Day 1: Transfer from Grosseto and arrival to Arcidosso. We will meet you in Grosseto which is easily accessible from Rome or Florence. Upon arrival at the Grosseto train station, you will be accompanied by car or van to the village of Arcidosso and then welcomed at La Locanda del Prete B&B. After settling in, your host and chef, Carlo will show you around and explain the week’s program! Then you can either relax in the garden or take a walk through the enchanting streets of Arcidosso. For dinner you will enjoy a Tuscan meal prepared by Carlo.
Day 2: Montalcino (wine country), Pienza and Montepulciano. After breakfast at La Locanda, your guide will take you (using our comfortable Tuscan Way van) to the charming village of Pienza, located in the heart of the Val D’Orcia valley (nominated a UNESCO - United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) territory. While in Pienza, you will visit its main square, Piazza Poi II, which is a model of Renaissance planning. This main piazza is so attractive that it was used to shoot scenes for the film The English Patient.
Then, you will continue on to the elegant town of Montepulciano where your guide will show you the main sites and where you will have a light lunch (not included in package price). After lunch, on your way back to Arcidosso, you will stop by a quaint family owned winery in the Montalcino area, where you can taste (included in the package price) the famous Brunello wine accompanied by a tasty pecorino cheese and/or local salami or prosciutto. Dinner at La Locanda.
Day 3: The small towns of Monte Amiata. For your last day, after breakfast, you will have the opportunity to take a cooking course – the Tuscan Way with the Master Chef of the Innocenti family. You will learn the art of La Cucina Povera Toscana (Tuscan Country Cooking), receive an apron and recipe book and enjoy the lunch you helped prepare during the course.
Then, you will be off with your guide to visit the small towns of Monte Amiata: Santa Fiora with its historic center and ancient Parish Church which contains fine terracotta bas-reliefs by Andrea della Robbia (15th century), and La Peschiera, the private gardens and swimming pool of the Sforza family (16th century). You will then go to either Castel del Piano or Abbadia San Salvatore, where you can visit the famous abbey and the crypt built by the Longobards, and finally, on your way home, you’ll take a ride through the enchanting forest of Monte Amiata. In the evening, you will enjoy dinner at La Locanda del Prete.
Day 4: Suggested tour to Siena. In the morning, after your breakfast, you’ll set off for Siena. There, you can visit the famous Piazza del Campo, the main square where the people from Siena (“i senesi”) organize, twice a year, a medieval horse race known as Il Palio. Facing the square there is the beautiful tour Torre del Mangia, where if you wish, you can climb up to the top to admire a marvelous view of the city. You can also visit the Duomo which is a gothic style cathedral. At the end of the morning, you will have lunch in a quaint restaurant in Piazza del Campo. Once home, and after having rested, Carlo will prepare a healthy Tuscan dinner at La Locanda.
Day 5: Suggested tour to Florence. Today, you will enjoy a grand trip to Florence and discover the Renaissance. While in Florence, you can do as you choose: shop, relax at a café, discover the historical treasures of Florence by visiting the museums (the Uffizi and the Galleria dell’Accademia where you can see masterpieces by Giotto, Boticelli, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Caravaggio, just to name a few), walk the gardens and famous piazzas like Santa Croce. You will enjoy a tasty lunch (on your own terms) at a local Florentine restaurant. Catching the bus not too late, you will make it back to Arcidosso in time for dinner at La Locanda.
Day 6: Suggested seaside tour. Today, you will enjoy a trip to the seacoast to the pretty seaside village of Castiglione della Pescaia. This old fishing village stands up high on a hill with its castle looking over the turquoise bay. You will enjoy a tasty lunch at a local restaurant. In the evening, you will enjoy your farewell dinner in Arcidosso at La Locanda.
Day 7: Departure. After breakfast, transfer back to Grosseto.