Florence is an amazing city to explore, and you can do so mostly on foot. However, I was itching to go a little further. To go beyond where I’ve previously walked to and take a romantic scenic drive. And to do it in Instagrammable style, which was why I decided to navigate the Tuscan hills in a Fiat 500 with We Like Tuscany Tours.
The fiat adventure begins at The We Like Tuscany Tours office in the morning. Here you’ll meet the owner, Bill – the friendly American who fell in love with Italy over twenty years ago and could never bring himself to leave. He’ll get to know you as he brings you from their office to the garage where the ladies, the fiats, are kept.
It was love at first sight for me when I spotted Tiffany – the tiffany blue coloured fiat, which is Bill’s own personal car. He was kind enough to grant my wish, and if you e-mail him prior to your tour, let him know that A Girl Who Blooms sent you and he’ll let you use his beloved Tiffany, too. He’ll also ensure sure that you park in the right spots at the regular stops for Instaworthy shots.
Bill runs you through your paces, spending 10 minutes to give you some vital information and the individual quirks that your particular fiat has. But, be prepared, you’re thrown in the deep end from the start. As Bill describes it, traffic in Florence is like a river and you just have to flow with it, and you begin swimming in that river with a congested roundabout.
Everything becomes calmer after that as you take a peaceful drive all the way to Michelangelo Piazza where you can admire the stunning view of Florence. The game of follow the leader continues as Bill leads the way up the rolling Tuscan hills and through Fiesole before eventually stopping for lunch at this little-known family run restaurant known only by the locals, and Bill. He fluently converses in Italian with the owners and orders a delicious spread for the group.
With swelling bellies, we were off again through the rolling Tuscan hills but we weren’t driving for long before we turned into an authentic winery. Not only is Bill’s understanding of good Italian food, vintage cars, and command of the Italian language impressive, so is his knowledge of what makes a good wine and the delicate production of olive oil. A few grateful samples of wine were given as tonics of courage for this was to be the final stop off before driving back through the heart of Florence. It’s a route that takes you right past the Ponte Vecchio and we were lucky that the time of year allowed us to catch a sunset while driving along the River Arno.
We, admittedly, stalled countless times throughout our drive. So many times. Unbelievable how many times really. The double clutch is hard to get used to, and the best advice that I can offer is to remember that the fiat constantly needs to be running. When you come to a red light or a stop, just gently press down on your accelerator.
Remember that the old girls, ours being the stubborn Tiffany, are set in their argumentative ways. But, if you show them some love, and I loved Tiffany, then your fiat and We Like Tuscany Tours will look after you and deliver an unforgettable experience in the Tuscan countryside.