As you consider a culinary tour of Tuscany, here’s some food for thought: which is the greater Italian treasure: Michelangelo’s David or a perfect little gnocchi in butter with a confetti of fresh sage? We’re only half-joking when we argue that the landmarks of Florence, Siena and Tuscany’s gorgeous hilltowns barely distract us from the wonderful food of the region. So we’ve given in to our appetites and arranged a few special Tuscan culinary tour departures that emphasize the tastes of Tuscany. As with every Classic Journey, we’ve planned walks so you’ll miss none of the historic or scenic high points. But we’ve also arranged visits to private and hotel kitchens for tips on how to create the classics of the Tuscan menu. We’ll have tastings of wine and olive oil. Visit cheese makers and bakers. Experience firsthand how Italians cook and eat at home. (And just think how much more your friends will enjoy your snapshots when you serve them with that crostata di ricotta you whipped up for dessert.) New Year’s Eve in Tuscany! Toast the New Year in the city of Renaissance. You’ll end the year with a festive celebration dinner in Florence…followed by an open-air classical concert in Piazza della Signoria, the city’s most famous square. This unforgettable journey includes three nights in Cortona and three nights in Florence. Call 800-200-3887 for a detailed itinerary. Space is limited.
We meet in Florence (3 nights). From our luxurious convent-turned-hotel, we explore the Duomo, the Ponte Vecchio and the rest of the city’s Renaissance splendors on foot. We’ll also pay a morning visit to San Lorenzo, the Florentines’ mind-boggling main market.
Out in the Mugello Valley, a walk includes a visit with a cheese-making shepherd followed by a cooking instruction and dinner in a friend’s farmhouse kitchen. We’ll also top off a stroll in Chianti’s vineyards with a little cooking in a country home…then visit the hilltop village of San Gimignano with its skyline of medieval towers.
DAYS 4-7 - CORTONA
Passing through fields of sunflowers, we drive to Siena where superb sightseeing is matched with pasta-rolling tips in the noble home of another of our culinary acquaintances. Ending the day in Cortona (3 nights), we explore its Etruscan stone walls and wander the village streets depicted in Frances Mayes’ book Under the Tuscan Sun. After breakfast overlooking Lake Trasimeno, we walk to Montepulciano’s oldest winery and taste the locally pressed olive oil. On our final full day, we visit Catherine de Medici’s favorite Roman bath and walk the olive groves near Montalcino before a festive farewell dinner.
Starting Point:Florence – 2:30 pm – Lobby of Antica Torre Di Via Tornabuoni Hotel
Ending Point:Cortona – 9:00 am – Lobby of Villa Marsili
Why Choose Classic Journeys
Travel + Leisure has awarded Classic Journeys the #1 World's Best Tour Operator multiple times and says, "Classic Journeys provides unbeatable access to experiences around the globe." Here's what that access means for you.
- Experience the world on foot and at eye level. Each day, join your guide on the most cinematic footpaths in the region.
- Exceptional full-time local guides who become your well-connected friend. Our amazing guides are with you throughout each day of the tour, share their lifelong connections as well as engaging anecdotes about the history and culture of the region.
- Small groups that provide you unrivaled access. An average of fewer than 10 guests per departure means we can offer you special access to sites like Stonehenge so you experience the stone circle when it's closed to the general public, a guided visit to Zion Narrows that other companies cannot arrange because of larger group sizes, and vineyard walks with a count and countess in Tuscany.
- Award-winning hotels are waiting for you at the end of every day. Luxuriate in the finest and most distinctive accommodations in the region you're exploring, including rainforest lodges, 16th century villas, and award-winning properties that show up on World's Best and Gold lists.
- Eat like (and with) the locals. Food is a foolproof way into the hearts, homes and history of the places you visit with us. From gourmet picnics to coveted local restaurants, our meals offer you opportunities to explore native food traditions and fine dining.
- Handcrafted itineraries with all activities included. With our long-term friendships, we know our walking tour regions more personally than anyone else. So you get thoughtfully curated itineraries that combine explorations of the villages, organic farms, archeological sites and the people who know them best.
- Sustainable travel that supports the places you're visiting. We put our local currency into the pockets of the people who live where we travel. It's your guarantee that you'll have authentic, up-close experiences on your trip. Best of all, our person-to-person approach helps sustain their ways of life.
Dates & Prices
Not ready to book just yet? Talk with one of our travel experts at 800-200-3887.Talk to an expert
Select our “Family Departure” to travel with other families.
- All breakfasts, 2 lunches, 5 dinners (4 of the meals as cooking instructions)
- Full-time experienced guide(s) who are with you throughout the trip, handle behind-the-scenes logistics
- Admissions to sites and other scheduled events as noted in the detailed daily itinerary
- Gratuities for hotels, meals and baggage
- All land transportation during the trip
- Award-winning boutique hotels that provide you unlimited access to the people and places, culture and history you came to experience
Above & Beyond Benefits
Wine on Us
- In many regions, we uncork wonderful local wines at every dinner, compliments of Classic Journeys.
Perfect Pairings Dinners
- A special dinner prepared by one of our favorite chefs with a procession of wines tailored to each course.
- When your group arrives, we whisk you and your bags to your room immediately. No waiting – no tipping.
Privileged Access Events
- One-of-a-kind access to remarkable people, places and activities arranged just for you.