7 days small group tour
7 days small group tour
Join a small group and be able to embrace a deep cultural history of food, wine, art and discovering all the hidden gems of Tuscany. Experience accommodation in an authentic Tuscan farmhouse, in your private apartment, step into the old soul of Tuscany , experience the folklore of an ancient Tuscan village and enjoy the magic of Maremma, the real countryside of Tuscany. You will visit a number of castles, wineries and cellars to learn the
intimate story of Chianti’s famous wine. You will also get a chance to learn about and sample the region’s fine extra virgin olive oil.
Day 1 Collection from Florence Train Station
Your adventure will commence at the stunning Central Station of Florence, where you will be collected by our knowledgeable local driver. From the station, you will be shuttled to your authentic Tuscan farmhouse base, where you will have a chance to explore the private apartment that you will call home for the next few days. The farmhouse will give you the first glimpse of what awaits: peace, tranquillity, and stunning countryside vistas. You will also benefit from modern amenities such as a swimming pool, restaurant, laundry facilities, and full Wi-Fi access.
Day 2: Discovering Arezzo and Anghiari
The week will get off to a great start with a visit to the south-east towns of Arezzo and Anghiari, two of Tuscany’s most beautiful areas. First on our itinerary will be Arezzo, where you will have an opportunity to meet a local historical guide who will let you in on the secrets of this fascinating historic town and once sworn enemy of Florence. Arezzo has a long and established history in the goldsmith trade, and this has contributed to its status as one of the wealthiest cities in Tuscany. While its Medieval town center was sadly devastated during the second world war, a large number of notable monuments, museums, and churches remain dotted throughout the town, giving visitors a chance to catch a glimpse of times gone by. Arezzo is perhaps most famous for the Church of San Francesco, in which you can find a mesmerizing Early Renaissance fresco cycle that depicts the Legend of the True Cross as painted by Piero Della Francesca. After taking in the riches of the church, we will venture uphill to Piazza Grande; onward to the Medicean Fortress, a cathedral that was constructed in honor of San Donato; then back down to the Roman Amphitheater and the Church of San Domenico, where we will find Cimabue’s wooden Crucifix. Despite Arezzo’s fascinating history and beautiful sights, it is seldom included on the itineraries of contemporary Tuscan tours. As such, you’ll benefit from exploring the town away from large groups of tourists and sightseers while also getting up close and personal with its various hidden gems. After lunch, we will head to another medieval treasure, Anghiari, which is positioned in the Tuscan Valtiberina valley, approximately 30 km from Arezzo toward the border of Umbria and Tuscany. Anghiari is a distinctive village that is perched atop a striking hill that has formed over centuries with the Tiber River at its base. Surrounded by imposing 13th-century walls, Anghiari’s steep medieval history is preserved in a unique and alluring way. Each of the inimitable stone houses that line the roads feature characteristic small windows and wooden shutters. The doorways and balconies of the homes are adorned with bright floral displays, giving the streets of Anghiari a vibrant and charming beauty. Anghiari is widely regarded as one of Italy’s most beautiful villages and has earned an Orange Flag distinction from the Italian Touring Club, which described it as a “medieval treasure lying between the Arno and Tiber.” When we’ve explored all Anghiari has to offer, we’ll head back toward the farmhouse. However, along the way, you’ll have a chance to visit a customary local winery in the Chanti Aretino area, where we’ll have our first taste of some of the famous wines of Tuscany.
Day 3: Exploring San Gimignano and Volterra
Next on our visit to some of Tuscany’s most enthralling areas will be a visit to San Gimignano, a little walled village that sits serenely halfway between Siena and Florence and Siena. San Gimignano is renowned for its captivating medieval turrets that tower above the other medieval buildings and provide visitors with an unforgettable view of the city and the surrounding valley. The tower houses are what remains of the history of San Gimignano’s patrician families who, at the pinnacle of the town’s glory, constructed in the region of 72 towers as a testament to their prosperity and authority. While only 14 of the original towers remain, the town maintains its medieval aesthetic and unique façade. Formally named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1990, San Gimignano’s patrician families provide intrepid travelers with an ideal opportunity to immerse themselves in history while also providing visitors with a chance to sample some of the area’s famous produce, including saffron and the Vernaccia di San Gimignano white wine. We’ll ensure that you get plenty of time to discover the remarkable village of San Gimignano independently before your tour manager takes you to enjoy a spot of lunch of local products and delicious wines at a family-run winery. The next place on our itinerary will be Volterra, a delightful town that is located in the heart of the province of Pisa, relatively close to Florence, Siena, and the coast. Here, we will discover the town’s renowned Etruscan origins and the many remnants of this fascinating era in history. Volterra is particularly intriguing due to its strange layout, which is directly reminiscent of its Etruscan history. Today, you can still see some of the town’s magnificent defensive walls, which were constructed as far back as the 5th to 4th centuries BC. Notable sites include the Porta dell’Arco and Porta Diana city gates; the Acropolis, which houses numerous buildings and the groundworks of two ancient temples; and various Roman remains, such as the Roman Theatre, which is constructed in the shape of a natural amphitheater and dates back to the first century AC.
