LA DOLCE VITA. TOSCANA & WINE TASTING.

Possibly the greatest repository of art in the world, from extraordinary paintings and sculpture to frescoes and architectural masterpieces, Tuscany has a thousand and one things tucked away for you to discover. Many visitors come in search of fine art, others to explore the extraordinary countryside. Gourmets and wine buffs descend on Tuscany to enjoy the simple yet wonderful cuisine and wine. Walkers enjoy the mountain paths, cyclists the rolling hills, summer vacationers the seacoast and islands.

With so much to do and see, the difficulty is really where to start. Can we suggest Florence as a starting point, then continue on to Siena and Pisa. Stop in Sienna to visit the beautiful Gothic cathedral in Piazza del Duomo and admire the works of Pisano, Donatello and Michelangelo, as well as frescoes by Pinturicchio. From there the roll call of città di arte is daunting: Arezzo, Cortona, San Gimignano and Lucca are all striking. The more you come to know the region, the more you want to explore the rest.

ACCOMMODATION IN TUSCANY
Hotel Il Salviatino (Florence), Hotel Regency (Florence), Bagni di Pisa Palace & Spa (Pisa), Castello del Nero Hotel & Spa (Strada Spicciano 7, Florence), Hotel Villa San Michele (Via Doccia, Fiesole, Florence), Villa La Massa (Via Della Massa, 24, Florence-Candeli).

DINING WITH THE STARS

We know a place near Florence, once an ancient monastery designed by Michelangelo and now transformed into a hotel of staggering beauty, called Villa San Michele. It offers lovers of fine cuisine the best treat ever with an exciting culinary tour like no other, with five gastronomic weekends throughout 2012 in the Italian Orient-Express hotels, and ten brilliant chefs that total up no less than 21 Michelin stars! Each chef will prepare a degustation dinner, including one course specially devised for this unique event.

LE STRADE DEL VINO DI TOSCANA

If you follow this road sign, even a lousy program in Tuscany turns into a great holiday. Now, serious: let us make things a little easier for you and give you a few tips to make your trip truly unforgettable. Begin with the Chianti Classico Wine Tour, without a doubt the most well-known italian red wine in the world, continue with Montalcino, Montelpulciano, San Gimignano or Bolgheri. We’ve got a remarkable selection of enotecas, wine bars and connoisseur restaurants in store for you. So you can sit back and enjoy!

PRIVATE WINE TOURS

CHIANTI CLASSICO WINE TOUR
This is without a doubt the most well-known italian red wine in the world. Born from the combination of the Sangiovese vines with the traditional Canaiolo and Colorino. Its color is ruby red , tending to garnet.

CASTLES OF CHIANTI WINE TOUR
This tour will take you into the heart of the Chianti Classico. You will visit two wineries, one of which is located in a true medieval castle. Here, wine and history come together in a single scenario. Price: 275 euro/person for a private one-day trip.

MONTALCINO WINE TOUR
This tour is designed for connoisseurs who love the Brunello di Montalcino. This is probably the most famous wine of Italy. You will be accompanied to the visit of two small wineries that produce great wines. Price: 325 euro/person for a private one-day trip.

MONTELPULCIANO WINE TOUR
Montepulciano is like a mini-Florence, and for that reason alone it is worth visiting. The Vino Nobile di Montepulciano is a high quality aged red wine. At the typical vines of Chianti are added in small quantities Mammolo.

SAN GIMIGNANO WINE TOUR
San Gimignano is the poster child for Tuscany and the epitome of a medieval Italian hilltop town. It is famouse for the Vernaccia di San Gimignano which is a white wine made from grapes grown around Tuscany.

BOLGHERI WINE TOUR
Bolgheri is the SuperTuscans home. These wines are produced with international grapes, like Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Syrah and are aged in French barriques.

CLASSIC SPORT CAR TOUR
Ride through the beautiful hills of Tuscany with the wind on your hair, you could apreciate wonderfull landscapes beetween vineyards, olive trees, "cipressi". You will have the chance to taste some Chianti Classico wines.

