Autumn in Tuscany and Cinque Terre with Maria Perri (Sept 17-30. 2020)


Autumn in Tuscany and Cinque Terre with Maria Perri (Sept 17-30. 2020)


TOUR PRICE: To be established in October, 2019.

AVAILABILITY: This tour is fully booked and is closed to further enrollment. Waiting list only.

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If you've fallen in love with the images of Tuscany portrayed in the outstanding films Under the Tuscan Sun and The English Patient, then this tour is for you. Tuscany is known for its quaint hill towns, its remarkable wine and its rich history and architecture dating back to the Etruscan period. Autumn in Tuscany and Cinque Terre is an ArawjoTours adventure designed to give you a more-than-passing understanding of this region, and is perfect for travelers who wish to go beyond the traditional tour of Italy. With a concentration on Tuscany and Umbria, we will use the towns of Montepulciano, Siena and Montecatine Terme and Assisi as bases from which to explore the surrounding countryside. Below is a sketch of the tour itinerary, which I hope you find attractive. Much time, energy and thought has gone into the creation of this tour, which first operated 2007. 

Autumn in Tuscany and Cinque Terre will begin in Rome, where we will spend the first two nights of our arrival on the Italian peninsula in the first class Best Western President Hotel (or similar). After our two days rest in Rome, we will begin our trip to Tuscany by private long distance motor coach. Our first stop outside of Rome will be in the hill town of Orvieto, which is perched over 1000 feet of volcanic tufa. In Orvieto we will sample one of the finest white wines in Italy, Orvieto Classico. After lunch, we will visit Grotte della Rupe, which is a series of Etruscan-built underground tunnels. Following our visit to Orvieto, we will proceed to the first class Al Brunello Hotel (or similar) in the medieval town of Montalcino, where we will stay for two nights. You can spend the evening relaxing and/or sampling some of the ruby wine called Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, or simply Vino Nobile. 

Our morning sightseeing will begin with a visit to the walled town of Montepulciano with a stop at the Romanesque abbey Sant'Antimo. we will then continue our journey to Pienza, which is considered to be the ideal Renaissance city, commissioned by Pope Pius II in the 15th century. Its central piazza is a grand testament to Renaissance architecture. Franco Zeffirelli was so amazed by the town that he filmed Romeo and Juliet here. (The English Patient was also filmed here.) A three course lunch is included in Pienza.  After our visits to Montalcino and Pienza we will return to Montalcino where you can have dinner and perhaps participate in the very Italian passeggiata (evening stroll). 

Our next travel base will be the great historical rival of Florence, Siena. Located in central Tuscany, Siena is perfectly situated for the exploration of the surrounding countryside, including the wine-producing Chianti region. Siena itself is a gem, offering a medieval atmosphere unsurpassed in all of Italy. The brick buildings and labyrinthine alleyways coupled with the Gothic palaces make staying in Siena truly a step back in time. Upon our arrival in Siena, where we will spend three nights in the Hotel Athena (or similar) we will be taken on a half day city tour followed by an afternoon free for leisure. (Satisfy your sweet tooth by visiting one of the many fantastic pastry shops in the town.) On our second day in Siena, we will go on a half day wine-tasting excursion to Greve in Chianti, where you can sample the exquisite Chianti Classico while appreciating the beauty of the local landscape and the charm of the local village. Upon our return to Siena, the remainder of the day is free. On our last day in Siena we will go on a full day tour of the towns of San Gimignano and Volterra. San Gimignano has been referred to as the medieval Manhattan due to its fourteen medieval towers that loom over the town below. Volterra was an ancient Etruscan center notable for the beautiful white alabaster funerary urns that were produced there. Artisan workshops can be found throughout the town, making it possible to purchase some of the alabaster from local masters. Following this rather full and exciting day, we will return to Siena and enjoy the rest of the evening free.

The next three nights of our Tuscan journey will be spent in the Montecatini Palace (or similar) in the spa town of Montecatini Termi, known for its thermal baths. En route to Montecatini Termi we will stop at the town of Lucca, where you can stroll along the famous walls of the city, which form the nucleus of a spectacular park. From Montecatini Terme, we will embark on a full day tour of magnificent Cinque Terre, where you can visit the colorful villages of the "five lands" along the Ligurian coastline. This day will undoubtedly be a highlight of the tour. The last day in Montecatini Terme is free. You may spend it as you wish or take advantage of an optional tour to Florence. The last part of our Tuscan adventure will take us to the religious site of Assisi where we will stay for one night at the beautiful three Hotel BW Palazzo de Priori (or similar). After a morning sightseeing tour of Assisi, we will conclude our journey back in Rome, where we will spend our final night at the Best Western President Hotel (or similar) prior to our departure.  A farewell dinner is included this last evening.

Upon completion of this remarkable ArawjoTours Classic, you will truly be able to say that you've BEEN to Tuscany, much more so than the average tourist. 

AUTUMN IN TUSCANY AND CINQUE TERRE TOUR FEATURES: For a complete account of this comprehensive tour package, we encourage you to read through the above Tuscany itinerary and tour description. Some of the general features include Round trip trans-Atlantic non-stop air on Alitalia from Newark to Rome; all transfers to/from airports and hotels in Italy; comprehensive sightseeing as per the enclosed itinerary; three nights in Rome, two nights in Montalcino, three nights in Siena, three nights in Montecatini Terme and one night in Assisi with breakfasts daily; a three course lunch in Pienza and a farewell dinner the last night in Rome; the services of an ArawjoTours tour representative;  a full time motor coach and driver and a full time tour manager (Tina Dyer); and a pre-departure orientation and dinner conducted by Kevin Arawjo.  An optional trip to Florence will also be offered from Montecatini Terme.