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Florence Experiences

The beating heart of Tuscany, Florence is one of Italy’s most beloved cities. With the River Arno weaving gracefully through, Florence blends the best of riverside life with an immense history. A destination for art, architecture and culture lovers, the highlights of Florence roam seamlessly from the vibrant Renaissance architecture of the Duomo, to a swathe of globally renowned museums and galleries such as the Uffizi Gallery and Accademia Gallery. Florence finds itself in a prime location for exploring other parts of Italy too, from Pisa and the provincial capital of Lucca, to the vineyards and rolling scenery of Chianti.

Select an experience below to find out more.

Pizza and gelato cooking class

Learn culinary secrets from an Italian chef at this three and a half hour cooking class that will truly whet your appetite.

 

Includes

 

  • Transfer to and from cooking school
  • Cooking lesson with a Chef
  • Pizza and gelato dinner

From£48per person

Dinner in the Chianti Vineyards Experience

Enjoy a true taste of the region on this experience that enables you to dine in the heart of a Chianti vineyard.

 

Includes

 

  • Coach travel
  • Wine tastings
  • Traditional Italian dinner with wine pairing

From£70per person

Treasures of Florence

A day tour that takes you to the most impressive art and cultural hotspots in Florence, you’ll have a true sense of the city’s importance throughout the centuries by the end of the day.

 

Includes

 

  • English speaking guide
  • Skip the line tickets

From£111per person

Market to table cooking lesson

Immerse yourself in the enchanting Italian culinary tradition at this professional cookery class.

 

Includes

  • all essential ingredients
  • Escorted market visit & cooking lesson with  Chef  & lunch
  • Transfer by minivan to cooking school location

From£70per person

Tuscany day tour with lunch and wine tasting

Soak up the food, culture, history and unmatched landscapes of Tuscany in this day tour that showcases the best of the region from all angles.

 

Includes

 

  • Coach travel
  • English speaking guide
  • Lunch consisting of typical Tuscan dishes and wine
  • Wine tasting

From£80per person

Florence by Night & Palazzo Vecchio

This magical look at Florence by night includes an after-hours visit to the impressive Palazzo Vecchio.

 

Includes

  • English speaking guide

From£70per person

Authentic Italian Pizza

Authentic Italian Pizza

Pizza and gelato cooking class

Learn culinary secrets from an Italian chef at this three and a half hour cooking class that will truly whet your appetite.

We’ll take you to a renowned Florentine cooking school at around 15:30, where our chef will give you a tantalising overview of the origins of the two Italian favourites of pizza and gelato. Then you’ll get hands-on in the kitchen with step-by-step coaching on how to make the perfect pizza and gelato.

Starting with the pizza, our chef will share tips and tricks for making a flexible dough of just the right consistency, as well as how to make a tomato sauce from scratch that is just rich enough in flavour to marry together beautifully with other pizza toppings. You’ll also learn how to stretch the dough – and then you’ll put it all together to make and bake an authentic Italian pizza.

After the main course, it’ll be time to learn some secrets about traditional Italian gelato-making. Our chef will share his best recipe and relay tips on how to source the very best ingredients. You’ll also gain insights into important aspects of the gelato-making process, including heating and freezing techniques, as well as how to use natural colours and flavours.

At the end of the session – after tasting the fruits of your labour – we’ll transport you back to the centre of Florence. You’ll leave the cookery school having acquired long-lasting skills in the kitchen that you can use to impress friends and family back at home!

Operates daily. Prices from £48 per person Including: All necessary ingredients, Graduation Certificate, Cooking lesson with a Chef, Dinner with the pizza and gelato you have prepared, transfer by minivan from/ to cooking school location.

Palazzo Vecchio evening landscape

Palazzo Vecchio evening landscape

Florence by Night & Palazzo Vecchio

This magical look at Florence by night includes an after-hours visit to the impressive Palazzo Vecchio.

Departing at 19:45, this night-time stroll of Florence lasts approximately three and a half hours, during which time you’ll see a whole new side to the city. We’ll wander across the medieval Ponte Vecchio – a bridge with numerous shops built into it – and meander through the streets of the old town. We’ll pass by the Accademia Gallery and hear more about Michelangelo’s statue of David housed inside, before exploring the Duomo complex – which embodies Giotto’s Bell Tower, the Baptistery and its Gate of Paradise, the cathedral and Brunelleschi’s Dome.

We’ll continue on to Piazza della Signoria and explore Loggia dei Lanzi – an impressive building with its characteristic wide arches. We’ll learn more about the Uffizi Gallery adjoining the square, and pay a visit to Piazza Santa Croce – home to Basilica Santa Croce, which has 16 astonishing chapels.

Finally, this experience will take us to Palazzo Vecchio – the Florentine town hall and former court of the Medici family – for an intimate guided tour. Here you’ll learn more about the fascinating history of Florence, as well as the power and influence of the Medici family. The Salone dei Cinquecento (‘Hall of the Five Hundred’) is one of the building’s most dramatic chambers you’ll be at liberty to explore. It was here where one of Leonardo da Vinci’s great works was lost when hot coals melted his Battle of the Anghiari.

