Tuscany Through the Eyes of a Chiantigiano
We love the Tuscan hill country. For years the hospitality of the locals has kept us coming back to our favorite village, Impruneta, just outside of Florence in the heart of the Chianti region. In fact, every trip we do in Italy begins here. Over a decade ago we were lucky enough to stumble upon a wonderfully warm and hospitable family-run Inn in the center square of the village. This hidden treasure has been in the Becucci family for generations and the property’s history goes back to a time when it produced the region’s award-winning salumi and other meat products before the war.
It’s a place where the local color shines through. On any given day, there could be a visit from the local butcher delivering fresh chicken or the famous slabs of Tuscan steak, the postman could be at the front desk discussing the day’s events or gossip, and the sounds of morning espresso or Cappuccino steaming will lead you into the cozy breakfast area to join others at the start of the day… it’s an authentic taste of Italy in an unpretentious setting. This will be the base of operations for our adventure.
As you know most of our trips are water-based excursions and our brief stopover in Impruneta, at the start of each trip, serves as a great opportunity to decompress after a trans-Atlantic flight. In some cases we return to the village at the end of our trip but all too often we are only there for one or two days. This new excursion that we are introducing is going to focus entirely on the Chianti region. We’ll have 7 days to savor the flavors of its unique culinary offerings and the wonderful local wines, not to mention some of the finest artisanal olive oils to be found anywhere.
But of course, there is more to see and experience, the subtleties of color and the texture of the landscape contribute to the overall sense of relaxation and rejuvenated spirit. Over the years, we’ve gained a local knowledge of the countryside and environs surrounding the city of Florence. We’ll take the opportunity to trek through the wooded forest along the well worn paths used by locals for decades. It’s mushroom and truffle season and we may be lucky enough to see some hidden plots of these fungi treasured as a source of income by local woodsmen. The odds are high that we’ll have a chance to taste some fresh pickings back at the Inn for our evenings repast. How about an enjoyable bike ride through vineyards and small towns on easy to ride mountain bikes which have a handy backup power source; efficient electric motors which kick in to enable the entire group to maintain a comfortable pace together. So, no matter your aerobic condition you’ll be able to enjoy the crisp Tuscan air as we cruise along peaceful country lanes and vineyards.
The entire Chianti region will be ours to explore. So plan on visits to the medieval towns of Lucca, San Gimignano, and Siena. Of course, Florence is only a 20 minute drive away, so we’ll be sure to have a few evenings or days in town to savor renaissance art, the gustatory Florentian delights, and most importantly, to walk the streets and medieval alleys in the old part of the city. As an extra added bonus, we are hoping to drive out to the Mugello hills and try to find some Etruscan archaeological sites co-sponsored by American and Italian universities. And, finally, if the stars are in alignment, we’ll round things out with a photography workshop in southern Tuscany and a day of slow food farm-to-table enjoyment topped off with a local wine and fresh artisanal olive oil.
Once you land in Florence we are at your service so be ready to enjoy Italy from a uniquely vacation minded perspective, no rush, no fuss, no problem!
April 20 - 28, 2018
$3850* per person based on double occupancy; singles add $300.
*Price is subject to change due to currency fluctuations
• Transportation to and from Florence airport; and transportation during the trip as described on the itinerary
• 7 nights accommodations
• All meals as noted on the itinerary
• Bicycle riding through the vineyards on electric-assist bicycles
• Slow food cooking and photography workshops
• Picturesque walks/hikes through the Tuscan hills; villages; and countryside
• International airfare
• Travel insurance
• Any transportation outside the realm of the itinerary
• Alcohol and snacks
Click on a photo to view gallery.