Spotlight on Tuscany – Women Only Tour
Women’s Tour – Tuscany & Florence
GROUP SIZE – 8 to 12 PEOPLE
Main Destinations: Florence, Pienza, Montecchiello, Siena, Montalcino, Cortona, Montepulciano, Castellina-in-Chianti, Monteriggioni
Join our Tuscany women’s tours, one of Italy’s top destinations. This upscale Tuscany women’s tour includes fantastic sightseeing through the countryside while experiencing very good wine, fantastic restaurant and farm to table meals, and incredible monuments.
NOTE: We are also offering an extension to this tour.
Pre-tour and post-tour accommodations are available. Arrive early or depart later. We’ll make all the arrangements for you.
Arrival & Departure Airport: Florence Airport
TUSCANY GROUP TOUR ITINERARY
(B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner)
NOTE: Restaurant recommendations will be provided.
Your guide will pick you up at the airport. The first stop in your Tuscany women’s tour is Pienza, a UNESCO World Heritage site and your base for the next three nights. En route our Tuscany women’s tour will take us to sleepy Monteriggioni, once a fortress and now a walled medieval village.
In Pienza 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 shops where you can sample pecorino cheese, one of the locally produced delicacies. Dinner is planned for you tonight. (D)
DAY 2: Montalcino, Monticchiello, Wine Tasting & Lunch, Sant’Antimo Abbey, Overnight in Pienza
This morning your Tuscany women’s tour will travel through the scenic Tuscan countryside. You will stop in one of Tuscany’s jewel, the lovely tiny town of Monticchiello. The site here is the town itself, picture-perfect town as you would expect to find in Tuscany.
After lunch you’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. You will have time to take photos, have a quick look before you continue onto charming Montalcino, whose acclaimed vineyards produce Brunello di Montalcino. You will explore the town and stop for lunch.
Free evening on once get back to our hotel. (B, L)
DAY 3: Montepulciano, Cortona, Le Celle, Overnight in Pienza
Today, your Tuscany women’s tour takes you to Cortona, one of the oldest hill towns and best-preserved Etruscan cities in Tuscany. Our first stop is Le Celle, a hilltop monastery founded by St. Francis of Assisi in the early 1300s. It is a beautiful spiritual place built in the foothills of Monte Sant’Edigio in a natural gorge carved out by a stream. It is believe that this is where the saint dictated his will. You will explore 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 you will tour 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, artisan shops and a winery. You will explore the town leisurely and also have time on your own.
The rest of the day is on your own. (B)
DAY 4: Siena & Chianti: Castellina-in-Chianti, Overnight in Florence
This morning we will make our way to the romantic city of Florence, which will be our next home base till the end of our Tuscany women’s tour. You 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. See the city’s most important neighborhoods, squares and churches, before giving you some time to explore them on your own.
This Tuscany group tour also takes you to a jewel in Chianti, Castellina, a small town with lovely squares, homes, tiny charming streets and a sprinkling of small cafes, shops and restaurants. A picture-perfect Tuscan town.
We are excited to offer this tour with a three-night stay in the most important city in all of Tuscany – Florence. You will arrive in Florence late afternoon. (B)
DAY 5: Walking Tour of Florence with The Accademia Museum, 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.
Your guide will have lunch suggestions. (B)
DAY 6: Leisure Day, Overnight in Florence
By this time you will very comfortable in exploring Florence on your own. Enjoy Florence one last time. Consider a visit to the Bargello museum or the Pitti Palace or simply enjoy the city as you wander through its old streets, beautiful squares and markets. (B).
DAY 7: Departure Day
This is the end of your Tuscany women’s tour. Prepare for your flight home. You will be picked up at the hotel and taken to the airport. (B)
POST-TOUR EXTENSION – Florence as a base.
Day 1 – Day Trip: Tour of Cinque Terre in Liguria, Overnight in Florence
Our excellent guide will take you on a private tour of the Cinque Terre, one of the most beautiful coastlines of Italy. You will drive west of Florence taking the scenic autostrada Firenze-Mare, and leave Tuscany for a region called Liguria, which stretches from the French border in the west to La Spezia in the east.
The charming villages of the Cinque Terre (Italian for Five Lands) along the five miles of Liguria’s rocky coast are unforgettable: olive groves, vineyards, winding stone paths and enchanting small beaches wedged between cliffs, fishing villages and colorful rooftops. The Cinque Terre was finally recognized as a national park in 1999 and UNESCO-protected territory since 1997.
Your Cinque Terre private tour may start in the westernmost and largest of the five villages, Monterosso. This lush green village is sheltered by hills covered with vineyards and olive groves. Its beautiful beaches, steep, rugged cliffs and crystal-clear waters make this one of the most charming resorts on the Ligurian Riviera. Excellent restaurants abound here for a wonderful lunch stop.
This Cinque Terre private tour will continue with a very short train ride to Manarola, the fourth village of the Cinque Terre starting from the north. Your private tour will take you along a beautiful footpath called the Lovers’ Pathway, “La Via dell’Amore,” which starts in Manorala and ends up in Riomaggiore, the last of the five villages. After this spectacular half-hour walk, you will have some free time for shopping and strolling around the last town.
Day 2 – Leisure Morning, Afternoon in San Gimignano: The Town and Farm Winery Visit with Wine and Cheese, Overnight in Florence
Later in the day, you will visit the medieval walled city of San Gimignano, one of Tuscany’s most charming towns. You’ll have the first sight of the famous towers of San Gimignano from afar.
There were originally 72 towers, but only 15 remain today. You will explore San Gimignano with your English-speaking guide. You will stop in the main squares, Piazza della Cisterna and Piazza del Duomo. You will have free time to visit La Collegiata church, the civic museum, the fortress, and the unusual torture museum, while you can get your exercise by climbing the big tower called Torre Grossa. Great shopping opportunities await, as San Gimignano is well known for Zafferano (saffron), its great white wine called Vernaccia, among other gourmet treats. Make a point to stop for gelato at one of Italy’s best gelaterias in Piazza della Cisterna.
Day 3 – Departure for Home
Private transportation to the airport will be arranged for you.