Florence and Tuscany

Duration: 8 days

Highlights: Florence, Chianti, Pievascola, San Gimignano, Volterra, Siena, Montepulciano

An 8 day adventure through Florence and magical Tuscany region, discovering the secrets of the Italian historical treasures, local cuisine, and peaceful rural havens

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Itinerary

Day 1 - Arrive Florence

Upon arrival into Florence Airport, your local representative will be waiting in the arrivals hall for your private transfer to your luxurious hotel in the heart of the city on Piazza della Republica.

Overnight: Hotel Savoy Florence

 

Day 2 - The Uffizi Gallery and Florence's Lesser Visited Gems

Meet your guide in the lobby of your hotel, and enjoy a walking tour of Florence with your local English-speaking guide. This tour will include visits to the Uffizi Gallery, housing some of the world's most important art treasures, and the Church of Santa Croce, where many famous Florentines are buried such as Michelangelo and Galileo.

In the afternoon, explore some of Florence’s lesser visited gems (3 hours). Walk by the impressive Duomo on to the lovely Piazza Santissima Annunziata, where the Spedale degli Innocenti, Europe’s first orphanage and a masterpiece of Classical design, is fronted by Brunelleschi’s colonnade. The Convent of San Marco is a delight with its frescoed monk cells, whilst the Scalzo Cloisters with frescoes by Andrea del Sarto depict scenes from the life of John the Baptist.

Overnight: Hotel Savoy Florence

Meal Plan: B

 

Day 3 - Learn the Art of Tuscan Cuisine

It is often argued that Italy has the finest cuisine in the world, today you have the opportunity to learn the skills of the Tuscan kitchen with a private hands-on cookery lesson at an important culinary institute with English-speaking instruction.

Your morning begins at the Mercato Centrale where your chef will explain how to select the best produce before returning to the kitchen for a hands-on lesson and enjoying the fruits of your labour for lunch.

The remainder of the day is at your leisure.

Overnight: Hotel Savoy Florence

Meal Plan: B,L

 

Day 4 - Florence - Chianti - Pievascola

Depart Florence today with your driver-guide and head into the famous Chianti region of Tuscany.  Visit some of the lovely hilltop towns such as Greve and Castellina, and enjoy two wine tastings at local vineyards.

Renowned for its art, history and evocative landscapes, Tuscany is a region where the past and present merge in pleasant harmony. Hill-towns gaze across the countryside from high, many encircled by Etruscan walls and slender cypress trees. In the countryside, among the vineyards and olive groves, there are hamlets and farmhouses, as well as fortified villas and castles that symbolize the violence and inter-communal strife that tore Tuscany apart in the Middle Ages. Stop for a ‘refuel’ of local Tuscan wine before heading to your beautiful hotel located in the Tuscan countryside.

Overnight: Castello del Nero

Meal Plan: B

 

Day 5 - Siena, San Gimignano & Monteriggioni

Today you will be met at your hotel by your English-speaking local guide for a 3-hour walking tour of Siena. The scenic Tuscan town of Siena was built on three hills and is enclosed by a set of walls and gates. Visit the Piazza del Campo, one of the finest main squares in Italy and see the Palazzo Pubblico, which has served as Siena's Town Hall since the 1300s. Siena's Duomo is one of the finest Gothic cathedrals in Italy and well worth a visit; here you can see the brilliant frescoes by Pinturicchio that adorn the Piccolomini Library.  

This afternoon enjoy an excursion with private vehicle and English-speaking driver-guide to explore the countryside and visit San Gimignano, where you may wish to visit the Collegiata containing 15th century frescoes, the Palazzo del Popolo, now the municipal museum containing Renaissance paintings, and the Church of Sant’Agostino, or simply wander the narrow cobbled streets with your driver-guide who will know where to go for the best local wild boar salami and Vernaccia white wine! Time permitting enjoy a stop in Monteriggioni, a delightful example of a fortified medieval village.

Overnight: Castello del Nero

Meal Plan: B

 

Day 6 - Tuscany - At Leisure

Today is a chance to relax and enjoy your fantastic surroundings.

Overnight: Castello del Nero

Meal Plan: B

 

Day 7 - Montepulciano, Montalcino and Wine Tasting

Your English-speaking driver-guide will meet you this morning for a full day excursion to some of Tuscany’s most picturesque towns; Montepulciano and Montalcino and to enjoy wine tastings.

Montepulciano is an archetypal Tuscan hilltop town, set 605 metres above sea level, and offering superb views over the surrounding countryside.  Inside the ancient city walls and fortifications you will find winding streets and a wealth of Renaissance style palazzi and churches. Montalcino, famous for the Brunello wine, is everything you hope for in a Tuscan hilltop town: winding narrow streets and charming flower-covered houses.

Vineyard Visit & Tastings: 
Today you will visit a renowned wine estate, with its various vineyards, a medieval castle whose origins can be traced to the ancient Etruscans, the Glass museum, and the famous enoteca where you will be able to taste some of the most celebrated wines of the area.

Overnight: Castello del Nero

Meal Plan: B

 

Day 8 - Depart Tuscany

Your driver will privately transfer you to Florence airport or the railway station today.

Meal Plan: B

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