Unforgettable rambles though Chianti’s hills and vineyards Visit Monte Oliveto Maggiore, a Benedictine abbey founded in 1313 Fresh Tuscan cuisine and luxurious historic lodging Explore classic medieval hill towns including Pienza and Vertine Join a wine expert for a tasting of Brunello di Montalcino and other vintages Ancient Footpaths in Medieval Italy It just makes sense really. The closer you get to something, the richer your experience. Fly over Tuscany and you may see Florence as a cluster of red clay roofs. Maybe you see the Arno River winding through the patchwork landscape. Take a bus, you get an idea of the hills and scenery. But stroll past its vineyards and olive groves. Smell the cypress and rosemary. Stand in the shade of oak trees. Taste the Brunello and the olive oil on bread toasted in a stone fireplace. There is no better – or closer – way to truly experience Tuscany.
Days 1-2 Abbey of Sant’Antimo, a former Benedictine monastery dating back to the late 18th century Enjoy unforgettable views of Tuscany from the medieval hamlet of Castelnuovo dell’Abate The Val d’Orcia invites a wander Explore the architectural treasures in Pienza and sample its renowned pecorino cheese Discover world-famous Brunello wine in Montalcino. Days 3-4 Visit and picnic at Monte Oliveto Maggiore, an important abbey on the ancient Via Francigena pilgrimage route Follow a quiet route up to the majestic Castello di Brolio, where Baron Bettino Ricasoli formulated the modern method of producing Chianti Classico in the 19th century Amble through pristine vineyards and pine forest en route to Radda in Chianti, the center of Chianti Classico wine country Learn the secrets of Tuscan cuisine at an exclusive cooking demonstration Head into the Chianti countryside and walk from one castle to the next Take a break in Gaiole’s cozy piazzetta to enjoy a cappuccino and observe the friendly pace of local life. Days 5-6 Immerse yourself in the landcape that once inspired Renaissance artists Hike hilly roads through vineyards and oak forests and along ridges offering sweeping views Spring regales you with fields of fiery red poppies while autumn offers the chance to watch the grape harvest.LESS