The Art and
Soul of Italy

An Exploration of  the Regions of Tuscany and Emilia Romagna

October 23rd - 30th, 2022

ChiantiAutumnView-1024x683.jpg

This is a fully guided, women-only, small-group tour. No buses, no roommates, and no mass-produced meals! I will be with you for the duration of the tour, from arrival at the airport to the day we depart. In each place we visit, we will be joined by local guides who will lead us on tours, and our private driver is a Florence native!

Florence Cathedral

Day 1: Arrive in Florence

When you arrive in Florence, we will begin our trip with a walking tour designed to help you orient yourself and gain an understanding of the rich history of this Renaissance city.  You will learn about the famous attractions like the Duomo and the Piazza de la Signora, as well as visit charming neighborhoods like Oltrarno. Our guide will share stories, show you important landmarks, and even share her favorite local spots with you. 

 

This evening, we have reservations for dinner together at a local restaurant in Florence. 

Inclusions: 

  • Car transfer from Florence airport to hotel

  • Guided walking tour  (with local guide)

Day 2: The Tuscany of Italians

After a relaxing morning in the city, we will head into the hills of Mugello, north of Florence. We begin our day with a visit to the Milky Way... an area that produces some of the best milk in the world: Mugello Milk. Here, we will visit a local Agriturismo, where we will participate in a cheese-making workshop using milk from the farm! Next, we will eat an amazing lunch made with local products, many of them from the farm itself, and all prepared on-site. We will end our visit with a farm tour, where we will meet the team, including cows, pigs, sheep, rabbits, chickens, and more! 

Next, we will tour La Marzocco, the creators of the espresso machine and developers of Italian coffee culture. We will discover how the La Marzocco espresso machine developed, including its early role in Starbucks and its modern role in artisanal and finely crafted coffee. Next, we will visit Borgo San Lorenzo, a traditional Tuscan town. Afterward, we will visit a small production, family-owned vineyard nestled in the hills near Fiesole. Here, we will sample olive oil that tastes like liquid sunshine and delicious wines created by a fourth generation wine maker. 

We will finish our day with dinner at a local trattoria, then head back to Florence.

Inclusions: 

  • Private car and driver for the day

  • Cheese making workshop at an agriturismo 

  • Lunch at the farm, followed by a tour

  • Visit to La Marzocco 

  • Vineyard, olive grove, and historic cellar tour

  • Wine and olive oil tasting

IMG_8014.jpeg
IMG_2021.jpeg

Day 3:
A Day in Chianti

This morning, we will embark on a guided tour of the Chianti region of Tuscany. We begin our day with a visit to the American Cemetery in Florence, a picturesque and historic WWII Memorial. Next, we head into the hills to visit some of the quaint towns that make up the Chianti region.  

 

We will stop for lunch and a wine tasting at a small, family owned vineyard in Castellina in Chianti. As we sit on a patio overlooking the rolling hills and cypress trees, we will sample olive oils, vinegars, traditional Tuscan foods, and excellent wines. 

 

To finish our day, we will continue on our journey through Tuscany, stopping to visit San Gimignano, a medieval hilltop town. You will have free time to stroll through the beautiful streets and peruse the alleyways. The views are amazing, and artists sell paintings all around the city that capture the beauty of the region. 

This evening on the way back to Florence we will stop at Piazzale Michelangelo, which overlooks the Arno and Florence, to watch the sunset. Then, we will head back into the sity for an optional group dinner. 

Inclusions: 

  • Private car and driver for the day

  • Guided outing through the Chianti area of Tuscany 

  • Wine and olive oil tasting

  • Traditional Tuscan lunch

  • Private cellar tour

  • Visit to San Gimignano

4CBD5DEC-0CDA-4895-9022-B53A400F6C8D_1_105_c.jpeg

Day 4: Val d'Orcia, Home of Cypress Trees, Brunello Wine, and Stunning Vistas

Today, we head south to Val d'Orcia. This is the Tuscany you see in pictures; rolling hills, clusters of cypress trees, otherworldly views of vineyards and ancient hilltop towns. 

We begin our day with a stop at a vineyard in Montalcino that produces award-winning Brunello wines. The farm dates back to the 1600s, and we will see the vineyards and tour the cellar, learning about some of the 53 rules the vintner must follow for the production of this wine. Then, we taste! 

Next, we head to a local restaurant for a delicious lunch. This trattoria is nestled in the hills with a terrace that provides endless views of the area. The views and the aromas of the amazing food are equally intoxicating. After lunch, we head to the tiny, historic hilltop town of Montalcino. 

Afterward, we will take a drive through the area, stopping to hike up a hill to a famous cluster of cypress trees you will undoubtedly recognize. Last, we will visit Pienza for time to stroll around before we head back to Florence for an optional group dinner. 

Inclusions: 

  • Private Car and Driver for the day

  • Vineyard and cellar tour

  • Brunello wine tasting

  • Visit to the cypress groves and the Belvedere

10535FBF-F040-47F1-9010-C109D2933963_1_105_c.jpeg
IMG_0946.jpeg
IMG_7688.jpeg

Day 5: First, We Create a Jewelry Masterpiece... Next, a Culinary Masterpiece! 

Today, we will visit a world-renowned jewelry school in Florence. We will create our very own piece of jewelry using traditional techniques! You will make a silver trilogy ring set with three Swarovski crystals, designed to celebrate the past, present, and future. 

