Sunday, September 27 – Saturday, October 3, 2020
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.
After breakfast, we will venture out for an exciting day in Florence. We will meet our guide for a private tour of the major sites. Famous for the immense political and economic power it wielded during the rule of the Medici Dynasty, Florence offered the world a stage for great artistic masters such as Michelangelo, Brunelleschi, Leonardo da Vinci and Galileo. However, Florence has its roots long before, when it rose and fell several times in the hands of the Romans, the lombardic tribe and others. Each successive age brought new architecture, art and creativity which are still evident in the streets, the many museums, churches, monuments and even the everyday life of this marvelous city.
Florence embodies the intellectual, artistic and cultural center of Tuscany… maybe even Italy. A visit to Tuscany could not be complete without a walk around Florence, photos from Piazzale Michelangelo, a stop at Ponte Vecchio and a stroll along the Arno River, the Accademia, the imposing Palazzo della Signoria and the Piazza del Duomo.
Lunch in Florence* and then we will meet our guide again for a private tour of the Uffizi Gallery or Accademia. Following this you are free to roam the city until it is time to head back to the Villa for a wonderful dinner prepared by Chef Walter and Artistic Gourmet Adventures.
Breakfast and Gourmet Dinner provided by Le Cordon Bleu-Paris Alum chef Walter and Artistic Gourmet Adventures at the Villa.
Breakfast at the Villa then we will head to a local crystal factory where we will discover amazing, artistic crystal productions. Our private tour will include up close viewing of the choreographed split-second teamwork of the craftsmen with an explanation in English. We will also have the opportunity to purchase their products directly on site with shipping available. To read more about the crystal of the area, click here.
Then we are headed back to our Vineyard friends to participate in a truffle hunt alongside their beautiful hunting dogs. Accompanied by a professional guide and his dogs, you will share a wonderful experience in searching for precious white and black truffles throughout the oak forests that border the Estate. You will also be taught how to identify the various species of trees and the ideal habitat for truffle growth. We will then be treated to a Truffle lunch (included), vegetarian, vegan and gluten free menu available on request. (Make sure to dress in appropriate ways for a hike in the woods, with shoes and trousers suitable for walking.)
Finally, we will head west to the ancient town of Volterra to meet our private guide. Volterra is a charming town situated in the province of Pisa. It is well known for its Etruscan origins and for the many remains belonging to this era. Velathri, the Etruscan name of the town, was one of the twelve main towns that belonged to the Etruscan confederation; at the end of the 4th century BC, the 7300 meters long fortification walls were built up to protect not only the urban center, but also the surrounding fountains, cultivated fields and pastures from foreign invasions. After the Frankish and Lombard dominions, Volterra passed under Roman control and changed its name into Volaterrae (where the modern name comes from); later, it fell under Florentine supremacy until the town passed under the Grand Duchy of Tuscany before finally becoming part of the Kingdom of Italy in 1860.
Today, Volterra is particularly renowned for its peculiar urban layout that reminds us of its Etruscan origins: people can still visit part of the majestic protective walls built during the 5th to 4th centuries BC – including the well-preserved Porta dell’Arco and Porta Diana, two gates for entering the city – as well as the Acropolis that houses several buildings and the foundations of two ancient temples. There are many Roman remains to visit as well, like the Roman Theater, dating back to the end of the first century AD, built in a natural amphitheater shape area.
Stroll down the historical center, step back in time and enjoy the timeless atmosphere that surrounds the town: and visit the handicraft workshops, where you’ll find many ideas for souvenirs from Tuscany, especially alabaster hand-made objects, for which Volterra is famous worldwide.
After a full day we will return to the Villa for our farewell gourmet dinner.
Breakfast and Gourmet Dinner provided by Le Cordon Bleu-Paris Alum chef Walter and Artistic Gourmet Adventures at the Villa
After a filling breakfast, we will then escort you to the airport or rail station in Florence for your return home or on to your next destination! Arrivederci-see you soon!
*Meals and beverages marked with this symbol are not included in the tour cost. Only meals, wine and beverages at our Villa home, as well as during excursions, when mentioned, are included in tour cost.
Itinerary is subject to minor changes.
Our private spacious luxury Villa is located at the entry of the Chianti region, between Florence and Siena. Endowed with the tranquility of the Tuscan countryside, this 14th Century Villa is luxury home with lovely furnishings, elegant décor, fully air-conditioned with an exquisite blend of contemporary comforts, modern facilities and traditional Tuscan charm, maintained by the wooden beamed ceilings and travertine and terracotta floors. The Villa is the result of the recent renovation of an authentic medieval watchtower, first established in the 14th century by the Florentine army. It has luxurious bedrooms, each with its own bathroom.
The external gardens are equipped with a barbecue, a traditional wood fired oven, and a huge covered patio that invites you to enjoy al fresco meals amid the surrounding Tuscan countryside. The private swimming pool, bordered by tall pines, offers a glimpse over colored vineyards. From the windows of the Villa and from the pool area you will admire a view of the Elsa Valley: the hill towns of Casole d’Elsa, San Gimignano and Barberino Val d’Elsa are visible from the gardens.
This amazing location is on many Bucket Lists. And if you have been in the past, you have not been the Artistic Gourmet Adventures way – Private Villa Accommodations-NO Hotels; Private Transportation-NO Big Buses; Gourmet Meals with Wine Pairings by Le Cordon Bleu-Paris educated Chef Walter Eagleton while dining at Villa-NO Set Dinners in pre-Chosen Tourist Restaurants; ‘slow travel’-NO Rushing to Catch the Bus; Special Surprise Excursions-A Comprehensive Itinerary-Personal Relationships with Locals-Personal Relationships with YOU! Just to name a few!
Price and What’s Included
Round Trip Transfers from and to Villa from the Florence Airport
Luxury Villa Accommodations with En-suite Private Bathroom
All Private Tours, Transportation and Entry Fees During Tours
Daily Ground Transportation by Private Van
All Homemade Breakfasts, Lunches and Dinners, with Wine and beverages, when dining at Villa or as mentioned as ‘included’ in the itinerary.