Immersion Journeys in Italy, France and Spain

Tuscany After the Crowds Tour Overview

This immersion journey takes us into Tuscany in the autumn season. We’ll visit the Uffizi and some of the less famous but just as beautiful art of Florence before moving to our cozy hotel in Siena.

From here, we’ll explore the best the season has to offer: truffles, porcini mushrooms, chestnut pudding, fires in the fire place, and golden trees and grapevines.

We’ll spend a day cooking with our friends, an Italian family who have a beautiful cooking school in a little medieval village. The Mom is the Queen but her family give her a run for her money! This is a hands on experience where we’ll make (and eat) four courses!

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.  Alba’s wild boar lasagna is one of the highlights of the trip as you enjoy a four course meal paired with outstanding wines.

We’ll visit a small family olive oil mill, owned by the family of one of Pam’s daughter’s best friends. Tasting is a big part of this visit and you can buy olive oil to bring home to use at Thanksgiving! (Or maybe some wine from Claudio and Alba’s winery!)

We’ll visit to the famous Castle Brolio where the Baron Ricasoli first formulated the Classic Chianti vintage back in the nineteenth century. You will tour inside the castle and see the stunning interiors as well as taste the wines currently produced on the property.

Our last day will take us to the town of Cortona to visit our friend’s art gallery featuring a 2,000 year old Etruscan well! We’ll tour with a famous local guide and taste the new oil from Cortona. We’ll meet a charming artisan jeweler before traveling back to Siena. Tonight’s gala dinner will feature truffles and the new olive oil of course!

Fall in Tuscany is fabulous. Pam and Lior are very friendly and extremely knowledgeable about Italian culture and art, which made everyone feel right at home as we traveled in Florence, Siena, and the Tuscan countryside. Along the way, we stopped at some truly fabulous places that most tourists probably never have the pleasure of visiting. Between Florence and Siena, we had lunch with a lovely couple, Claudio and Alba, who own a winery in the countryside. They were also hosting a group of wild boar hunters at the time. Apparently, there are a lot of wild boar in Italy, and they are delicious. Claudio and Alba served wild boar lasagna for lunch and it was, for me, my favorite dish of all the “favorites” I had in Italy. During lunch, a lovely young lady named Beatrice sang several songs that had everyone, including the wild boar hunters, enchanted. During our time in the countryside, we also went to a small olive oil mill where we were able to witness up close and personal olives being washed, processed, and pressed for oil – we even watched as olive oil was poured into a container for sale and got to taste fresh olive oil on bread. It was amazing! Some local farmers were waiting nearby to pick up their olive oil which had been pressed at the mill that very afternoon. I can’t say enough good things about my trip to Tuscany or the people there.

- Gayle L. Moses

Immersion Journeys in Italy, France and Spain
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