuscany without spending at least an afternoon in one of the region’s many wineries. Famous for Chianti wine and many other now internationally popular varieties of wine, some of the wineries in Tuscany have been in operation for centuries.
Tuscany is the idyllic wine country. The climate, proximity to the coast, and rural landscape has produced some of Italy’s best wines, including Chianti Classico, Nobile di Montepulciano, Vernaccia di san Gimignano, and Carmignano. Almost every winery in Tuscany offers a tasting tour and some history about Tuscan wine and the region. Many of the wineries are not only filled with delicious wines for you to try, but also with Tuscan passion, history and inspiration.
Here are the top five wineries to visit in Tuscany:
5. San Guido Sassicaia (Bolgheri)
Situated in the Bolgheri region of Tuscany on the Etruscan coast, San Guido Sassicaia is world famous for its high-end wines and its breathtaking scenery. The winery originally opened in the 1920s, but served wine only to family and friends until its public opening in 1968. Try the Sassicaia and Ornellaia labels that the winery is known for and enjoy a day exploring the estate’s natural trails and ancient architecture.
4. Capo d’Uomo (Argentario)
This hand-worked winery is located on some of the most spectacular terrain in Tuscany. Located on the end of the Argentario peninsula and close to Mediterranean scrub forest, the vineyards are lined across small, narrow terraces and produce distinctive red and white grapes. The small winery is still run by the founding Grimaldi family to this day, and its famous wines are some of the most unique in the region, including the Africo, Maisto and a Tuscan mix of Cabarnet, Sangiovese and Merlot.
3. Antinori (Chianti Classico)
Set in the heart of the Chianti hillside, the Antinori and its slick interior is a must visit while in Tuscany. If you love wine and architecture, then this is the spot for you. Enjoy a dazzling display of vineyards and modern steel and glass that make up the enormous Italian winery. Founded in 1385 by Giovanni di Piero Antinori in Florence, some years later this Chianti winery is still going strong.
2. Villa Pomona (Chianti Classico)
This typical Tuscan estate is as classic as the Chianti Classico it produces. Surrounded by olive trees, woodland and farmland, the winery feels like a traditional location and yet its current owner, Monica Raspi, has only been producing Chianti Classicos since 2007 after inheriting the business from her mother. The traditional methods Monica uses are make her creations ensure the wines retain classic chianti tastes and flavors.
1. Valle delle Corti (Chianti Classico)
This artisan winery is all about the authenticity of Tuscan wine. Producing just three wines, the winery is dedicated to creating real Tuscan wine, including a 100% sangiovese chianti classico and an intense riserva, if the harvest is good. Unlike some of the other wineries in the region, Valle delle Corti has never mixed its wine with international grapes, as was the common idea in Tuscany throughout the 70s, and sticks to creating chianti the old-fashioned way.
Planning an Affordable Tuscany Wine Tour
The Tuscan wine region offers a fantastic opportunity to taste some of the best wines in the world while immersing yourself in a scenic bliss. The rural farmlands and stunning panoramic views are a sight to behold, but many are inaccessible by public transportation. If you’re looking for a convenient and affordable way to take your Tuscany wine tour to its full potential, look no further than Kemwel for a great value on car rentals in Italy. Having your own vehicle will give you the chance to visit as many vineyards and wine tastings as you like and the comfort of traveling in privacy is less than you might have thought when booking with Kemwel. We offer some of the best travel deals available and would love to help you host the tour of Italy you truly want and deserve!
Ireland is world famous for its pub culture – one simply has to hear the words “Irish Pub” and imagine pints of Guinness, roaring fires, animated conversation over glasses of Irish whiskey, hearty pub food, crowds watching the footy while it rains outside, and locals enjoying craic (banter and entertaining conversation with good company) with friends and family. There are numerous pubs in every Irish city and village, so you’re bound to stumble across some gems on your own, but here are a few of the very best pubs in Ireland to visit on your next trip to the Emerald Isle:
The Brazen Head
20 Bridge Street Lower – Dublin, Ireland
The Brazen Head has been open for business since 1198, making it the oldest bar in Ireland. It boasts past visits from famous Irish writers and poets James Joyce, Brendan Behan, and Jonathan Swift, which adds to its rich and fascinating history. You can enjoy live music at the pub every night, as well as delicious traditional Irish meals like beef and Guinness stew or steamed Irish mussels. The pub has a delightful rough stonework exterior, complete with fortress-like structures, wooden fixtures, and flowers spilling from hanging baskets. The interior is cozy and welcoming – perfect for an introductory pint in Dublin!
15 Merrion Row – Dublin, Ireland
When searching for good pubs in Dublin, if you’re keen to experience some traditional Irish music live, then O’Donoghue’s is the place to be! You can enjoy live traditional Irish music in the front bar every night. Look forward to hearing real Irish music played with fiddles, tin whistles, bodhrans (a type of Irish drum), and uilleann pipes (Irish bagpipes) as you enjoy a pint and a meal at O’Donoghue’s. History-wise, O’Donoghue’s is famous for being the pub where traditional Irish folk band The Dubliners started out!
