Day 1 - Arrival Day/ Benvenuto!
Our accommodations for the next 10 nights is in an agriturismo villa (authentic Tuscan farmhouse) situated in the center of Tuscany, very near the town of Cortona, made famous by Frances Mayes in her book, “Under the Tuscan Sun” and movie by the same name.
Enjoy a welcome cocktail upon arrival at our accommodations and meet the villa owner for an orientation meeting and check in. Settle in to unpack, relax or stroll around the property.
The rest of the afternoon/evening is yours to explore or relax. We'll conclude the day with a group welcome dinner including local wines, served in the comfort of our villa. (D)
Day 2 - Cortona: ‘Under the Tuscan Sun’ with a wine-pairing lunch
It was made famous by Frances Mayes’ book & movie “Under the Tuscan Sun”. After, we'll visit a beautiful and completely organic winery for a guided tour of their vineyards and cellar.
Our tour will be followed by a fabulous wine-pairing lunch situated in beautiful surroundings with views of the vineyards, valley and hills.
Dinner tonight at our villa. (B, L, D)
Day 3 - Val d'Orcia & Pecorino Cheese
Along the way, you will breathtaking scenery: Rolling hills dotted with cyprus, miles of vineyards, and olive groves. Our first stop is Pienza, famous for its Pecorino cheese, where we will have a tasting.
After lunch, it's off to the steeply sloped town of Montepulciano where you can wander the streets, stop at shops, churches and town squares.
As well, we'll visit an enoteca where we can tour the ancient cellars and have a wine tasting.
Head back to the villa and relax before dinner. (B, L, D)
Day 4 - Florence: Markets & Mysteries of the Medici
Our first stop will be the colorful markets where you can find anything: from a tripe sandwich to a silk scarf! We will then meet up with our English speaking local guide and enjoy a walking tour of Florence.
During the tour our guide will point out famous sites such as the Duomo, Ponte Vecchio, the Uffizi Gallery, Piazza della Signori, Piazza della Repubblica, and more.
We'll learn all about the dark secrets of Florence's famous noble families and artists with this behind the scenes & highlights tour. Enjoy time on your own for lunch.
The afternoon is free for you to shop, explore art galleries or museums, or just soak in the vibrant life of one of the many piazze while having a caffè or spritz.
We'll then regroup for a tour high into the hills above Florence where you can look over the city from a different perspective with plenty of photo opportunities.
Dinner at our Villa. (B, D)
Day 5 - Chianti: Farm Lunch & Wine
This is a beautiful region of terra-cotta-roofed towns and winding roads, leading through groves of olive trees, with cypress and endless vineyards stitching sun-dappled rolling hillsides – this is wine country.
We'll visit some quaint villages, have lunch on a local farm and experience some wine tastings. What else would you do in Chianti?
Dinner at our villa with local wines. (B, L, D)
Day 6 - Arezzo: Where Life is Beautiful
We'll next stop in the town of Arezzo (made famous by the movie "Life is Beautiful" by Roberto Benigni) to explore .
Even though the medieval center was destroyed during World War II, Arezzo still has a beautiful piazza and many historical buildings and churches as well as a Roman Amphitheater and the remains of a fortress.
Here you will be able to grab lunch on your own at one of the many restaurants or cafes.
We'll conclude the day with dinner including local wines, served in the comfort of our villa. (B, D)
Day 7 - Ancient Oil Mills, Olive Oil & Lunch with the Locals
We'll visit an ancient olive oil mill that still operates. Here you will see that they still crush the olives with an old stone wheel.
We'll begin with a tour, followed by a tasting & lunch with the owner’s family.
After our visit, we will stop at a nearby small medieval village, where you can shop, visit local artisans, or stop and smell the caffè in neighborhood bar.
Dinner tonight at our villa. (B, L, D)
Day 8 - Truffle Hunting & Cooking Lesson
Next we will have a cooking demonstration & lesson – learning to cook “All things truffle” followed by a delicious lunch with all the dishes we have prepared.
After our day learning about truffles, we will visit one of the many small medieval villages in the area and learn of its interesting history. (B, L, D)
Day 9 - Market Day in a Local Village
We will continue on and visit a museum housed in an 18th century Palazzo, dedicated to the history of herbs & spices both their culinary and medicinal uses throughout the centuries. Lunch in a local Trattoria.
Next, what visit to Italy would be complete without a taste of some gelato?
We will visit and tour a small family owned gelateria that produces artisanal gelato – creating flavors only when the fruits or ingredients used are at their freshest and in season. And of course, this will be followed by a tasting!
Return to our agriturismo for dinner. (B, L, D)
Day 10 - Chestnuts, BBQ, and a Feste
Here we will learn about the importance of the chestnut as a food source in this area of Tuscany for centuries and why it is still celebrated today.
A special rustic BBQ lunch in the “Boschetto” or woods the way Tuscan villagers have been doing it for centuries.
Next we will visit a local ‘Sagra’ or feste that celebrates this particular food of the area. (B, L, D)
Day 11 - Departure Day
We'll board our vans and depart for the Rome Airport (FCO).
Bid Arrivederci to Italy! (B)
11 Days/10 Nights
Group size: 6-12 Guests Maximum
Tour Cost: $4,575 USD per person/double occupancy
$675 USD single supplement
Balance due: August 1, 2018
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