Flavours of Tuscany
The beauty of this rural Italian idyll is matched by the quality of the produce grown in its soil. Savour local specialities, cook some of the region's signature dishes and admire its fine art, unique architecture and celebrated landmarks.
- Just You Tour Manager as your host
- 7 nights in a 4-star hotel
- 12 meals: 7 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 3 dinners
- Specialist Local Guide
- Welcome drink & farewell get-together
- Overseas arrival transfers
- Complimentary wi-fi on board your coach
- Audio Guide
- Cooking & wine tasting in a farm
- Florence sightseeing & wine tasting in San Donato in Collina
- Cooking a Tuscan lunch & wine tasting in Castello del Trebbio
- The Leaning Tower of Pisa
- San Gimignano & Siena
- A night at the Montecatini opera (May to Oct)
- Discover Lucca
Pre-bookable excursions: The Leaning Tower of Pisa, San Gimignano & Siena & Discover Lucca can be pre-booked as a package.
Make your own way to Pisa where we'll meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel. You'll meet your travelling companions over a drink and dinner this evening.
Tuscan crostini, meaning 'little toast', is a classic Italian appetiser and one of the dishes we'll learn about at Fattoria Il Poggio, a beautiful farm in the hillside village of Montecarlo di Lucca. We'll learn how to prepare ragù sauce, handmade macaroni pasta and meat sauce for a typical crostini. Why not make notes as you learn from the experts so you can try out the recipes at home. Then it's our turn to cook our own handmade pasta.
We'll then enjoy a well-deserved lunch – an appetiser of two kinds of crostini and a selection of salami, our macaroni pasta served with ragù sauce, three local meats and, to finish, the almond biscuits cantuccini.
Fattoria Il Poggio is famous for its wines and we'll be given a guided tour of its vineyards and enjoy a tasting of four wines. We'll also learn more about the farm and the local area, and see the olive trees and mill used to produce olive oil.
Pisa is home to one of Italy's most recognisable sights, the famous Leaning Tower. Residing in the Field of Miracles, this 180ft campanile took 176 years to build and began to lean shortly after construction. Thankfully, the structure has been secured yet it still retains its famous lean. See this landmark on our optional excursion. Alternatively, take time to relax at your hotel.
Celebrated as the birthplace of the Renaissance, Florence is home to works by great masters including Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and Botticelli. Built beside the River Arno, we'll explore the city's compact historic centre in the company of a Local Guide. Stroll across the Ponte Vecchio (old bridge), see the magnificent Duomo and admire glorious architecture among the Renaissance streets and piazzas before free time to enjoy lunch.
We'll head next to Cantina Torre a Cona in San Donato in Collina where we will visit the cellar and sample four wines. They will be served with pecorino cheese with honey, cured hams, bruschetta and pate’.
San Gimignano is one of the prettiest hilltop towns in Tuscany, with beautiful palaces and churches, ornate frescoes and a fine baptistery within its ancient walls. It's also known as the 'town of beautiful towers' because of the impressive towers built here as status symbols by feuding families in medieval times. Siena is one of the most perfectly preserved medieval cities in Europe. Its enchanting narrow streets lined with palaces and mansions lead to the spectacular Piazza del Campo, which is the setting each year for the colourful and intense Palio horse race. You can visit both towns on our optional excursion today.
This evening there will be an opportunity to attend the Montecatini Opera Festival.
The beautiful Castello del Trebbio is surrounded by picture-postcard scenery. It's also where we'll learn to prepare a typical Tuscan lunch. Recipes vary to make the most of seasonal ingredients but will typically include three dishes, included fresh pasta. We'll enjoy the results for lunch with a wine tasting. Our visit here also takes in the castle and its cellar.
Our base, Montecatini Terme, is a lovely town and today you can spend a day at leisure here. If you head to the centre of the town you will discover a large park with three thermal spas, a wellness centre and a fantastic selection of shops, bars and restaurants.
Alternatively, why not join our optional excursion to Lucca, an historic town which lies at the foot of the Apuan Alps and is surrounded by impressive walls. Here we'll head off on a sightseeing tour and take a walk along the ancient ramparts. We'll also admire the beautiful botanical gardens, the Basilica of San Frediano and see fascinating architecture, including a tree-topped tower.
At the end of your tour, you can join your fellow travellers on a transfer to the airport or choose to make your own arrangements.
Experience even more of your destination by adding one or more optional excursions to your vacation before you set off. Right now is the perfect opportunity to do that – with everything booked and paid for you’ll have even more to get excited about and all you’ll need to think about while you’re away is having a great time.
By the way - look out for ‘Optional Excursion Packages’. For some holidays we’ve grouped a selection of excursions into a package which means you can make a saving when you book in advance.
Prices shown may vary according to departure date and are subject to change. The full range of excursions will be detailed in your vacation information pack, sent approximately 15 weeks prior to departure.
Italy - The Leaning Tower of Pisa
No journey is complete in Tuscany without a visit to the town of Pisa. In the company of a local guide you’ll discover the Leaning Tower, situated in the Field of Miracles where you will also find the best examples of medieval architecture in one place. The cathedral and tower is where Galileo performed many experiments and a visit to both is a must, especially to see the marble pulpit of Nicola Pisano inside the cathedral, or a stroll down to the river Arno or Borgo Stretto the oldest street in Pisa famous for its shops.
Half Day - Minimal Walking - Historical Interest
Italy - Charming Siena and San Gimignano
Step back in time as you visit these two hilltop towns that have changed very little since the Middle Ages. San Gimignano is also known as the ‘town of the beautiful towers’. You’ll see why from a distance as the vast numbers of towers built as status symbols by feuding families come into view. More treats are in store in the shape of elegant palaces, ancient frescoed churches and small shops selling local produce and hand-crafted souvenirs. In Siena a Local Guide will lead you through streets lined with palaces and mansions to the Piazza del Campo – the setting for the Palio horse race – and the cathedral which boasts an exquisitely decorated façade.
Full day - Moderate Walking - Highly recommended
Italy - Prebookable Package - The Leaning Tower of Pisa/ Charming Siena and San Gimignano/Lucca
Prebookable Package - The Leaning Tower of Pisa/ Charming Siena and San Gimignano / Lucca
Italy - Lucca
Nearby Lucca is a lovely historic town at the foot of the Apuan Alps. You’ll discover perfectly preserved medieval and Renaissance architecture, charming piazzas and even a tree-topped tower as you stroll through its historic centre. Further must-see highlights include the Piazza Anfiteatro, built on the site of an original Roman amphitheatre, and the Duomo di San Martino, a beautiful marble cathedral which houses the Volto Santo – a large crucifix of the Holy Face carved into cedar wood. Lucca is also the birthplace of composer Puccini, and his former home is now a museum.
Half day – Moderate walking - historic
Italy - Montecatini Opera Festival Just You
Through the passing of time music and culture have remained vital aspects of the town, confirming the strict link between past and present and making Montecatini an ideal place for art and emotions. We offer an optional excursion to the evening music festival which presents the great tradition of opera and the cultural heritage of this region. The Festival is well merged with the town itself and its inhabitants and it is recognized as one of the great musical festivals to take place in Italy. Your ticket price includes a guaranteed seat and refreshment.
2 to 3 hours - Minimal Walking - Cultural ambience
Just You have made every effort to ensure the accuracy of the hotel images provided on this website and images of room types displayed may vary to those offered on your tour. Therefore due to the possibility of inadvertent errors we do not guarantee their accuracy. Hotels, airlines used and flight times are subject to change and will be confirmed in your final documents.
Dates and Prices
Make Your Own Way
Monday 21 Oct 2019