When the scent of wood burning fires and roasted chestnuts fill the air, and the tourists are long gone, Tuscany shines even brighter.
Outdoor Christmas markets pop up in each village and their ancient streets are aglow with twinkling lights and nativity scenes.
Accommodations for this tour is "hotel diffuso" style, where you will spend 6 nights in your own apartment in the village. You can enjoy breakfast on your own at nearby cafes, and we will meet each day for our excursions, classes, and meals. All apartments are located in the historic center of the walled village, and are a short walk to shops, bars, and restaurants.
Sample accommodations in Cortona.
We will pick you up in Rome at the airport or Roma Termini train station. Settle into your apartment and we will meet for aperitivo, before we head to dinner at a local trattoria in Cortona.
CHEESEMAKING AT AN AGRITURISMO
We start this week making cheese and having lunch on a dairy farm. Dinner together tonight in Cortona.
TUESDAY WINE TASTING & MONTEPULCIANO CHRISTMAS MARKET.
This afternoon we visit Pienza, beloved city of the Medici family for shopping and free time to explore the medieval village. have lunch and a wine tasting at Cantina Di Ricci in the Montepulciano, with free time to visit the village's Christmas market and explore the tiny streets and shops. Tonight we go casual with an assortment of pizzas, "stuzzichini", wine, and local craft beer to enjoy while we create vintage Christmas ornaments and gifts in a tiny cantina in Cortona.
WEDNESDAY MARKET DAY IN THE VILLAGE
Market to table cooking class today. Rise early to purchase the best ingredients at the market in Piazza della Signorelli and visit the local butcher shop to pick up meat for tomorrow's cooking class too. ead to a little villa to make a heartwarming Italian comfort food lunch today. Tonight, dinner at an agriturismo.
THURSDAY COOKING BY CANDLELIGHT
Free morning. Late afternoon guided tour of a hidden jewelry and leather studio. Enjoy some prosecco during your visit then meet up to cook a Tuscan winter diner of antipasti, polenta with a mushroom ragu as well as the traditional tomato ragu with grilled sausages and pork ribs to serve over the polenta, and Italian Christmas cookies and truffles together, fireside, at the villa to take home to friends an family!
FRIDAY TRANSFER TO FLORENCE
As we head to Florence for two nights, we stop for lunch and olive oil tasting at an olive oil mill tucked away in the countryside, in Anghiari. Check into the hotel with free time before we meet for dinner, followed by a visit to the Christmas market in Piazza Santa Croce.
FOOD, COCKTAIL, & SHOPPING CRAWL AROUND FLORENCE
A Florentine holiday food crawl tasting the city's favorite dishes and some holiday specialties, and of course gelato, because that's never out of season! On our walk we will cover the historic center to across the Arno River, stopping at artisan's shops along the way. Tickets to the Pitti Palace or Ufizzi Gallery can be arranged. Let us know in advance.
SUNDAY A PRESTO!
After breakfast we will transport everyone to Rome airport or Roma Termini station as needed. Until next time, arrividerci!
Holiday Season in Tuscany 7 night tour rate:
$3,300 per person
Included in price:
6 Lunches & 6 Dinners.
Wine included with all meals.
Private transportation throughout the tour.
All entrance fees to excursions outlined in itinerary.
Hands-on cooking classes.
All taxes and gratuities.
Airport transfers to and from Rome.
7 nights Accommodation (You can choose to reserve apartments within your own budget from our suggested list or on your own in small hotels or Airbnb's in Cortona.)