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L&B Italian Tours - Search results for: Tuscany

Duration: 4.5 - 5 hours

Type of Service: Truffle Hunt with Lunch and Wine Tasting - day tour from Florence to San Gimignano

Visit a unique Winery located outside the medieval town of San Gimignano, in the province of Siena. The Giachi Family has been producing wines since 1720. You will spend an amazing time as your host teaches you to taste all the wines produced at this estate and hunt for truffles with dogs who are trained to seek black and white truffles.

Located at the entrance of the Valley of Chianti, in Tuscany, about 45 minutes from Florence. This winery, is a place of relaxation and fun with food and wine. It’s the ideal place to enjoy wonderful wines and Italian specialties. A most precious delicacy of the region is the exquisite, world famous black and white Truffles. You will partake in a truffle hunt with dogs for 60 minutes and then enjoy a Tuscan lunch that includes appetizers: Tuscan salami and cheeses, Bruschetta (Bread with Olive Oil). First Course: Truffle lasagna with meat sauce. Second Course: Roasted meat with potatoes and vegetables. Dessert: Cantuccini with Dessert Wine and the tasting of over 12 wines.

Things to Know:

  • You will enjoy a truly authentic "truffle hunting", accompanied by an expert truffle hunter with dogs, through the flat Tuscan woods
  • In the private truffle land in Tenuta Torciano, you will find precious white and black truffles
  • Learn to identify the different species of trees and the ideal habitat for the growth of truffles
  • Enjoy a 4-course lunch with dessert and wine tasting
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off from Florence Hotel
  • Luxury Vehicle with English-speaking driver/guide
  • Tour offered Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday (March - November)
  • Tour begins with hotel pickup at 9:30am
  • Wear comfortable clothing and walking or tennis shoes

Additional Info

  • Region Tuscany
  • City Florence
  • Duration 4.5 Hours
  • Highlights

    Enjoy a private one-hour Truffle hunt with a professional guide that will teach you the technical information about white and black truffles, followed by an authentic lunch and wine tasting at a wine estate in San Gimignano.

     

  • Pricing & Booking

    Price varies according to the number of people in your party. The tour includes round trip transportation from Florence with an English-speaking driver, truffle hunting with trained dogs, wine tasting fees and lunch. 

    The prices listed above are an estimate based on the daily exchange rate with the Euro. Due to the fluctuation in the Euro, the prices are subject to vary by up to 5% (usually a decrease, occasionally an increase). The precise price is confirmed upon booking following the procedures below. Please be sure to review the pricing upon booking.

    Please note: L&B Italian Tours have an on-call operator in Italy, in the event that anything changes or you have problems in Italy, you can contact us easily. 

  • Price Prices varies according to the number of people in your party
Published in Other Cities

Duration:  5 Hours

Type of Service: Chianti Tour from Florence with Wine Tasting and Lunch in the Tuscan Countryside with visits to the towns of Greve and Panzano - with private driver and private tour guide

Let your private driver and personal guide help you discover the charm of Tuscany’s countryside on your Chianti Wine Tours with prestigious wines and delicious local products.

You will be picked up from your accommodations in a luxury vehicle and driven about 21 miles south of Florence, well off the main roads. Greve in Chianti is considered by many as the gateway to the Chianti wine region and boasts an attractive, triangular-shaped piazza that has been a marketplace since the Middle Ages. The Falorni family owns the town's three main tourist attractions: the Museo del Vino, a wine cellar where you can sample and buy wine and the oldest butcher shop in Italy. Here you will sample a glass of wine, meats, and cheeses in the outdoor piazza. After the wine and food tasting, you will have time to explore the shops in the main square. 

The wine stop on this Tuscan countryside wine tour and just a 15-minutes drive from Greve is the hamlet of Panzano in Chianti.  Panzano is best known for its 12th-century castle that played a crucial role in defending the Florentine Republic during the battles between Florence and Siena. The town is very pretty and quaint, one of those places where you can really soak up the atmosphere of times gone by. You will visit a popular butcher shop of Antica Macelleria Cecchini (a butcher shop + restaurant famous for its Florentine T-bone steak) You will meet the famous butcher of Panzano, who offers you witty conversations, wine, and salami upon entering his shop.

The next stop on this Tuscan countryside wine tour is just a 15 minutes’ drive from Greve and is the hamlet of Panzano in Chianti.  Panzano is best known for its 12th-century castle that played a crucial role in defending the Florentine Republic during the battles between Florence and Siena. The town is very pretty and quaint, one of those places where you can really soak up the atmosphere of times gone by. You will visit a popular butcher shop of Antica Macelleria Cecchini (a butcher shop + restaurant famous for its Florentine T-bone steak). You will meet the famous butcher of Panzano, who offers you witty conversations, wine, and salami upon entering his shop.

