Day 1 - Florence / Arrival
Upon arrival of your flight at Florence airport meet your personal English speaking driver (after passport control customs and luggage claim) who will escort you to your charming luxury Relais Santa Croce 5*****
Located in the historic center of Florence, an eighteenth century residence hosts the exclusive, refined Relais Santa Croce, a luxury hotel in Florence. Surrounded by its sumptuous furnishings and frescoed ceilings, you will be delighted by the evocative nature of this truly extraordinary location in which luxury and refinement are the predominant features. The ideal destination for those seeking the intimacy of a private residence in Florence.
Check in at the hotel and rest of the day at your leisure.
Overnight in Florence.
Day 2 – AM Walking Tour including Accademia Gallery and foodies tour
Your guide will bring you leisurely on a full day walking tour of the city for a full immersion of the main highlights Your morning tour will proceed to the discovery of the Dome that was begun in 1296 in the Gothic style with the design of Arnoldo di Cambio and completed structurally in 1436 with the dome engineered by Filippo Brunelleschi. The exterior of the basilica is faced with polychrome marble panels in various shades of green and pink bordered by white and has an elaborate 19th-century Gothic revival façade . The cathedral complex, located in Piazza del Duomo includes the Baptistery and Giotto’ s Campanile . These three buildings are part of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites covering the historic center of Florence and are a major attraction to tourists visiting Tuscany. The basilica is one of Italy's largest churches, and until development of new structural materials in the modern era, the dome was the largest in the world. It remains the largest brick dome ever constructed. The cathedral is the mother church of the Roman Catholic Archidiocese of Florence. Following you will experience a great surprise for lunch !
Want to get a taste of some of the finest local products that the city has to offer? Then the Foodies tour is the one for you. We start at the San Lorenzo Market where you’ll have a taste of Tuscany’s “green gold”, it’s renowned olive oil, as well as a variety of cheese, salami and prosciutto, truffle sauces and oil and balsamic vinegar. After we’ll have a wine tasting where you will enjoy some of the region’s finest wines. Not full yet? Our next stop will be at a local “fiaschetteria” where you will have a tasting of some of the city’s traditional recipes. We’ll finish our tour in grand style with one of the finest gelato parlors of the city where you can pick your flavor made with genuine and fresh products.
Day 3 - Florence half day
3 hours guided tour in Florence - Uffizi Gallery and Vasarian corridor (depending on availability)
Meet your personal guide in hotel who will take you leisurely on an unforgettable visit : the Uffizi Gallery which houses a superb collection of priceless art, originating in great part from the Medici family collection, enriched over the centuries by endowments, exchanges and donations, among which an important group of religious works stands out, resulting from the suppression of the monasteries and convents between the XVIII and XIX centuries. Here, you will find the richest collection in the world of works of the Tuscan school, Florentine in particular, among which: Cimabue, Michelangelo, Giotto, Leonardo da Vinci and Raffaello. Without parallel is the collection of works by Sandro Botticelli.
Leaving the Uffizi you will proceed your visit to the Vasarian Corridor. In 1564, Francesco I de’Medici and Giovanna of Austria were set to be married. To mark the occasion, one of the things that his father, Cosimo I de’Medici, the Grand Duke commissioned, was the construction of a covered passageway, over a half mile in length, which would connect his residence (the Pitti Palace) with his place of work (the Uffizi Gallery). Construction of the Vasari Corridor was completed in a mere five months under the design direction of Giorgio Vasari. The corridor itself houses over 1,000 paintings, all of them dating back to the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Some of the most impressive of all these works are the self-portraits of some of the great Italian Renaissance artists. When you visit the Vasari Corridor, you will be able to see portraiture of Rubens, Delacroix, Corot, and Giorgio Vasari himself, to name only a few.
Day 4 - Wine tasting in the Chianti area including light lunch
There is a place in Tuscany that is synonymous with wines of excellence; this place is Chianti. Along with its "nectar of the Gods,” the Chianti region hills provide a spectacular view of pristine nature. You will meet your personal English speaking driver and your English-speaking guide in the lobby of your hotel. Your first stop will be Greve in Chianti, where you will enjoy the visit of the market square, then you will proceed to the first Winery and wine tasting. Lunch will be served at a typical restaurant in Badia a Passignano.
After lunch, you will have a pleasant walking along the Antinori vineyards at Badia a Passignano or around the small castle of Montefioralle. Then, you will discover the cellars of a second winery and taste their wine. As tour comes to the end your driver will take you back in Florence to your hotel where you will spend time at leisure .