The Stag’s Head, Dublin
1 Dame Court – Dublin, Ireland
This charming old pub dates back to 1770, and is known for its preserved Victorian interior and the intact historic advertising mosaic on the footpath near the pub’s entrance on Dame Street. The pub has appeared in many films, including A Man of No Importance and Educating Rita, and it remains a local sightseeing spot for tourists.
Tigh Neachtain (Naughtons), Galway
17 Cross Street – Galway, Ireland
Galway city is a gorgeous, laid-back seaside town on Ireland’s west coast. Known as the “most Irish place in all Ireland”, Galway is one of the few places you will hear Irish spoken on the streets and in the pubs. Galway is also the cultural heart of Ireland, with a love of the arts and traditional Irish ways of living. Tigh Neachtain is a fantastic pub for whiskey lovers – they offer over 130 different types of whiskey, and they even brew their own beer. The pub is a big advocate of the arts and music, and it hosts regular music events showcasing local talent.
Dolan’s Pub, Limerick
3/4 Dock Road – Limerick, Ireland
Dolan’s Pub is a traditional Irish pub in central Limerick, known for its great food, drinks, and friendly staff. It’s a popular watering-hole for local students, and a great place for a relaxing drink and an authentic pub meal. Limerick is a beautiful Irish city, with sights to visit such as King John’s Castle, the River Shannon, St- John’s Cathedral, and many old traditional Irish pubs.
Crown Liquor Saloon, Belfast
46 Great Victoria Street – Belfast, N. Ireland
The Crown Liquor Saloon is perhaps the very best of Belfast’s Victorian pubs. It is a full-time pub maintained by the National Trust, so it functions as somewhat of a fantastic working museum. The main bar is decorated with inlaid colored glass and marble trim, and the pub features 10 authentic wooden oak snugs that you can relax in with your favorite drink in hand and a bite to eat. The interior is well worth admiring, with its lush decoration and festive atmosphere.
Taking Your Tour of Ireland’s Pubs
You’re guaranteed to have a great time while touring the festive atmospheres of Ireland’s best pubs. With so many options to choose from, you’ll want to visit as many as possible and a cheap Ireland car rental will get you where you need to go in comfort and style! At Kemwel we make it our duty to find you the best prices and special travel deals to make your trip one to remember without breaking the bank, offering everything from cheap flights to hotel bargains and more. Reserve your rental car, drive responsibly, and enjoy your time to the fullest on your next trip to Ireland!
Choosing between a vacation in France or Italy can be a very difficult decision. Your summer is precious and if you are traveling to Europe for the first time you want to choose the best European vacation destination for you.
Of course, both European countries are spectacular and, regardless of whichever country you choose, you won’t regret it. From the French Riviera and romantic city of Paris in France to the rolling green landscape of Italy’s Tuscan region and cultural cities of Rome, Venice and Florence, both countries offer something different. So, whether you prefer gelato or macaroons, let’s compare Europe’s two major players.
Here is a rundown of two incredible European destinations, France vs Italy:
The first word in France is always its majestic capital, Paris – home to the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe. Paris is one of the most visited cities in the world, and is on every romantic traveler’s bucket list. France also has plenty of other picturesque landscapes to enjoy, from the granite coast of Brittany to the white-sandy beaches and ports of the French Riviera. Food is most definitely key to enjoying France. Many tourists come to France just to eat red meat and drink red wine. The highly sophisticated food culture in France is a cut above the rest of Europe, while you can still find traditional fare in the French countryside.
France has an excellent infrastructure and is well-known for its safe and secure road network. This makes France a great choice for renting a car and exploring the country for yourself. Roads are well signposted and you will usually meet plenty of other tourists while driving. The large country is set to be explored and is one of Europe’s most exciting destinations, making a car rental in France your ticket to vacation bliss!
Italy’s ancient history is one of its main draws. Italy is home to several World Heritage Sites, including The Colosseum, Pantheon and Sistine Chapel in Rome, as well as the Leaning Tower of Pisa and Michelangelo’s David in Florence. Italy also offers plenty of glorious rural escape opportunities, from the vineyards of Tuscany to the rugged Amalfi Coast. Famous for its food exports of pizza and pasta, the familiarity of delicious Italian food makes it mouth-wateringly inviting. For authentic home cooking, local wine and big portions, Italy is a foodie paradise.
Italy is a little rough around the edges, which is the reason many people fall in love with it. It’s traditional culture, hearty foods, and friendly locals make you feel relaxed and involved. When weighing up France vs Italy you could say Italy has a more casual atmosphere, while France is more chic and glamorous. Touring with an Italy car rental is the best way to see its rolling hills and rugged landscape, smaller than France, you can explore Italy by car with time to spare.
Making your decision
Whether you go for France or Italy, both destinations offer a complete European experience. If you prefer a relaxed atmosphere where you can gorge on homemade food and relax in the sunshine, then Italy might be for you. If you are a city slicker who is looking for a cultural break or a sophisticated beach-side resort then France has everything you need.
Plan Your Next Trip to Europe
Whichever you decide, you’ll want to take advantage of the opportunities you have and experience as much as you can with your time spent abroad. Renting a car is by far the best way to see either France or Italy and Kemwel offers the best travel deals around, whether you need a car rental in Rome, a comfortable hotel room, or airfare. Get planning today and see how much you can save with Kemwel by calling us toll-free at 1-877-820-0668!