Pick-up of participants at Florence’s “Santa Maria Novella” central train station, and transfer to our 4-star countryside Tuscan-style resort in the heart of Chianti Classico.
Check in and welcome aperitivo with introduction to the tour and dinner in a typical Tuscan country-style setting.
During this tour, each included meal features 3 or 4 courses, each paired with a local DOC or DOCG wine. The learning experience is enhanced with an explanation of the local ingredients and indigenous grapes. Be ready to taste and learn about Tuscany’s rich variety of unique food and wine appellations!
Day 2 - Discover Chianti Classico
After breakfast, we drive through the Chianti Classico hills and legendary villages like Radda, Greve and Gaiole in Chianti. We then embark on a guided tour of an ancient monastery and palace that features historical underground wine cellars, and enjoy a spectacular wine and olive oil tasting.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Simply the Best
We taste and learn about many varieties of Protected Denomination Extra Virgin Olive Oils, such as:
Terre di Siena DOP: Olives must be produced in the hilly territories of the province of Siena dedicated to oil production.
Lucca DOP: Produced in a defined geographical district of the province of Lucca. It has a fruity, basically sweet olive taste from light to medium with pungent, bitter sensations.
Seggiano DOP: Obtained exclusively from olive groves that have at least 85% of the Olivastra Seggianese cultivar in the Monte Amiata area.
Chianti Classico DOP: The production area corresponds to the area delimited for Chianti Classico wine production and covers numerous municipalities in the Siena and Florence provinces.
Day 3 - San Gimignano: Saffron and Leather
We depart for San Gimignana, home of the first white Italian DOC wine, which is now a well-known DOCG (the top Italian wine appellation) made with Vernaccia grapes. The village is one of the most fascinating medieval towns in Italy, with many tall stone towers marking the landscape. There is free time here to discover the many stores, artisan leather products, cheese, wild boar sausages and…porcelain!
The saffron of San Gimignano is extremely pure and cultivated using organic methods. 150,000 flowers give 1kg of saffron. It has recently been awarded DOP status (Denomination of Origin Protected).
Caciotta or Pecorino?
Follow a comparative tasting of Pecorino and Caciotta Toscana cheese. The Italian name “pecora” means “ewe” or “sheep” and you will be surprised at the many cheese varieties produced with pride in each village. This cheese is also a great companion to Italian cooking and a must-use ingredient in many dishes.
Pecorino Toscano DOP cheese is prepared with full cream and pasteurized ewe’s milk, often by farm-based cheese producers. It is generally regarded as a hard cheese and is frequently used for grating. To gain its characteristic hard texture, the cheese should be left alone to age for at least four months. It is produced in Lazio, Toscana, and Umbria.
Day 4 - Siena
After breakfast, we drive to Siena, Italy’s loveliest medieval city. Our local expert guide, Stefano takes us through ancient palaces and narrow medieval streets to understand the myths and facts of the famous “Contrade” and “Palio”.
We also taste the famous Siena Ricciarelli IGP (Food of Protected Geographical Origin), a white, soft, moist and extremely sweet boat-shaped almond pastry covered with white icing sugar.
Spend the rest of the day relaxing at our resort.
Day 5 - Coooking Day!
Today, we become acquainted with true Tuscan cuisine alongside mamma Vilma. Vilma works and lives in Tavarnelle Val di Pesa, near Firenze, where she owns a homemade pasta shop. Her passion for Tuscan cuisine is in her eyes and you will notice it right away!
In the morning, after our cappuccino (remember, cappuccino is a breakfast item for Italians), we blend with the locals in the piazza. If you are familiar with the Italian language, you will recognize that beautiful Florentine accent all around you.
We then participate in a demo and hands-on pasta-making seminar. We put our hands to work making all kinds of fresh pasta, and gather around Vilma’s kitchen where we cook the rest of the meal, eat, taste wine, and perhaps even have a siesta! What a day!
Day 6 - A day in Montalcino and Montepulciano
A close encounter with two of the top world's wine: Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano in the homonym villages. Collector beauties, made from local Sangiovese grapes, and featuring great potential to age due to their richness of tannins. Expect some great wine tasting here!
Taste Tuscan DOP and IGP specialties
Today we taste many succulent food appellations of Tuscany:
Finocchiona IGP, a soft and scented salami made with top quality meat cuts and seasoned with wild fennel seeds (finocchietto).
Prosciutto Toscano DOP, made only with pigs that are born, bred, fattened and slaughtered in Tuscany.
Lardo di Colonnata IGP, a fine salami made from pork lard that is cured in local Carrara marble quarries and caves. Layers of lard are alternated with pepper, salt, sage and rosemary.
Salamini italiani alla cacciatora (hunter style) DOP. Different types of small salamis, produced all over Tuscany and throughout central and northern Italy. They are known as ‘cacciatori’ or ‘cacciatorini’ and are usually dry, compact and ruby red in colour.
Day 7 - Florence
After breakfast we check out of our hotel and transfer you to Florence where we end the tour or your vacation continues, if you selected one of the tour extensions.