Tuscany & The Italian Riviera including the Cinque Terre Back

Departs from : Tuscany

Duration : 6 days

Type : Small Group

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Price Per Person : EUR 1,534.00

Meals Included

Breakfasts : 5

Dinners : 4

Lunches : 1

Wine Tastings : 5

Map

This small group tour (max 14 participants) is a fantastic way to discover two of Italy's most beautiful regions: Tuscany & the Italian Riviera.  In Tuscany we visit the Chianti wine region and savour the local flavors.  On the Italian Riviera, we stay in the town of Portovenere and experience the rich cultural heritage and the beautiful colors of this spectacular coastal region. 

The hotels we stay at in both Florence and on the Italian Riviera are beautiful properties that are centraly located.  Our guides are always outstanding and the level of service provide to each of our guests is unparalleled as we purposely keep the group sizes small to ensure everyone's needs can always be fulfilled. 

For a complete description of this Tuscany and the Italian Riviera package and to see the  day by day itinerary please see the itinerary description below.

Pre and Post tour options are available in both Rome and throughout many other areas in Italy.  

For any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

 

 


Day 1 : Siena & San Gimignano

Where we visit : Siena

Meeting Location : Piazza Barberini

Description :

Early morning meet your driver and tour escort at hotel in Rome or in Piazza Barberini(central meeting point in Rome) to begin our journey North from Rome to Florence. En-route to Florence, our first stop is Siena, considered by moast to be one of Italy's loveliest medieval cities we will stop in Siena enjoy a guided walking tour with a local expert guide. Siena's heart is Il Campo or Campo's square, where the famous horse race Il Palio takes place two times each summer. The town offer magnificent masterpieces and incredible views. Enjoy a wine tasting with cheese and salami. After our walking tour we will continue onto the hill-top town of San Gimignano. The drive itself is a magnificent path along the roads of Tuscany, where it is possible to enjoy the view of hills covered by vineyards, olives tree, small villages and original bell towers. The town is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site and fascinates for its medieval look. Its high towers create a unique skyline. In San Gimignano you will have time to enjoy the village on your own before we continue North through Tuscany into Florence where you you will have time at your hotel to unwind after the day's drive and activities and enjoy dinner at your leisure. Overnight in Florence.

Meals : Breakfast, Wine Tasting

Day 2 : Florence

Where we visit : Florence

Description :

In the morning, enjoy a walking tour of the city with guide with Accademia. Lorenzo de Medici transformed Florence into the cradle of the Renaissance by attracting the best artists, architects and writers of the time such as Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Botticelli to whom he commissioned various works. Visit Piazza dellaSignoria, Palazzo Vecchio, the Dome with Giotto's bell tower, Ponte Vecchio, Santa Croce. Spend the afternoon at leisure exploring Florence on your own, visiting the Uffizi or taking the opportunity to visit Chianti or Lucca. Overnight in Florence.

Meals : Breakfast

Day 3 : Dinner in Chianti

Where we visit : Lazio, Pisa

Description :

The day is free at leisure. There are many optional tours available: Pisa with its leaning tower, Montepucliano and Montalcino, Cortona, Assisi and Perigia and many others. Late afternoon, transfer to Chianti area for a unique experience. Enjoy the view of the beautiful hills covered by vineyards and have a fantastic dinner in a farm house, accompanied with Chianti wine. Return late evening at hotel. Overnight in Florence.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner

Day 4 : Pisa

Where we visit : Pisa

Description :

After breakfast, meet your expert driver guide and continue to Pisa. Here, meet you local guide and visit the city. Pisa is most famous for its Leaning Tower, but the old Maritime Republic offers incredible sights like Miracles’ square, the beautiful Battistero and many other masterpieces. At the end of the excursion, proceed to Portovenere. Dinner will be served in a typical restaurant. Overnight in Portovenere.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner

Day 5 : Cinqueterre& Portofino

Where we visit : Cinque Terre

Description :

This morning after breakfast we will begin our visit of the Cinque Terre national park by boat. We board the boat in Portovenere and head down this magnificent stretch of coast which offers spectacular views of all five of the villages. There will be free time in Monterosso al Mare and Vernazza. In the afternoon, in Monterosso al Mare, your guide will bring you to the beautiful and famous town of Portofino to enjoy the colors of late afternoon. In the evening we will return to Portovenere to enjoy a tasty dinner together. Overnight in Portovenere.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner

Day 6 : Time to Say Arrivaderci!

