Day 1, Florence
Welcome to Florence one of the most beautiful cities in Italy. This city is the birthplace of the renaissance, a city where Michelangelo and Leonardo called home. Filled with wonderful galleries and museums Florence is also the home of the Salvatore Ferragamo empire, the new Gucci museum and countless elaborate palaces. There is enough here to keep you happy and busy for weeks.
Day 2, Florence
Meet in the morning at our central hotel for a fascinating walking tour of Florence. Our expert guide will take you through the small alleys and streets of the city to reveal its artistic, historic and cultural heritage. You will have skip the line tickets to view Michelangelo’s David in the Accademy. After your busy morning walking you will be rewarded with a delicious and authentic lunch with your charming guide.
In the afternoon, at leisure, and for those in an active mood you might want to climb right up close to the frescoes on the dome in the Duomo to see one of the most beautiful views at the very top of the tower.
Day 3, Pisa & Lucca
Today we head toward the coast of Tuscany and to the famous leaning tower of Pisa. We will make a stop to view the incredible 'Miracle Square'. You will have ample time to marvel at this impressive building and its surrounding monuments. We enjoy lunch in a great casual restaurant before heading off to our next stop Lucca. This small city is a gem with elegant streets which are surrounded by an impressive wall. After a little window shopping it will be possible to rent bicycles to take the tour from the top of the wall.
Day 4, Florence
This morning you will have an opportunity to visit the gorgeous garden of Gamberaia in Settignano, near Florence. These lovely gardens were the subject of Monty Don’s visit to Florence for the BBC series, Gardens of Italy. Drive through the picturesque hills of Florence to take photographs at the highest point looking over the city.
In the afternoon, explore ‘your’ Florence with a trip to Ponte Vecchio, oldest occupied bridge in the world – also home to Florence’s gold market, visit Salvatore Ferragamo’s shoe museum or just shop until you drop at San Lorenzo, the best open air leather market in Italy. This is the chance to buy that Italian leather coat you have always wanted. You might choose to visit the Pitti Palace, the stunning sculputures in the Bargello or the Boboli Gardens.
Day 5, Chianti Wine Tour
We leave Florence this morning to venture out to Chianti. This day is a perfect combination of culinary delights, art & culture, driving along the famous Chianti Classico wine route. Our first stop is Greve in Chianti, a medieval village, the home of Giovanni Da Verrazzano, founder of Hudson Bay of NY. Explore the small craft shops and the 500 year old butcher and taste the delicious products of the region. Montefioralle, a small village above Greve, which still preserves its medieval architectural flavour is also explored before continuing on the Chiantigiana wine road where we will see from the distance the Vignamaggio estate, the setting of the movie "Much to do about Nothing". Enjoy a wine tasting and tour in a local winery along with a delicious lunch before arriving at your lovely Chianti hotel for a relaxing evening.
Day 6, Chianti
A day at leisure in your lovely Chianti hotel. Time to relax and soak in the atmosphere of a medieval village in the middle of Tuscany.
Day 7, San Gimignano and Siena
Enjoy a guided walking tour of Siena visiting the magnificent Duomo, Piazza del Campo - home of the famous palio (horse race) and Palazzo Pubblico or town hall. We can climb the tower or just sit in this magnificent square to drink in the medieval atmosphere which is still in evidence today. Our guide takes us to the districts of the ’Giraffe’ and ’Turtle’ where we take a peak into the churches and museums detailing the history of these small communities which come out in force when the Palio is staged. In the afternoon you will visit the gorgeous town of San Gimignano, probably the most well known of the walled towns of Tuscany. Although this town can become busy with tourists it is still majestic to view from afar with its 14 towers still remaining from the original 72. Time permitting, we will visit the tiny medieval village of Volterra, a hilltop town with a difference with history dating back to Etruscan times from 700 - 300 BC.
Your last day in Tuscany, you will be chauffeured to the train station (or airport) in Florence where your wonderful tour of Tuscany will end.
Our itineraries are carefully planned and well thought out but touring Italy can sometimes offer wonderful surprises. The magic of travelling in such a small group allows us to cater for this spontaneity and it is sometimes these unplanned occurrences that can be the most memorable. The rich tapestry of experiences and the characters you meet along the way will make this tour of Italy something special.