The final stop on this amazing tour is a small winery/farm where you will discover the famous Chianti wines and the fine products: extra virgin olive oil, honey, and balsamic vinegar.  The private wine tour takes 1- hour and you will first see the old winery, rich with the finest of wines: Super Tuscans and Dincanto, produced in a limited edition. Then you will go to the nearby Acetaia (fully aged balsamic vinegar).

The Tuscany wine tasting tour includes lunch with one of its famous fresh dishes such lasagne, pappardelle, tagliatelle or the typical ravioli stuffed with fresh ricotta and herbs, as well as potato gnocchi seasoned with traditional sauces to include different varieties of honey, cheese, and salami accompanied by excellent Chianti Classico wines and dessert.

After a delicious and hearty lunch, enjoy a relaxing car ride back to Florence as your English-speaking tour guide shares great conversations with you and answers any questions you may have by Tuscany.  

Things to Know

  • Day trip from Florence to the beautiful Chianti wine region
  • Shop and stroll in the charming medieval village of Greve
  • Visit two wineries to learn about traditional production methods and taste varietals like Chianti Classico
  • Tour the wine cellars with an expert guide
  • Savor a fresh lunch of authentic Tuscan specialties
  • This is one of the best red wine production areas in the world. This is a very flexible and relaxed tour.
  • Private tour with English-speaking driver and private tour guide in luxury vehicle
  • Visit a famous butcher shop in Panzano
  • Hotel Pick up and Drop off at your Florence Hotel
  • Wear comfortable clothing and walking or tennis shoes
  • Tour operates daily from late March - October
  • Tours are offered on Monday, Wednesday and Friday
  • Tour begins at 9:30 am
  • This private tour must operate with a minimum of 3 people


Additional Info

  • Region Tuscany
  • City Florence
  • Duration 5 Hours
  • Highlights

    Enjoy the personalized attention of a private tour with a personal driver and guide - experience the true flavor of the Tuscan countryside on this Chianti wine tour from Florence. You will enjoy tastings of regional wines and foods.

  • Pricing & Booking

    The cost of this private tour with an English-speaking driver, English-speaking tour guide, tasting fees, lunch and private transportation in a luxury vehicle is $370.00 per person. 

    On this private tour you will enjoy your own personal tour guide and professional driver.  Sit back and relax, as these two individuals show you the best of Tuscany.

    The prices listed above are an estimate based on the daily exchange rate with the Euro. Due to the fluctuation in the Euro, the prices are subject to vary by up to 5% (usually a decrease, occasionally an increase). The precise price is confirmed upon booking. 

    Please note: L&B Italian Tours have an on-call operator in Italy, in the event that anything changes or you have problems in Italy, you can contact us easily. 

  • Price 370.00 per person
Published in Wine Tours
Thursday, 21 January 2016 22:02

Central Regions

Select A Territory

Start in Rome, then discover the less touristed regions of Lazio, Le Marche, Molise and the Abruzzo as well as two regions teeming with visitors, Tuscany and Umbria. The heart of Italy has a lot going for it, from good wine and olive oil to the sunny climate and a good percentage of the world's fine art. On either coast there are numerous beaches; Italians flock to them when the mercury soars in summer. Explore Rome, then head for the isolated hill towns, monasteries and religious shrines in the rural countryside.

Published in General Pages
Thursday, 12 November 2015 19:26

Regions in Italy

So you’ve decided you are GOING TO ITALY! How Exciting! Many people dream of visiting Italy and experiencing la bella vita, and while you certainly can’t avoid it anywhere in the country, there are some things to think about before you take off that will make your time that much more enjoyable.

First, Italy is a large, and very diverse country. Traveling across regions is almost like traveling across countries themselves. The Italian people are very attached to their City, Region, and Country, in that order, so be sure to talk to locals wherever you go to get to know the intricacies of the very different regions of Italy.

Planning your trip’s itinerary won’t be easy since there is SO much to see and do, but a little background on the country’s layout is helpful when decided what it is you want to get out of your time: are you looking for sports? history? art? food? beaches? mountains? fashion? design? Italy has it all, but some places have it better than others!

Italy can best be divided into three geographical areas: north, middle and south, although again across those areas culture, food and tradition varies greatly.

