Arrival of participants at Pisa airport where the tour leader will be waiting for them. Transfer by GT bus to Montecatini Terme, a charming thermal town in the heart of the Valdinievole, a UNESCO Heritage site. Close to Florence, Lucca, and Pisa lies the Valdinievole, a small valley located between Vinci, the birthplace of the Great Leonardo, and Collodi, the cradle of the fable of the famous puppet “Pinocchio”. This valley encloses hidden treasures, enchanted landscapes, villages and castles that speak of distant times, and real art jewels yet to be rediscovered that make this area a unique and authentic place. Arrival at the hotel and accommodation in the rooms. Briefing with the guide who will explain the tour program.
Breakfast at the hotel and meeting with the guide. Departure by train to Florence where you will meet your local guide. On a walking tour, the guide will take you through the most fascinating and interesting sights of this Italian Renaissance City: Piazza Santa Croce with its Basilica, Piazza della Repubblica, the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore with Brunelleschi’s Dome, the Baptistery with the famous Gates of Paradise and Giotto’s Bell Tower. We visit Piazza della Signoria, the political heart of the medieval city adorned with splendid sculptures, a true collection of masterpieces en plein air. The Piazza is overlooked by Palazzo Vecchio, the political symbol of the city, and the Loggia dei Lanzi. We will admire Ponte Vecchio, one of the symbols of Florence with its goldsmiths’ workshops and the famous Vasari Corridor, which was built at the request of Cosimo I de’ Medici. Thanks to this elevated pathway, the Medici were able to move freely and safely between their residence in Palazzo Pitti and the seat of government in Palazzo Vecchio. In Florence, everything tells us about popular legends, curiosities, and sayings. In a city so rich in history and culture, every street has an anecdote or a mystery to unveil. During the tour, you will discover the places where internationally famous films were set, such as ‘Inferno’, one of the most famous films ever shot in the city, a blockbuster American thriller starring Tom Hanks.
Free time for lunch. In the late afternoon, we will have an aperitif in one of the most elegant and suggestive places with a splendid view over Florence.
In the evening we take the train back to Montecatini Terme. Arrival at the hotel, dinner, overnight stay.
Breakfast at the hotel and meeting with the tour leader. Departure by bus to Siena where we will meet the local guide. We will explore one of the most beautiful cities in the world, immersing ourselves in the historical and cultural richness and traditions of Siena: The Basilica of San Domenico, a large Gothic church that preserves the head of St. Catherine, we will admire the most important palaces and monuments, among them: Palazzo Salimbeni, Palazzo Tolomei, the Palazzo Chigi Saracini, the Duomo, the Cathedral of the Assumption, a jewel of Gothic architecture and a treasure chest containing the famous works of Michelangelo, Donatello and Bernini; one of the scenes of the film ‘Letters to Juliet’ was set in its square. The tour will have its natural conclusion in the monumental Piazza del Campo, the beating heart of Sienese culture, and an extraordinary architectural setting in which the famous Palio di Siena takes place twice a year. Free time for lunch and in the early afternoon departure for a visit to the heart of Chianti: Castellina, Radda and Greve in Chianti, which can boast of producing Chianti Classico, are also villages of incredible beauty. Among their attractions, it is impossible not to mention the Rocca di Castellina, the Palazzo Pretorio in Radda and the extraordinary main square in Greve. On the way, we will stop at a farm in the Chianti Classico area, where we will be welcomed in a unique environment that combines history and tradition and where we will be enchanted by the elegance of the vineyards. We will visit the Bottaia where the Chianti Classico is aged in oak barrels, then move on to the Vinsanteria where the precious sweet Tuscan wine matures in chestnut barrels, and finally reach the collection of extraordinary vintages resting in the ancient 15th-century cellars. After this fascinating visit, we will taste a selection of wines accompanied by typical Tuscan products (salami, pecorino cheese and bruschetta).
