GROUP TOUR BY TOUR BUS
Programme valid for groups formed in advance with a minimum of 30
Applicable for minimum stays of 2 nights
Rome – Piazzale dei Partigiani Ostiense Railway Station
7.30 am (morning). Please be on time and arrive at least 15 minutes before departure time for stowing luggage and assignment of seats on the bus
An enchanting and seductive tour to an area, part hills and part mountains, known as the “Castles”, or villages built in sandstone that flourished in the Middle Ages. Not many people are aware of the “little Switzerland” as we could call it. A great green valley extends under the incredulous eyes of those who look upon a landscape whose colours, vegetation and breathtaking views recall Alpine vistas much further north.
The name was actually given by Jean Charles Sismondi, the historian, economist and writer of Italian origins from Geneva who fell in love with the area, since it reminded him of the Alps, and where he settled after long travels in Europe.
Ancient traditions and cuisine to enjoy with local extra virgin olive oil are great, and nobody will leave anything on the plates!
This area is a portion of the Tuscan landscape and cultural products of how people used to live, where old crafts and traditions survive the pressure of modern technology and the rush of modern life.
Departure from Rome from the agreed location. Arrival in the early afternoon at Massa Carrara, with entry and tour of the Malaspina di Fosdinovo Museum and Castle. This impressive fortress has a square layout with four round towers, a semi-circular keep, two internal courtyards, gangways on the roof for soldiers, hanging gardens, loggias and terraces. Formerly protected by a drawbridge, the entrance opens onto a small courtyard where there used to be the defensive cannons, and a Romanesque marble column supporting the upper loggias. Then we will go to Montecatini Check-in at the booked hotel, dinner and overnight stay
Breakfast at the hotel, transfer to the beautiful Chianti area. A short guided tour of San Casciano in Val di Pesa, the northernmost town in the Chianti area dating back to the Etruscan period, and the quaint fortified village of Montefioralle, birthplace of the great navigator Amerigo Vespucci. We will then stop in Greve in Chianti, considered as the gateway to Chianti due to its strategic position. Here we can see the church of Santa Croce, and lunch at the booked restaurant. In the afternoon, visit and wine-tasting at Verrazzano Castle. Located on a hilltop between Florence and Siena, in the heart of Chianti Classico, it has a wonderful position, formerly with military strategic importance, and it now watches over the vineyards extending in a fan shape to the woods below. In the evening we will go back to the hotel at Montecatini for dinner and overnight stay
Montecatini. Breakfast at the hotel and transfer to Gaiole in Chianti for a tour and wine-tasting at Brolio Castle, belonging to the Barons of Ricasoli. Over the centuries the castle has been besieged and destroyed in a number of historical battles, such as the Aragonese and Spanish attacks in the 15th century, the 16th century skirmishes and air and artillery bombardments in World War II. Today, the castle is surrounded by 230 hectares of vineyards that are part of the estate of the company, the largest one for Chianti Classico. After the guided tour of the castle, the focus and symbol of the company, the tour continues at the new wine-making plant and large cellars where the wines are aged. In a private room, specialised personnel preside over the tasting of a selection of Barone Ricasoli wines, the result of enthusiasm, skill and innovation over the years. We will then go to Arezzo for lunch in a booked restaurant and a tour of the town. Afterwards, departure for the return journey. In the evening arrival in Rome and end of services.