CULINARY TUSCANY & ROME 8 DAYS
Day 1: FLORENCE – VICCHIO DEL MUGELLO: Pick up your car rental at Florence airport and make your way to the city centre. Early in the afternoon, you’ll take a tour of Florence including the Uffizi Gallery. First, you’ll discover by bus the beautiful and green hills of Florence, the picturesque Etruscan-Roman village of Fiesole that towers above Florence and the Arno Valley. Heading back to the city, you’ll go through the famous Lungarno (way along the Arno River) and reach the Basilica di Santa Croce. Our walking tour will continue to Piazza Signoria, heart of the city's social life. Here you will admire the architecture of Palazzo Vecchio and the famous statues of Loggia de’ Lanzi. Our guide will finish the tour inside the Uffizi Gallery, where we will admire without queuing the impressive and magnificent paintings of Leonardo, Giotto, Michelangelo, Botticelli, and Raffaello. Dinner in a delicious restaurant, in the heart of Florence where you can taste the famous “Fiorentina” or “Tagliata”. Overnight at Hotel Villa Campestri.
Day 2: VICCHIO DEL MUGELLO: After breakfast, you could take a cooking class focused on how to use olive oil in preparing different dishes followed by lunch composed of your own creations. Your afternoon will start with a visit to the first Italian “oleoteca” in Villa Campestri to finish with a tasting olive menu dinner. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 3: VICCHIO DEL MUGELLO – AIR BALLON EXPERIENCE – MONTEPULCIANO: After breakfast, you’ll be ready to take your hot air balloon experience over the Tuscan countryside. At the end of this unique experience, you could relax with a typical Chianti “merenda”. Have lunch on your own and transfer to Montepulciano to visit a wine cellar, taste local products and Nobile di Montepulciano wine. Enjoy dinner on your own and overnight at Hotel Villa Cicolina.
Day 4: MONTEPULCIANO – PIENZA – MONTALCINO – MONTEPULCIANO: After breakfast, departure to discover the two scenic, artistic and culinary jewels of the Val D’Orcia: Pienza and Montalcino. Free visit of Pienza to admire the squares and historical buildings that preserve the secrets of the art of Rossellino and traces of the noble papal power. This artistic and natural heritage is joined by taste and fragrance: one typical product is the famous cheese “Pecorino”. Stop in a typical shop to taste some culinary specialities. Transfer to Montalcino, the sanctuary of Brunello wine, presently considered the best wine in the world, has its ancestral roots in the passion of the inhabitants of Montalcino and in the ancient wine-making tradition, handed down from one generation to the next. Lunch in a local restaurant. In the afternoon visit one of the best wineries of the territory and taste the prestigious wine, produced from Sangiovese grapes. Overnight at Hotel Villa Cicolina.
Day 5: MONTEPULCIANO – CHIANTI AREA – ROME: After breakfast drive to the Chianti area to discover the beautiful ruby colour and the characteristic fragrance with hints of violet that are the distinguishing marks of the identity of one of the most famous wines in the world: Chianti. You’ll taste this refined product in one of the best wine cellars of the area, accompanying the wine with a selection of “bruschettas”, typical cheeses and Tuscan salamis and sliced cold meat. Enjoy a gourmet lunch in a Michelin starred restaurant. Drive to Florence train station, drop off your car and take the high-speed train to Rome. Upon arrival transfer to Hotel Massimo d’Azeglio.
Day 6: ROME: After breakfast, start a guided visit to the Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel & St. Peter’s Basilica. The purpose of this tour is the visit of the Vatican Museums and a large part of the Vatican City, one of the European microstates, situated on the Vatican Hill in the west-central part of Rome, whose borders closely follow the city wall constructed to protect the Pope from outside attack. Leaving the Piazza San Bernardo, adorned by Moses’ Fountain the itinerary will continue passing by Via Bissolati, Via Veneto and the Villa Borghese.
In the afternoon, free time to discover the city and the fabulous shops. At 18.00 stop for a wine and cheese tasting in a traditional “enoteca” in the eighteenth century Palazzetto Giangiacomo, in the heart of Rome. It is a family run wine bar that started as a wine-shop over fifty years ago and was transformed into its present status by the third generation. The Wine Bar shelves are lined with carefully selected bottles produced by prestigious and emerging wineries. An inviting selection of regional cheeses, premium salami and hams, smoked fish and a choice of hot homemade dishes complement the wine. Customer will learn how to drink and taste the wine, the differences between colours and perfumes, accompanied by an introduction about the area where the wines are produced. This tasting includes the choice of one of the following combinations of food and wine: a glass of Bellone, a forgotten antique local white grape variety paired with roman “ricotta”, a rich and flavourful by-product of roman pecorino; a glass of Frascati Superior, the white wine associated with Rome, paired with Roman Pecorino, a typical salty hard cheese from Lazio; a glass of Nero Buona, a traditional, antique variety of red grapes, combined with “coppiette”, roman beef jerky, flavourful and spicy or “porchetta”, a spit-roasted pig stuffed with wild herbs. Overnight at NH Hotel Giustiniano
Day 7: ROME AND COUNTRYSIDE: After breakfast, the chef invites you to live an unforgettable experience. Firstly you’ll be taken out to the enchanting places where Romans love to go: grocery shopping, a real experience in the heart of the city. Your cooking class will take place a few steps from the Spanish steps, in an old house, once the luxury home of a Roman princess. At the end of the lesson, you’ll taste what you prepared and will cheer with Italian wine. In the afternoon discover with your local guide the secrets of Rome by Vespa! Rome was not built for taxis and buses but for chariots, carriages and… Vespas! Take your place in the passenger seat of the world’s most famous scooter for a 4-hour tour of Rome. Travelling no faster than 30 km/h, on the back of a Vespa being ridden by one of our expert riders, you will make your way through narrow alleyways and into immense squares…and, of course, this being Italy, there will be stop-off for coffee. Free dinner and overnight at Hotel Massimo d’Azeglio.
Day 8: ROME: After breakfast, private transfer to the airport. Arrivederci!
HOTELS OR SIMILAR
Vicchio del Mugello: Hotel Villa Campestri, 4 stars
Montepulciano: Hotel Villa Cicolina, 4 stars
Rome: Hotel Massimo d’Arzeglio, 4 stars
7 nights in standard room in bed & breakfast; 5 day car rental (cat. L) with unlimited mileage in Tuscany; private transfer from day 5 to 8; 3 lunches; 2 dinners; tour in Florence with professional guide; cooking class in Villa Campestri; air balloon experience with Tuscany “merenda”; winery tour in Pienza and Montepulciano; visit and tasting in wine cellar in Chianti; guided visit Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica; Rome Cooking lesson & Grocery tour; Vespa tour.
PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE
Drinks at meals; Entrance tickets to museums/monuments unless differently stated; Tips and extras; Tourism city tax, compulsory to be paid on site; Surcharges applicable during peak periods, trade fairs, meetings, congresses, events, bank holidays, weekends etc; Everything that is not mentioned at the voice “Price includes”.