Operates every day except Thursday (April – September) from £70pp Including: guided walking tour (join a group), entrance fees.

Dining in the Italian countryside

Dining in the Italian countryside

Dinner in the Chianti Vineyards Experience

Enjoy a true taste of the region on this experience that enables you to dine in the heart of a Chianti vineyard.

We’ll depart from Florence at approximately 18:00 and travel through glorious roads surrounded by the rugged beauty of nature and vineyards. As we reach our destination for the evening – a vineyard in the heart of the Chianti region – you’ll be handed a glass of wine to commence your tour – embracing the true spirit of the subject matter! We’ll follow a splendid wine route through the property, enjoying wine tastings along the way as we learn more about the grapes, local environment and wine producing process. Chianti wine typically includes Sangiovese grapes combined with Canaiolo, often with Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah or Merlot added too. You’ll find out more about the unique flavour this combination of grape varieties provides, and why Chianti wine has become such a firm favourite across the world.

After the tour, we’ll arrive at our dining room under the stars, lit with candles and other enchanting decorations. Here you’ll enjoy wines matched with a menu that makes the very best of the region’s local produce. You’ll taste the typical local pasta sauces of the tomato-based pappa al Pomodoro, or ribollita complete with cream, porcini mushrooms, bacon and black olives – prepared with recipes taken from traditional folklore. This will be followed by impeccably seasoned meat and vegetables prepared on the barbecue. Dining surrounding the sweet scents of the vineyard and countryside beyond, this is an idyllic rural dining experience.

Operates on Monday, Thursday & Saturday. Prices from £75 per person including coach or minivan travel, English speaking guide, wine tasting and dinner. 

Gates of Paradise

Gates of Paradise

Treasures of Florence

A day tour that takes you to the most impressive art and cultural hotspots in Florence, you’ll have a true sense of the city’s importance throughout the centuries by the end of the day.

Starting at around 11:00, this experience begins at the Accademia Gallery – most famous for Michelangelo’s statue of David that is on display here. You’ll hear more about Michelangelo’s life and other works, and find out why David has become the symbol of Florence. After the tour you’ll have an hour to wander around the gallery at your own pace and get some lunch if you wish.

During the afternoon, you’ll enjoy a walking tour in the centre of Florence. You’ll find out about the Romans who called the city ‘home’ and the powerful Florentine families who shaped the city into what it is today. Your group will pass everywhere from Brunelleschi’s Dome to Ponte Vecchio, as well as a variety of glorious squares and palaces. We’ll gradually make our way to the Uffizi Gallery, where the tour will continue inside this historic building.

A former building owned by the powerful Medici Family, the Uffizi Gallery is now a world-renowned art gallery. This tour will introduce you to some of the most recognisable artworks in the world, by artists including Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci and Raphael. You’ll gain expert insights into why Florence was the birthplace of Renaissance – before enjoying some free time to explore the gallery by yourself.

Operates Daily except Mondays and all 1st Sunday of every month. Prices from £111 per person. Includes: Full day tour in Florence with Accademia Gallery (1h), Walking tour (1.45h) walking tour of the historical Centre, (Duomo, Palazzo Vecchio, Ponte Vecchio…), Uffizi Gallery (2h). Entrance ticket to the Academia Gallery, Uffizi Gallery, Monolingual guided visit.

Raw Italian produced cooking ingredients

Raw Italian produced cooking ingredients

Market to table cooking lesson

Immerse yourself in the enchanting Italian culinary tradition at this professional cookery class.

Starting at around 9:00, this cookery session will commence in an Italian food market, where our chef will show you around and help you discover typical local ingredients through a chef’s eyes. You’ll buy fresh ingredients to use later in the cooking class. The chef will then take you to a professional cookery school where the hands-on work will begin. Over the next four hours, you’ll learn everything you need to know about preparing a four-course Italian meal from just the raw ingredients. We’ll start by preparing all the fresh ingredients, before the chef will show you how to make fresh pasta. Equipping you with the skills to never buy store-bought sauces again, you’ll also learn how to make a traditional pasta sauce, which could be Ragu, Bolognese or pesto.

With the main courses organised, the chef will also share another tip for making bruschetta for both a starter and a dessert – giving you new ideas in the kitchen as well as tips and tricks you can apply to different courses of a meal.

Towards the end of the session, our chef will also let you into some secrets on how to successfully arrange ingredients on a plate. And finally, you’ll all sit down together to enjoy the beautiful meal you have created, accompanied by local wines and soft drinks. You’ll leave with a printed set of recipes so you can recreate the culinary magic back at home!

Operates Daily, Prices from £70 per person Including: All necessary ingredients, Graduation Certificate. Visit to the Central market of Florence with the Chef (except Sundays), Cooking lesson with a Chef. Lunch based on what you have prepared with drinks included. Transfer by minivan from/ to cooking school location.

