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Day 1: Arrival in Florence airport and transfer to the hotel
After clearing customs at the Florence airport, you will be transferred to the hotel in
Siena area. Porterage in and out of the hotel is included. Tonight you will enjoy a welcome
dinner at the hotel.
Day 2: Visit Montepulciano, Bagno a Vignoni and Pienza
After breakfast, we will start a lovely tour of Tuscany. We will discover the delightful
Montepulciano with its renaissance character, noble palaces and small streets.
After a walk through the magnificent Piazza Grande, we will continue to Pienza where we will enjoy a cheese tasting of the famous Pecorino.
The journey proceeds to Bagno Vignoni, an ancient and very picturesque small thermal resort town, well known to artists and filmmakers.
Day 3: Discover San Gimignano and Volterra
Breakfast at the hotel. Today we will enjoy the town of San Gimignano.
The daunting family towers can be seen from far away.
Each family kept trying to surpass the others building higher and higher towers, and these
impressive structures stand testimony to this competitive spirit to this day.
During our tour in this city, we will have a delicious Gelato tasting made by a world champion gelato master. We then make our way to Volterra, famous for its alabaster.
The former Etruscan settlement is located on a hill with a splendid view of the surroundings.
Day 4: Day at leisure in Siena
Today you will enjoy a beautiful day at leisure in Siena.
You may visit Piazza del Campo, the shell-shaped square on which the famous horse-race “Il Palio” takes place each year, the Cathedral and the Church of San Domenico, or simply stroll among the little streets of this charming city.
Day 5: Discover Florence
Breakfast at the hotel and transfer to the capital of Renaissance.
A must for all visitors to Tuscany is the artistic and cultural metropolis of Florence.
The Cathedral dominates the cityscape and together with the Campanile and the Baptistery forms one of the most magnificent works of art anywhere on the planet.
The severity and beauty of the city, the pride and the resoluteness of its inhabitants
are uniquely embodied in the Palazzo Vecchio. Your tour guide will show you the most
interesting sights of the old town. Afterwards there is time to admire the jewelry shops on
the Ponte Vecchio or to enjoy an Italian espresso.
Day 6 (SUNDAY) : Trip on a vintage steam train to the Festival
After breakfast, all aboard!
Tuscany is one of the most popular regions of Italy thanks to its lovely landscape, traditions, art and culture, as well as its diverse cuisine.
The highlight of this tour is a special journey with an original steam train starting from
Siena and going through the unique hills of Tuscany and in particular the “Crete Senesi”.
We will pass old villages, cross picturesque areas like the Orcia Valley (UNESCO World
Heritage Area) and enjoy the mountain slopes of “Amiata”.
The leisurely train ride is a truly unique and special experience that will take you through
an untouched nature and wonderful places where time has stopped.
In one of the small charming train stations, we will leave the train and discover old Tuscan
traditions at a local folk festival before returning to the hotel by bus.
Day 7: Transfer from the hotel to the Florence airport
Following breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport in Florence for your flight back
to the US.
Linked to the local festival on a Sunday on day 6
Accomodation at a 4* Hotel
19.04.- 23.04. The Orcia Valley Wine festival - Val D’Orcia
More about the wine: The description "Orcia DOC" was coined in the year 2000 with the intention of both protecting and promoting the wine and the region in which it is grown. The characteristic vine of Orcia Valley wines is the Sangiovese, which can be found between the regions of the Brunello di Montacino and the Nobile di Montepulciano, one of the most important areas for the production of the Tuscan “Great Reds“. The wines are produced in around 70 cellars and it is worthy of note in these days of mass production that it is still a manual process, demonstrating the harmony of nature and the specialist vintners who cultivate the grapes. As the Orcia wine growing area is, in part at least, UNESCO-listed, the locals have given it the grand title of ‘‘the most beautiful wine in the world“
The Orcia Wine Festival celebrates the region’s wines and its unbroken bond with its homeland, the Orcia Valley. The wines of the area are tasted in beautiful rooms of the 17th century Palazzo in the company of the vintners themselves. We invite you to sample the world of wonderful flavours and heady aromas! You will learn a lot about the methods of production and also tales about the wine itself. Your palate will love the tastings of the wines accompanied by tasty local morsels. You will also have the opportunity to visit the wine cellars themselves too. The entrance price includes a souvenir tasting glass and the visit to stalls of the producers of the Orcia wines.
10.05.- 14.05. Markt der Crete Senesi in Asciano („Cacio e Baccelli“)
On the second Sunday of every month, the historic centre of the medieval village of Asciano literally buzzes with people from early in the morning to dusk. as it opens its doors for the Crete Senesi market. This is a bit like an ancient open- air trade fair, where one will find wood turners, chefs and kitchenware companies selling their wares alongside antiques, biscuits and sweets, locally produced bacon, extra virgin olive oil, truffles, home made salamis and hams.
The market in the month of May is given over to Cacio and Baccelli (a type of bean plant). Pecorino cheese which is derived from goat milk is one of Asciano’s real specialities. The herds of goats which are reared in the Crete Senesi graze on the aromatic herbs which have been growing wild everywhere for hundreds of years. These raw materials give the milk a particular aroma which then gives the cheese its particular flavour. In the course of the market all sorts of musical and other entertainment is provided for people of all ages.
