Day 1 - Arrival Day/ Benvenuto!
All of the important monuments, museums and galleries are within a short walking distance. Florence is the capital of Italy's Tuscany region and cradle of Renaissance art and architecture.
Its museums, palaces, and churches are some of the greatest artistic treasures in the world. After arrival and check-ins, we’ll begin with a casual orientation walking tour to point out the many highlights of this famous renaissance city; discovering its amazing architecture, quiet piazze, and stunning jewels such as the Ponte Vecchio.
In the evening, the group will meet up for introductions and aperitivo and then onto a fun dinner at a typical Florentine restaurant where we can taste the best of authentic Tuscan cuisine. (D)
Day 2 - Florence: Markets & Mysteries of the Medici
Following our shopping extravaganza we’ll meet up with our expert local guide for a guided walking tour where we will be introduced to the colorful history of Florence's medieval center.
As we wind our way through the piazze and pretty side streets, past palaces, courtyards, churches and bridges (Note: We do not visit any museums or go inside any monuments).
In the afternoon enjoy some free time for lunch and to explore on your own. In the evening there is an optional Dinner*
(B, *Optional Dinner)
Day 3 - : A Cooking Lesson
What tasty dishes will emerge from the mixture of seasonal colors and flavors? The chef will instruct you in peeling, cutting, and mixing the ingredients while providing tips and tricks for preparing recipes according to the ingredients, herbs, and olive oil that are at hand.
With the cooking done, we will sit down and savor our creations together.
In the afternoon we’ll return to the hotel. Enjoy your last evening in Florence. (B, L)
Day 4 - Chianti: Olive Oil and 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 stop in one of the many quaint towns where you can wander the town piazza or shop for local Tuscan products.
Our next stop is to a local winery for a tour and lunch where you can taste various products from the farm and of course, their Chianti Classico wines.
Later, check into our countryside villa where we will stay for the next 2 nights. Group dinner with local wines. (B, L, D)
Day 5 - Chianti: More Farms and Wine!
We'll enjoy a light lunch coupled with cheese, organic honey, bread, and of course wine!
Save your appetite, as tonight we have a hearty dinner! (B, L, D)
Day 6 - Arezzo - Where ‘Life is Beautiful’
The town was also made famous in movie ‘Life is Beautiful’ by Roberto Benigni. Even though the medieval center was destroyed during the World War II, Arezzo still has a beautiful piazza (Piazza Grande) and many historical buildings and churches as well as a Roman Amphitheater and the remains of a fortress.
We’ll visit Arezzo’s historical center. Here you have some free time to explore, visit museums or shop, with lunch on your own.
Later, check into our agriturismo villa for the next 5 nights. (B, D)
Day 7 - Pecorino and the Val D’Orcia (Montepulciano, Pienza)
Our first stop is the small and charming town of Pienza where you can wander the beautiful streets and visit some of the shops. We’ll also enjoy a cheese tasting of the famous local Pecorino (Sheep) cheese.
Traveling on to the steeply-slopped town of Montepulciano, you are free to wander the streets, stop at shops, churches and town squares as well as visit one of the many enoteca where you can tour ancient cellars and have a wine tasting.
Dinner at our agriturismo villa with local wines. (B, L, D)
Day 8 - Local History and Daily Life in Tuscany
We will visit one of the most famous sanctuaries of St. Francis.
After we’ll head to an ancient olive oil mill with a tour, tasting & lunch.
Then you will enjoy some free time to wander the quint alleys and streets of a small medieval village that looks no different than it did centuries ago. (B, L, D)
Day 9 - Truffle Hunting & Cooking Lesson
Here you will learn all about this precious and delectable funghi, where to find them, and the ancient methods used in Italy to search for them. Of course, hopefully we will find some truffles!
After, roll up your sleeves as we have another cooking lesson.
A delicious lunch with all the dishes we have prepared and some good local wine will follow this. (B, L, D)
Day 10 - Cortona - ‘Under the Tuscan Sun’ & Wine-Pairing Lunch
Cortona is surrounded by a countryside planted with olive trees, in which lavish villas are surrounded by large gardens and hosts many monasteries, churches and monuments.
Cortona's Etruscan walls are incorporated into the medieval walls that surround its historic center. Inside the walls, you can wander the narrow medieval streets of
Cortona's historic center. Along the walls, you'll often be rewarded with fantastic views of the valley below and Lago di Trasimeno off in the distance. Enjoy free time to shop Cortona’s fun & interesting shops and galleries, have a Caffè in a local bar, sample some gelato or just wander the alleys and streets.
We will then head out into the countryside to visit a completely organic winery for a guided tour.
Our tour will be followed by a fabulous lunch situated in beautiful surroundings with views of the vineyards, valley and hills. (B, L, D)
Day 11 - Departure Day
We'll board our vans and depart for the Rome Airport (FCO).
Bid Arrivederci to Italy! (B)
Dates: Choose your dates
11 Days/10 Nights
Tour Cost: $4,500 per person/Dbl occupancy
All tours are quoted in U.S. Dollars
To register for this tour, a deposit of $2000.00 is required to secure your reservation.
Balance is due 60 days prior to travel.
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