Experience the culinary, cultural and scenic highlights of Tuscany on this leisurely-paced tour that explores the region. Discover key sights, from medieval walled cities to secluded hilltop towns, 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 and wine production.

• Montaione: 4 nights

• Pietrasanta: 3 nights

7nights Escorted Small Group Tour

Experience the culinary, cultural and scenic highlights of Tuscany on this small group tour that explores the region. Discover key sights, from medieval walled cities to secluded hilltop towns, 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 and wine production.

• Montaione: 4 nights

• Pietrasanta: 3 nights

7nights Escorted Small Group Tour
 
 
ITINERARY

Day 1: UK to Montaione Depart the UK on your flight to Pisa. On arrival, transfer to the medieval village of Montaione, a charming borgho hidden in the Tuscan hills. Voted as one of the most beautiful ancient villages in Italy, Montaione is a real treat with its narrow alleys, proud locals and incredible rolling hilltop views. Check into your hotel where you'll be able to relax at leisure this afternoon. A former 16th-Century noble palace, this historic hotel is full of character, combining classic Italian charm with modern comforts. This evening meet your group and local guide at a welcome dinner in the hotel's restaurant. Once the original palazzo stables, dine under vaulted ceilings and arches as you enjoy your first experience of traditional Tuscan fare. Stay: UNAHOTELS Palazzo Mannaioni Toscana. D.

Day 2: Florence A trip to Tuscany wouldn't be complete without a visit to Florence, the region's enchanting capital. On a guided walking tour of the city, admire 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 David, Michelangelo's marble masterpiece. Stroll along 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 language and you will learn about the origin of some of the city's more unusual street names. Enjoy lunch at leisure and some free time to explore before returning to your hotel. With just one restaurant in Montaione, tonight you'll experience the delicious food of the village pizzeria. Stay: UNAHOTELS Palazzo Mannaioni Toscana. B, D.

Day 3: Volterra & San Gimignano This morning head to the historic walled town of Volterra for a guided tour. A medieval jewel that dominates the Cecina Valley, discover the town's original architectural features, which stem from the ancient Etruscan civilization, as you wander the narrow streets. Admire the famous Etruscan Gate and head to an alabaster workshop to learn the centuries-old traditions to alabaster carving. Continue towards the picturesque medieval hilltop town of San Gimignano, stopping at a local farmhouse for a light lunch of cold meats and local delicacies. Dominated by 14 square towers, San Gimignano's distinctive skyline can be admired from miles around. Spend some time this afternoon 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. Tonight, enjoy dinner at a local trattoria in Montaione. Stay: UNAHOTELS Palazzo Mannaioni Toscana. B, L, D.

Day 4: Siena & Chianti Begin your day with a guided tour of Siena, one of Tuscany's best-preserved medieval cities. Filled with fantastic Gothic architecture, discover the jaw-dropping marble Duomo and visit the historic scallop-shaped square of Piazza del Campo, the site of the famous Palio. Decide where you want to eat lunch before rejoining the group to continue to Chianti. A region made famous by the wine of the same name, this afternoon you'll head to a local farmhouse where you'll enjoy a guided tour of the wine cellars and a spot of wine tasting. Tonight, you'll eat in the hotel's private wine cellar, a fantastic dining experience that's exclusive to the group. Stay: UNAHOTELS Palazzo Mannaioni Toscana. B, D.


Day 5: Lucca & Montecarlo
Check out of the hotel and transfer to 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 walking tour. Wander along the narrow lanes and walk along the tree-lined avenue that's set above the city's imposing walls. Head to the centre of the town to discover its historical treasures and take the time to enjoy some local flavours. Have a light tasting lunch in a local deli before heading to the wine-producing community of Montecarlo, a quaint hilltop village surrounded by vineyards and olive groves. Enjoy a leisurely stroll around this delightful borgho and join a wine tasting session at a nearby wine estate. Continue on towards Pietrasanta to check into your next hotel. An 18th-Century boutique hotel with individually styled rooms and original frescoes on the ceilings, settle into your room before heading out for dinner at a local restaurant. Stay: Albergo Pietrasanta. B, L, D.

