Tuscany, Love at First Sight

Let yourself be conquered by Tuscany, among unique landscapes, cities of art, millenary history, and good food. Discover its magical atmosphere by visiting its cities of art and tasting its many typical products. Cradle of the Renaissance, it is undoubtedly one of Italy’s most popular and loved regions by tourists thanks to its artistic treasures.

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Il programma

Arrival at Pisa airport where the group will meet the tour leader. Transfer by coach to Montecatini Terme, pleasant litte town in the heart of Tuscany. Close to Florence, Lucca and Pisa but also between Vinci (birthplace of big Leonardo), and Collodi (cradle of the farytale of famous puppet “Pinocchio”). In this area, called Valdinievole, we wil re-discover enchanted landscapes, villages and castles which tell us about past times and real art jewles.

Arrival at the hotel and room accommodation. Briefing with tour leader who will explain the tour program.

Dinner and overnight in hotel.

Breakfast in hotel and meeting with the tour leader. Departure by train to Florence where we will meet local guide. The walking tour includes the most fascinating and interesting places of the city of the Italian Renaissance: Santa Croce Square with its Basilica, Repubblica Square, Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral with Brunelleschi’s dome, the Baptistry with its famous door of paradise, heart of the medieval city,  Giotto’s bell tower. We will visit Signoria Square, the political heart of medieval city, adorned with splendid sculptures, an en plein air true collection of masterpieces. On the square there is Palazzo Vecchio, political symbol of the city and Dei Lanzi lodge. We will admire Ponte Vecchio, one of the symbol of Florence with its goldmith shops, and the famous Vasarian Corridor that was built on request of Cosimo I de’ Medici. Thanks to this elevated passage, Medicis’ family guraranteed the possibility to move freely and safely between their residence Pitti Palace and the seat of government inside Palazzo Vecchio.

In Florence everything handed down to us folk legends, curiosity, ways of saying. A so rich of history and culture city, every street has an anecdote or a mystery to unravel.

Free time for lunch.

During late afternoon we will enjoy an aperitif in one of the most elegant and suggestive place with a wonderful view of Florence.

In the evening, return to Montecatini Terme by train. Dinner and overnight in hotel.

Breakfast in hotel and meeting with the tour leader. Departure by coach to Siena where we will meet local guide. We will explore one of the most beautiful medieval city of the world, diving us in the cultural historical wealth and in the traditions; the Basilica San Domenico, big Gothic church that preserve the head of Saint Caterina, we will admire the most important palaces and monuments, included: Salimbeni Palace, Tolomei Palace, Chigi Saracini Palace, the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, jewel of Gothic architecture and chest that contains famous works of Michelangelo, Donatello and Bernini.  Tour will finish in Campo square, beating heart of Sienese culture and  extraordinary architectural scenography where twice each year takes place the famous Palio. Free time for lunch and in the early afternoon departure for a visit to the heart of Chianti: Castellina, Radda and Greve in Chianti are the places where the renowned Chianti Classico wine is produced. But they are also villages of incredible beauty: among their attractions, it is impossible not to mention the Rocca di Castellina, the Palazzo Pretorio di Radda and the extraordinary main square of Greve. On the way, we will stop at a farm immersed in the Chianti Classico area, where we will be welcomed in a unique setting, on a path which combines history and tradition and where we will be charmed by the elegance of the vineyards. We will visit the barrel cellar (called “la bottaia”, where the Chianti Classico is refined in oak barrels), then passing to the “vinsanteria” (where the precious tuscan sweet wine vinsanto matures in chestnut barrels) and finally we will reach the collection of extraordinary vintages bottles, which rest in the ancient cellars of the XV century. After this fascinating visit, we will taste a selection of wines accompanied by typical tuscan products (salami, pecorino and bruschetta).

Return to the hotel in Montecatini Terme in the evening, dinner and overnight.