Overnight in Florence.
Day 5 – Florence: Pisa and Lucca
After breakfast at your hotel, meet with your personal English speaking driver for a direct
transfer to Pisa where your personal English speaking guide will help you
to discover one of the most and wonderful Italian cities: Pisa. The tour starts from the central
Piazza Dei Miracoli, famous for its Leaning Tower and for the many beautiful architectural
structures that distinguish this city. From here you will have time to explore this small city
together with your guide, you will discover the many aspects of this fascinating town,
named after a Greek city, from which it is believed originated the first inhabitants.
A town, who thanks to its Tower, has become a symbol in Italy and in the world.
It has also fascinated many film directors who have chosen it as a set location for their films.
It is so evocative and characteristic, that it has been proposed as one of the seven modern
wonders of the world. End of the tour and time to enjoy a nice meal in the centrally located restaurants scattered throughout this evocative and characteristic city.
Your day tour will head you to Lucca after lunch, where together with your personal English speaking guide you will explore and learn of the beauty of this small but very important town made famous by its (still intact) Renaissance Wall. You will be amazed by the architectural beauty and artistic ambiance of the Piazza dell'Anfiteatro, and marvel at the historic sights that you have witnessed in both these cities. After your tour, certainly pleased with this experience, you will come back to Florence. Overnight in Florence.
Day 6 – Florence : AM School of leather
Scuola del Cuoio follows the centuries-old Florentine tradition of placing the master craftsman and the apprentice side-by-side during everyday activities. Students and the master craftsmen work in the workshops located in the brick-vaulted rooms of the historic Novitiate’s Courtyard and use hand-made tools that also date back from a half century ago. Visit includes demonstration of the gilding of the leather with 22 kt gold and an outlook on the historical and cultural background of the leather craftsmanship in Florence, as well as an explanation on the various techniques and materials that we use in our production and the hides in our collections. Duration of visit : 1 hour. You may also attend short courses of 3 or 6 hours each during which you get a short lecture about the materials used in creating leather products. During this guided tour you may also visit the Monastry of Santa Croce and buy tickets on spot.
Spend the morning at leisure.
PM - Ferragamo Museum
You will enjoy a private guided tour at the Ferragamo Museum. It is located inside the Palazzo Spini Feroni, a Medieval palace originally built in 1289 by Geri Spini, a wealthy merchant and banker to Pope Boniface VIII. It has known several owners over the centuries, Salvatore Ferragamo purchased the palace in 1938, making it the headquarters of his company and the location of his workshop. The building’s restoration was completed in 2000 and its rooms now proudly showcase masterpieces of seventeenth and eighteenth century Florentine art, including frescoes by Bernardino Poccetti in the chapel of the palace. The underground floor, where the museum is situated, reveals the building’s Medieval roots. Over the centuries it has been used for many different purposes and in the early twentieth century it housed one of the city’s most famous antiques galleries. At the end of your guided tour, you will have free time at your leisure in order to focus on your shopping! Duration of the guided tour : 1 hour
Spend the rest of the afternoon at leisure . Overnight in Florence.
Day 7 - Tuscany/ Guided visit in Siena and private transfer to Cortona
Check out from your Hotel in Florence , meet your English speaking private driver and head to Siena where you will meet your personal English speaking guide who will lead you on a journey of discovery. The history of this small and unique city will be expertly illustrated, allowing you to open your hearts as if you were a true inhabitant of Siena. You will discover the Magnificent Piazza del Campo where twice a year (2 July and 16 August) an event , that every citizen of
Siena looks forward to , takes place : the Palio di Siena. You will learn about the history of the Contrade (ancient Sienese name for neighborhood) and visit the famous Duomo but also other monuments of the city, at the end of the visit you will have lunch in a nice and typical restaurant in the city centre with a stunning view over the city. Here you will be able to taste some delicious Tuscan dishes: from the flavors of wild boar ravioli to the classic "ribollita" (Tuscan soup) and their exquisite Florentine steak, all accompanied with the best local wines. After lunch your personal drivel will take you then to your splendid Relais, in the Sienese hills, where you will be free to relax and admire the splendid Tuscan valleys that surround your resort. Overnight at Relais Chateaux “il Falconiere”4****L.
The Relais Il Falconiere and Spa is a charming house kept in the heart of the Tuscan countryside, where the hills give way to the enchanting Etruscan hill-town of Cortona.