Day 6: Pietrasanta Spend the morning exploring the famous marble quarries of Carrara. On a shared 4x4 Jeep Defender tour, you'll take a fascinating ride through these incredible snow-white marble cliffs, which have long been a favourite with sculptors – these include Michelangelo, who used the marble for his sculptures in the 15th Century. At the end of the tour you'll have the chance to try the local delicacy of lardo – a salami typical of the region and the chosen food of the old quarrymen who worked here. Head back to the medieval town of Pietrasanta, renowned for its marble and bronze workshops. Set at the foot of the Apuan Alps, this town is dubbed 'Little Athens' due to the number of artists that establish themselves here. Offering you the chance to see art in its purest form, join a relaxed walking tour exploring this unique town; as you wander the historic streets, you'll 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 as they chisel, chip and polish sculptures, and explore the town's galleries, handicraft shops and boutiques. This evening is free for you to spend at leisure – relax at the hotel or head out to one of the town's delicious restaurants. Stay: Albergo Pietrasanta. B.

Day 7: The Gulf of Poets Today you'll discover neighbouring Liguria's stunning coastline with a visit to The Gulf of Poets. Also known as the Bay of La Spezia, the gulf 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. Spend some time exploring the harbourside town of Lerici before taking the ferry over to the picturesque UNESCO-listed village of Portovenere. Famous for its colourful tower houses, it's also home to the 12th-Century St Peter's Church that's perched on a rocky promontory with incredible views over the bay. Stop for lunch at a simple yet tasty trattoria before returning to Lerici by boat. Journey back to your hotel by bus, where tonight you'll enjoy your final dinner at a restaurant in Pietrasanta. Stay: Albergo Pietrasanta. B, L, D.


Day 8: Pisa
This morning you'll have the chance to explore the beautiful UNESCO-listed Piazza dei Miracoli in Pisa, which houses four masterpieces of medieval architecture – the cathedral, the baptistery, the cemetery and the iconic 'Leaning Tower, before transferring to the airport for your return flight to the UK. B.


Stay longer

Rome by train 3 nights
Journey by train to Rome and spend some time soaking up the incredible history and culture of Italy's fascinating capital.

Day 1: UK to Montaione Depart the UK on your flight to Pisa. On arrival, transfer to the village of Montaione, a medieval borgho hidden in the Tuscan hills. One of the most beautiful ancient villages in Italy, Montaione charms with its narrow alleys, proud locals and incredible rolling hilltop views. Check into your hotel where you’ll have time to relax at leisure this afternoon. A former 16th-Century noble palace, this hotel is full of character combining classic Italian charm with contemporary touches. Tonight, meet your group and guide at a welcome dinner in the hotel’s restaurant. Once the palazzo stables, you’ll dine beneath original vaulted ceilings as you enjoy your first experience of traditional Tuscan fare. Stay: UNAHOTELS Palazzo Mannaioni Toscana. D.

Day 2: Florence
Today head to Florence, the region’s enchanting capital. Join a guided walking tour of the city and admire Brunelleschi’s iconic dome which dominates the city’s skyline. Later, visit Piazza della Signoria – arguably Florence’s most beautiful square with its magnificent statues that include David, Michelangelo’s marble masterpiece. Stroll along 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 language and you will learn about the origin of some of the city’s more unusual street names. Enjoy lunch at leisure and some free time to explore before returning to your hotel. Tonight, you’ll experience the delicious flavours of the local pizzeria. Stay: UNAHOTELS Palazzo Mannaioni Toscana. B, D.

