You have chosen Tuscany for your wedding and you want it to have that Tuscan feel you have been looking for; you want your venue, your guests, food and drinks, colours, clothes and music to taste of Tuscany. So, what do Tuscan people eat and wear during the winter? What ingredients do they pick or buy? What are the colours? What clothes do they buy and what activities do they favour?
I am hoping to give you an idea of what to expect if you spend a few days in Tuscany for your wedding and some advice on how to eat, dress and live the Tuscan lifestyle.
What to eat:
Tuscan menu is based on a tradition of cooking with locally sourced seasonal ingredients and winter is no exception. Food for us is more than just eating; it is an essential part of our identity and one of the things that really unite us. People from all walks of life have enjoyed the same food for centuries: delicious soups made with garden vegetables, beans, chickpeas, spelt, rice, tomatoes and black kale; chestnuts, mushrooms and truffles which are the basis of many winter dishes; plus plenty of fish and meat, featuring some of the most incredible game; pasta in manifold shapes and recipes; fresh and dried fruits; cakes and ice-creams. There is just too much to mention.
With something to satisfy every taste and dietary requirement, just sit down with your chef and plan the wedding menu to offer your guests a real Tuscan feast.
What to wear:
Like all Italians, Tuscans want to look good in what they wear: they like to change the fabric and colours they wear according to the seasons, just like they prefer seasonal ingredients for their food.
In cities you will see people wearing shades of brown, grey and navy; heavier natural fabrics like wool and cotton in a variety of patterns (plain, herringbone, checks and stripes being the most common in this season) or synthetic waterproofs coats and jackets. Jeans are worn by teenagers in puffer jackets and trainers, as well as by grown-ups with white shirt and blazer for work or evening drinks. Style varies according to situation, age and personal taste, but attention to details and matching the right colours is always extreme.
Country-chic attire will be perfect in this season for men to live the city life (see below) or relax in a country resort by the fireplace with a glass of wine. Ladies will sport tailleurs in plain colours, dresses worn with long coats for that smart look or duvet jackets, if they feel sporty. Don’t forget to pack comfortable shoes if you are going to walk all day. Even for your wedding ceremony and reception, winter gives you a lot of interesting options: richer and heavier fabrics like velvet or cashmere for men and women alike, and a chance to enrich your attire with refined details and accessories.
What to do:
Tuscan winters are really enjoyable: short and crispy with snow on the mountains and occasionally over the cities. With temperatures averaging between 1.4 and 12 degrees centigrade (much colder on the mountains, naturally) and 8-9 rainy days per month, visitors have plenty of chances to enjoy outdoors and indoors activities; so here are a few tips to make the most of your Tuscan winter holiday, when not busy with wedding preparations, ceremony and reception.
Live the city life.
Walk around or board a sightseeing bus tour. Enjoy the views and admire the immense art treasures contained in museums, churches, palaces or just lying around in streets; go shopping in top-class fashion or jewellery stores; buy incredibly tasty local produce; stop for coffee in one of the many historical cafés or buy roasted chestnuts from a street vendor; have a pre-dinner “aperitivo” drink and be spoilt in one of the many restaurants where excellent food and wine are served for all budgets. If you are feeling energetic, but do not want to leave the cities, there are many ice-skating rinks. Come to Tuscany over Christmas, and you will be able to enjoy Christmas markets and lights while soaking in the atmosphere.
In Tuscany you are never more than a couple of hours away from a skiing resort. Use public transport or drive; stay for the day or for a few days and enjoy the snow.
Relax and be pampered
There are many Spas in Tuscany where you can be pampered for one or more days. With a diversity of types of thermal waters hard to find elsewhere, you’ll be spoilt for choice; many Spas are immersed in nature or set among stunning architecture; waters are always warm and comfortable to make even a winter bath enjoyable. You may decide to spend a few days in the country, before or after your wedding, in one of the many resorts in spectacular locations and explore the countryside on foot or on horseback; here, again, you’ll be spoilt for choice.