Monday. June 11. Lucca.
Benvenuti a casa in Italia. Welcome home to Italy! Paolo and Carl will pick you up at the Pisa airport and whisk you away to our stunning place in the beautiful walled city of Lucca. Your hosts will prepare your first dinner as you relax and settle in. Then we’ll take an after-dinner stroll to the only circular piazza in Italy, Piazza Anfiteatro, to our first of many gelatos.
Tuesday. June 12. Lucca.
The city below you to the left, and the mountains above you on the right – that is our view as we bike ride atop of the famed wall of Lucca. It’s an easy and scenic ride around the city. Or if you’d prefer, you can opt to stroll instead 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.
Wednesday. June 13. Cinque Terre.
From Lucca, we head up the coast to the amazing region of Cinque Terre, a string of centuries-old seaside villages on the rugged Italian Riviera coastline. In each of the 5 towns, colorful houses and vineyards cling to steep terraces. We’ll go swimming and have relaxing sunset yoga on the beach.
Thursday. June 14. Cinque Terre.
Get your sensible shoes on, everyone! We’re going to the Sentiero Azzurro cliffside hiking trail which links the villages and offers sweeping sea vistas. You can hike as ambitiously or briefly as you wish. For dinner, we head to a trattoria where they will turn out seafood specialties along with the famous sauce of Liguria, pesto!
Friday. June 15. San Gimignano.
Leaving the shores of Cinque Terre, we head south. We’ll stop in Pisa to take the requisite pictures at the famed leaning tower and have lunch. After a short drive, we will enter the medieval town of San Gimignano. After settling in, we tour a nearby winery and have a tasting of wines and olive oil. Dining amongst the 13 remaining towers, we’ll feel ourselves to be transported back to the Middle Ages.
Saturday. June 16. San Gimignano.
We will have breakfast at the villa while overlooking the Tuscan hills, a sight to cherish for the rest of your life. There are a lot of things to choose from today: San Gimignano has a torture museum, a beautiful church, a natural history museum and more. 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.
Sunday. June 17. Florence.
After arriving in Florence and settling into our villa, we’ll take you for a tour, a clandestine picnic lunch in the beautiful Boboli Gardens, and then over to the Duomo. If you're up for it, we’ll climb the 463 steps to the top, and see the famed city as though from Heaven.
Monday. June 18. Florence.
Waking early, we’ll take to the water. Right after breakfast, we’ll paddle and float up the Arno River toward the Ponte Vecchio, learning things about Florence not visible from land. Then, we’ll have an aperitivo. After all, it’s 5 o’clock somewhere!
Next, we’ll head to Florence’s famous outdoor market to buy food for tonight's feast. The freshest and tastiest of produce is to be had right here. We’ll have lunch here as we’re shopping, then heading back to the villa for a nap. For dinner we’ll be making various Tuscan dishes with the help and instruction of local chefs. We’ll also learn to play ‘Scopa’, Italy’s national card game, and watch a beautiful Italian movie filmed nearby. Rest up, friends, you’re going to need your strength for tomorrow
Tuesday. June 19. Florence.
Today is full of excitement, 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. 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.
Wednesday. June 20. Depart.
After a grand breakfast, Paolo and Carl wish a fond farewell to our fellow travelers as we drop you at the Florence airport. We hope your sense of the world is enriched by these adventures, and that you have fallen in love with this wonderful land, just as we have! Buon viaggio, amici. We know you’ll be back.