Shopping and Dining: The small village of Vinci, a 7 minute drive away offers basic shopping with a mini-market, pastry shop, bakery, butcher and a few clothing stores. There are 5-6 restaurants and 3 cafés. A greater selection of shopping is less than 10 minutes away in the larger modern town of Empoli with two supermarkets open until 8 pm on Saturday and one open on Sunday.
Not To Be Missed: Museo Leonardiano, the museum of Leonardo da Vinci's drawings and over 80 models of his varied creative inventions is in Vinci's small historic center. Even more models are found on three floors of the town's Castello dei Conti Guidi, a 12th century castle.
Public Transportation: Drive 10 minutes to Empoli with continuous service to Florence taking 30 minutes. Service to Florence starts at 4:30 am and the last train returns from Florence at 11 pm. This station is on the Pisa line with service to downtown Pisa in 40 minutes.
For Families: Within a 45 minute drive is Pinocchio Park in Collodi - an outdoor theme park telling the fairytale through sculptures as well as Peccioli Prehistoric Park in Peccioli - an outdoor park with real size reproduction of dinosaurs.
Thermal spas: Within 30 minutes are the towns of Montecatini Terme and Monsummano Terme, both known for their thermal waters and spas offering curative treatments. The "Grotta Giusti" resort spa in Monsummano is housed in a 16th century villa and is consistently voted one of the best spas in Italy. They offer an open air swimming pool filled with thermal water, a natural cave with an underground lake used for steam treatments and a variety of massage and beauty treatments.
Beaches: The Tuscan coast with sandy beaches and sail boat rental in Forte dei Marmi or Viareggio is an hour away.
Golf: The Montecatini Golf Club is within 40 minutes' drive. Le Pavoniere Golf Club in Prato is an hour away.
Open Air Markets: Morning markets are held in Montespertoli on Tuesday, Vinci on Wednesday, Pistoia and Lucca on both Wednesday and Saturday, Empoli, Montecatini Terme and San Gimignano on Thursday. During the summer months, an outdoor market is held on Wednesday and Sunday in Forte dei Marmi's Piazza Marconi - this market is well known for the selection of designer clothing and high quality linens so be sure to arrive when it opens at 8 am.
Antique Markets: In the centre of Pisa, the antique market arrives on the second Saturday and Sunday of each month. In Forte dei Marmi's Piazza Dante, the antique market arrives for the 2nd Saturday and Sunday of each month. Lucca offers an antique market in the centre of the city on the third Saturday and Sunday of each month. In Sarzana, it can be found on the 4th Saturday and Sunday of each month. Sarzana holds a National Antique Market during the last two weeks of August that is considered to be one of the largest in Italy - Giovanni Versace went every year. The streets along the center of town are filled with stalls.
Annual Festival:The town of San Miniato hosts a white truffle festival, La Sagra del Tartufo Bianco during the 2nd, 3rd and 4th weekends in November with food stands lining the streets and restaurants serving truffle themed menus.