Women’s “Ciao Bella” Tour
At Vitalia Tours, our emphasis has always been on the experiential tour. There will be plenty of activities and sightseeing: We’ll eat like the locals, learn all about the art & history with our expert local guides, and experience the simple pleasures of exploring the Tuscany region with its incredible scenery and history.
Our “Ciao Bella” Tour is a fully-escorted tour with all of your accommodations, excursions & tours, transportation and most of your meals completely arranged and included.
However, we’ve left you some flexibility for free time to just read a book, take a swim, meander the small villages we will be visiting, or do some shopping. There will be plenty of food, wine, laughter, chances to make new friends and memorable experiences!
My husband and I just returned from the Chianti Tour, our third trip with Vitalia! Needless to say, we are more than pleased. We have so many new memories, from the lovely towns we visited, the places we stayed, the food, wine, cheese tastings, olive oil tastings, winery tour, cooking classes and our accommodations. I could go on and on but you need to see for yourself. Can’t wait for next year to see what Vitalia has in store. Thank you Catherine for all you do!
WOW – this was amazing! Thank you so much for all of the suggestions for our itinerary. Your tips on places to eat are PRICELESS…as we plan on eating our way through Italy. Thank you so much for pulling our trip together for us. Thanks again…this is all priceless!
Enjoyable, pre-organized trip with a pleasant, experienced, knowledgable tour guide throughout Italy. Excellent choices of hôtels, restaurants, vine yards, organic farms, and attractions. Best Birthday Ever! Highly recommended if you want a carefree vacation.
Trip was well organized. My wife and I really enjoyed all of our daily excursions. Food and wine were incredible. Our hotel villa was topnotch with a great view. Catherine thought of everything and even had activities planned for our boys (ages 6 & 8).
- 2 nights in Florence in a hotel set right in the heart of the city
- 8 nights in the countryside of Tuscany
- Private guided walking tour of Florence
- Special dining experience in Florence
- Private tour in the hills above Florence for some gorgeous photo opportunities
- Several winery tour & tasting excursions
- Walking tour of Siena
- Wine-pairing luncheon in an elegant setting amongst the vines
- Visit an ancient olive oil mill with tasting
- Private cooking lesson
- Thermal Hot Spring visit
- Pecorino Cheese Farm tour and tasting
- Shop at local markets
- Watch local artisan demonstrations
Day 1 - Arrival Day/ Benvenuto!
Florence is the capital of Italy's Tuscany region and cradle of Renaissance art and architecture. The museums, palaces, and churches in Florence are some of the greatest artistic treasures in the world. We'll explore this magnificent town, discovering its amazing architecture, quiet piazzas and stunning jewels such as the Ponte Vecchio.
After arrival and check-ins, the group will meet up for lunch and introductions.
Then we embark on a fun and exciting orientation tour where you will be able to see some of the best panoramic views over the city. The rest of the evening is yours to explore or relax. (L)
Day 2 - 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!
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 for lunch on your own.
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 regroup tonight and visit a very fun Florentine restaurant where we can taste the best of authentic Tuscan cuisine. (B, D)
Day 3 - Arezzo: Where Life is Beautiful
Enroute we'll stop at a stunning villa, learn its history and have a delicious wine tasting. Then it is on to lunch in a quiet little "Locanda" or Inn where the traditional Tuscan cuisine is created with a modern spin.
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.
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.
We'll conclude the day with a group welcome dinner including local wines, served in the comfort of our villa. (B, L, D)
Day 4 - Cooking Lessons & Lake Views
We'll learn to make all sorts of Italian specialties, from antipasti to dolce. The menu will be determined by the season and what is fresh in the garden and the market.
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.
If there is time, we will then make our way to Lago di Trasimeno, a lake in the province of Perugia, in the Umbria region of Italy. The first civilization to inhabit this area was the Etruscans; three of the main Etruscan cities - Perugia, Chiusi, and Cortona - are within 12 miles of the lake.
Dinner with local wines at our villa. (B, L, D)
Day 5 - Val d'Orcia & Pecorino Cheese
Along the way, we should be seeing fields and fields of Sunflowers, as now is the season! We'll first stop in Pienza, famous for its Pecorino cheese, and 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 by the pool before dinner. (B, L, D)
Day 6 - 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 sample some wine. What else would you do in Chianti? And since we are in Italy, we'll stop for some famous gelato!
