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Tuscany, Umbria and Cinque Terre, Italy
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Tuscany, Umbria and Cinque Terre, Italy

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Key Information:
Tour Duration: 14 day(s)
Group Size: 8 - 16 people
Destination(s): Italy  
Specialty Categories: Food & Wine   Cultural Journey  
Season: September
Airfare Included: Yes
Tour Customizable: No
Minimum Per Person Price: 7199 US Dollar (USD)
Maximum Per Person Price: 7199 US Dollar (USD)

Tour dates:
September 2 - 16, 2015
September 10 - 24, 2016

Can there be any place on earth more appealing than the hilly countryside of Tuscany and Umbria? In among the hills are fascinating ancient cities built by Renaissance geniuses of art and architecture. And if the splendor of the artists and perfectly preserved monuments of history are not enough to tempt you, then we dare you to resist the Tuscan and Umbrian gastronomic specialties. And of course to accompany these fine country delicacies you must try some of the region's superlative Umbrian and Chianti wines.

Your Tour Itinerary:

Day 1.
We arrive at the Florence airport, take a taxi to our hotel in the historic center, and take a nap! In the late afternoon our expert local guide takes us on a walking tour, where we see the famous Duomo, Campanile and Baptistry, the Piazza della Signoria, the Palazzo Vecchio and the Ponte Vecchio. There is no city on earth like Florence, birthplace of the Renaissance. When your feet are tired, you can relax in a trattoria with a cappuccino, a glass of Prosecco, or one of the best gelatos in the world. This evening, we enjoy a sumptuous gourmet Tuscan dinner.
Overnight: Florence | Includes: (D).

Day 2.
This morning we head south to the wine region of Montalcino. At a beautiful winery we take a tour that ends with a wine-tasting lunch. Then we drive through the hills to our home for the next three nights—a dream of an old Tuscan villa, surrounded by hills and vineyards. Each evening we dine on wonderful multi-course home cooked dinners using the freshest local ingredients.
Overnight: Radicofani | Includes: (B), (L), (D).

Day 3.
This morning we visit the beautiful hilltop wine town of Montepulciano, with its winding cobblestone streets lined with tempting wine shops. We sample the excellent local wine, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, in an ancient winery whose cellars are underneath a 14th century palace. In the neighboring picturesque village of Pienza we pick up supplies for a Tuscan picnic: local pecorino cheeses, Tuscan breads for bruschetta, and, of course, plenty of local wine. We relax at our villa, and then the house chef entertains us with a cooking class in the kitchen. No problem getting hungry again for dinner tonight.
Overnight: Radicofani | Includes: (B), (L), (D).

Day 4.
This morning we head south into Umbria to the Orvieto wine region, where we visit the ancient hilltop town of Orvieto. Our guide shows us the famous Duomo (cathedral) with its unusual green-and-white marble stripes, and the historic medieval neighborhood, its picturesque narrow streets filled with enticing restaurants and boutiques selling the famed Orvieto ceramics. After lunch, we visit the Umbrian hilltop wine village of Montefalco. This region has recently been acclaimed for both its award-winning wines and its olive oil. The “Olive Oil Ladies” tell us their secrets of longevity through their miracle olive oil and show us the ancient press still in use. Our home for the next three nights is a beautiful old palace in Spello, another ancient Umbrian hilltop village that is a dream to explore: Roman arches, medieval streets, and lots of quaint trattorias. Dinner is a gastronomic treat.
Overnight: Spello | Includes: (B), (D).

Day 5.
Today we visit Assisi, an important pilgrimage site and home of the Basilica di San Francesco—built to honor Saint Francis (1182-1226). Assisi began as an Umbrian settlement in the 7th century BC and was conquered by the Romans 400 years later. After touring the town with our guide, we have a gourmet lunch in Torgiano followed by a visit to Umbria’s largest winery for a tour and tasting. On the way back to Spello we stop in Deruta, home of many famous ceramic factories. We have a free evening tonight in Spello.
Overnight: Spello | Includes: (B), (D)(mid-day).

