Discover Tuscany's culinary, cultural and scenic highlights on this leisurely-paced tour that focuses on the region's food and wine. Explore key sights, from medieval walled cities to beautiful coastal villages, and draw inspiration from Italy's 'Slow Food' movement by taking the time to savour fresh flavours as you immerse yourself in the region’s gastronomy with a cooking class and several food and wine tastings.

• San Lorenzo a Vaccoli, Province of Lucca: 7 nights

Escorted Small Group Tour
NATURE
CULTURE
ACTIVE

Discover Tuscany's culinary, cultural and scenic highlights on this leisurely-paced tour that focuses on the region's food and wine. Explore key sights, from medieval walled cities to beautiful coastal villages, and draw inspiration from Italy's 'Slow Food' movement by taking the time to savour fresh flavours as you immerse yourself in the region’s gastronomy with a cooking class and several food and wine tastings.

• San Lorenzo a Vaccoli, Province of Lucca: 7 nights

7nights Escorted Small Group Tour
NATURE
CULTURE
ACTIVE
 
 
ITINERARY

Day 1: UK to Pisa & San Lorenzo a Vaccoli Depart from the UK on your flight to Pisa. Explore the city's beautiful square, the UNESCO-listed Piazzi dei Miracoli, which houses a group of impressive monuments. These four masterpieces of medieval architecture consist of the cathedral, the baptistery, the cemetery and the iconic 'Leaning Tower'. Soak up the rural scenery as you pass vineyards, farmhouses and small villages on the way to your hotel which has a peaceful rural setting in a small hamlet. Enjoy your first experience of authentic Tuscan dining this evening in your hotel. Stay: Albergo Villa Marta. D.

Day 2: San Gimignano This morning you will visit the picturesque medieval hilltop town of San Gimignano which is dominated by 13 square towers – its distinctive skyline can be admired from miles around. Spend time wandering around the main lanes and winding alleys of this charming town which is rich in works of art, historic piazzas, beautiful medieval buildings, and fine shops and restaurants. Follow in the footsteps of 16th-Century pilgrims at the Ancient Herb Pharmacy and Herbarium of Santa Fina. This former apothecary helped to heal pilgrims on their way to Rome with its medicinal herbs. Breathe in the aromatic scents of the herbs and spices as you stroll through the fragrant garden.

Continue the sensory theme with an excellent food and wine experience at an organic farmhouse. Enjoy local delicacies, taste flavoured olive oils and delicious local wines such as Vernaccia – a dry white wine with aromas and flavours of citrus, peach and almond. This afternoon, visit the tiny fortified village of Monteriggioni. This quintessential medieval hilltop village has retained many of its original 13th-century architectural features and is home to a striking 13th-Century castle. Enjoy dinner at your hotel. Stay: Albergo Villa Marta. B, D.

Day 3: Lucca
Begin the day in the wine-producing community of Montecarlo, a pretty hilltop village surrounded by vineyards and olive groves. Stroll around the village and visit a local winemaking estate to learn about the farm and vineyard before tasting some local wines, extra virgin olive oils and traditional recipes. Enjoy lunch at the estate before spending the afternoon in Lucca, a small medieval city surrounded by Renaissance walls. Soak up the history and beauty of this charming 'city of 100 churches' during a guided tour. Wander along the narrow lanes that lead to charming squares, Romanesque churches and traditional cafés. Walk along the tree-lined avenue that's set above the city's imposing walls and head to the centre of the town to discover its unique historical treasures.

Learn about Lucca's successful silk trade during the Middle Ages and take the time to enjoy some local flavours. Typical traditional dishes include Garmugia, a soup made with bacon, onions, peas, artichokes, asparagus and fresh beans, and Bucellato, sweet bread made with aniseed and sultanas. Enjoy some free time here before returning to your hotel. Stay: Albergo Villa Marta. B, D.

