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Cortona "Island in the Sky"
Treasures of Tuscany & Umbria Escorted travel in central Italy Cortona, Gaiole in Chianti, Pienza, Montalcino, Montepulciano, Siena & Assisi!
April 8-15, 2023 (Sat-Sat)
"Girasole" symbol of Tuscany
Join us for a wonderful week of discovery in Tuscany and Umbria!
The regions of Tuscany and Umbria are large, filled with many sites worthy of visits and we have selected some of the most notable to include in the Treasures of Tuscany itinerary. Each day offers the chance to visit, shop and explore new destinations. Lunches are independent, and we return to our home-base in Cortona to dine together in a variety of Cortona landmark restaurants and trattorias!! After dinner enjoy relaxing in one of the piazzas, or take in music, film or special events.
On the first day, arrival day, we meet at Florence airport at a designated meeting point and escort you to Cortona. We will travel through the mountains and rolling hills south to the agriculturally rich Val di Chiana and to your home-away from-home for the week...Cortona..."The City of Art".
The medieval hilltown of Cortona, featured in both the book and movie "Under the Tuscan Sun" serves as our base as we explore and engage the history & art, people & culture, foods & wines, and natural environment of Tuscany and Umbria. We will enjoy our second day getting to know the hilltown of Cortona - meeting locals and local artisans; exploring the various parts of the village; savoring the local cuisine and wine; visiting its churches and museums with impressive art and artifacts; as well as witnessing 4000 years of man's habitation of this area...from Etruscan tombs and sites to Roman, Medieval and Renaissance art and architecture!
Local Cortona Vineyards
Day three is a trip to the Chianti region of Tuscany! We will visit the wonderful town of Gaiole in Chianti and local wineries and shopping! Naturally, you will have the opportunity to taste the world-reknown Chianti style of wine!
Daily wine tasting
Day four is a wine tour dedicated to exploring part of Tuscany's more famous wines. The days visits include Montepulciano, world renown for its Vino Nobile, Montalcino, known for its prestigious Brunello and Pienza, known for its pecorino cheeses. Each stop will be an opportunity to learn about local wines and, naturally, taste them! Along the way a selection of simple local foods will be pared with the wines.
Day five and we are off to the Umbria hilltown of Assisi, the birthplace of Saint Francis of Assisi. We will take an engaging top-down walk through the upper village of Assisi with visits to the medieval castle Rocca Maggiore and the Cathedral of San Rufino. In the town center we can see the Temple of Minerva and visit the Basilica of San Francesco d'Assisi.
Day six is a trip to Siena! Siena's Piazza del Campo is surely one of the most beautiful of the Tuscan hilltowns. But Siena is more than its piazza! We will also visit the Palazzo Pubblico & Torre del Mangia, Siena's Duomo (Cathedral), the Baptistry & Crypt, and the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo with the fantastic overview of Siena from the end wall of the unfinished expansion of the cathedral. Guests may visit other sites/museums at additional cost.
On day seven, departure day, we assist you with return travel to Florence.
This tour, like all of our tours and programs, is designed to offer visitors an eventful week at a relaxed and reasonable pace. We understand that flexibility is important and offer our guests choice within the framework of the week's itinerary.This tour is designed for all levels of travel experience and is especially suited to those who prefer escorted travel, those who need assistance, and those making a first-time visit to Tuscany, Italy and Europe. We live here, we know the territory and look forward to sharing it with you and allowing you to create an experience to remember and enrich your life.
among the sights and sounds of beautiful and romantic Tuscany & Umbria: olive groves, vineyards, centuries-old buildings, winding streets, texture and vibrant sunlight.
in the warm ambiance of Cortona, overlooking Lake Trasimeno and the Val di Chiana, originally fortified by the Umbrians, claimed by the Etruscans, touched by the Renaissance, almost unchanged for centuries, one of Tuscany's jewels.
the joy of traveling and exploring in historic and inspiring settings and the camaraderie of a small group of fellow travellers.
great Italian food, delightful wines, new friends, breath-taking vistas, history and the hospitality of the people of Cortona and Tuscany.