Day 3: Volterra & San Gimignano
This morning head to the historic walled town of Volterra. A medieval jewel that dominates the Cecina Valley, join a guided tour and discover the town’s original features as you wander its narrow streets. Admire the famous Etruscan Gate and head to an alabaster workshop to learn the centuries-old traditions to alabaster carving. Continue towards the picturesque hilltop town of San Gimignano, stopping on the way at a local farmhouse for a light lunch of cold meats and local delicacies. Dominated by 14 square towers, San Gimignano’s distinctive skyline can be admired from miles around. Spend some time this afternoon wandering around the main lanes and alleys of the town, which is rich in works of art, historic piazzas, beautiful buildings and fine shops and restaurants. Tonight, enjoy dinner at a local trattoria in Montaione. Stay: UNAHOTELS Palazzo Mannaioni Toscana. B, L, D.

Day 4: Siena & Chianti Today begins with a guided tour of Siena, one of Tuscany’s best-preserved cities. Home to fantastic Gothic architecture, discover the stunning marble Duomo and visit the historic scallop-shaped square of Piazza del Campo, the site of the city’s famous Palio. Decide where to eat lunch before rejoining the group to continue to Chianti, a region made famous by the wine of the same name. This afternoon visit a local farmhouse to enjoy a guided tour of the wine cellars and a spot of wine tasting. This evening, the group will dine exclusively in the hotel’s private wine cellar. Stay: UNAHOTELS Palazzo Mannaioni Toscana. B, D.

Day 5: Lucca & Montecarlo
Check out of the hotel and transfer to Lucca, a small  city surrounded by Renaissance walls. Soak up the history of this charming ‘city of 100 churches’ during a guided walking tour. Wander through the narrow lanes and head to the centre of the old town to discover its historical treasures. Have a light tasting lunch in a local deli before heading to the wine-producing community of Montecarlo; a quaint hilltop village surrounded by vineyards and olive groves. Enjoy a leisurely stroll around this delightful borgho and join a wine tasting session at a nearby wine estate. Carry on towards Pietrasanta where you’ll check into your next hotel – a luxury retreat and former 18th-Century palace that sits in the centre of town. Enjoy some time to settle in before heading out for dinner at a local restaurant. Stay: Albergo Pietrasanta. B, L, D.

Day 6: Pietrasanta Spend this morning exploring the famous marble quarries of Carrara. Join a shared 4x4 Jeep Defender tour and take a fascinating ride through the incredible snow-white marble cliffs. A long-time favourite for sculptors, even Michelangelo once used this marble for his sculptures back in the 15th Century. Finish the tour with a taste of the local delicacy ‘lardo’ – a salami typical of the region and the chosen food of the old quarrymen who once worked here. Head back to the town of Pietrasanta, renowned for its marble and bronze workshops. Found at the foot of the Apuan Alps, this medieval town is dubbed ‘Little Athens’ due to the number of artists who establish themselves here. Giving you the chance to see art in its purest form, join a walking tour to explore the historic streets. You’ll 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 to watch the craftsmen chisel, chip and polish their sculptures, and explore the town’s galleries, handicraft shops and boutiques. This evening is free for you to spend at leisure – perhaps relax at the hotel or head out to explore one of the town’s delicious restaurants. Stay: Albergo Pietrasanta. B.

Day 7: The Gulf of Poets
Discover neighbouring Liguria’s beautiful coastline on a visit to The Gulf of Poets. Also known as the Bay of La Spezia, the gulf stretches between the picturesque villages of Portovenere and Lerici. With its natural beauty and pastel-coloured houses, this coastline has attracted writers like Shelley and Byron to come and visit; the clifftop Castle of Lerici is even believed to have inspired Mary Shelley’s gothic horror novel, Frankenstein. Spend some time exploring the harbourside town of Lerici before taking the ferry over to the picturesque UNESCO-listed village of Portovenere. Famous for its colourful tower houses, the village is also home to the 12th-Century St Peter’s Church that’s perched on a rocky promontory with incredible views over the bay. Stop for lunch at a simple trattoria before returning to Lerici by boat. Journey back to your hotel by bus, where tonight you’ll enjoy your final dinner at a restaurant in Pietrasanta. Stay: Albergo Pietrasanta. B, L, D.