Chianti wine estate overlooking vineyards

Chianti wine estate overlooking vineyards

Tuscany day tour with lunch and wine tasting

Soak up the food, culture, history and unmatched landscapes of Tuscany in this day tour that showcases the best of the region from all angles.

Departing from Florence at 7:45, we’ll travel first to the city of Siena, best known for its medieval brick buildings and the twice-yearly horse race which takes place in Piazza del Campo. An expert guide will take you to many of the notable monuments and architectural highlights of Siena, including the cathedral in Piazza del Duomo. You’ll enjoy some free time to stroll around Siena before we travel a short distance to a winery on the city’s outskirts. Here you’ll taste some of the best produce of the region at a wine tasting session and lunch of traditional bruschetta, home-made pasta and a local dessert.

After enjoying this Italian feast for lunch, we’ll continue on to the hill town of San Gimignano. A UNESCO World Heritage Site surrounded by 13th century walls, this is a bewitching place best explored by strolling around the medieval roads to make your own discoveries. Piazza della Cisterna and Piazza del Duomo are particular highlights, as are the views of the countryside laid out around the town.

Our tour will continue though the Chianti region, with immense views of captivating vineyards and some of Tuscany’s most rugged scenery. We’ll make our way to one of Tuscany’s other famous cities – Pisa. As well as visiting the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa, we’ll enjoy the Baptistery and the Cathedral. After a little free time, we’ll then travel back to Florence.

Operates Daily, Prices from £80 per person Including: Travel by GT coach or minivan with air conditioning, Expert multilingual escorts, Lunch consisting of typical Tuscan dishes (starter with bruschetta, salami, pecorino cheese, pasta with ragù sauce /or tomato sauce, panna cotta, water and wine.),Wine tasting,Guided tour of Siena (1h),Self-guided tour of Piazza dei Miracoli in Pisa, Self-guided tour of San Gimignano.

Lucca's main square

Lucca's main square

Music Tour of Lucca

Avid fans of music from throughout the ages will be spellbound by this musical tour of an Italian city rich in music heritage.

This five-hour experience departs from Florence at 9:30, after which we’ll make our way by minivan to the medieval city of Lucca. Best known for the Renaissance walls surrounding the city and an immense musical heritage, Lucca is culturally rich, with new discoveries to be made on every corner. You’ll be led through the city with an expert guide who will share insights into Lucca, with a particular focus on the musicians who have an association with the city.

In particular, you’ll find out more about the composer Giacomo Puccini, who was born in Lucca. Named the greatest composer of Italian opera after Verdi, Puccini composed La Bohème, Tosca and Madame Butterfly among many others. We’ll take in Casa Puccini – the birthplace and former home of Giacomo Puccini – now a museum filled with the composer’s furniture, letters and other notable objects.

As we wander Lucca’s glorious streets between Casa Puccini and Teatro del Giglio – the city’s opera house that was inaugurated in 1675 – you’ll also learn more about other great Lucca-born composers, including Nicolao Dorati, Francesco Geminiani, Gioseffo Guami, Luigi Boccherini and Alfredo Catalani.

Lucca is also known for its more recent musical credentials, with artists including Chet Baker and The Rolling Stones connected with the city. Your guide will enlighten you with lesser known stories about all aspects of music in Lucca, past and present.

Operates Every day from April to October from £110pp including a guided tour of Lucca (join a group) pre-booking and entrance fees.

More Florence Experiences

Uffizi Gallery

This mid-afternoon tour for art fans embraces the idea of Florence being the birthplace of Renaissance.

The tour commences at 15:15 in the Uffizi Gallery – one of the most renowned art museums in the world. You’ll find yourself surrounded by breath-taking history even before the guided tour starts, as the gallery is house inside the former offices of the Medici family – wool merchants and bankers who ruled the city of Florence throughout the Renaissance.

As this tour gets started, our expert guide will share fascinating facts and lesser-known secrets of numerous works of the world’s greatest artists. Following a timeline from the Middle Ages through to the Renaissance, you’ll discover incredible pieces by everyone from Cimabue, Giotto and Botticelli, to Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael and Titian. The Uffizi Gallery is home to many of the globe’s most recognisable paintings, as well as lesser known works that are a true delight to discover. In addition to insights into the artists and their depictions, our expert guide will also recount astonishing details about the tools and techniques these artists used.

A gallery experience that adds depth and colour to the journey the city of Florence followed to become the centre of Renaissance, this tour is a must for anyone who wants to know more about the art heritage of the Italian city. Once the tour ends, you’re encouraged to explore the gallery further to continue to soak up the atmosphere and spend more time amid the world’s great artworks.

Operates daily except Mondays and all 1st Sunday of every month. Prices from £62 per person. We can also offer timed entrance tickets only – please contact us for prices.

