Grab this chance to enjoy culinary vacation in Italy! The country, where timeless beauty meets amazing natural setting, will offer an exquisite holiday experience. Marvel at magnificent architecture and Renaissance art, Etruscan tombs and Roman ruins, and feast on flavorful food and local specialties such as Pecorino cheese and local wine. From beautiful coastal paths to authentic culinary experiences, this is a culinary and culture tour you do not want to miss!
Throughout the holiday, you will stay in charming, select hotels. In Florence, for example, you will spend one night in a hotel in the historic city center. In Radicofani, your home for the next three nights is located in the hills, a dream of an old Tuscan villa. In Spello, your home for the next three nights is a beautiful old palace. When you are in Radda in Chianti, you will spend the next two nights in a lovely country inn looking out over the hills. Later, you will spend two nights in a charming hotel in the car-free historic center in San Gimignano. Following your journey to Lerici, you will enjoy your stay in lovely hotel overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. Your last base in Italy is a hotel in a friendly, ancient town of Lucca.
Today, you arrive at the Florence Airport, Peretola (FLR). Take a taxi to the hotel in the historic center and take a nap! In the late afternoon, an expert local guide will take you on a walking tour, where you will see the famous Duomo, Campanile and Baptistry, the Piazza della Signoria, the Palazzo Vecchio, and the Ponte Vecchio. There is no city on earth like Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance. When your feet are tired, you can relax in a trattoria with a cappuccino, a glass of prosecco, or one of the best gelatos in the world. This evening, you will enjoy a sumptuous gourmet Tuscan dinner.
This morning you will head south to the wine region of Chianti. At a beautiful winery, you will take a tour that ends with a wine-tasting lunch. You will spend the next two nights in a lovely country inn, looking out over the hills. Surrounded by vineyards, the ur base in Radda in Chianti is ideal for visiting the wineries that produce the famous Chianti Classico wine. Tonight’s dinner is a gourmet affair in the nearby village of Castellina in Chianti.
Today, you take a guided walking tour of the ancient town of Siena, which is a dazzling maze of medieval streets, churches, shops, and the beautiful Piazza del Campo. Siena’s striking cathedral is a marvel. Dating from the 12th century, its majestic pillars, mosaics, and light and dark marble bands are breathtaking. After lunch, you head back to the resort in Radda for some relaxation before a wine tasting class and a wine tasting dinner.
Today you head south to Montalcino for a winery tour and wine tasting lunch. The local Brunello wines have put Montalcino on the world map of great wines. After a walk through the lovely village, you will depart home for the next three nights. Spello, an ancient Umbrian hilltop village, is a dream to explore. Roman arches, medieval streets, and lots of quaint trattorias are all part of the experience. You will walk to dinner tonight at a lovely restaurant looking out over the beautiful landscape.
Today, you will visit Assisi, an important pilgrimage site and home of the Basilica di San Francesco, built to honor Saint Francis (1182-1226). Assisi began as an Umbrian settlement in the 7th century Before Christ and was conquered by the Romans 400 years later. After touring the town with the guide, you will have a gourmet lunch in Torgiano, followed by a visit to Umbria’s largest winery for a tour and tasting. On the way back to Spello, you will stop in Deruta, the home of many famous ceramic factories. You will have a free evening tonight in Spello.
This morning’s activity is an entertaining Umbrian cooking class, followed by a mouth-watering meal. In the afternoon you will visit the picturesque hilltop wine village of Montefalco, and then try some of the best Montefalco wines and olive oil at a local winery.
Returning to Tuscany, you will follow a road winding up through terraces of vines and olives to the hill town of Cortona, celebrated in Frances Mayes’ Under the Tuscan Sun. After some free time to explore and have lunch in this dreamy little village, you will head into the heart of the beautiful Chianti wine region. You will spend the next two nights in a lovely country inn looking out over the hills. Surrounded by vineyards, your base in Radda in Chianti is ideal for visiting the wineries that produce the famous Chianti Classico wine. Tonight is a wine tasting feast.
Today’s excursion is to the ancient hilltop town of Orvieto. Marco meets you there to give you an excellent tour, including the famous Duomo (cathedral) with its unusual green-and-white marble stripes. He walks with you through historic medieval neighborhoods with picturesque narrow streets, filled with enticing restaurants and boutiques selling the famed Orvieto ceramics. You will return to Montepulciano for some free time before another delicious dinner.
Day 9 - Montepulciano, San Gimignano
Today, you head for the fairyland medieval town of San Gimignano. You will spend two nights in a charming hotel in the car-free historic center, with its ancient streets, mysterious medieval towers, and beautiful squares, monuments, and palaces. This evening, you will also enjoy a gastronomic Tuscan dinner.
On your second day in this region, you will take a side trip to the fascinating Etruscan hilltop town of Volterra, once a Stone Age settlement, where you will see Etruscan ruins dating back thousands of years. Then, return to San Gimignano for free time to explore or relax.
This morning, you will drive to Pisa to see the magical Leaning Tower and its magnificent cathedral. Then, continue to the Ligurian coast and check into your lovely hotel overlooking the Mediterranean Sea in Lerici, your gateway to explore the five enchanting villages of the Cinque Terre. This afternoon, explore the town of Lerici before a dinner of wonderful fresh seafood.
Today, you will take a boat from village to village to understand what the beauty and mystery of the land of Cinque Terre means. Hikers can enjoy a magnificent walk with incredible views while others can relax at a trattoria on the harbor. You will return to Lerici by boat for a relaxing evening on your own.
Meal plan: Breakfast.
On your final day, you will leave the coast and arrive in time for lunch in the charming Tuscan town of Lucca. You will check into your hotel and take a walking tour of this friendly, ancient town. You will enjoy a last Tuscan farewell feast before retiring for the evening.
After breakfast, head for the Florence Airport, Peretola (FLR) for your return flights.
This culinary and wine tasting holiday takes place in Tuscany, Umbria, and Cinque Terre, Italy.
Italy offer numerous dining options you don't want to miss out. Apart from a sumptuous gourmet Tuscan dinner and Tuscan specialties, you can enjoy wonderful multi-course home cooked dinners using the freshest local ingredients. For your relaxing moments, you may try ordering a cappuccino, a glass of prosecco, or one of the best gelatos in the world in a trattoria. Local pecorino cheeses, bruschetta, as well as wonderful fresh seafood dinner will also be a part of your culinary experience in Italy. You will also have the chance to sample the famous Chianti Classico and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano.
During breaks between activities and tours, you may want to explore the cities you are visiting and browse the shops. You can also visit a trattoria and try what locals enjoy in the eatery.
Please book your flight to arrive at Florence Airport, Peretola (FLR). Continue your journey to the hotel by taxi.