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Outside food and wine are not allowed on property. We have everything you need for a wine country picnic!
1111 White Lane (at Hwy 29)
St. Helena, CA 94574
V. Sattui Winery Tour of the Countryside
Day 1 (4/26) Saturday-Chianti Countryside (Departure 8:30 am)
Franca, our hostess, will meet us in Florence at the Hotel River in the lobby Saturday morning at 8:00 am. We will board our deluxe air-conditioned private motor coach and head south exploring some of the hidden treasures of the enchanting Chianti countryside. We will drive through Chianti’s rugged hills of unspoiled forests, beautiful vineyards, castles, stone churches, monasteries and farmhouses and have our first wine tasting. We will also visit the quaint villages of Radda and Greve. We will have lunch in the Chianti countryside. Castello delle Serre will be our home for the next four nights. The Gangale family, Salvatore, Antonio and wife Shelly have joined forces with V. Sattui Winery to showcase the splendor of this recently restored castle. A welcoming dinner with music will complete our first day of the tour.
Day 2 (4/27) Sunday-San Gimignano (Departure 8:30 am)
Today we will traverse the Chianti region on our way to San Gimignano, "Delle Torri" (of the beautiful towers). This is one of the best preserved medieval towns in Tuscany, where 16 of the 70 original towers of San Gimignano remain today. The towers were originally used to watch for invading enemies and later became a symbol of power for many of the richest families. We may want to climb up one of them to get a sense of history and to enjoy the beautiful view. We will taste some of the best local Vernaccia, white wine, with a light lunch. We will return to Castello delle Serre to relax and enjoy a local dinner.
Day 3 (4/28) Monday-Siena (Departure 8:30 am)
After enjoying our morning espresso we will then depart with a local guide for the medieval city of Siena, most famous for its horse race, the Palio. Our tour guide will lead us through this charming city unspoiled by time. We will visit the Medici town hall, the magnificent Piazza del Campo (town square), the spectacular sculpture-studded Duomo (church) and its museum with works by Pinturicchio, Pisano and Michelangelo, and visit the most important parts of the city. We will then lunch at the best restaurant in Siena, Da Divo Restaurant, which is situated in a 2,700-year-old Etruscan tomb, with three stories below ground level. After lunch we will be on our own to shop and explore the city of Siena. We will meet for a local dinner before returning to Castello delle Serre.
Day 4 (4/29) Tuesday–Montepulciano and Cooking Demonstration (Departure 8:30 am)
Today we will tour the unknown countryside of Tuscany. We will explore the byroads and quaint villages not in the tourist books, the places that are still unspoiled. After a wine tasting of Vino Nobile in the beautiful town of Montepulciano we will enjoy a light lunch. After lunch we will return to Castello delle Serre to pack for an early departure for Assisi the next day. Salvatore will treat us to a cooking demonstration with our final dinner at Castello delle Serre.
Day 5 (4/30) Wednesday-Montalcino and Pienza (Departure 8:30 am)
After breakfast we will travel to Montalcino a natural fortress. It is situated on a high hill topped by a 14th century castle. It was a retreat for the defeated Sienese when the Emperor Charles V captured their city. We will enjoy visiting this town castle where we will taste a number of Brunellos, perhaps the best red wines of Italy. We will travel to "Picture Perfect Pienza" where we will have lunch. This little city was created by Aeneas Silvius Piccolomini, who became Pope Pious II. He transformed it into his private utopia. Later in the afternoon we will travel into Umbria to our new lodging for the remainder of the trip. Our new home for the next four nights will be at Residenza D’Epoca San Crispino in Assisi. After unpacking and relaxing, we will enjoy a casual meal.
Day 6 (5/1) Thursday-Torgiano and Deruta (Departure 8:30 am)
Our day will begin in Torgiano. Here we will visit the famous wine and olive oil museums. Lunch will be at the famous Le Tre Vaselle Restaurant. In the afternoon we will travel to Deruta, the center of Italian maiolica ware (pottery) since the 14th century. We will observe "Ceramisti" modeling the clay in a pottery factory where we can purchase the wares and have them shipped to our homes. We will return to our home in Assisi for a light dinner and a magical, mystical individual walking tour of the city.
Day 7 (5/2) Friday-Orvieto (Departure 8:30 am)
We will board the bus for Orvieto, famous for the much-celebrated Duomo. The Duomo is thought to have Italy's most beautiful Gothic façade and there we will view the fascinating Signorelli frescoes. We will stroll through Orvieto, taste the local wines, have lunch and shop. In the late afternoon we will return to our home in Assisi and enjoy a late dinner.
Day 8 (5/3) Saturday-Assisi (Departure 8:30 am)
After breakfast we will visit this beautiful medieval town with lovely views and fountains-splashed piazzas. We will visit the Basilica di San Francesco with its beautiful frescoes, the Temple of Minerva, the Basilica Santa Chiara and stroll through the streets where St. Francis walked. We will shop at our leisure with a light lunch. Our farewell dinner will be in Assisi after we pack for our departure on Sunday.
Day 9 (5/4) Sunday-Florence ( Departure 8:30 am)
Early departure for Florence with a special stop for cappuccino and a stroll through Cortona, famous for the movie "Under the Tuscan Sun". The first drop off will be at the train station around 1:00 pm, if needed. The second drop off will follow immediately at the Hotel River in Florence.
Arrivederci to our Magical Tour
Some of these days and events may be altered for better opportunities
Franco Becci "Franco - Il Magnifico!" (Our bus driver)
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