Where we visit : Liguria

Description :

This morning our services will conclude and we will transfer you to the airport or railway station. If you are very interested in the Cinque Terre national park, we can also arrange boat/ferry service to you into any town and we have many hotels with whom we work in this area. We also have exclusive Cinque Terre walking tours as well as romantic and family packages.

Meals : Breakfast

Tour Highlights and What's Included

  1. Luggage handling at hotel
  2. Bus As Per Itinerary
  3. Tour Escort / Tour host
  4. Welcome Cocktail
  5. 3 Nights In Florence
  6. 2 nights in Portovenere
  7. 3Dinners, Wine Included
  8. 1 Tuscan dinner in Chianti, wine tasting included
  9. 1 lunch
  10. Walking Tour Of Florence With Accademia
  11. Visit of Siena and free time in San Gimignano
  12. Visit of Pisa and free time in Portofino
  13. Visit of Cinqueterre by boat (in case of bad weather conditions, the boat will be substituted with train)

What's Not Included

  1. Food and beverages not mentioned in the program
  2. Gratuities of any type
  3. Optional excursions during your tour
  4. Travel Insurance
  5. Arrival Transfer
  6. Porterage at airport on arrival
  7. City Tax ( 4€ per person per night, to be paid locally. The amount may change according to local policy )
  8. Tips
  9. Beverages and meals not mentioned in the program
  10. Travel Insurance
  11. Optional Excursions

Chianti


 

If you have ever believed in fairy-tales and landscapes where Kings and Queens ruled beautiful country-sides adorned with vineyards and picturesque gardens at every corner, the Chianti region is for you!  
 
Many people ask what is the "Chianti"?  There are no borders here, it is an un-spoken territory, in the Tuscan countryside between Siena and Florence, that has no precise name.  No name is necessary, because when you enter the borders here, you will know very clearly that you in Chianti when the names on signs like Radda - Greve - Panzano - Castellina - and many others you will see, all end with the word Chianti!  
 
The Chianti region comprises numerous towns, all once Medieval settlements, with castles, villas, old mills, fortifications and farmsteads. Among the popular events, the Palio horse race of Siena is perhaps the best known, although the numerous smaller scale wine Festivals, markets, and concerts organized in the castles should not be missed.
 
Chianti is an unspoilt land with a patchwork of meadows and fields where the famous blue-violet Iris grow wild, (the flower which was chosen as symbol of Florence and used for centuries in perfumes). Articles in Terracotta are still produced by local craftsmen.
 
Its natural environment is its fortune: Chianti is a splendid countryside which stretches from Florence to Siena, over great expanses of vineyards resting on the hillside from where the famous red wine is exported throughout the world.
 
The region's game dishes of wild boar, quail and pigeon accompanied by wild mushrooms are as famous as the area's cold meats, Chianina beef and Cinta Senese pork. The countryside is also characterized by its olive groves which produce a highly acclaimed oil.
 
 

Siena


 

 

Siena is reknowned, both nationally and internationally, for the Palio horse race contested by the 17 contrada which divide this small city. But Siena is also unique thanks to its maze of narrow streets, its numerous towers and elegant town houses, the immense Piazza del Campo and the Cathedral which dominate the heart of the Medieval city encircled by impressive walls.
 
Those living in Siena enjoy an incredibly high quality of life. It is also the first city in Italy to close its center to traffic. As far as culture is concerned, Siena has been a city of great artistic significance since ancient times with internationally acclaimed institutions such as theChigiana Musical Academy, the Accademia dei Fisiocritici and Accademia degli Intronati, as well as the University for Foreigners.
 
Sites not to be missed: the Church of St Domenico, the Church of St Francesco, theDiocesan Museum of Sacred Art and Palazzo Salimbeni which houses important frescoes. The surrounding countryside is superbly peaceful with vineyards, olive groves,medieval hamlets and castles. The gastronomic traditions have gained international fame with the sweet Panpepato, Ricciarelli and Cavallucci being exported throughout the world.

Pisa


 

Believe it or no, describing what it's like to visit Pisa is a tough job.  No doubt, Pisa's Leaning Tower is an Icon and Millions of travelers come here each year.  For many, the fact that it is quite literally a "Mecca" for tourists is a good reason to stay away, however there is a very good reason why Pisa draws the crowds and it might just draw you too!  
 
