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- Vegan Food and cultural walking tour of Florence
- Visit two bio-dynamic wineries in Montalcino
- Olive Oil Workshop
- Cooking Class – Handmade pasta
- Cooking Workshop
- Limoncello making class
- Hike and boat trip to four towns in the Cinque Terre in the Liguria region
- Visit The Leaning Tower of Pisa
- Visit and dine at the medieval town of Lucca
- Visit Chianti/Greve/Siena/ San Gimignano
- Daily breakfast
- 5 Lunches
- 7 Dinners
- Meet & Assist at Florence International Airport
- Private transfers to/from Airport
Ciao! Welcome to Firenze!
Meet and assist on arrival to Florence International airport. Private transfer to your hotel.
Take in the beautiful surroundings of this architectual city. Wonder the streets, stroll in down the little laneways and peruse the markets before retreating to your room. Tonight meet the rest of your group at our welcome dinner in a local restaurant.
4 Star Hotel in Florence | Welcome Dinner
FLORENCE – VEGAN FOOD AND CULTURAL WALKING TOUR IN SANT’AMROGIO MARKET / COOKING CLASS
Stroll through the historical heart of Sant’Ambrogio,one of the most genuine and “Florentine” neighbourhoods of the city.
We start with a traditional Italian style breakfast at a Vegan café. Forget about American coffee. Here you will taste a pure Italian espresso with a delicious pastry with no dairy products. The best way to perk up and start the day caffeinated! Then our visit heads to Sant’Ambrogio market, a historical market built in 1873 after the destruction of the main city market in Piazza della Repubblica.
The Loggioa del Clompi is a beautiful Renaissance loggia used to house the fish market. It was dismantled in the XIX century and later rebuilt in Piazza dei Ciompi. It is the real heart of this district. We join art and food in Florence. We visit the ancient Church of Sant’Ambrogio, dating back to the Xth century. It is famous for the Eucharis’ts Miracle of Florence (a priest in 1230 left some wine in the chalice he used for Mass and the day after he found the wine transformed into real blood). We also see the marvellous Synagogue of Florence from the outside, another fundamental institution of the district. A visit inside is also possible on request. In the market we try the most traditional food of Florence: schiacciata (our focaccia), pizza, cecina, (a kind of fresh focaccia made with chickpeas’ flour), caponata di verdure (stewed vegetables), and pasta e fagioali (pasta with beans, so good!).
Our Vegan and Vegetarian food tour in Florence is not over yet. We also have a wine tasting, to toast with some biodynamic wine of Italy (with a vegan certification) and try a delicious sandwich.
The last stop is at a local chocolate producer, where we have a chocolate and gelato tasting. We also discover all the secrets of gelato and good chocolate. Did you know that Gelato was invented in Florence, by the architect Bernardo Buontalenti?
You’ll then have some free time to explore Florence at your own leisure. See the statue of David or take a passagata through the Medici gardens.
4 Star Hotel in Florence | Meals: B, L, D
LUCCA / PISA / LIMONCELLO MAKING CLASS
This morning we depart to spend the afternoon visiting Pisa to see the most iconic attraction, the UNESCO-listed leaning tower. We’ll go on a bicycle tour through Lucca to explore it’s walls and architecture. Following we’ll marvel at Lucca’s medieval sights, walk around the city’s elegant 16th-century walls, where you’ll also enjoy a meal at a traditional Italian restaurant.
Tonight we wil participate in a Limoncello making class. Enjoy dinner with and taste your creation afterwards.
Villa Campestri Olive Oil Resort or Similar | Meals: B, L, D
CHIANTI WINERY TOUR/ SAN GIMIGNANO /GREVE
After breakfast we will venture on a journey through hills of Chianti enjoying magnificent views, driving through charming little villages. Our first stop will be at pretty little San Gimignano where you’ll have the chance to taste some organic wines. After having a Tuscan lunch in a trattoria we will visit the tiny but most charming village of Montefioralle. After walking in the picturesque streets we’ll continue to Greve, the unnamed capital of Chianti where you’ll have free time to explore the winding medieval streets and artisan shops.
Villa Campestri Olive Oil Resort or Similar | Meals: B,L,D
Today we will explore the coast of Liguria, becoming enchanted with the “Cinque Terre” region. It is a stretch of protected rocky coastline with dramatically situated villages. The only access is by train or by a boat.
You will spend the day visiting four villages suspended between land and sea.
In Manarola a tiny town, home to a plethora of grapevines and medieval relics, you will have the change to explore and taste some splendid Vegan gelati. We then head by train to a town that dates back to the 13th century, Riomaggiore. Walk the cobble stone streets and admire the pastel-colored buildings, beloved for its incomparable scenery.
Weather permitting; you’ll then travel by boat to Monterosso, where we will settle for lunch. We will leave you here to take some time and explore on your own. Bring your bathing suit and swim in the crystal clear sea. Continue to Vernazza and experience the intricate layout of this village with its narrow lanes (carruggi) and steep stairways. Afterwards the tour continues to La Spezia, where you’ll then be taken back to Villa Campestri.
Villa Campestri Olive Oil Resort or Similar | Meals: B,L,D
CORTONA / SIENA
After breakfast we depart to explore the quaint town of Cortona. We’ll stop at the famous Bramasole House (Villa Laura) – famous from the film “Under the Tuscan Sun” – for a short
view from outside the property.
On the way you’ll be taken to Siena, a medieval city that has not changed much in 800 years. We will have a guided walking tour, which after you’ll have time to shop or seat in a café in the main square. In the afternoon we will visit Monteriggioni, a charming walled village.