Accademia Gallery

A tour that takes you to the heart of Michelangelo’s art in one of the more intimate art galleries in Florence – this is an experience perfect for art fans and those who want to embrace a different side of gallery visits otherwise found in the city.

Starting at approximately 11:00, this expert-led tour helps you discover all corners of the Accademia Gallery. With an extensive collection of works by Florentine artists from 1300 to 1600 – also known as the Trecento to Late Renaissance periods – this gallery embodies the idea of local art that has changed the world.

The Accademia Gallery is best known for the statue of David which was created by a young Michelangelo. The artist sculpted the statue from a large block of marble over the course of three years, and he gradually transformed the rough material into a smooth and pristine work of art. It was originally commissioned to stand on the roofline of the Florence Cathedral, and has been housed in the Accademia Gallery since 1873, standing at more than five metres tall. Depicting the Biblical hero David was a favoured subject matter among Florence artists – and Michelangelo’s statue has become an icon of the Renaissance ideal. It is widely seen to represent the influence of the Republic of Florence when it was at its most powerful.

As well as David and some of Michelangelo’s other works, your guide will also introduce you to other great Florentine paintings from the likes of Sandro Botticelli, Giambologna, Domenico Ghirlandaio, Andrea del Sarto and Paolo Uccello.

Operates daily except Mondays and all 1st Sunday of every month. Prices from £49 per person. We can also offer timed entrance tickets only – please contact us for prices.

Accademia Gallery and city walking tour

Bringing together unparalleled insights into Michelangelo’s art and the stories of architecture and history to be told in the city streets, this tour offers an original way to explore Florence.

Commencing in the Accademia Gallery at 11:00, the experience begins with an expert guided tour to explain why Michelangelo’s statue of David has become a global symbol of the city of Florence. While the statue of David was created by Michelangelo as a young man, some of his other works here remain forever unfinished. These include his sculptures entitled Prisoners – originally intended for the tomb of Pope Julius II – and the Statue of Saint Matthew.

Following fascinating insights into the works and life of one of the art heroes of Florence, you’ll enjoy some free time to discover more of what the Accademia Gallery has on display. Afterwards, your experience will continue on the streets of Florence on an expert-led walking tour.

You’ll soak up 2,000 years of Florentine history, hearing amazing facts and lesser known stories you would never have imagined. Exploring everything from the city’s Roman origins to 15th century palaces, you’ll walk in the footsteps of fascinating figures from throughout history. You’ll explore the incredible Ponte Vecchio – the enclosed medieval stone bridge, peruse the famous Uffizi courtyard, and marvel at the architecture of Brunelleschi’s Dome – and that’s just for starters! By the end of the tour, you’ll have a deeper understanding of the origins of Florence, from its world-renowned artists to its people from centuries ago, who shaped the city to become what it is today.

Operates daily except Mondays and all 1st Sunday of every month. Prices from £55 per person. Entrance to the Accademia Gallery and visit with monolingual guide

Uffizi Gallery and walking tour

Combining the most prominent sights, sounds and stories of Florence with world famous artworks, this tour offers incredible insights into the history and art of the city in a single afternoon.

Commencing at 13:30 in the heart of Florence, your expert guide will lead you through history-filled streets, recounting stories and awe-inspiring facts from over two millennia. You’ll learn about the first Roman settlers of Florence and how the republic thrived over the centuries, becoming a locality of palaces and prosperity. You’ll explore the city’s extraordinary architecture, epitomised by Brunelleschi’s Dome at the Cathedral of Florence, where it’s also possible to enjoy the perfect view of the Gates of Paradise – the famous golden doors to the Baptistery of St John. The Ponte Vecchio will be another highlight of your walking tour – a medieval stone bridge crossing the Arno River that has tiny shops built into it.

After the city walking segment of this tour, you’ll make your way to the Uffizi Gallery – widely hailed as being one of the most famous art galleries in the world. This gallery is home to many of the great works created between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance period. An expert art guide will help you explore the works of artists including Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, Botticelli and Titian, letting you into lesser known facts about their lives, their tools and the intricate details of their works of art. At the end of the tour you’ll have some free time to stroll through the gallery at your own pace.

Operates daily except Mondays and all 1st Sunday of every month. Prices from £ per person. Guided tour of Florence with monolingual guide. Entrance to the Uffizi Gallery Museum and visit with monolingual guide

Secrets of Florence

Discover ancient Florence and the mysteries of its history in this two-hour, early evening tour.

This experience commences in the heart of the ancient city of Florence. You’ll start by discovering the lesser known secrets of some of the most iconic spots in the city, including the Baptistery, Florence Cathedral and the Duomo. Among other things, you’ll take a closer look at their painstakingly embellished exteriors, made with luxurious materials that have stood the test of time. You’ll also find out what the ‘Miracle of the Flowering Tree’ and the ‘Bull and the Baker’ mean.

