Day 1 – Colle di Val d'Elsa – Monteriggioni – Siena
Arrival in Colle di Val d’Elsa, in the heart of Tuscany, for guided tour of the charming town with its medieval atmosphere characterized by fortifications, monuments and churches. Known above all for its production of crystal, it also offers beautiful glimpses of the surrounding countryside. The Museo del Cristallo, situated in the lower part of the city, conserves a collection of hand-made crystal and various manufacturing techniques from the medieval period until ‘900 (entrance not included, € 3,00 p.p.). Then transfer for guided tour of Monteriggioni, one of the most important fortified towns in the area. Remaining incredibly intact, its perfectly circular perimeter makes it seem almost artificial. Built for purely defensive purposes by the Sienese between 1213 and 1219, it dominates the territory from the top of a hill with its city walls made up of 14 towers and 2 gates. Arrival in Siena in the evening for dinner and overnight stay in hotel (3***sup.).
Day 2: Siena – San Gimignano
Breakfast in hotel and morning dedicated to guided tour of Siena, the city universally known for its artistic patrimony, for the great stylistic unity of its medieval urban design and for its famous Palio. The natural conclusion of the tour lies in the well-known Piazza del Campo which seems to embrace the visitor within its circular form. Return to the hotel for lunch then transfer in the afternoon for guided tour of San Gimignano, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO for the characteristic medieval architecture of its historical centre. Guided tour of this evocative town which, in spite of some restoration work carried out in the twentieth century, has mainly preserved its fourteenth and fifteenth century appearance and is one of Europe’s finest examples of urban planning from the era of the municipalities. Dinner in a typical restaurant offering different tastes of biologically produced foods. Late evening return to hotel and overnight stay.
Day 3: Montalcino – Pienza – Montepulciano
Breakfast in hotel and morning dedicated to guided tour of Montalcino, enchanting, fairy tale, medieval town, surrounded by mighty city walls and dominated by an architecturally perfect ancient castle. Montalcino is a beautiful historical centre, immersed in the splendid landscape of the Natural Park of the Val’Orcia, famous thanks to its Brunello, one of the best Italian wines and among the most appreciated wines world-wide. The historical centre is dominated by the mighty Rocca, the fortress built in 1361, marking the passage of the city to the dominion of Siena. There are truly spectacular views to be enjoyed from the ramparts of the fortress, from Monte Amiata, through the ‘Crete’ as far as Siena and across the entire Val d’Orcia to the hills of the Maremma. Continuation to Pienza, the delightful town known as the “ideal” city of the Renaissance which occupies a truly strategic position on the top of a hill dominating the entire Orcia valley, offering the visitor breath-taking views. Lunch booked in a restaurant and afternoon transfer for guided tour of Montepulciano. Montepulciano is a medieval town of rare beauty, a unique settlement with elegant Renaissance buildings, ancient churches, splendid squares and tiny hidden corners where fantastic, endless views across the Val d’Orcia and the Val di Chiana await the visitor. Guided tour with wine tasting in a wine cellar and cheese tasting in a cheese factory.
Day 4: Arezzo – Milano
Breakfast in hotel and morning guided tour of Arezzo. This city of Etruscan origins, among the richest of the area, rises proudly on a hill where four valleys meet. The city’s main attractions are the Basilica di San Francesco, containing the famous Cappella Bacci which conserves the wonderful cycle of frescoes by Piero della Francesca, the Pieve di Santa Maria, characterized by an interesting Romanesque façade and colonnade and the Piazza Grande, flanked on one side by the Loggiato del Vasari, famous for having provided the film set for Roberto Benigni’s “La vita è bella”. In the upper part of the city arises the majestic Duomo di Arezzo, known for its beautiful stained glass windows. Lunch booked in a restaurant and afternoon departure for the return journey.
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