Today, 25 years after its inauguration, Il Falconiere, along with a Michelin star restaurant, a wine resort and exclusive SPA is a small world of charm suspended in time, that has preserved the simplicity of two youths in love with a dream, from which a wonderful story has been created.
This hotel is appreciated for its tranquility and unique panoramic position, the distinctive quality of its buildings and the refinement of its furnishings. It comprises 14 luxury rooms and 5 spacious apartments. The swimming pool and 7 hectares of private parkland complete the beautiful setting of this location . Free time to enjoy the property and enjoy a glass of good wine or relax in the beautiful Spa.
Dinner at the restaurant of the Relais. Overnight
Day 8 – Cortona: Cooking class
After breakfast, we will reserve for you a unique experience: a cooking class that will increase your natural love for food and provide you with the skills you need to translate this love into beautiful and imaginative cuisine. This experience will add a pinch of Tuscan life style to your vacation working with the chef! You will discover the secrets of the true Tuscan cuisine: you will prepare homemade pasta, desserts and many other dishes, before sitting down to enjoy the result of your funny work.
Rest of the day at your leisure. Overnight in Cortona.
Day 9 – Cortona: San Gimignano
After breakfast, you will reach San Gimignano by private car and English speaking driver . Here, you will meet your private guide and begin your walking tour of this charming city. The Medieval village of San Gimignano has been declared a World Heritage Site. Even with its 19th and 20th century renovations, its 13th and 14th century appearance has remained intact and is one of the finest examples of town organization in all of Europe. The main attraction of San Gimignano is the 16 Medieval Towers that still stand today. The oldest is the Torre Rognosa, 51 meters high, while the tallest is the Torre del Podestà, also known as the Torre Grossa (Big Tower), standing 54 meters. In AD 1255 a law was approved prohibiting the construction of any tower reaching the height of the Torre Rognosa (which was the tallest at that time), while the two most important families - Ardinghelli and Salvucci - in order to demonstrate their power, had two towers built just 50 cm under the 54 meter limit. At the end of the tour, you driver will accompany you back to your hotel in Cortona. Rest of the day at your leisure.
Day 9 - Cortona
Breakfast at the Relais. Free time at leisure. Enjoy the SPA
Overnight in Cortona
Day 10 – Cortona / Castiglion del Bosco
Breakfast and check out from your Relais and meet your English speaking guide at the lobby of your hotel for departure to Castiglion del Bosco.
Check into your beautiful resort . Overnight
Day 11 – Full day Montalcino and Brunello tour
After breakfast, you will meet your private English speaking driver-guide and depart to the small and charming village of Montalcino. Everything seems like a dream in the Brunello kingdom, the castle and village of Montalcino at the top of the highest hill, the roads through the Sangiovese grosso vineyards, the taste from the huge barrels resting in the deep cellars. In the morning you will discover the beauty of the village and visit one of the oldest wineries of the area. Lunch will be reserved for you in a traditional restaurant where you will enjoy the typical Tuscan products. In the afternoon, your English speaking driver-guide will escort you to the unique San Antimo Abbey. It is one of the most significant architectural monuments of Romanesque, which is inspired by Lombard and transalpine models. It is a remarkable example of monastic building built between the eleventh and twelfth centuries, whose magnificence is enhanced by the surrounding landscape, the pleasant valley of Starcia stream, in which the presence of the olive constitutes the key element.
After the visit, you will enjoy a wine tasting in a nearby winery and then your driver will leisurely escort back to your lovely hotel in Castiglion del Bosco.
Day 12 – Castiglion del Bosco
Breakfast at the hotel and free day to enjoy the splendid surroundings and the Rosewood SPA offering several therapies and treatments.
Overnight in Castiglion del Bosco.
Day 13 – Castiglion del Bosco /Volterra
Breakfast at the hotel . Meet your English speaking driver at the lobby of the hotel for a pleasant journey to Volterra a Bronze Age settlement and an important Etruscan center. A Tuscany gem surrounded by the countryside. Discover this city made of stones ; visit the Romanesque Cathedral. Enjoy a pleasant walk through the narrow medieval streets of the historic centre . This place is also called the city of alabaster and you will discover this very old tradition :the art of carving alabaster, which is extracted in this area. Here you can find still several alabaster handicraft shops.
Make a stop at lunch time at typical local osteria (suggested by us , at your care) offering Tuscan dishes made with the freshest ingredients.
Head back to your hotel in Castiglion del Bosco in the afternoon to relax at your location.
Day 14 – Castiglion del Bosco / Florence airport
Breakfast and check out at your hotel and departure to Florence airport for flight back home!