Immersion Journeys in Italy, France and Spain

The Best of Tuscany Tour Overview

The Best of Tuscany Tour is an immersion journey into the heart of Tuscany that weaves together some of the most famous art, the amazing food and wine and the exquisitely beautiful landscapes that have lured travelers here for centuries.

In Florence we stay in the historic core of the city, only steps away from many of the world's greatest artistic masterpieces.  On our travels together, you'll visit our Italian friends: artisans, castle and winery owners, and amazing chefs whom we've gotten to know well through our many years of living in Tuscany.

Cityscape panorama of Arno river, towers and cathedrals of Florence

After the excitement of Florence, you'll have a chance to experience the beauty and tranquility of rural Tuscan life.  Time will stand still as we travel out into the countryside to have lunch with an Italian family at their winery set in the Chianti hills at a beautiful intersection of woods, vineyards and olive groves.  Here you will enjoy a four-course meal paired with outstanding wines, and everything you eat from meats to wines to veggies is from the family's estate.  Alba’s wild boar lasagna is one of the highlights of the trip, and some people have taken this tour again just to have seconds!

We'll be based next in a tiny village in the Chianti region. We'll tour the most famous castle in the Chianti region, and its adjacent winery where Chianti wine was first developed about 150 years ago.  From here we'll visit the fascinating city of Siena with its world-famous Gothic cathedral and medieval streets. We’ll make a stop in  a small village of 250 people that still possesses its ancient walls; it's a jewel that's still unlisted in the tour guidebooks, and we call it home.

Lastly, we transfer to the ancient Etruscan town of Cortona, made famous by the book and movie, "Under the Tuscan Sun."  Cortona has been sitting perched on the hillside for the past 2500 years, and it has survived its 15 minutes of fame without a scratch.  In Cortona we'll be based at one of our favorite hotels in Italy which offers spectacular views of the Val di Chiana valley below, and the best breakfasts you're likely to find anywhere. On one afternoon, we will head just outside of Cortona for a fun, authentic and hands-on cooking class with a local nonna.


And, then, on the ninth morning of our trip, ready or not, we'll take you back to Florence and wish you Buon Viaggio!

The Best of Tuscany tour was outstanding in every respect and our favorite vacation ever.  The small towns we visited were charming.  The historic hotels were elegant.  The museums, castles and churches were each stunning in their own way.  Sam’s selective, low-key approach brought the most important Renaissance paintings and sculptures to life.  Bathed in sunshine every day, the countryside was amazingly beautiful.  Perhaps best of all were the lunches and dinners we shared.  The food and wine were excellent, the settings beautiful and often family-like.  By the end of a wonderful week in Pam’s friendly and efficient care, all 15 of us felt like friends, ready to travel with Pam and Sam again! 

- Hugo and Anna Marie Finarelli

Immersion Journeys in Italy, France and Spain
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