“Discover Tuscany”

Another UNIQUE Cooking Passions “Small-Group” Cuisine & Culture Experience

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Next Tour – 2019

We are currently accepting “Expressions of Interest” for those interested in receiving Pre Notification about details for our 2019 “Discover Tuscany” tour. 

*ALL INCLUSIVE LAND CONTENT including Luxury Accommodations; Two Meals Daily; Included Food & Wine Experiences; All Land Transportation, All Private Guided Tours, Two Private Group Escorts and Tour Photographer

If you’ve ever wanted to experience the beauty and ancient history of the beautiful hill towns of Tuscany and to immerse yourself in “la dolce vita” of wandering the streets of Firenze at your leisure, we invite you to join us on another incredible 8-day tour to beautiful Tuscany!

Our NEW “Discover Tuscany” combines stays in a luxury B&B in a 16th-century Florentine palazzo; an overnight stay in beautiful Siena; and a 3-day residential Cooking School programme at a hilltop villa in Chianti.

We are pleased to provide you with the following 8-day itinerary and pricing for this special September 2016 tour in Tuscany. Nico & Belinda Moretti of Cooking Passions Cooking School will be escorting a small group of only 10 people on this special Tuscan “Cuisine & Culture” experience.

Please don’t hesitate in contacting us directly on 08 9228 0507 or email nico@urbanprovider.com.au to secure your places and we will forward you a 2016 Cooking Passions Discover Tuscany Booking Form, or should you like any further details of our trip to Italy.

*ALL INCLUSIVE LAND CONTENT including 3 nights Luxury B&B accommodation in a 16th century Florentine palazzo; 1 nights Luxury accommodation in Siena; 3 nights Tuscan Villa Accommodation; Two Meals Daily; Included Food & Wine Experiences; Private Uffizi Gallery & Vasari Corridor Tour; All Land Transportation, All Private Guided Tours and Private Group Escort

Cooking Passions “Small Group” Tours

Cooking Passions Cuisine & Culture Tours are designed so you can do as little or as much as you like, while allowing you plenty of free time to explore and immerse yourselves in the sights, shopping and eating that YOU want to experience (we’ll be happy to provide suggestions from our previous experiences). We’ve arranged all of the accommodations, land transfers, cooking classes, private guides and most meals, so that all you have to do is pack a bag, a sense of adventure and join us on one of our delicious & exciting culinary journeys.

 

ITINERARY

Day One – ARRIVAL DAY

Although we suggest that you arrive in Italy at least one day prior to the tour start date, the following is based upon arrival that date.

2pm – Check in to our Firenze accommodation, one of Firenze’s newest luxury B&B’s situated a short taxi ride from Firenze’s Central Train Station – Soprarno Suites.

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Soprano Suites

Located in a stunningly restored 16th-century palazzo on one of Firenze’s most elegant streets is Soprarno Suites, a charming luxury B&B opened in 2014. Many of the hotels 11 vintage-decorated bedrooms are huge, with lofty frescoed ceilings, tall windows, and hardwood or Tuscan terracotta floors. Surrounded by art galleries, beautiful Renaissance palaces and churches, our boutique luxury B&B accommodation during our stay in Firenze is set in the heart of the “Otrarno”, one of Firenze’s vibrant traditional “borgos” (neighbourhoods) and only a short walk from the Palazzo Pitti and the Ponte Vecchio.

7pm – Group Welcome Dinner at a local Florentine restaurant.

(Included meals: D)

Day Two – APERITIVO TIME (Foodie Aperitivo Tour of Firenze)

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– Breakfast at your leisure.

amFree Day – Today you have the day at your leisure to settle into the beauty and renaissance magic of one of Italy’s most fascinating cities, before our organised “Foodie Aperitivo Walk” private guided tour in the evening.

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We have arranged for a Private Guided Tour of the Uffizi Gallery & Vasari Corridor as part of tomorrow’s itinerary, so this morning would be a great opportunity to visit some of Firenze’s other famous galleries including the L’Academia (home to Michelangelo’s “David“). Or spend the morning doing a little sightseeing or shopping, find an outdoor cafe for a little lunch and then grab a gelato and walk along the River Arno and it’s many bridges. We will be happy to share with you some of our own favourite Florentine sights to check out, until we meet later this evening.

