Meet Pisa Airport at 1pm. Drive(2 hours) to La Suvera, our luxurious hotel converted from a former Papal villa, where we stay for 4 nights. Time to settle in and relax before we meet for a welcome drink in the gardens followed by a delicious dinner.
Walk in the wooded hills of the "Montagnola". See the Renaissance gardens of Villa Cetinale and visit the beautiful garden and chapel at Celsa Castle. Picnic in the open countryside with views across to the towers of Siena. (16km/10miles). This evening we visit the pretty hilltop town of Casole d'Elsa near our hotel where we have dinner in a cosy trattoria.
We depart the hotel on foot and follow former merchant trails up into the Montagnola hills, passing through ancient woodlands and coming upon an abandoned castle. Pass a small former quarry, once used for the lovely “pietra serena” stone typical of this area and descend to an pretty hamlet overlooking the valley of the River Elsa. Picnic in the open countryside before returning to the hotel. (8km/5 miles). Later in the day experience a Tuscan cookery lesson with a charismatic local chef in the 16th century kitchen of a nearby private villa. Enjoy a relaxed evening with lots of opportunities for hands-on involvement!
A leisurely start to the day before we drive to Siena and have time to explore this World Heritage city with a private tour of some of the lesser-known artistic gems. Enjoy a delicious lunch at a lively trattoria in the heart of the medieval city. Free time in the afternoon to shop and visit the sights before we return to our hotel. Casual pizza dinner in a nearby town.
This morning we depart from La Suvera and drive to the heart of the Chianti Classico region. We visit one of the oldest churches in Chianti near the village of Panzano before walking through vineyards and woodlands to a local organic winery. Private tour of their cellars to taste their wines and olive oil before a picnic lunch on the estate. In the afternoon there is the opportunity to continue on foot to the market town of Greve-in-Chianti. (13km/8miles) We stay the next three nights at the four-star Palazzo Leopoldo in the hilltop village of Radda-in-Chianti. Dinner in the village this evening.
Starting above the village of Radda-in-Chianti we climb up to the ridge of the Monte dei Chianti and the highest point in the region, Monte San Michele. From here we have views to the Arno valley and beyond to the Apennine mountains. Fabulous leisurely lunch at the renowned Ristoro di Lamole high in the Chianti hills before returning to our hotel. Time to relax before a light buffet dinner. (10km/6.3miles) See our Blog for more on today's restaurant.
Magnificent final walk in Tuscany in the more rugged region of Eastern Chianti. We pass through perfectly preserved villages en route to the magnificent Brolio Castle, owned by the Ricasoli family since the 11th century. Brolio Castle provides stunning views to Siena, the Tuscan Crete to the south and to the Chianti hills to the west. Visit the gardens and family chapel before a short drive back to Palazzo Leopoldo. Final dinner in a beautiful Radda restaurant. (16km/10.1miles)
Return to Pisa Airport for 11am.