Starting from your accommodation, this exciting day tour initiates with a short drive along the romantic Viale dei Colli, an avenue lined with trees that leads to the splendid Piazzale Michelangelo. This place is like a terrace square named for the famous artist who sculpted David, a replica of this famous statue takes pride of place in the Piazzale, gazing out over the most spectacular views of the Florence cityscape.
Nearby you can also visit the gorgeous white and green marble façade S. Miniato al Monte church, one of the purest examples of the Florentine Romanesque style. After leaving the church, in this Florence tour, we follow an uphill road, bordered by the ancient city walls, until we reach Forte Belvedere, built around 1590 by the Grand-duke Ferdinand to protect the Medici villas. Driving down from the Fort, passing the old gate to the city, the Porta Romana, we come to the imposing Pitti Palace, which hosts many galleries and museums (Gallery of Modern Art, Costume Gallery, Palatine Gallery, Royal Apartments, Coach Museum, Silver and Porcelain museums, etc) and a magnificent park called the Boboli Gardens.
Heading back into the city center, you will visit the Academy Museum which was initiated in the 16th century as a drawing school, before being extended to a general art school now known as Accademia delle Belle Arti - The Academy of Beautiful Arts. This is the home of many famous sculptures, but the real crowd pleaser is the original David by Michelangelo.
Next stop of the tour is Piazza Duomo, where you can admire the Cathedral, the Baptistery and Campanile, Gotto's Bell Tower, which perfectly exemplifies the Gothic style of Florence. Two steps from here, we find Piazza della Repubblica, surrounded by the historical literary cafés, where long ago important intellectuals gathered together. This area, together with via Tornabuoni and via della Vigna Nuova, is also considered the best shopping place in town.
We'll drive you to the basilica of SANTA CROCE (HOLY CROSS), this Basilica is the. Its most notable features are its sixteen chapels, many of them decorated with frescoes by Giotto and his pupils, and its tombs and cenotaphs.
The Basilica di Santa Croce (Basilica of the Holy Cross) is the largest Franciscan church in the world. It is situated on the Piazza di Santa Croce, about 800 metres south east of the Duomo. It is the burial place of some of the most illustrious Italians, such as Michelangelo, Galileo, Machiavelli, Foscolo, Gentile, Rossini, and Marconi etc.
Just a few steps from Santa Croce, we can visit Signoria square, where the political building of Florence called Palazzo Vecchio show you the way for the most important museum in Florence called Uffizi Gallery.
The food in Florence is very good and we will be pleased to suggest you some trattorie (local restaurants) where you can taste the florentine dishes like crostini, ribollita, pappa col pomodoro, florentin steak ecc.
We Pick you up in the morning from your hotel and driving through the beautiful countryside of Chianti, after about one hour and a half we reach the Medieval town of San Gimignano, famous for its 13th century towers, which simbolize the prosperity of the village and wealth of its merchants.
Once we reach the village you have some time for visits pictures and your leasure.
On the way to Siena, we will stop for lunch and/or pictures in Monteriggioni, This fortress is an exemple of medieval military architecture surrounded by very high walls and 14 beautiful towers.
Another 20 minutes of relax driving through the beautiful landscape, we reach the center of Siena passing through the impressive Roman Gate and start to explore this masterpiece of Medieval Art and Architecture: Piazza del Campo with its particular slope shape where the famous horse race "Il Palio" take place. The square is completely surrounded by beautiful palaces and dominated by the Torre del Mangia recently reopened to the public. The gothic Cathedral (Duomo) once considered the most important monument of Christianity with its treasures, and the emotion to walk trough the typical alleys and little squares sure to discover something interesting just behind the corner.
Once left Siena, you will enjoy some more of the Chianti countryside and if you are interested, we can stop for a wine tasting with the visit of the estate and the cellar.
We will be back to the hotel in the late afternoon.
Chianti, perhaps the most famous area in Tuscany, located between Florence and Siena, is characterized by symmetrical vineyards, olive trees, wooded groves, stone houses, late Renaissance villas and medieval villages.
In this area is produced the Chianti Classico wine that together with the "extra vergine" olive oil represent the symbol of the region.
During this tour we will visit some of the most typical villages of Chianti region like Greve in Chianti that is one small and pretty nice market town, Panzano on top of the hill, Montefioralle, Castellina in Chianti etc. and you will be introduced to the "Chianti vine World".
We usually visit at least a couple of wineries, you will meet winemakers and people passionate about wine thath will give you an introduction of our most famous wines (Chianti Classico, Riserva and Supertuscan). We will visit the estates, the cellars and of course, we will offer you a wine and extra vergine olive oil tasting.
You will learn about our territory and how this creates different wine styles.
For lunch we can suggest you some of characteristic open-air "trattorias" (local family restaurant) where you can taste a typical menu of Tuscan cooking.
In the late afternoon, we will drive you back to your accommodation through the famous Chiantigiana road (number 222), the main country road linking Florence and Siena, with the best panoramic views.