Day 4: Cooking class and the unforgettable “sagre” summer festivals
On day three of the tour, you can put your feet up and enjoy a day of relaxation around the farm. Alternatively, we’ll alight the train and spend the day discovering the delights of Firenze. In the evening, you will have a chance to participate in a cooking class under the watchful eye of a local chef, who will help you prepare a delicious local dinner. If you’re fortunate to be in Tuscany between the festival months of June and September, we’ll head out to join the locals as they celebrate their energetic summer festivals.
Day 5: The Chianti Region
If it’s the lure of delectable wines that has drawn you to Tuscany, you won’t be disappointed when we spend the next day of our trip sampling some of the region’s most famous wines. Today, we will immerse ourselves in the cherished history of Chianti’s wine production when we visit some very special cellars, wineries, and castles. In addition to tasting the fine wines of the region, you’ll also have a chance to savor Chianti’s delicious extra virgin olive oil. After indulging in the distinctive produce of Chianti, we will pay a visit to Greve, the home of Tuscany’s most renowned butcher and deli shop… another great place to sample Tuscany’s delicious wares! On the way back to the farmhouse, we’ll take a detour to a local family-run trattoria, at which you’ll indulge in an unforgettable Tuscan supper.
Day 6: Hot Springs, Montalcino, and Montichiello
Today is all about relaxation as we visit one of Tuscany’s most naturally beautiful hot springs. We’ll start the day by driving to the ‘Bagni di San Filippo’ Natural Spring, which is located in the area of Val D’orcia in the proximity of the town of Bagni San Filippo. Here, you’ll lose yourself amid the waterfalls, calciferous formations, and small pools of hot water. Venture deeper along the paths, and you’ll be met with an immense calcium formation that is known affectionately as the “White Whale.” The springs swell up from the ground below at a temperature of 48°C. Take a dip and relax! Alternatively, you can pamper yourself and enjoy one of the various spa treatments that the Spa (Terme San Filippo) has on offer. The various services on offer at Terme San Filippo span a large natural parkland that features hot water canals and the characteristic vegetation of the Val D’Orcia. The thermal treatments that are available include mud baths, spa baths, and a variety of aerosol inhalation therapies. There is also face and body treatments and specialized beauty products on offer. After lunch, you can take a quick shower at the Spa center before preparing yourself for another afternoon of wine tasting in Montalcino, where you will have a chance to learn all about the “Brunello” red wine and visit the beautiful village of Montichiello. You will be transported back to the farmhouse base in the late afternoon, so you have a chance to take a short break before enjoying a sumptuous Tuscan dinner in a local trattoria or at the farmhouse itself.
Day 7: Siena and Monteriggioni
The last day of the tour will involve a visit to the picturesque town of Siena where we will meet up with a local historical tour guide to learn all about the city’s fascinating secrets. Siena has a reputation for being Italy’s finest medieval city, and it’s easy to see why. At the heart of Siena, we find the Il Campo central piazza, which is famous throughout the world for the Palio run that is held here twice every summer. Fans of the James Bond movie, Quantum of Solace, will vividly recall the images of the Siena and Palio that appeared in the film. The city spans three hills, which meet in the immense Piazza del Campo, where the Roman forum once lay. The piazza was rebuilt during the rule of the quasi-democratic group Council of Nine between 1287 and 1355. The resulting design portrays the nine sections of the fan-like brick pavement of the piazza to represent the council, which combine to symbolize the Madonna’s cloak, Siena’s protector. The red Palazzo Pubblico and the Torre del Mangia tower dominate the Campo. Like the Piazza del Campo, the Duomo of Siena and the Palazzo Pubblico were constructed during the rule of the Council of Nine. Much like the Palazzo Vecchio of Florence, the civic palace, which was developed between 1297 and 1310, is home to the city’s municipal offices to this day. Entrances to the Torre del Mangia and the Civic Museum can be found in its courtyard. If you’re feeling particularly energetic, you can ascend the 500+ steps to enjoy a jaw-dropping view of Siena and the surrounding landscape. In the afternoon, we will progress to Monteriggioni, one of the territory’s most notable walled castles. Sitting atop a hill that gracefully emerges from the surrounding countryside between the beautiful city of Sienna and Colle Val d’Elsa, the Monteriggioni is immaculately preserved as though time has stood still. Its seamless circular perimeter takes on the appearance of a manmade construction; however, it was crafted according to the curves of the natural ground. The complete fortified wall consists of 14 towers, which were once patrolled by the guards, and two gates: The Franca or Romea Gate, which faces Rome, and the Florentine Gate, which is named such due to its position facing toward Florence. After a fascinating day exploring these historical marvels, we will return to the farmhouse accommodation for a final Tuscan dinner together.
Day 8: Drop off at Florence train Station
We will end the tour with a hearty breakfast before parting ways at Florence train station.
Tours in English guaranteed with a minimum of 2 people to a maximum of 8 people
Payment : deposit of 20% per person within 7 days of confirmation and balance 60 days before departing from Australia
Departure dates 2019: Every Saturday from 27 April to 19 October
Duration: 8 days / 7 nights
Price per person (min 2 people twin share): A$3190 per person; except June to August A$3290 per person
Cost per person
The accommodation are selected to ensure you have a unique opportunity to enjoy an authentic Tuscan experience. You will stay in a rustic holiday farmhouse located in the mesmerising Tuscan hills or in a authentic old fashionable bed and breakfast on the Tuscan Coast.