Walks and Tastes of Tuscany 2019
MONDAY 09 SEPTEMBER 2019 - Departure Day
Depart Sydney on flight EK413 at 9.10pm
TUESDAY 10 SEPTEMBER 2019 - Rome Arrival Day
Arrive Dubai at 5.40am and join connecting flight EK97 arriving into Rome at 1.25pm.
You will be met and transferred on arrival to your city centre hotel only a short walk from the Trevi Fountain and the whole history of the Capital.
Accommodation: Hotel White, Rome
WEDNESDAY 11 SEPTEMBER 2019 - Historic Rome
Ancient Rome Walking Tour including Colosseum & Roman Forum.
Visit all the best-known sites of ancient Rome, including the Colosseum, the Capitoline Hill, Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon and Piazza Navona.
Your guide will not only educate you on the history, politics, and architecture of the Eternal City, but will also make the life and times of ancient Rome come to life on a stage second-to-none in the world. Make the unparalleled experiences of gladiators, emperors, slaves, Vestal Virgins, senators, merchants, gods and goddesses your own.
Accommodation: Hotel White, Rome Meals included: Breakfast
THURSDAY 12 SEPTEMBER 2019 - Free Day in Rome
Today is at leisure to explore Rome. You may like to visit the Vatican City or take a guided tour of the Colosseum.
Accommodation: Hotel White, Rome Meals included: Breakfast
FRIDAY 13 SEPTEMBER 2019 - Rome – Siena via Tuscania
We transfer by coach from Rome to Siena following backroads through the countryside. We take a break in the delightful town of Tuscania for a ramble, a coffee, perhaps a light snack. Afternoon arrival at the hotel in Siena where we’ll spend the next 3 nights. Siena is an ancient town, of Gothic architecture, and is Unesco World Heritage listed. The Sienese have proudly maintained old traditions including ‘lo struscio’ a leisurely evening stroll through the winding streets down to the Campo, the beautiful rose-gold square where twice a year they run the Palio, a medieval bareback horserace. We join the Sienese struscio before our welcome dinner in a local restaurant.
Accommodation: Hotel Minerva, Siena Meals included: Breakfast & Dinner including wine
SATURDAY 14 SEPTEMBER 2019 - Volterra, San Gimignano & Monteriggioni
Today we go to the town of Volterra, poised on a high plateau, its walls still standing. Within the town we visit Palazzo Viti the palatial townhouse of an old noble family, built in the 1500s and still the family home today. Its façade is a rare surviving example of the architectural style which marked the transition between the Renaissance and the Baroque. In 1860 the palazzo hosted the first King of a united Italy, Victor Emanuel. In 1964 it was the film location for the award-winning “Vaghe Stelle dell’Orsa” starring Claudia Cardinale and directed by Luchino Visconti. You’ll have time to explore the town, perhaps visit the Etruscan Museum Guarnacci or enjoy lunch before going on to the famous ‘town of towers’ San Gimignano. Stroll below these medieval towers which you can also climb (what a view), visit the fortress ruins, the incredible frescos of the cathedral and in the evocative Piazza della Cisterna perhaps enjoy one of Sergio Dondoli’s award-winning gelatos. As the sun sets we drop by the 13th century fortress ‘borgo’ of Monteriggioni for an aperitif, a glass of Vernaccia which is the delicious San Gimignano white wine. Your evening in Siena is at leisure.
Accommodation: Hotel Minerva, Siena Meals included: Breakfast & Aperitif
SUNDAY 15 SEPTEMBER 2019 - Siena
This morning we join our guide for a walking tour of Siena including a visit of its lovely Duomo (cathedral) and of course a morning tea to try Siena’s special cakes and pastries such as panforte, cavalucci, ricciarelli. Our guide will leave us in the main square Il Campo for an aperitif before you are at leisure. Siena is a delight to explore on foot, full of hidden corners. Perhaps enjoy a lunch in any of its excellent restaurants. Pizza slices are also the go. We’ll meet again this evening for dinner on the Campo.