Let's put it this way, if you go to Pisa from June to September, you will be rubbing shoulders with a lot of people, but the fact of the matter is that Pisa is BEAUTIFUL.  The architecture is a sight to behold and the truth be told, visiting Pisa is A LOT of fun for those that come! 
 
Believe it or not, Pisa began life in about 1000 BC as a seaport. In the 2nd Centure BC, the  Romans used it as a naval station and trading port.  By the 11th Century the city had evolved into a major maritime power, rivalling Genoa, Venice and Amalfi.  The Pisans raided and overwhelmed Amalfi in 1135, putting an end to Amalfi's maratime claims.
 
The Pisans were themselves defeated - by Genoa - in 1284, a defeat which started the City's  steady decline.  That decline was hastened when the River Arno, on whose banks the city stood, began to silt up.  The Florentines took control in 1406 and retained it until the unification of Italy in the 1860s.
 
During its long period of prosperity, much of its wealth went into building some of Italy's most important and monumental buildings.
 
The famously leaning tower is the bell tower of the Duomo whose construction took over 200 years, starting in 1173 AD.  The soil under the Tower started to subside on one side even during construction, and remedial efforts were ongoing up until 1999, when a solution was found.  (Don't ask us what it was.)
 
The tower, the baptistry and the huge Duomo (100 yards long, with a massive nave, flanked by two aisles and 68 monolithic columns, are in the Romanesque style.  The pulpit, considered by many as the most beautiful in Italy, was carved by Giovanni Pisano, who also did much of the carving in the baptistry.
 
They sit together around the Campo dei Miracoli - or "field of dreams", an expansive grassy area.  Most tourists venture no further.  They should.
 
The city boasts one of the oldest universities in the world, and was the birth place of Galileo Galilei.  There are many cafes, trattorie, boutiques and flea markets.  Quality - well, tourist grade.  (If you want a great dinner, save your appetite and travel 15 km north to Lucca).

Florence


 

Once the hub of the Renaissance, Florence is still a city marked by outstanding cultural and artistic splendor. In the modern day this translates into some of the best shopping anywhere for fine products from leather to gold. A perennial favorite of tourists and home to such historical figures as Machiavelli and the Medici clan, all of the finest aspects of Renaissance culture, from literature and art to theater and music still flourish here.
 

Besides tourism, food and wine production are also prominent industries in this city, which is the main city of the Tuscany wine-producing region. The Uffizi Gallery and Accademia Museum house two of the world’s great art collections and seeing the David by Michealangelo, at the Accademia is a moment never to be forgotten.


The Duomo in Florence is as breathtaking as it is massive. This amazing structure can be seen from many vantage points near the city center and it looms in its majesty above the city’s interesting architecture and unique streets. Major attractions: Uffizi museum, Accademia museum with the David, Piazza della Signoria, Duomo di Santa Maria del Fiore, Santa Croce and Santa Maria Novella churches and squares. Other museums of notice are Palazzo Vecchio, Palazzo Pitti with the Silver museum, the Boboli Gardens and the Palatine Gallery, the Brancacci Chapel, the Museum San Marco. Major theaters and events: Teatro Comunale, Teatro della Pergola, Toscana Opera Festival, Teatro Verdi.

Portofino


 

Portofino is an exclusive resort on Italy’s Ligurian coast. It has a glitzy reputation as a playground for the rich and famous and a first glance will certainly confirm this view. The brightly coloured buildings eventually yield to a harbour filled with oversized yachts and surrounded by fashionable restaurants and bars. Yet scratch the surface and you will find that underneath it all, there is still a charming little fishing village to be found.
 
Of course it has to be said that a trip to Portofino does not come cheap. The exclusive eateries and boutiques, which so often play host to wealthy movie stars, have prices that will make your eye pop-out in true cartoon style.  Yet if you can cope with the pressure on your wallet, Portofino’s tranquil setting will do its best to make sure you forget all about your bank account.
 
What isn’t in dispute is Portofino’s charm and there is plenty to admire, even for mere mortals without bulging wallets. The clear waters, the rugged cliffs that plunge into the waters below, and the little rocky inlets and beaches frame the town, and make it as easy on the eye as some of its more famous visitors.
 
