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TOSCANA ELITE: HOLIDAYS

We have various types of holidays and trips, all of which can be tailored to your needs.

Vineyard Tours

Trips to the rolling Toscana countryside with slopping vineyards and Cyprus trees, the Renaissance artists used the Tuscan countryside as their base for Paradise, when you get there one understands why.

 

      
 

I can organise tours of most vineyards, you can walk among the vines, see and hear the description of the methods used to make the different wines, visit the cellars where the wines are aged and of course taste the wines. Some vineyards are located in magnificent houses others in castles.

I can also arrange lunch with your tasting, the lunches would be created with local produce that complement the wines

For more information please see our "Vineyard Tours" page.

Golf

Come to Toscana for a golfing holiday, I can arrange an active golfing break with lots of golf played in wonderful courses, or, a nice relaxing break with golf, food and wine tastings with some city visits.

For more information please see our "Golf" page.

Cycling

Come and cycle in Toscana, routes can be arranged in the meandering strada del Chianti from Firenze to Siena and San Gimignano.

City cycling routes, visit Firenze, Lucca and many other cities by bike.

Demanding mountain routes up the winding roads of the Garfagnana.

You choose, cycling days can have lunch stops and vineyard visits if you like.

Mountain Biking can also be organised.

Cooking Breaks

I offer two types of cooking holiday.

One of the holiday’s takes place at I Cipressini the country house at Montecatini Alto, belonging to the Simoncini family, I Cipressini is surrounded by olive trees, grape vines,  fig trees, pear trees and lots of other goodies. This cooking experience involves the participants going to the markets in the morning and purchasing the required produce. The demonstration takes place under the loggias of the country house, lunch or dinner is prepared then served. The chef is Vito, the hotel chef and is a superb cook, the demonstration would take place with an interpreter.

Please note that this cookery demonstration offers little, hands on, participation.

             

             

The second cookery course, takes place at the Mediterranean seaside, and is a much more hands on event, you will be taken to the local markets in the morning then each participant will have their own cooking station, all food prepared would be done under the instruction of top Tuscan chefs, prepared food would then be used for lunch or dinner.

Strangely enough the cookery course that you have to work hard at is the most expensive.

 

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PUCCINI www.puccinifestival.it

For opera lovers I can offer the ultimate holiday, visit the theatre at the beautiful ancient town of Montecarlo just outside Lucca, where Puccini first performed his operas.

Visit the house where he was born at Lucca.

Visit the house where he lived at Torre del Lago.

 

         

Take a boat trip on Lago Massaciuccoli, where Puccini used to go duck hunting on a punt and where he was inspired by his personal tragedies to write La Fanciulla del West.

Finally take in one of his Opera’s at Teatro Il Giglio in Lucca. After the Opera go for a typical Lucca meal close to the theatre. (Operas by Puccini are not all year round, so timing is important for this)

Puccini’s Opera’s are also performed at Teatro Puccini, Torre del Lago, in the summer months, it is an open arena and the stage sets can be much more grandiose than Il Giglio. (These performances are subject to weather conditions)

         

 

Art in Toscana

Do you want to spend some time in Toscana painting the beautiful countryside or medieval buildings, all this can be arranged an artist can take you round some of the best sites, teach and explain tequniques and methods etc.

If a professional artist is not required then bring your own or go yourself, we will be only to happy to arrange pick up and drop off service to beauty spots that that we recommend or you wish to go to.

 

City Tours

Guided city tours can be organised or if you prefer, itineraries can be tailor made for you so you can enjoy the sights, museum’s, art galleries, castles, shopping and much more.

I will be only to happy to advise or organise restaurants and bars for lunch, dinner or just relax time sitting in a Piazza sipping a Negroni.

 

Trekking

How do you fancy trekking the valley’s, hills and mountains of Toscana.

I can arrange trekking days in any part of Toscana, lunch and refreshment stops at interesting trattorie.

The trekking can be as demanding as you wish, here are some examples;

Day trekking the slopes of high Garfagnana, passing through ancient Pieve. The walks can be as high as 700 meters above sea level.

Day trekking on the Pistoiesi mountains at San Marcello, San Pellegrino and the ski resort of Abetone. Some very high walks 1000 meters plus.

Day trekking in the rolling countryside of Chianti, Bolgheri or Montalcino, can be combined with vineyard visits and tastings.

Day trekking at beach with possibility to visit ancient Etruscan village.

Much more can be offered you need only ask.

 

Yoga

Looking for a peaceful place to practice your yoga, all this can be arranged for you either at I Cipressini at Montecatini Alto or in the the heart of Chianti country.

Horse Riding

Horse riding at wetlands of the Padule di Fucecchio, these picturesque marshlands near Pistoia and Pisa are ideal for horseriding and many outdoor activities.

 

Spa & Health -  www.termemontecatini.it
Montecatini Terme is famous worldwide for its magnificent health spa’s. Dante, proprietor of Torretta Hotel will be glad to take you on a guided tour of the Spa’s and explain their interesting history. These Spa’s take you back to a time of Belle Époque and an aperitivo of Prosecco at the Tettuccio will linger in memory forever.
Drink the waters at Tettuccio spa, week long courses of  “the taking of the Acqua Regina” can be organised for you. Any type of spa treatment can be arranged from the hotel Torretta.

         

 

Marble Mines at Carrara

Remember the opening scenes of Quantum of Solace?? Aston Martin and Alfa’s tearing round the marble mines. How would you like to visit the mines in a off road 4x4 following the off road routs that The Romans,  Michelangelo and other famous artists took when choosing their pieces for their great Opere D’Arte? Drive into the large cathedral grotto’s and see how the men cut the stone today. Also taste the famous lardo di Collonata.

The above tours can be also arranged by ordinary transport (obviously cannot go where the 4x4 goes) or on a trekking break on foot.

For more details please see www.carraramarbletour.it and www.cavedimarmotours.com

Castle Tours

Trips to the many castles dotted about Toscana can be arranged, from the Malaspina, haunted castle at the Lunigiana, Massa to S.Romano in the high Garfagnana.

Many castles are now owned by wine producers so these trips can easily be mixed with vineyard visits.

 

Acommodation
My hotel choice for your stay would be the highly recommended four star Hotel Torretta in Montecatini Terme, www.hoteltorretta.it

This hotel is perfectly positioned on the edge of a park ten minutes walk from the centre of the town, it has a pool and Jacuzzi, bikes for hire and a very good chef producing some of the best food in Montecatini.

Dante Simoncini and his family will take the best care of all your needs.

The hotel can arrange any type of health spa sessions for you in the many “Terme” at Montecatini.