Depart from Hotel River at 9:30 am, which is our designated meeting spot within Florence. We will board our private luxury air-conditioned coach and begin our tour heading first for the City of Volterra. Here history has left its mark with continuity from the Etruscan period until the nineteenth century, with artistic and monumental remains of great importance, which can be admired simply walking through the streets of the old town. Only a few cities in the world, like Volterra, are able to offer a clear image of the past and the succession of civilizations. We will enjoy a guided tour of the town’s main attractions and lunch. We will then continue to the luxurious Castello delle Serre, our home for the next 7 nights. Enjoy your welcome dinner prepared by the owners.
In the morning, we will depart for the Chianti Region. Visit the charming village(s) and pass through a land enchanted by castles and monasteries. We will then proceed to a very special winery, and learn about traditional production of wines in the Chianti Classico. Lunch and tasting with a tour of the property and cellars. Dinner will be at a local restaurant close to the castello.
Today’s journey will take us through the famous Val D’Orcia. Val d’Orcia is an exceptional example of the landscape redesign in the Renaissance, which illustrates the ideals of good governance in the 14th and 15th centuries of the Italian city-state and the aesthetic research that guided its conception. Our first stop will be in San Quirico D’Orcia, a charming village with most of its fortified walls still standing. As we stroll through the streets, you’ll see many tributes to religious sites the town represents due to its close proximity to the Via Francigena pilgrimage road. Next, we will head to Bagno Vignoni. During Roman times, Bagno Vignoni was such a popular destination that its city planners created a “vaporous piazza” — essentially a gigantic central tank for the town’s thermal waters. This year-round destination enjoys temperate weather, and during your visit, you may see steam wafting from the piazza’s surface. We will have an afternoon pit stop at the Castello to freshen up before departing for a special dinner at a friend’s restaurant.
We will board the bus for Orvieto, famous for their much celebrated Duomo. The Duomo is thought to have Italy’s most beautiful Gothic facade and there we will view the fascinating Signorelli frescos. We will stroll though Orvieto with a local guide and taste the local wines during our lunch. Return in time for a historic tour of the castle before enjoying a casual dinner here at home.
Today we depart first for Montepulciano. This is one of our favorite hill top towns as it offers something for everyone. From rich architecture spanning from medieval to baroque, to a labyrinth of underground cellars created by the Eturscans, Montepulciano is steeped with history, nobile wine production and quality artisan hand made products. We will enjoy a lunch and tasting at one of the historic wine cellars. In the afternoon we proceed to Cortona, village of the famous book and movie, “Under the Tuscan Sun”. Stop at a locals only restaurant, next to lake Trasimeno on the way home for dinner.
After breakfast, we depart for Assisi. We will tour with an authorized local guide and visit the Basilica di San Francesco with its beautiful frescoes, the Temple of Minerva, the Basilica of Santa Chiara and stroll through the streets where St. Francis walked. We will then proceed to our next Umbrian destination of Montefalco, home of the famous Sagrantino wine, in time for lunch in a family run winery and oil mill. Dinner will be back at the Castello.
For our final day, we will show you the Tuscan countryside with a once in a lifetime experience, truffle hunting! Arrive at a local agriturismo farm and learn all about truffles. Following an informative lesson, venture out into the woods with the award winning truffle dogs to witness the professionals in action. Once our hunt has concluded, we will then return to the kitchen to enjoy lunch made with the very same truffles we found along with the farm’s homemade wine. We will return on the early side to pack for our departure early the next morning. A farewell dinner will take place at a local agriturismo.
Say your goodbyes to the Castello family and return to Florence in the morning, via our established transportation. All departures at the same time, approximately 9:00 am. Return transportation to Florence SMN Station. ETA at Firenze SMN is 10:45 .