 

Northern Italy: Alta Italia

Northern Italy is made up of the Aosta Valley, Piedmont, Liguria, Lombardy, Emilia-Romagna, Veneto, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, and Trentino Alto-Adige. It boasts such famous cities as Milan, Venice, Turin, Genoa and Bologna. The weather is cooler than the rest of the country due to the northern location and proximity to the Apennines and Alps. This area is traditionally the more wealthy part of Italy, and houses most of the country’s industry. Cities like Milan and Venice can be slightly more expensive than some cities in the central or southern parts of Italy. However, public transportation and tourism services are much more developed and functional than in other parts of the country!

The major airport for the northern region is Milan’s Linate International Airport. There are many other airports in the region however, including Bologna, Venice and Genoa, so do some price comparisons before booking your ticket. The climate in this region varies considerably, both depending on time of year and location. Venice gets extremely hot in the summer, while Turin and the Lake District (Cuomo) stay much cooler and tend to be flocked by Italians trying to beat the heat during the summer months. The Italian Alps begin their ski season as early as November in some places.

Northern Italy has many attractions and offers activities for everyone. Those who enjoy sport and the outdoors may want to visit the lakes for water sports, or go hiking in the Italian Dolomites. Everyone should see Venice at least for a day while they still can! Milan is great for anyone interested in design or fashion, and also has a wide selection of galleries and museums for those interested in both Renaissance and contemporary art. One can also visit the Italian Riviera for some great beaches.

The cuisine of this region is also quite variable, but generally tends to be no the heavier side of some of the traditional Italian specialties we normally think of. This is where Italians eat risotto with saffron, polenta, LOTS of parmigiano reggiano (from the Emilia Romagna province – an area that all foodies must visit), heavy meat dishes and stews, etc. Closer north near the Austrian border we see a lot of Austrian or Slovenian influence in the cuisine, as well as the wines. Prosecco is from the Veneto, and Gewürztraminer is from Trentino Alto-Adige. Think lots of nice white wines, and a LOT of grappa!

 

Central Italy: Tuscany and Rome

Central Italy is made up of the regions Lazio, Marche, Tuscany and Umbria. Geographically it also contains Abruzzo and Molise, but they are traditional grouped with Southern Italy due to cultural similiarities. This is where the rolling hills of Unbria and Tuscany call to mind Napa Valley. This is wine country. Central Italy is home to cities like Florence, Siena, Perugia, and of course Roma. Still quite wealthy, but more varied wealth across regions, central Italy is also extremely easy to explore via bus or train, so you can visit some little hill towns in the Val D’Orcia, or take a train and ride up and down the coast. This section of Italy is full of tiny medieval towns, and if you do your research ahead of time, you could get to participate in one of their on-going traditional medieval festivals!

Rome and Florence both have international airports, as does Pisa. Flying into Bologna is also an easy way to get to Florence as they are connected via both fast and regional trains. The weather in the region is quite temperate, with clearly distinct seasons similar to the weather on the mid-Atlantic coast of the U.S. The winters are cold, and although snow is uncommon it is not unheard of. The summers get quite hot, going up to one hundred degrees, and the air tends to be humid, especially inland.

Florence and Rome are the dominating destinations in Central Italy, and rightfully so. Rome as the capital and Florence as the birthplace of the Renaissance are not to be missed if possible. I would argue each city really deserves its own trip to truly get the most out of what they have to offer. Rome is a massive metropolitan center, filled with tourists all year round. The Vatican is a major destination, its museums housing some of the most beautiful and famous Renaissance artwork, as well as the Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel. The City of Rome of course has many ancient Roman ruins that would excite anyone remotely interested in human history: the Coliseum, Roman Forum, Palatine Hill, and the Catacombs, just to name a few. Florence on the other hand is the must-visit for anyone interested in Renaissance art or history, and is also a good base to explore some of the smaller towns in the region that will have you thinking of Under the Tuscan Sun. The Chianti region is full of tiny gems to visit and have an amazing meal at, as is the area between Siena and Rome. You’ll have to get to know the regional bus lines though!

Again, each region has its own traditional cuisine, but Central Italy has some of the healthiest, heartiest, what traditionally would have been peasant food but has now been elevated to an incredible level of International renown. Bistecca alla Fiorentina can only be truly enjoyed in Tuscany, just as Rome is the place to eat Saltimbocca or Osso Buco. Siena is famous for its sweets, traditionally eaten at Christmastime, and the Umbrian town of Norcia, in the Appennine foothills is where the best black truffles can be found, as well as some of the best pork products like prosciutto and salame. The hills are home to wild boar, which is cooked into many traditional stews or sauces. This is also wine country, so look out for Chianti, Montalcino, Montepulciano, and Vernaccia di San Gimignano. I could write a whole article about Tuscan cuisine, and I probably will, so check our blog frequently!