Accommodation: Hotel Minerva, Siena Meals included: Breakfast, Morning Tea, Aperitif & Dinner including wine
MONDAY 16 SEPTEMBER 2019 - Monte Oliveto & Chiusure Picnic Lunch
Leaving Siena, we head for Pienza along a road through spectacular clay hills. We’ll stop at the monastery of Monte Oliveto to view the famous fresco cycle painted at the beginning of the 1500s by Luca Signorelli and finished by Giovanni Bazzi (nicknamed Sodoma). The monastery still produces its own fine wine so we can visit its old oak-beamed cellar and the monks still produce effective herbal medicines and other products which are on sale in their little shop. Following our monastery visit we’ll walk to nearby Chiusure to enjoy a picnic lunch and a ramble around the village itself. Along the way we have close-up views of the amazing ‘calanchi’ or clay hill country. Our home for the next 4 nights is Pienza, an early Renaissance town which was created by Pope Pius the Second. Look out for the spectacular views over the great Val d’Orcia, an entire valley now protected under the Unesco Heritage banner as is Pienza itself. It has an exquisite Duomo (cathedral), fine Renaissance ‘palazzi’ and is famous for its pecorino (sheep) cheeses. Pienza is a shopper’s paradise and there’s good walking to be had. Let’s explore the town before a dinner of local specialties’.
Accommodation: Hotel Corsignano, Pienza Meals included: Breakfast, Picnic Lunch & Dinner including Wine
TUESDAY 17 SEPTEMBER 2019 - Montalcino Wine Tasting Lunch & Sant’Antimo
Today we’ll drive to Montalcino, home of the top red wine Brunello. We walk through the surrounding countryside to the ancient abbey of Sant’Antimo. En route we can visit an Etruscan fort (400 -600 B.C) that has been recently excavated. Here’s our chance to learn something of these people whose civilization lasted almost a thousand years. The influence of the Etruscans on Tuscany and much of Italy is still felt today. From Sant’ Antimo we return to Montalcino with its impressive fortress La Rocca where you’ll try the Brunello wine at a light winetasting lunch. Should you wish you can access the ramparts of the fortress …the views are worth the climb. There’ll be time for you to explore this delightful town before we return to Pienza. We meet again this evening for a lovely meal.
Accommodation: Hotel Corsignano, Pienza Meals included: Breakfast, Winetasting Lunch & Dinner including Wine
WEDNESDAY 18 SEPTEMBER 2019 - Bagno Vignoni Winery Lunch & La Foce Garden
Before our walk today why not take time to visit the tiny village of Bagno Vignoni to see the hot mineral springs and the pool where Santa Caterina of Siena and, centuries later, Lorenzo il Magnifico swam. We have time to get to know this famous place, maybe enjoy a caffelatte? We begin our walk at the tiny Borgo of Vignoni Alto and learn something of its World War 2 story. The walk includes a stop at a farm winery where we’ll meet the winemaker, learn of his wines and enjoy a picnic lunch of the farm’s produce. After lunch we’ll visit a very special villa garden La Foce. Your evening at leisure in Pienza.
Accommodation: Hotel Corsignano, Pienza Meals included: Breakfast & Picnic Lunch
THURSDAY 19 SEPTEMBER 2019 - Montefollonico Markets
From Montefollonico, a hilltop village of Etruscan origins, we take a picturesque walk through the vineyards of the valley which leads us to Montepulciano, home of the famous red wine Nobile di Montepulciano. Here we join the locals at their colourful market as they buy pecorino cheese, porcinimushrooms, household goods and chainsaws. You’ll then have time to explore this town which has a wide range of artisanal goods and many ‘cantinas’ which offer tastings of the Vino Nobile. We meet at the delightful Art Deco café Il Poliziano for a relaxing afternoon tea including their own delicious pastries. Enjoy the views over the lakes in the valley below. Your last evening in Pienza includes a ‘farewell to the great Val d’Orcia’ dinner.
