Friday. June 1st. Florence.
Benvenuti a casa in Italia. Welcome home to Italy. Paolo and Carl will pick you up at the Florence airport and whisk you away to our stunning villa downtown near the Arno river and the Ponte Vecchio. Your esteemed hosts will prepare your first dinner as you relax and settle in. During dessert you’ll be privy to a concert by the new band “Ben’occhio” Then we’ll take “una passeggiata”; a stroll, to our first of many gelatos
Saturday June 2nd. Florence. Duomo, boboli gardens, pitti palace
Today is a busy day, everyone, with lots of walking, lots of history and with lots of sights to be seen. We’ll visit the Baptistry, the Duomo, (and if you're up for it we’ll climb the 463 steps to the top), the Pitti Palace and have a clandestine picnic lunch in the Boboli Gardens (Whew, I’m exhausted just writing about it) after dressing for dinner we’ll head out to a fabulous restaurant and wine tasting. Then we’ll wander the streets and explore some of the lively Florentine nightlife…
Sunday. June 3rd. Florence. Festival ren banquet in Florence
Garb up, amici. This is the festival of Cortona. There will be the sbandieratori,(Italian flag twirlers.) falconers,. a crossbow competition, joust. Paolo and Giacomo will be performing in Italian and Ben’occhio will be playing music. Then we’ll return to Florence for a renaissance banquet in a palazzo.
Monday. June 4th. Rafting early. Lunch wine tasting Chianti then Siena
Waking early we’re going to take to the water. Right after breakfast, we’re going to paddle and float up the Arno river toward the Ponte Vecchio. We’ll learn things about Florence that you can’t see from land and have an aperitivo from the shore. (it’s 5 o’clock somewhere.) Then we’ll say goodbye to Florence and head toward the campo of
Siena, Florence's bitter rival during the Middle Ages.
Tuesday. June 5th. Siena
Today we will meet Antonio who runs the best macellia in Siena and he will create for us a feast which we will take with us to the campo. There we will sit and lunch as Italians have done for the last 800 years. There is much to see here in Siena and Vince is an expert in it’s history and architecture.
Wednesday. June 6th San gimignano
After a short drive we will enter the medieval town of San Gimignano. After settling in we will tour a nearby winery and have a tasting of wines and olive oil. Then we will dine amongst the 13 remaining towers and be transported back to the Middle Ages.
Thursday. June 7th. San Gimignano
We will have breakfast at the villa while overlooking the Tuscan hills. This is a sight you will cherish for the rest of your lives. There are a lot of things to choose from today. San Gimignano has a tower torture museum… there is a beautiful church. There is a natural history museum. Climb the bell tower of the city’s tallest tower and see unparalleled views of the area. Or just sit at a cafe and indulge in what many people say is the best gelato in Italy. (well, Carl says this) This afternoon is on your own and we will meet up for dinner.
Friday. June 8th Lucca
After lunch we’ll drive to Lucca, a beautiful double walled city with it’s roots as far back as the Roman Empire. Explore inside the the double wall, designed by our old friend, Leonardo, and after a yummy Tuscan feast we’ll head to Piazza dell’ Anfiteatro for a concert. (Not to fear there is always wine and gelato nearby)
Saturday. June 9th Lucca
The city below you on the left and the mountains above you on the right. That is our view as we bike ride on top of the famed wall of Lucca. It’s an easy ride around the city so there’s no reason to be intimidated. Or if you’d prefer, walk or just sit and people watch at a cafe. You will be enthralled in any case. We’ll tour Lucca’s gothic church and shop for clothes and souvenirs along via Fillungo.
Sunday. June 10th Depart
After a grand breakfast Paolo, Carl, Ty, and Vince wish a fond farewell to our fellow travelers as we drop you at the Pisa airport We hope your world is enriched with our last ten days together and that you have fallen equally in love with this land that we care so much for. Buon viaggio, amici. We know you’ll be back.