Eat, Pray, Love in the Heart of Italy
Below is a sample itinerary of a past Goway Group. It is provided to give you an idea of what we have already done & what you might also consider doing.
However, because of timing, your own group's special interests and budget, we expect to custom make a program just for you. Contact your favorite travel agent click on "Inquire about this Trip" to fill out request for a group quotation.
Arrive in Florence
Upon arrival your escort will warmly greet you this morning and welcome you to Italy. Depart for your hotel near San Gimignano with a walking tour of San Gimignano en route (no entrances included). Check in is not guaranteed until late afternoon, but leave your bags with the concierge and enjoy some leisure time at the farm. Enjoy a welcome dinner at the farm.
Accommodations: Farm Poderi Arcangelo
Poderi Arcangelo farm is an ancient rural house from the beginning of 17th century, situated between San Gimignano and Certaldo, immersed in the fabulous Tuscany hill landscape, in a strategic position to discover the natural resources and the artistic patrimony of Siena, Florence, Volterra, Vinci, Colle Val d'Elsa and Monteriggioni. In a 500 meter area are four independent residences, the main house (Casa Capezzano) welcoming guests to Poderi Arcangelo with a reception area, product sales area, wine cellars and restaurant with a terrace overlooking a breathtaking view of the hills. The three pools with beautiful views near structures hosting rooms and apartments, are the place to enjoy the most peaceful of vacations in the agritourism area near San Gimignano. Every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 5.30pm they organize a free wine tasting.
Your guide will join you for a morning visit of Siena (no entrances included) followed by an afternoon Chianti excursion including a visit to Panzano, an attractive town located halfway between Florence and Siena. Enjoy a local wine tasting and a short walk to admire the Tuscan countryside.
In the late afternoon, enjoy a tour with dinner at Taverna di Bibbiano. The farm produces cereals: wheat, sweet corn, sunflowers and oil, but the specialty is the production of flowers and herbal plants destined to a drying process.
By entering the shop, situated in the farm, we can smell the delicious lavender, citron and mint aromas and the charm of the "small gardens in a vase" which have the colours and the fragrances of the Tuscan land. By the farm house Taverna di Bibbiano you can also buy lavender bags and all kinds of original compounds and natural fragrant gifts.
The bright and romantic dining room of the restaurant "La Taverna di Bibbiano" is inspired by the style of Shabby Chic. The large room is dominated by tones of white and lavender, natural materials of wood and forged iron, precious and delicate fabrics, fragrant flowers and candles on the tables.
The restaurant "La Taverna di Bibbiano" overlooks a floral park with breathtaking views over the beautiful Siena hills and the medieval town of San Gimignano. It is the perfect setting for a lovely meal of typical Tuscan flavours, prepared with produce fresh from the farm.
After dinner, return to your hotel.
|Meal Plan||Breakfast and Dinner|
After breakfast board your coach with your guide for a tour to the nearby town of Pisa. Best known for its leaning tower, there is much more to see in Pisa, Italy. The area around the cathedral and tower is beautiful and can easily occupy several hours. Pisa was one of the four great maritime republics in the middle ages and retains a good selection of monuments from that era. There's also the Arno River, a university, and several interesting museums. It's a good city for strolling and enjoying at a leisurely pace. Your tour today will include entrance to the Leaning Tower and lunch at a local restaurant.
After lunch, depart Pisa for Lucca, a beautiful little Tuscan town protected by massively thick 16th-century walls, featuring some of Italy's finest medieval and Renaissance architecture, superb dining, antique markets, and, easy access to stunning nearby villas in the surrounding hills and with endless beaches less than half an hour away. Lucca is one of Tuscany's best-kept secrets. Your visit today includes entrances to the Cathedral and Torre Guinigi.
Dinner tonight will be at Farm Poderi Arcangelo.
|Meal Plan||Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner|
What would a vacation be without a day at the spa? Today your coach and guide will take you to The Tuscan Fonteverde Resort & Spa, overlooking the badlands of the lands of Siena, and naturally immersed in the spectacular surroundings. Located in San Casciano dei Bagni, a charming medieval town in the south of the province of Siena, stands on a porch built in 1607 by the Medici Grand Duke Ferdinand I. The hotel is a valuable glimpse of a time when the supremacy of Italian art and style, were undisputed.
The Fonteverde Spa, Spa Toscana, affiliated to the circuit Leading Spas of the World and Virtuoso Spa, has numerous swimming pools, including two inside dedicated to treatments, the path Bioaquam ®, a swimming pool on the outside and the inside. There are 22 different types of whirlpools and a splendid view over the valley.
