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Best of Tuscany Tour from Florence Italy
See the Best of Tuscany!
Tuscany is known for its rich medieval history, art, beautiful landscapes, delicious food and superb wines. Take the Best of Tuscany Tour for a fantastic day trip that gives you the opportunity to visit the most attractive places in Tuscany in only one day and at an affordable price!
Tour Siena, San Gimignano, Chianti and Pisa. Enjoy a delicious traditional Tuscan lunch and taste the wines of the region at one of the area's fine wineries with a fabulous view. This comfortably paced tour provides time in each place for independent walks, as we do not forget it is your leisure time! And, you'll enjoy the company of the best guides in Tuscany. They are enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and bring you in touch with Tuscan culture and the warmth of its inhabitants.
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Change Fee Policy: If changes are allowed on a tour or activity, a $20.00 per reservation change fee will be applied for any change to a reservation. Please note that some tours and activities do not allow any changes. Date changes can be made only if we can confirm availability on the new date. While we cannot guarantee any changes can be made, all change requests must be submitted a minimum of 24 hours prior to the tour departure and must be handled on an individual basis through our Reservations Center.
Departing a convenient meeting location in downtown Florence at 8:30 am, you take a scenic drive with views of the typical Tuscan countryside and Monteriggioni - a tidy gem of a town encased within imposing walls. You arrive in Siena at 9:45 when no one is there and it is the perfect time to wander around its many beautiful and quiet spots where you can escape. Siena is the heart of Tuscany and the perfect counterpoint to Florence. A place of immediate charm: airy, easy-going and pedestrianized; its attraction lies in its cityscape made of yellowish-brown buildings - the "burnt Siena" of paintboxes - red clay roofs and green shutters. The visit to Siena lasts 2.5 hours.
On a guided walking tour, you trace the history of Siena from its evolution as a financial capital with the "Monte dei Paschi," the oldest working bank in the world...to "Santa Maria della Scala," the first public hospital originally used to host medieval pilgrims. Through ancient back streets you get to the Cathedral (admission included). Immediately recognizable for its large proportions, it seems like a massive wedding cake. Inside, it is a treasure chest for numerous works of art, among which the marble inlaid floor made through two hundred years of handiwork also sticks out as a unique part of art history. The walking tour ends in Piazza del Campo, the square shaped like an enormous shell - the spot where Sienese always meet - the "showplace" of the city. Twice a year, the outer perimeter is fenced off and covered with sand to host the famous Palio horse race. There is time to enjoy a drink, sit at one of the open-air cafés and soak up the sun, or take advantage of some reasonably priced shopping because these same shops are used by the locals.
Back on the bus, you take a short 45-minute trip to a wine estate set in the Sienese hills, where D.O.C.G. Chianti wine is produced. The estate is in the heart of the most verdant countryside, amid olive groves and rolling hills planted with vines - a fabulous setting with a marvelous view of the towers of San Gimignano (rural Tuscany at its best). If you have been on other winery tours, this is completely different because Mario, Paolo and Tiziana, the owners, play a large part in the running of the estate and they will pass their passion to you while serving a delicious Tuscan lunch made of local organic products and wines of the region. It's a great opportunity to meet and get to know your fellow travelers. This lunch also provides an opportunity to sit down, take a break, and appreciate the relaxed local lifestyle. People here are not catching up with the world; the world's catching up with them.
Your lunch consists of Pasta alla Puttanesca (pasta with fresh tomatoes and mixed vegetable sauce), a plate of Tuscan ham, salami and two kinds of Pecorino (local sheep cheese), Bruschetta, mixed salad, and Cantuccini (almond biscuits) to dip into Vin Santo (dessert wine). A tasting of local wines, extra virgin olive oil and honeys is also included. The totally organic wines, olive oil, saffron and honeys can be purchased at the estate, where they all are produced. Apart from the salami and ham, this lunch provides plenty of vegetarian options - and larger portions of salads can be arranged for vegetarians.
After lunch, San Gimignano is only a few minutes away. Considered the most beautiful medieval hilltop village in Italy and known as the "Manhattan of the Middle Ages," its skyline looks like one of the modern cities. In fact, the profile of its 14 towers, which stand out clearly against the sky, captures the wayfarer from far off. You have plenty of time to explore the maze of its cobbled streets and small squares that in summer are the site preferred by buskers who perform in the complete silence of people listening to them play. The many shops of local artisans and farm products - together with one of the best ice cream shops in Italy - are tempting! Walking among the towers, you'll feel as if you've dropped into the famous movie "Under the Tuscan Sun." Our visit to San Gimignano lasts 90 minutes.
Next, you enjoy views of the true Chianti countryside - one of the most enchanting lands in the world with a patchwork of different panoramas scattered with hilltop hamlets, little churches and castles. The landscape of Chianti was featured in much Tuscan art of the Renaissance and it hasn't changed much since then. The gentle slopes are still full of vines, olive groves abound, and blasts of yellow sunflowers punctuate the fields. Lands are speckled with sheep and there are also brilliant red poppy fields and plenty of woodland, much of it inhabited by wild boar. The feeling that time has stopped is hard to avoid when seeing along the way the bleak, isolated appearance of Volterra - one of the first settlements of the Etruscans from around the eighth century BC, with stunning views over Calanchi (cliffs of sand and clay). Things here have stayed the same way for centuries, not by accident or economic reason, but because that's the way people want it. This countryside drive lasts two hours.
And for added value, you go to Pisa where the image of the Leaning Tower is so familiar. To see it first-hand is quite breathtaking! Most people only expect to see a tower but the "Field of Miracles" always succeeds in exciting the imagination of its numerous and passionate visitors. Here, take time to admire a memorable sight with the Cathedral, the Baptistery, the monumental Cemetery and to take a picture of the Leaning Tower. You'll have one hour in Pisa, departing for Florence at 7:15 pm.
Arrival back in Florence is at 8:30 pm after a day of unforgettable memories - The Best of Tuscany!
This tour is conducted in English only. The luxury air conditioned coaches are very comfortable. There is always time in each location for independent sightseeing, and maps and information about each stop will be provided free.
Tour does NOT include hotel pick-up; the meeting point is Santa Maria Novella railway station (details on your E-Ticket). Rates are per person in US dollars. Please order online or call to order or for more information.
Customer Ratings & Reviews
Worth every penny. Exactly as advertised.
My wife and I did the "Country Roads of France"" tour. Even though it was tough going at times (very busy)Insight was excellent. We saw and achieved a lot. I would recommend Insight to all."
Best tour yet.
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