trotter travel

Days 1 & 2

Our trip starts in Florence. There are thousands of books about what to see and what to do in Florence. There are must museums and monuments that cannot be missed such as the Uffizi Gallery, Piazza della Signoria with Palazzo Vecchio, Ponte Vecchio ( famous Old Bridge ) and Piazza Duomo with the Cathedral, the Baptistery and Giotto's Bell Tower.

But there is also the Pitti Palace and its museum and the Boboli Gardens, Piazza Santa Croce, Piazza Santa Maria Novella and the unforgettable Piazzale Michelangelo where you can admire a breathtaking view of Florence and the Arno River.

Florence - 2 Overnights

Day 3

After your breakfast in hotel, entire day tour Pisa and Lucca by coach and private guide. Pisa is certainly renowned for the famous Piazza dei Miracoli, home to the Leaning Tower and the large Duomo, baptistery and Camposanto.

Lucca is a small Venice without water, enclosed within its huge Renaissance walls which are fun yo do on bike. The historical city center deserves a visit, including its peculiar shaped oval-shaped Piazza dell'Anfiteatro.

Come back to Florence - 3 Overnights

Day 4

In between Florence and Siena stretches the green and soft Chianti, famous for good wine and striking landscapes. Round hills covered by vineyards and olive groves, panoramic curving roads, small and charming villages and towns, excellent wine and good food are all a part of what you'll find in Chianti.

Our trip in Chianti starts in Greve in Chianti, considered by many as the gate into Chianti. This lively town is famous for its particularly shaped piazza or square that has been market place for the castles and walled villages in the surroundings since the Middle Ages. In the center of the square stands the bronze statue of Giovanni da Verrazzano, explorer that discovered the Bay of New York. At the top of the square stands the Church of S. Croce, originally a medieval church remodeled according to Renaissance Revival architectural style, displays a few precious works of sacred art including the triptych depicting Madonna and Saints by Bicci di Lorenzo.

From Greve in Chianti drive to Panzano, is the most populous town in Chianti and sits just a few kilometers south of Greve. Since the 12th century, Panzano played an important defensive role for Florence and its county. The Castle of Panzano was a fundamental bulwark for defending the Florentine Republic during the battles between Florence and Siena.

Not far stands the Pieve di San Leolino, an ancient rural church dating back to 982. In spite of the Renaissance exterior characterised by the elegant "pietra serena" stone and portico, the church remains an exquisite example of a Romanesque basilica with three naves. Inside are displayed some precious works of art by local masters.

Moving towards Siena you'll reach Castellina in Chianti which dates back to the Etruscans, as attested by the Etruscan tombs of Montecalvario. Its great position in the middle of the Chianti region made Castellina a strategical headquarter between Florence and Siena. Confirming this glorious past, the massive Rocca (castle) stands proudly over the city and the impressive Via delle Volte, an underground tunnel around the city, offers breathtaking panoramic views. Walking through the small town you will notice many historical buildings that belonged to Florentine and Senese aristocracy. The Church of S. Salvatore merits a visit.

Castellina in Chianti - 1 Overnight

Day 5

Leaving the Chiantigiana road (from Castellina in Chianti) and taking the SR429 you reach Radda in Chianti that even today preserves its original medieval look. The ancient walls still defend the center, today filled with maze-like streets. The Palazzo del Podesta' overlooks the main square together with the Romanesque Church of S. Niccolò. It is really nice to get lost in Radda wandering around its medieval streets, drinking a glass of wine while looking at the spectacular panorama of the vineyard covered hills that surround the town.

Near Radda stands the Castle of Volpaia, an ancient walled town which we recommend visiting. The castle in sandstone has a distinctive dark color that makes it different from other castles in Chianti.

Not far from the Radda and the Castle of Volpaia stands Gaiole in Chianti, another town dating back to the Middle Ages. Gaiole was an important market place for the castles in the surroundings because of its position between Chianti and the Valdarno (Valley of the Arno river).

There are many castles and fortified towns around Gaiole that deserve a visit. For example, the Castle of Vertine, the Castle of Meleto and the Pieve of Spaltenna can be visited, either through staying there during your holiday or through a special wine tasting and winery tour.

Radda or Gaiole in Chianti - 1 Overnight

Day 6 - “Chianti Classico” Private Wine Tour:

This tour focuses on the famouse production area of high quality DOCG Chianti Classico wines. The cellar master will describe the production and also the distinguishing characteristics of the wines that you will taste.

This is the program:

10.00 am - Departure from your hotel or villa.
10.45 am - Arrival in the Chianti wine territory to visit the first winery and taste the wines.
01.00 pm - Lunch at the local Trattoria, Pizzera or at the winery.
02.30 pm - Driving along the hills where you can see the different type of vineyard.
03.00 pm - We stop at the second winery for the visit and wine tasting.

Return to your Hotel by approx. 05.00 pm

Included in the Price: Minivan transport, tickets for parking, lunch, wine tasting in two wineries, all local taxes.

Come back to Radda or Gaiole in Chianti - 1 Overnight

Day 7

In the morning leave Radda o Gaiole in Chianti to reach the beautiful city of Arezzo. Another charming city in Tuscany is Arezzo, birth place of brilliant artists. The most representative are Piero della Francesca and Giorgio Vasari. Don't miss the Basilica of Saint Francis with the stunning frescoes depicting the Legend of the True Cross by Piero della Francesca, the Church of San Domenico displaying the wooden Crucifix by Cimabue, the magnificent Loggias by Vasari in Piazza Grande.