Day 4: La Spezia Today, discover neighbouring Liguria's stunning coastline with a visit to The Gulf of Poets, also known as the Bay of La Spezia, which stretches between the picturesque villages of Portovenere and Lerici. This spectacular coastline has attracted writers such as Shelley and Byron with its natural beauty and pastel-coloured houses, and the clifftop Castle of Lerici is believed to have inspired Mary Shelley's gothic horror novel, Frankenstein.

Stroll around the town of La Spezia and visit a local market, stopping to enjoy a taste of farinata – a Ligurian chickpea flan. Take the ferry over to the picturesque UNESCO-listed village of Portovenere which is famous for its colourful tower houses and the 12th-Century St Peter's Church that is perched on a rocky promontory with incredible views over the bay. Enjoy some local specialities with a meal at a typical trattoria. Return to La Spezia by boat and journey by road back to your hotel for dinner. Stay: Albergo Villa Marta. B, D.

Day 5: San Lorenzo a Vaccoli This morning is at leisure so you could relax at the hotel and enjoy the tranquil setting and the breathtaking views over the valley. Take a dip in the pool, treat yourself to a nourishing olive oil massage in the peaceful garden, or hire a bike and explore the countryside. This afternoon's special gastronomic experience is a cooking lesson with the hotel's chef. Try your hand at a typical Tuscan dish enhanced by fresh and tasty Mediterranean flavours with seasonal vegetables and herbs. Sit down to enjoy your creation. Stay: Albergo Villa Marta. B, D.

Day 6: Florence A trip to Tuscany wouldn't be complete without a visit to Florence, the region's enchanting capital and the cradle of the Renaissance. This full-day excursion takes you to the main attractions as well as some lesser-known gems. Admire the striking cathedral, or Duomo, Brunelleschi’s iconic dome which dominates the city's skyline, and Piazza della Signoria – arguably Florence's most beautiful square, which is dotted with magnificent statues including Michelangelo's marble masterpiece, David.

Stroll along the narrow medieval streets and discover some of Dante's favourite places, which often featured in his great works such as The Divine Comedy. Dante is considered the father of modern Italian language and you will learn about the fascinating origin of some of the city's more unusual street names. Stop for lunch at the Mercato Centrale, the city's central market. The bustling stalls sell freshly baked bread, meat, seafood, fruit and vegetables, while specialty artisan shops offer local olive oils, meats and cheeses. Watch locals bartering with the stall holders and enjoy the mix of aromas as you stroll around the colourful stalls, learning about some traditional Tuscan recipes. Visit one of the small shops for a tasting of some unconventional flavour combinations.

The afternoon is at leisure so you could explore some more of the city's famous artistic and historic treasures. Discover masterpieces by the likes of Leonardo da Vinci and Botticelli at the world-famous Uffizi Gallery, cross the iconic 14th-Century Ponte Vecchio bridge, or stroll through the beautiful Boboli Gardens and discover more works of art at the 15th-Century Pitti Palace. Enjoy a final panoramic view of the River Arno and Florence’s striking red rooftops from the Piazza Michelangelo before returning to your hotel for dinner. Stay: Albergo Villa Marta. B, D.

Day 7: Pietrasanta Enjoy a relaxing morning at leisure. You could arrange a shuttle (extra cost) to Lucca and spend the morning wandering the evocative streets, perhaps stopping to visit Puccini's childhood home or climbing the Torre Guinigi – a 45-metre-tall tower crowned by oak trees – to enjoy magnificent panoramic views over the city’s red rooftops to the misty Apuan Alps beyond.

This afternoon is a real treat for art lovers as you'll visit the charming medieval town of Pietrasanta which is renowned for its marble and bronze workshops. Set at the foot of the Apuan Alps, the town was home to Michelangelo in the 15th Century and its quarries provided him with high quality marble for his sculptures. Dubbed 'Little Athens' due to the number of international artists that establish themselves here, this unique town offers you the chance to see art in its purest form and as you explore the historic streets and piazza you feel as though you're walking through an open-air art studio – sculptures and works of art are scattered all around.

