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Experience firsthand how Italians cook and eat at home. We'll have tastings of wine and olive oil. Visit cheese makers and bakers. We've also arranged visits to private and hotel kitchens for tips on how to create the classics of the Tuscan menu. As with every Classic Journey, we've planned walks so you'll miss none of the historic or scenic high points. From our luxurious convent-turned-hotel, we explore the Duomo, the Ponte Vecchio and the rest of the city's Renaissance splendors on foot. Well also pay a morning visit to San Lorenzo, the Florentines mind-boggling main market. Out in the Mugello Valley, a walk includes a visit with a cheese-making shepherd followed by a cooking instruction and dinner in a friends farmhouse kitchen. Well also top off a stroll in Chiantis vineyards with a little cooking in a country home then visit the hilltop village of San Gimignano with its skyline of medieval towers.
Originally a palace of the Guelf family, this historic hotel in the heart of Florence is known for its attentive service. The rooftop terraces offer remarkable views of the entire city. Rooms are decorated in elegantly understated Florentine style.
Located in Cortonathe town made famous by Francis Mayes' best seller Under the Tuscan Sun, this beautiful hotel, dating back to the 8th century, was recently restored with special attention paid to its original style and architectural characteristics. Each window of the villa offers breathtaking views, and the elegant frescoed guest rooms combine modern amenities and lovely antique furniture.
You will meet Classic Journeys in Florence. From the luxurious convent-turned-hotel, you will explore the Duomo, the Ponte Vecchio and the rest of the city’s Renaissance splendors on foot. You will also pay a morning visit to San Lorenzo, the Florentines’ mind-boggling main market.
Out in the Mugello Valley, a walk includes a visit with a cheese-making shepherd followed by a cooking instruction and dinner in a friend’s farmhouse kitchen. You will also top off a stroll in Chianti’s vineyards with a little cooking in a country home, then visit the hilltop village of San Gimignano with its skyline of medieval towers.
Passing through fields of sunflowers, you will drive to Siena where superb sightseeing is matched with pasta-rolling tips in the noble home of another of our culinary acquaintances. Ending the day in Cortona, you will explore its Etruscan stone walls and wander the village streets depicted in Frances Mayes’ book Under the Tuscan Sun. After breakfast overlooking Lake Trasimeno, you will walk to Montepulciano’s oldest winery and taste the locally pressed olive oil. On the final full day, you will visit Catherine de Medici’s favorite Roman bath and walk the olive groves near Montalcino before a festive farewell dinner.
Daily breakfasts, two lunches, and five dinners are served on this program and four of the meals as cooking instructions.