“In Italy, for 30 years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love, they had 500 years of democracy and peace – and what did they produce? The cuckoo clock.”
For many Italy is more than a country, it represents escapism. The same can be said for Florence. It’s hard not to think of Lucy Honeychurch’s quest for ‘a room with a view’, in the book bearing the same name. Or to think of Dante, the father of the Italian language. Or Boccaccio’s Decameron, set in Fiesole, overlooking Florence. Or to conjure up images of beautiful narrow streets which open up into piazzas crowned with jewels such as Santa Croce. And that is before we touch upon the Renaissance and its impact upon the city. In the words of John Ruskin, “You will begin to wonder that human daring ever achieved anything so magnificent”. It is therefore only appropriate to base ourselves in this city of Italian glories, from where we will venture out to sample some other Tuscan delights, but where we will also have time to digest all this city has to offer, at the leisurely pace of any good Italian meal.
Day 1: Arrival
Upon being met at the airport, you will be whisked away to the hotel where you can relax and unpack before we meet for our first aperitivi and then a brief walk to dinner, followed by an early night to ensure you are ready for the adventures ahead. (D)
Day 2: Tuscan Specialties & Pizza Making
“The creator made Italy from designs by Michelangelo” (Mark Twain)
It’s hard not to admire the view in Florence, but we don’t want you to feast merely with your eyes, we want you to feast upon the local delicacies. As such, once you have gazed upon David, we will introduce you to some Tuscan specialities as part of the tour. The afternoon is free in order for you to digest what you have seen and eaten. This evening learn how to make pizza the proper Italian way and then, as a reward for your efforts, enjoy eating it. (B, D)
Day 3: Siena & Tuscan Vineyards
The jewel in the Tuscan crown has to be Siena, a city as famous for its beautiful Piazza del Campo, which opens up like a golden fan as the sun creeps into the square, as for its Palio horse race which takes place in that same square. We head out there for a late morning walk around, sampling local produce, followed by free time for lunch and further wandering, before making our way to a small Tuscan town for some wine tasting and dinner to help soak up the alcohol! (B, D)
Day 4: Tuscan Cookery Class
Now that you are connoisseurs of Italian cuisine, it’s time to become chefs, as today we learn how to prepare some Tuscan classics. The rest of the afternoon and evening is at leisure. (B, L)
Day 5: Fiesole Leisurely Lunch
Head out to Fiesole, famous throughout Italy as the setting for Boccaccio’s seminal work, ‘The Decameron’. Enjoy a stroll through this pretty little town followed by a long, leisurely, Tuscan lunch with a view. Later this afternoon return to Florence for a free evening. (B, L)
Day 6: Ciao Ciao Italia
Today it is time to say Ciao Ciao Italia, or, more appropriately, Arrivederci Italia, until the next time. (B)
Included in this trip:
Accommodation & Services:
- 5 nights in Florence.
- Centrally located, upmarket hotel.
- The services of an extremely highly qualified and experienced Tour Manager who will accompany you throughout your trip (dependent upon group size; please contact us for more information).
- Transfers to and from the airport.
- Private transport, unless otherwise stated.
- All tips. For instance, tips to tour managers, local guides, restaurants and porterage (where available) are all included in the total price; one less thing to think about.
- We will be visiting: Florence, Siena and a small, typical Tuscan town.
Food & Beverages:
- Breakfast and either lunch or dinner (unless otherwise stated).
- When lunch and/or dinner are included, alcohol in the form of wine and/or beer is provided, unless otherwise stated.
- Aperitivi, coffee and snacks where stated.
Entrances & Tickets:
- Siena’s cathedral
- Santa Croce
Guided Tours with a difference:
- pizza lesson
- cookery lesson
- wine tasting
- aperitivi tasting
- a surprise
NOT INCLUDED IN THIS TRIP:
- Flights not included. I would suggest flying in and out of either Pisa or Florence.
- Travel insurance.
- Visas, where applicable (Please note: US and Canadian nationals do not require Visas when travelling to Europe).
There are no ‘optionals’ for sale. Everything you have in the itinerary is included in the total cost.
Please note that in booking a trip with me, you are also contributing to charities which support young people in education. The charity I currently give to is the Malala Fund: www.malala.org , whose mission it is to help the 130 million girls worldwide, who are currently unable to access education.
Customised itinerary designed by Lucy Loves Travel Ltd.
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