18:00pm to 20:00pm – Pre-dinner drinks (aperitivi) are an institution in Italy. This evening we will get the chance to experience Italy’s traditional wine o’clock with a guided tour around some of Firenze’s local neighbourhood aperitivo spots. Along the way we will sample some aperitivo classics such as Aperol Spritz and Firenze’s own “Negroni“, as well as famous wines such as chianti or brunello and a sparkling glass of Northern Italian prosecco. We will also discover cultural stories of Firenze’s history, sample some “stuzzichini” and get a grasp on the local vibe of Firenze at twilight! Saluté!!

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pm – To finish off the evening we will join the locals at a local pizzeria for a final bite of dinner.

(Included meals: B, Aperitivo, D)

Day Three – IN THE PATH OF THE MEDICI’S (Uffizi Gallery & Vasari Corridor)

– Breakfast at your leisure.

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am – Morning at your leisure. Join Nico & Belinda for a leisurely walk through Firenze’s riverside “borgos” and a visit to the city’s most famous scenic lookout – Piazzale Michelangelo – for a breathtaking view over this renaissance capital.

13:00pm – Prior to our Private Guided tour of the Uffizi Gallery and it’s famed Vasari Corridor, we have arranged for an Enoteca Wine Tasting Lunch where we will sample wines matched to a selection of Tuscan courses at one of Firenze’s famous wine bars.

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15:15pm – After our wine tasting lunch, we will then be able to walk it off with a Private Guided Tour of one of the most famous museums of the world, the Uffizi Gallery,  and its highlights including works by Michelangelo, Leonardo Da Vinci, Giotto, Botticelli and Caravaggio. Following our visit to the Uffizi we will have exclusive access to walk along the  exclusive & secret corridor of the Medici family – the Vasari Corridor. Dating back to 1564, the Grand Duke of Florence, Cosimo I de’ Medici ordered his favorite architect, Giorgio Vasari, to build a one kilometre internal passageway that would allow him and the Royal family to move freely from their residence (Palazzo Pitti) to the government palace (Palazzo della Signoria, also known as The Uffizi). The corridor is rarely open to the public and can only be accessed by private tours, allowing us to walk over the Arno and the Pontevecchio in the steps of the Medici’s.

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Firenze Vasari Corridor

pm – Evening at your leisure. Put your “Aperitivi” training into practice and wander the cobblestoned streets of Firenze for a leisurely evening of sightseeing, eating & drinking.

(Included Meals – B,L)

Day Four – TUSCAN HILLTOWN VISIT & SIENA

– Breakfast at your leisure.

8:30am – Check out from our accommodation and transfer to the charming medieval Tuscan hill town of San Gimignano and its famous towers.

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9:30amSAN GIMIGNANO VISIT – We have arranged for a 2 hour Private Guided Walking Tour of this UNESCO protected Tuscan hilltown of San Gimignano.

12:30pm – Group Lunch at a wonderful restaurant with stunning views across the Tuscan landscape.

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15:30pm – Departure from San Gimignano for Siena.

16:30pm – Arrival in Siena, known to be the “heart & soul” of Italy and is famous for its oval-shaped Piazza del Campo, as well as being the home of Panforte. Siena is one of Italy’s best preserved medieval towns.

Check in to our centrally located Siena hotel. The intimate 7 bedroom Villa del Sole is conveniently located in Siena’s historic centre, only 300m from Piazza del Campo and Siena’s Tower of Mangia.

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pm – Evening at your leisure. Explore one of Tuscany’s most beautiful historic cities by night.

(Included Meals – B,L)

Day Five – SIENA & CHIANTI CLASSICO COUNTRY

– Breakfast at your leisure. Visit a local cafe for a capuccino with the locals before an early morning stroll around town.

9am – Check out from Villa del Sole.

9:30am – This morning we have arranged a 2 hour Private Guided Walking Tour of the town, including it’s famed marble covered Cathedral who’s famous mosaic floor is only able to be viewed during the month of September.

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12noon – Departure from Siena to the Tuscan hills of the iconic Chianti Classico wine region.

13:00pmChianti Classico Winery Tour & Lunch – For lunch we will get the opportunity to get up-close and personal with Tuscany’s famous wine region with a winery tour and wine lunch, prior to our arrival at Villa Fabbroni in San Polo in Chianti.

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15:30pm – Departure for Villa Fabbroni.

17:45pm – Arrival at Villa Fabbroni.

