Tuscan Flavors: Culture, Food and Wine
- Montalcino: Visit a winery to taste the famous Brunello di Montalcino and traditional snacks, followed by a guided tour of the medieval village and fortress. In Pienza you will fall under the spell of a Renaissance atmosphere so romantic that Franco Zeffirelli filmed his Romeo and Juliet in this World Heritage town.
- Montepulciano: An intriguing mix of architectural styles meets the time-honored traditions of Vino Nobile. Drink in the sights, and the city's celebrated wine.
- Leisurely exploration: Your day includes time to find an inviting spot for lunch (on your own) and to wander all three towns to discover what intrigues you.
About This Montecatini Tour
Take the Tuscan path less traveled to three tucked-away towns. Journey through Southern Tuscany's harmonious Val d'Orcia valley, where scenery inspired Renaissance painters, food artisans produce delectable local products, and vineyards craft some of Italy's most esteemed wines. Connoisseurs, start your senses.
Montalcino has been making fine red wines since the 14th century, but it became the celebrated "City of Brunello" in 1888. That was the year Ferruccio Biondi Santi released Brunello di Montalcino, a 100-percent Sangiovese wine aged in wood barrels for more than a decade. Taste and savor its ebullient red fruit character. And prepare to be intoxicated by stunning views from the fortress, built on the town's highest point in 1361.
Pienza is a dream come true. Literally. It was created by Enea Silvio Piccolomini (later Pope Pius II), who used his wealth to transform the humble village of his 1405 birth. He created his Utopian city, sparing no expense to embellish it with wonderful art and architecture. Some call Pienza the "touchstone of Renaissance urbanism." We think you'll call it exquisite. And you're sure to describe the local Pecorino cheese as scrumptious.
A town built over tunnels crammed with barrels of aging wine reveals its true character. Although Montepulciano is known for artisan foods ranging from cheese and pork to thick pasta called pici, those tunnels make it famous. Once connecting the town's grand palaces, they now safely store its Vino Nobile (noble wine). Sample it and you're not just tasting wine. You're discovering the soul of Tuscany.
Barrels of fun
Siena has its world-famous Palio horse race and Montepulciano has its fiercely contested annual Bravio. In this wine-soaked town, the race involves pairs of "pushers" wrangling huge, 175-pound wine barrels uphill through narrow medieval lanes to the town's main square. The first pair to reach the square wins the Bravio, a painted cloth depicting the town's patron saint. And they surely quench their thirst with a glass or two of Vino Nobile.
Please make your way to Piazza Italia, at the bus check point, in front of the train station in Montecatini.
This tour only operates on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. You will meet your GoBe guide, with a displayed logo sign, in Florence, inside the Santa Maria Novella train station, in front of the pharmacy with the green cross. Your roundtrip transportation from/ to Montecatini will either be by train or shuttle bus and will be advised to you at time of tour confirmation.
Plan to walk a distance of 2 miles on cobblestone and paved sidewalks with steps and up inclines. If your mobility is limited, this tour may be too challenging for you to enjoy and maintain the pace of the group. It is not wheelchair accessible.
Food & Wine, Scenic, Cultural
7-passenger Minivan; Coach
Tour Participation Requirements
This experience is rated strenuous. Travelers must consider their physical fitness level and medical history when determining whether this tour is appropriate. Travelers with pre-existing neck, back, knee and/or shoulder injuries, cardiac conditions, asthma, diabetes, epilepsy, other heart or respiratory conditions or any other medical condition must take particular caution when selecting a tour categorized as "strenuous". If you have concerns, you must consult with your personal physician before engaging in any activity that may be too strenuous for you.
Suitable for all ages. Under 18 years old? Sorry you won't be able to sample wine on this tour. Bring photo ID as proof of age if asked.
Full refunds issued for cancellations made 7 full days prior to the date and time of requested services. Cancellations made within the 7-day and 72-hour window will receive a 50% refund of purchase total. Purchases are non-refundable inside of 72 hours.
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