Visit a marble workshop for the chance to watch master craftsmen at work as they chisel, chip and polish remarkable sculptures. You will also have the chance to explore the town's galleries, exhibitions, handicraft shops and boutiques before dining at a local trattoria. Stay: Albergo Villa Marta. B, D.


Day 8: San Lorenzo a Vaccoli
Transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK. B.


Stay longer

Florence 3 nights
Soak up the incredible culture, history and art in this beautiful city.

Lucca 7 nights
Spend more time in the charming medieval city of Lucca.

Day 1: UK to Pisa & San Lorenzo a Vaccoli Depart from the UK on your flight to Pisa. Explore the city's beautiful square, the UNESCO-listed Piazzi dei Miracoli, which houses a group of impressive monuments. These four masterpieces of medieval architecture consist of the cathedral, the baptistery, the cemetery and the iconic 'Leaning Tower'. Soak up the rural scenery as you pass vineyards, farmhouses and small villages on the way to your hotel which has a peaceful rural setting in a small hamlet. Enjoy your first experience of authentic Tuscan dining this evening in your hotel. Stay: Albergo Villa Marta. D.

Day 2: San Gimignano This morning you will visit the picturesque medieval hilltop town of San Gimignano which is dominated by 13 square towers – its distinctive skyline can be admired from miles around. Spend time wandering around the main lanes and winding alleys of this charming town which is rich in works of art, historic piazzas, beautiful medieval buildings, and fine shops and restaurants. Follow in the footsteps of 16th-Century pilgrims at the Ancient Herb Pharmacy and Herbarium of Santa Fina. This former apothecary helped to heal pilgrims on their way to Rome with its medicinal herbs. Breathe in the aromatic scents of the herbs and spices as you stroll through the fragrant garden.

Continue the sensory theme with an excellent food and wine experience at an organic farmhouse. Enjoy local delicacies, taste flavoured olive oils and delicious local wines such as Vernaccia – a dry white wine with aromas and flavours of citrus, peach and almond. This afternoon, visit the tiny fortified village of Monteriggioni. This quintessential medieval hilltop village has retained many of its original 13th-century architectural features and is home to a striking 13th-Century castle. Enjoy dinner at your hotel. Stay: Albergo Villa Marta. B, D.

Day 3: Lucca
Begin the day in the wine-producing community of Montecarlo, a pretty hilltop village surrounded by vineyards and olive groves. Stroll around the village and visit a local winemaking estate to learn about the farm and vineyard before tasting some local wines, extra virgin olive oils and traditional recipes. Enjoy lunch at the estate before spending the afternoon in Lucca, a small medieval city surrounded by Renaissance walls. Soak up the history and beauty of this charming 'city of 100 churches' during a guided tour. Wander along the narrow lanes that lead to charming squares, Romanesque churches and traditional cafés. Walk along the tree-lined avenue that's set above the city's imposing walls and head to the centre of the town to discover its unique historical treasures.

Learn about Lucca's successful silk trade during the Middle Ages and take the time to enjoy some local flavours. Typical traditional dishes include Garmugia, a soup made with bacon, onions, peas, artichokes, asparagus and fresh beans, and Bucellato, sweet bread made with aniseed and sultanas. Enjoy some free time here before returning to your hotel. Stay: Albergo Villa Marta. B, D.

Day 4: La Spezia Today, discover neighbouring Liguria's stunning coastline with a visit to The Gulf of Poets, also known as the Bay of La Spezia, which stretches between the picturesque villages of Portovenere and Lerici. This spectacular coastline has attracted writers such as Shelley and Byron with its natural beauty and pastel-coloured houses, and the clifftop Castle of Lerici is believed to have inspired Mary Shelley's gothic horror novel, Frankenstein.

