Tuscany Gourmet Tour
A 7-day gourmet self-drive tour discovering Florence, Siena, San Gimignano, the Chianti area, Montepulciano & Montalcino. Explore a region of sprawling vineyards, rolling hills, charming old cities, masterpieces of art & gourmandize. Visit wineries and sample excellent wines, rare cold cuts, cheese & olive oil, and shop for delicacies in the many food shops!
A Gourmet Self-Drive Vacation of Tuscany!
Discover magnificent Florence, Siena, San Gimignano, the Chianti area, Montepulciano & Montalcino. Explore a region of sprawling vineyards, rolling hills, charming old cities, masterpieces of art & gourmandize. Visit wineries & cellars, sample excellent wines, rare cold cuts, Pecorino cheese and olive oil, and shop for delicacies in the many food shops!
Day 1: Rome | Florence
On arrival at Rome airport collect your car and make your way to Hotel Villa Il Palagio, located near Florence. Take some time to settle in and relax. Tonight enjoy a typical traditional dinner with some excellent produce from the region including Slow Food Presidia products will be served. (D)
Day 2: Florence
Following breakfast depart to Florence for a guided walking tour of the city. Walk through the historical centre of this amazing city and visit the Santa Croce church, known as the "Pantheon of Italian Glories" where many illustrious Italians such as Michelangelo, Galileo, Rossini and Machiavelli are buried. The visit also takes in the other religious buildings (the Baptistry, the Duomo and Giotto's bell tower) and the houses of power in the old city (the Piazza della Signoria). Enjoy lunch Osteria Tripperia Il Magazzino and in the afternoon free time to stroll along Florence elegant streets. We suggest a break at one of Florence’s oldest ice cream parlours, "Perché no!", that offers over 33 different flavours and a precise selection of raw materials (including pistachios from Bronte, a Slow Food Presidium product, saffron and cardamom). Return to the hotel and overnight stay. (B.L)
Day 3 Siena & San Gimignano
Today in the morning we suggest to visit Siena to admire the most important and beautiful architecture in the city, including the Museum delle Contrade (each horse in the famous "Palio", runs for a different Contrada or district). You may wish to sample some delicious traditional desserts like the Panforte in one of the most famous pastry shops in town. Spend some time strolling through the narrow streets before departing for San Gimignano. On your way to San Gimignano along the ancient Via Francigena, enjoy lunch with some of the traditional local produce such as the Certaldo onion (Slow Food Presidium), and the organic extra virgin olive oil from San Gimignano at the little family-run farmhouse Il Castagnolino. Visit and have a talk on the techniques used in producing organic olive oil. In the afternoon we suggest a visit to the famous towers and the San Gimignano 1300 Museum: storyboards, multi-media exhibits, street scenes and a ceramic recreation of the city as it was back in 1300. Return to the hotel for overnight accommodation. (B.L)
Day 4: Panzano in Chianti, Greve in Chianti, San Polo
An entire day given over to discovering the Chianti hills along the Via Chiantigena, an ancient road connecting Siena with Florence crossing over the hills of Chianti, starting with a visit to Tenuta Fontodi in Panzano in Chianti, where you will meet the wine producers of the Biodistretto (Bio district), visit to the cellars & taste the wine. Proceed to Greve in Chianti where we suggest to visit the little historical town centre. Stop at the historical butchery "Faloni" that since 1729 has been producing many specialties of the local 'norcineria', from Prosciutto Saporito di Greve to the Finocchiona and the Noble Salami of Heavy in Chianti, a salami flavoured with Chianti Classico wine. You should try some of these delicious salamis. For funch today we recommend the Trattoria Mangiando Mangiando. In the afternoon visit Azienda Frantoio Pruneti in San Polo where you will have a lesson and oil tasting. Return to the hotel & overnight. (B)
Day 5: Montepulciano & Pienza
Morning departure for Montepulciano, one of the most characteristic and intact medieval cities in Italy which from a height of 605 metres above sea level offers amazing views over the surrounding hillsides. Visit the Enoteca Contucci winery for a tasting, then explore the wonderful town centre of Montepulciano. For lunch we suggest the old Osteria dell'Acquacheta with its rustic and familial atmosphere. Here you may sample some of Tuscany's best recipes (such as the Pici all'Aglione). In the afternoon head for Pienza, the perfect example of a renaissance city & famous for its Pecorino cheese. Visit a Pecorino cheese producer Pianporcino Farm, learn something about the cheese-making process and sample the fare. Return to your hotel near Florence. (B)
Day 6: Montalcino
After breakfast depart make your way to Montalcino, famous for its Brunello, one of the best red wines in the world. Montalcino however, is also a beautiful art city which, from upon high, dominates 3,000 hectares of vineyards (1,500 for Brunello alone). Enjoy a visit to the Mastio della Rocca, which is home to Enoteca La Fortezza and where it will be possible to buy some local products & the exceptional honey, a local specialty, and sample some wine. Free time to explore on your own before a visiting Poggio di Sotto Farm where you will have a wine tasting and a guided tour of the cellars. Return to the hotel and overnight. (B)
Day 7: Departure
Enjoy breakfast at hotel before departing for Rome to return your rental car. End of tour, or ask your Travel Agent about extending your vacation with CIT Tours. (B)
Minimum two passengers.