Pick up of participants at Florence central train station "Santa Maria Novella" and transfer to our 4-star countryside Tuscan style resort in the heart of Chianti Classico.
Check in, 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 by 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 such Radda, Greve and Gaiole in Chianti. An ancient monastery and palace hosts historical underground wine cellars. Our tour and wine and olive oil tasting are spectacular! We enjoy a guided tour through the rooms of the castle and a themed tasting.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil, simply the best
Learn and taste 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 and with pungent, bitter sensations.
Seggiano DOP exclusively obtained 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 Gimignano the 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 stone tall towers marking the landscape. 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. It’s cultivated according to organic methods. 150.000 flowers give 1kg of saffron. It has recently been awarded with the 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/sheep". You will be surprised at the many varieties of this cheese, which are produced with pride in each village. A great companion to Italian cooking and a must-use condiment in many dishes.
Pecorino Toscano DOP (Protected Denomination of Origin): The cheese is prepared with full cream, pasteurized ewe’s milk, often by farm-based cheese producers. It is generally regarded as a hard cheese, frequently used for grating, and to achieve this characteristic hard texture, the cheese should be left alone to age for at least four months. It’s produced in Lazio, Toscana and Umbria.
Day 4 - Siena
After breakfast we drive to Siena, Italy's loveliest medieval city. Our local expert and guide Stefano takes us through ancient palaces and narrow medieval streets to understand the myths and facts of the famous "Contrade" and the "Palio".
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 is the day to become acquainted with the true Tuscan cuisine along with 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, you will notice it right away! First of all, in the morning we blend in with the locals in the piazza, have a cappuccino (remember: cappuccino is a breakfast item for Italians) perhaps discussing politics and soccer then shop for local food to buy the ingredients for cooking. If you are familiar with the Italian language, you will recognize the beautiful Florentine accent everywhere here.
We then participate in a demo and hands-on pasta making seminar. We put our hands to work while making all kinds of fresh pasta shapes: tortelli, ravioli, fettuccine and more. As an Italian meal does not only include pasta, we 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.