Take a Break in Tuscany
Take a break from the chaos of Rome with a Tuscan holiday. Our tour will focus on the famous Val D’Orcia region, visiting the historic hill towns of Montepulciano, Pienza and the vineyards of Montalcino. If you have a taste for Tuscany but just a short time in Italy, this tour is for you!
A comfortable air-conditioned bus collects us in Rome and by mid-morning we’re in the ancient Etruscan town of Montepulciano. We’ll tour the town’s most important sights from the exposed brick Duomo and the main square to Punch’s Tower where Punch (without Judy) strikes his bell from the clock tower every hour. As we walk your guide will tell you the stories that bring the sleepy streets of this tiny hill town to life.
Vineyards of Montalcino
Our next stop is at the vineyards of Montalcino. This is where Italy’s best wine, Brunello di Montalcino, is produced. We’ll absorb views over some of Tuscany’s most beautiful vineyards before heading to Sant’Antimo Abbey where, with a bit of luck, we’ll be just in time to hear the monks perform Gregorian chants in much the same way as they have for centuries.
We’ll have time to sample the famous red wine at our next stop, a sure highlight – lunch! The bus will take us out of town to a beautiful Tuscan vineyard where we’ll start lunch with a professionally guided wine tasting of three locally produced, world-famous wines including a Brunello di Montalcino. Wine tastings will be accompanied by bruschetta and over our three-course lunch we’ll try three more types of wine along with a spread of cold cuts and local specialties, many of which have been grown and prepared just outside.
Next Stop, Utopia
Back on the bus your guide will prepare you for our next stop – Pienza. You will hear how this World Heritage site was conceived by Pope Pius II as a “utopian village” and get information on sites you may want to visit, such as the two Renaissance palaces and the beautiful Duomo. Pienza is a small town so we’ll split up here and take some time to wander alone, enjoying ancient architecture and views of the rolling countryside or just getting lost among the winding streets. Whatever you choose to do with your time, be sure to sample Pienza’s most important product pecorino cheese in one of the many artisan food stores around the town.
Scenic Drive to Rome
With full bellies and bags packed with wine, cheese and pici pasta, we’ll meet back at the bus for a comfortable and scenic drive back to Rome. Take a well-deserved nap, watch the country fly past or spend the time planning your next visit to Tuscany – because one visit is never enough!
For something a little closer to Rome check out our Frascati Wine Tour, a half day tour from Rome.