May 13th-19th 2012 Tuscany Trip


2012 PACKAGE TRIP TO TUSCANY, ITALY

“PEARLS OF TUSCANY”
Art, food & relax
MAY 13TH TO 19 TH 2012
PISA, LUCCA, FLORENCE, SIENA, CHIANTI, PIENZA

DAY 1 – SUNDAY, MAY 13 TH Tuscan countryside
Arrival in Pisa airport. Private transfer by 16 seat minivan or 8-seat minivan with English speaking local escort to the hotel/B&B located among the olive groves in Florence outskirts. Check into your reserved room. Time at leisure to settle down and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of the Tuscan countryside. Welcome cocktail and dinner at an antic restyled lemon greenhouse once belonging to the noble Gerini family. Overnight.

DAY 2 – MONDAY, MAY 14 TH siena & SAN GIMIGNANO
Breakfast. At 9:00am meet your local escort and private driver to leave towards Siena, the Gothic dream. Perennial enemy of Florence and cradle of the Ghibelline party, the two cities have seen 300 years of wars, battles with its share of intrigues and betrayals. Discover Siena’s treasures walking through its medieval alleys with a local English speaking licensed guide, native of the Sienese Shewolf “contrada” (district).
Siena’s cathedral, with its outstanding black and white marble facade and the Baptistery represent the greatness of the city as well as its religious vocation. The town hall, unique as well is located on the main square Campo, a 12th Century shell shaped square. This is where the famous Palio, the medieval horse race, takes place every summer in July and August. No rule is the only rule during this mad bare back horse race where 10 out of the 17 districts (contrade) of Siena are represented. In the middle of the square crowned by austere palaces and tall prestigious towers, as the crowds sheers, the horse men and the city’s nobles parade dressed in medieval costumes. Find out its secrets and savours with your local experienced guide of Siena. Lunch at leisure in downtown before heading to the amazing medieval village of San Gimignano driving by the quaint 12th century fortress of Monteriggioni, a perfectly preserved stronghold of Siena with its original 14 watch towers.
San Gimignano was already a powerful community in the 1100: it became famous for its daring towers built to symbolize the wealth of the town and of its merchants. Situated along the busy French road (Via Francigena) that connected the north part of Europe to Rome and the Adriatic sea, the village of San Gimignano profited economically from the constant flow of goods, textile, wine and safron, that travelled along that medieval “freeway”. Return to your hotel/B&B in the afternoon. Dinner at leisure, overnight.
DAY 3 – Tuesday, MAY 15 TH florence
Breakfast. Private transfer to Florence to enjoy art, shopping and less known corners of Firenze, the “Cradle of the Renaissance”!
The Renaissance marked the end of medieval Europe and the beginning of a time of learning, questioning and development. From its epicenter in Florence, the Renaissance spread to all corners of Europe. Florence in particular was the home for many of the greatest thinkers and artists of the time, such as Brunelleschi, Donatello, Ghiberti, Leonardo and Michelangelo Buonarroti. Enjoy a guided orientation walking tour of the city highlights, such as Piazza della Signoria, Florence cathedral and the Ponte Vecchio. Not to miss: the perfumes produced in the oldest pharmacy of Europe, the daily fresh food markets an excellent ice-cream maker and the glittering workshops of Florentine goldsmiths! Lunch at leisure in one of the local wine bars or fine restaurants in downtown. Afternoon free for individual activities or shopping. (Upon request we can book reservation to the Uffizi Gallery or the Accademia Gallery). Private transfer by minivan from Florence to the hotel/B&B in the afternoon
Farewell dinner tonight is at an amazing historic house (“Antica Villa di Comotto”) nestled among vines and olive trees. Your host is Costanza, discendent of an antic Tuscan noble family who still owns its 15th century old residence and 10 acres of land. Guided visit to the orchards, vines, kitchen garden and family museum sipping their best rewarded red wines. Dinner to follow in the large dining room decorated by 18th century original paintings and old cuisine books. Overnight.

DAY 4 – WEDNESDAY, MAY 16 TH chianti
Buffet breakfast at your hotel. Meet your local guide/escort for a full day tour to the Chianti Classico region by private 16 seat minivan. Visit the medieval village of Montefioralle, hometown of Vespucci family and the welcoming town of Greve in Chianti with its covered archways and quaint botteghe (artcraft shops). You will have a chance to enter the famous butcher shop Falorni, renowned for finocchiona (fennel salami), hams and sheep cheeses stored in a traditional underground little cellar. At lunch time stop at a local goat cheese producer. Michele, the owner, will accompany you to taste their fresh high quality products in an authentic rustic farmhouse in the middle of the vineyards. Not to miss…a good glass of red Chianti wine! In the late afternoon check into your reserved rooms in Bagno Vignoni. Evening free for individual exploration of the area. Dinner at leisure in the village. Overnight.

