Tuscany is the cradle of the Renaissance and of the Italian language. Just two of many reasons to be excited to discover the region that best represents the balance of strikingly different northern and southern Italy.
In partnership with an Agriturismo il Molinello we have designed an exciting 6-night agriturismo-based tour to get immersed in the real Tuscan life through visits to small, local producers. Meet the people behind your food and taste local recipes and wines with their makers, while learning about local traditions and culture.
Tuscany has had three major periods in its history, starting with the Etruscan civilization from the 8th BC, principally in the towns of Volterra, Cortona, Chiusi and Arezzo. Then the Romans took over and, in Tuscany, founded Siena, Lucca, Florence and Pisa that continued to grow in importance and size even after the demise of the Empire in 476 AC.
In the Middle Ages, particularly during the Renaissance, Tuscany and especially Florence reached the peak of their importance with the Medici, a powerful family of merchants and bankers that for three centuries ruled central Italy and attracted great artists through their patronage.
After the unification of Italy in 1861, Tuscany was included in the new Kingdom. In 1865, Florence became the capital of the new country until 1870 when Rome was finally conquered and incorporated into what was still a monarchy at that time. Only after World War II did Italians vote for a Republic, at which point the sitting king was exiled.
The best way to discover the real Tuscany is through a stay in an agriturismo, a family-run “farm stay” combining agriculture and tourism. Typically, agriturismi feature room and board in a farmhouse, which has been partially or totally transformed to provide accommodation and, in some cases, also meals.
This is certainly the case at Agriturismo il Molinello, which is immersed in the Tuscan countryside and features its own extra virgin olive oil, a wide variety of vegetables, fruits and jams, free-range eggs, chickens, pigeons (for eating, in fact) and also, when in season and available, black truffles from a nearby forest.
As its name suggests, Il Molinello was in fact a mill in the 14th century and remnants of the original construction are still visible.The agriturismo is within a 1-hour drive of the UNESCO Sites of Siena, Pienza, Val d’Orcia and San Gimignano that we’ll visit, in addition to the enchanting Montalcino and Cortona that we’ll explore as well.
On your week-long tour, you will travel into the real Tuscany through visits to small, local producers of wine, beer, wheat and cheese, as well as to two former Slow Food Presidia (projects that once promoted ‘endangered foods’ but were so successful, their foods are no longer at risk!) of Chianina meat and Cinta Senese cured meats.
Through meeting the people behind your food, tasting local recipes with their makers, and sampling the culture and traditions, you will richly discover this magic corner of Italy.
What are you waiting for? Ti aspettiamo! (We are waiting for you!) A presto! (See you soon!)
TUSCANY AND STAY IN AN AGRITURISMO
TOUR DATES AND PRICES
Minimum of 6 participants, maximum of 16, with a maximum guide-to-guest ratio of 1 to 8
DATES (7 days)
For more info, dates and availability please contact us.
Per person in double occupancy: $3,290
Single Supplement: $490
In addition, we pledge to donate more than 1% of your trip price to food literacy and environmental non profit organizations
- Visits to two former Slow Food Presidia, and to wine, beer, cheese and olive oil makers
- Exposure to local culture and history with native, bilingual, experienced Tour Leaders
- Tasting foods and wines that demonstrate the best of Tuscan culinary heritage
- Hands-on education learning about Tuscan cuisine
- Visit to an Etruscan tomb
- Up-close-and-personal experiences of Italian agriturismi and the methods behind Tuscan agriculture
- Strolls through four must-to-see Tuscan towns: Cortona, Montalcino and the UNESCO Sites of San Gimignano, Siena, Pienza and Val d’Orcia
- Daily walking opportunities for a healthy lifestyle
- Traditional, local recipes to bring home with you!
Have you ever dreamed of experiencing the real Tuscan life, firsthand with the people who live here, immersed in rich traditions, history, culture, and beautiful atmosphere? All travelers to Italy know about Tuscany. But how many come to know it through the eyes of a native-born family? At the agriturismo (family-run “farm stay”) Il Molinello, travelers can soak in the landscape like a local.
On “Tuscany and Stay in an Agriturismo” edible highlights include visits to small producers of wine, beer, wheat, and cheese (many of which you would not be able to find on your own) and two former Slow Food Presidia (projects that once promoted ‘endangered foods’ but were so successful, the foods are no longer at risk!): Chianina and Cinta Senese.
On this quintessential Food.Stories.Travel. tour, through the people and their food, you will deeply discover the magic of this famed corner of Italy. What are you waiting for?
Ti aspettiamo! (We are waiting for you!) A presto! (See you soon!)
