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La Dolce Vita in Tuscany
April 7 - April 14, 2016
This custom tour is the perfect way for architecture and preservation lovers to view Tuscany with fresh eyes. Stay in a historic villa estate in Chianti overlooking olive groves and vineyards. Discover the unparalleled Gothic masterpieces of Siena, the Renaissance elegance of Pienza and Montepulciano, the romantic beauty of stunning private villas, and gardens dotting the ethereal countryside in between. Dine with local nobility in their stunning city palaces, meet master craftsmen keeping alive centuries-old traditions and be led to secret treasures in Siena and its countryside.
Day 1 | Departures for Florence
Depart on independent flights for Florence, Italy.
Day 2 | Arrivals in Florence
Meet at the Florence Peretola International Airport (FLR) in the afternoon for a group transfer to the Villa Le Barone in Panzano in Chianti. Following check-in and some time at leisure, gather for an exquisite Tuscan meal with gorgeous views of rolling vineyards.
Day 3 | Castle Gardens of Chianti
The first morning in Tuscany begins in Greve in Chianti, the area where Leonardo Da Vinci grew up, at a villa where Mona Lisa was born. After wandering the Renaissance garden, enter the villa for a special sampling of olive oil extracted from the aromatic groves surrounding the estate. Lunch today is served at a nearby castle with a tasting of Chianti Classico and Super Tuscan wines. After lunch, receive a private viewing of one of Europe’s oldest indoor theaters, which maintains its painted canvas backdrops and centuries old theater props before exploring Badia a Coltibuono’s monastery and garden where geometric hedges encircle medicinal and aromatic species.
Day 4 | Secret Gardens of Florence
Visit Villa Gamberaia with over 400 years of history and unparalleled views over the city of Florence. The villa’s historic parterre garden was spectacularly restored after WWII by utilizing prints, maps, and original designs inspired by French formal gardens. Enjoy free time in Florence for an independent lunch. In the afternoon visit the Villa Capponi “La Pietra,” a 16th-century noble residence boasting a walled garden with a Baroque stair, a pool, and outdoor “rooms” partitioned by exquisite stone sculptures.
Day 4 | Art Treasures in Siena, Queen of the Hill Towns
Head south to Siena for the day and visit theremarkable Duomo with its characteristic striped marble pillars and ornate inlaid marble. Step inside the Piccolomini Library where Pinturicchio’s celebrated frescoes adorn the walls depicting the life of Pope Pius II, “the patron of Pienza.” Just around the corner are four small masterpieces by Michelangelo, originally part of a larger collection left unfinished by the artist. Across the piazza visit the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo to see Duccio’s Maestà. Meander the medieval streets before arriving at the vast, sunny Piazza del Campo dominated by the Gothic town hall and the Torre del Mangia, Italy’s second largest tower ever built. Later, guests are invited by the owners of a villa to view a collection of art integrated into the landscape, while sipping on their personal wine production harvested and matured at the estate.
Day 5 | Montepulciano and the Ideal Renaissance Town
Depart for the garden masterpiece of Iris and Antonio Origo at Villa La Foce, located in the picturesque Val D’Orcia. Next, arrive at Montepulciano, one of Tuscany’s highest hill towns with views that stretch as far as Umbria. Walk the boutique-lined Corso to reach the town’s duomo and stand before the Assumption by Taddeo di Bartolo, one of the Sienese School’s foremost masters. For lunch, enjoy local dishes prepared with farm-fresh pecorino cheeses and hearty pastas. This afternoon, stop in Pienza to trace the power of the Piccolomini family and Pope Pius’s efforts to create the ideal Renaissance city. See the Duomo, then see the palace designed by infamous Borgia Pope Alexander VI. Enter Pope Pius’s palace to see his verdant antique garden with views over the Val D’Orcia.
Day 6 | Private Villas of the Sienese Countryside
Visit the Baroque palace of Villa Cetinale, constructed for Pope Alexander VII in 1680. Later visit a centuries-old castello, now privately owned by a noble Italian family and splendidly enhanced through its limonaia, antique iron gates, and meandering labyrinths of boxwood. In the evening, say arrivederci in style at a private villa owned by a Countess before returning to the tour's villa for a last night amidst the dreamlike Tuscan terrain.
Day 7 | Departure for Home
From $3,995 per person ($695 single supplement)*
*Tour price is per person based on double occupancy, with a minimum of 15 paying participants. Pricing is subject to change.
Mention Historic Hotels of America when booking your tour and receive three $100 gift certificates, each good toward a $100 refund when you book through HistoricHotels.org and stay for at least two-nights at a Historic Hotels of America hotel.**
To book a tour, please contact our tour VIP desk by calling +1 202 772 8000 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Terms & Conditions
International Seminar Design, Inc. (ISDI) acts only as an agent for the participant with respect to transportation, accommodations, and all other services relating to this tour. ISDI, the National Trust, and/or their agents assume no responsibility or liability for any act, error or omission, or for any injury, loss, accident, delay or irregularity, which may be caused by any defect in any aircraft, ship, train, bus, or other carrier, or through neglect or default of any subcontractor or other third party, which may be used wholly or in part in the performance of their duty to the participants of the tour. ISDI and NTHP reserve the right to cancel any tour prior to departure for any reason including insuffcient numbers of participants, as well as the right to decline to accept or retain any person as a member of the tour at any time. If bookings fall below the minimum required, passengers will be advised of additional costs or itinerary alterations before departure date.
All cancellations must be received in writing by ISDI,and are subject to a non-refundable administrative fee of $500 per person. Written cancellation received by ISDI on or before December 15, 2015: full refund minus $500 per person administrative fee. Written cancellation received by ISDI between December 16, 2015 and February 27, 2016: 50 percent of tour cost per person. Cancellations received after February 28, 2016: no refund. After the tour has commenced, it is not possible to issue any refunds. No refunds for any unused portion of the tour including, but not limited to, occasional missed meals or any missed sightseeing tours. Costs for promotion, staff, and other group expenses are not refundable. In the case of cancellation, substitutions are not accepted. The tour cost is non-transferable. If ISDI or the NTHP cancels the tour, active registrants will receive a full refund of all tour payments. A package of cancellation, baggage, and medical insurance is strongly recommended. © 2015 International Seminar Design, Inc. / CST 2072963-40.
Tour Price Inclusions: 6 nights at Villa Le Barone in Tuscany; breakfast daily, 3 lunches, 2 wine tastings, 2 dinners, wine at lunch and dinner; services of ISDI Tour Manager; entrances to all visits on itinerary; land transportation by private coach; one (1) group transfer from FLR airport upon arrival and one (1) upon departure; gratuities to local guides and drivers; entrance fees to sites per itinerary.
Tour Price Exclusions: Airfare, airline taxes, and fuel surcharges; individual transfers to and from the airport for those not using group transfers; excursions, activities, or meals marked optional on the itinerary; personal items; personal services; airport tax, fuel surcharges, and travel extensions; personal insurance for health, baggage, and tour cancellation; any other items not specifcally included in the itinerary.