The tour will go on to pass by Dante’s home, where you’ll hear more about the famous poet from the Middle Ages, and find out about the Church of Dante and Beatrice. We’ll carry on to the impressive Palazzo Vecchio – the former location of the Medici family court. Your group will also explore Piazza della Signoria where the sculptural history of Florence comes to life with numerous statues, including a copy of Michelangelo’s David.

On our way to the Arno river, we’ll stroll through the wings of the world-famous Uffizi Gallery to capture the feeling of the building’s tremendous place in the world of art history. We’ll walk along the riverside to Ponte Vecchio – the elegant ancient bridge filled with small gold jewellery shops. On the other side of the river we’ll continue to Palazzo Pitti – the Renaissance royal palace now home to an Italian and European masters art collection.

Operates Daily, Prices from £42 per person, Guided tour of Florence with monolingual guide. Discover secrets and legends of Florence

Welcome to Florence Walking Tour

Guided tour of Florence with monolingual guide at 13:30 (approx 1 hour).

Operates Daily Prices from £28 per person 

 

Chianti half day tour

Soaking up the scenery and vineyards responsible for some of the best wine in Tuscany, this afternoon tour is a celebration of the region’s wine and culinary roots.

Our five and a half hour tour will transport you to the hilly area of Chianti, from which the wine takes its name. You’ll soak up rugged and rolling landscapes which have been home to Chianti vineyards for centuries and get to know the rhythm of local life in this region. We’ll stop off everywhere from ancient churches and medieval castles to small villages where you’ll get a snapshot of history, culture and communities while looking out over beguiling landscapes.

We’ll carry on to one of Chianti’s famed wine estates, where you’ll be led on a journey of the wine cellars to learn more about the different stages of Chianti wine production from an expert. With its original blend of Sangiovese, Canaiolo, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, the Chianti wine making process is a fine art that has been honed by families over generations. You’ll also enjoy a wine tasting session along with local produce including cured meats and bruschetta, also enabling you to gain a true sense of the authentic food and drink traditions of the area.

The tour will continue on to the fortress of Monteriggioni, where you’ll have some free time to explore local artisan shops, boutiques and cafés. The last stop of the tour is at another winery, where you’ll have the opportunity to taste more wines as well as local olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Operates Daily, Prices from £50 per person Including: Travel by GT coach or minivan with air conditioning, Expert multilingual escorts, Wine, oil and balsamic vinegar tasting, Snack with sliced cold meats and typical salami, visit to a famous estate with tour of the wine cellar, self-guided tour of the Monteriggioni fortress and a local winery.

Wine and barbecue experience in the Chianti Hills

Indulge in the very best wine and food of this famous Tuscan region on this day-long tour.

 

We’ll depart from Florence at around 9:30 in a comfortable minivan that follows an illustrious winding road that travels to the heart of the Chianti wine region. Famous for the red wines produced here, many will know the wines for the squat bottles in fiascos (straw baskets) Chianti wine was traditionally packaged in. Nowadays, Chianti bottles come in all shapes and sizes.

We’ll stop in Greve first – a medieval town surrounded by postcard-perfect vineyards. You’ll have some free time here to meander around the locale, including the town’s charming piazza, artisan shops, museums and abundance of churches. Santa Croce Church is particularly noteworthy, as it is built adjoining a medieval church and displays a number of artworks that originated in other local churches, including a 14th century fresco. We’ll also visit a local winery, where it’s possible to follow the wine making process from start to finish, and enjoy an all-important wine tasting session.

We’ll continue onto another characterful community in the medieval town of Panzano, where we’ll visit a historic winery for a wine tasting session accompanied by a barbecue filled with the flavours of fresh local produce. Afterwards we’ll visit Gaiole, named by Forbes as one of the 25 most idyllic places to live in Europe. There we’ll enjoy a tour of another beautiful vineyard and relish in a wine tasting session, while looking out on the rolling countryside and surrounding vineyards. We’ll then return to Florence.

Operates Wednesday, Friday, Sunday, from £100pp, including: Travel by coach/ minivan, 2 wine tastings, traditional BBQ lunch (vegetarian options), Discover Chianti Hills like never before, stop in Greve, Panzano and Radda or Gaiole in Chianti. *only available from May 1st to October 15th* Please note this is not wheelchair accessible.

Pisa half day tour

Get an insider’s look into the city of Pisa – from its Leaning Tower to the magnificent cathedral – in this half day tour.

Departing from Florence at around 8:30, we’ll make the hour and a half journey to Pisa. An estuary town and an important naval base in Roman times, Pisa gained a reputation early on as an influential trading hub in the Mediterranean. Our tour will take us to the old town – whose appearance today isn’t dissimilar from how it was in the 12th century, which is widely said to be Pisa’s most prosperous period. We’ll explore the buildings, piazzas and charming alleyways that run near the Arno river – all of which have been fundamental to the prosperity of Pisa throughout the ages.

