Relaxed Tuscany

Sienna
Sienna
Cathedral in Pienza Square
Cathedral in Pienza Square
The small charming town of Cortona
The small charming town of Cortona
Fresco at the Palazzo Comunale
Fresco at the Palazzo Comunale
Duomo in Florence
Duomo in Florence
Ancient fountain
Ancient fountain

A wealth of archaeological sites are hidden amongst the rolling hills and golden landscapes of Tuscany. The region has seduced countless civilisations for centuries. It all began with the Etruscans, but the Romans, medieval Christians, British aristocrats, and plundering Napoleon all share a space in the region’s fascinating history.

Based in a single hotel, we enjoy a combination of expert-led archaeological visits and free time to explore. Highlights of the tour include visits to the hilltowns of Arezzo and Cortona, and the many museums we get to visit.

  • Discover the Palazzo communal in Siena
  • Observe the art and architecture in the city of Cortona
  • Explore the Basilica of San Francesco
  • Drive to the idyllic village of Pienza
  • Tour a local Tuscan winery

Themes

  • Romans
  • Medieval
  • Historic Churches
  • Ancient Greek

Practicalities

  • Special Access
  • Small Group
  • All Inclusive

Itinerary 2018

Day 1

Today we arrive in Italy and drive to our hotel, ready to begin our adventure tomorrow.

Day 2

This morning we explore Siena, the last town to hold out against the rise of the Medici. This historic area’s centre was listed as a UNESCO Heritage Site and we take plenty of time to savour the marvellous Palazzo Comunale, which is a palatial town hall that houses some impressive frescoes and was built with a clear Gothic influence. During our visit, there will be the opportunity to ascend its bell tower to soak in the panoramic views over the city’s rooftops. Next, we have the opportunity to visit the incomparable Duomo. There will be free time in the afternoon for you to explore its honey-stoned streets, many churches and vibrant galleries. The boutiques and delicious-smelling pastry shops are abundant.

Day 3

Our day begins with a journey to Arezzo, where we will begin by uncovering the life and work of Giorgio Vasari. He was the court architect to Cosimo I and biographer of the great artists, and is regarded more highly as an architect than as a painter by contemporary scholars. We then move on to the Duomo, thought to be located on the site of the ancient city’s acropolis. We also explore the Basilicata of San Francesco, a late Medieval church, renowned for housing frescoes by Piero della Francesca. Enjoy the remainder of the afternoon at leisure, enjoy a traditional Italian coffee in one of the local cafes or, alternatively, you could visit the Archaeological Museum alongside your expert guide lecturer. The museum is housed within a former monastery and has fantastic collections.

Day 4

In the morning, we take a scenic drive to the idyllic village of Pienza, which has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was built by Pope Pius II. This village, perched on a hill and offering spectacular views, is famed for its amazing Pecorino cheese and other gourmet delights. Later, in the afternoon, we will indulge in a tour of a local Tuscan winery, where we can sample some of the delicious vintages produced in the area. Tuscan wines, boast a rich history of viticulture and are widely celebrated for their deep flavours. This stop is the perfect way to unwind after a busy day.

Day 5

Our entire day will be spent in Cortona, which is a small and charming town in Arezzo’s Chiana valley. Enclosed by a stone wall that dates back to the Etruscan and Roman times, this city offers a host of interesting sites to visit including local museums, shops that sell regional handicrafts and also religious buildings. This area also produces some incredible red wines. During our time here, we discover the Accademia Etrusca and its fine accompanying museum, which houses fantastic historic artefacts and ancient art. Later, we move on to the Diocesan Museum, which hosts some truly remarkable works of religious art.

Day 6

After a final breakfast with the group, we transfer to the airport where we say our goodbyes to the group and catch our flights home.

Itinerary 2019

Day 1

We depart from London and upon arrival in Italy, we drive to our hotel, ready to begin our adventure tomorrow.

Day 2

This morning we explore Siena, the last town to hold out against the rise of the Medici. This historic area’s centre was listed as a World Heritage Site and we take plenty of time to savour the marvellous Palazzo Comunale, which is a palatial town hall that houses some impressive frescoes and was built with a clear Gothic influence. During our visit, there will be the opportunity to ascend its bell tower to soak in the panoramic views over the city’s rooftops. Next, we have the opportunity to visit the Duomo and adjacent Museo dell’Opera. There will be free time in the afternoon for you to explore its honey-stoned streets, many churches and vibrant galleries.

Day 3

Our day begins with a journey to Arezzo, where we will begin by uncovering the life and work of Giorgio Vasari at his former home, Casa Vasari. He was the court architect to Cosimo I and biographer of the great artists, and is regarded more highly as an architect than as a painter by contemporary scholars. We then move on to the Duomo, thought to be located on the site of the ancient city’s acropolis. We also explore the Basilicata of San Francesco, a late Medieval church, renowned for housing frescoes by Piero della Francesca. Enjoy the remainder of the afternoon at leisure, enjoy a traditional Italian coffee in one of the local cafes or, alternatively, you could visit the Archaeological Museum alongside your expert guide lecturer.

Day 4

Our entire day will be spent in Cortona, a small and charming town in Tuscany’s Chiana valley. Enclosed by a stone wall that dates back to the Etruscan and Roman times. This city offers a host of interesting sites, religious buildings, local museums, and lovely shops that sell regional handicrafts. This area also produces some incredible red wines. During our time here, we discover the Accademia Etrusca and its fine accompanying museum, which houses fantastic historic artefacts and ancient art. Later, we move on to the Diocesan Museum, which hosts some truly remarkable works of religious art. This afternoon, we head underground to explore the Etruscan Tumuli of Sodo Melone, the fascinating burial place of the ancient city’s nobility who played an important part in society.

Day 5

This morning, we take a scenic drive to the idyllic village of Pienza, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and built by Pope Pius II. Offering spectacular views, it is famed for its fabulous Pecorino cheese and other gourmet delights. This afternoon, we have a tour of a local Tuscan winery, where we can sample some of the delicious vintages produced in the area. This stop is the perfect way to unwind after a busy day.

Day 6

Time permitting, we have free time in Tuscany before heading home.

What's Included

  1. Expert Guide Lecturer
  2. Tour Manager
  3. Local Travel - Private a/c coach
  4. Meals - Most meals included with wine at dinner
  5. Entries & Tips - Entry to all sites in programme; tips included
  6. Field Notes
  7. Hotels
  8. Flights

Travel Information

For full information about Passport validity and Visa requirements as well as Health and Vaccination information please click here.

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2019 Tour Details

Mon 2nd September - Sat 7th September

Available

Guaranteed Departure

£2,199

inc.

sgl supp: £350

RTU19A

Led By: Dr Agata Chrzanowska

Guide Lecturer

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