- VILLA LAURA -This trip is offered exclusively to club members. To become a member, click here.
|Take a moment and picture yourself soaking up the Tuscan sun with a glass of Montepulciano in hand, a table spread with savory local dishes, and delightful company. Then make all that and more come true on this year’s sojourn to Villa Laura.
You’ll experience one of the oldest wineries in Tuscany, taste the famous Brunello from Montalcino, visit a family cheese farm and an ancient olive oil mill, wander through medieval streets and pause for gelato in Renaissance piazzas. Your week will be a sensual feast of sights, sounds, tastes, and the romantic charms of Tuscany.
Please make your own flight arrangements to Rome Fiumincino airport. We’ll meet you at the Hilton airport hotel at 1:30pm. The hotel is a 5 minute walk from arrival terminals 1, 2 and 3 through a covered tunnel and very visible posted sign. There is a restaurant, a bar, and comfortable seating areas for you to relax, refresh, and enjoy your first Italian coffee before you head to the Villa!
3:30/4pm – Arrival time at Villa Laura.
6pm – “Aperitivo” is served! We will all gather to sip Prosecco and get to know each other a little better. Louise, an expert on the local area, will give a short talk on Cortona and the history of the villa.
7:30pm – Evening meal is served. Prepared by the villa chefs highlighting the region’s seasonal, local cuisine using our organic vegetable garden.
|SUNDAY - Cortona
After a night of heavenly sleep, open your eyes to the Tuscan morning light.
8:30am – Enjoy breakfast in the villa dining room, then put on your walking shoes and head to Cortona.
9:30am - Louise and the bus will collect you to start your first day exploring the local area. Your city tour begins at Le Celle, the monastery that was once the home of St Francis of Assisi, and continues to Museo dell’Accademia Etrusca. See ancient Etruscan artifacts dug from the local hillsides, and learn about Tuscan life in the 2nd century BCE. Appetite primed, head to restaurant La Loggetta for a very traditional lunch of local dishes. After lunch wander and shop through the cobblestone streets, duck into the ancient alleyways, and take in the sweeping views. Cortona really is the iconic Tuscan town of your imagination. When you’re ready to return to the villa either take your map and walk down or call a taxi. They can either collect you in the main “Piazza Repubblica” or at the end of the shopping street in the square with the big view “Piazza Garibaldi”.
7pm – Aperitivo followed by pizzas cooked using our old stone oven in the farmhouse. Francesco will also invite you to get involved if you wish!
|MONDAY - Castello di Trebbio
7:30am – Enjoy breakfast at the villa.
8:45am - The bus will arrive to take you to the beautiful Castello di Trebbio for lunch, a tour, wine and olive oil tasting hosted by the owners of the castle themselves.
7:30pm - Evening meal served at the Villa.
|TUESDAY– Cheese Making
8:30am – Enjoy breakfast at the villa
9:45am - Bus leaves for the cheese farm.
Today you will visit a local cheese farm for a cheese making lesson followed by lunch. It is a family run farm in the Cortona area, the father looks after the animals, the daughter runs the business and the mother does the cooking, a real family affair! Their sheep were also featured in the film “Under the Tuscan Sun”.
The afternoon and evening are free to enjoy as you wish.
|WEDNESDAY – Assisi
8:30am - Enjoy breakfast at the Villa.
9:30am - The bus will arrive to take you to Assisi, the birthplace of St Francis of Assisi and the spiritual capital of Umbria. Together with a guide tour UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Basilica di San Francesco, and the Basilica di Santa Chiara and get up close and personal with Italian art history. The basilica includes frescoes by Giotto, Lorenzetti, and Cimabue; stained glass windows from 13th-century British, German, and Flemish craftsmen; and relics from St Francis’ life. Following the basilica tour, explore Assisi in your own time, wander the cobble streets and visit the little artisan shops before meeting back up with the group.
1:30pm - Head to the Bibenda wine bar in the center of Assisi to meet with Sommelier and owner Nila Halun. Here you will have the opportunity to taste wines from the region of Umbria together with a light lunch consisting of local hams, cheeses, homemade jams and other local specialties.
7:30pm - Evening meal at the Villa.
|THURSDAY – Montepulciano & Pienza
8:30am – Enjoy breakfast at the villa.
9:00am - Leave the villa and head to the beautiful hill top town of Montepulciano. Louise will take you to all the sites and guide you through the ancient streets. You will then drive through the beautiful countryside to the farm Podere il Casale. There you will visit the farm, animals and enjoy a delicious lunch of their own organic produce. After lunch head into the small, Renaissance gem that is Pienza. Explore the town with Louise and have some free time to shop, have an ice-cream in the town square or continue exploring the streets on your own before heading back to the Villa.
7:30pm – Evening meal at the villa
|FRIDAY – Cooking lesson, Il Falconiere
8:30am – Breakfast at the villa
10:00am - This morning you will visit the famous Relais Il Falconiere for a cooking lesson followed by lunch at their famous Michelin star restaurant. The afternoon is free for you to enjoy as you wish. You could take a taxi directly from the hotel to Cortona for some last minute shopping or return to the villa to pack and relax.
7:30pm – A farewell evening meal at the villa
|SATURDAY – Arrivederci!
A simple buffet breakfast will be available before the bus comes to collect you at 8:00am.
April 29-May 6, 2017
|BOOK YOUR TRIP TODAY
Contact Teresa Hernando at 707.931.7544
or email firstname.lastname@example.org