Dinner at our villa with local wines. (B, L, D)
Day 7 - Medieval Siena
This charming town is a UNESCO world heritage site and is famous for its piazza, museums, cuisine and “The Palio”, a horse race which is run right through the middle of town twice a year.
Built on three hills, Siena's center is lined with narrow, winding cobblestone passages and steep steps. The superb 12th-century Cathedral, constructed of alternating stripes of green and white marble, is one of Italy's most impressive creations.
We'll first enjoy a guided walking tour and then have the remainder of the day at leisure to meander through the shops and narrow streets of Siena, or relax in an outdoor café on the Piazza del Campo, your window to traditional Sienese life.
Dinner tonight at our villa. (B, D)
Day 8 - Benessere & Dolce Far Niente (The sweetness of doing nothing)
This morning is all about relaxing and making ourselves at home at our farmhouse. You may choose to take a dip in the pool, go for a walk, or simply hang out and read a good book.
Lunch on your own and then this afternoon, we're off to the thermal spas (or Terme in Italian)! Tuscany is rich in natural hot springs that bubble out of the ground filled with minerals and the heat of the earth.
The springs have been used for their curative properties since the time of the Romans, who believed that the sulfurous water came from Hades, the underworld.
The warm waters come from deep, underground, volcanic springs and boasts curative properties first discovered by the Etruscans. Time spent there is beneficial to the regeneration of body and soul. Feel your stress be soothed away as the warm mineral water relaxes you. Spa treatments are not included.
Dinner tonight at our villa. (B, D)
Day 9 - Cortona: ‘Under the Tuscan Sun’ with a wine-pairing lunch
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”.
Today is market day in Cortona: See how the local’s shop for their weekly necessities; from fruits and vegetables to cheese, meats, housewares and even clothing. After, we'll visit a beautiful and completely organic winery for a guided tour of their vineyards and cellar.
We will learn the interesting methods that this winery uses: both in their sustainable farming methods and in their biodynamic approach to their vineyards. 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 10 - Ancient Oil Mills, Olive Oil & Lunch with the Locals
After a leisurely breakfast, we're going to head out to an area of Tuscany that is off-the-beaten path. We'll visit an ancient olive oil mill that has been in the same family since the late 1400’s with a tour, tasting & lunch with the owner’s family. Here you will see that they still crush the olives with an old stone wheel.
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.
Final goodbye dinner tonight at our villa. (B, L, D)
Day 11 - Departure Day
We'll board our vans and depart for the Rome Airport (FCO).
Bid Arrivederci to Italy!
This Tour Includes:
- Small group size: Maximum of only 14 travelers
- 2 Nights accommodation in an elegant hotel in Florence
- 8 Nights accommodation in an agriturismo villa set in the Tuscan countryside
- All breakfasts, buffet style
- 7 Lunches
- 9 Dinners
- Regional wines with most meals
- Land transportation for the duration of the tour
- Private full-time escort, interpreter and driver
- Private bus/van for our daily excursions
- Guided walking tour in Florence
- Guided walking tour in Siena
- All excursions and entrance fees as outlined by the itinerary
- Cooking lesson
- Entrance to thermal hot spring baths & pools
- Winery tours and tastings
- Trips to local markets
- Cheese & olive oil tasting events
- Transfer to Rome airport (FCO)
- Pre-trip information packet
- Local VAT taxes and government fees, gas, highway tolls, city access licenses and permits, and parking fees
- Travel insurance*
- Travel documents & fees: i.e. passport and visas (if required)
- Any telephone, cell, data & internet usage**
- Items of a personal nature
- Travel-related expenses outside of the tour itinerary
- Any food or beverage ordered by traveler that is not included or presented during meals including: wine and other alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks & gelato
- Any taxes on personal items purchased
- Optional tips to guides, staff or drivers. These are not required and are given at your discretion.
* We highly recommend purchasing trip insurance to protect your investment. This is to ensure that you are covered in the event of loss of deposit and cancellation fees, medical emergency or health expenses, personal accident, flight cancellation or delays and to protect your luggage against any loss or damage.
** There is free wifi at our accommodations
12 Days/11 Nights
Where: Florence & Tuscan Countryside
Group size: 6-14 Maximum
Tour Cost: $4650 USD per person/double occupancy
$550 USD single supplement
Balance due: March 1, 2018
Traveling Solo? We can suggest a roommate so that you avoid having to pay the single supplement!
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