To begin, a nice walk through the countryside leads us to the Abbey of Monte Oliveto, a Benedictine monastery featuring frescoes that date back to the Renaissance time and the local farm run by the monks who make wine, olive oil and dried legumes. In the town of Montalcino, discover the world-renown noble nectar Brunello during a visit to a small-scale producer.
Other highlights of your stay here include a visit to nearby Etruscan tombs, a locally-made organic olive oil tasting, and dinner with homemade brick oven pizza with the owners of agriturismo Il Molinello.
Next we explore the UNESCO sites of Siena and San Gimignano and visit the former Slow Food* presidium (project that promotes ‘endangered foods’) of Cinta Senese cured meats.
We say ‘former’ because the project was so successful that their foods are no longer at risk! The producers here share their story as you savor an unforgettable lunch, which of course includes tastes of their work.
*Slow Food is a non-profit organization founded in Italy in 1986 that promotes “good, clean and fair food” (the motto of Slow Food International). Today, Slow Food includes upwards of 100,000 members in more than 150 countries.
Plenty of activities are available, so please feel free to choose what you prefer. For sure, we suggest that you not miss out on some relaxation at the natural hot springs of San Giovanni and our hands-on cooking class followed by dinner at the agriturismo.
And finally, soak in picturesque strolls through two more UNESCO sites: the Val (valley) d’Orcia and the town of Pienza. Here we visit a cheese maker and learn about their methods firsthand from the people behind this ancient and distinctive artisanal method.
On these days you also get to meet another former Slow Food presidium, the Chianina cow, through a visit with the breeder followed by dinner at the farm. Other highlights will feature a visit to a grain producer and a tasting at a microbrewery, after our visit to the town of Cortona and the Eremo delle Celle, an ancient monastery used by St. Francis of Assisi to pray and meditate. This place is sure to leave an impression for its stunning beautiful landscape and magical atmosphere.
Our last dinner features local ingredients and recipes served in a Slow Food Osteria d’Italia (similar to a trattoria, an ‘osteria’ is a simple, traditional Italian restaurant), recognized for its emphasis on protected ingredients such as local Slow Food Presidia.
Through meeting the people behind your food, tasting local recipes with their makers, and sampling the local culture and traditions, you can richly discover this magical corner of Italy on an unforgettable journey! What are you waiting for? Ti aspettiamo! (We are waiting for you!)
Catch our 45-mins group transfer to Terontola train station for your next connection. Buon viaggio and a presto! (Safe travels and see you soon!)
- 6 nights of accommodation at Agriturismo il Molinello
- 6 locally-sourced, home-made organic breakfasts
- 5 dinners with 3 or 4-course menus featuring foods from Slow Food Presidia
- 2 lunches including visits and tastings
- 1 visit and tasting at a small-scale Brunello producer and 1 at a micro brewery
- 1 cooking lesson and olive oil tasting at il Molinello
- 1 visit of ancient Abbey of Monte Oliveto
- 1 entrance to the thermal pools of San Giovanni
- 2 visits to Chianina cow and Cinta Senese pig breeders (former Slow Food Presidia)
- 1 walking tour of Siena with a certified guide
- 1 visit and tasting to a cheesemaker , 1 to a grain producer and 1 to an Etruscan tomb
- Comfortable travel by 9-seat van for all transfers as described in the itinerary
- Bilingual, professional Tour Leaders
- First and last day transfers from/to train station in Terontola
- Local taxes and gratuities for luggage porters and restaurant servers during tour
- 4 lunches and 1 dinner on your own
- Alcoholic beverages at group dinners (including wine and spirits)
- Round-trip airfare and expenses to/from the tour
- Trip cancellation, baggage loss or travel delay insurance (this optional coverage is highly recommended and is not provided by Food.Stories.Travel.)
- Gratuities for your Tour Leader
- Personal expenses, such as, but not limited to, phone calls, laundry, emails, snacks, gifts
Cristiano Bonino has led tours for North Americans all over Italy for more than thirteen years. Currently, he resides in the Boston area with his American wife. Cristiano likes to say that he has been “hybridizing” over the last three years: mixing the best of American and Italian cultures. While he loves the U.S., he never forgets his native roots in Turin, Italy.
Your itinerary has been meticulously hand-designed by Food.Stories.Travel. and the Agriturismo Il Molinello. This journey is based on their favorite flavors and unforgettable past experiences. Every establishment you will visit has been personally vetted, tested and enjoyed by Cristiano himself and his team of experienced Tour Leaders.
In some cases we’ll take you to places you could not find by yourself or in a guidebook.