FLORENCE & CHIANTI IN TUSCANY: A Cultural & Culinary Adventure
* custom tour/your dates *
Travel from your home city to Florence. Arrive in Florence the next day. Welcome to the capital city of Tuscany! Transfer to Greve, in the heart of Chianti, a 40 minute drive south of Florence. Take time to unpack and settle in to your Tuscan villa in Greve. Later, you will enjoy appertivos and a light dinner accompanied by local wines at the villa. Rest, relax and take in the views!
Enjoy a leisurly breakfast. Then join your guide for an introduction to the Chianti Region. Visit your ‘base town’ of Greve and other sites selected by the guide to give you an overview of the area. Take in the rolling landscapes of the region, learn the history of the area, taste local foods and wines. Enjoy wandering the boutiques, wine stores and artisan food shops. You will enjoy lunch along the way at a select restaurant. The evening will be at leisure at the back at the villa.
Join your biking guide for an E-bike tour through the Chianti vineyards and hillsides. Participate in this active experience to discover one of the most beautiful places in Italy the slow way. Visit local attractions and ride throug the towns of Greve, Lamole and Panzano. The tour ends at Castello di Verrazzano with a visit their cellars to learn about the history of the castle, their winemaking process and to enjoy lunch with their superb wines.
Cook with Mauro in his kitchen enjoying countryside views to San Gimignano. Learn about Tuscan cooking traditions, foods and special flavors which are prepared with the best local products and vegetables from his garden. Make handmade pasta, ravioli, ribollita and other recipes from the area. After lunch, take a guided walking tour of the hillside walled village of San Gimignano. Learn about its history and the architecture of its 14 medieval towers. San Gimignano is a UNESCO Word Heritage Site and offers guests a chance to step back in time.
Free Morning, Castello di Montefioralle Tour & Tasting, ‘Butcher of Panano’ Restaurant/Officina della Bistecca Dinner • Meals: (B) (D)
Sleep in today! You will have the morning to relax on the grounds of the villa. In the afternoon, you’ll head to the nearby village of Montefioralle for a tour and tastings of Chianti Classico wines at a small family owned vineyard. Afterward, you’ll head to Panzano, a medieval town located a short distance from Greve. Wander the town and then spend evening at Dario Ceccini’s (the ‘Butcher of Panzano’ as featured on The Food Network) popular restaurant, Officina della Bistecca. Dario has been described as ‘..a personality, a celebrity and a butcher extraordinaire. He is a theatrical host, a show stopper and an artist.” Sit at long tables and meet locals. Enjoy Dario’s Florentine Bistecca (alternative options available to meat). Mostly, laugh and take in the authentic local atmosphere!
Walking Tour of Siena, visit to the Siena Cathedral/Duomo, Piazza del Campo, Lunch in Siena, Radda Cashmere Goat Farm, Free Evening • Meals (B, L)
Today, you’ll head to Siena with your guide to learn about the history, piazza, architecture and art of this beautiful city. The Siena Cathedral/Duomo lies above the heart of Siena – the piazza. The Cathedral and Duomo are one of the most outstanding examples of Romanesque-Gothic churches in Italy. The architecture of the exterior and interior is unique and outstanding. The cathedral is filled with treasures by Michelangelo, Donatello, Pisano and frescos by Pinturicchio. Learn about the history of the Piazza del Campo regarded as one of Europe’s greatest medieval squares. After lunch in Siena, you’ll head back toward Greve. On the way, you’ll stop to visit a cashmere goat farm to meet a woman who cares for her goats and creates cashmere hand-made products. The evening will be at leisure back at the villa.
You will be up early to depart Greve and drive to San Miniato – one of the undisputed capitals of the white truffle (Tuer Magnatum Pico). Meet Massimo, a 3rd generation truffle hunter/tartufeo and his dog in San Miniato. Truffles are called the ‘Diamonds of the Land’ and are coveted by gourmands from around the world. Out to the woods, you’ll follow Massimo and his dog to learn about the tradition of truffle hunting, the history, legends and the varieties of truffles. You’ll search for the truffle of the season. Afterward, you’ll enjoy lunch in his home – featuring truffles, of course! Afterward, you’ll wander through the medieval town of San Miniato – on a hilltop with an important history due to its location overlooking the valley where two rivers meet. In the early evening, you’ll arrive in Florence and have the rest of the evening at leisure.
Today, you’ll walk through Florence with your guide taking in this shimmering city that is the ‘Cradle of the Renaissance’. Florence is a UNESCO World Heritage Site – it is romantic, surprising and enchanting. This is where geniuses such as Michaelangeo, Leonardo da Vinci, Brunelleschi and Donatello thrived and created some of the world’s more important works of art. You will experience Florence’s main landmarks and major sites such as the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore/Duomo, Piazza della Signoria, Ponte Vecchio and the Arno River. The guide will show you his favorite spots – one with a view of the city. Bring your camera and get ready to learn about Florence’s eventful hisory, heritage, legends and colorful traditions that still live on today. The evening will include dinner at a select restaurant.
Without a doubt, Michelangelo’s white marble masterpiece, the David, is what first attracts visitors to the Accademia Gallery. What is the story that inspired this sculpture? You’ll tour the Accedemia with a guide who will cover Michelangelo and the David, but will also show you works of art by Botticelli, Ghirlandaio, Pontormo and other greats from the 13th to 16th centuries. Enjoy lunch at a select cafe followed by a stop for a luscious gelato. After lunch, you’ll enjoy free time to wander, shop and experience the Florentine culture.
The Pitti Palace was, in its day, the largest residence in Florence and also the most magnificent. It’s fresco ceilings, famous paitings, sculptures and secret corners are simply amazing. The 111 acres of the terraced Boboli Gardens rise up the hill behind it. Designed in 1457 by Brunelleschi and built for the Piiti family, it was later acquired by the Medicis. The Palazzo Pitti became the residence of Italian Kings and is today a museum with an impressive example of a 16th-century Italian garden. After the visit, the afternoon will be free to relax or discover more on your own. Dinner will be provided at a restaurant or well-known cafe.
Free Day in Florence (for visiting the Uffizzi Gallery, Mercato Centrale, shopping, etc.), Farewell Dinner • Meals (B) (D)
Today will be at leisure. Visit the Ufizzi Gallery, the Mercato Centrale, shop and pick up souvenirs to take home. Or, pack, rest and relax. The farewell dinner will be that evening in a specially selected restaurant in Florence with views to remember.
Say farewell to Italy, only for now! It will have been a trip filled with special people, places, experiences and not-to-be-forgotten landscapes! Fly home today from Florence.
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