With such pretty scenery in abundance the opportunity to give your credit card a time out and head off into the countryside should not be missed. There are some great walks around Portofino and a number of paths take you from the town and up into the surrounding hillside. Along the way you will stroll past olive groves and pine trees before reaching the top where, high about the town, you can discover excellent views of the coast.
 
All of this is likely to induce a thirst and a popular activity in Portofino is whiling away an hour or two over a drink in one of the cafes near the harbour. Many a contented afternoon can be passed watching the boats come and go with the sun on your back.
 
Portofino is very much a destination for a day trip due to its size and relatively high costs. It can be fully explored in a few hours and its cosy size breeds familiarity quickly.  Yet it is the town’s undeniable natural beauty that makes it a must see, just bear in mind that you might need to do some serious saving if you fancy a longer stay.

Portovenere


 

Portovenere is a colourful town, just south of the Cinque Terre national park on the Italian Riviera.

 

Cinque Terre


 

The Cinque Tere is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located on the beautiful Italian Riviera.  Truly, one of the most captivatingly picturesque places in all of Italy, The Cinque Terre continues to retain its old world characteristics.
 

And that, of course, is a problem for travelers who do not like to find themselves amidst a horde of tourists.  The question is not whether to go, but when.  Our recommendations: May or June; September or October.  It is still warm, but not as warm and humid as the height of summer.

Modernity in all its dubious glory has not managed to impinge itself too heavily because The Cinque Terre is well off the main highways and rail lines that give life to modern industry and create the usual activity that a growing population demands.  Not only that, but steps have been taken to protect the natural - and man-made - environment from over development.

 
The unique, rugged landscape of The Cinque Terre, consisting of sharply defined mountains, steep valleys, daunting cliffs and narrow beaches, is almost all within the Parco Nazionale delle Cinque Terre and it has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.  Moreover the local waters are a protected marine area within Italy.
 
 
There are a few cars within Cinque Terre, and a small network of roads used by local people, or by the drivers who bring goods to the place, but for travelers and tourists, it is mostly inaccessible by car.  Better to take the train (or a coastal ferry) from Spezia (south), or Levanto (north), and take-in the sites on foot.
 
There are a number of well-worn paths in The Cinque Terre, but the Via Dell'Amore - the lover's walk -  strings all five villages, winding its way along beaches, and through the many olive orchards, vineyards and chestnut woods on the terraced seaside slopes.
 
The easiest part of the route is from Riomaggiore to Manorola, but things get more difficult from Corniglia to Vernazza, and very difficult from Vernazza to Monterossa, as the hills become steeper and more challenging.  At some points you will be 1000 feet above the level of the sea.
 
During the summer months, along the beaches one can take the sun at one of several Lidos, or perhaps find a small stretch of beach.  If you want to be more active, you can hire a boat, swim in the azure waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea, or go snorkeling or scuba diving in the Riomaggiore area.  The local waters team with fish, so you can hang a line from pier, rock or boat.
 
Strolling through the medieval villages you will encounter many churches, including the oldest in Manorola, whose cornerstone dates to 1060 AD.  When you are hungry, and perhaps tired from your wanderings, each of the villages has its share of cafes and restaurants. 
 
It will not surprise you that Ligurian fare is heavily oriented to sea food with pasta running a close second.  The the sauces, many of them based on basil, pine nuts and other local produce, are sensational.  If you are a lover of wines, then eat your meal with one of the delicious local wines.
 
The Cinque Terre is situated on an east-west axis, but still, there are stunning views across the water to the west where you will see blazing Mediterranean sunsets you will be unable to describe to your friends back home.
 
The Cinque Terre is the ultimate in the paradox which confronts the veteran and novice traveler alike: avoiding the most heavily touristed places means not seeing the places that are most heavily touristed because of their profoundly attractive virtues.  In the case of Cinque Terre - we suggest you submit yourself to the experience.
 
A Florentine jewel the Hotel Berchielli has been welcoming visitors since 1890. Timeless elegance and sophisticated surroundings enriched with stained glass windows, chrome and wrought iron works by local craftsman, fine marbles and stone along with breathtaking views over the river Arno, Ponte Vecchio and SS Apostoli all combined with modern comforts make the Berchielli an ideal place to stay.
 
Please contact us today by either phone or email for assistance with this booking.
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Price Per Person : EUR 1,534.00

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