Stroll around the town of La Spezia and visit a local market, stopping to enjoy a taste of farinata – a Ligurian chickpea flan. Take the ferry over to the picturesque UNESCO-listed village of Portovenere which is famous for its colourful tower houses and the 12th-Century St Peter's Church that is perched on a rocky promontory with incredible views over the bay. Enjoy some local specialities with a meal at a typical trattoria. Return to La Spezia by boat and journey by road back to your hotel for dinner. Stay: Albergo Villa Marta. B, D.

Day 5: San Lorenzo a Vaccoli This morning is at leisure so you could relax at the hotel and enjoy the tranquil setting and the breathtaking views over the valley. Take a dip in the pool, treat yourself to a nourishing olive oil massage in the peaceful garden, or hire a bike and explore the countryside. This afternoon's special gastronomic experience is a cooking lesson with the hotel's chef. Try your hand at a typical Tuscan dish enhanced by fresh and tasty Mediterranean flavours with seasonal vegetables and herbs. Sit down to enjoy your creation. Stay: Albergo Villa Marta. B, D.

Day 6: Florence A trip to Tuscany wouldn't be complete without a visit to Florence, the region's enchanting capital and the cradle of the Renaissance. This full-day excursion takes you to the main attractions as well as some lesser-known gems. Admire the striking cathedral, or Duomo, Brunelleschi’s iconic dome which dominates the city's skyline, and Piazza della Signoria – arguably Florence's most beautiful square, which is dotted with magnificent statues including Michelangelo's marble masterpiece, David.

Stroll along the narrow medieval streets and discover some of Dante's favourite places, which often featured in his great works such as The Divine Comedy. Dante is considered the father of modern Italian language and you will learn about the fascinating origin of some of the city's more unusual street names. Stop for lunch at the Mercato Centrale, the city's central market. The bustling stalls sell freshly baked bread, meat, seafood, fruit and vegetables, while specialty artisan shops offer local olive oils, meats and cheeses. Watch locals bartering with the stall holders and enjoy the mix of aromas as you stroll around the colourful stalls, learning about some traditional Tuscan recipes. Visit one of the small shops for a tasting of some unconventional flavour combinations.

The afternoon is at leisure so you could explore some more of the city's famous artistic and historic treasures. Discover masterpieces by the likes of Leonardo da Vinci and Botticelli at the world-famous Uffizi Gallery, cross the iconic 14th-Century Ponte Vecchio bridge, or stroll through the beautiful Boboli Gardens and discover more works of art at the 15th-Century Pitti Palace. Enjoy a final panoramic view of the River Arno and Florence’s striking red rooftops from the Piazza Michelangelo before returning to your hotel for dinner. Stay: Albergo Villa Marta. B, D.

Day 7: Pietrasanta Enjoy a relaxing morning at leisure. You could arrange a shuttle (extra cost) to Lucca and spend the morning wandering the evocative streets, perhaps stopping to visit Puccini's childhood home or climbing the Torre Guinigi – a 45-metre-tall tower crowned by oak trees – to enjoy magnificent panoramic views over the city’s red rooftops to the misty Apuan Alps beyond.

This afternoon is a real treat for art lovers as you'll visit the charming medieval town of Pietrasanta which is renowned for its marble and bronze workshops. Set at the foot of the Apuan Alps, the town was home to Michelangelo in the 15th Century and its quarries provided him with high quality marble for his sculptures. Dubbed 'Little Athens' due to the number of international artists that establish themselves here, this unique town offers you the chance to see art in its purest form and as you explore the historic streets and piazza you feel as though you're walking through an open-air art studio – sculptures and works of art are scattered all around.

Visit a marble workshop for the chance to watch master craftsmen at work as they chisel, chip and polish remarkable sculptures. You will also have the chance to explore the town's galleries, exhibitions, handicraft shops and boutiques before dining at a local trattoria. Stay: Albergo Villa Marta. B, D.


Day 8: San Lorenzo a Vaccoli
Transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK. B.


Stay longer

Florence 3 nights
Soak up the incredible culture, history and art in this beautiful city.

Lucca 7 nights
Spend more time in the charming medieval city of Lucca.

ABOUT THIS TOUR

Is this for you?

