SPOTLIGHT ON TUSCANY TOUR – Small Group Tour of Tuscany, Escorted Italy Tour
SPOTLIGHT ON TUSCANY – SMALL GROUP TOUR
Group Size: 8 to 12 people. In really small group for quality touring.
Touring: Florence, Pienza, Bagno Vignoni, Siena, montalcino, cortona, montepulciano, castellina, Monteriggioni
Well Arranged Travel offers escorted Italy tour packages like this fabulous Tuscany small group tour. Our Tuscany group tours showcase the best of Italian art, history, architecture and cuisine. You get the best of both worlds on this escorted tour of Tuscany. We’ll start off leisurely touring the Tuscan countryside, staying in the most picturesque part of the region, sampling renowned wines and cheeses from local farms and vineyards; explore ancient Roman ruins, medieval hill towns, Renaissance churches and UNESCO World Heritage sites. We’ll finish up our Tuscany tour in the heart of one of Italy’s key cities for art and architecture: lively Florence. You will enjoy the beautiful city of Florence by night as well as by day, taking in its world-class museums, beautiful piazzas, specialty and designer shops, artisan workshops, great restaurants, outdoor cafes, wine bars, and colorful open markets. It’s a perfect ending to this fantastic escorted Tuscany tour.
Departure & Arrival Airport: Florence airport
|Tuscany Tour Package Includes:
Note: Activities or order of activities are subject to change due to unforeseen closures, etc. We reserve the right to replace an activity.
(B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner)
Arrival in Florence, Transfer to Pienza, Tour of Monteriggioni, Welcome Dinner, Overnight in Pienza
Your tour manager will meet you at the airport in Florence and take you to Pienza, a UNESCO World Heritage site in Tuscany and our base for the next three nights of our tour. En route you will travel to sleepy Monteriggioni, once a fortress and now a walled medieval village.
In Pienza, our charming hotel overlooks the Orcia Valley, arguably the most scenic and definitely most photographed area of in all of Tuscany. Pienza is the birthplace of Pope Pius II, who ordered the town to be redesigned into a masterpiece Renaissance city. Charming Pienza has several specialty stores, including food markets where you can sample pecorino cheese, one of the locally produced delicacies. We will get to know each other over a welcome dinner tonight as we mark the beginning of our small group tour of Tuscany. (D)
Montalcino, Wine Tasting & Lunch, Sant’Antimo Abbey, Bagno Vignoni, Overnight in Pienza
This morning our group will travel through the scenic Tuscan countryside to Bagno Vignoni which has been famous for its thermal walters since Roman times. We will spend some time in the town then head to Castiglione D’Orcia for lunch.
After lunch we’ll continue traveling Tuscany’s backroads and will quickly reach the Romanesque Abbey of Sant’Antimo, an unforgettable 9th-century Benedictine monastery. It is a simple yet magnificent stone church, set amongst the field of olive trees. We will have time to take photos, have a quick look before we continue on to Montalcino, whose acclaimed vineyards produce Brunello di Montalcino. We will tour a small boutique winery, owned by a husband and wife team. They have a small production of excellent wine, some rated over 90 pts. After our visit here, we will have some free time to enjoy the town as we wish.
You are free after we get back to where you will have the evening to explore and have dinner on your own. As always, your tour manager is available if want company. (B, L)
Montepulciano, Cortona, Overnight in Pienza
Our tour of Tuscany today will take you to Cortona, one of the oldest hill towns and best-preserved Etruscan cities in Tuscany. You will drive around Cortona and will have a see the now famous Villa Bramasole which belongs to of Ed and Frances Mayes, author of the book, Under The Tuscan Sun. You will visit the 16th century Medici fortress followed by exploration of the town’s charming medieval streets and squares with cafes, restaurants and shops. As you follow Cortona’s meandering medieval walls, you will be treated to magnificent views of vineyards, olive groves and Lake Trasimeno. On your free time, you may consider visiting Museo dell’Accademia Etrusca, an Etruscan museum housed in a 13th century palazzo. The museum contains important Etruscan artifacts, such as a 4th century lamp and jewelry found in ancient tombs. The museum also houses an important Egyptian collection as well as paintings from up to the 20th century. Free time after your visit.
In the afternoon our tour of Tuscany will take us to Montepulciano. It is one of the highest of Tuscan hill towns, built along a narrow tufa ridge, with a long main street and alleys that drop away to the walls. It’s a stunning town, endowed with dozens of Renaissance palaces and churches, and full of beautiful vistas and odd little corners to discover. It is also well known for its wine. Your guide will take you on a tour of Montepulciano where you will see the beautiful Renaissance church of San Biagio, the main town square and the 17th century cathedral.
Free time on your own when you return to Pienza. (B)
Siena, Chianti: Castellina-in-Chianti, Overnight in Florence
This morning our group tour in Tuscany will make our way to the romantic city of Florence, which will be our next home base till the end of our tour. We will travel through the Tuscan countryside and stop in the historic city of Siena. Built on three hills in the middle of the Via Francigena (pilgrimage road), Siena is one of Tuscany’s crown jewels. It has an outstanding Gothic Duomo and another important church, San Domenico, which claims the skull of St. Catherine. Siena also has one of the most beautiful squares in Italy, il Campo, where the famous Palio horse race is held twice a year. Your tour guide will conduct a tour of Siena. See the city’s most important neighborhoods, squares and churches, before giving you some time to explore them on your own.
We will also visit a jewel in Chianti – Castellina. Castellina is a small town, with lovely squares and tiny charming streets. Picture-perfect Tuscany town.
We are excited to offer this tour with a three-night stay in the most important city in all of Tuscany – Florence. We will arrive in Florence in the evening. You’re on your own for dinner, but as always, your tour manager is happy to join you or make restaurant recommendations. (B, L)
Walking Tour of Florence with The Accademia Museum, Afternoon Walk in Oltrarno,
Overnight in Florence
You will have an early morning walking tour of Florence with a licensed local guide covering some of the city’s history and architectural treasures including the beautiful Piazza della Signoria, the Duomo, Ponte Vecchio, Piazza Santa Croce and more. You will also visit the Accademia museum where you will view some of Michelangelo’s works, including the famous Statue of David.
NOTE: Those of you who have done the walking tour of Florence and Accademia museum may do the tour of the Pitti Palace and Boboli Garden.
This afternoon, you will walk with your guide in Oltrarno, housing to several Florence’s artisan workshops – silversmith, jewelry maker, furniture restorer, ironworker, shoe maker. This area gives you a look into Florence’s trade and skilled workers and the artisan culture that can be traced to the Renaissance. This area is also interesting as this is also home to many Florentine.
Let us know if you are interested in a guided tour of the Uffizi so we can schedule include this in your program today. NOTE: Advanced reservations are needed at the Uffizi Gallery. (B)
Leisure Day in Florence, Farewell Dinner, Overnight in Florence
This is the last day of our Spotlight on Tuscany tour. Florence has so much to offer a visitor. There are countless museums, markets, shops waiting for you to explore all just a short walk from your hotel. You can walk to the train station and perhaps do a day trip via train to Lucca, Arezzo, Assisi or even Rome.
Visit the Bargello museum, the Science museum, Ferragamo and Gucci museums or simply enjoy the city as you wander through its old streets, beautiful squares and markets. Your tour manager can assist you plan your day.
Farewell Dinner is planned. (B, D)
Departure for Home.
Prepare for your flight home. (B)