TUSCANY CULINARY TOUR
Rome to Rome
Pass through the kitchens and vineyards of beautiful Tuscany. Learn and indulge in the delicious culinary traditions of Italy on this unique hosted tour. Visit the world-renowned wine region of Chianti and sample fine wines and cuisine and then enjoy the fabulous art and architecture of Florence as well as Siena and Pisa. Have fun in a cooking class in San Gimignano and then reach Rome for a tour of the Vatican! Come with us as we explore the towns, streets and countryside of this picturesque region, rich in fresh produce and hearty cuisine. A luscious feast for all your senses!
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Rome | Tuscany | Florence | Pisa | Chianti Wine Tasting | San Gimignano | Siena
• Round-trip airfare
• Plaza Premium airport lounge pass
• Tuscany: six nights 4-star accommodation at the Grand Hotel Vittoria in Montecatini
• Rome: two nights 4-star accommodation at the Le Meridien Visconti Palace
• 16 meals: eight breakfasts, one cooking class with lunch, one wine tasting with lunch, six dinners with wine
• Two wine tastings: in Chianti and San Gimignano
• Five excursions: Florence, Pisa, Siena, Chianti, San Gimignano
• Full-day Vatican and Colosseum excursion
• Private motor coach transportation
• Professional local tour manager
• Merit Travel tour host**
• All taxes and gratuities
Level of support:
Merit Travel Hosted
Related Services Available to Add:
Group size: 24 maximum
Sept. 29, 2018
Airfare available from most Canadian airports, please enquire.
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We can customize the perfect trip for your budget and interests.
Breakfast Incl. (B), Lunch Incl. (L), Dinner Incl.(D)
DAY 1 | Sept. 29, 2018 | Toronto - Rome
Air Transat flight 308 departs Toronto at 9:00p.m. (Terminal 3) arrives in Rome at 11:40 a.m. the following day.
Please arrive at the airport at least 3 hours prior to your departure. Your tour host will meet you at the International Plaza Premium airport lounge for a drink before boarding. Please ensure you are wearing your Merit Travel name tags for easy identification.
DAY 2 | Sept. 30, 2018 | Rome - Tuscany (D)
Upon arrival in Rome, we will be met and transferred to the Grand Hotel Vittoria, our home base in Tuscany for six nights, where we will enjoy a welcome dinner with the group.
Overnight at Grand Hotel Vittoria or similar (6 nights)
Set in Montecatini Terme, Grand Hotel Vittoria is a charming hotel with a privileged location, near the park and the thermal baths, and overlooking the town with a unique view of the surrounding hills. This hotel was recently renovated and features an outdoor pool, spa, fitness centre , and free WiFi access.
All rooms come with a satellite flat-screen TV and air conditioning. Each room has a private bathroom with a shower and a hairdryer. The shopping district and the Montecatini Terme train station are within walking distance.
Your base for six nights will be in Montecatini Terme, one of Tuscany’s most prominent spa towns and an intoxicating blend of historic architecture, gorgeous scenery and great local attractions. The town is split between a lower and upper section, known as Montecatini Bassa (lower) and Montecatini Alto (upper). One of the best ways to go between the two sections is via the town’s historic funicular railway, which has been running since 1888. The upper town is most historic, with pretty cobbled lanes, stunning views and a 12th century church. The spas are also located here, and are some of the best known in all of Tuscany. While spa treatments have modernized, there are many original spas still standing, including the grand Tettuccio Terme – one of the region’s best.
Viale Verdi the main street through town leads from Piazza Popolo to the spas and is bordered on one side by the park. Viale Verde is lined with shops, cafes, and restaurants. On this street are two theaters, the tourist
office, and the historic Gran Cafe Gambrinus, a lively meeting place. Montecatini Terme is on the rail line between Lucca and Florence, both less than an hour train ride. Two trains per hour run between the two cities stopping at both of Montecatini's stations and one train per hour continues to Viareggio on the coast. Both stations are right in town.