Four other pools complete the choice: one can accommodate customers outside the hotel, one is reserved for children and a third is for our four-legged friends! In the summer, finally, you can immerse yourself in a cold plunge pool of over 140 square meters.
The Wellness Center, Fonteverde, offers the possibility to choose from a wide range of treatments that combine the valuable properties of substances to the modern spa manual techniques, tools of medicine and Western aesthetic tradition of the oldest East. Paths of health and beauty for face and body, but also real paths of harmony, balance and mental well-being are all incorporated into the treatments.
Your visit includes entrance to the therapeutic pools. Lunch can be purchased at their restaurant. No spa treatments are included.
Return to Farm Poderi Arcangelo for dinner.
After breakfast this morning your coach and guide will transport you back to Florence, where you’ll enjoy a four hour sightseeing tour of the city that began the Renaissance. Your tour will include entrance to Accademia Gallery to admire the world famous statue of David.
Dinner tonight will be at a local restaurant just a short walk from your hotel (no transfers needed).
Accommodations: Boscolo Astoria for 3 nights
Florence has always been the artist’s city par excellence; here sculptors, painters, poets found their inspiration to create real masterpieces of inestimable value. Among these artists, the well-known John Milton (1608-1674) actually created his most famous work, Paradise Lost, in the rooms of the Palazzo Gaddi, one of the two historic palaces hosting Boscolo Hotel Astoria, together with Palazzo Andrighetti. In this charming hotel in Florence, history lives in every stone of every wall, revealing the importance of the two buildings during the past centuries up to now.
Boscolo Hotel Astoria’s convenient and central location completes the luxury of this accommodation in Florence: a few steps from Santa Maria Novella railway station and church, which collects Italian Renaissance real architecture, painting and sculpture masterpieces, the hotel is in a central position to reach all the main cultural, historical and artistic sights, as well as a classy business and shopping area.
|Meal Plan||Breakfast and Dinner|
Cooking Class at Castello del Trebbio
Here's your chance to learn how to cook a classic Tuscan meal and then eat it, matched with Tuscan wines! Trebbio Castle was built from 1184 by the noble Florentine family de Pazzi and is now surrounded by 350 hectares of land (54 hectares of vineyards, olive trees and 10,000 plants of over 200 acres of woods). Inside, in 1478, was masterminded by the famous Pazzi "conspiracy de 'Pazzi" to eliminate Giuliano de' Medici and Lorenzo the Magnificent. After the failed plot, the castle was temporarily confiscated. The current owners bought it in 1968 restored it respecting its original architecture. Currently the castle is still inhabited by the family.
You’ll have an hour’s tour of the Castle and winery, where you will visit the Renaissance courtyard, the chapel (or other hall of the castle) and the ancient wine cellars in the basement of the castle. The guide, usually a family member, will present the highlights of the history the castle recounting of how and when the Pazzi conspiracy was hatched. In the courtyard you can admire a unique work, the arms of the Pazzi family, carved by Donatello. In the cellar, the oldest and most charming of our Chianti area, you’ll hear an explanation of the wines produced on the farm and visit the old prison where currently there are terracotta jars used in the past for storage of extra virgin olive oil.
After your oil tasting, you’ll enjoy a hands on cooking class where you’ll learn how to make handmade pasta and sauce, and then enjoy the fruits of your labours with a light lunch and of course accompanying wines from the winery – Chianti Rufina Reserva and Vinsanto with Cantussini.
After lunch you’ll have a bit of time to enjoy the grounds or the shop, and then journey back to your hotel. The rest of the day is yours to enjoy at leisure.
Dinner is on your own tonight.
|Meal Plan||Breakfast and Dinner|
Enjoy a full day shopping in Florence to explore the boutiques on Via Tornaboni, the mecca of shopping in Florence. It is anchored at the southern end by the castle-like Palazzo Ferragamo, a museum (and sales outlet) for the footwear company started by that world-famous cobbler to the stars of Hollywood's Golden Age. This is but one of many international fashion flagship stores on—or in the general vicinity of—this street, including Gucci and Roberto Cavalli. You’ll enjoy entrance to the Gucci Museum and the open air food market called Central Market.
Enjoy a farewell dinner tonight at a local restaurant “La Loggia”. Return transfers are included.
Depart Florence for Home
Ciao, Bella! After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight home.
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