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Sunday, September 29-Saturday, October 5, 2019
We will meet you at the Florence airport or rail station in the afternoon and then we will transport you on to your luxurious Villa home for the week in amazing Tuscany.
After a tour of the Villa, you will enjoy a meet-and-greet with homemade hors d’oeuvres and locally produced wines. Then you will have time to relax, take a walk on the grounds, or just unwind in the rooms of the Villa until it is time for your Gourmet Welcome Dinner.
Gourmet Dinner prepared by Le Cordon Bleu-Paris Alum Chef Walter and Artistic Gourmet Adventures.
After a homemade breakfast at the Villa, we will begin our day with a private tour of San Gimignano. We’ll begin our tour from San Gimignano’s main gate, where the medieval city walls are still completely visible. During our walk we’ll stop at Torre Cugnanesi and we will not miss the three main squares, the first one named after the cistern located at its center, the second where political and religious institutions are located and the little market square, called piazza delle Erbe.
The Duomo in San Gimignano is one of the few churches in Italy that are entirely decorated with frescoes, it was used as a film locations a few years ago for Tea with Mussolini by the famous movie director Franco Zeffirelli.
The Civic Museum boasts a precious collection of wooden paintings dating from 13th to 16th centuries, works by artists such as Coppo di Marcovaldo, Benozzo Gozzoli, Filippino Lippi, Pinturicchio. Here is the access to the only tower of San Gimignano open to the public.
Now on to an amazing Tuscan Wine Estate for an in-depth wine tasting and light lunch (included) located at the ‘entrance’ to the Chianti Valley. We will be greeted by our own host/hostess for a brief walking tour of this historic property. We will then be seated and treated to an amazing array of their locally produced wines, olive oils and balsamic vinegar along with lunch with wine and food pairings. Vegetarian, vegan and gluten free menu available on request. Wines will include:
• Brunello di Montalcino D.O.C.G.
• Rosso di Montalcino D.O.C.
• Cabernet Bartolomeo Riserva I.G.T.
• Merlot Baldassarre Riserva I.G.T.
• Syrah Cavaliere Riserva I.G.T.
• Vernaccia of San Gimignano D.O.C.G.
• Chianti D.O.C.G.
• Chianti Classico D.O.C.G.
• Chianti Classico Riserva D.O.C.G.
• Red of Montepulciano D.O.C.
• VinBeato – Dessert Wine
• Extra Virgin Olive Oil Cold Pressing
• White Truffle flavored Olive Oil
• Pepper Hot Olive Oil
• Balsamic Old Vinegar selected
After, home to relax before your Gourmet Dinner at the Villa.
Breakfast and Gourmet Dinner provided by Le Cordon Bleu-Paris Alum Chef Walter and Artistic Gourmet Adventures at the Villa.
Breakfast at the Villa. We will then drive a short distance to romantic Siena. Here we will have a private guided tour with free time for discovery. Siena is likely Italy’s loveliest medieval city. Siena’s heart is its central piazza known as Il Campo, known worldwide for the famous Palio run here, a horse race run around the piazza two times every summer. Movie audiences worldwide can see Siena and the Palio in the James Bond movie, Quantum of Solace.
is said to have been founded by Senius, son of Remus, one of the two legendary founders of Rome thus Siena’s emblem is the she-wolf who suckled Remus and Romulus – you’ll find many statues throughout the city. The city sits over three hills with its heart the huge piazza del Campo, where the Roman forum used to be. Rebuilt during the rule of the Council of Nine, a quasi-democratic group from 1287 to 1355, the nine sections of the fan-like brick pavement of the piazza represent the council and symbolizes the Madonna’s cloak which shelters Siena.
The Campo is dominated by the red Palazzo Pubblico and its tower, Torre del Mangia. Along with the Duomo of Siena, the Palazzo Pubblico was also built during the same period of rule by the Council of Nine. The civic palace, built between 1297 and 1310, still houses the city’s municipal offices much like Palazzo Vecchio in Florence. Its internal courtyard has entrances to the Torre del Mangia and to the Civic Museum. If you feel energetic, a climb up the over 500 steps will reward you with a wonderful view of Siena and its surroundings. The Museum, on the other hand, offers some of the greatest of Sienese paintings. The Sala del Concistoro houses one of Domenico Beccafumi’s best works, ceiling frescoes of allegories on the virtues of Siena’s medieval government. But it is the Sala del Mappamondo and the Sale della Pace that hold the palaces’s highlights: Simone Martini’s huge Maestà and Equestrian Portrait of Guidoriccio da Fogliano and Ambrogio Lorenzetti’s Allegories of Good and Bad Government, once considered the most important cycle of secular paintings of the Middle Ages. Lunch in Siena*.
After a drive south, we will reach Montepulciano. Standing high atop a hill in southern Tuscany, Montepulciano is a medieval town of rare beauty. The city, full of elegant Renaissance palaces, ancient churches, charming squares and hidden corners, boasts vast panoramas all over the wonderful Val d’Orcia and Val di Chiana valleys that surround it. Piazza Grande is the heart of Montepulciano and the setting for its main events, including the barrel-racing Bravio delle Botti contest held in August every year and much more. A walk through Montepulciano is the best way to view the town and its beautiful landmarks as well as enjoy stunning views of the surrounding countryside covered by vineyards!
Then we will head home for a Gourmet Dinner at the Villa.
Breakfast and Gourmet dinner provided by Le Cordon Bleu-Paris Alum chef Walter and Artistic Gourmet Adventures at the Villa.
Breakfast at the Villa. After breakfast we drive through the hills to the Chianti region of Tuscany with a stop in Radda in Chianti where we will have an olive oil, balsamic vinegar and wine tasting in a small shop (included). Next we will drive a short distance to Greve in Chianti where we will be treated to a wine tasting and light lunch (included). We will then head back to the Villa for a relaxing afternoon and to enjoy a cooking lesson by Chef Walter in the Villa kitchen before our Gourmet Dinner at the Villa.
Breakfast and Gourmet Dinner provided by Le Cordon Bleu-Paris Alum chef Walter and Artistic Gourmet Adventures at the Villa.