There’s only one thing I can think of that can make leaving Florence bearable: leaving it for Chianti. Yes the wine. And the life.
I pack my things carelessly, throw everything in the small Fiat or Mini I rented, and head south for the SR222. First timers are warned: go my way, not the highway. What I mean is take the SR222, the “wine” road through the villages and vineyards of Chianti Classico. I always stay at a farmhouse near Monteriggioni, but any farm or agriturismo along the way will do the trick. The Chiantigiana cures the blues of Florence’s graceful rooftops as it lulls you sweetly over the lazy countryside. Before you can say <pecorino>, you went right through the rabbit hole of Tuscany.
Strada, Greve in Chianti, Panzano, Castellina, and even – at a short detour from 222 – Rada in Chianti or Volpaia, these are all great places to find accommodation at a farmhouse overlooking the vineyards or the olive hills. I’d stop in Greve for a coffee in the piazza grande and for salumi di cinghiale and porchetta at the glorious Falorni. It’s amazing how quickly you let go of dreams of fancy restaurants and complex dishes. Appetite is instantly cultivated in Toscana: you crave what you see and you surrender to every temptation. It’s an initiation trip for every foodie.