SIENA, CHIANTI, FLORENCE, PISA, LUCCA, CINQUE TERRE
Gourmet & Wine, History & Culture, Nature & Wildlife
Tuscany is a wealth of treasures: rich in picturesque medieval towns with storied pasts, wine villages producing award-winning vintages, gentle rolling hills and delightful cuisine using fresh, regional products – it’s no wonder that it is one of Italy’s most popular destinations.
This is a great itinerary for first-timers to take in the highlights and diversity of the region – sample the sweet nectar of vineyards of Chianti, hear fascinating tales of the rich heritages of the Tuscan towns and villages, tick off the iconic Leaning Tower of Pisa from your bucket list, hike through the stunning villages of Cinque Terre, and immerse yourself in the Cradle of Renaissance – Florence – with its magnificent architecture and artwork. For repeat guests, be amazed at how much more this wonderful region can offer – chat with our Travel Specialists for a curated proposal!
Upon arrival in Rome, be met and transfer 2 hours, 150km to Pitigliano.
Pitigliano is a small Tuscan town located close to the border of Lazio. Explore the medieval village located within its walls and relatively unexplored by tourists. Its narrow streets hold many churches and other sights including an interesting Jewish past.
Afterwards, we drive on about 2 hours, 130km to Siena and overnight.
Siena, Montepulciano and Pienza Tour (Full Day)
Siena is one of Italy’s most charming medieval cities, renowned all over the world for its historic “Palio”. This morning, tour the historical center of Siena: Piazza del Campo with Palazzo Vecchio, which was decorated by the most famous painters of the Sienese school. Visit the Tower of Mangia, the Dom, and the lively and narrow streets surrounded by romantic palaces.
Next, we drive 1hour, 65km to Montepulciano, a former Roman settlement, risen on “Mons Politianus”. It owes its present appearance to the middle ages but also to the Renaissance time, as we see from many churches and palaces built by Antonio da Sangallo and by Michelozzo. Embark on a city tour and see Colonna del Marzocco, a marble column with the heraldic lion of Florence which decorates palaces such as the Palazzo Avignonesi. Some other sites include the Church of Sant’Agostino as well as the main square.
Afterwards leave for Pienza that is famous for its fine “pecorino” cheese but also known as the first renaissance town in Europe and a model of perfect illuminate architecture for Florence and Paris. Art lovers associate this small town with Enea Silvio Piccolomini, later Pope Pius II, who asked Bernardo Rossellino to transform his birthplace into an ideal city of the Renaissance. Drive 1 hour back to Siena.
Chianti Wine Route Discovery (Half Day)
Drive to the Chianti Region (approx. 1hr), the famous wine region in central Tuscany. Driving to the green hills of Florence, in one of the most suggestive Tuscan landscape, you will reach the heart of the area known as Chianti shire, land of one of the best worldwide wine the Chianti Classico. Here, along the “Chiantigiana” the famous wine route, hills of vineyards and olive trees are perfect guests of the journey as the tiny hilltop towns that you will discover on the way. Stop at Greve in Chianti, famous for had giving birth to Giovanni Da Verrazzano, the explorer known for the discovery of USA. Visit some other tiny villages and hamlets before arriving to your hotel.
Stay at one of the following charming countryside villas:
Palazzo Leopoldo http://www.palazzoleopoldo.it/en/index.html
Immersed in the vineyards of Chianti. Hotel Palazzo Leopoldo is located in the enchanting Radda in Chianti. The place keeps its original structure in the external and in the interiors, where the modern furniture is together with ancient pieces. Frescoes, fireplaces and ancient furniture make the hotel unique and give the guests a splendid atmosphere.
Available activities (additional charges applies):
Castello del Nero http://www.castellodelnero.com/default-en.html
Lovingly converted from a 12th century castle, the Castello del Nero is a sumptuous sanctuary which sits in its own 300 hectares estate of rolling hills, verdant vineyards and lush olive groves. This luxury hotel in Chianti is perfectly placed for visits to the mesmerising cities of Florence, Siena and Pisa, the best of Tuscany.
Available activities (additional charges applies):
Optional Chianti Hot Air Balloon Flight (1 hr)
In the early morning, head out on a Hot Air Balloon flight over Chianti. Fly over the legendary Chianti landscape with its hilltop towns, valleys, vineyards, castles and mixed woodlands, certainly one of the most striking landscapes in the world! End with a champagne breakfast.
Chianti At Leisure
Rest of the day free at leisure to enjoy the surroundings.
Leave the Chianti region and drive to Florence (approx. 1hr)
Florence History Walking Tour with Accademia Gallery Visit (Full Day)
Your history walking tour starts from Repubblica square – the heart of the city. Stroll through streets, alleys of the medieval quarter to Palazzo del Bargello (exterior visit only) and Piazza della Signoria, where sculptures beckon. Continue to Santa Croce Church (Basilica of the Holy Cross), famed as the “Westminster Abbey of Florence”. It is a gorgeous Florence church with frescoes by Giotto, architecture by Brunelleschi and houses the tombs of Michelangelo, Galileo and other Tuscan cultural giants.
Next, visit the Accademia Gallery, with the famous Michelangelo’s masterpiece: The David. You are able to view the museum’s other unique pieces, including a room dedicated to Michelangelo. Continue walking along the Medici Chapels and Basilica di San Lorenzo, church of the once influential Medici Family (exterior view only). Finally arrive at Piazza del Duomo and marvel at the vast Cathedral before stepping inside to admire the interior’s intricate Gothic details.
