Villas of crumbling, pink stone flanked by cypresses, olive groves and vineyards are dreamy in the silver haze that settles over the Tuscan hills. Add to that wines which keep getting better - rounder, riper, richer, yet still distinctively Italian.
Between Florence and Siena, Chianti Classico is the focal point. But detour to San Gimignano for Vernaccia, and keep an eye out for wines from up-and-coming Bolgheri and Morellino di Scansano near the coast.