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Enchanted Tuscany



A breathtaking excursion through the countryside of the Chianti area among the beautiful hills of vineyards and olive-groves. Feel the medieval atmosphere of the small towns "Under the Tuscan Sun" as well as the spectacular renaissance towns.

 

Day 1: Welcome Reception


We will pick you up at the Florence airport. Upon your arrival at our luxurious hotel, take time to settle in, explore the private park around the villa or the village. In the evening, you will enjoy a welcome reception followed by a delicious dinner.

 

 



Day 2: Florence: Spectacular Renaissance City

Who can resist the beauty, style and elegance of the city of Florence? It is a must stop on one's itinerary to Tuscany.

In the morning we will have a guided visit of the historic center which will culminate in the viewing of Michelangelo's masterpiece David. Following the visit you will have free time to shop at the leather markets, enjoy a cappuccino or a glass of wine in one of Florence's elegant squares or just wander the streets and take in its beauty.



   

Day 3: Cooking Session and Secrets of the Making of Terra Cotta .

Morning: Cooking session with an Italian Mama
In the late morning, we will head towards a family home outside of Florence in a little hamlet called Impruneta where the mamma of the family will teach us some of the secrets of true Tuscan cooking. We will feast on our labors in the absolute splendid setting of the Renzoni family home.

 
Afternoon: Discover the secrets of making terra cotta
After lunch we make a stop in the town of Impruneta which is renown for its production of terra cotta. We will stop at the workshop of a family who has passed the traditional methods down from generation to generation.


 

Day 4: Vineyards and Wine Tasting

Wine is one of Italy's delights.

We will spend some time at a local vineyard where we will meet the winemakers and have a tour of the grounds.

Vignamaggio is an exquisite location, so characteristic of the Chianti region that it was chosen as the setting for the movie "Much Ado About Nothing".
After a tour of the property, be led in a lunch with wines chosen to complement the menu.


Day 5: Siena

Morning: Visit of Siena
Siena is one of the principal cities of Tuscany, known throughout the world for its famous horse race, Il Palio. Accompanied by a local guide, we will visit the Campo, the Duomo and the center of town.

Following the visit you will have a bit of free time for lunch and exploration. Everyone finds something amazing in Siena: the Palazzo Pubblico contains many works of Sienese art. The Torre di Mangia provides a breath-taking view of the city. The Duomo was built to impress and it does. Inside are an astonishing number of busts, statues, frescoes, and painting. The octagonal marble pulpit by Nicola Pisano is amazing, as are the works by Donatello, Bernini, and Michelangelo.



Afternoon: "Palio", the horse race in Siena
Later in the day we will meet with an expert on the fascinating horse race known as the palio. Marco will get special permission for the group to enter the palio museum of one of the neighborhoods and will explain the history of the race and its importance to the people of Siena.

  

Day 6: Fortress of Montalcino and Gregorian Chant in an Abbey.

A beautiful ride through the hills of south-central Tuscany will bring us to the town of Montalcino. We will walk up the fortress of the city which is also home to a fantastic wine bar. The views from the tower are incredible: Siena, the Crete, and the Val d'Orcia. The view said to have inspired Leonardo's drawing of a bird's eye view of the earth. Here we will have the occasion to try some of this area's prestigious wines.

  

After lunch, we will depart for the Abbey of Sant'Antimo in the early afternoon so that we can attend some enchanting Gregorian Chant performing by monks. This is the abbey that everyone falls in love with. It's located in a valley surrounded by hills, cypress trees dancing up these hills, and a lawn around of the Abbey.
  

Day 7: Da Vinci Village



Morning: Market, picnic
at the Da Vinci Village
In the morning we go to the tiny hamlet of Vinci (birthplace of Leonardo), stopping along the way for some picnic supplies.

We will enjoy this little town as well as the musem that has been built with most of Leonardo's inventions.

We will then stop in the countryside surrounding it for a lovely picnic where we can enjoy the spectacular views of vineyards and olive groves that abound.

 




Afternoon: Artisan Workshops in Florence
Return to Florence in the afternoon for a visit of some of the artisan workshops in the city (papermaker, leather school, marble inlay) and then a final dinner together in Florence.


Day 8: Departure


It is time to say Arrivederci! But don't worry - you'll be back. We just know it! After our last breakfast together, we'll drive you to the Florence airport.





Accommodation



We have chosen an elegant Renaissance villa-hotel dating from the XVIIIth century located in the heart of the Chianti area, just a few kilometers from Florence.

The villa is classified as a historical home, entirely restored by its owners with the aim of offering the hospitality and atmosphere of a patrician family country house.

The Villa has wonderful light and spacious rooms. The large hall, the heart of the house, with its beautifully painted doors, has comfortable armchairs and welcoming sofas, while various other smaller lounges offer quiet, cozy corners for reading and relaxation. Each room has its own unique character.

 

 

 



Seated under the Renaissance Loggia, you can look out over the formal Italian gardens and be enveloped in the fragrance of old roses and flowering shrubs. Ornamental bushes also grow in the beautiful central courtyard and garden surrounding the swimming pool.




 
   
We will take all our breakfasts and some dinners there. The refined cuisine of the Chef, based on fresh seasonal local products, is an innovative blend of Italian and contemporary gastronomy.

From your bedroom window, you will have a wonderful view on the park and the surrounded countryside.

Each room has: a private bathroom, air conditioning, a mini-bar, a telephone, a TV set, a safe and a WiFi connection.



Dates & Rates


Sept 14-21, 2011:

Get US $ 150 off before April 30 from regular price US $ 3,290 (+ $550 for single suppl.)

Includes

  • Florence airport pick up and drop off
  • A welcome reception
  • All nights at the family hotel
  • All breakfasts
  • 3 dinners and 2 lunches (incl. drinks and wine)
  • Transportation in a comfortable van with A/C
  • A personal bilingual chauffeur/guide throughout the week
  • Entrance fees to all sites on the tour

Excludes
  • Flights to and from Florence
  • 4 lunches
  • 4 dinners
  • Optional activities (those not described in the itinerary)
  • Personal expenses and tipping




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