DAY 3 | Oct. 1, 2018 | Tuscany - Florence (B, D)
After breakfast we are off to Florence for a full day and a guided walking tour of the city which will include the Franciscan church of Santa Croce, known as the “Pantheon of the Italian Glories” where many illustrious Italians, such as Michelangelo, Galileo, Rossini and Machiavelli, are buried. In the afternoon we return to Tuscany.
DAY 4 | Oct. 2, 2018 | Tuscany - Pisa (B, D)
After breakfast meet at the hotel lobby. This morning depart to Pisa, famous for its leaning tower, for a guided tour of the city. Pisa has much more to offer the traveller, including its medieval centre, beautiful Duomo and Baptistery, parks, statues, and the homes of Lord Byron and Shelley. Following this walking tour, return to Tuscany.
DAY 5 | Oct. 3, 2018 | Tuscany - Chianti (B, L, D)
After breakfast, today we can enjoy unique wine tasting with a private tour of the famous cellar of “Chianti”. We will explore the Chianti area, some of the famous vineyards and savour in a three-course lunch at the
Castello Vicchio Maggio, before returning to Tuscany in the afternoon.
DAY 6 | Oct. 4, 2018 | Tuscany - San Gimignano (B, L, D)
After breakfast we will depart for San Gimignano famous for its towers and have time to explore the town and then enjoy a traditional cooking class with lunch and wine included at Fattorie San Donato Winery. We will return to Tuscany in the afternoon.
DAY 7 | Oct. 5, 2018 | Tuscany - Siena (B, L, D)
After breakfast today, we will visit Siena and start with a walking tour of the the Cathedral, the Piazza del Campo, the Town Hall, and San Domenico. At the end of the tour there will be time to visit of the Contrada
(District) Museum before returning to Tuscany and enjoying a farewell Tuscany dinner with the group.
DAY 8 | Oct. 6, 2018 | Tuscany - Rome (B)
Today, we will have out last Tuscany breakfast and then check out for departure to Rome. The remainder of the afternoon is at our leisure to explore Rome at our own pace. You may opt to see the Crossing Piazza de la Repubblica with the fountain of the Nayads or stroll through the historical centre where you can admire the Trevi fountain, La Colonna di Marco Aurelio, the Palazzodi Montecitorio designed by Bernini, the Pantheon, Palazzo Madama (seat of the Senato) and Piazza Navona.
Our hotel is positioned in central Rome, one block from the Tiber River in the Prati District, which is an easy 20-minute walk to Vatican City and just a 10-minute walk to Castel Sant’Angelo.
Overnight at Le Meridien Visconti Palace Hotel (2 nights)
DAY 9 | Oct. 7, 2018 | Rome (B)
Following breakfast at the hotel we will depart on a half-day tour of Vatican City. This tour includes access to the Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel. We will then visit the Colosseum, known as the Flavian Amphitheatre and the most recognizable ancient Roman building. In the afternoon, we will return to the hotel.
DAY 10 | Oct. 8, 2018 | Rome - Toronto (B)
After breakfast we check out for our transfer to Rome airport. Air Transat flight 303 departs Rome at 1:10p.m. arrives Toronto at 4:55 p.m.
• return air from Toronto on Air Transat
• six nights accommodation in Tuscany (one bedroom apartment) the Borgo Artimino or similar
• two nights accommodation in Rome at the Le Meridien Visconti Palace 4 star hotel or similar
• 12 meals: 8 breakfasts, 1 cooking class with lunch, 1 wine tasting with lunch, 2 dinners (welcome and farewell dinner)
• two wine tastings: wine tasting in Chianti and in San Gimignano
• five excursions in Florence, Pisa, Siena, Chianti and San Gimignano
• half Day Vatican tour in Rome
• luxury coach transportation as per itinerary
• professional local tour manager
• all taxes and gratuities
• Merit Travel Tour Host
Level of support:
Merit Travel Hosted
Related Services Available to Add:
DAY 1 | Sept. 29, 2018 | DEPARTURE FROM TORONTO TO ROME
Air Transat flight 308 departs Toronto at 21:00p.m. (Terminal 3) arrives in Rome at 11:40 a.m. the following day. Please arrive at the airport at least 3 hours prior to your departure. Your tour host will meet you at the International Premium Plaza lounge for a drink before boarding. Please ensure you are wearing your Merit name tags for easy identification.
