EXPLORE: Cinque Terre, Florence, San Gimignano, Pisa, Lucca, Pienza, Montepulciano, Portovenere.
Now you can have it all on this itinerary that combines the best of Tuscany's countryside with the Cinque Terre, Lucca, San Gimignano, Montepulciano, the Chianti region, and other favorite stops. Savor traditional dishes, memorable wines, fun cooking classes, and relax with Tuscany's friendly lifestyle. Your exciting journey begins in Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance. Amongst its incredible landmarks, bustling piazzas, and churches, you can also expect a vast array of fabulous local eateries, high-end boutiques, and colorful markets. Tuscany is a top world destination for amazing wines, outstanding cuisine, and historical sites.
The first part of your trip includes staying at an elegant, boutique hotel by the coast, from where we'll be taking day trips to the surrounding area.
Among the many destinations included, explore fascinating villages such as Pienza, Bolgheri (home of the "SuperTuscan" wines), Lucca, San Gimignano, Pisa, Portovenere, and more. One of the many highlights of this tour is exploring the fabulous Cinque Terre, a magical piece of coastline dotted with charming fishing villages perched on the side of steep mountains. See the Carrara marble quarries, used for centuries from Roman times up to the Renaissance, when Michelangelo chose the block that would soon become the "David", all the way to today, the precious slabs distributed to all corners of the earth.
Continue this magical journey in a classic Tuscan Villa that produces its own wine and olive oil, surrounded by a breath-taking scenery of softly shaped hills, from where you'll experience the soul of Tuscany's villages & wine country.
(Itinerary is subject to change with or without notice. The sequence of day trips may vary. The final itinerary will be given in person, upon the start of the tour in Italy. Included meals are indicated at the bottom of each day's description.)
Friday Day 1 | Benvenuto in Italia : Welcome to Italy!
Welcome to Italia! Tonight you will rest in a beautifully restored historic hotel in the heart of Florence and relax after a long trip overseas. Regain your energies tonight to start the trip of a lifetime in one of the world’s most beautiful cities!
Saturday | Day 2 | L’Italia, la Vita e l’Amore! : Italy, Life, and Love!
Ready for your adventure? SI!!! After check-out, a local guide will walk us through the picturesque streets of Florence, opening up a window into the history of main sites such as the Duomo (the cathedral), Santa Croce, the Ponte Vecchio (the Old Bridge), the grandiose Piazza della Signoria, among many others. Trace Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo’s steps alongside churches, buildings, and elegant shopping areas of this fascinating outdoor museum!
* Take some time for lunch on your own before meeting back at the hotel at 2:00pm. *
On our way towards the coast of Tuscany, we’ll make a stop on one of Florence’s side-hills, from where you can enjoy the most beautiful views of the city. Enjoy some free time at the Piazzale Michelangelo and take a walk up to San Miniato, one of the oldest churches in Florence. Then, on your way back to the meeting point, take a break for a gelato and explore the souvenir shops and local artist booths displaying their original watercolor paintings along the sidewalks.
Enjoy a group dinner in Lucca with local specialties & wine.
Meals included: breakfast, dinner
Sunday | Day 3 | Dalla Roccia ai Capolavori : From Rocks to Masterpieces
First stop of the day: Pisa. Go ahead, take the photo “holding” the tower and check it off your list. If you’re brave, why not attempt the climb up the tower?
Meet up with the group and enjoy lunch at a seafood restaurant on the beach, in nearby Marina di Pisa.
Then take a private panoramic tour of the famous Carrara quarries, known around the world for their beautiful white Italian marble. Then, stop in the small mountain village of Colonnata, learn how the delicacy “lardo” is made and aged in marble tubs with secret family spice mixes, and taste this unusual delight! Our final stop of the day: walk around Pietrasanta, a lovely village along the coast, where you’ll have free time to enjoy dinner on your own.
Meals included: breakfast, lunch.