DAY 5 – THURSDAY, MAY 17 TH PIENZA –
BAGNO VIGNONI – ORCIA VALLEY
Buongiorno Orcia Valley!! Time for a rich breakfast with Eliana’s fresh homemade cakes and goodies! Depart with your driver and escort to explore Pienza and its quaint views upon the valley, considered one of the most enchanted areas of Tuscany.
Pienza was rebuilt from a village called Corsignano, which was the birthplace (1405) of Aeneas Silvius Piccolomini (Italian: Enea Silvio Piccolomini), a Renaissance humanist born into an exiled Sienese family, who later became Pope Pius II. Once he became Pope, Piccolomini had the entire village rebuilt as an ideal Renaissance town. Intended as a retreat from Rome, it represents the first application of humanist urban planning concepts, creating an impetus for planning that was adopted in other Italian towns and cities and eventually spread to other European centers. The rebuilding was done by Florentine architect Bernardo Gambarelli (known as Bernardo Rossellino) who may have worked with the humanist and architect Leon Battista Alberti, though there are no documents to prove it for sure. Alberti was in the employ of the Papal Curia at the time and served as an advisor to Pius. Construction started about 1459. Pope Pius II consecrated the Duomo on August 29, 1462, during his long summer visit. His included a detailed description of the structures in his Commentaries, written during the last two years of his life. You can visit the main sights as the DUOMO, PALAZZO PICCOLOMINI, PALAZZO COMUNALE. Pienza is also the place where they produce a very good cheese (PECORINO). In one of the local botteghe meet Silvana to taste her yummy pecorino (sheep) cheeses pared with a good glass of red wine! Lunch at leisure. Afternoon at disposal for individual activities.
Time at leisure either to stroll in Bagno Vignoni or to relax at the natural spring waters (10 minutes walking distance), enjoy a sauna and a steam bath: massages and customized treatments available upon request. Farewell dinner prepared by your host Eliana, an expert and passionate chef (beverages not included). Overnight.

DAY 6 – FRIDAY, MAY 18 TH LUCCA – PISA
Breakfast and check out. Full day tour by minibus and your tour escort to Lucca and Pisa.
The tour starts with a visit of the quaint town of Lucca, a real treasure in Tuscany that bears a truly French influence. Upon your arrival the first thing you will notice are the stunning ramparts, also unlike anything elsewhere in Tuscany. Enjoy your guided visit from the ramparts to Piazza Napoleone, site of the beautiful Palazzo Ducale. Everywhere you look, you will notice the heritage of Elisa Baciocchi, Napoleon Bonaparte’s sister, who ruled Lucca in the 19th century. Then it’s off to a most exquisite cathedral, San Martino, a multicolored marble beauty that hosts the Volto Santo, Lucca’s great crucifix. Legend has it that this face of Christ was sculpted by Nicodemus, who is mentioned in the Gospels as having witnessed the resurrection and ascension of Christ and was thus able to recreate the sight.

Before leaving town we’ll also pay a visit to the birthplace of Giacomo Puccini.
Lunch at leisure in downtown.
Early in the afternoon short half hour drive to Pisa and head straight for Piazza dei Miracoli where we’ll see the cathedral and the famous Leaning Tower. Check into your reserved room at the hotel in Pisa. Dinner at leisure. Overnight.

DAY 7 – SATURDAY, MAY 19 TH pisa
Breakfast and check out. Transportation to Pisa Airport. Airport assistance for your flight with local tour escort.
End of our services.

PRICE PER PERSON:
EURO 1333,00 IN TWIN OCCUPANCY
AT HOTEL LIMONAIA 4* + COUNTRYSIDE RESORT ORCIA 4*
Extra charge in double room for single use Euro 300,00

The Tour Includes:
- 3 night STAY IN FLORENCE OUTSKIRTS (4*HTL ACCOMMODATION)
- 2 night STAY IN VAL D’ORCIA (4*FARMHOUSE ACCOMMODATION)
- 1 night IN PISA (4*HTL ACCOMMODATION)

