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|Tuscany, Italy||Dates to be announced for 2018!||TBD|
Midway down the Italian peninsula, Tuscany is known for rolling hills, fields of beautiful grapes and olive trees, dramatic cypress trees, and Italian villas – all adding up to gorgeous views at practically every turn. The beauty of the landscape is a photographer’s dream and proves perfect for walking and meandering. We’ll enjoy the must-see museums of Florence, and the beauty of Florence itself. Moving into the countryside, many of Tuscany’s towns have retained the same fundamental character over the past 500 years. This isn’t the place for a jam-packed itinerary. One of the greatest pleasures here is indulging ourselves with delicious meals and show stopping scenery. We’ll experience a Tuscan cooking class and dine on our efforts too – perfetto! Fall is our favorite season here and we’ll enjoy outdoor soft adventures along with great food & wine tastings, beautiful art, the local people, history and culture. Bella Tuscano!
Upon your morning arrival at the Florence airport you will be welcomed by our local guide and Canyon CallingTrip Leader, and transferred to our hotel in Florence. In the afternoon we’ll enjoy a short guided tour of Florence including a visit to the Accademia Gallery to see the most famous of Michelangelo’s work: David, a colossal nude of the biblical hero who killed the giant Goliath. Welcome dinner in the city center then back to the hotel for rest. Overnight Florence.
After a tasty breakfast at our hotel, we’ll check out of the hotel and we’re off on another half day guided tour of Florence including a visit to the Uffizi Gallery. The Uffizi, housing some of the world’s most important art treasures, has a celebrated assembly of works including paintings from the late Middle Ages through the early 18th century. Here we will admire such striking works as Caravaggio’s “Medusa”, Botticelli’s “Birth of Venus”, Leonardo da Vinci’s “Annunciation” and more. We’ll enjoy lunch in Florence then we’re off to our hotel in the heart of Tuscany, San Gimignano. We’ll enjoy the rest of the afternoon at leisure to explore, relax and enjoy dinner. Overnight San Gimignano.
After a tasty breakfast at our hotel we’ll meet our local hiking guide and be transferred to the starting point of our hiking tour around the San Gimignano countryside. We’ll admire the beautiful panorama of the Tuscany hills. The Francigena path is a route used in the middle ages to connect France to Rome, used by pilgrims who wished to see the Pope. Along this route there are many small villages for wonderful photo opportunities and soaking up local culture. We’ll lunch in San Gimignano and enjoy our afternoon time at leisure to fully explore this beautiful village. With a late afternoon transfer back to our hotel we have time to relax and get ready for a delicious dinner. Overnight San Gimignano.
After breakfast we’ll be transferred to a lovely farmhouse near the small town of Greve in Chianti. Here we will have the chance to enjoy a cooking class with the owner of the farmhouse. Together, we’ll start the preparation of some of the most typical dishes of the Tuscan countryside, discovering the old recipes of the “grandmothers” using fresh, local products.. At the end of the class we will enjoy a familystyle lunch together with our “teachers” tasting the dishes we made during the cooking class. It’s such a beautiful way to really ‘taste’ the real Tuscan experience. On our transfer back to the hotel we will stop at a wine estate to visit their wine cellar where the famous Chianti wine is produced. Of course we will enjoy a wine tasting too! Dinner and overnight San Gimignano.
After breakfast we will check out and board our van to continue our walking exploration of the Francigena Path linking San Gimignano to Monteriggioni. Our guide will select a part of the trail that allows us to see more breath taking landscapes. In the late morning we will reach the small town of Monteriggioni where we will have the chance to spend some time at leisure visiting this beautiful corner of Tuscany that represents one of the most important walled castles in the territory. It is incredibly preserved as an intact structure as if time stood still on the hill from which it elegantly dominates the surrounding landscape. The intact fortified wall presents 14 towers along which the guards used to walk and patrol the walls and 2 gates, one called the Franca or Roma Gate which faces Rome and the other known as the Florentine Gate since it heads toward Florence. Lunch and explore at leisure in Monteriggioni; then we will transfer to Siena to check into our accommodations and enjoy a delicious local dinner. Overnight Siena.
After a tasty breakfast at our hotel we will meet our local guide to lead us on our morning activity. In the real heart of Siena stands the Mangia Tower which we will stair climb to the top, approximately 40 minutes to reach the top and descend. We’ll enjoy one of the most beautiful views over Siena and its surrounding area from the tower top. Our walking tour continues in Siena to visit the beautiful monuments and the history of the town rich in culture. Famous all over the world for the Palio Horse Race held in Campo Square twice a year. Siena is known also for its Duomo as one of the finest Gothic cathedrals in Italy and well worth a visit. Here you can see the brilliant frescoes by Pinturicchio that adorn the Piccolomini Library. Lunch and the afternoon to enjoy some time at leisure and explore the city on your own. Dinner at a local favorite restaurant, and overnight Siena.
After breakfast we will depart for the small town of Pienza (a UNESCO site) for a walking tour of the village center which was redesigned by Pope Pius II. Once he became Pope, Piccolomini had the entire village rebuilt as an ideal Renaissance town. Intended as a retreat from Rome, it represents the first application of humanist urban planning concepts. (The rebuilding was done by Florentine architect Bernardo Rossellino.) Pienza is also famous for its Pecorino cheese production (sheep milk) which we’ll be sure to taste. Lunch in Pienza together, then a walk along a countryside path to the near town of Monticchiello a cozy medieval village that has preserved the charm of the past centuries. Transfer back to Siena and dinner at your leisure. Overnight Siena.
After a tasty breakfast at our hotel we will transfer to the Siena countryside where we will enjoy a bike tour, enjoying the beautiful landscapes, country churches and homes. Arriving at a local farmhouse, we will visit the cellars and enjoy lunch with wine tasting. An afternoon transfer returns us to Siena for some leisure time before our Farewell dinner at a restaurant in Siena city center. Overnight Siena.
After breakfast at the hotel we’ll check out and transfer to the Florence airport.
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