No visit to Pisa would be complete without seeing Piazza del Duomo and the famous Leaning Tower – the 1372 bell tower world-renowned for its almost four degree lean. Your expert guide will tell you more about the architecture and history of the tower, before continuing on to the cathedral – which dates as far back as 1063 – where you’ll enjoy the Pisan Romanesque architecture on the exterior before exploring the intricate interior.

You’ll also learn about lesser known parts of Pisa, with our guide sharing more information about the cemetery and Scuola Normale Superiore – one of the most prestigious academic institutions in Europe.

Before returning to Florence, you’ll have some free time to wander around, take photos and generally immerse yourself in the rhythm of life in Pisa.

Operates: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday & Saturday Prices from £45 per person Including: Travel by coach/minivan, expert multilingual escorts, guided tour of Pisa & Entrance to Pisa Cathedral.

 

Gastronomic tour of Montalcino, Pienza and Montepulciano

A celebration of wine, art and culture in glorious spots to be discovered south of Florence, this day-long tour brings together the best of all worlds.

We’ll depart from Florence at around 9:00 to make our way directly to Montalcino, a hill town with glorious views known especially for its Brunello di Montalcino wine. Here we’ll embark on a tour of a local wine cellar and enjoy a wine tasting with wines paired with delicious local snacks. A local expert will also guide you around Montalcino, including a visit to the spellbinding fortress.

Afterwards we’ll visit Pienza in the Val D’Orcia region, characterised by its verdant rolling hills and spectacular views, which has been captured in many artistic works throughout the centuries. Pienza itself has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996, and is best known for its palaces, Italian Renaissance gardens and architectural beauty. You’ll have some free time to explore the town in your own time, before we continue on to Montepulciano.

Another medieval hilltop town, you’ll have the opportunity to explore Montepulciano on foot, including its captivating Renaissance buildings and the 14th century Palazzo Comunale on Piazza Grande, which offers immense views of the surrounding countryside. The town has also become famous for its wine, which has now been transported around the world. You’ll be able to taste Nobile di Montepulciano – the true taste of the city – in a local winery. After sampling the wine, we’ll return to Florence.

Operates Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday. From £70pp Including: Travel by coach/minivan, expert multilingual escorts, Brunello di Montalcino wine tasting, Nobile di Montepulciano wine tasting, self-guided visit to Montalcino, Montepulciano and Pienza.

Dinner in the Chianti vineyards experience

Enjoy a true taste of the region on this experience that enables you to dine in the heart of a Chianti vineyard.

We’ll depart from Florence at approximately 18:00 and travel through glorious roads surrounded by the rugged beauty of nature and vineyards. As we reach our destination for the evening – a vineyard in the heart of the Chianti region – you’ll be handed a glass of wine to commence your tour – embracing the true spirit of the subject matter! We’ll follow a splendid wine route through the property, enjoying wine tastings along the way as we learn more about the grapes, local environment and wine producing process. Chianti wine typically includes Sangiovese grapes combined with Canaiolo, often with Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah or Merlot added too. You’ll find out more about the unique flavour this combination of grape varieties provides, and why Chianti wine has become such a firm favourite across the world.

After the tour, we’ll arrive at our dining room under the stars, lit with candles and other enchanting decorations. Here you’ll enjoy wines matched with a menu that makes the very best of the region’s local produce. You’ll taste the typical local pasta sauces of the tomato-based pappa al Pomodoro, or ribollita complete with cream, porcini mushrooms, bacon and black olives – prepared with recipes taken from traditional folklore. This will be followed by impeccably seasoned meat and vegetables prepared on the barbecue. Dining surrounding the sweet scents of the vineyard and countryside beyond, this is an idyllic rural dining experience.

Operates Monday, Thursday & Saturday from £75pp Including:  Travel by coach/minivan, expert multilingual escorts, visit of the estate’s wineries on a wine route inside the estate with wine tasting, Dinner in the vineyard with typical tomato ‘pappa’ penne with Boscaiola Sauce ( porcini mushrooms, cream, bacon, black olives) bbq meat & vegetables, dessert, water and wine. ** Please note that bad weather will result in eating inside the restaurant**

Assisi & Perugia With chocolate tasting experience

Embracing the art, history, scenic landscapes and chocolate credentials of Tuscany and Umbria, this whole day tour gives you insights into Italy from all angles.

Departing from Florence at 7:45, we’ll head straight for Assisi – a glorious hill town that is home to the patron saint of San Francesco. We’ll embark on a tour of the enchanting medieval town, taking in the Basilica of San Francesco d’Assisi and soaking up the guide’s stories of past times. You’ll also enjoy seeing the numerous frescoes of San Francesco, as well as the splendid views of the valleys and vineyards surrounding the town. After the guided tour, you’ll have a little free time to have a stroll too.

Then we’ll continue on to Perugia – Umbria’s capital that was founded by the Etruscans – the ancient Italian civilisation. You’ll wander around the five historic districts of the city – Porta Sole, Porta Sant’Angelo, Porta Santa Susanna, Eburnea Gate and Porta San Pietro. Among other statues and monuments, you’ll find out more about La Fontana Maggiore – a pristine example of medieval sculpture – and the Etruscan Arch of Augustus, which is the largest monument from the Etruscan remains of Perugia. You’ll also take in the impressive Palazzo dei Priori and the Rocca Paolina – Perugia’s Renaissance fortress.

