A tour to explore a region of sprawling vineyards, rolling hills, charming old cities,
masterpieces of art and gourmandize: visit the magnificent Florence, the “Cradle of the
Renaissance”, Siena, famous for the Palio horse race, the Chianti area, Montepulciano and Montalcino, known all over the world for their prestigious wines, San Gimignano with its talltowers; visit wineries and cellars, sample excellent wines, rare cold cuts, Pecorino cheeses with olive oil, and shop for delicacies in the many food shops.
Participants will have the unique opportunity of sampling several Slow Food Presidia products -high-quality, traditional foods and beverages at risk of “extinction” - and other local delicaciesfrom Slow Food recommended quality producers, such as:
the Certaldo onion
the Pienza Pecorino cheese
the wine of Nobile di Montepulciano and Brunello vineyards
The Certaldo Onion. Giovanni Boccaccio has already written about it in his 6th book of the
Decameron. The onion was inserted into the town seal of Certaldo. The seal, formed by two shields, white and red, with the onion enthroned on the white part, bears the motto "By nature I am strong and sweet, and I still like those who stay and those who work." The Certaldo Onion, therefore, can be considered a cornerstone in the identity of the town; symbol and flag of a rural civilization with ancient traditions.
WINERIES AND MORE
Tour participants will also have the opportunity to sample wines and/or local typical products
at wineries, bakeries, pastry shops, fresh produce markets and more, such as:
the Brunello and other wines of the Montalcino vineyards
the aromatic herbs of the Chianti area
POINTS OF INTEREST: ART, HISTORY, CULTURE & NATURE
During the tour the participants will not only discover delightful food and wines but also the most interesting monuments, works of art, churches and natural landscapes of the region:
Florence, the cradle of the Italian Renaissance, with the masterpieces of the Uffizi Gallery, the Santa Croce church, the Baptistery, the Duomo and Giotto’s bell tower, the Piazza della Signoria and the Ponte Vecchio bridge
Siena, where the famous Palio race is taken place in the ancient Piazza del Palio square
San Gimignano, a UNESCO World Heritage site, with its wonderful medieval towers and the San Gimignano 1300 Museum
the Chianti area, with its wonderful hills and vineyards, where some of the best Italian
wines are produced
Montepulciano, one of the most characteristic and intact medieval cities in Italy
Pienza, the perfect example of a renaissance city, famous for its Pecorino cheese
Montalcino, a beautiful art city which is famous for its Brunello, one of the best red wines of the world
Itinerary ( B = breakfast, L = lunch, LL = light lunch, D = dinner, T = tasting, C = cooking lesson )
DAY 1: ROME (D)
Arrival at Rome airport and transfer to your hotel on your own or add an optional transfer. Time to settle in, meet tour escort and welcome dinner in a typical “Osteria d’Italia”. During the evening there will be an introduction to the tour and the Slow Food philosophy. Transfer to the hotel and overnight stay.
DAY 2: PIENZA - MONTEPULCIANO (B, T, T)
Morning departure for Pienza, the perfect example of a renaissance city, famous for its Pecorino cheese. Visit a Pecorino cheese producer Pianporcino Farm and learn something about the cheese-making process and sample the fare. Proceed to Montepulciano, one of the most characteristic and intact medieval cities in Italy which, from a height of 605 meters above sea level, offers amazing views over the surrounding hillsides. Visit the Gattavecchi winery for a tasting, then explore the wonderful town center of Montepulciano. Transfer to the hotel Villa Il Palagio in Rignano Sull’Arno (Florence) and overnight stay.
DAY 3: FLORENCE (B, T)
Morning departure for Florence. In the morning visit Mercato Centrale Firenze which is a large covered marketplace where authenticity, spontaneity and tradition play a leading role. Each shop is an ideal place to do your shopping and find real, honest food at the right price; the very best that Tuscany and Italy have to offer. Sample some delicacies. In the afternoon walking tour through the historical center of this amazing city and admire the religious buildings (the Baptistry, the Duomo and Giotto’s bell tower) and the houses of power in the old city (the Piazza della Signoria). Transfer to hotel and overnight stay.