DAY 2 | Sept. 30, 2018 | ARRIVAL IN ROME – TRANSFER TO TUSCANY (D)
Upon arrival you will be met and transferred to the Borgo Artimino, your home base in Tuscany for 6 nights. Enjoy a welcome dinner at 7:00 p.m. with your group this evening!
Facilities: Borgo Artimino
Address: Viale Papa Giovanni XXIII, 1, 50040 Artimino, Italy
Tel no: (39) 055 875141
The Borgo Artimino is only 26 kms from Florence, in a fabulous location overlooking the medieval hamlet of Artimino. These self-catering apartments boast a hilltop location, surrounded by rolling hills, ancient olive groves and vineyards and a farm.
The Borgo was the original village that housed the artisans and the people that worked the land on this extensive estate and has now been transformed into apartments that have all been thoughtfully restored and elegantly furnished. Much of the original outside has been retained such as the cobbled streets, the old clock tower and the impressive wall surrounding and protecting the Borgo.
For a change of scenery, take a five minute stroll to the cobbled streets of Artimino and explore the artisan shops, ice cream parlour and superb restaurants. Guests of the Artimino Apartments may also use the facilities at the nearby Hotel Paggeria Medicea, which is a ten minute walk away. This hotel has a pool, tennis courts and bikes as well as free wifi. There is also a restaurant here serving local Tuscan cuisine.
Note: The Borgo Artimino is located in Artimino, a remote village in the countryside of Tuscany on a hilltop location with stunning views. For those wishing to explore the surrounding area in Artimino please be aware that there are some hills, cobblestones and uneven grounds so anyone with mobility issues is strongly advised to take a taxi or the small hotel shuttle to the nearest town as the area outside the property requires a lot of walking.
A free 6 passenger hotel mini shuttle is offered daily on a schedule to all guests (guests must sign up at front desk) from the Borgo to the nearest town of Signa where there the train station, local supermarket and bank is located.
Train to Florence: we suggest you take the free mini shuttle or a taxi to SIGNA train station to catch a train to Florence (17 km). (only 10 minutes drive). Then take a train to the Florence main station which is reachable in only 12 minutes. Signa is a train station also on the railway that goes to Pisa and Siena Florence (17 km).
Public bus stop approx. 100-200 meters from apartments, near the tower. You can purchase a one-way ticket to Poggio Caiano for €1,10 per person or to Signa Train station for €1,70 one-way per person. Bus schedule (subject to change): Monday-Friday (bus will stop at Poggio Caiano then proceed to Signa). Vinci (21 km) | Montifortini Etruscan tombs (3 km) | Siena (65 km) | Chianti hills (20km) | San Gimignano And Certaldo (60km) | Pisa and Lucca (75 km) | San Miniato (34 km) | Pistoia (23 km)
DAY 3 | Oct. 1, 2018 | FLORENCE (B)
After breakfast meet at the hotel lobby. Today we are off to Florence for a guided walking tour of the city including: Franciscan church of Santa Croce, known as the “Pantheon of the Italian Glories” where many illustrious Italians, such as Michelangelo, Galileo, Rossini and Machiavelli, are buried. In the afternoon, return to your accommodations.
DAY 4 | Oct. 2, 2018 | PISA (B)
After breakfast meet at the hotel lobby. This morning depart to Pisa for a guided tour of the city. Enjoy a walking tour of this city in northern Tuscany, famous for its leaning tower. Pisa has much more to offer the traveller, including its medieval centre, beautiful Duomo and Baptistery, parks, statues, and the homes of Lord Byron and Shelley. Following this walking tour, return to your accommodations.
