You Can Come to Italy:
Art Food & Culture in Tuscany
28 May - 3 June 2023
Sun 28 May arrival
Transfers from Florence Amerigo Vespucci airport FLR and from Florence city center to our villa in the countryside of Montespertoli. First group meeting in the late afternoon for an orientation cocktail. Group supper at a casual osteria with a terrace on the 13th century defensive walls of a charming medieval hamlet.
Mon 29 May Chianti Classico
Winery visit at Lamole, the highest point in Chianti Classico and its own sub-denomination with a small production of excellent wines from just eight family farms. Follow the winemaker through her terraced vineyards and taste her delicately beautiful interpretation of sangiovese. Tasting lunch with the winemaker in the old castle of Lamole. Free time in Greve in Chianti. Evening cooking lesson and group supper.
Tues 30 May Florence
Day in Florence with a private guide for an historical walking tour in the morning and then the rest of the day to explore on your own, visit museums, galleries, shops and enjoy the city. Optional private tours to the Accademia (Michelangelo’s David) or to the Uffizi (paintings gallery with Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, etc.). Lorenzo will join us for an apericena (drinks and heavy hors d’oeuvres) on the terrace of a private palazzo with views over the Arno.
Wed 31 May explore the neighborhood
Visit an organic farm working to produce territorial wines, olive oils, salumi, honey and vegetables with a tasting lunch on the farm. Visit to the medieval Castle of Poppiano which was built to protect the trade route that runs through the valley between the castle and the villa; visit the castle, climb the medieval tower and have a coffee and dessert at Elaine’s house just outside the castle walls. In the village of San Casciano in Val di Pesa see sienese gothic master Simone Martini’s crucifix, explore on your own or just have a glass of wine and watch the San Cascianese go about their business, group supper at an osteria within the village's imposing defensive walls.
Thu 1 July Pratomagno and Loro Ciuffenna
In the Arno valley to the south of Florence, at the higher altitudes of Pratomagno, explore the medieval village of Loro Ciuffenna and the Romanesque church at Gropina with its exquisite, primitive Longobard carvings. At Sàgona, where Elaine makes olive oil with Daniele Corrotti we'll walk through the terraced olive groves and vineyards and taste the oils and wines at a lunch in our farm restaurant.
On the way back to the house we’ll stop in the adorable town of San Giovanni Valdarno with a few shops and some wine bars, a charming urban legend and an Annunciation by early Renaissance master Fra Angelico. Supper at the villa with Lorenzo as our private chef / optional cooking lesson.
Fri 2 July Carmignano, free time
Morning visit to the village of Carmignano to see Pontormo’s ground breaking Mannerist painting of the Visitation still hanging in the church for which it was commissioned. Visit to a producer of agresto, a wine vinegar made following an ancient Roman process. Typical Tuscan lunch on the terrace at a great countryside restaurant. Afternoon free to relax at the villa. Farewell supper prepared by a private chef.
Sat 3 July departure
Transfers to Florence Amerigo Vespucci airport FLR or to Florence Santa Maria Novella train station.
Please note that this is an initial itinerary to provide a template of what to expect.
Specific visits are subject to change depending on producer availability and as new opportunities present themselves. The people and places that we will be visiting are not typical tourist destinations so plans may be modified at the last minute. We will craft the final itinerary to provide the experience as described above.
With a group of 10 - 12 travelers we’ll stay at a beautifully renovated farmhouse on a ridge in the countryside of Montespertoli in Tuscany; there’s a great view from the pool, the house gets spectacular sunsets and it’s near to a handful of charming villages and also to the superstrada for going out and about. It’s a self catering villa so breakfasts and several suppers will be catered; maid service changes linens once during our stay. We will have a private van and driver for all ground transportation.
total program cost per person in double hotel rooms $5,175; cost in single hotel rooms $6,160