Day 6.
Our local guide shows us around Umbria’s ancient capital, Perugia. This is a lively city of university students, trattorias, shops, and beautiful Renaissance buildings. After lunch we visit the charming village of Gubbio before returning to Spello for a free evening.
Overnight: Spello | Includes: (B).

Day 7.
Returning to Tuscany, we follow a road winding up through terraces of vines and olives to the hill town of Cortona, celebrated in Frances Mayes’ Under the Tuscan Sun. After free time to explore and have lunch in this dreamy little village, we head into the heart of the beautiful Chianti wine region. We spend the next two nights in a lovely country inn looking out over the hills. Surrounded by vineyards, our base in Radda in Chianti is ideal for visiting the wineries that produce the famous Chianti Classico wine. Tonight is a wine tasting feast.
Overnight: Radda in Chianti | Includes: (B), (D).

Day 8.
Today we take a guided walking tour of the ancient town of Siena, which is a dazzling maze of medieval streets, churches, shops, and the beautiful Piazza del Campo. Siena’s striking cathedral is a marvel. Dating from the 12th Century, its majestic pillars, mosaics, and light and dark marble bands are breathtaking. After our fill of sightseeing, we return to the Chianti hills for a wine-tasting class at our borgo hotel and a dinner of Tuscan specialties.
Overnight: Radda in Chianti | Includes: (B), (D).

Day 9.
Today we head for the fairyland medieval town of San Gimignano. We spend two nights in a charming hotel in the car-free historic center, with its ancient streets, mysterious medieval towers, and beautiful squares, monuments and palaces. This evening we enjoy a gastronomic Tuscan dinner.
Overnight: San Gimignano | Includes: (B), (D).

Day 10.
On our second day in this region we take a side trip to the fascinating Etruscan hilltop town of Volterra, once a Stone Age settlement, where we see Etruscan ruins dating back thousands of years. We return to San Gimignano for free time to explore or relax
Overnight: San Gimignano | Includes: (B).

Day 11.
This morning we drive to Pisa to see the magical Leaning Tower and its magnificent cathedral. We continue to the Ligurian coast and check into our lovely hotel overlooking the Mediterranean Sea in Lerici, our gateway to explore the five enchanting villages of the Cinque Terre. This afternoon we explore the town of Lerici before a dinner of wonderful fresh seafood.
Overnight: Lerici | Includes: (B), (D).

Day 12.
Today we take a boat from village to village to understand what the beauty and mystery of the land of Cinque Terre means. Hikers can enjoy a magnificent walk with incredible views while others can relax at a trattoria on the harbor. We return to Lerici by boat for a relaxing evening on our own.
Overnight: Lerici | Includes: (B), (D).

Day 13.
On our final day, we leave the coast and arrive in time for lunch in the charming Tuscan town of Lucca. We check into our hotel and take a walking tour of this friendly, ancient town. We enjoy a last Tuscan farewell feast before retiring for the evening.
Overnight: Lucca | Includes: (B), (D).

Day 14.
After breakfast we head for the Florence airport for our return flights.
Includes: (B).

Airfare is included in the tour price.

Price Includes:

- Roundtrip airfare from Boston or New York (airfare price can be deducted)
- 13 nights accommodations in beautiful, charming inns of character: overnights in Florence (1); Radicofani (2); Spello (Umbria) (3); Castellina in Chianti (2); San Gimignano (2); Lerici (Cinque Terre) (2); Lucca (1)
- 13 breakfasts, 11 dinners, 2 lunches
- Transportation by comfortable minibus
- Full time tour leader
- Visits to: Florence, Montalcino, Montepulciano, Pienza, Radicofani, Orvieto, Perugia, Montefalco, Spello, Torgiano, Assisi, Cortona, Siena, San Gimignano, Volterra, Pisa, Lerici, Cinque Terre, Lucca
- Fun cooking class in the kitchen of our Tuscan villa
- Private art and history tours with expert local guides
- Winery tours and tastings in Montalcino, Montepulciano, Torgiano and Chianti
- Wine-tasting lunch in Montalcino and wine-tasting class in Chianti
- All tour guides, museum and monument entrance fees, tips, and taxes.

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