This amazing eight day exploration of Italy highlights some of the country's most amazing displays of fine art and natural beauty. No trip to Italy is complete without a stay in Florence, one of the most renowned cultural hot spots in the country. Lose yourself in the art, architecture and history of this legendary city during a guided walking tour. Then rest your feet and see the Italian countryside via a stunning train ride to Figline Valdarno where you can be pampered at the hotel pool and spa. Once the eyes have feasted, treat your taste buds to an authentic Tuscan cooking class and wine tasting in the famous Chianti area. This delightful multi-day adventure is a treat for all the senses!
Day 01: FLORENCE
You will arrive in Florence and make your way to the hotel, having time at leisure to relax or get acquainted with the city until dinner. In the evening, enjoy dinner at a typical restaurant in the historical center of Florence, with local wine selections included. Overnight stay at the hotel.
Day 02: FLORENCE
After a tasty Italian breakfast, you will spend a wonderful day discovering the beauty of Florence. Known as the Cradle of the Renaissance, you will marvel at Florence's art, architecture and churches created by the grand Masters such as Brunelleschi, Michelangelo and Giotto, to name a few. Begin your visit with a two hour guided walking tour which includes the Piazza del Duomo with its imposing Cathedral and impressive Dome, the Bell Tower, the Baptistery and Piazza Della Signoria with the majestic Palazzo Vecchio. Time at leisure for lunch. In the afternoon, you will have reservations at the world renowned Uffizi Gallery and Accademia Gallery allowing you to skip the long lines to enjoy works by Botticelli and Leonardo Da Vinci as well as the famous David sculpture by Michelangelo. Dinner will be a special and unique experience: you will be the guest at a private home and enjoy dinner as part of the family, tasting the authentic Florentine lifestyle in a friendly and intimate atmosphere. You will be picked up and driven back to the hotel for your overnight stay.
Day 03: FLORENCE, LUCCA
Breakfast at your hotel before you board the train to historic Lucca for a full day at leisure to explore this enchanting walled city of Etruscan and Roman origins that was powerful during the Middle Ages. Lucca is home to many beautiful churches, palaces and squares, including the famous Piazza dell’Anfiteatro with a perfect oval shape, the Piazza Napoleone where the Palazzo Ducale is located and where you will see traces from the reign of Elisa Baciocchi, sister of Napoleon Bonaparte who ruled the region in the 19th century. Nearby is the Duomo di San Martino, uniquely constructed with mismatched pillars, believed to be the result of an artist contest during the construction. It's also noted for having the Volto Santo di Lucca, a crucifix carved by Nicodemus, friend of Christ, and thus said to bear a true image of him. The home of composer Puccini is also nearby and open to visitors. Another lovely church worthy of a visit is the Romanesque Church of San Frediano. Finally, a simple stroll along the intact 4 km medieval walls will be a pleasing adventure on its own. In the afternoon, you will board the train back to Florence. Dinner on your own and overnight stay at the hotel.
Day 04: FLORENCE, FIGLINE VALDARNO
After breakfast, say farewell to Florence. You will board a train for Figline Valdarno in the Tuscan countryside. Check into your hotel set in a beautiful 14th century villa. The rest of the day will be at your leisure to relax in the hotel’s spa and wander through the beautiful Tuscan gardens. Dinner at the hotel consisting of a tasty Tuscan menu then enjoy a restful night at the hotel.
Day 05: FIGLINE VALDARNO, TUSCAN COOKING CLASS
After breakfast, you will participate in a cooking class at the Relais Torre Guelfa instructed by Chef Claudio Piantini. He will guide you through the preparation of several dishes, sharing his expertise and affection for Tuscan cuisine. Enjoy lunch consisting of the delicious meal you prepared during the class. The rest of the day is at leisure to explore the historic town of Figline Valdarno featuring several beautiful churches and the Praetorian Palace. Dinner on your own and overnight stay at your hotel.
Day 06: FIGLINE VALDARNO, GREVE IN CHIANTI, WINE TASTING, MONTEFIORALLE, CHIANTI REGION
Breakfast at the hotel and check out in preparation to meet your English speaking driver. After departure, you will take the Chiantigiana wine road traveling through the heart of the picturesque Chianti area towards Greve in Chianti. At Piazza del Mercato, the “market square”, you will admire the Franciscan Monastery. The tour continues with a visit to two wineries where you will enjoy wine tastings. Proceed to to the charming fortified village of Montefioralle, birthplace of explorer Amerigo Vespucci. At the end of the day you'll transfer to your new hotel in the Chianti area for dinner and an overnight stay.
Day 07: CHIANTI REGION, SIENA
After breakfast, your private driver will take you to enchanting and historic Siena. The medieval power of this lovely town still radiates glory in its magnificent Cathedral, which houses bas reliefs by Donatello and other 15th century sculptors as well as perfectly preserved frescoes by Ghirlandaio. The Piazza del Campo is another triumph of history, where the famous Palio horse race is held each year. In the square you will also find the Palazzo Pubblico, where frescoes by Ambrogio Lorenzetti, Pietro Lorenzetti and Simone Martini are on display. Lunch on your own and then return to your hotel in the late afternoon for dinner and an overnight stay.
Day 08: CHIANTI REGION, FLORENCE
After breakfast, check-out of your hotel accommodation. A private car and driver will transfer you to Florence. Upon arrival in Florence, end of the tour and our services.
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PACKAGE START AT $1,774.00 INCLUDES:
- 3 nights accommodation in a 3 or 4 Star Hotel in Florence;
- 2 nights accommodation in a 4 Star Hotel in Figline Valdarno;
- 2 nights accommodation in a 3 or 4 Star Hotel in the Chianti area;
- Daily breakfast;
- 1 dinner at a typical restaurant in Florence;
- 1 private home dinner with a Florentine family;
- 2 hours guided walking tour of Florence;
- Reservations at the Accademia Gallery;
- Reservations at the Uffizi Gallery;
- 1 full-day private tour of of the Chianti region;
- 2 winery visits with wine tastings;
- 1 cooking class with lunch to follow;
- Train transfers as per itinerary;
- Return transfer to the private home for the dinner in Florence;
- Private transfer from and to Florence;
- Vat Taxes and Service Charges.
WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED:
- All Land & Air prices: Additional U.S. & Foreign Departure Taxes and Surcharges Fee(s) assessed by the Airlines.
- Hospitality city tax which varies by city and hotel category. If applicable it has to be paid locally to the hotel.
- Entrance Fees to Monuments or Museums Tips, Extras.
- Guide services during excursions.
- All that is not listed under “PACKAGE INCLUDES”.
Independent tour package with private car w/ Driver for transfers and excursions.
Available all year around on request.
Minimum number of participants: 2 people.
(*) Rate based on two adult persons sharing a double or twin bedded room with private bathroom. Single rooms are available at an additional supplement. Children’s, triple room rates and alternative accommodation arrangements are available upon request. (Additional and different charges may apply).