Join Frances on this remarkable 11-day journey through the diverse and culturally rich landscape of Tuscany and Cinque Terre. View incredible architecture, dating back to the 13th Century, and engage with the masterworks of famous Renaissance artists such as Michelangelo. Italy is well known for its exquisite cuisine. On this tour, we will enjoy a truffle hunting adventure in the woods and participate in a traditional Italian cooking class and dinner with Chef Lella in the heart of Siena. We hope you will join us for this unforgettable journey through the heart of Italy to experience the vibrant life of Florence, the Renaissance utopia of Pienza, the breathtaking landscape of Tuscany, and the secluded beaches and grottos of Cinque Terre.
Your package includes:
- Accommodation and meals as per the itinerary
- Transfers and sightseeing by private air-conditioned motor coach
- Entrance fees to museums and sites mentioned in itinerary
- Activities and classes as mentioned in itinerary
- Group arrival and departure transfers
Price per person land only $5,099 based on two sharing and a minimum of 10 passengers. (Limited to a maximum of 12) Not included: personal expenses, international airfare and taxes, meals not specified, tipping. Single supplement $1,399. Private transfers are available at an additional cost for those not arriving at the same time as the group. Hold your space with a $600 non-refundable deposit.
Day 1: Wednesday, June 5 / Florence Arrival
Upon arrival in Florence, we will be transferred to our elegant and unique hotel situated on one of the oldest streets in downtown Florence. This is the perfect place to start exploring Florence’s artistic wealth and the magic and charm that draws millions of visitors. The balance of our day is free to rest up before our amazing journey begins!
Day 2: Thursday, June 6 / Florence Walking Tour
On our first day in the vibrant ‘City of Art’, we begin with a private walking tour, which highlights the city’s spectacular literary and artistic culture. Our visit to the Accademia presents us with the breath-taking sculptures created by Michelangelo. We will explore the religious heart of Florence, Piazza del Duomo, to gaze upon the typical Italian Gothic architecture. We then visit the city’s political heart, Piazza della Signoria, home of the well-known Fountain of Neptune. We continue to explore the city’s architecture by visiting the Ponte Vecchio, the oldest bridge that crosses the Arno river, and stop at one of Florence’s largest squares, Piazza Santa Croce, home of one of the largest churches in the city and host to many of the city’s festivities and ceremonies.
Day 3: Friday, June 7 / Florence – Truffle Hunting
Today our journey takes us on an unforgettable truffle adventure! We begin by learning about the fundamental stages of the truffle hunting experience by visiting the Savini Family headquarters and museum. Together with our talented truffle hound we will trench through the woodlands to search for the exquisite gems. After our hunt we gather back at the Savini headquarters where we will indulge in a truffle tasting lunch which invites us to use all our senses.
Day 4: Saturday, June 8 / Florence-Villa del Cigliano - Tuscan Countryside
Today our tour guide leads us to The Chianti region. The word Chianti refers to both the geographical area and the wine produced here. This landscape is also known as Tuscany and is renowned for its rolling hills, villas and castles, and fantastic vineyards. En route, we will visit the Villa del Cigliano to enjoy a tour of the wine cellars, the estate and enjoy a light lunch accompanied by wine tasting. In the afternoon, we will head to our hotel, a delightful boutique property located in Tuscany’s beautiful countryside just outside the medieval town of Casole d’Elsa. Shortly after check-in, we will enjoy an aperitif at the Green Bar followed by a traditional Tuscan dinner. (B L D)
Day 5: Sunday, June 9 / Casole d'Elsa - San Gimignano
Today our morning is free to do as we please. Casole d'Elsa is a small medieval village located in the center of Val d'Elsa. Our hotel and the village overlook one of the most beautiful valleys of Tuscany. Don’t miss the stunning Collegiata of St Maria Assunta consecrated in 1161. Here you may admire beautiful oeuvres by Marco Romano, Gano da Siena and Rutilio Manetti. Beside the church you'll find the splendid archaeological museum with perfectly preserved frescoes of the Senese Art as witnesses of the Etruscan presence in Casole. This afternoon we travel to the hilltop town of San Gimignano. Its tall walls and narrow streets are typical of Tuscan hill towns, but the 14 soaring medieval towers silhouetted against the sky are what set this town apart from its neighbours. San Gimignano is also famous for its light white ‘Vernaccia’ wine and Renaissance art galleries. Enjoy time to stroll around, explore, and have dinner at your leisure. (B)
Day 6: Monday, June 10 / Siena – Cooking Class
Today our journey takes us on a full day tour of Siena. This morning’s cooking class will introduce us to the fascinating world of Tuscan gastronomy, and the delight of enjoying together this excellent homemade meal with a glass of wine! After lunch, we will have free time to stroll through the historic city. Experience its mix of preserved medieval culture and vibrant pace of modern life. Later we return to our hotel for dinner. (B L D)
Day 7: Tuesday, June 11 / Val D’Orcia - Tuscan Countryside
Our culinary journey continues as we tour through Pienza leading us to the beautiful Val D’Orcia. This phenomenal agricultural region invites us to experience a demonstration, at an organic farm, on local cheese making and enjoy a light lunch created using regional products. After lunch, discover the Renaissance Utopia and UNESCO World Heritage Site Pienza at leisure. Explore the city’s magnificent architecture before heading back to our hotel for dinner. (B L D)
Day 8: Wednesday, June 12 / Lucca and Levanto
Today our tour takes us to Levanto with a stopover in Lucca. You will have time to stroll around and explore exquisite majestic churches such as the San Michele in Foro or the breathtaking Roman Amphitheatre, Piazza dell’Anfiteatro. Our trip continues to Levanto where we will spend the next three nights at Hotel Carla. Enjoy the afternoon walking by the seaside or explore the city’s Roman charm. (B)
Day 9: Thursday, June 13 / Levanto - Cinque Terre
Today we enjoy a full day exploring the charming and breath-taking Cinque Terre. The area is made up of five tiny villages (Cinque Terre literally means "Five Lands") clinging to the cliffs along a gorgeous stretch of the Ligurian coast. The terrain is so steep that for centuries footpaths were the only way to get from place to place. It just so happens that these paths provide beautiful views of the rocky coast tumbling into the sea, as well as access to secluded beaches and grottoes. We will move from village to village by public boat with our local guide. (B)
Day 10: Friday, June 14 / Levanto
Today relax and enjoy a day at leisure in Levanto. This evening we celebrate our fabulous Italian journey and toast our new friends at our farewell dinner at a local restaurant in Levanto. (B D)
Day 11: Saturday, June 15 / Departure home
Today we are transferred to the Florence Airport for our return flight home. (B)