TUSCAN WINE TOUR and FLORENCE HIGHLIGHTS- FROM FLORENCE
You’ll begin your tour at the Piazza della Signoria named for the Signoria of Florence, the city’s former ruling body. This piazza has been a focal point of governmental, social, artistic and even religious activity for centuries. Our guides will recount the dramas that have taken place within the square itself and will introduce you to the Palazzo Vecchio, the Loggia dei Lanzi and the other important buildings sitting along its edges. From here you will make your way to the magnificent Duomo, the Cattedrale Santa Maria del Fiore (or Saint Mary of the Flowers). With its massive yet elegant red-brick dome, designed by Brunelleschi in the 15th century, this basilica undoubtedly forms the most iconic silhouette of the Florentine skyline. Admire its architectural magnificence while our guide relays the amusing tales of its designers and their work. Here you’ll also have a chance to become acquainted with two other important structures: the Baptistery, dating back as early as the 5th Century, where many notable Florentines, including Dante Alighieri, were baptized, and Giotto’s Tower, the remarkable gothic-style bell tower at the church’s side.
The tour also includes a visit to one of the following stops: the Accademia, Pitti Palace, Bargello or Museo dell’ Opera del Duomo. In addition to offering its visitors a view of works by Florentine greats like Botticelli, Ghirlandaio and Andrea del Sarto, the “Academy” is home to one of Florence’s (and the world’s, for that matter) greatest treasures: Michelangelo’s glorious statue of David. The Pitti Palace, on the other hand, has housed several famous rulers from the Medici to the Savoy royals of the early unified Italy. Originally designed by Brunelleschi for the Pitti family (a once-rival family to the Medici), today the mansion houses five separate museums along with the Florence’s celebrated Boboli gardens. The Bargello is the oldest public building in Florence, served as the model for the Palazzo Vecchio and houses an incredible art collection including pieces by Michelangelo and Donatello. The Museo dell’ Opera del Duomo has been the workshop for the cathedral since the 1200’s and is now an expertly curated experience showcasing the original artworks in the construction of the baptistry, duomo, cathedral and bell tower. The original doors of the baptistery are here as well as works by Michelangelo and Brunelleschi
After experiencing the highlights of Florence, you’ll be whisked into the gorgeous Tuscan countryside to passing through the old medieval town of Chianciano, today a famous international Spa resort and, from here, onward to the historical center of Montepulciano. You will be given time to explore at your leisure the cobblestoned streets, to admire noble residences, medieval churches, fortifications and City Hall square with the high bell tower, the symbol of the town. Visit the courtyard and Palazzo Ricci, the work of the architect Baldassare Peruzzi. Lunch and wine tasting is held inside a gorgeous ancient wine cellar housing oak barrels filled with thousands of liters of the very best Nobile wine. This special place has been described by Bella Italia magazine as the most beautiful wine cellar in the world. Here, you will begin your delighting your tastebuds with a sampling of the region’s artisan salamis and cheeses. Then you’ll be served the region’s famous pici pasta, made in-house with a side of salad made fresh from local produce. Finally you’ll taste four different world renowned wines including the world class Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. After the lunch and tasting, you will have the opportunity to buy wines directly from the producer which can be shipped anywhere in the world. Continue then to explore the shops of local craftsmen where you will learn the technique used for the production of copper objects, mosaics, wood carving and jewelry-making and more.
Availability: Year round
Days of operation: Daily
Duration: Approx. 9 hours
Pick-up at hotel: 9:00 am
Price for private group : 6 people maximum 1 person € 560.00 2 people € 720.00 3 people €810.00 4 people € 900.00 5 people € 990.00 6 people € 1080.00
Included: chauffeur, guide and tickets to one of the above mentioned Florentine museums, mini-van or car, wine tasting with 4 wines, a snack with local produce, lunch as described above, and pick-up and drop-off at hotel.
Not included: Food or drink ordered outside of the organized lunch and wine tasting are not included in the tour price. Gratuities for chauffeur and guide are also not included, though it is customary to offer a gratuity if you are pleased with your service.