Breakfast in hotel and meeting with tour leader. Departure to Lucca where we will meet the local guide. We will discover together the beauties of the city, like S.Michele in Foro square with homonymous roman church, Napoleone square from where we can admire Ducale Palace and Giglio theater, we will reach the San Martino Cathedral that preserves the sarcophagus of Ilaria del Carretto, a work of Jacopo della Quercia, and the “Holy Face of Christ”. We will pass in front of Puccini’s House and through the nice medieval streets to reach the elegan via Fillungo (main street of city center). We will also admire the Guinigi Tower, Anfiteatro Square and the Basilica of S. Frediano and we will not miss an unforgetable walk along the 16th century city walls.

Free time for lunch. A few minutes from Lucca, immersed in the countryside between olive trees and vineyards, there are the elegan noble villas. We will visit Villa Torrigiani, spectacular baroque villa that has still intact gardens in their original forms, rich of suprirses and water games. The inside of villa, visitable,  is completely furnished.

After the visit of the Villa, we will reach by bus Montecarlo of Lucca, hilly area famous for the production of white and red wine that we will taste in a farm with a typical tuscan dinner, composed of traditional gastronomic specialities.  A classic tuscan cusine, from home-made pasta to meat, where every dish has an history to tell.

Return to Montecatini for overnight.

Breakfast in hotel and meeting with the tour leader. Departure by coach to Carrara to visit the marble quarries, the biggest marble basins in the world. During the visit inside the querry, guide will show us the huge room called “Cathedral of marble” and will give us all information about the birth of querries in gallery, of machines and their uses, of extraction thechniques and, of course, information about how marble  is used in several ways. Is also possible admire the murales of Ozmo that represent the “Genesi” of Michelangelo. Finally will be explained how it was born and what is the “Straordinario” sparkling wine, preserved inside gallery and obtained from autochthonous grapes of the Apuan hills. We continue to Vara bridge, marble reilway built during 1890, where we will stop to taste the famous Lardo of Colonnata, excellent product of Tuscany, obtained from the back fat of selected pics, salted and ripened inside marble concas. At the end  departure to Pisa known in the workd for the famous Leaning Tower and architectural masterpieces. The guide will show us the beautiful Miracles’ square, with Leaning Tower, the Baptistery and other monuments before enter the Cathedral. At the end of the visit free time for nice pictures.

Back to hotel in Montecatini Terme for dinner and overnight.

Breakfast in hotel, meeting with the tour leader and departure to 5 Terre. An intense and unforgettable day to discover one of the most enchanting landscapes of the world, small fishing villages suspended between sea and earth, placed on cliffs overlooking the sea, surrounded by hills and vinewards. Reached La Spezia, we will take boat that will take us to Portovenere, we will fall in love with this as Byron and  Shelley, Dante and Petrarca and severla other writers and poets who made this place as second house (this area is infact called Poet’s bay). We continue by boat to Riomaggiore with the nice San Giovanni Batista church and very colorful houses. Then we reach Vernazza that offers a lovely athmosfere and finally Monterosso the biggest village of 5 Terre, composed by a new and an old part. During the day free time for lunch. Return to La Spezia by train, and finally return to Montecatini Terme by coach.

Dinner and overnight in hotel.

Breakfast in hotel and meeting with tour leader. Departure by coach to birth house of Leonardo da Vinci where was born April 15, 1452. A life-sized of artist hologram explains an amazing story of his extraordinary life. At the end we will visit the Leonardiano Museum inside Conti Guidi’s castel, where we can admire the most ancient collection of machines and models of Leonardo. We continue the journey to a farm to visit cellars and taste wine and tipical products. We return to Montecatini Terme and  with ancient funicular of 1898, we reach the old medieval village Montecatini Alto from where we can admire a nice view. Here we can see the ruins of the fortress, the romanesque churc of S. Pietro and bell tower, Castel Nuovo tower and central square with restaurants, the old city hall that now is a private house, the neogothic theater that now hosts a pizzeria and several medieval houses.

Free time and return to Montecatini Terme with funicular.

Dinner and overnight in hotel.

Breakfast in hotel and meeting with the tour leader. Transfer to Pisa airport.

Depending on the fly departure time, you will have free time for shopping in Montecatini Terme or visit by your own of the suggestive Terme Tettuccio.