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Top Reasons Why I’m Ready To Go Back to Italy After My Tuscany Vacation With Hilton Grand Vacations

From things to do to insider tips, One Owner shares the scoop on Tuscany, Italy

Laurie L
Stunning aerial shot of Borgo alle Vigne, a Hilton Grand Vacatons Club, Tuscany, Italy.

Our first trip to Italy was so wonderful that it won't be our last. We stayed at Borgo alle Vigne, a Hilton Grand Vacations Club, in Tuscany and within driving distance to so many incredible things to see and do. So whether you're planning your first trip, or returning to Italy, I want to share some of our top experiences and a couple of things we learned while exploring Tuscany.

Hilton Grand Vacations Owner posing on vacation in Tuscany, Italy.    

Access to Some of the Best Day Trips in Tuscany

We wanted to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa. So, we drove to Pisa one day and spent the day walking around the site and eating at the restaurants around town. 

While we didn't know this before, they let you go upinside the tower. And the view from the top was so beautiful.   

Another day, we drove into Florence. Boy, have your cash ready for shopping. I really love street vendors. Of course, there are still great stores, but I like the deals on the streets. Some vendors will take credit cards, but they'll charge you more, so to get great deals pay cash.

And don't forget to save time for the churches in Florence also. 

If you're departing from Rome as we did, consider making the most of the few hours’ drive from Tuscany by visiting the hot springs. 

Trying the thermal hot springs, as they're known in Italy, was on our list, so we looked online and decided to try one of the free hot springs. I had never been to one and didn't know what to expect — especially since it was free. But it was huge, so much fun and definitely worth the drive. So we'll be making another stop to the springs next time we go to Italy.

Beautiful image of Cascate del mulino, thermal hot springs, Italy.    

Reminiscing on our day trip adventures has made me remember that there was one thing I wish I had known about Italy before going: Just because you rent a car with a credit card does not mean that you will be able to use that same card to fill it up with gas. 

We almost learned this lesson the hard way. Of course, the Hilton Rome Airport and Borgo all Vigne accepted credit cards. However, for most other things, it would've been better to have cash — especially, filling the car with gas. So, make sure you get your Euros as soon as you arrive in Italy.

Hilton Grand Vacations Hospitality Meets Italian Experiences

We visited Italy in June, which is off-season for the olive oil harvest. So, when we asked the concierge about a tour, we found out that there weren't typically tours available this time of the year. However, in true Hilton Grand Vacations fashion, the concierge got on the phone and scheduled a private tour for just the four of us. Most importantly, we got to buy authentic Tuscan olive oil. 

The olive oil farm makes specialty oils and infuses the olive oil with orange, lemon or peppers. We bought one of each and have already run out. We’re ready to go back to Italy for more. 

Hilton Grand Vacations Owner's picture of olive oil being bottled, Tuscany, Italy.    

It's definitely not something you can buy in the states.

The same thing happened for the wine tour. We didn't plan very far ahead, and we asked the concierge if we could go on a tour the next day. Again, the concierge told us that they didn't have tours available, but the resort gave them a call to see what they could do just in case.  

What do you know, the very next day, we were off to our private tour of the winery. When we got there, our guide greeted us and asked if we wanted to eat. 

Little did we know, there were chefs there from all over the world showing their culinary skills. Of course, we accepted the invitation. So, it was the four of us and a room full of restaurant owners from different parts of the world. I always tell people to speak with the concierge, and now you know why. We never would've had these experiences if the concierge hadn't organized them for us.

So, needless to say, we left Tuscany saying, "fino alla prossima volta" (until next time).

Read "I Traveled to Italy From the United States with Vacation Ownership, and Here's What I Learned" to discover how I prepared for my trip.

 

Hilton Grand Vacations Explorer, Laurie L.

Laurie L

As an Elite Owner, Laurie has a home-away-from-home at Elara byHilton Grand Vacations, Hilton Grand Vacations on the Boulevard and Kings' Land by Hilton Grand Vacations. She joined in 2013 and says vacations are among the most important things in her life and a big part of her retirement plans. She enjoys traveling with her significant other and friends and is happiest with a bit of adventure (think: helicopter tours and biking trips). 

 

However, her favorite travel memory is touring an olive oil farm and winery while staying at Hilton Grand Vacations at Borgo alle Vigne in Italy. As a traveler who loves a good deal even more than travel itself, she's your go-to for tips on planning unforgettable trips that won't break the bank. 

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