In the evening we’ll indulge in a cooking class with our local chef. Firstly you’ll be given a seminar on the process of olive oil making. Then learn how to make two types of handmade pasta and feast on your creation amongst the olive groves.
Villa Campestri Olive Oil Resort or Similar | Meals: B,D
MONTALCINO / VISIT TWO BIODYNAMIC WINERIES
Today we partner with Tuscan Organic tours and will visit two biodynamic wineries.
The biodynamic agriculture movement was born in 1924 when the Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner was asked to give a lecture at a castle in Poland, in the country town of Koberwitz. Here he presented some of his exciting new concepts to the farmers who attended the event. Steiner’s desire was to awaken a scientific-spiritual interest in the farmers so that they would adopt a healthier approach to agriculture. He argued that with the advent of technology and new chemical products, farmers were gradually losing the agrarian wisdom that had been passed down through the ages. The new ways of working meant a progressive impoverishment of the earth and a weakening of the plants that provide our food. Almost a century later, it seems that these lessons are paying off: winemaking appears to be the branch of biodynamic agriculture that has spread most widely and has begun to be appreciated all over the world, and Brunello wine is one of its stars. Authentic to its roots and proud of its high quality, combining modern winemaking techniques and environmentally sustainable farming methods that include the use of organic fertilisers, biodynamic preparations derived from cow manure, minerals and medicinal plants, the study of astronomy and the influence of the planets in the various phases of the growth and development of the plants. The goal: to grow strong and sturdy vines so that the grapes brought to the wine cellar are healthy and unblemished. The result: Brunello di Montalcino, the highest expression of our region’s most characteristic varietal, Sangiovese.
But this tour is not about food and wine alone. Our journey will take us to explore some enchanting places and see some breathtaking views. The fields of the valley floor, where the main crops are cereals and sunflowers, are the centre of the framework of the rolling hills, marked out by rows of cypress trees and gradually giving way to vineyards, olive groves and oak woods. This is all crowned by a charming medieval village whose construction began in the tenth century, although its origins probably date back to the Etruscan period.
The history of Montalcino is similar to that of most medieval hilltops villages: it went through some very bloody conflicts. Considered a satellite fortress of the city of Siena, it witnessed the surrender of Sienese exiles that had taken refuge there in an attempt to resist the power of the city of Florence. In 1559, the Medici troops managed to crush this last bastion of resistance and Tuscany was unified into a kind of small independent state: the Grand Duchy.
However, these difficult times have always been interspersed with moments of peace and great prosperity. One of them saw the construction of Sant’Antimo Abbey, a place that is holy and at the same time captivating and mysterious…
Villa Campestri Olive Oil Resort or Similar | Meals: B,L,D
Free morning at the hotel. Return transfer from your hotel to Florence International Airport or to catch your departure flight.
Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Your consultant will also be happy to point you in the right direction with acquiring visas. Visas can take several weeks to process, so familiarise yourself with any requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for processing time.
We keep the following information up to date as much as possible, but rules do change - it's important that you check for yourself. Residents from countries not listed below must consult the relevant embassies or your travel agent. If you are from South Africa you will require a visa in advance.
The following countries do not require a visa.
You will need to provide flight information at the time of booking to your tour so we can arrange your private transfer to our first meeting point in Florence
Our drivers will be waiting for you with a sign at the arrivals area.
Hotel in Florence - To Be Confirmed
Check in is from 2pm and our meeting time is 6pm on the first day of the tour. If you want to arrive earlier this is absolutely fine, however please note that you may not be able to check into your room until 2pm. You are more than welcome to leave your bags in the foyer; the hotel staff can provide recommendations whilst you wait.
For this tour you’ll have a number of different guides and experts throughout the journey. Why can’t I have just the one you might ask? In Italy a Tour Guide goes through an incredibly rigorous process to become qualified. Each area requires a special licence therefore most guides generally focuses on one localized area for which they specialize in and acquire in depth knowledge. The great news is all of the guides know their areas inside out and upside down as if they created it themselves.
You will need a reasonable level of fitness to enjoy this trip. We will do fair amount of walking, especially when we visit the Cinque Terre. Most of the towns we’ll explore by foot and can expect a healthy amount of daily walking time.
This is generally included in your international air ticket, we advise you to check with the airline before departing.
Tipping in Italy is not compulsory, however if you’ve been given a good service and are happy it is appropriate and appreciated. It can be of great significance to those who are low-income earners in the service industry.
You may at times in additions to your leader have different local guides throughout the trip. As a guideline we suggest €2 - €3 per day.
Remember, you should only give a tip when you receive quality service at it is not compulsory.
Your tour ends at Villa Campestri Olive Oil Resort. We will require your flight details at least 1 month prior to the tour to secure your private return transfer to Florence International airport. Should you be staying on in Italy, our staff can assist, please enquire when booking.
Italy being part of the Eurozone, uses the Euro as its currency.
Debit and credit cards are widely accepted and can be used to withdraw cash, however remember to bring your PIN number (a warning that many ATM machines only accept 4 digit PINs). Please check with your bank before your trip, as there is no guarantee your card will actually work in Italy. Both Plus system and Cirrus cards predominantly accepted. Your bank may however charge higher fees when withdrawing using your credit card and debit card, please ensure to check these fees before travelling.
We recommend using a combination of cash cards. Travellers Cheques are also accepted although do not rely on this as your only source of money as they are becoming less and less readily cashed.
Currency exchange rates often change. You can check the following website for daily rates www.xe.com
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