Villa Fabbroni has remote origins dating back to ancient Rome. A Roman centurion, Pantius, received many hectares of land for his retirement and built his “aula” (house) on a hill. In Latin, Pantius’ house was known as “the Pantius-Aula” (the house of Pantius). With the centuries, Pantius-Aula’s name was altered to become “Panzalla”, the current name of the castle. During the Middle Ages, the property came into the possession of the Buondelmonti family, and the house was transformed into one of the many family castles. The oldest remaining part of the building was constructed in this period and still stands today. In the course of the centuries, the castle history has been intertwined with that of the “Florentine Republic” and finally with the “Kingdom of Italy”. The Fabbroni family renovated the villa in the nineteenth century and made it their hunting cottage. When Florence was the capital of Italy, King Vittorio Emanuele II was a guest at the villa. The land surrounding the castle was rich with game and fruitful vineyards, which produced a wine very similar to “bordeaux”.

Our hosts at Villa Fabbroni and the Cooking School are Sergio Bongini and Stefano Arnetoli.

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 7pm – Aperitivo Time – Welcome Drinks on Villa Fabbroni’s terrace as the sunsets.

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pm – COOKING CLASSPizza Making Class – This evening we will enjoy a  nice relaxing lesson where everyone (that would like to) can prepare their own creations, which we will all share over a few bottles of local Chianti wine.

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(Included Meals – B,L,D) 

Day Six – COOKING CLASS (Primi Piatti and Pizza-Making Class)

8am – Breakfast at your leisure. Join Nico for a walk “down” (literally) to San Polo for a capuccino or coffee and then “up” to Villa Fabbroni. The 4km round trip takes about 90 minutes, including a break for coffee.

9:30am to 12:30pm – COOKING CLASSLesson 1 – Antipasti and Primi Piatti – The cooking lesson today will have us preparing starters and first course: Crostini, Polenta with Porcini Mushrooms), Gnocchi, Fresh Pasta. Lasagna & Ravioli. For those not interested in participating in the class, you can enjoy some quiet time poolside and then join us for lunch later.

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1pmLUNCH with the balance of the day at leisure. Find a quiet place around the villa to read; go for a walk overlooking the Tuscan landscape; or have a swin and take some sun at the villa pool.

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pm – Evening at your leisure, and for those that are interested we can arrange for taxis to take us into San Polo for a pizza at the local pizzeria.

(Included Meals – B,L) 

Day Seven – COOKING CLASS (Secondi Piatti)

8am – Breakfast at your leisure.

9:30am to 12:30pm – COOKING CLASSLesson 3 – Secondi Piatti Today you learn to prepare a famous meat sauce known as Bolognese Sauce; Rolled Veal filled with spinach and omelette; Stuffed Porcini Mushrooms & Stuffed Tomatoes,and possibly some tips on any dishes you might like Sergio to show us.

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Villa Sergio Secondi

1pm – LUNCH with the balance of the afternoon at your leisure. Chill out by the pool, or go for a little walk in the surrounding hills of the villa. As the sun sets, we will go for a short walk for Prosecco & a classic Tuscan sunset.

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pm – Evening at your leisure. Pop down into the village of San Polo (taxis can be arranged) for a light meal, or prepare your own little antipasto and wine in the self-contained apartments of our accommodation at Villa Fabbroni.

(Included Meals – B,L) 

Day Eight – Departure – “Arrivederci”

8am – Breakfast at your leisure.

10am – Checkout from Villa Fabbroni and we will say our “arrivedercis” to Sergio and Stefano. We will say our goodbyes to this wonderful part of the world with all of its historic charm. An experience you will never forget! We have arranged for your return transfer to Firenze’s S.M.Novella Central Train Station where you may continue your adventures to other parts of Italy or get a taxi to Firenze out to the airport for any onward plane journeys.

INCLUSIONS

 *Inclusions (Accommodation; Cooking Classes; Two Meals Daily; Local Transfers; Cuisine & Culture Tours & Experiences; Tour Escort; Tour Photographer)

*Exclusions

 BOOKINGS & BOOKING DEADLINE

To secure your places, please contact Nico Moretti at nico@urbanprovider.com.au or 08 9228 0507, and we will forward you a “Discover Tuscany” Booking Form.

Booking Deadline : (Seven months prior to tour commencement) – As the unique B&B and Villa accommodations that we have selected for our tours are smaller properties with limited rooms.

Booking Deposit : A $AUD800 non-refundable BOOKING DEPOSIT is required to hold a booking for the tour, at the time of your reservation. Booking Deposits are used to confirm our accommodations and specialist tour provider services, at the time of our booking.

Final Payment : Payment in full is required at least 90 days prior to departure.

We look forward to hosting you on this very special “Discover Tuscany” Small Group Cuisine & Culture experience. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate in contacting us.

Grazie, Nico & Belinda Moretti

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