27.09.- 01.10. The Valdarbia Festival in Buonconvento
Traditionally at the end of every summer Buonconvento hosts a large festival. The whole village celebrates the “SAGRA DELLA VALDARBIA”, a festival which gives thanks for the countryside, the changing of the seasons and its fruitfulness, with the aim of preserving the old ways of doing things and the tastes of yesteryear. The village, which is one of the most picturesque in the whole of the province of Siena, takes you on a 10 day journey exploring art, culture, food and wine of the region. Thanks to the enthusiastic work of volunteers from the town of Buonconvento 4 restaurants are set up in 4 separate districts of the town, which give themselves over to the preparation of characteristic dishes of the village. There is a wide range of tasty locally sourced dishes for all to enjoy.
The "Valdarbia Festival" offers the chance to experience a variety of cultural and social events including exhibitions of works of art, congresses, childrens workshops and nightly shows which provide entertainment. In addition to this during the daytime, whilst the Festival is on, the Mezzadria Museum and Museum of Sacred Art are open to the public, free of charge.
This Festival is heaven for those who want to immerse themselves into a world of flavours and rich aromas, and who are seeking inspiration from the wisdom of the old fashioned ways of life, which have so shaped and moulded this incredble part of the world.
10.10.- 14.10. Autumn Festival in Abbadia San Salvatore
The rich pot pourri of colours and aromas of a Tuscan Autumn greet you in Abbadia San Salvatore. The Autumn Festival takes place in the characteristic heart of the old town and a broad range of both culinary and social interactions awaits the visitor. You will be able to sample rich autumnal fruits of the area and typical local products like chestnuts, mushrooms, pork and traditional desserts. A range of exhibitions, folk plays and musical events round off the Festival offering. We will experience a day given over completely to the celebration of the produce of the land, a true Harvest Festival where the intense flavours of the mountains are much in evidence, and where skilled local artisans ply their wares.
11.10.- 15.10. Vivo d’Orcia Mushroom Festival
Come with us to experience the autumnal colours and aromas of the Amiata forests in Vivo d'Orcia.
Vivo d’Orcia, at 930m, is the highest lying village in the whole Amiata region and is surrounded by chestnut groves. The view alone out on to the gently rolling autumnal landscape is worth the trip. Here the traditional mushroom and chestnut festival takes place on the third weekend in October, and this offers a great chance to savour the local produce. The various stalls are filled with tasty locally crafted produce to buy. You will also find displays of mushrooms and you will have the opportunity to have a refreshing walk into the traditional chestnut groves.
On the Sunday there is an entertaining woodcutting competition which takes place in the in the hermitage of the medieval town of Borgo. 2 teams of woodcutters from two separate parts of the town compete against each other. Each team consists of 6 participants and is equpped with 1 tree trunk, 2 saws, a polenta kettle and a table. The aim of this curious event is to cut 6 stumps as stools and to form 6 wooden plates from the trunk, while their 2 remaining colleagues prepare a polenta. The first team to sit at the table and eat is the winner!
18.10.- 22.10. The Trequanda Olive Oil festival
The medieval village of Trequanda sits proudly on top of a hill and is visible to visitors from a distance as they arrive from the Chiana Valley. This view has remained unchanged over the centuries. The village can not only count on countless works of art and architecture as evidence of its ancient history but this long history has also shaped their way of life, farming traditions and produce, not least the production of olive oil.
It is the celebration of this liquid gold which is at the forefront of this Festival. On one October weekend there is a range of events between the villages of Trequanda and Castelmuzio dedicated to the production of the extra virgin olive oil which include markets, get togethers and of course all manner of different sorts of produce to sample.
The festival begins on Friday in Castelmuzio, a district of Trequanda, with a visit to the local oil mills and continues on until Sunday with many games, shows and street markets to entertain visitors. Sunday sees the climax of the festival with the ceremonial tasting of the season’s new produce. In addition to this, there are countless gastronomic delights on hand in the stalls, and there are many musical interludes and other interesting sideshows to keep everyone entertained.
25.10.- 29.10. Medieval Festival in Montalcino
Enjoy tasty treats whist taking in the medieval atmosphere of Montalcino.
Montalcino hosted its inaugural medieval festival of modern times back in 1958 and was one of the first towns in the area to recognise the potential of festivals to stimulate tourism.
The last weekend in October has become a special annual event, which takes part in the beautiful centre of Montalcino. The full programme of events does not only include the sampling of tasty dishes but also incorporates an archery competition between the four districts making up the town. This event, which incorporates colourful parades in ornate medieval costumes, is accompanied by traditional dance troupes and leans on the enthusiastic support from all the towns people.
The event has become something of an institition for the inhabitants of the Province of Siena and further afield. Crowds of people stream in to the town every year to view the spectacle of the medieval competition and to enjoy the local specialities on offer in the stalls, set up in the shadow of the town’s fortications. There is a huge range of locally sourced food on offer, all accompanied by the Great Red wines of Montalcino. A real treat for the senses!
08.11.- 12.11. The market festival of the White Truffle in San Giovanni d'Asso
The so-called ‘‘White Gold“ of Tuscany, the white truffle, is at the heart of this particular festival. You can find many places where this much prized and rare edible fungus can be found in the unique landscape of the Crete Senesi and in particular in the area of the small town of San Giovanni d’Asso. A Festival incorporating a large market has been running here annually on the second weekend of November since 1985. A diverse side show incorporating tastings, seminars, musical performances and truffle hunting competitions offers visitors a really interesting and unique day out. Local restaurants, butchers and other suppliers offer a range of fresh and high quality produce, all themed around the truffle. The air is thick with the incomparable essence of the truffle, which wafts through the whole town during the culinary Festival. Italy’s first Truffle Museum opened in San Giovanni d’Asso in 2007. The exhibition which is located in the town’s old 14th Century fortress, takes visitors on aninteresting and educational journey of discovery about the truffle.