Don’t miss this opportunity to travel with Lori Chisholm on a foodie tour of Florence and the surrounding Tuscan countryside with visits to her favourite places, with her favourite local guides. Space is limited to 10 persons on a first come, first serve basis, so be sure to act fast!!!
September 25 - October 05, 2016
per person, sharing twin accommodation Taxes/fuel surcharges $598 Single supplement: $460.00 (limited to maximum 2) The above price allows for credit card payment. If paying by cheque please deduct $150.00 from the tour cost.
*If the tour is SOLD OUT, please contact us to be added to the waitlist.
Evening flight to Paris with Air France. Dinner and breakfast will be served on board.
Morning arrival in Paris where there will be a brief delay before boarding your connecting flight to Florence. Transfer by taxi to our very comfortable, three-star Hotel Corona d’Italia (www.hotelcoronaditalia.com), centrally located at the corner of the famous San Lorenzo Market. Time to settle in, freshen up and begin our exploration of this beautiful city. We’ll meet later for cocktails before we stroll to our first Italian meal in a nearby family-owned trattoria.
After breakfast, our local guide Alessandra will take us on a personal orientation walking tour of Florence. We’ll learn about Brunelleschi’s magnificent cathedral dome and Ghiberti’s Baptistry doors. After lunch on our own, we’ll re-group for a guided tour of the Accademia where we’ll marvel at Michaelangelo’s Prisoners and his greatest masterpiece, the colossal David. Balance of the day is free for exploring. (Allessandra may change the order of the visits.)
This morning after a leisurely breakfast, we join Antoinette of Taste Florence (www.tasteflorence.com ) for our personal food tour through the city. During the tour we will try local regional specialities including wine and sweets. We will visit the Mercato Centrale to taste cheeses, sauces, chutneys and crostini; enjoy a tutorial tasting of balsamic vinegar and olive oils and participate in a wine tasting at a local enoteca. Naturally, we must finish up with dessert, so the tour will end at a gelateria for gelato and chocolate - fresh, natural ingredients only, here! The rest of the day is free to do as you please.
Today our driver will pick us up at the hotel in a comfortable, 16-passenger vehicle for our trip to Certaldo. There we will spend the morning with Giuseppina at her renowned cooking school. We’ll prepare a 4-course meal and enjoy it along with wine, and leave with a souvenir apron. We’ll continue on to San Gimignano whose skyline is dominated by a multitude of medieval towers and its shops filled with art, artifacts and local products. We’ll wander, perhaps climb the torre for some breathtaking views, and enjoy some of Italy’s best gelato. Our return to the hotel by 6:00 p.m. will allow us time for dinner (if we still have room!).
This morning after breakfast, we’ll devote our time to the wondrous Renaissance art of the Uffizi Gallery. The finest collection of Italian paintings anywhere includes masterpieces by DaVinci, Botticelli and Michaelangelo. Take as much time as you like, enjoy lunch on your own, and continue your exploration of the churches, galleries and markets of Florence.
After breakfast, we will have the day to tour, visit, re-visit, explore and, of course, shop for souvenirs. There are lots of options: a day trip to Pisa or Venice or Siena? (we are 5 minutes from the train station!)... the Bargello Gallery?…the Pitti palace? …a climb up the Duomo?...a wander through the Oltrarno district…?
Eat a light breakfast today because we have lots of locally-produced delicacies ahead of us! Once again, our driver will be picking us up, this time for a day trip to the Tuscan countryside south and west of Florence. We’ll start with a visit to a family-run farm where we will sample their sparkling wines and vin santo with some local product. From there, we’ll move on to another farm where we’ll have the opportunity to meet a family of farmers with a wonderful back story. We’ll enjoy a vineyard walk, a tour of the dairy and cellar and then a lunch with wine, cheese, salumi, breads and olive oil. We should be home by 4:00.
We will have the morning and afternoon free to continue exploring Florence, and to revisit our favourite shops and cafés. At our farewell dinner, we’ll celebrate our fabulous week in a typical Tuscan ristorante.
Morning transfer by taxi to the Florence Airport for our return to Toronto via Paris.
- return air transportation with Air France - all transfers and transportation as per the itinerary - 9 nights accommodation in a superior tourist-class 3 star hotel, based on double occupancy (single supplement $460.00) - daily breakfast - meals as per the itinerary including welcome dinner, Panzano dinner featuring bistecca alla fiorentina, and farewell dinner - 5 activities exclusive to our group of 11: historical walking tour of Florence with whisper headsets; food walking tour of Florence with substantial tastings; day trip for cooking class with lunch and visit to San Gimignano with gelato; day trip to the Tuscan countryside with winery visits and substantial tastings; evening trip to Panzano - admissions to: Accademia Gallery Uffizi Gallery Santa Croce San Gimignano Tower - driver and guide gratuity (Meals included: B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner)
- transfers to & from Toronto International airport - airport taxes and fuel surcharges (currently at $598 but subject to change) - beverages with meals - expenses of a personal nature - insurance – please contact Pauwels Travel for rates