This tour explores a region full of sprawling vineyards, rolling hills, charming old cities and artistic masterpieces. Visit the magnificent city of Florence known as the “Cradle of the Renaissance”, Siena which is famous for the Palio horse race, the Chianti area, Montepulciano and Montalcino two regions known all over the world for their prestigious wines and San Gimignano with it’s many tall towers. The tour will visit wineries and cellars, sample excellent wines, taste Pecorino cheeses with olive oil and shop for delicacies in the many food shops. Not only will the tour participants discover delightful food and wine but also interesting monuments, works of art, churches and spectacular scenery.
Arrive in Rome and where guests have time to make there own way to the hotel. Time for the guests to settle in before meeting the tour guide and a welcome dinner in Grappolo d’oro, a traditional Italian restaurant. During the evening there will be an introduction to the tour, the Slow Food philosophy and the activities carried out by the association.
The morning begins with a departure for Montepulciano. Once the tour has arrived in Montepulciano the guest will visit the Enoteca Contucci for some wine tasting and then the wonderful town centre where lunch will be held at the old Osteria dell’Acquacheta. Here the guests will sample some of Tuscany’s best recipes such as Pici all’Aglione. In the afternoon the tour will head for Pienza to visit Pianporcino Farm, a Pecorino cheese producer. The guests will sample the cheese and learn about the cheese making process. After the Pianporcino Farm tour will be a transfer to the hotel.
The entire day will be dedicated to the Chianti hills along the Via Chiantigena, an ancient road which connects Siena with Florence through the hills of Chianti. The first stop of the tour will be at Castellina in Chianti to learn about the aromatic herbs that are harvested and dried using the ancient techniques of Duccio Fontani. Then the tour continues on to Greve in Chianti for lunch at the Osteria Mangiando and a tour of the wonderful city of Greve. The city tour will include a visit to the little historical town centre and the Podere Le Fornaci, where there will be some sampling of organic cheeses. The highlight of the cheese sampling will be the baby goats cheese and fresh ricotta, all made from the milk of the goats that graze in the Chianti hills.
The day will be dedicated to the renaissance city of Florence. The tour will begin with a walk through the historical city centre to visit the Santa Croce church, known as the “Pantheon of Italian Glories” where many illustrious Italians such as Michelangelo, Galileo, Rossini and Machiavelli are buried. Then on to Duomo and Giotto’s bell tower and the Piazza della Signoria. The group will then enjoy a tour of one of Florence’s oldest ice cream parlours, “Perché no!”, where more than 33 different flavours including the pistachios from Bronte (a Slow Food Presidium product), saffron and cardamom. There will be a short demonstration on how the ice cream is made along with some small samples. The afternoon will be at the guests leisure to stroll along Florence’s elegant streets, visiting the Uffizi Gallery or shopping at the leather market. After which a traditional dinner at Osteria Tripperia Il Magazzino will be prepared.
After breakfast is a morning departure for Siena. On arrival there will be a guided tour visiting most beautiful architecture in the city including the Museum delle Contrade. The tour will also visit some of the most famous pastry shops in town to sample some delicious traditional desserts like the Panforte. Then some free time for shopping before departing for San Gimignano. On the way to San Gimignano the tour will stop for lunch at the little family-run farmhouse Il Castagnolino. Here the farm house will serve up traditional local produce such as the Certaldo onion (Slow Food Presidium) and organic extra virgin olive oil from San Gimignano. Over lunch will be an opportunity to learn more about the techniques used to produce organic olive oil. Then in afternoon there will be a visit to the famous towers of San Gimignano 1300AD where a tour of the museum to view storyboards, multi-media exhibits, street scenes and a ceramic recreation of the city as it was back in 1300AD will be organised.
After breakfast will be the morning departure for Montalcino, a town famous for its Brunello wine. Montalcino is a beautiful city of art dominated by 3,000 hectares of vineyard, 1,500 of which is for Brunello alone. The tour begins with a visit to the Mastio della Rocca, home to the Enoteca La Fortezza where the guests will be able to buy some local products including wine and the exceptional honey, a local specialty. Then the guests will have some free time before a visit to one of leading wine producers in the area for wine tasting and a tour of the Azienda Casanova dei Neri cellars. Then the guests will return to the hotel for a farewell dinner.
After breakfast early morning groups transfer to Termini Train Station.