Hello, Italy-lovers! Wanna go back next year? Here is Metatron Travel’s 2020 itinerary to Tuscany with day-trips built-in and some optional excursions, as well. Check it out and let me know soon if you want to reserve and/or have questions…
Choose your dates: 22 – 31 May (16 guests, max) or 5 – 14 June (16 guests, max)
INCLUDES: round-trip transatlantic airfare & taxes; airport transfers in Italy; accommodations/8 nights; daily breakfast; 5 group dinners; all ground transport to itinerary sites, as included.
DEPARTURE DAY…22May 2020, FRIDAY
Depart from Toronto (TOR) Airport; one-stop/Munich (next day); arrive Florence, 23 May.
Day ONE in Tuscany: 23 May, SATURDAY, VILLA LaMUCCHIA
Transfer from Firenze airport to Villa via private van. www.hometuscany.com
Relax & unpack in your suite and enjoy a glass of wine at the pool or on the garden patio. Welcome dinner at LaMucchia, included!
Day TWO: 24 May, SUNDAY…CORTONA
After breakfast, visit wonderful Cortona with our host Uri as a guide. You will visit the Monastery of the Franciscan Cappuccini, Cattedrale di Santa Margherita, ‘Bramasole’ former home of Frances Mayes in Under the Tuscan Sun, and stroll Via Nationale to the panoramic terrace in Piazza Garibaldi. Lunch on own and free afternoon in this lovely hilltop town to stroll, shop and visit museums, art shops and ceramics galleries. Dinner at Il Vallone, for THE best pizza in Tuscany, included. www.ilvallone.it
Day THREE: 25 May, MONDAY…LUCCA and PISA
Take a beautiful 2-hour drive to Lucca, “city of 100 churches” for lunch (on own) in its historic city-center or a visit to Museo Puccini. Then, a brief 30-minute drive to must-see UNESCO World Heritage Site…LEANING TOWER of PISA for quintessential photographs of you holding up the tower!
Meet up with your group for return to Villa for a grocery stop in Camucia to pick-up food & beverage for dinner on your own in your suite or outdoors in the garden or poolside.
Day FOUR: 26 May, TUESDAY…FLORENCE
Early breakfast, then hop the train to explore Firenze with our host, Quirina. City tour via open golf cart (optional/extra cost).
OPTIONAL site visits in Firenze: Accademia/Statue of David, Uffizi Museum, Duomo (entrance fees, additional; reserve in advance with Melina).
Lunch/shopping on own in Firenze.
Meet up with the group in the late afternoon at Santa Maria Novella train station for return. Dinner at Villa included.
Day FIVE: 27 May, WEDNESDAY… FREE DAY or THERMAL BATHS/optional
After breakfast, a free day to further explore Cortona and/or nearby sites/towns, on own (private transportation arranged upon request).
OPTIONAL day trip: After breakfast, take a scenic one-hour drive to Thermal Day Spa in Theia Chianciano ($35 admission)/transport provided. http://www.piscinetermalitheia.it/ The waters are rich in sulfur and calcium. Late afternoon return to Villa La Mucchia. (must reserve in advance with Melina)
Dinner on own….or….
OPTIONAL Tuscan Cooking Class & Dinner: An evening at exquisite Villa Rosa dei Venti for an extraordinary cooking demonstration/class with Chef Barbara & Mama Ornella who will prepare dinner with and for us…“Cucina Toscana” including antipasti, pappardelle, ragu Toscano, meats, salads and dolce (dessert); vino e Caffe, of course! (must reserve in advance with Melina-$150/person)
Day SIX: 28 May, THURSDAY… MORNING MARKET and CASTIGLIONE del LAGO…OR…for the afternoon, sign up for the *optional excursion to ASSISI / 8 guests, max, addl cost.
After breakfast, all guests invited to leisurely stroll the local, open-air farmer’s market in Camucia, a very nearby village; many wonderful food vendors and lots of shopping. Then, take a short drive to the breathtaking walled town, Castiglione del Lago on Lake Trasimeno for lunch (on own), shopping, and take a leisurely walk on the fortress walls for a spectacular panoramic view of the lake. Be sure to try deep-fried olives in one of the local bistros! Meet up in the late afternoon for return to Villa.
*AFTERNOON OPTION to ASSISI (instead of Castiglione): Venture to the birthplace of Saint Francis, the patron saint of Italy, founder of the Franciscan Order and one of the most popular Catholic saints in history, for a guided tour of the Basilica di San Francesco d’Assisi. Free time for lunch on own and to browse/shop before return to Villa. Meet up in the late afternoon for return to Villa. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assisi
(reserve in advance with Melina; r-t transport included)
DINNER: Pot Luck Poolside @ Villa LaMucchia… guests pick up food/beverage items at the fresh market in the morning to share with the group.
Day SEVEN: 29 May, FRIDAY…MONTEPULCIANO
After breakfast, drive the luscious Tuscan Wine Road to Poliziano.
Visit Vineyard Poliziano…
http://www.italyandwine.info/schede/poliziano.htm for winery tour and tasting, then take the short, incredibly scenic journey to Old City Montepulciano. After a 30-minute electric minibus tour (un Viaggio Nella Storia di Montepulciano), you can enjoy a mid-day meal and coffee & pastry at the famous Caffe Poliziano (on own), www.caffepoliziano.it shopping, and people watching. Meet up with your group in the late afternoon to return to Villa LaMucchia and to enjoy the evening poolside for vino Rosso e Bianco di casa & an array of Mediterranean appetizers (included). Molto Bene! Buon Appetito!
Day EIGHT: 30 May, SATURDAY… SIENA
After breakfast, enjoy a scenic, one-hour drive to Siena to visit one of the world’s most famous Romanesque-Gothic cathedrals, Duomo di Siena, constructed over 300 years, from 1300-1600. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siena#Culture Lunch, shopping and browsing on own. Return to Villa mid-afternoon because it’s….
TIME to START PACKING THOSE BAGS!!!
This evening at Villa LaMucchia, we give a heartfelt toast of gratitude to our hosts, URI & QUIRINA and ZEEV & ILANA, at our Farewell Dinner (included).
Day NINE: 31 May, SUNDAY…RETURN FLIGHT
Early morning transfer (5 am) to Firenze airport for flight back home or points onward!
*Some itinerary details may be subject to change.
EXCLUSIONS: applicable transport cost to/from group departure city (TOR); any applicable baggage fees; tips & gratuities; optional day-trip costs; travel protection insurance; personal spending; meals/ground transportation/sites NOT included on itinerary; room tax/8 euros/person.
Melina CarnicelliMETATRON TRAVEL
88 Burtis Point Road, Auburn, New York 13021 USA,
“The greatest journey always contains within it the seeds of a spiritual quest.” -Gerard d’Aboville, 1992