Monday | Day 4 | Le Terre Incantate : The Enchanted Lands
Morning departure to the fascinating Cinque Terre, five fishing villages that have become a World Heritage protected site, and a legacy left by man’s enduring spirit of adaptation to nature’s erratic forces, and the strenuous reliance on sea and land for survival. We’ll visit the most beautiful views of these “Five Hamlets” built into the sheer rocky coast, a small strip of roughly edged mountains dropping sharply into the sea. Then continue on by train to Monterosso, the only one of the Cinque Terre with a beautiful beach. With another short train ride and we'll arrive in the “pearl of the Cinque Terre”: Vernazza, where you'll have free time for lunch and to explore this lovely seaside community.
Soak up the magic atmosphere of Portovenere
, a vibrant Mediterranean village. The ancient Portus Veneris is believed to date back to the middle of the first century B.C. its name refers to a temple to the goddess Venus which was sited on the hilltop where the church of Peter the Apostle now stands. In Roman times the city was essentially a fishing community, and in the centuries that followed, Portovenere became the base of the Byzantine fleet in the northern Tyrrhenian Sea. A group walk through Portovenere and some free time, while watching local families, children, adults, interact in daily activities of simple, but extraordinary life. Don't forget to shop for the local specialty: fresh basil Pesto! We’ll gather to enjoy a group dinner in a family trattoria with tasty local dishes from the region of Liguria.
Meals included: breakfast, dinner
Tuesday | Day 5 | Dagli Etruschi alla Tavola : From the Etruscans to our Table
Today we’ll be exploring what is known as the “Etruscan Coast”, where charming villages crown the hilltops and boast amazing views of both the countryside as well as the sea. Our first stop is Castagneto Carducci, a hilltop town with a Medieval heart that still beats today throughout its maze of cobblestone streets, picturesque alleyways, small piazzas, and terracotta rooftops. Enjoy some free time to explore its shops and “food boutiques”, along with wine bars and gelaterias. Originally founded by the Della Gherardesca Counts who still own much of the surrounding lands today, as well as the Castle at the top of the town, Castagneto took on the second name “Carducci” in honor of Giosue’ Carducci, an Italian poet and author who lived here, the first Italian to win the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1906.
Enjoy a group lunch in a local favorite trattoria with traditional home-made dishes and crostini with mixed toppings.
We'll then drive to a local winery for a private tour and tasting. This coastline is now one of the most high-level wine producing areas in Italy, where wines have gained world recognition under the category of “SuperTuscans”, whose vines grow on softly-shaped hills, gently caressed by the zesty sea breeze.
Our next stop is Bolgheri, an ancient village situated in the heart of the Etruscan Coast, famous for the Viale dei Cipressi, an impressive 3-mile long “driveway” lined with century-old cypress trees, leading up to the Castle. Free time to shop and explore this village with wine bars at every corner.
Our final stop, Casale Marittimo, a tiny village of Etruscan origin that we just couldn’t skip. A little gem that is almost devoid of tourists. Don’t be surprised if people look at you as if you got lost, wondering how you ended up here!
Meals included: breakfast, lunch
Wednesday | Day 6 | Passione Toscana : Tuscan Passion
After check-out, we'll enjoy the charming town of Lucca, completely surrounded by massive walls, on top of which lay a greenway adorned with secular trees. Enjoy some free time to explore the winding streets, ornate churches, and the circular “Piazza Anfiteatro”, which traces the foundation of an ancient Roman Arena. Savor lunch on your own in Lucca before meeting up with the rest of the group. Why not rent a bicycle during your free time and explore Lucca as one of the locals?
After meeting up with the rest of the group, we’ll drive to the Chianti region of Tuscany, where you’ll settle into another charming Villa for the next four nights.
Arrival at the lovely Tuscan Country Side Villa, from where you can admire a spectacular view of the heart of the Tuscan hills, and enjoy dinner in the Villa’s dining room, with organic Tuscan dishes, made from the freshest ingredients.
Meals included: breakfast, dinner
Thursday | Day 7 | Cucina & Sapori Regionali : Flavors of Regional Cuisine
Departure for the Val D'Orcia (South-East) with some of the most beautiful views of Tuscany. Free time in charming Pienza, considered the “Jewel of the Renaissance” by Pope Pius II who was born here. Have a group lunch in family osteria with local specialties, and then continue the exploration in this beautiful valley.