DAY 4: CASTELLINA - GREVE and SAN POLO in CHIANTI (B, T)
Entire day given to discover the Chianti hills along the Via Chiantigena (an ancient road connecting Siena with Florence crossing over the hills of Chianti). Stop at Castellina in Chianti for an explanation on aromatic herbs harvested and dried following the ancient techniques of Duccio Fontani. Set off for the wonderful city of Greve, to visit the little historical town center and have free time for lunch. In the afternoon visit Azienda Frantoio Pruneti in San Polo for a food culture lesson and an oil tasting. Return to the hotel and overnight stay.
DAY 5: SAN GIMIGNANO - SIENA (B, LL)
Morning departure for San Gimignano, famous for its medieval architecture and towers. At the height of its glory, San Gimignano's patrician families had built around 72 tower-houses as symbols of their wealth and power. Although only 14 have survived, San Gimignano still retains its feudal atmosphere and appearance. On the way to Siena along the ancient Via Francigena, lunch with some of the traditional local produce such as the Certaldo onion (Slow Food Presidium), and the organic extra virgin olive oil from San Gimignano at the little family-run farmhouse Il Castagnolino. Visit and have a talk on the techniques used in producing organic olive oil. Admire the most important and most beautiful architecture in Siena. Sampling of some delicious traditional desserts like the Panforte in one of the most famous pastry shops in town. Free time for shopping before returning to the hotel. Overnight stay.
DAY 6: MONTALCINO (B, T, C, D)
Morning departure for Montalcino, famous for its Brunello, one of the best red wines in the world. Montalcino, however, is also a beautiful art city which dominates 3,000 hectares of vineyards (1,500 for Brunello alone). A visit to the Mastio della Rocca which is home to the Enoteca La Fortezza where it will be possible to buy some local products and the exceptional honey, a local specialty, and sample some wine. Free time. Return to Florence area and join a cooking class dedicated to the Tuscany tradition, followed by dinner. Return to the hotel. Overnight stay.
DAY 7: CIVITA DI BAGNOREGGIO - ROME (B, D)
Morning departure for Rome. Stop on the route in Civita di Bagnoregio. The town is noted for its striking position atop a plateau of friable volcanic tuff overlooking the Tiber river valley, in constant danger of destruction as its edges fall off, leaving the buildings built on the plateau to crumble. The city is also much admired for its architecture spanning several hundred years. Free time for lunch. Proceed to Rome. Check in at your hotel. Time to settle in. Farwell dinner in a typical local restaurant. Overnight.
DAY 8: DEPARTURE (B)
After breakfast, free time. End of tour with option to visit another region in Italy or elsewhere.
Please allow three hours for check-in to your international flights and two hours for domestic.
1. How much would it cost to fly from an airport not listed as part of this deal?
Please contact us for additional pricing options from any departure airport not listed.
2. Can we extend our trip before or after the promotional dates for the deal?
Yes, you can arrange for that by contacting us either by phone or email.
3. How do I find out if the dates I want to travel are available?
Check the dates listed above to see if there is availability for the specific date you are interested in. If there are multiple dates listed feel free to contact us for the most up-to-date availability.
8 days Escorted Tuscan Food & Wine Tour with options to extend your stay.
7 nights in 4* hotels in standard rooms
Travel in air conditioned state-of the-art, luxury motor coaches throughout
Breakfast Buffet daily, lunches, dinners and tastings where indicated
4 meals based on traditional regional dishes, including a selection of regional wines:
o 1 Slow Food welcome dinner
o 1 light lunches
o 1 dinner after the cooking lesson
o 1 farewell dinner
5 guided tastings of Slow Food wines and/or Presidia products from the Tuscany region
1 visit at Duccio Fontani
1 Cooking lesson
Guided visit of Florence (half-day)
Professional Tour Directors and licensed local guides as per program
Baggage Handling for the full duration of the tour
YOUNG TRAVELLER DISCOUNT
0 – 2 years: free (sharing bed with parents)
3 – 12 years: 10% discount
Optional Pre & Post tour accommodation
Private transfers from/to the airports
Supplement for single room: $590,00
Rates are per person, based on double occupancy as described above.
Airfare is not included and nonrefundable after booking. Additional fees: Baggage fees may apply.
Drinks at meals
Transfers at arrival and departure
Personal expenses, Tips to the guide and driver (optional)
Anything not mentioned in “Tour Features”.
Cancellation policy and fees:
All cancellations subject to fee up to date specified.
Travel insurance is highly recommended.
HOTELS (or similar):
Rome: Hotel Barcelo Aran Mantegna
Sorrento Area: Panorama Hotel
Taormina area : Complesso Antares
September: 6, 13