KM Zero Tours: A Review of Slow Travel in Tuscany
Sean and I had been putting off traveling to Tuscany. I think there was some serious fear that there was no way that it could live up to expectations. That’s why I reached out to KM Zero Tours and suggested that we work together. I figure, if I have these concerns, I’m sure other people do, too. I mean, I’m not that weird!
Disclaimer: This tour was complimentary. As always, all opinions are my own.
During the crazy Covid times when we could move around parts of Europe easily while taking precautions, we figured it was the perfect time to visit Arianna and Alessio of KM Zero Tours to see how they operate. You may know that summer of 2020 hit the tourism industry hard, so as much as we wanted to have our dream trip, we also wanted to contribute to the tourism economy, too. We stayed in Tuscany for 2 weeks total and supported as many local businesses as possible. I would always encourage you to do the same when you travel.
KM Zero Tours as a small business
One thing we didn’t want to be was a number and I wanted to be sure that if we recommend a company, that it’s really giving back to the community. You can’t get much more local than KM Zero Tours…it’s literally in their name!
Arianna and Alessio run the business themselves and have a few local guides as well for when they have more tours than the two of them can handle. Arianna grew up in Chianti and now, she and Alessio have made it their home and their business home. She’s known the people you’ll meet on their tours for many years.
They understand the value of small business and they also understand that there are visitors who want a more authentic experience in Tuscany. That’s something that big group tours with massive companies and huge buses just can’t give. But a local with great relationships throughout the region is a perfect person to create a company like this.
Your money is going directly into the area and that is part of being a responsible traveler. You can always go a step farther (as we tend to) and buy from each producer that you visit. We now have a good stock of Tuscan wine, olive oil, and honey that we can’t wait to use!
What stands out about KM Zero Tours?
We were seriously impressed, so this list might be long. Actually, let’s just make subheadings to make it easier, shall we?
This is a big deal to me. I need to be around kind people. No, not just people that aren’t mean. Actual kind people. We were taken around by Alessio and Arianna who are some of the kindest people we’ve met, but it was clear right up front that everyone they surround themselves with, are incredible people.
The activities and places they have available for you are really impressive. We had so much fun at Cucina Giuseppina, we adored Beppe and his bread-making demonstration, the wineries were amazing, food was incredible, and just everything was good. At no time did I think “this is boring” or “I wish we were doing something else”. And yeah, I’ve gotten that way on tours before.
Pacing and timing
You are never rushed. They know exactly how much time people like to have because never once, in four days, did I feel rushed. You’ll have plenty of time to do what you’d like. Remember, we were working, trying to get the right shots and such, and still were fine for time.
Maybe it’s hard to find a place with a bad view, but everywhere we went took our breath away. And since our visit was during Covid times, I made a note that we were outside almost all the time. It was nice weather to be outside with incredible views at every stop. Lunch? Great food, wine, and a great view. Cooking class? Great food, fun, wine, and a great view.
You get to stay in one of a couple memorable accommodations. We stayed in a farmhouse that made me so happy. I couldn’t have picked a better place if I tried. We had the most Tuscan views from our bedroom window, had a full kitchen and dining room table, and the nicest hosts. Every morning was a dream with having breakfast in the garden looking out over the hills. There was also a pool which had a great view as well. Perfection, everywhere.
These are actually small group tours. If you book a pre-planned tour, you may have up to 10 people in them. That means two vans and enough people to make some new friends, but not too many where you stick out wherever you go. That’s my definition of a small group — not 25 people.
You can book a pre-planned tour, as I mentioned, or you can book a private tour from 3-7 days. They have some great suggested tour options, but you can amend an itinerary to fit your interests. The great thing is that you can also do a private day trip! Yep, they have a bunch of day trip options so you can have a taste of the local Tuscan experience tailored around your idea of a dream trip.
This may not matter to everyone, but I’m that person that if I can pay it and forget it, then life is much easier. Because I am a control-freak and like to plan (maybe over-plan), having an all-inclusive option is really nice. We obviously bought our own souvenirs and products to take home, but all aspects of the trip were taken care of and there were no surprises! That meant a lot less stress for me.
Day trips vs multi-day experiences
What’s the difference in the day trips and the multi-day experiences? The main one is that you’ll miss out on any evening activities because you’ll be back wherever you were picked up.
Of course, if you only have a day in your itinerary to have a mini-adventure like this, then it’s a great way to have an experience that you’ll never forget in only one day.
A day trip can include a few different activities so you won’t feel deprived of options. Think about winery visits, cooking classes, farm experiences, and more. Actually, our itinerary was built out of different day trip itineraries and they were all fabulous.
The multi-day experience will have you waking up in a magical place with a tasty breakfast in a magical landscape, ending the night with limoncello and laughter, and knowing that there’s nowhere to be except wherever they take you.
Obviously, there’s just more time when you spend more than a day with the guides. That means more gorgeous hilltop towns, more meals, more chill time at the pool, and less time worrying about what’s next (like if you were on your own).
What can they improve on?
Travel-lovers, I’ve really tried to find some kind of constructive criticism here. But I can’t. There were no moments I would change. There was no situation that was upsetting or even slightly annoying.
I actually feel a bit bad. Whenever we take a tour, we are usually able to give feedback to them.
So, my advice here is that if you book with them and you have constructive feedback, please give it to them.
Would you like to travel to Tuscany with us?
Actually, we enjoyed our trip so much that we want to plan a small group tour (that means there will be max of 8 spots available!) with them in fall of 2021. If you are interested in joining us and want to learn more, fill out this Google Form for us. It helps us gauge interest, activities people would like, and you’ll be the first to know when dates and cost are announced.
Wishing you joy and travels!