Perugia is also known as Italy’s ‘city of chocolate’ because it is home to Italy’s best known chocolate maker – the Perugina chocolate company that produces Baci. So we’ll finish the day in style with a chocolate tasting session, before making our way back to Florence.

Operates Wednesday & Friday April – November From £90 per person including: travel by coach/minivan, expert multilingual escorts, guided visit of Assisi, entrance to Santa Chiara church, entrance to Basilica of San Francesco d’Assisi, chocolate tasting in Perugia, visit of Perugia the ‘chocolate city’.

San Gimignano, Chianti & Florence Towers and Powers

With wine, organic produce and the fascinating history of Florence on the agenda, this day-long tour makes the very best of the city and its surrounding region.

This small eight-hour tour with a maximum of eight people departs from Florence at approximately 9:00 and we’ll make our way directly to the Chianti region, best known for Chianti Classico wine. The journey is part of the experience, as we follow the spectacular Chiantigiana wine route, with nonstop views of vineyards, rolling hills and olive groves. We’ll pass by quaint towns such as Greve – famous for holding the oldest market in the region, as well as being the birthplace of Giovanni Da Verrazzano – the first European to explore the Atlantic coast of North America.

We’ll stop for lunch at an historic farmhouse loved for its organic produce and famous for its balsamic vinegar. After lunch, we’ll visit another country farmhouse for a wine tasting session of the region’s best wine products.

After sating our appetites, we’ll continue on to the town of San Gimignano, the hilltop community known for its 13th century walls and skyline filled with medieval towers. You’ll have some free time here to stroll around and soak it all up.

We’ll then return to Florence for a guided tour that delves deeper into the city’s history of wealth and power. You’ll hear fascinating stories about the Medici family, and explore the Florentine symbol of political life at Palazzo Vecchio, including access to a number of the palace’s remarkable rooms.

Operates on Monday’s from £130pp Including: Minivan max capacity 8 people, Italian/English speaking driver, tolls, parking, luggage handling, bottled water, wine tasting and light lunch, ( selection of cheeses with Tuscan bruschetta and vegetables, accompanied by wine and Evo oil tasting), guided tour of palazzo Vecchio in Florence ( join a group), pre booking and entrance fee.

Medici Villas Garden and countryside

This four-hour tour takes you to the heart of the lives and secrets of the Medici family – rulers of Florence during the Renaissance.

Together with our small group, we’ll travel by minivan to the countryside surrounding Florence, stopping first at one of the Medici family’s villas. This is where members of the family would flee to for some relaxation, escaping the stresses that came with ruling Florence. The villa was also the scene of a brutal Medici family murder, and our guide will help us discover what unfolded on that fateful occasion.

After our escape to the country, we’ll make our way back to Florence to discover more about the Medici family in the heart of the land they ruled. In particular, we’ll take in Giotto’s bell tower, the Baptistery, the Gate of Paradise, Florence Cathedral and Brunelleschi’s Dome – together forming the religious centre of Florence.

We’ll continue on the Michelangelo’s Square – known for offering some of the best views in Florence. We’ll also take in the nearby San Miniato’s Church, standing on one of the highest spots of the city. From these heights, you’ll spot other Florence favourites, including the old town, Ponte Vecchio and the Accademia Gallery – the home of Michelangelo’s famous statue of David.

Piazza Mentana will be our final stop of the tour – the location of one of the newer monuments in Florence. This 20th century bronze statue shows a dramatic scene of two of Garibaldi’s fighters, honouring those who fell in the Battle of Mentana.

Operates from Tuesday – Sunday from £110pp Including: travel by minivan (up to 8 people), English speaking driver and official guide, full day walking tours with visit of Medici’s Estate, tolls, parking, luggage handling, water on board.

Florence by Night & Palazzo Vecchio

This magical look at Florence by night includes an after-hours visit to the impressive Palazzo Vecchio.

Departing at 19:45, this night-time stroll of Florence lasts approximately three and a half hours, during which time you’ll see a whole new side to the city. We’ll wander across the medieval Ponte Vecchio – a bridge with numerous shops built into it – and meander through the streets of the old town. We’ll pass by the Accademia Gallery and hear more about Michelangelo’s statue of David housed inside, before exploring the Duomo complex – which embodies Giotto’s Bell Tower, the Baptistery and its Gate of Paradise, the cathedral and Brunelleschi’s Dome.

We’ll continue on to Piazza della Signoria and explore Loggia dei Lanzi – an impressive building with its characteristic wide arches. We’ll learn more about the Uffizi Gallery adjoining the square, and pay a visit to Piazza Santa Croce – home to Basilica Santa Croce, which has 16 astonishing chapels.