DAY 5 | Oct. 3, 2018 | CHIANTI WINE TASTING (B/L)
After breakfast meet at the hotel lobby. Today enjoy a unique wine tasting with a private tour of the famous cellar of “Chianti”. We will explore the Chianti area, the famous land of the vineyards and savour in a three-course lunch at the Castello Vicchio Maggio. You will be transferred back to your accommodations in the afternoon.
DAY 6 | Oct. 4, 2018 | TUSCANY COUNTRY SIDE – COOKING CLASS IN SAN GIMIGNANO (B/L)
After breakfast meet at the hotel lobby. Depart for San Gimignano famous for its towers. Time to explore the town and then enjoy a typical cooking class with lunch and wine included at Fattorie San Donato Winery. Return to your accommodations in the afternoon.
DAY 7 | Oct. 5, 2018 | SIENA (B, D)
After breakfast meet at the hotel lobby. Depart for Siena and enjoy a walking tour. Admire the Cathedral, the Piazza del Campo, the Town Hall, and San Domenico. At the end of the tour immerse yourself in the magical atmosphere of the Palio through the visit of the Contrada (District) Museum. In the evening enjoy a farewell dinner at 7 p.m. with your group at the hotel.
DAY 8 | Oct. 6, 2018 | TUSCANY - ROME (B)
After breakfast please check out and meet at the hotel lobby for a 9 a.m. departure. Today you will be transferred to Rome (approx. 3.5 hours drive) and check in at the Le Meridien Visconti Palace Hotel. The remainder of the afternoon is at leisure to explore Rome at your own pace. You may opt to see on your own the Crossing Piazza de la Repubblica with the fountain of the Nayads or stroll through the historical centre where you can admire the Trevi fountain, La Colonna di Marco Aurelio, the Palazzodi Montecitorio designed by Bernini, the Pantheon, Palazzo Madama (seat of the Senato) and Piazza Navona.
Facilities: Le Meridien Visconti Palace Hotel
Address: Via Federico Cesi 37 - 00193 Roma
Tel no: (39) 06 3684
Le Meridien Visconti Palace Hotel is positioned in central Rome on the right bank of the Tiber river between Piazza del Popolo, Piazza di Spagna, Piazza Navona and the Vatican City. This modern hotel puts you one block from the Tiber River in the Prati District. It’s an easy 20-minute walk to Vatican City and just 10 minutes walk to Castel Sant’Angelo and Lepanto Metro Station. The hotel is strategically located in the historic, cultural and business heart of Rome. You can cross nearby Ponte Cavour to get to Via del Corso within a 15 minute walk. The street and surrounding area are popular for shopping.
The hotel’s 242 stylish, contemporary rooms are equipped for both working and relaxing, with WiFi and smart desks, along with minibars. Modern paintings continue the hotel’s fresh, arty theme and some rooms have large windows with inspiring city views. Wifi is offered complimentary in the hotel lobby area only.
DAY 9 | Oct. 7, 2018 | ROME - VATICAN EXCURSION (B)Cascais / Estoril –Fado’s Evening (B,D)
Following breakfast at your hotel, depart on a half-day tour of Vatican City. This tour includes access to the Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel. Return to hotel in the late afternoon.
DAY 10 | Oct. 8, 2018 | DEPART ROME FOR TORONTO (B)
After breakfast please check out of the hotel and meet at the hotel lobby for your transfer to Rome airport. Air Transat flight 303 departs Rome at 13:10p.m. arrives Toronto at 16:55 p.m.
END OF SERVICES
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Not included: Any personal expenses, such as insurance, passport fees, any meals, or items not mentioned.
*Prices are in CDN$ per person, double occupancy. Taxes included. Single supplement add $1,100. Airfare available from most Canadian airports, please enquire.
**Minimum 12 passengers required for a Merit Travel tour host.
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