Arrival to Florence and settling in.
A private driver will collect you from Florence train station or airport for transfer to accommodation in Florence city center. After check-in, the afternoon and evening will be at guests’ leisure for individual activities. Upon request, accommodation, museum, restaurant or other reservations can be made.
Meet guide at your accommodation for a morning discovery of Florence. The fascinating history of this great city will be revealed from its Roman origins, to the proud city-state of the Republic, to Grand Ducal glory. Learn about the important historic figures in the history of Florence, such as Cosimo dei Medici, Filippo Brunelleschi, Michelangelo Buonarotti, Leonardo da Vinci and Galileo Galilei. Visit to the Accademia to admire the unfinished works by Michelangelo and his unsurpassed masterpiece, the David. Afterwards, attention will turn to the historic and religious center of Florence, the Cathedral (Il Duomo) and the Baptistery, with its famous doors. Then, head to the main square of Florence, Piazza della Signoria packed with marvelous statues and the famous nearby bridge, Ponte Vecchio. The morning concludes with a stroll through the colorful San Lorenzo food market where you can linger on to have lunch.
In the afternoon meet in a professional kitchen or a private home for a hands-on cooking class. The secrets of Italian cuisine will be revealed as guests prepare 3-4 dishes to comprise a traditional Italian menu including appetizer, first course, second course and dessert. The menu changes with the seasons, in accordance with Italian philosophies on balancing natural flavors with nutritional value and also according to your wishes. Dinner to follow based on your efforts.
In the morning meet with your private driver to head south-bound into the picturesque countryside east of Siena. Meet your local guide and gear up for your morning e-bike excursion. Ride down countryside lanes dotted with farmhouses, vineyards and olive trees. Afterwards enjoy lunch with the guide’s suggestions. The trip to Siena afterwards can be via private transfer or by e-bike, depending on mood and how much you ate for lunch! After arrival in Siena enjoy a 2 hour walking tour to learn more about this red-bricked Medieval city that was once so rich and important as to be stop on the pilgrim’s path to Rome – the Via Francigena. Find out more about the ‘Government of the Nine’ and the famed bareback horserace, Il Palio. Following the tour, the driver will be on hand for the return journey to Florence in the late afternoon.
(around 20 kilometers (12.5 miles) of cycling).
This day includes a 2- to 3-hour walk that can be shortened or extended at the guests’ discretion and which covers 6.5-9.5 kilometers (4-6 miles). Meet local guide and driver at accommodation for a transfer to the departure point of the walk: Castel Petraia. Around one hour from Florence, this fortified manor house lies at the foot of Monte Maggio, whose wooded slopes separate the valley of the river Elsa from Siena and its plain. Here, a peaceful walk loops around the foot of the mountain through Mediterranean shrub, low lying macchia and fields of iron-rich red soil. We pass the Abbadia a Isola, a 12th-century monastic complex that was once home to Cluniac Benedictines and which became an important stop for pilgrims on the Via Francigena. Stroll through olive groves, pass by ancient farmhouses and reach the Castle of Monteriggioni. This imposing circular fortress was built by the Sienese to guard the border with Florence. Time for a delicious lunch with suggestions from guide.
Afterwards, there is the short transfer to San Gimignano, “the city of beautiful towers”. Already a powerful community in the 1100s, San Gimignano became famous for its daring towers built to symbolize the wealth of the town and its merchants. Situated along the busy French road that connected the north part of Europe to Rome and the Adriatic Sea, the village of San Gimignano profited economically from the constant flow of goods, textiles, wine and saffron that traveled along that medieval “freeway”. In the town itself, wander the alleyways or do a bit of shopping. In the late afternoon return to Florence, which takes about 1.5 hours.
This exclusive full-day Tuscany tour is dedicated to Chianti and Tuscan wines and particularly to the Chianti Classico. Commencing from the guests’ accommodation in the morning, head off to explore the picturesque Chianti Classico area of Tuscany with private transport and a dedicated driver-guide.
This Chianti wine tour includes a visit to two wineries, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. There is ample time to dedicate to exploring the cellars, seeing the vineyards and enjoying the estates, all the while surrounded by the picturesque Tuscan countryside. During each winery stop, it will be possible to have a wine tasting of the estates’ best offerings.
One important tradition in Tuscany is that wine is always served with food. In keeping with this long-held custom, it is possible arrange lunch at one of the wineries or in a delicious local restaurant in a quaint Tuscan village. There would then be time to explore the village itself. Some examples could be Castellina in Chianti or Greve in Chianti. Being a customized, private tour, the choice is left up to our guests! Return to Florence in the late afternoon.
In the morning hotel check out.
Private transfer to Florence airport or other destination upon request.