Day 1 – Arrival
Arrival to the hotel near Florence. Time to settle in, welcome dinner and overnight stay.
Day 2 – Florence
Morning departure for Florence. Private guided tour of Florence. Walk through the historical centre of this amazing city and visit the Santa Croce church (outside), known as the “Pantheon of Italian Glories” where many illustrious Italians such as Michelangelo, Galileo, Rossini and Machiavelli are buried. The visit also takes in the other religious buildings (the Baptistery, the Duomo and Giotto’s bell tower – outside) and the houses of power in the old city (the Piazza della Signoria). Lunch at typical restaurant. Free afternoon to stroll along Florence elegant streets. We suggest a break at one of Florence’s oldest ice cream parlours, “Perché no!” that offers more than 33 different flavours and a precise selection of raw materials (including pistachios from Bronte, a Slow Food Presidium product, saffron and cardamom). Return to the hotel and overnight stay.
Day 3 – Siena, San Gimignano
Morning: we suggest to visit Siena, one of the most important and most beautiful architecture in the city, including the Museum delle Contrade (each horse in the famous “Palio”, runs for a different Contrada or district). We suggest to sample of some delicious traditional desserts like the Panforte in one of the most famous pastry shops in town. Free time for shopping. On the way to San Gimignano along the ancient Via Francigena, lunch with some of the traditional local produce such as the Certaldo onion (Slow Food Presidium), and the organic extra virgin olive oil from San Gimignano in a little family-run farmhouse. Visit and have a talk on the techniques used in producing organic olive oil. We suggest, in the afternoon, to visit the famous towers and the San Gimignano 1300 Museum: storyboards, multi-media exhibits, street scenes and a ceramic recreation of the city as it was back in 1300. Return to the hotel and overnight stay.
Day 4 – Radda in Chianti, Greve in Chianti
Entire day dedicated to discovering the Chianti hills along the Via Chiantigena (an ancient road connecting Siena with Florence crossing over the Chianti hills). Visit a winery in Radda in Chianti where you will meet the wine producer and visit to the cellars, at the end enjoy a wine tasting. Proceed to Greve in Chianti where we suggest visiting the little historical town centre. Stopping at the historical butchers “Falorni” where since the 1729 they produce the specialties of the local [norcineria], the Prosciutto Saporito (Cured Ham) di Greve and all the cured products also in the various versions of pork from the Surrounding Senese hills as well as the wild boar, from the well-known Finocchiona to the Noble Salamis in Chianti, prepared with the noble parts of the pork, to the Salami to the Classical Chianti. Specialty: ‘Bistecca alla Fiorentina’ T-bone Florentine Steak, Italian veal. We suggest you to have a little tasting of salami. We also suggest lunch at Trattoria Mangiando Mangiando. In the afternoon visit winery in Greve in Chianti for a wine and oil tasting. Return to the hotel and overnight.
Day 5 – Montepulciano, Pienza
Morning departure for Montepulciano, one of the most characteristic and intact medieval cities in Italy which from a height of 605 metres above sea level offers amazing views over the surrounding hillsides. Visit typical winery for a free tasting, and then explore the wonderful town centre of Montepulciano. For lunch, we suggest the old Osteria dell’Acquacheta, with its rustic and familial atmosphere. Here, you may sample some of Tuscany’s best recipes (such as the Pici all’Aglione). In the afternoon, proceed to Pienza, the perfect example of a renaissance city, famous for its Pecorino cheese. Visit a Pecorino cheese producer, learn something about the cheese-making process, and sample the fare. Return to the hotel and overnight stay.
Day 6 – Montalcino
Morning departure for Montalcino, famous for its Brunello, one of the best red wines in the world. Montalcino, however, is also a beautiful art city, which dominates 3,000 hectares of vineyards (1,500 for Brunello alone). We suggest a visit to the Mastio della Rocca which is home to the Enoteca La Fortezza where it will be possible to buy some local products and the exceptional honey, a local specialty. Free time. Return to Florence area and join a cooking class dedicated to the Tuscany tradition, followed by dinner. Overnight stay to the hotel.
Day 7 – Departure