Full day excursion to the north west part of Tuscany. Left Florence we drive the connection Firenze-Pisa, our first stop.
The town and its' Miracle square is well known for the Leaning Tower but the whole of the Piazza with the Cathedral, the Baptistery and the Monumental Cemetry with its Sinopias is a jewel of the Middle Age. Here took shape the Pisano Romanesque style and the school of Nicola Pisano, 13th century, very important artist, he had a profound influence on the development of sculpture in Italy.
We leave the square and outside the walled historical centre we get the country road linking Pisa and Lucca.
Crossed the Pisano mountains the valley of the Serchio river is in front of us. Surround by the Apuane alps and by the Garfagnana mountains, appears Lucca inside the 16th century massive red brick walls. Lucca is one of the most beautiful small town in Tuscany still conserving much of the original Roman street plan. The best way to visit Lucca is by walk or by bike (very cheap and easy to rent), you cannot miss the Churc of San Michele in Foro, than cross Napoleon square, and reach on left side the Duomo di San Martino. Finally walk in circle inside the historical centre to reach the Roman theatre, today a suggestive square: piazza dell'Anfiteatro. We will be back to the hotel in the late afternoon.
If you like shopping and touring, this is a very good combination for you!!!
About 40 minutes from Florence there is an outlet called "The Mall". This is the perfect place for "fashion victims": here you can find the most famous brands such as Gucci, Valentino, Armani, Cavalli, Hogan, Pinco Pallino, La Perla, Loro Piana, Salvatore Ferragamo, Sergio Rossi, Stella McCartney, Tod's etc, discounted up to 50%.
From here to the chianti area si only another 45 minutes driving, crossing some hills.
You have the chance to eat at various bars or restaurants inside the Mall outlet or you can decide to have the lunch in the chianti area in a characteristic open-air "trattorias" (local family restaurant) where you can taste a typical menu of Tuscan cooking.
Montalcino is a strikingly beautiful medieval city sitting at top of a hill at more than 500 meters above sea level looking at the Orcia Valley that offers some of the best scenery in Tuscany. The soft rolling hills are punctuated by medieval hilltop towns , olive groves , vineyards and roads lined with cypress trees that create one picture postcard image after the other.
Still surrounded by medieval walls, Montalcino is a very quiet town were you can relax yourself walking through the narrow, winding and steep streets and visiting some of the tipical shops where you can by the excellent BRUNELLO.
This is the perfect tour for the wine lovers who want to learn more about Brunello, Italy's most famous wine. Go straight to the source to learn the secrets of winemaking in Montalcino, the ultimate experience for any Italian wine lovers. In our tours in fact, we stop in a top winery of the area: the Altesino castle wine estate , where you enjoy the visit of the wine cellar followed by a wine tasting of their best wines , from the Rosso di Montalcino to the high end Brunello .
A short drive through the beautiful hills will take us to the Romanesque Abbey of Sant'Antimo over a thousand years old. This church is currently managed by a small Benedictine congregation which is known for their Gregorian Chanting. Sant'Antimo is one of the most famous buildings along the Via Francigena, the Pilgrims road of Medieval times linking Roma and France.
Don't forget to take your own picture of the most photographed row of cypress trees in the world before you commence your relaxing drive through the undulating hills back to your
Full day tour to explore the eastern Riviera di Levante (Liguria region), the fascinating and romantic 5 TERRE, 5 miles of rocky coast in the eastern Liguria region, 5 villages castled up on sprugs of stone, or into very small inlets.
Riomaggiore, is the first of the Cinque Terre, from here we'll begin your tour. Your driver/guide will escort you on an easy walk along the famous "Lovers Walk" trail that affords magnificent views of the coastline with wich you can reach the next village called Manarola.
Manarola, the most photogenic of the five villages, were you can explore a myriad of narrow alleys and pretty pastel squares that epitomize the man-made beauty of the Cinque Terre. From here you can take the boat to Vernazza that is probably the most beautiful of the five villages that make up the Cinque Terre.
The town of Vernazza faces onto the water with its large open harbour, castle and church it conjures up all the magic of the Cinque Terre. Enjoy a relaxing lunch at one of the open-air resturants that line the waterfront, or enjoy a stroll through the back-streets of the town above the harbor to enjoy splendid views along the coast.
For logistical reasons, your driver/guide will escort you as far as Manarola and will make sure you are on-board the boat for Vernazza before heading back to drive the mini-bus to Vernazza. Then, he will meet you again in Vernazza after you have had time to explore the town.
Before heading back to Florence, we will drive up to Corniglia, the only one of the Cinque Terre towns not located directly on the water. This is the ideal place to finish our day tour of the Cinque Terre as from the towns belvedere you can enjoy some of the best views of the Cinque Terre. The terraced hills are covered with vineyards that remind visitors of Corniglia's famous wine that has been produced here since ancient times. This village is also the less frequented of the Cinque Terre towns, in Corniglia you will have a chance to reflect on your day of the Cinque Terre before returning back to Florence.