Spotlight on Tuscany

Tuscany

The rolling hills of Tuscany are home to sprawling vineyards, charming medieval hill towns and enchanting cities steeped in history, culture and legend. Discover them for yourself on this relaxing sojourn into the Italian countryside. Visit Florence, Pisa, Siena, and San Gimignano. Sample cheese at the farm where it is made. Partake in a Tuscan cooking class. Savour a seven-night stay in Montecatini Terme, the famous resort and spa town. Discover the charming town of Lucca, Italy’s best-kept secret.

Includes:

• Stay in the famous spa resort town of Montecatini Terme for seven nights!
• Journey to Florence for a tour of the "Crdale of the Italian Renaissance."
• Stop in the medieval city of Lucca, encircled by 16th-century walls.
• Sample delectable wines during a wine tasting in the Chianti region.
• Spend time at a cheese farm to taste flavourful pecorino cheese.
• Learn about Tuscan cuisine during a cooking class.
• Step to the front of the line to see Michelangelo's famous statue of David.
• See the Gothic Line, one of the German's last lines of defence during WWII.
• Visit the Museum of Liberation and see WWII fortifications and bunkers.

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9 days

From $2,149* p.p.


Starting Sept. 23, 2020

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Day 1: Overnight Flight
Rolling landscapes, savoury wines, delicious food and stunning architecture...this can only be Tuscany. Unpack once on this journey among Italy's most charming towns.

Day 2: Montecatini Terme, Italy - Tour Begins
Your tour opens in the famous spa resort town of Montecatini Terme, nestled in the heart of the rolling hills of Tuscany. This evening, get to know your fellow travellers during a welcome dinner where regional foods and Italian wines kick off your adventure.

Day 3: Lucca - Borgo a Mozzano - Gothic Line
Set out on a guided visit to Lucca, Tuscany’s best-kept secret. Renaissance walls, Romanesque churches, medieval streets flanked by towers, and delightful squares are just some of Lucca’s charms. Visit the medieval Basilica di San Frediano. Its otherwise simple façade is adorned with a colourful 13th-century mosaic. Enjoy some time to explore at your own pace. Then set off for Borgo a Mozzano to see the remarkable Ponte del Diavolo (Devil’s Bridge). Continue on to the Gothic Line. Built by the Germans, it was one of their last lines of defence during WWII. We will visit the Museum of Liberation and see the actual fortifications and bunkers.

Day 4: Florence
A cultural tour in the “Cradle of the Italian Renaissance” showcases the beautiful city of Florence. Join a local Florentine guide who highlights many of the city’s priceless treasures including a visit to the Academy Gallery* – housing Michelangelo’s monumental statue of David. At the Piazza del Duomo, the centre of religious life in medieval Florence, see the impressive Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore and the gilded bronze doors of the Baptistery dedicated to St. John. Take the remainder of your day to explore this unparalleled city as you choose. En route to the hotel, visit a family-owned leather shop and learn the traditional Italian techniques of leather making.

Day 5: Pisa
Explore the many historic sites in the ancient maritime Republic of Pisa including the Piazza dei Miracoli, or “Field of Miracles” (UNESCO). Keep your camera handy during our stop at the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa. You probably won’t be able to resist taking a picture that makes it appear as if you are holding this iconic structure up. Visit the Baptistery, the largest in all of Italy. This impressive building of Romanesque and Gothic architecture is known for its perfect acoustics. This evening we travel to the quiet countryside to learn the secrets of traditional Tuscan cuisine. Partake in a cooking class featuring a bounty of local ingredients and culinary techniques that have been passed down for generations. Then sit down and enjoy the fruits of your labour during dinner.

Day 6: Siena
Welcome to Siena. Discover this charming town with a local guide. Embark on a walking tour through its narrow Gothic streets. Take in stunning palaces, mansions and the historic Piazza del Campo along the way. Then, it’s your choice! Explore Siena's beautiful Gothic cathedral at your own pace -OR- join your guide to get to know local life in a contrada (neighbourhood). Next we make our way to a Tuscan winery and meet the people behind some of Chianti‘s finest wines. Learn from experts as you savour a selection of the local varieties. You’ll also learn about the art of winemaking and the process of making olive oil.

Day 7: Montecatini Terme
The day is yours to relax and experience the local flavour. Take this opportunity to shop at the local boutiques and dine at one of the many fine local restaurants. Or, perhaps you will choose an optional excursion to Cinque Terre with its rugged coastline dotted with terraced vineyards; explore its string of fishing villages nestled between the mountains and the Mediterranean.

Day 8: San Gimignano - Cheese Farm Visit
Begin the day travelling to the hilltop village of San Gimignano, one of the most picturesque places in Tuscany. Explore this enchanting medieval town, from its famous 14 towers to its magnificent vistas overlooking the vineyards of Tuscany. Enjoy free time and perhaps indulge in some gelato. Later, enjoy breathtaking views of the Tuscan hills as we make our way to a cheese farm. Learn how the famous pecorino cheese is made before sampling it for yourself. A delightful experience awaits this evening when you attend a Tuscan feast featuring traditional cuisine and savoury wines in the magical Tuscan countryside.

Day 9: Montecatini Terme - Tour Ends
Your journey comes to a close today. Depart with many fond memories of Tuscany.

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