Between heritage towns, rural romance and culinary delights, experience Tuscany at its authentic best
- Showcase such Tuscan highlights as Florence and Siena
- Head off the beaten track to the region’s medieval hilltop towns
- Pair a cooking class with wine, olive oil and cheese tastings
- Enjoy guided touring throughout
- End with a stay in a Tuscan country house
- 1 Night Florence
- 2 Nights Lucca
- 1 Night Volterra
- 1 Night Pienza
- 2 Nights Chianti
Escorted tour | Food & wine | History & culture | Small group
This comprehensive tour showcases both Tuscany’s famed centrepieces and its lesser-known gems. Indeed, while you’ll take in Renaissance Florence, Pisa’s leaning icon and Cinque Terre’s clifftop fishing villages, you’ll also be treated to Chianti’s vineyard charm and the region’s hilltop medieval towns. And, travelling with a small group, you’ll enjoy stays in boutique properties, expert-led touring and a range of gourmet experiences, from osteria dinners to wine, cheese and gelato tastings. It’s all rounded off with a two-night stay in a Tuscan villa, complete with a chef-led cooking course
Day by day itinerary
Begin your trip with complimentary airport lounge access before flying out to Pisa. Here, you’ll be met by a private driver who’ll see you through the pretty Tuscan countryside to Florence, settling into your charming accommodation; its 17th-century neoclassicism looks out onto one of the city’s prettiest basilicas. You’ll have some time to explore at your own pace today, perhaps taking in the Renaissance masterpieces of the world-famous Uffizi Gallery or losing yourself in Florence’s maze of cobbled streets. At every turn you’ll find beautiful churches, stern medieval vestiges and plaza-side cafés that spill onto the pavement.
Stay: Hotel Santa Maria Novella, Florence (Superior)
Begin today with an expert-led walking tour of Florence. You’ll be brought right among its medieval maze, taking in such highlights as the cathedral’s rainbow-coloured marble façade, the Piazza della Signoria’s famed monuments and Ponte Vecchio – the great tiered bridge that straddles the River Arno. You’ll then be brought on to leafy Lucca. Once a republic capital, its 16th-century wealth survives today in gilded churches and terracotta-capped residences. It’s all watched over by dramatic Renaissance walls and even garden-capped towers. After a guided tour, you’ll end the day with a dinner of regional specialities at a local osteria.
Stay: Albergo San Martino or similar (Superior)
Meals: B D
Today you’ll pass wild coastlines and almond-coloured villages, heading off the beaten track to a remote section of the Italian Riviera. You’ll arrive at Cinque Terre, a UNESCO World Heritage Site where pastel-coloured fishing villages cling precariously to dramatic cliffs. It’s all host to a fascinating medieval heritage, played out to a postcard-perfect background of rolling fields and hills. Put simply, this a highlight of any trip to the region. You’ll return to Lucca in time for your evening meal; choose between local eateries and fine-dining favourites.
Stay: Albergo San Martino or similar (Superior)
Your first stop today is Pisa. And, on a comprehensive tour, you’ll learn that the city is much more than its famed tower; there’s everything from fading merchants’ houses and Gothic churches to Romanesque piazzas and baptisteries resplendent in bright-white marble. You’ll then continue on to Volterra. Set on a plateau in the heart of the Tuscan countryside, its imposing walls, towers and churches command stunning views over undulating vineyards. And, hidden among its medieval heritage you’ll discover remnants of its Roman past, including a crumbling amphitheatre and millennia-old bathhouse.
Stay: Hotel San Lino or similar (Superior)
Your first stop today is San Gimignano – a hilltop town encircled by 13th-century walls. But, among its Romanesque and Gothic charm, it’s the 14 towers that leave the strongest impression. Built as symbols of wealth by the San Gimignano aristocracy, they form a truly iconic skyline and the backdrop for your gelato tasting. Then, on your way to Siena, you’ll stop at a local winery to pair samples with bruschetta and local meats before heading into the city’s historic centre. Here, stepped streets map hilltop contours, bringing you between grand piazzas and the spectacular Italian Gothic cathedral. You’ll end the day at Pienza – a hidden Tuscan jewel.
Stay: Local hotel (Superior)
This morning, you’ll have some time in Pienza with your expert-led guided tour bringing you among the town’s honey-stone heritage. Once a sleepy, hilltop village, it underwent a 15th-century transformation, with Pope Pius II building churches, a palace and town hall in his hometown. A wine and pecorino cheese tasting will then see you into Chianti for two nights in a Tuscan country house. Here, between sipping wine on the terrace, enjoying gourmet dinners and lounging by the pool, you’ll be treated to a cooking class from the villa’s chef on the second day. You’ll learn the region’s culinary secrets before enjoying the fruits of your labours at lunch.
Stay: Hotel Tenuta di Ricavo or similar (Superior)
Meals: B D
While you’ll say goodbye to your Tuscan villa this morning, there’s one final treat in store. On a visit to a historic mill, you’ll enjoy a guided tour of the press before a light lunch and the chance to taste the olive oil. It’s a fitting end to your trip, before you’re met in Florence by a private driver who’ll see you to Pisa for your flight home.
Meals: B L
Any element of this itinerary can be adjusted to suit your needs. Just contact us to find out more.
8-day small group escorted tour from £1,705 incl. flights
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