Spend Memorial Day weekend in the heart of Tuscany! Using Florence as your homebase for the long weekend, you’ll get to explore the historical city while also venturing out on two included day trips to Cinque Terre and Taste of Tuscany. Cinque Terre explore the seaside, colorful towns, and hike or relax on the beach, in Tuscany indulge in two different wine tastings, an included lunch and a town tour of San Gimignano.
Arrange for your own transport to arrive into Florence by 1pm. Upon your arrival, you will be able to check into our accommodation. Look for the blue shirt to check-in with your tour leader.
We will then depart on an included walking tour of the city that will bring you past the highlights of Florence: The Duomo, Piazza Signoria, the Ponte Vecchio, Pitti Palace and more!
In the evening we will have an included welcome dinner with traditional Tuscan food.
On Saturday morning, we will depart at early from Florence by private coach bus. After about a 2 hour drive to the coast, we will arrive to La Spezia to collect your included Cinque Terre Park Pass that gives you unlimited access to all trains connecting the 5 towns and all hiking trails.
Our first stop is the town of Manarola where you can explore the raised sea-side town and snap your intsa-worthy photos. Next we’ll train to the port town of Vernazza for fresh seafood cones and pesto focaccia. For those wanting to hike, this will be your starting point. Either hike or train to the next town of Monterosso, home to expansive sandy beaches, clear waters and delicious restaurants.
Here, you’ll have free time to enjoy the afternoon relaxing on the beach, exploring the town of Monterosso, or eating a seaside lunch.
As a group we will return by train from Monterosso to La Spezia and then return back by bus to Florence around 8PM. You then have a free evening to enjoy the city.
Sunday morning after an included breakfast, we will head to the Tuscan countryside! One of the major wine regions of Tuscany, the Chianti region boasts some of the world’s most exquisite grapes. Once we arrive at the first winery, Poggio Alloro, we will embark on our included wine tasting and vineyard tour. You will learn of the process of picking, making and bottling of this famous wine. Afterwards, you will have time to sample 4 different wines, browse the vineyards and take pictures with the charming backdrop of the Tuscan Hills.
We will depart the first winery and head to San Gimignano. This charming area is a walled medieval town perched on a hill. Its well-preserved medieval towers can be seen from several kilometers away and have become iconic of the city. You will have time to explore the city. See the city’s fourteen towers, and the Collegiata and St Agostino churches with their works of art from famous renaissance artists such as Filippino Lippi.
Our last stop is a local family owned winery named Tenuta Torciano. We will have a wine tasting of many local wines such as the Vernaccia di San Gimignano and the famous Brunello while enjoying a lunch of typical Tuscan appetizers and homemade lasagna with truffle oil. You will learn the proper way to hold the wine glass, smell the bouquet and taste in the way of sommeliers.
We will then depart Tenuta Torciano for return back to Florence in the late afternoon. In the evening, your tour leader will bring you up to Piazzale Michelangelo for sunset and the best view of Florence!
In the morning you will checkout of your hotel, but can store your luggage until you depart.
Today is a free day to explore Florence and check out any of the sights or shoppng you didn’t get a chance to see on Friday. Your trip leader will be in the lobby during breakfast to give some recommendations.
Midday we will meet for an easy lunch at our favorite Panini shop in town for an included farewell lunch before you depart Florence.