Accommodation: Hotel Corsignano, Pienza Meals included: Breakfast, Afternoon Tea & Dinner including Wine
FRIDAY 20 SEPTEMBER 2019 - Cooking Lesson, Pienza - Cortona
Put on your aprons. Today we go into the countryside to an old farmhouse to learn how to make the local pasta and other dishes. Enjoy these at a leisurely lunch. During the day we also discover how the original farmers of Tuscany, the sharecroppers of the ‘mezzadria’, worked the farms and lived their life in great poverty: loving the land but never owning it. Later this afternoon we transfer to the town of Cortona for the next 3 nights. Overlooking Lake Trasimeno at an impressive 500 metres Cortona dominates its surrounding countryside. An ancient town of Etruscan origins, still cradled within walls dating from the 8th century B.C it’s famous for its history, its art, antiques and hand-made goods. Shopping here is a delight! After an introductory stroll we’ll enjoy a meal and watch the evening ‘struscio’.
Accommodation: Hotel San Luca, Cortona Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner including Wine
SATURDAY 21 SEPTEMBER 2019 - Cortona
We join our guide this morning for a walking tour of Cortona from its very top through the cobbled streets to the central square below where we’ll enjoy an aperitif and watch everyone go by. Your afternoon and evening are at leisure. Shopping anyone? There are also a couple of very important museums you can visit. Ask us for suggestions.
Accommodation: Hotel San Luca, Cortona Meals included: Breakfast & Aperitif
SUNDAY 22 SEPTEMBER 2019 - San Francesco Walk & Farewell Dinner
Cortona is also a town reknowned for its strong level of spirituality, as is Assisi in Umbria. This is evidenced by the number of lovely churches and important monasteries. Today we’ll walk the footsteps of the charismatic monk San Francesco (Saint Francis) whose name was more recently taken by the newest Pope when elected in Rome. Francesco was a man of habit and we don’t mean just his brown sackcloth, corded belt and simple sandals. In the 1200s he habitually travelled two different routes to meet his followers: one from Assisi through the Tiber Valley to his high retreat La Verna; the other past Lake Trasimeno to the hills above Cortona. During the day he was usually in a crowd but at sunset sought an isolated place where he could find closeness to his God. So he slept in a ‘grotto’, a small cave among the hills, where he founded his hermitage which in time became a monastery – Le Celle di Cortona. The end of our walk will bring us to the Celle for a visit. The remainder of your day is at leisure until we meet for a delicious farewell dinner.
Accommodation: Hotel San Luca, Cortona Meals included: Breakfast & Dinner including Wine
MONDAY 23 SEPTEMBER 2019
Farewell to Tuscany. Today we transfer to Rome by coach for your departure flight EK96 departing at 10.05pm
TUESDAY 24 SEPTEMBER 2019
Arrive into Dubai at 5.55am, connect to flight EK412 departing at 6.05am
WEDNESDAY 25 SEPTEMBER 2019
Arrive Sydney at 6.05am
Your price includes
Tour Price Includes:
Return Air Travel SYDNEY-DUBAI-ROME
All accommodation and sightseeing as per itinerary
Meals specified in Itinerary
Transportation in private air-conditioned vehicle
Charming hotels/pensions with private facilities.
Tour price does not include:
Personal Travel Insurance
Meals other than specified
Items of Personal nature
Tour Cost Per Person
Twin/Double Share: $8,246 per person
A non-refundable $2,200 deposit is due per person to confirm a booking.
Remaining Balance is due on the 09th July 2019
Please note that although we will endeavour to keep the itinerary as per above there are circumstances outside our control that may cause alternations to the itinerary.
Prices quoted are based on a minimum of 8 passengers.
This tour has been arranged by
Windsong Travel Inverell,
45 Byron St Inverell 2360
Phone 0267 223011 Fax 0267 222402.
Travel Agents licence No. 2TA4962