WINE AND TRUFFLES
If you like truffles and you want to find a good complement with this particular food delicacy, I recommend this special experience. Wine and food would be the best of your trip.

TUSCANY ART TOURS

Join us in the discovery of the medieval spirit, the narrow streets and centuries-old secrets of Firenze and learn of the secret passages of the noble Medici’s family.

UFFIZI GALLERY GUIDED TOUR
In this 3 hours guided tour, you will have the chance to Visit the 'Uffizi Gallery', the office building of the Medici's family, now one of the most renowned art galleries in the world, avoiding the ticket hassle, long lines, and accompanied by our expert guide who will teach you about Italian art.

You will have the chance to admire some of the world's best masterpieces in this famous museum over looking the Arno River in Florence with great stories about the artists and their history changing ways. You will also find out how Michelangelo incorporated secret messages in his paintings and hear about the beautiful models used in the paintings as Botticelli's famous "Birth of Venus" and learn about Leonardo Da Vinci's budding genius and listen to the skilled techniques used throughout this era and even today. Please book this tour well in advance, as the entrance to the museum is scheduled and often fully booked during the summer months. Price: 2 Pax 187 euro.

PITTI PALACE & BOBOLI TOUR
Let us take you through the opulent lifestyle once lived in the Pitti Palace and the Boboli Gardens. The Pitti Palace, which was once residence of the Medici family, of the Austrian Grand Dukes of Lorraine and of the Kings of Italy, is the archetype of the European royal palaces. Lavishly decorated and fully furnished, it remains one of the most extraordinary residences in the world. The visit includes the Palatine Gallery, with masterpieces by Raphael, Titian, Rubens and others, and the Royal Apartments. Then wander through the paths of the Boboli Gardens and past its sculpture fountains and labyrinth of walk ways. Price: 2 Pax 179 euro.

ROMANESQUE & GOTHIC ART
Discover the pre-Renaissance jewels of Florence on this half-a-day walking tour. Discuss the centuries of design and talent put into the great Gothic masterpieces such as the Cathedral's Duomo and the Bapistry, Santa Croce, Santa Maria Novella, Orsanmichele. Walk around the city of Florence on this guided architecture tour and discover the hidden gems intertwined into the streets and architecture of Florence. Price: 2 Pax 187 euro.

MICHELANGELO TOUR
This full day itinerary will take you to the artist's house, his tomb in Santa Croce Church, the Medici Chapel adorned with his sculptures, and the stunning Laurentian Library. Lunch in a typical Trattoria will revive your energy before we proceed to the Academy Gallery, which now houses Michelangelo's original David sculpture and dramatic statues of the slaves. We will complete our itinerary with a visit to the Cathedral Museum, which houses the Pietà sculpture. Price: 2 Pax 179 euro.

HIKING TO MONTE FORATO

Monte Forato is one of the most common destinations in the Apuan Alps because of the suggestive natural arch that joins two twin peaks and create a hole that can be seen from Garfagnana and Versilia.
The start of this ring itinerary is in the small mountain village of Fornovolasco and follows the Turrite stream in a continuous climb up to the Foce di Petrociana pass. A short steep climb brings you the crest which you follow to reach the great stone arch of Monte Forato. Continuing along the crest we reach another pass and head back down towards Fornovolasco.
The hike is moderate-demanding in difficulty since it requires a climb of about 800 meters. If you decide to follow the crest as we did, a few parts of the trail are quite exposed while a few others aren't well marked. A few meters of the trail require using the aid of a metal cord along the side of a rock but this just 2 or 3 meters. One of the variants for the itinerary (CAI trail 131 intead of 110) passes below the crest of the mountain before reaching Monte Forato reducing part of the climb making the route a bit easier.
Tips: Without a doubt you need good hiking shoes, better if boots which will provide additional support. Plan to dedicate the whole day to this hike. The part along the crest is exposed, so you need to feel comfortable and maintain good equilibrium to stay safe.