Afterward, we will head to Piazza Santo Spirito for lunch. Afterward, we will visit the basilica di Santo Spirito to see one of Michelangelo's earliest pieces, believed to have been created around 1492. 

You have the afternoon free to explore the city before our evening cooking class in Florence! This evening, we will prepare a traditional Tuscan feast with an amazing chef. After we cook, we will eat in a beautiful Florentine garden. 

Inclusions: 

  • Jewelry making class and your custom piece you create

  • Visit and entry to Santo Spirito

  • Cooking class with an Italian chef

  • Dinner and wine

Day 6:  A Florentine morning...
Next stop, Bologna  

After a relaxing morning in Florence, we will head to the train station for a day in Emilia Romagna~ First stop, Bologna!

 

Here, we will embark on a walking food tour around this vibrant city. Bologna's history and traditions run deep, and you will have the opportunity to sample the local cuisine as we make our way through the historic city center, ending at the beautiful Seven Churches. 

We will spend the evening in Bologna, exploring the market district and the tiny restaurants nestled in alleyways. We will return to Florence by train. 

Inclusions: 

  • High speed train tickets to Bologna 

  • Guided food tour of Bologna (with a local guide)

  • High speed train ticket to Florence

Bologna Italy.jpeg
AB324430-9447-438C-A285-BF105AF31CD7.jpg

Day 7: 

We begin the day with a marble workshop in the heart of Florence. Here, we will not only learn how these masterpieces are created and restored, we will create a piece of our own! You will craft your own marble and resin piece, learning about the methods used for centuries.

 

Next, you will have free time in the afternoon to explore Florence. You can visit a museum, climb Giotto's Bell Tower, shop for leather goods, or just sit and watch the world go by! 

 

This evening, we will head to a special restaurant in Fiesole where we will celebrate and reflect on our time in Italy.  

Inclusions: ​​

  • Marble workshop tour and class 

  • marble and resin Florentine creation to take home

  • Private car and driver to Fiesole for dinner

3ADF83DF-C7A6-4A81-A7AA-9DA28062EBDC_1_105_c.jpeg
34C00E85-80A5-438C-9D95-9C18FC699B53_1_105_c_edited.jpg
5A3021B8-8BB3-4F07-B81A-D5427951B103_1_105_c.jpeg

Day 8: Arrivederci!

Today, we depart from Italy. A car will take you to the airport to begin your journey home.

Inclusions: 

  • Car transfer to airport

Scroll down for pricing and inclusions 
800C9B30-67C5-4514-9F52-9C58F016D1E4_1_105_c.jpeg
9503496B-3EAD-40E7-AD52-5BFEF62CEFDB_1_105_c.jpeg
4F474CF3-522B-40C0-B218-F29939958575_1_105_c.jpeg

Trip Cost: 
$3950
 
0 of 6 spots available

Inclusions

The Art and Soul Tour of Italy includes the following:

  • Your own private room in 4-star hotels located in the heart of the historic city center in Florence for a total of  7 nights.

  • Breakfast each day

  • Walking tour with local guide in Florence 

  • Private driver for full day in Mugello

  • Visit to an agriturismo on the Mugello Milky Way

  • Cheese making class in Mugello

  • Lunch at the agriturismo with a tour of the farm afterward

  • Tour of La Marzocco Espresso Machine Company Facility 

  • Visit to a small production olive grove and vineyard, including cellar tour and wine and olive oil tastings 

  • Private driver for full day outing to the Chianti province of Tuscany

  • Vineyard visit with tasting and a lunch of traditional Tuscan foods at a small, family-owned vineyard in Chianti

  • Private driver for full day in Val d'Orcia

  • Vineyard visit, cellar tour, and tasting at an award-winning vineyard that produces Brunello di Montalcino

  • Marble workshop where you will create your own marble piece to bring home with you

  • High speed train tickets from Florence to Bologna 

  • Food tour of Bologna with a local guide

  • High speed train tickets from Bologna to Florence

  • Jewelry workshop at a world renowned jewelry school in Florence, where you will make a piece of jewelry as a souvenir

  • Entrance to Santo Spirito

  • Private cooking class with Italian Chef Pietro Masi and dinner 

  • Private driver for special evening in Fiesole

Exclusions

Travelers are responsible for:

  • Travel to and from Italy. On this tour, we start in Florence and end in Florence. I am happy to assist with planning or offer advice on extending your tour.

  • Italy is open for travel with no restrictions. You can visit the following website for the latest updates: Italian Health Ministry Website

  • Travel insurance REQUIRED (Allianz Global offers great plans for around $150 per person) this can be purchased with airfare

  • Lunches and dinners (with the exception of the lunch in Mugello, lunch in Chianti and the cooking class)

  • Optional activities not included in the program~ such as places you might want to visit during your free time

  • Souvenirs

  • Tips for Drivers and Guides (approximately $75 total, given at your discretion)

Payment 

  • $395 deposit to secure your spot. Because of the small size of these trips, it is advisable to secure a spot early. 

  • 40% of trip cost ~ $1580~ due 100 days out from departure (July 15th, 2022) 

  • Balance of trip cost ~ $1975~ due 50 days out from departure (September 3rd, 2022)

 

After September 1st: 50 % deposit to book, balance due on October 1st