- private English speaking tour escort for the daily transfers/tours (day 1,2,3,4,5,6)
- private transfer on day 1 by 16 seat minivan from Pisa airport to the hotel (DAY1) – alternatively 8-seat van
- aperitif and welcome meeting with local tour escort on day 1
- welcome dinner at a local charming restaurant on Day 1 (wine not included)
- full day tour to Siena and Gimignano by 16 seat minivan with local tour escort (day 2)
- guided walking tour with licensed English speaking guide of Siena (day 2)
- private guided walking tour in Florence with licensed English speaking guide (day 3)
- private roundtrip transfers from the b&b/htl to Florence downtown by minivan (day 3)
- visit and farewell dinner at a noble 15th century Villa (beverages included)
- full day tour in Chianti by 16 seat minivan with local tour escort (day 4)
- visit to a goat cheese farmhouse with cheese, Chianti wine, olive oil tasting (day 4)
- half day tour to Pienza by 16 seat minibus with local tour escort (day 5)
- visit to a pecorino cheese factory with cheese, mustards, honey and wine tasting (day 5)
- Farewell dinner with your host Eliana at the farmhouse, beverages not included (day 5)
- full day by 16 seat minivan to Pisa-Lucca with local tour escort (day 6)
- Minibus entrance fees to all art cities
- guided walking tour with licensed English speaking guide of Lucca (day 6)
- transportation to Pisa airport from the hotel (day 7)
- airport assistance in Pisa by local tour escort on day 7

The tour does not include:
• Beverages/wine if not mentioned in the detailed program
• Entrance fees to palaces, museum, churches in the art cities
• hotel city taxes in Florence outskirts
• tips to the guides/escorts/drivers
• porterage
• entrance fees to the hot springs of Bagno Vignoni
• minibar extras
• all extras not mentioned in the above program

ACCOMMODATION FROM MAY 13TH TO 16TH (3 NIGHTS)
VILLA DELLA LIMONAIA 4* hotel
Florence outskirts, 10minutes out of Florence

The villa is a perfect example of fourteenth century architecture set in a peaceful park.
It was used for centuries as leisure residence of a noble Florentine family.
The hotel has completely been restored and offers swimming pool and tennis courts.
The very well renowned “La Limonaia” Restaurant serves excellent Tuscan and Italian dishes.
Villa della Limonaia is a 4 stars rated hotel, built around the antic core of the medieval tower with its 25 bed rooms, reception area, bar, lounge-rooms and airy frescoed spaces Along side the Villa is the antique lemon nursery with 28 bed rooms and restaurant.

EXCLUSIVE SPECIAL DINNER FOR ALL TOUR GUESTS AT VILLA DI COMOTTO (DAY 3)
Astonishing private wide estate built at the Medicis’s time. Descendents of the antic family Comotto still ownes the noblemen residence sorrownded by a vast garden: antic trees, shrubs, lemon tree glasshouse, the stable, the hay – loft, the cellars and about five hectares of land which have for centuries produced an excellent (and officially rewarded!) extra vergin olive oil and red wine.
Enjoy Costanza’s family hospitality in her private dining room prepared with care and love in exclusive for the tour participants.

VAL D’ORCIA ACCOMMODATION FROM MAY 16TH TO 18TH (2 NIGHTS)
Elegant country resort 4*hotel

Welcome to a real jewel of Tuscany! Relax for a few in cosy rooms and suites of a small country home that was completely renovated in respect of the most classic Tuscan country-style, with a view on the hills, the park and the woods. The wooden beams crossing the ceilings, the wrought-iron beds, the terracotta floors, warm colored curtains and wallpaper, all join in an elegant and refined environment, able to wrap you up in a cosy atmosphere that will make you feel at home.
The owners, Eliana and Silvano will host you as special guests of the family!

EXPERIENCED TRAVEL PLANNERS, LICENSED TOUR GUIDES
SELECTED TOUR ESCORTS AND DRIVERS

Violetta Elena

BEAUTYINITALY T.O.: FULL LICENSED TOUR OPERATOR BASED IN FLORENCE
INFOS & BOOKINGS: info@beautyinitaly.com, elena@beautyinitaly.com

Terms & Conditions
“Beauty In Italy di Violetta Buti” is an officially registered Tour Operator and Company as authorized by the Province of Florence on February 8th, 2008, code REA FI-578231, C.F. BTUVTT57B65D612W and VAT number 04119950485. All travel services including single excursions and/or package trips offered by Beauty In Italy follow the directive 90/314/CEE and the Decreto Legislativo 17.03.95 # 111 as enforced by the same directive. According to the D.L. 111/95, the travel agency and all the tours/travel organized by it are insured, maximum coverage and guarantees by police insurance EUROPE ASSISTANCE # 26829.

Payment:
To finalize the booking 25 % of the fee must be paid at the time of booking as no refundable deposit and the balance is required 45 days before the service takes place.

 

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