Breakfast at the hotel and meeting with the tour leader. Departure by bus to Pisa, known throughout the world for its famous Leaning Tower and its architectural masterpieces. Upon arrival, the guide will show us the wonders of this city, mostly enclosed in the renowned Piazza dei Miracoli. We will see the Leaning Tower (exterior), the Baptistery, and other wonderful monuments before visiting the interior of the Cathedral. At the end of the visit, some free time will be allowed for the inevitable photo ops. Free time for lunch and early afternoon continuation to Lucca where we will meet the local guide. Together we will discover its beauties such as Piazza S.Michele in Foro, with the Romanesque church of the same name, Piazza Napoleone, from where we can admire Palazzo Ducale and the Teatro del Giglio, we will reach the Cathedral of S. Martino, which houses the famous sarcophagus of Ilaria del Carretto, a work by Jacopo della Quercia, and the “Holy Face” of Christ. We will pass by the house where Giacomo Puccini was born and wander through the characteristic medieval streets to reach the elegant Via Fillungo. We will admire the Guinigi Tower, the Piazza Anfiteatro, and the Basilica di S. Frediano, and we will not miss a walk on the famous 16th-century walls.
We continue on to Montecarlo di Lucca, a hilly area famous for the production of Montecarlo white and red wine, which we will taste on a farm accompanied by a tasty dinner of typical Tuscan dishes, from handmade pasta to appetizing grilled meats, each dish has its own story to tell.
Return to the hotel in Montecatini Terme in the evening. Overnight stay.
Breakfast at the hotel, meeting with the tour leader, and departure for the visit of the Val D’Orcia—UNESCO-HERITAGE, an intense, unforgettable day discovering the beauty of the Tuscan countryside. Are you a cinema fan and did you love the film “The Gladiator”, its settings and breath-taking landscapes? Would you like to visit those wonderful places? Then all you have to do is follow us on this tour of the Val d’Orcia. The story and the soundtrack moved us and left us breathless throughout the film, as did the beauty of the landscapes. During the tour, we visit Montalcino, a characteristic medieval village built on the ‘Via Francigena’. From the Fortress, you can admire a breath-taking landscape and as you continue you will discover its beauty: the cathedral, the Piazza dei Priori, and the medieval churches. Pienza, a characteristic Renaissance village whose architecture was commissioned by Pope Pius II, who called in one of the most famous architects of the time, Bernardo Rossellino, who transformed the small village into the ‘ideal city of the Renaissance’. Montepulciano is a medieval village enclosed within three circles of walls where you can admire the Piazza Grande, the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, and the Palazzo Comunale.
On the way, we will take a break at a farm where we will discover all the secrets of wine production in a magical journey that begins in the fermentation room and ends in the aging room. At the end of the visit, we will taste the famous Brunello di Montalcino and have a light lunch with typical Tuscan products.
Return to the hotel in the evening, dinner and overnight stay.
Breakfast at the hotel and a day totally dedicated to shopping! For shopping lovers, the Outlet Village of Barberino del Mugello is an opportunity to purchase items in 120 shops of the best international fashion brands.
Breakfast at the hotel, meeting with the tour leader, and departure to visit Arezzo and Cortona. In Arezzo we will rediscover the emotions of the film “La Vita è Bella”, an extraordinary international success and winner of 3 Oscar awards. Guided tour of the historical centre to discover the artistic beauties including the Basilica of S. Domenico, the Gothic Cathedral of S. Donato, the scenic Piazza Grande, which is the setting for the Jousting of the Saracen and the Antiques Fair, and the thousand-year-old Parish Church of S. Maria. During the tour, we will also visit some of the places where the film was shot. Free lunch.
We continue with a visit to Cortona, where you can relive scenes from the film ‘Under the Tuscan Sun’, a hit that made the whole world dream of packing their bags and leaving for Tuscany! Strolling through the town’s wonderful narrow streets, we will admire some of its most emblematic sights, including the Church of San Francesco, built in the 13th century in Gothic-Baroque style, the Palazzo Comunale, the Duomo, and the Teatro Signorelli, built in the 19th century in neoclassical style. During the tour, we will also experience the places where some scenes of the film were shot!!! You will find shops selling handicrafts, leather goods, local gastronomic products, etc. In Cortona, you can admire a unique panorama of the Val di Chiana.