Finally, this experience will take us to Palazzo Vecchio – the Florentine town hall and former court of the Medici family – for an intimate guided tour. Here you’ll learn more about the fascinating history of Florence, as well as the power and influence of the Medici family. The Salone dei Cinquecento (‘Hall of the Five Hundred’) is one of the building’s most dramatic chambers you’ll be at liberty to explore. It was here where one of Leonardo da Vinci’s great works was lost when hot coals melted his Battle of the Anghiari.

Operates every day except Thursday (April – September) from £70pp Including: guided walking tour (join a group), entrance fees.

 

Florence by Night & the Uffizi Gallery

This intimate celebration of art and the city of Florence by night includes an exclusive guided visit to the Uffizi Gallery.

This three and a half hour tour sets off at 19:45, which starts by taking in some of the most famous spots in Florence. We’ll stroll through the old town while learning a little Florentine history and wander across the Arno river via Ponte Vecchio – the medieval stone bridge known for the jewellery shops that call it ‘home’.

Afterwards, we’ll make our way to the Duomo complex where the most important religious buildings of Florence can be found, including the Baptistery, the Gate of Paradise, Florence Cathedral, Brunelleschi’s Dome and Giotto’s Bell Tower – an impressive example of 13th century Gothic architecture. Before our visit to the Uffizi Gallery later, we’ll pass by the other famous art gallery in the city – the Accademia Gallery. This is where Michelangelo’s statue of David can be found, and your guide will tell you more about the artist’s influence on the city.

We’ll also take in Palazzo Vecchio, the former court and town hall of Florence, as well as Loggia dei Lanzi – a building with oversized arches, atop which Medici princes formerly sat to watch ceremonies on the nearby piazza.

This experience ends with an intimate guided tour of the Uffizi Gallery, one of the most visited art museums in the world, filled with great works of the Italian Renaissance. Here you’ll learn more about the world-renowned art exhibited inside.

Operates Tuesday & Wednesday (from June to September, some dates not applicable) From £80pp including a guided walking tour (join a group), entrance fees.

Florence by night and the Accademia Gallery

A tour that embodies the history of Florentine streets and Michelangelo’s most famous sculpture, this three and a half hour experience offers a one-of-a-kind look at the city.

We’ll depart on foot at 19:45, when we’ll explore the narrow streets of the old town and enjoy Ponte Vecchio, together with its medieval history and modern-day jewellery tradition. The historically and religiously important part of Florence centres on the Duomo complex, where our expert guide will share lesser known facts about the cathedral, Brunelleschi’s Dome and Giotto’s Bell Tower. We’ll also take a closer look at the Baptistery and the Gate of Paradise, with its golden doors depicting religious scenes.

Our tour will also give a closer look at the pristine architecture of Palazzo Vecchio – the city’s town hall. We’ll also visit Piazza della Signoria and walk amid the high arches of Loggia dei Lanzi – a building adjoining the Uffizi Gallery – one of the foremost art institutions of Florence. This will whet the appetite for the final leg of our experience, with an unparalleled guided tour of the Accademia Gallery.

This gallery was founded in 1784 by Pietro Leopoldo, the Grand Duke of Tuscany, and is best known nowadays for being the home of Michelangelo’s statue of David. This insider’s tour will share more information about the great artist and his work. You’ll also gain in-depth insights into other art displayed in the gallery, including pieces by Botticelli, Giambologna, Ghirlandaio, del Sarto and Uccello.

Operates Tuesday & Thursday (From June – September) including: guided walking tour ( join a group) and entrance fees.

A day in Lucca

Wander through the ages on this five-hour tour of the historic Tuscan town of Lucca.

We’ll depart in a small luxury minivan from Florence at approximately 12:30 for a pleasant hour-long journey to Lucca. A city found on the banks of the Serchio river, Lucca is best known for its city walls dating back to the Renaissance. An expert guide will take you on a fascinating walking tour to explore the highlights of the city.

In particular, you’ll enjoy an opportunity to find out more about the Cathedral of San Martino, where you’ll learn more about the fascinating architecture before the tour continues inside. This cathedral has a long and enchanting history, as construction first began in 1063 by the bishop who later became Pope Alexander II. Over the centuries, different parts of the cathedral were built in Gothic and Renaissance styles, while the chapel was built in 1484 by the famous Renaissance sculptor hailing from Lucca – Matteo Civitali.

As well as the cathedral, your guide will take you to other important areas of the city, where you’ll learn about the art, history and heritage of the locality. Afterwards, you’ll have some free time to stroll around by yourself to make your own discoveries. Lucca is home to a number of museums and squares that are well worth exploring, as well as the Teatro del Giglio. The Guinigi Tower is a typical example of Romanesque-Gothic architecture and offers impressive views of the surrounding region from the top.

Operates Every day from April to October from £110pp including minivan service (max 8 people), English speaking driver, tolls, parking, luggage handling, bottled water on board, guided tour of Lucca (join group).