Day 1 - Arrival Day/ Benvenuti!
Welcome to Italy! We'll be met at the Rome airport (FCO) by our private driver who will whisk us off to the Tuscan countryside. Our accommodations for the next 9 nights is at 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.
There is a large studio for painting as well as wonderful grounds and gardens for the opportunity to paint outdoors. There is also a large pool for those who wish to relax with a leisurely swim after a day of painting or exploring.
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 - A Renaissance Day in Florence
Lunch is on your own today and the afternoon is yours with some free time to explore, shop, or just sit in one of the many piazze and watch the world go by. We'll meet up later in the afternoon to return to our accommodations. Dinner at our agriturismo villa with local wine. (B, D)
Day 3 - Workshop & Half-Day Excursion to Arezzo “Where Life is Beautiful”
Later, our driver will transport us to the town of Arezzo (made famous by the movie "Life is Beautiful" by Roberto Benigni). But first, we stop for lunch at a quiet little "Locanda" or Inn where the traditional Tuscan cuisine is created with a modern spin.
Then it is on to to explore Arezzo. 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 can visit the Piazza Grande or visit the park behind the town’s cathedral (with a beautiful vista overlooking the valley), or wander the many quaint alleys and streets for some private sketching and painting time. (B, L, & D)
Day 4 - Visiting the Val d’Orcia and Pecorino Cheese
We'll first stop in Pienza, famous for its Pecorino cheese. Here you have free time to visit shops, take in the view, sketch, or sit outside on the town piazza sipping a caffé and watching the local life around you.
We''ll stop for a relaxing lunch and then it's off to the steeply sloped town of Montepulciano where you can wander the streets, churches and town squares. There are also plenty of shops and cantinas to visit where you can tour the ancient cellars and have a wine tasting. Head back to the villa and relax by the pool before dinner. (B, L, D)
Day 5 - Workshop and Half-Day Excursion to Cortona: “Under the Tuscan Sun”
Our tour will be followed by a fabulous wine-pairing lunch situated in beautiful surroundings with views of the vineyards, valley and hills.
Then it is off to Cortona. Cortona, which has its roots in Etruscan history, is a quiet and romantic town nestled in the beautiful hills of the Val di Chiana in the province of Arezzo. It was made famous by Frances Mayes’ book & movie “Under the Tuscan Sun”. Again, a wonderful opportunity for you to sketch or paint. Dinner tonight at our villa. (B, L, D)
Day 6 - Full day workshop
Relax by the pool, wander the beautiful grounds, do some sketching or painting, pick up a good book, or take a nap - the choice is yours. Lunch and Dinner will be at the villa. (B, L, D)
Day 7 - Market Day & Cooking Lesson
Following our lesson, where I guarantee there will be plenty of laughs and wine, our lunch will be all the delicious dishes that we have produced. After lunch we will return to our accommodations to begin an afternoon workshop & lesson. Dinner with local wines at our villa. (B, L, D)
Day 8 - Chianti: Farm Lunch & Wine
Day 9 - Workshop & Olive Oil Mill Tour
Day 10 - Departure Day
Private transfer to Rome Airport (FCO).
Bid "Arrivederci" to Italy! Or...you could add days on to your tour.
10 Days/9 Nights
Group size: 10-14 Guests Maximum
Tour Cost: €3500.00 per person/double occupancy
Single Supplement: €450
Balance due: 60 days prior to tour start date
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