Great for foodies and wine buffs who are looking for a relaxed pace and prefer to have a base for the whole week. There's plenty of time at leisure and a great mix of culture, sightseeing and local food and wine experiences.

Good to know

• All departure dates are guaranteed
• For guests over 16 (unless travelling on a private journey)
• Average group size of 6 guests
• A maximum of 12 guests

What to expect

• A number of local culinary experiences
• Plenty of sightseeing at a leisurely pace with short transfer times and no early mornings or late nights
• Stay in just one place and explore the region without moving around each night
• A relaxed and intimate group environment
• Stay in traditional Tuscan hotel in a tranquil, rural setting

Accommodation on tour

We’ve selected a charming traditional-style hotel at the foot of the Monti Pisani hills. Surrounded by countryside, Albergo Villa Marta is a 19th Century former hunting lodge that offers a tranquil base for exploration of Tuscany and it’s just a ten-minute drive from Lucca and 20 minutes from Pisa. The cosy restaurant serves traditional Tuscan cuisine and the pool is tucked away in a pretty Renaissance garden.

Single travellers

Single room supplement from £835

Is this for you?

Great for foodies and wine buffs who are looking for a relaxed pace and prefer to have a base for the whole week. There's plenty of time at leisure and a great mix of culture, sightseeing and local food and wine experiences.

Good to know

• All departure dates are guaranteed
• For guests over 16 (unless travelling on a private journey)
• Average group size of 6 guests
• A maximum of 12 guests

What to expect

• A number of local culinary experiences
• Plenty of sightseeing at a leisurely pace with short transfer times and no early mornings or late nights
• Stay in just one place and explore the region without moving around each night
• A relaxed and intimate group environment
• Stay in traditional Tuscan hotel in a tranquil, rural setting

Accommodation on tour

We’ve selected a charming traditional-style hotel at the foot of the Monti Pisani hills. Surrounded by countryside, Albergo Villa Marta is a 19th Century former hunting lodge that offers a tranquil base for exploration of Tuscany and it’s just a ten-minute drive from Lucca and 20 minutes from Pisa. The cosy restaurant serves traditional Tuscan cuisine and the pool is tucked away in a pretty Renaissance garden.

Single travellers

Single room supplement from £835

DATES AND INCLUSIONS

Tour dates

2017
Oct 14

Included in price

• Quality accommodation
• Insightful local tour leaders
• Hand-picked itineraries
• Flexible arrival times
• Small groups
• Porterage and guide tips
• Meals where most convenient (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner), or the freedom to explore local restaurants independently
• All specified flights.

Upgrade your tour

Private tour Upgrade to a private tour with a local tour leader on the same itinerary, departing on the date of your choice from £1260 per person

Tour dates

2018
Apr 28; May 19; Jun 16; Jul 28; Aug 18; Sep 22; Oct 13

Included in price

• Quality accommodation
• Insightful local tour leaders
• Hand-picked itineraries
• Flexible arrival times
• Small groups
• Porterage and guide tips
• Meals where most convenient (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner), or the freedom to explore local restaurants independently
• All specified flights.

Upgrade your tour

Private tour Upgrade to a private tour with a local tour leader on the same itinerary, departing on the date of your choice from £1260 per person

Why Kuoni?

Tuscany's gastronomic delights provide the focus on this tour and we've included culinary tastings and experiences that can't be booked independently. The relaxed pace and small group setting help to create an intimate yet sociable setting for these special experiences. You can look forward to daily sightseeing, including a full day in Florence, and you'll only need to unpack once as we've selected a charming hotel to be your base for the whole week.

Why Kuoni?

Tuscany's gastronomic delights provide the focus on this tour and we've included culinary tastings and experiences that can't be booked independently. The relaxed pace and small group setting help to create an intimate yet sociable setting for these special experiences. You can look forward to daily sightseeing, including a full day in Florence, and you'll only need to unpack once as we've selected a charming hotel to be your base for the whole week.