In the evening, return to Montecatini Terme, dinner, and overnight stay in hotel.
Breakfast at the hotel and meeting with the tour leader. The day will be dedicated to visiting Montecatini Terme, the city was declared a UNESCO HERITAGE Site in 2021. We will leave the hotel on foot to begin an itinerary and discover the Art of the 20th century. We will walk along Viale Verdi, or rather the Montecatini Terme Walk of Fame, also called “Steps of Glory”, is an installation of circular studs on which are engraved the names of personalities who, from the early 1900s onwards, have stayed in this town, benefiting from its thermal waters. Among the celebrities, we have Woody Allen, Ingrid Bergman, Gary Cooper, Kevin Costner, Robert De Niro, Clark Gable, Audrey Hepburn, Burt Lancaster, Sofia Loren, Anthony Quinn, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, and many other personalities from the cinema and beyond! On our way we visit the 20th-century Palazzo del Municipio, which houses Galileo Chini’s stained glass windows inside, and the Museo D’arte Contemporanea, which houses world-class works such as important paintings by Pietro Annigoni and Joan Mirò. Continuing up Viale Verdi is the Establishment Excelsior, built in the early 1900s. At the end of Viale Verdi, we find ourselves in front of the imposing façade of the Thermal Establishment Tettuccio (Tettuccio Spa), the pride and joy of the spa town. After visiting the thermal building with its marvelous decorations, we will have an aperitif inside the magnificent historic café to relive an atmosphere of times gone by where you will seem to catch a glimpse of Giacomo Puccini and Giuseppe Verdi sipping coffee between the tables, both of whom were frequent visitors to the Montecatini Thermal Baths. Leaving the Tettuccio, we will take the old funicular railway dating back to 1898 to reach the ancient medieval village of Montecatini Alto from where we will enjoy a fabulous view over the valley. Free time for lunch, which you can enjoy in one of the little restaurants in the village’s delightful Piazzetta. After lunch we will set off to explore the village with the ruins of the fortress, the Romanesque church of S. Pietro and its bell tower, the tower of Castel Nuovo, the neo-Gothic theatre that houses a pizzeria, and several medieval houses. (in low season you will reach Montecatini Alto by bus).
Return to the valley by funicular. Return to the hotel, dinner, and overnight stay.
Breakfast at the hotel, meeting with the tour leader, and departure for the visit to Volterra and San Gimignano.
On arrival in Volterra, you will admire Piazza dei Priori, overlooked by the Palazzo dei Priori and many other palaces that formed the political heart of the city in the Middle Ages, the Romanesque Cathedral with its elegant bell tower and the Baptistery of San Giovanni, built in the 13th century. The tour then continues through the dense maze of medieval streets where we can admire Palazzo Viti, the Church of San Michele, the Etruscan urns embedded in the walls near Porta Fiorentina, and the splendid archaeological site of the Roman Theatre. We will visit an alabaster workshop, the stone traditionally worked in Volterra since ancient times. Free lunch and early afternoon drive to San Gimignano, where we visit Piazza della Cisterna, which takes its name from the ancient well dating back to 1273, Piazza del Duomo, the Collegiate Church, the palaces and seven of the town’s many towers characterize this evocative medieval square, Palazzo del Popolo, the 14th-century palace is dominated by the high tower (51 m) from the top of which it is possible to admire an extraordinary panorama, Palazzo del Governo, a medieval palace with a large portico on the ground floor and the remarkable “Torre Rognosa”, the Church of S. Agostino, a suggestive 13th-century church, the Church of San Gimignano, the Church of San Giovanni Battista, the Church of San Giovanni in the Church of San Michele. Agostino, a suggestive 13th-century church. The towers of San Gimignano have inspired many film directors from all over the world to choose this small village that has remained in the Middle Ages as the location for their films.
In the evening return to Montecatini Terme, dinner, and overnight stay in a hotel.
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