Day 1 - Arrival Day/Benvenuto!
Welcome to Italy! Your hotel for the next two nights is set in the heart of Florence with a view over the Arno river. Everything is within a short walking distance: All of the important monuments, museums and galleries. Florence is the capital of Italy's Tuscany region and cradle of Renaissance art and architecture. Its museums, palaces, and churches are some of the greatest artistic treasures in the world. After arrival and check-ins, you're free to explore this magnificent town, discovering its amazing architecture, quiet piazzas and stunning jewels such as the Ponte Vecchio. The group will meet up for introductions and then onto a fun evening at a typical Florentine restaurant where we can taste the best of authentic Tuscan cuisine (D)
Day 2 - Florence: Markets & Mysteries of the Medici
After breakfast at our hotel, we will meet our English speaking local guide and enjoy a walking tour of Florence. Our first stop will be the colorful markets where you can find anything: From a tripe sandwich to a silk scarf! During the tour our guide will point out famous sites such as the Duomo, Ponte Vecchio, the Uffizi Gallery, Piazza della Signori, Piazza della Repubblica, and more. We'll learn all about the dark secrets of Florence's famous noble families and artists with this behind the scenes & highlights tour. We'll enjoy a wine-pairing lunch as a group and then the afternoon is free for you to shop, explore art galleries, museums, or just soak in the vibrant life of one of the many piazze while having a caffè or spritz. Enjoy time Dinner on your own - we will provide the group with suggestions. (B, L)
Day 3 - A Farm in Florence?
This morning after breakfast we'll check out of our hotel and bid "Arrivederci" to "La culla del Rinascimentoe" (The cradle of the Renaissance) and make our way to the hills above Florence. We'll visit a countryside farm just outside the city center. The estate is a completely organic farm. We'll have a walk through stunning property and botanical gardens, stopping to visit the farm animals and enjoy an olive oil tasting before we have lunch on the estate. Then it is on to the Chianti region. Settle in to unpack, relax or stroll around the property. We'll conclude the day with a group welcome dinner including local wines, served in the comfort of our villa.
(B, L, D)
Day 4 - The Ancient Art of Terracotta
After a leisurely breakfast at our accommodations, we will head off to visit some terracotta kilns. The world’s finest terracotta pots come from Impruneta, a small village nestled in the Tuscan hills a few kilometers from Florence and well known for its exceptional craftsmanship for centuries. Impruneta terracotta is famous not only for the quality of workmanship, clay and firing, but also for being resistant to below zero temperatures. Blessed with clay that is naturally rich in iron, copper, calcium, and aluminum, it gives the terracotta its characteristic burnt orange coloring.There are several important "fornace" (kilns) which still follow the age old techniques which date back to 1098. We will tour one of these fornace, where you can see how they make the clay, form the vases and statues and then tour the kilns, some of which are hundreds of years old and still in use today. (B, L, D)
Day 5 - Authentic Cooking Lessons & Wine Tasting
Today after our breakfast, we'll start the day with a half-day cooking lesson learning all the secrets of typical tuscany dishes from a wonderful and vibrant chef: It might be Crostini, Ribollita, Wild Boar, Pasta with Ragu, or one of many other authentic dishes. The lesson will finish with a lunch during which you will have the chance to taste all of the delicious dishes we have created. All foods are prepared with natural products. After lunch, we will stop in the village of Castellina in Chianti. The town is of Etruscan and Roman origin, and was a feudal estate of the nobles of Trebbio in the 11th-century and then an important Florentine fortress. Castellina became the seat of local government for the ancient Chianti League together with Radda and Gaiole in the 13th-century. Today, there still exists the massive Rocca (castle), with a huge 14th-century tower and houses a small Etruscan museum. Grab a gelato in one of the best gelateria's in the area. As well, we'll visit a lovely winery for a tour and wine tasting. Head back to the villa and relax by the pool before dinner. (B, L, D)
Day 6 - Medieval Siena
After breakfast at the villa, we head out to a full day excursion to Siena, a perfectly preserved medieval town set amid the olive groves and the vineyards of Chianti. This charming town is a UNESCO world heritage site and is famous for its piazza, museums, cuisine and “The Palio”, a horse race which is run right through the middle of town twice a year. Built on three hills, Siena's center is lined with narrow, winding cobblestone passages and steep steps. The superb 12th-century Cathedral, constructed of alternating stripes of green and white marble, is one of Italy's most impressive creations. We'll first enjoy a guided walking tour and then have the remainder of the day at leisure to meander through the shops and narrow streets of Siena, or relax in an outdoor café on the Piazza del Campo, your window to traditional Sienese life. Dinner tonight at our villa (B, D)
Day 8 - Castles, Gardens, & Wine
Today we will visiting some important castles of the Chianti region. Tuscany is undoubtedly the land of castles. The combination of a turbulent history of contending city states and marauding foreign armies with a ready supply of stone and stone masons has produced a huge number of picturesque Tuscan castles – fortresses, walled hamlets, fortified abbeys and towers in Tuscany. The amazing variety of fortified stone structures with the majority of them dating from the end of mediaeval times, makes a drive through the countryside a fascinating journey through history and a photographers’ paradise. The whole area of Chianti is packed with castles, even more so than other parts of Tuscany. Feel like royalty today as we head out and visit a few of these castles. We'll enjoy tours of the property and grounds, along with some wonderful wine tasting and lunch. Dinner tonight at our villa (B, L, D)
Key: B = Breakfast / L = Lunch / D = Dinner, included
*Itineraries are subject to change. Vitalia Tours and its partners will strive to provide you with the best possible tour and experience. It is our intention to adhere to the outlined itinerary as published. However, please be advised that it may be occasionally necessary to substitute an activity due to events that cannot be predicted. Therefore, Vitalia Tours reserves the right to make changes in accommodations, tours or excursions, meals, and itineraries at any time should it become necessary or desirable.
Chianti is more than just a wine, it is a small region within Tuscany. This area is one of the most beautiful in the whole region, as well as the most well known. Chianti offers a stunning landscape, with gently rolling hills covered in a patchwork-quilt of fields, vineyards, and silver olive groves. The roads are lined with tall green cypresses, and here and there are small medieval villages, parish churches, stone farmhouses, and renaissance villas, all which seem to create an enchanting real-life picture postcard. At Vitalia Tours, our emphasis has always been on the experiential tour. We'll eat like the locals, visit creative artisans, learn all about the art & history with our expert local guides, and experience the simple pleasures of exploring the Chianti region with its incredible scenery, fantastic food and famous wine!
Our "Chianti Classico" Tour is a fully-escorted tour with all of your accommodations, excursions & tours, transportation and most of your meals completely arranged and included. However, we've left you some flexibility for free time to relax in a piazza, meander the small villages we will be visiting, or do some shopping. We'll spend 2 nights in Florence, and 7 nights in the Chianti countryside. This tour will take you through Siena, San Gimignano, Greve, Castellina, and more.
Dates: October 3 - 12, 2018
10 Days/9 Nights
Where: Florence & Chianti Countryside
Group size: 6-12 Maximum
Tour Cost: $5150 USD per person/double occupancy
$950 USD single supplement
October 3 - 12, 2018
Deposit: $2000.00 at time of booking to reserve your spot
Balance due: August 1, 2018
*Book early to secure a room in Florence with a balcony or river view!
** Tour price subject to change until booked
* There is free wifi at our accommodations
** We highly recommend purchasing trip insurance to protect your investment. This is to ensure that you are covered in the event of loss of deposit and cancellation fees, medical emergency or health expenses, personal accident, flight cancellation or delays and to protect your luggage against any loss or damage.
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