Wine Tour In Tuscany - Small Group Tour
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10 days Small Group tour of Tuscany to discover its Wines and Traditions! Have Tommaso help me plan my TripTRAVEL ITINERARY:
Day 1 : WELCOME TO ITALY
Board your Overnight Flight and Leave the United States. Your Italian Adventure has begun!
Day 02 : SATURNIA and relax at the Saturnia Thermae
Arrival at Fiumicino Airport.
Benvenuti in Italia!
Your tour escort will be waiting for you once you exit baggage claim at Rome’s Fiumicino Airport and together you will travel to Saturnia, famous for its sulfurous thermal springs. Saturnia is part of the Maremma of southern Tuscany, a rich area that features plenty of greenery and coastal plains.
Once you arrive in Saturnia and check into your hotel, you will have plenty of free time to enjoy your hotel’s thermal baths and spa treatments; you deserve a bit of relaxation after such a long flight!
Your first meal in Tuscany will be a Welcome Dinner with all of your Small group’s travel companions to celebrate the beginning of your adventure in Tuscany. (D)
Day 3: SATURNIA, PITIGLIANO, SCANSANO with Morellino di Scansano
After breakfast, you will check out of your hotel and travel to the medieval town of Pitigliano, which is perched at the top of a rocky cliff. Sights include Etruscan ruins, monuments from the Medieval and Renaissance periods, and the historic Synagogue. Interestingly enough, Pitigliano is referred to as the “The Little Jerusalem” because of the strong Jewish community that has been present in the town for centuries.
Upon arrival you may choose to explore Pitigliano on your own or with your tour escort. Lunch will be on your own to be enjoyed in one of the many rustic trattorias. In the afternoon, your group will journey to Scansano, which is the heart of the Morellino di Scansano red wine production. Here you will take a tour of a local winery and sample what is considered to be the Maremma area’s most renowned wine. Upon finishing the tour, you will depart the Maremma area and travel to the medieval city of Siena.
The countryside surrounding Siena is quite different from the Maremma area, but just as breathtaking. Once you arrive in Siena you will check into your centrally located hotel. In the evening you will have plenty of free time to begin exploring Siena on your own.
When you are ready to enjoy dinner, be sure to sample typical recipes from the area such as pici pasta, which was invented right in Siena. (B,T)
Day 4: VAL DI CHIANA, VAL D’ORCIA, PIENZA, MONTALCINO and ST. ANTIMO ABBEY with Vino Nobile di Montepulciano
Upon finishing breakfast, you will spend the morning exploring two breathtaking areas of the Tuscan countryside: Val di Chiana and Val D’Orcia. Both valleys are filled with everything that is usually associated with the Tuscan countryside including rolling hills, ancient farmhouses, characteristic cypress trees, and of course vineyard after vineyard of grapes waiting to become superb Tuscan wine.
Your first visit will be at a local winery where you will witness the process followed to carefully craft Tuscan wine. The tour of the winery will begin in the vineyards and end in the cellars to give you a complete picture of wine production. Once the tour concludes, you will enjoy a lunch featuring typical delicacies paired with locally produced wines, such as eminent Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. Next, you will continue traveling through the hilly Tuscan countryside to arrive in the Renaissance town of Pienza, which is located at the peak of a hill. Pienza is famous because it embodies the Renaissance concept of an “ideal city”.
These ideal cities were designed following scientific principles and were meant to be in complete harmony with the environment. Few were actually realized, but Pienza is considered to be best surviving example of an ideal city. While exploring Pienza on your own or with your tour escort, be sure to try the local “Pecorino di Pienza” cheese made from sheep’s milk, you won’t regret it. The next stop will be Montalcino where you will visit another winery. This time you will learn about Brunello di Montalcino production, another superb Tuscan wine, and of course, you will have a chance to sample it as well.
Then you will journey back to Siena and spend some time relaxing at your hotel if you wish or stroll little more around your hotel on your own along the Medieval alleys.
Dinner tonight will be on your own once more and we encourage you to continue trying local specialties, such as a steak made from the locally-raised Chianina cattle. (B, T)
Day 5: SIENA
After finishing breakfast at your hotel you will spend the entire day discovering the beauty of the city famous for its Palio horse race: Siena.
First you will enjoy a private guided walking tour of Siena’s historical city center during which you will stop in Piazza del Campo, the large square where the Palio is held each year. While in Piazza del Campo you will admire the Torre del Mangia that, together with the building it is attached to, Palazzo Pubblico, has become a symbol of the city of Siena.
