Private Tour Excursion to Siena & San Gimignano
Tour in a Day
Available: All year around – everyday;
Departure time: at 9.30 AM
Meeting place: at your centrally located hotel in Florence;
Available in the following languages: English
Tour Highlights: Tuscan Countryside - San Gimignano - Abbadia a Isola – Monteriggioni – Siena experience
Price includes: English speaking driver, transportation, local taxes and service charges.
Price doesn’t include: Lunch, local guide service, monuments and museums entrance fees if applicable.
Breathe in the Tuscan landscape on this 7 hour escorted driving tour of its medieval gems. Our driver will pick you up at 9:30am, at your hotel, and your excursion into the golden countryside will begin. Our first stop along the Franchigena ancient road is the city of San Gimignano, with its 14 towers standing as a proud testament to its heritage of wealth and power. Enjoy the wonderful view over the countryside from its walls and travel back to time while visiting the main square, the narrow medieval alleys and the Collegiata and Sant'Agostino Churches, which houses many important works from some of the most famous Renaissance artists. Visit also the Communal Palace, home to the Town Gallery, which has works by Filippino Lippi, Pier Franceso Fiorentini, Pinturicchio and others.
The tour continues on the road less traveled to Abbadia a Isola, the Abbey on the Island, a man made island created by Ava in the middle of a swamp to house a beautiful Romanesque church, as a show of love for her northern warrior husband. The Benedictine Abbey was built in the 11th century, but was abandoned by the monks in the 15th century, as local nobility encroached upon the land and turned it into a military defense point. As time passed on, the abbey was abandoned as a strategic position, and its fortifications were used as building materials for peasant homes.
We'll head to Monteriggioni a Siena, and enjoy lunch in its fortresses walls (not included), which were betrayed by its protector. The town had been a crucial segment of the Sienese Empire, having control of a portion of the trade routes, and battled against Florence for hundreds of years. They placed an exile, Giovannino Zeti, from Florence in charge of their defenses, not realizing he had reconciled with the Medici, noble Florentine. In 1554, Zeti handed the keys of the town over to Medicean forces, causing what is known as the "great betrayal" and the transfer of that city to the power of Florence.
After lunch, Siena is next on the agenda. This medieval power still radiates glory, in its magnificent Cathedral, which houses bas reliefs by Donatello and other 15the century sculptors and perfectly preserved frescoes by Ghirlandaio. The Piazza del Campo is another triumph of history, home to the famous Palio horse race and the Palazzo Pubblico, where frescoes by Ambrogio Lorenzetti, Pietro Lorenzetti, and Simone Martini are on display. You will have plenty of free time to tour the winding streets, using tips and information from your driver, but, if you choose, you may decide to enroll a two hour private walking tour (not included).
We’ll end the day with an hour long drive through the charming Tuscan countryside, returning to your hotel in Florence.
Availability on request.