Day 8: Pisa
This morning, explore the beautiful UNESCO-listed Piazza dei Miracoli in Pisa, which houses four masterpieces of medieval architecture – the cathedral, the baptistery, the cemetery and the iconic ‘Leaning Tower’. After a brief wander around, continue to the airport for your return flight to the UK. B.


Stay longer

Rome by train 3 nights
Journey by train to Rome and spend some time soaking up the incredible history and culture of Italy's fascinating capital.

ABOUT THIS TOUR

Is this for you?

Great for foodies, wine and culture buffs looking for a relaxed pace exploring beautiful Tuscany. There's a great mix of culture, sightseeing and local food and wine experiences.

Good to know

• For guests over 16
• Average group size of 10 guests
• A maximum of 14 guests
• Tips are not included (guide and driver tips to be paid locally)
• On the 4x4 Jeep tour, please expect the terrain to be steep and sometimes bumpy

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 two places and explore the region without moving around each night
• A relaxed and intimate group environment

Accommodation on tour

We’ve selected two charming hotels to be your base during this escorted exploration of Tuscany. UNAHOTELS Palazzo Mannaioni Toscana is a charismatic hotel in Montaione. Set in the village overlooking stunning views of the surrounding hills, this former 16th-Century palace is a classic-style hotel that's just an hour's drive from the popular cities of Florence, Siena and Pisa. In the centre of Pietrasanta just steps from Piazza del Duomo, Albergo Pietrasanta is a prestigious former palace and a Small Luxury Hotel of the World.

Single travellers

Single room supplement from £770

Is this for you?

Perfect if you’re looking to explore beautiful Tuscany, with a good mix of history, sightseeing and local food and wine experiences.

Good to know

• For guests over 16 (including on a private journey, where the minimum age is 16)
• Average group size of 10 guests
• A maximum of 14 guests
• Tips are not included (guide and driver tips to be paid locally)
• Journey time do not take into account stops or local traffic conditions

• We recommend travelling with no more than one suitcase and one day bag

What to expect

• A number of local culinary experiences
• Plenty of sightseeing and walking tours, with short transfer times and no early mornings or late nights
• Stay in just two places and explore the region without having to unpack each night
• A relaxed and intimate group environment

• On the 4x4 Jeep tour, please expect the terrain to be steep and sometimes bumpy

• Expect beautiful Italian food that can be different to what you're used to; traditional Tuscan fare is much simpler and uses ingredients that are mostly found in the local countryside

• Please expect a short walk to your hotels as the transport cannot stop directly outside.

Accommodation on tour

We’ve chosen just two hotels to be your base on the tour. UNAHOTELS Palazzo Mannaioni Toscana is a charming retreat in the medieval village of Montaione. This former 16th-Century palace has a pool and is just an hour’s drive from the cities of Florence, Pisa and Siena. The Albergo Pietrasanta sits in the centre of town and is a former 17th-Century palace. Throughout the hotel you’ll see a superb collection of original 20th-Century art.

Single travellers

Sole-use room from £3323

DATES AND INCLUSIONS

Tour dates

2019 Sep 21; Oct 12

Included in price

• Quality accommodation
• Insightful local tour leaders
• Hand-picked itineraries
• Flexible arrival times
• Small groups
• Porterage
• 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 for a supplement from £1793 per person

Tour dates

2020 Apr 18; May 16; Jun 13; Jul 11; Aug 15; Sep 19; Oct 10

Included in price

• Quality accommodation
• Insightful local tour leaders
• Hand-picked itineraries
• Flexible arrival times
• Small groups
• Porterage
• Meals where most convenient (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
• 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 £4610 per person.

Kuoni highlights

Tuscany's art, architecture and 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 and you'll only need to unpack twice as we've selected just two charming hotels to be your base for the week.

Kuoni highlights

Tuscany’s art, architecture and gastronomic delights provide the focus on this tour and we’ve included wine tastings and culinary experiences that can’t be booked independently. Highlights include a visit into Florence, a Jeep tour through Carrara’s marble quarries and a ferry over to the UNESCO-listed village of Portovenere. You can look forward to unpacking just twice too, as we’ve selected two hotels to be your base for the week.