You will also stop by the Basilica of San Domenico where relics of Siena’s own St. Catherine can be venerated. The tour will end with the Duomo of Siena where you will admire masterpieces by various important artists including Donatello and Bernini. While inside be sure to look down at your feet; the floor of Siena’s Cathedral was carefully constructed by inlaying countless different pieces of marble and it is a true magnum opus! Once you finish the tour you will have the rest of the afternoon to visit new parts of the city or enjoy various other activities such as shopping for artisanal goods or climbing to the top of the Torre del Mangia for the best views in all of Siena.
This evening you will participate in an interactive cooking class during which Tuscan chefs will reveal some of their secrets.
For dinner tonight you will enjoy the fruits of your labor! (B,D)
Day 6: CHIANTI with Chianti Classico Wine
Today will be dedicated to Tuscany’s foremost wine region: the Chianti area. As some of you may already know, Chianti wine is so popular not only because of its high-quality, but because of its exceptional versatility that allows it to accompany a variety of dishes. The Chianti region is strikingly beautiful and also filled with history thanks to the numerous generations of local families that have dedicated their livelihoods to crafting perfect Chianti wine.
You will travel through Chianti’s country roads lined with cypress trees that wind around gentle rolling hills to reach a local estate where you will enjoy a unique lunch with a variety of meat-based dishes (though vegetarian options will be available as well).
Next, you will travel to a characteristic Chianti wine estate to experience the process of Chianti production starting with the careful picking of the grapes in the vineyards to the barrel-aging in the cellar and the eventual bottling. Of course, the tour of the estate will conclude with an unforgettable tasting of the inimitable Chianti wine.
In the evening you will journey back to your hotel in Siena and dinner tonight will be on your own. (B, L)
Day 7: SAN GIMIGNANO with the Vernaccia Wine
Today after breakfast you will check out of your hotel then make your way to the crown jewel of Tuscany: Florence. However, before arriving in Florence the group will stop in the enchanting town of San Gimignano, which is famous for its remarkably preserved medieval towers. Upon arrival you will have plenty of free time to explore this UNESCO World Heritage Site either on your own or with your tour escort. We highly recommend climbing to the top of the town’s defensive walls to admire breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.
After leaving San Gimignano you will stop at a very special winery that specializes in organic wine. The owners will give you a tour of the estate and for lunch you will sample some of the organic produce grown on the estate paired with the local Vernaccia di San Gimignano wine. In the afternoon you will make the final leg of the journey towards Florence.
After checking into your centrally located hotel in the heart of the Cradle of the Renaissance, you will say goodbye to your tour escort.
For the rest of the afternoon you can spend some time exploring Florence on your own or relaxing. Dinner tonight will be on your own once more and we highly encourage you to try a Florentine specialty such as bistecca alla fiorentina! (B, L, T)
Day 8: FLORENCE
Enjoy breakfast at your hotel and then start your private guided walking tour of the historical city center of Florence. During the tour you will admire the highlights of Florence’s endless art and architecture.
The first stop will be the Duomo of Florence, which dominates the city’s skyline thanks to the enormous dome designed by Brunelleschi. Adjacent to the Duomo is Giotto’s splendid Bell Tower and the Baptistery whose entrance was nicknamed the “Gates of Paradise” by none other than Michelangelo. The last stop will be the Ponte Vecchio, which is the oldest bridge in Florence and hosts the city’s most renowned jewelers.
After the tour you will have the opportunity to sample more Florentine recipes during lunch on your own, and then you will have time at your leisure to continue discovering the secrets of Florence. Art lovers may wish to stop by the Galleria dell’Accademia to admire various masterpieces up close including Michelangelo’s David.
In the evening, you will have plenty of time at your leisure to enjoy dinner in the local restaurant of your choice.(B)
Day 9: FLORENCE
Your final day in Florence can be spent however you wish as you will have the morning and afternoon to yourself.
First, you could spend some time shopping for the leather goods that Florence is famous for or stop by the Mercato Centrale di San Lorenzo to get a feel of daily life in Florence. If you wish to see more art, you could visit the Uffizi Gallery, which is filled with works by all the renowned masters including Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Michelangelo, Caravaggio, Botticelli, and more.
You could also take an excursion to nearby Pisa to climb up the legendary Leaning Tower. Your final meal in Tuscany will be a farewell dinner with everyone in your group at one of Florence’s most characteristic restaurants.(B, D)
Day 10: GOODBYE ITALY
Today you will need to wake up early to check out of your hotel and travel to Florence’s airport to board your flight back home. Arrivederci!