You Can Come to Italy:
Art Food & Culture in Tuscany
30 June - 6 July 2024
day 1 arrival
Transfers from Florence Amerigo Vespucci airport FLR and from Florence city center to our villa, a beautifully renovated farmhouse in the countryside of Reggello to the south of Florence. First group meeting in the late afternoon for an orientation cocktail. Group supper prepared by a private chef.
day 2 explore the neighborhood of the Valdarno
In the land of terre nuove / frontier villages in the Valdarno, see an early work by Masaccio, Renaissance trailblazer and another by Fra Angelico who used Masaccio's terrestrial formulas as a base for his heavenly visions. In the charming village of San Giovanni Valdarno, founded by Florence in 1301 to stake their claim on the territory, we'll discover their intriguing urban legend, take time to explore the city center with it's pleasant proto-Renaissance urban plan and have a group lunch of sangiovannese specialties in the piazza. Afternoon free at the villa or shopping at the Mall (outlets of Italy's famed fashion houses). Evening in Terranuova Bracciolini, another of the frontier villages, with Claudio the gelataio / gelato maker: aperitivo in piazza and a casual meal with all you can eat gelato for dessert.
day 3 Chianti Classico
Visit an artisanal pasta factory for a discussion of ancient grains, good gluten and traditional pasta production methods. 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.
day 4 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.). Back to the villa to cool off in the pool and enjoy a cooking lesson and group supper.
day 5 Olive Oil, Livorno
Guided tasting of olive oil, learn how high quality olive oil is made, why it's good for you, how to recognize the good stuff and how to use it in the kitchen. Heading for cooler temperatures on the coast we'll make an afternoon visit to explore the port city of Livorno. Founded by Florence as a free port in the sixteenth century the city retains it's original fortifications and canals, the street food is great and the people are laid back. Group supper in Livorno for a taste of coastal Tuscan recipes.
day 6 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.
day 7 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.
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 an estate in the countryside of Reggello in Tuscany; there’s a great view from the pool, the house gets spectacular sunsets and it’s near to Florence and also to the superstrada for going out and about. We will have a private van and driver for all ground transportation.
Your activity level should allow you to walk for 2 - 4 miles per day including up and down steps, on uneven cobblestone streets and through vineyards and olive groves that are planted on hills and terraces.
From a lovely restored villa in the countryside explore Tuscany from well-known wine producing zones to tiny, out-of-the-way villages and the city of Florence. We’ll make day trips into Chianti Classico, into the Valdarno, over to the coast and into the Carmignano wine producing zone to visit producers of Tuscany’s classic foods and wines and see works of art by masters of Italian art that are still on view in the same spots for which they were originally commissioned. Participate in art history tours, take time to do your own thing. We’ll relax over amazing meals while getting a feel for the culture of the different zones of Tuscany with a mix of casual restaurants, cooking lessons in our villa and a couple of suppers prepared by a private chef while you enjoy a cocktail poolside.