Bestowed with wondrous nature and millenary of man's geniuses, Tuscany is a charming land located in central Italy that runs from the Apennines to the Tyrrhenian Sea. A landscape sculpted with pastoral rolling hills, sweeping sandy roads leading to farmhouses and moss-coated castles, these glorious elements at Tuscany combines to form an awe-inspiring painting with pastel hues. Although the provinces of Tuscany have very much in common culturally, these historic towns and medieval villages varied in many aspects and each carrying their own charms. Tuscany is also famed for its rich gastronomy and in this tour, you will spend an inordinate amount of time indulging and discovering the secrets of its sensational slow food.
Day 1 - Rignano sull’Arno (Florence)
Arrival and check into the hotel Villa Il Palagio located near Florence. Enjoy a delectable Slow Food welcome dinner and retire for the night.
Day 2 - Florence
Depart for Florence in the morning and head for a city tour. Stroll along the historical centre of this mesmerizing city and visit its famous Santa Croce church, also known as the “Pantheon of Italian Glories”, resting place for many eminent Italians such as Michelangelo, Galileo, Rossini and Machiavell. We will also be marvelling at the other historical jewels such as the Baptistery, the Duomo and Giotto’s bell tower and the Piazza della Signoria. Stop for lunch at Osteria Tripperia Il Magazzino. Spend the afternoon at leisure by taking a relaxing walk down Florence’s charming streets. We recommend popping by one of Florence’s ice cream parlours, to experience their variety of flavours and its utilization of top local produce, including pistachios from Bronte, a Slow Food Presidium product, saffron and cardamom. Return to the hotel for an overnight stay.
Day 3 - Siena, San Gimignano
In the morning, depart to Siena, a city with one of the most distinguished medieval architectures such as Museum delle Contrade (each horse in the famous “Palio”, runs for a different Contrada or district). Drop by the many famous patisseries and try out delectable traditional sweets such as the Panforte.
Along the way to San Gimignano and passing by the ancient Via Francigena, grab lunch prepared by some of the traditional local produce such as the Certaldo onion (Slow Food Presidium), and the organic extra virgin olive oil from San Gimignano at the cozy farmhouse Il Castagnolino. Be enlightened by the professionals here on the process of manufacturing organic olive oil. Then, you might visit the renowned towers and be teleported back to 1300s at the San Gimignano 1300 Museum, which houses storyboards, multi-media exhibits, street scenes and a ceramic recreation of the city 700 years ago. Return to the hotel and overnight stay.
Day 4 - Panzano in Chianti, Greve in Chianti, San Polo
Dedicate the day to enjoy the marvellous Chianti hills, situated along the Via Chiantigena (an ancient road connecting Siena with Florence and stretching over the hills of Chianti). Meet the winemakers of the Biodistretto (Bio district) at Tenuta Fontodi in Panzano for a tour of the cellars and tasting session. Head over to Greve in Chianti and check out its historic town centre. Drop by the old butchery “Faloni” which has been selling specialties of the local [norcineria], the Prosciutto Saporito di Greve and other varieties of pork. Sample their salami and then head over to Trattoria Mangiando for an authentic local lunch. After that, enrol for an oil manufacturing lesson and tasting session at Azienda Frantoio Pruneti in San Polo. Return to the hotel for an overnight stay.
Day 5 - Montepulciano, Pienza
Depart for Montepulciano in the morning. Montepulciano is one of the most charming and well-preserved medieval village. Perched on a cliff 605m above sea level, this city offers stunning panoramic views over the surrounding hillsides. Head down to the Enoteca Contucci winery for a free tasting session and discover the magnificent town center. After free lunch, depart for Pienza, the epitome of a renaissance city renowned for its Pecorino cheese. Visit a Pecorino cheese factory ‘Pianporcino Farm’ and discover the secrets of cheese-making and some sampling. Return to the hotel for an overnight stay.
Day 6 - Montalcino
Make your way to Montalcino, world-famous for its Brunello, one of the most excellent red wines in the world. Montalcino boasts over 3,000 hectares of vineyards, half of which is dedicated to fermenting Brunello. Drop by Mastio della Rocca, home to the Enoteca La Fortezza to purchase some exceptional local produce, delectable honey and sample some fine wines. Rest of the time at leisure. Head back to Florence area and enrol in a traditional Tuscany cooking class, followed by a sumptuous dinner. Return to the hotel and retire for the night.
Day 7 - Depature
After brekfast, it's time to go back!