Our suggestion for a splendid 12-day tour throughout Central and Northern Italy, perfect for a family of 3-5 persons.
Arrival in Florence
Guests will check in to their hotel in the historical city center of Florence before having the afternoon and evening to settle in to the splendid capital city of Tuscany.
Sightseeing in Florence
A private tour guide will await guests for a private tour of the highlights of Florence. A visit to see Michelangelo’s David at the Accademia is also included. Over four hours, the historical center will come to life, with visits to the Duomo (Cathedral), Baptistery, and Giotto’s Bell Tower, along with the governmental center of Piazza della Signoria, Palazzo Vecchio and Piazzale degli Uffizi. Depending on time and personal interests, guests will be able to visit sites such as the Piazza della Repubblica, Palazzo Strozzi, Dante’s neighborhood and the Ponte Vecchio. Entry to the Santa Croce Basilica and the nearby historic leather factory is also possible upon request. In the afternoon, guests will be able to explore other sites at their own leisure such as the Uffizi Gallery, the Piazzale Michelangelo terrace overlooking the city or perhaps enjoy the great shopping to be had in the city. Guests then dine at their own leisure before retiring to their centrally-located hotel.
A taste of Emilia Romagna – Ferrari and Balsamic Vinegar
After meeting a private driver in Florence, guests will be taken on a pleasant drive to Maranello in the Emilia Romagna region. Here will be a great change of pace, with the opportunity to have the ride of a lifetime. Over around 65 Km, up to four persons may drive in four separate cars including a Lamborghini, Ferrari California, Ferrari 458 and Ferrari 430. From the fast and furious to slow and luxurious, guests will next visit a nearby traditional Balsamic Vinegar producer close to Modena. A relaxing lunch of regional delights will follow. In the afternoon, guests will be taken to the Ferrari Factory to visit the Formula 1 Museum or the Ferrari Museum. This day-tour will then conclude back in Florence in the late afternoon, leaving guests free to enjoy dinner and their evening alone to experience more of Florence.
A Tuscan exploration – Montepulciano and Pienza
A private driver will collect guests from their hotel in the morning to commence a day in the countryside. The first stop will be the picturesque Pienza, planned as an ideal Renaissance town. The town is replete with traditional food stores selling the famed local cured meats and cheeses. Guests will discover more of these local delights after a short transfer to a working organic cheese farm. Here, lunch will be enjoyed al fresco and include the special aged cheeses produced on-site. The afternoon will include a visit to Montepulciano, one of the most beautiful towns in Tuscany, famous for its ancient wine cellars and its much-loved Nobile wine (as well as being the setting for certain scenes in the ‘Twilight’ movie). No visit to Montepulciano would be complete without visiting a winery for a tasting of the area’s much-loved wine. In the late afternoon, guests will enjoy a relaxing drive back to Florence, where they will have dinner and the evening at their leisure in Florence.
A hands-on cooking class before a stay in the Tuscan countryside
After checking out of their hotel in the morning, guests will have the culinary experience of a lifetime with a hands-on cooking class in Florence. In a professional kitchen in Florence or surrounds, guests will discover the secrets to making delectable Tuscan cuisine in a range of dishes that will become their lunch, served with regional wine. In the afternoon, guests will be transferred to a quaint countryside hotel located on the outskirts of Siena where they will then be free to dine and enjoy their evening in this charming Tuscan hamlet.
San Gimignano, Monteriggioni, Siena and a Chianti Winery
In morning, a private driver will take guests to Monteriggioni, a charming 13th century fort whose defensive walls still stand strong. This shall be followed by a visit to San Gimignano, the famous Medieval town replete with medieval towers (and delicious gelato!). After a wine tasting at an exclusive Chianti winery, guests will be served a traditional lunch in an exquisite setting. After returning to their accommodation in the early afternoon to rest and freshen up, guests will be collected for an evening transfer to Siena. Famous for the Palio horse race and its stunning streets and squares, guests will be able to have dinner at their own leisure before being returned to the hotel for an overnight stay.
South of Siena – Montalcino, Sant’Antimo and San Quirico D’Orcia
8-10 hours will be dedicated to exploring splendid Abbey of Sant’Antimo, the San Quirico d’Orcia area and Montalcino, famed for Italy’s much-loved Brunello wine – all in the company of a private driver. Guests will enjoy free time to explore both San Quirico d’Orcia and Montalcino. Medieval villages, the prior along the Via Francigena pathway that led pilgrims to Rome and the latter a historic fortified town. This splendid day out in Tuscany will include time for lunch in Montalcino before visiting two Brunello wineries for wine tastings. There will also be time to take in the mystic atmosphere of the stately Romanesque Abbey of Sant’Antimo. The day will conclude with a splendid drive back to the hotel in time to relax before dinner at guests’ leisure. Overnight.
Drive to North Lake Como
After a morning checkout of the hotel, guests will depart for the Lake Como area via private transfer. About 4.5 hours will be passed crossing the picturesque lands, with a stop for lunch along the way near the gastronomic heaven of Reggio Emilia. After checking in to a hotel in the area, guess will be free to explore the stunning surrounds, enjoy a meal by the lake and rest in their splendid resort and spa hotel.
Choose your own adventure on (or over !) the Lake
A private driver and guide will be at guests’ disposal for 8 hours to facilitate individually-selected activities in the nearby area. Options include a private boat ride to explore the amazing countryside Villas from the vantage point of the water, including a stop to visit the historic Villa di Balbianello. Another option would be a private 30 minute airplane ride over the lake. Guests may enjoy an aperitif or evening meal at the historic Villa d’Este upon request. At the conclusion of this exhilarating day, guests will be returned to their deluxe hotel for the evening.
Lake Como exploration
This splendid day out is comprised of a 10-hour excursion around the Lake Como area. Long the play area of the rich and famous, guests will be able to personalize the itinerary according to their interests. With all transportation services with driver and guide on hand, guests can choose to visit Cernobbio and/or Tremezzo, take a ferry to Bellagio, and perhaps have lunch in a lakeside trattoria. After a late-afternoon return to the hotel, guests will have the evening to dine and relax at will.
Making Memories in Milan
After a late morning check-out, a private driver will transfer guests to Milan. Once checked in to their centrally-located hotel, guests will be free to explore the city or partake in some shopping in one of Italy’s best fashion hubs. In addition to shopping, a day at leisure in Milan may also include visiting the breathtaking Cathedral, Opera House and other historic sites. A private expert tour guide can also be arranged upon request. We would also be happy to provide suggestions for guests to enjoy dinner before the overnight stay in their hotel in Milan.
A private transfer can be arrange from the Milan hotel to the Airport or other location upon request to mark the end of guests’ time with us.
Half the journey is indeed getting there. Traveling from one Italy destination to the next can be enriched by the ease and comfort of a private luxury minivan driven by an Italy expert. We are on hand for transfers to and from airports or train stations, or even from one city to the next with transfer tours such as from Milan to Florence with stop in Parma to visit cheese and ham artisans or from Venice to Florence with a stop at the Ferrari factory along the way. Our luxury minivans are replete with all the comforts including air-conditioning, and are driven by friendly (and punctual) English-speaking drivers so our guests may sit back and relax while enjoying the view.