Being a two hour drive from Florence, this tour is slightly longer at nine hours, hence the higher price tag. The reward is scenic safari through the incredible Val d'Orcia (Orcia Valley), one of the most photographed regions of Tuscany. (The photos on the right are from this tour). The area is also the home of Italy's most highly rated wine namely; Brunello. We'll visit a leading family winery where we'll tour the cellars, and taste Rosso di Montalcino which is a young fruity version of Brunello. Recently UNESCO has elevated the Val d'Orcia to a World Heritage status, need I say more? We will also visit the tiny but picturesque towns of Montalcino and Pienza.
8.45am - Our tour of Tuscany starts as we head down the highway to the town of Montalcino. It's a drive of about two hours, but we'll see some lovely scenery on the way. Montalcino is a beautiful medieval town sitting on a hilltop and offering outstanding views. We're free to wander round and discover the beautiful views, and why the town is such a sought after location. We leave Montalcino and travel leisurely through the gorgeous Orcia Valley, where the landscape has been sculptured through the centuries not only to meet agricultural needs, but also to reflect the aesthetic sense for which Tuscany is famous.
Late morning we arrive at our winery, a delightful family estate and everything you'd expect when thinking of Tuscany. We'll start with a guided tour of the cellars for an explanation on the techniques for producing Tuscany's most acclaimed wine. We follow with a private tasting of Brunello, & Rosso di Montalcino. Brunello wines are only produced in this very small area of Tuscany, and with high scores by the international press, are considered among the world's top wines.
Lunch is at your leisure, and I can recommend a number of interesting eating possibilities. (Lunch is not included in final fee).
We continue our Tuscany tour with a snapshot photo safari during the afternoon, and we'll stop at the most famous sites. You'll have seen these pictures in books and calendars, but it's even better to witness them first hand. If photography isn't you cup of tea, feasting your eyes on the scenery is still a great way to pass the day.
We eventually arrive in the charm packed town of Pienza, considered the first example of modern urban planning. Rebuilt in 1462, the town is disarmingly small but of great interest and scenic beauty, and if you like cheese & wine then look no further; this is the place to be. We conclude our day of touring in Tuscany and return to our accommodation.
06.00pm - Return.
Duration: nine hours door to door from Florence.