An adventure under the Tuscan sun
Enjoy great food, wine, destinations and company
Personally-escorted 8-day tour
Five nights in Chianti plus two nights in Florence
Learn the secrets to - and sample - some Italy's best wines, including Chianti Classico, Super Tuscans and Brunello
Prepare a wonderful lunch with ingredients you help select from Florence's historic central market
Explore Tuscany from the comfort of a private luxury minivan
Guided walking tours of Montepulciano and San Gimignano
Wander the lanes of Tuscany's lovely medieval villages, including Pienza, Radda and Montefioralle
Learn to cook a typical four-course Tuscan meal, which you will later enjoy with some local wine while professional musicians perform a concert of Italian arias as the sun sets over the countryside
Tour ancient castles, including Castello Brolio and Castello Vicchiomaggio
All breakfasts, 5 lunches, 4 dinners, 7 wine-tastings
Maximum group size: 6
Tuscany's variety with enchant you. From little villages set among the low rolling hills covered in lush grapevines, to hilltop towns that overlook the plains; still silently on guard as they have done for centuries, and on to the larger cities such as Florence and Siena.
The food is wonderful: rich warm stews and soups, fresh vegetable dishes and that amazing Bistecca Fiorentina, all washed down with some of Italy's - indeed the world's - best wines.
You'll love this tour on which you'll explore fascinating Tuscany: the heart of Italy. After starting in Florence, you'll enjoy 8 nights in a fabulous Chianti village, venturing out each day to experience and savour all that this wonderful part of Italy offers. Tuscany has some of Italy's best food and wine, as well as some of its prettiest towns and villages. Cuisine, rolling hills, history, culture... Tuscany has got it all.
Day 1 – Florence: a Renaissance welcome
Guests will be arriving at different times and we will be on hand to assist when you check into our hotel and to help orient you. You will then have free time until 5:00 pm, when your fellow travellers will join us for welcome drinks and a chance to talk about our time together in Tuscany. Later you will take an orientation walk to familiarise you with the local area which will finish at a lovely traditional Tuscan Italian restaurant for our first meal together, and an opportunity to get to know the others who will be sharing this tour with you.
Inclusions: Welcome drinks, orientation walk
Day 2 – Tuscany: our first view
Today begins with a terrific introduction to Tuscan cuisine. You'll take a cooking class that commences in Florence's Central Market, where you'll learn about local food culture and help select the fresh ingredients you will use later in your lunch. You'll then go to the kitchen, where you'll help prepare a fabulous meal which you will then enjoy. Afterwards, you will be transferred to Castellina in Chianti - which will be your home for the next eight nights - by private minivan; stopping on the way for a wine-tasting in a local wine estate.
Inclusions: Florence cooking class, transfer to Chianti by private minivan, wine-tasting.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, wine-tasting.
Day 3 – San Gimignano splendour
It's a short drive this morning to Radda: one of Chianti's many pretty little villages, where you can wander the shops and enjoy a coffee and perhaps a cannolo. Then it's off to an amazing family-owned winery in the hills near San Gimignano where you'll learn the family's history and approach to wine-making over a lovely light lunch and wine-tasting. Then it's off to San Gimignano itself. Encircled by 13th-century walls, San Gimignano is renowned for its skyline of medieval towers. You'll take a guided tour and have a little free time for independent exploration before a scenic drive back to your hotel in Chianti.
Inclusions: Wine-tasting and lunch, guided tour of San Gimignano
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, wine-tasting
Day 4 – Medieval towns and a historic castle
The day commences with a visit to Montefioralle: one of the most ancient villages of the Chianti area and considered one of the most beautiful villages in Italy. After free time to explore the town, you'll take a short drive to another wonderful local castle - Castello Verrazzano - for wine tasting and a light lunch in the Chianti tradition. As you digest your meal, you'll drive to Volpaia: a well-preserved fortified village of medieval origin which now houses one of the best wineries in the area and where you can taste its products including the famous Chianti Classico. After heading back to your hotel for a rest, later that evening you will drive to another great local ristorante for dinner.
Inclusions: Visits to, Monteriggioni and Volpaia, wine-tastings
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, 2 wine-tastings and dinner
Day 5 – Castles, cooking and opera in the Chianti countryside
After breakfast, you will visit Castello Brolio: one of Chianti's most famous castles - where you will enjoy a tour and taste some of the castle's excellent wine, before enjoying lunch in the castle’s osteria. You’ll then take in the gorgeous Chianti countryside on the way to a unique cooking school in a quaint farm setting where you'll learn to cook a typical Tuscan meal composed of five courses: an antipasto, a homemade pasta dish, a meat course, a side dish and a dessert, which you will later enjoy with some local wine while professional artists perform a concert of beautiful arias of the Italian opera as the sun sets over the stunning farmland.
Inclusions: Guided tour of Castello Brolio, wine-tasting, cooking school with operatic performance
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner, wine-tasting
Day 6 – Those classic Tuscan hills
World-famous Montepulciano awaits you today. This medieval and Renaissance hilltop town, sitting high on a limestone ridge, is a major producer of food and wine and you'll learn about its history on a two-hour guided tour, before a short drive to Pienza which you can explore at your own pace and grab a bite to eat. Then it's back in the vehicle for a scenic drive through those iconic green rolling hills of the Val d’Orcia which feature on an untold number of calendars and posters. You'll have time to pause for a wine-tasting in a farm near Montalcino: home of the celebrated Brunello. The memories of the day will stay with you on the drive back home.
Inclusions: Visits to Montepulciano, Pienza and Montalcino, guided tour of Montepulciano, wine-tasting
Meals: Breakfast, wine-tasting
Day 7 – Farewell Chianti, hello Florence
This morning you’ll be taken to nearby Castello Vicchiomaggio for a guided tour of the vineyards, the historic cellars and the castle’s Italian Gardens. After the tour, lunch will be served in one of the castle’s Renaissance dining rooms and you’ll enjoy a tasting of “the four classics”: Chianti Classico, Chianti Classico Riserva, Chianti Classico Gran Selezione and golden nectar limited edition extra virgin olive oil with special Tuscan casalingo bread. Then you’ll return to Florence for some free time at your own leisure. As the day draws to a close, you'll meet up again with your fellow travellers over an aperitivo and the chance to share memories and anecdotes from your wonderful adventure under the Tuscan sun. The conversation can continue over a final dinner in yet another lovely Florentine restaurant and a final glass of one of those amazing local wines.
Inclusions: Transfer to Florence by private minivan, aperitivo
Meals: Breakfast, dinner.
Day 8 – Final farewells
This is your last morning in Florence. Your hosts will be available to assist in your transfers to the airport or the rail.
Download the guided tour of Tuscany itinerary here.
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