On our way towards Montepulciano, we'll stop at a Pecorino Cheese family farm, which focuses on quality and natural ingredients, where you'll be able to taste the traditional types of Pecorino. Stop at the highest hilltop town of Tuscany: Montepulciano, land of the Vino Nobile wine (“the noblemen’s wine”).
A Group walk through town, stopping for a visit at the Ancient Wine Cellars of “Cantine Contucci” and a Coppersmith shop “Rameria Mazzetti” that’s been a family business for almost two centuries. Cesare is one of the last 7 coppersmiths in Italy and truly a national treasure (and funny man too!).
The final stop of the day: Vino Nobile farmhouse, where you’ll enjoy a tasty home-made dinner made with farm-fresh ingredients and wines included.
Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Friday | Day 8 | Vino e Amicizia : Wine & Friendship
Departure for a panoramic drive through the most ancient part of the Chianti Classico hills - Black Rooster Label (1hr drive). Visit and a private tour of a local winery, its old wine cellars, followed by group lunch and wine tasting. Then we'll drive to the nearby village of Greve in Chianti. Then, get ready to explore one of Tuscany's most unique villages: the Medieval hilltop town of San Gimignano. A one-of-a-kind walled village that appears to be ‘frozen’ in time and makes you immediately want to think about knights in shining armor, evil counts, and a damsel in distress on top of a tower!
Enjoy some free time to explore. The town today also offers great shopping for colorful local crafts as master artisans from the region come here to showcase their creations. San Gimignano is also known for its dry white wine, Vernaccia, bright hand-painted pottery, olive wood items, hand-made jewelry, linens, and much more. After your return to the villa, the group will gather for dinner at a family owned trattoria.
Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Saturday | Day 9 | L’Arte del Vivere Bene : The Art of Fine Living
Have fun and learn about local cuisine during an entertaining cooking class in a small family farm.
Lunch is included.
FREE TIME to relax by the pool/take a walk/rest/enjoy life at the Villa.
Weather permitting, tonight we’ll eat al fresco on the terrace under the stars. Dinner & house wine included. Enjoy the rest of the afternoon to relax by the pool/ take a walk/ rest/ enjoy life at the Villa, then get ready for dinner at a family owned trattoria nearby.
Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Sunday | Day 10 | Culla del Rinascimento : The Cradle of the Renaissance
After check-out from the villa, we'll drive back to Florence, where you'll be able to enjoy a full day in the Renaissance city at your leisure.
Meals included: breakfast
Monday Day 11 | Arrivederci Italia!
Hopefully, you can stay longer in this gorgeous country and explore other regions. Nada’s Italy wishes to have you back and experience more parts of this colorful culture! Until next time, beautiful ITALIA says Arrivederci!
What's included in the SoleTerra Tour package:
- Pick-up and drop-off from Hotel in the historical district of Florence.
- 2 Nights in luxury Hotel in the center of Florence (first and last) + 4 Nights in Upscale Hotel in Lucca + 4 Nights lodging in Classic Tuscan Villa for a trip totaling 11 Days/10 Nights (Depart US on Thursday and return on Monday).
- Small group travel! Maximum of 12 travelers per group.
- Full-time service of a fun, knowledgeable, English-speaking local Italian Nada's Italy licensed Tour Director.
- Trip Materials: Italian Travel Phrasebook, Luggage Tags, Maps for each town visited during the tour, and much much more!
- Day trips to hill top towns including: Cinque Terre (Monterosso, Vernazza), Portovenere, San Gimignano, Carrara, Colonnata, Pietrasanta, Bolgheri, Castagneto Carducci, Casale Marittimo, Greve in Chianti (Chianti Classico district), Pienza, Montepulciano, Lucca, Pisa, etc (itinerary and destinations may vary depending on time of year).
- Unique Experiences: 2 Wine Tours at boutique wineries in Tuscany, 1 Cooking Class, including souvenir apron. Tour of Carrara marble quarries and stop in artisan shop to see how marble is carved. Visit of a Pecorino cheese farm with tasting. Visit of Coppersmith and ancient wine cellars in Montepulciano. Private Walking Tour of the Historical Highlights of Florence with a local guide.