Cortona city center, Tuscany
All-inclusive* plans include: Escorted group travel from Florence to Cortona and return** Seven nights three-star accommodations in historic Cortona Italian breakfast and dinner daily**** Daily wine tasting opportunities Day trips to Chianti, Assisi & Siena Full-day wine tour to Pienza, Montalcino & Montepulciano Entrance to selected museums and sites***** All programed transfers A farewell wine tasting dinner *Air travel is the responsibility of each participant. Florence (FLR) is the suggested arrival and departure airport in Italy. **Escorted Group Travel departs Florence's Amerigo Vespucci airport by shuttle on arrival day April 8, 2023 at approximately 11:30am only. Plan to arrive in the morning at Florence airport (by 10:00am) or at least one day earlier. Departure from Cortona is at 8:00am on departure day April 15, 2023. We suggest to not plan departing flights until after 12:00 noon. ****Italian breakfast and evening dinners included only. Lunches are not included. *****Entrance fees to museums and sites as described in the Itinerary above only.
Treasures of Tuscany & Umbria Escorted small-group visits to Tuscany
Itinerary Note: Itinerary subject to change
Day 1 – Arrival in Cortona -Escorted Group travel by train from Florence to Cortona -Arrival and Check-in in Cortona -Evening welcome to Cortona wine and chocolate reception -Evening dinner in Cortona Day 2 - Cortona -Morning visit to Le Celle, monastery founded by St. Francis in 1211 followed by an opportunity to view the villa "Bramasole" of the book and film "Under the Tuscan Sun". We then take a top-down walking tour of upper Cortona with visits to the Fortezza di Girifalco, Basilica of Santa Margherita (patron saint of Cortona), Porta Montanina & Etruscan walls, monasteries of Santa Chiara & S.S. Trinitá, churches of San Niccoló and San Francesco (with items of St. Francis) -Independent lunch in Cortona (not included) -Afternoon visit to Cortona’s Cathedral (main church) and the Diocesan Museum (featuring an Annunciation by Beato Angelico (1400-1455) as well as 14th and 15th-century Italian paintings), followed by a short walk to view the oval church of San Benedetto and the medieval street Via Jannelli. -Free time -Evening wine followed by dinner in Cortona Day 3 - Chianti -Day trip to Giole in Chianti fo rvisit and shopping/.wine tasting! -Independent lunch in Cortona (not included) -Free afternoon -Evening wine followed by dinner in Cortona
"Le Celle" founded by St Francis
Cortona's Etruscan Museum
Day 4 - Montalcino, Pienza & Montepulciano -Visits to Montepulciano (home of Vino Nobile), Lucignano & Montalcino (home of Brunello), & Pienza (home of Percorino cheese). -Light lunch included. -Evening wine followed by dinner in Cortona
Day 5 - Assisi –World Heritage Site -Top-down walk of Assisi with visit to the medieval castle Rocca Maggiore, Cathedral of San Rufino, Temple of Minerva and the Basilica of San Francesco d'Assisi. -Independent lunch (not included) -Evening wine followed by dinner in Cortona Day 6 - Siena -Walking tour with visits to Piazza del Campo, Palazzo Pubblico & Torre del Mangia, Siena's Duomo (Cathedral), the Baptistry & Crypt, and the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo. -Independent lunch (not included) -Evening wine tasting dinner in Cortona
Day 7 – Departure from Cortona -Morning Check-out -7:40am departure from Cortona and return to Florence
NOTE: With advance notice we can happily substitute day trip destinations on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday to include other, different locations. We can also plan day visits to Orvieto; Lake Trasimeno including Passignano sul Trasimeno, Isola Maggiore & Castiglion del Lago; or an Outlet shopping day