Florence Artwork Tour (Half Day)
This morning, make a visit to Uffizi Gallery, one of the most beautiful and famous museums in the world boasting a hall of fame of the most important artists of all times: Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Michelangelo, Botticelli, Caravaggio and many others. Then cross the Ponte Vecchio to the opposite riverbank where Pitti Palace is located and have a glimpse of Italian royal life from the Medici times. See artwork of some of the most famous Italian painters and sculptors, as well as precious jewels.
Florence Craft Workshops Tour (Half Day)
Walk around the quaint streets and squares of the bohemian Oltrarno neighborhood and visit the many craft workshops. Visit an old atelier of art prints and engravings; a silversmith studio, a paper marbling shop where you’ll learn all about the fascinating craft. Walk through Piazza Santo Spirito, before stepping inside its main attraction — the beautiful Basilica de Santa Maria del Santo Spirito. Finally, visit the workshop of a great Florentine artist, descended from six generations of sculptors. End your day at the Mercato Nuovo (The Straw Market), home to the famous Piggy Fountain.
Enjoy a full day excursion to Pisa and Lucca.
Pisa Romanesque and Gothic Art Tour (Half Day)
Head towards Lucca. On the way, make a stop at Pisa and visit the world famous leaning tower. There are also some important monuments of the city such as Piazza dei Miracoli, the Dom and the Baptistery.
Lucca, the Walled Old Town Tour (Half Day)
Continue your drive and arrive Lucca in the afternoon. Lucca is the only old town in Italy entirely surrounded by walls which are still very well preserved. Visit the San Frediano church with its magnificent thirteenth-century mosaic representing Christ in Majesty. Then, explore the Piazza del Anfiteatro, the most beautiful square of Lucca passing by elegant shops of Via Filungo through small medieval streets. End in the Duomo which houses the famous Volto Santo and the splendid Ilaria del Caretto sarcophagus, a masterpiece of Jacopo della Quercia. Passing Piazza Napoleone, we finally arrive at Piazza San Michele, the central civic square of Lucca since Roman times.
Cinque Terre Five Coastal Villages Excursion (Full Day)
Make a full day excursion to Cinque Terre, the 5 unique coastal villages in the region of Liguria. The coastline, five villages and the surrounding hillsides are all within a national park which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There is passenger ferry service running between the five villages – Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso, providing a different vantage point of the rugged coastline and shoreline at each village. You may try the well-laid out walking trails connecting the villages, each varying in difficulty levels.
After breakfast, transfer to Pisa Airport for your onward journey.
Athena Hotel (Superior Room) • Palazzo Leopoldo (Classic Room) • Grand Hotel Baglioni (Classic Room) • Grand Hotel Portovenere (Classic Room)
This lovely hotel offers a very central location, few minutes away from the Campo’s square and the Duomo. It is surrounded with countryside of beautiful view showing the beauty of the green Tuscan hills and his medieval farmhouses. (Renovated: 2010; Rooms: 100)View More
An elegant, comfortable and nice hotel in Tuscany to satisfy all the needs in a region rich of art, culture and nature. Palazzo Leopoldo is a majestic property made of a formerly a patrician villa dating back to 1310 and, adjacent to this, a historical building. It is set in the medieval centre of Radda, surrounded by the Chianti countryside. (Renovated: 2010; Rooms: 19)View More
It is located in the heart of Florence, a short walk from the Palazzo dei Congressi congress centre. The elegant decor blends discreetly with modern comforts, harmoniously merging the past and the future. (Renovated: 2015; Rooms: 192)View More
Housed in a former 17th century Franciscan convent, this boutique hotel retains its historical features while delighting guests with a refurbished interior exuding informal elegance and style. Rooms overlook the marina where boats depart for Cinque Terre and the hotel is a short walk to the historic centre of Porto Venere. (Renovated: 2014; Rooms: 48)View More
Grand Hotel Continental Hotel (Classic Room) • COMO Castello del Nero (Estate Room) • Hotel Lugarno (Suite River View) • Grand Hotel Portovenere (Double Executive with Sea View)
Sits in the very heart of the historical centre of Siena, just steps from Piazza del Campo where the famous Palio races are held. History and art are an integral part of this magnificent 17th century building with grandiose frescoes, priceless furniture, refined marble and an atmosphere so romantic that throughout the centuries it has won over the hearts of a truly élite clientele. (Renovated: 2004; Rooms: 51)View More
This 12th-century castle has mediaeval frescoes, marble-and-mosaic bathrooms and a very tempting spa. The rooms enjoy unique layouts with original features that are in harmony with the tastefully chosen modern facilities. (Renovated: 2019; Rooms: 50)View More
Effortlessly elegant, seriously stylish, Hotel Lungarno provides beautiful guest accommodation in 73 light-filled bedrooms and suites, designed by the internationally renowned Florentine architect, Michele Bönan. (Renovated: 2017; Rooms: 63)View More
Housed in a former 17th century Franciscan convent, this boutique hotel retains its historical features while delighting guests with a refurbished interior exuding informal elegance and style. Rooms overlook the marina where boats depart for Cinque Terre and the hotel is a short walk to the historic centre of Porto Venere. (Renovated: 2014; Rooms: 48)
Florence: Four Seasons (Superior Room) – Upgrade from Category 2
Impressively located in the very heart of Florence, the Four Season Florence Hotel is surrounded by a true culture of this fabulous city. Set in art-filled Renaissance palace amidst one of the largest private gardens in the city, this five-star historical property retains its timeless elegance and offers a comprehensive myriad of contemporary amenities. (Renovated: 2012; Rooms: 116)View More
Hot Air Balloon over Chianti (1 hr flight)
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