- Included Meals: All breakfasts are included, 5 lunches, 6 dinners. Included meals are shown at bottom of the description for each day in the itinerary.
- Beverages included: bottled water, soft drinks (in limited amounts), coffee, and 2 glasses of wine per person (choice of red or white) with included lunches and dinners.
- Private luxury transportation throughout the stay in 2 comfortable air-conditioned vans (does not include: transfer from and to the airport, airfare, or any other personal travel expenses).
- PLUS: surprise gifts and destinations during the trip!
- Customer Loyalty Reward: receive a $300 credit towards any future trips you take with Nada's Italy!
- No bag limit! (check your airline restrictions)
- Local VAT taxes, government fees, gas, highway tolls, city access licenses and permits, parking fees, staff tips, and the hotel accommodation tax.
- Tips to staff and restaurants. (Additional gratuities can be
given at the sole discretion of each individual traveler and are not
required for participation on the tour.)
For more information, please call our office Mon.-Fri. 10am-6pm at 704.877.2003. Price listed is subject to change with or without notice.
What's Not Included in Tour Package
Trip price does not include airfare and anything that is not specified to be included. Price does not include any personal related expenses or travel-related expenses outside of the scheduled itineraries. The food & wine that is included is what is presented during meals, all other items ordered by traveler including wine and other alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks are not included in tour price. Trip price does not include optional tips to restaurants nor to tour personnel such as drivers, maids, etc. These gratuities are given at the sole discretion of each individual traveler and are not required for participation in the tour.
Before you sign up you should note the following:
The first day of tour is Friday, starting in Florence (departure from
on Thursday for an overnight flight). Last day of tour is Monday,
ending in Florence. Arrival in the U.S. is the same day of departure. It
is your responsibility to get to the city where the tour begins.
- Airfare is not included.
are no activities scheduled on your arrival day, Friday. Your first
scheduled activity is on Saturday at 10:00am: private walking tour
of Florence with an expert local guide who will meet you in the hotel
lobby. Please wear comfortable walking shoes as you will be standing and
walking for about 2-3 hours. Pick
up at the hotel in Florence is at 2:00pm on Saturday to take you to the boutique hotel on the coast.
you register, you will receive a "Benvenuto Box" by mail within approximately 10-15
business days. It will include reminders and important materials for
your trip. The content may vary based on availability and by tour
- Reminders, hotel information, and arrival
instructions will be sent by email roughly 60 days before the start of
the trip (please make sure we have your current email address).
to and from the airport are not included in the tour rate. Please
contact us if you'd like to add transfers to your tour package.
extra nights in Florence before or after the tour and extend your
stay in this amazing country. Contact us for a quote on additional
nights (subject to availability).
- You must be in good physical
condition to sign-up for this trip. This
is not considered a physically challenging trip, nonetheless there will
be a lot of walking uphill, downhill, walking over uneven pavement, and
for extended periods of time.
- Tuscany is full of windy roads, bring motion sickness pills if necessary.
- Even though basic tips to staff and restaurants are included, it is
highly recommended that you put aside approximately $100 (US) in
combined gratuities for your driver & Tour Director for your entire
stay (and any voluntary additional restaurant gratuities are at your
- The earliest activity on this tour starts at: 8:30am. Latest activity starts at: 11:00am.
- Nada's Italy highly recommends that you purchase Travel Insurance for your trip. For suggestions on policies, please contact us.
for this tour is with two luxury vans that are licensed to access small
hilltop towns, which larger vehicles cannot access.
should know that air conditioning in Italy, as well as wifi connections
are not as reliable as they are in the United States.
- The hotel
staff assigns rooms to guests, some rooms may include stairs. A view is
not guaranteed. Rooms differ in size and layout, in general, Italian
rooms are smaller compared to US standards. Each room has its own
en-suite bathroom with shower and/or tub, hair-dryer, and toiletries.
- It is your responsibility to obtain the required documents to travel to
Italy. Your passport should be valid for 6 months after your return
date. Verify with your own country's travel laws and government