Arezzo - 1 Overnight

Day 8

Today you drive south to Cortona. The city of Cortona become very popular after the book and then film "Under the Tuscan Sun" came out. It is a small town whose origins go way back to the Etruscans. The center is built around the main square of Piazza della Repubblica, over which Palazzo Comunale looks over. Here you should visit the Diocesan Museum (Museo Diocesano), that displays a beautiful Annunciation of Cortona by Beato Angelico, and MEAC (Museum of Etruscan Academy of Cortona) that holds important Etruscan and Roman findings.

Leaving Cortona, drive through Val D'Orcia, or Valdorcia, is another famous region in Tuscany for its stunning landscapes and good wine. Gentle hills, spotted by dark cypresses or yellow sunflowers, make this region the perfect postcard to send back to your friends and families. It offers plenty of cities and villages that merit a visit, starting from Montepulciano, Montalcino, Pienza.

Pienza - 1 Overnight

Day 9

Many wineries and farms in Valdorcia produce red wine and offer wine tastings. Wine tradition is strongly related to this area and the Brunello di Montalcino is certainly one of the most appreciated Italian wines worldwide alongside Chianti.

“Brunello di Montalcino” Private Wine Tour:

Montalcino is considered the birthplace of Tuscany’s fullest, richest wine: the long-again Brunello di Montalcino. Brunello is one of the best known and most widely appreciated wines world-wide and our aim is to get to know and understand it in its “native habitat”. At the winery you will tour the cellar where the oak barrels age the wine. We will taste Brunello di Montalcino DOCG and the yunger Rosso di Montalcino DOC.

This is the program:

09.00 am - Departure from your hotel or villa.
11.30 am - Arrival at Montalcino and visit to the first winery. Where you can visit the cellar, finally wine tasting.
01.00 pm - Light lunch at the local restaurant or in a winery.
02.45 pm - Driving along the hills where you can see the different type of vineyard.
03.30 pm - Visit the second winery where you can meet the winegrower who will show you the technique of viticulture.

Return to your Hotel by approx. 06.00 pm.

Included in the Price: Minivan transport, tickets for parking, lunch, wine tasting in two wineries, all local taxes.

Come back to Pienza - 1 Overnight

Day 10

After breakfast driving to Siena. We suggest a stops at San Quirico D'Orcia as well as the small towns of Bagno Vignone, Buonconvento. Siena is definitely another medieval city in Tuscany that deserves to be visited. The city center is gathered within the ancient walls and holds many beautiful monuments and museums.

Siena - 1 Overnight

Day 11

After breakfast in your hotel at Siena, have an experience a walking tour in the heart of Siena and discover its historical and artistic riches!

Siena is a treasure trove of historical, artistic, religious and cultural riches to be discovered. We will visit on foot the major tourist attractions like Piazza del Campo, the Palazzo Comunale (Town Hall), the Cathedral and the majestic Basilica of San Domenico. There you will note the references to the great noble families and their palazzos, to the great tradition of the Siena Palio but also the stories of pilgrimage and saintliness that distinguish the town. The walk continues with a visit to the Cathedral that preserves the treasures of artists like Pinturicchio, Donatello and Bernini besides its marvellous marble floor that is a unique example in the history of art.

In the evening, along the way to San Gimignano, there is charming Monteriggioni. This small town is enclosed within ancient medieval walls characterized by 15 towers. We recommend you visit the center and take a walk along the massive walls from where you can admire great views over the Tuscan countryside. We suggest a stops to Colle Val d’Elsa and Volterra too.

San Gimignano - 1 Overnight

Day 12

San Gimignano, a small walled village about halfway between Florence and Siena, is famous for its medieval architecture and towers that rise above of all the surrounding buildings offering an impressive view of the city from the surrounding valley. At the height of its glory, San Gimignano's patrician families had built around 72 tower-houses as symbols of their wealth and power. Although only 14 have survived, San Gimignano still retains its feudal atmosphere and appearance. Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1990, San Gimignano offers visitors the chance to step back in time while enjoying its local products including saffron and its white wine, the Vernaccia di San Gimignano.

“Vernaccia di San Gimignano” Private Wine Tour:

San Gimignano is famouse for a typical Tuscan white wine named Vernaccia di San Gimignano and Chianti is famouse for the reds. On request it is possible to include a visit to local oil mill to producers of other typical product, in accordance with the wishes of visitors.

This is the program:

10.00 am - Departure from your hotel or villa.
11.00 am - Arrival in the Chianti area and stop at the first winery where you are going to taste several DOCG Chianti and Supertuscan IGT (red wines).
01.00 pm - Light lunch at the local restaurant in the beautiful countryside.
02.30 pm - Driving along the hills where you can see the different type of vineyard.
03.00 pm - Visit the second winery where you can taste the famouse Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG (white wine).
04.30 pm - Return to your Hotel.

Included in the Price: Minivan transport, tickets for parking, lunch, wine tasting in two wineries, all local taxes.

Come back to San Gimignano - 1 Overnight

Day 13 - End of your Tour