 

Southern Italy: Untouched

Southern Italy is where many Italian Americans origins are. It is the poorest part of the country, and encompasses the “foot” part of the boot of Italy, as well as the island of Sicily and some other Islands off the coast of Naples. It is made up of the regions of Abruzzo, Apulia, Basilicata, Campania, Calabria, Molise and Sicily. Due to traditional poverty and well-known corruption, transportation to many less-frequented yet extremely beautiful areas is difficult without a car of your own. The trains are regional and buses connecting cities are infrequent. We’ll talk more about renting cars in Italy later, but this may be the area to do so if you are up for the challenge!

The nearest major international airport is Rome, but there are two smaller airports on the east coast: Bari and Brindisi, both in Apulia. Naples has an international airport, and the island of Sicily may be reached via Palermo in the north or Catania in the south. The climate in the South is Mediterranean, so again variable across seasons but markedly warmer than the north or center of the country. The area is frequently overlooked as a tourist destination, so it is a nice respite from the throngs of Florence or Venice if you have the chance to visit. The beaches are spectacular, overlooking truly crystalline water. On clear days you can even see Africa from certain points along the coast.

While Sorrento, the Amalfi coast and the island of Capri are all beautiful places to visit, they are also the most famous tourist destinations in this area. If you are looking for beautiful vistas and country club style and treatment, these resort towns are a perfect place to pamper yourself or take a boat out. If you are more on the adventurous side, continue south and explore the towns of Calabria, famous for its spicy peppers and warm inhabitants. From Naples you can climb Mount Vesuvius and eat a traditional Neapolitan pizza. Matera, in the Basilicata region, is slated to be the European Capitol of Culture in 2019, and boasts what are thought to be among the first ever human settlements in Italy carved out of the rocks that make up its ancient city center. Those interested in architecture will enjoy the cities along the southern coast of Sicily, where due to volcanic and seismic damage, many buildings were rebuilt in a new Sicilian Baroque style.

Southern Italian cuisine is what most Americans think of as Italian cuisine: eggplant parmigiana, pizza, calzone, spaghetti, maccheroni, and the list goes on. The region is big on short, dry pasta, as opposed to the soft egg pastas of the northern, wealthier regions. Mozzarella is from this area, as is ricotta, made light and fresh. San Marzano tomatoes are grown in the volcanic soil under mount Vesuvius, and are used ubiquitously. Many of the dishes served in the south have Italian-American counterparts due to generations of Italians emigrating to the US from these regions due to extreme poverty. This part of Italy also of course produces much of its own wine, but the wine tends to be drunk young and domestically, rather than bring preserved and shipped. So come here if you are okay with some chilled red table wine or a beer with your pizza!

This has just been an EXTREMELY brief overview of what you might expect as you plan your trip to Italy. Every part of the country has its own secrets, cuisines, and traditions, but if you can’t move there, these generalized descriptions should help you tailor where you want to start and end your visit to the big boot. Once you determine your itinerary, be sure to check seasonal weather charts so you can pack accordingly to where you will be visiting. Read on for more about the items that you will need to bring with you to get the most out of your Italian vacation!

Published in Tips & Tricks

Duration: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Type of Service: Florence Boat tour on Florentine Gondola on the Arno River - small group tour

All aboard, let's cruise the Arno River!

Meet your guide, an experienced professional, and enjoy a brief pleasant walk through airy Piazza della Signoria, admire the Uffizi Gallery's large windows from below and the Ponte Vecchio, and stroll on to reach the banks of the river to the boarding point of the "barchetto": entirely made of wood it is one of the 4 still existing originals!

Hop aboard, and the local "barcaiolo" will steer gently over the water using a long wooden pole while your guide entertains you with an account of Florence's eventful history full of colorful local anecdotes, telling you some of the secrets the river holds and explaining the bridges, majestic palaces and slender towers you see on shore. Sit back and enjoy the cruise as you ride beneath the Ponte Vecchio, and then admire it and the Uffizi Gallery, Palazzo Corsini and gorgeous Santa Trinita Bridge from mid-river.

For a perfect crescendo ending, there will be time to relish a refreshing, typical Italian "aperitivo": a glass of chilled wine. Our "Florentine Gondola Tour" is without doubt a wonderful way to enter into the splendor and traditions of Florence.

Enjoy a unique experience with our boat tours of Florence and you will never forget your holiday in Italy.

Things to know:

  • The most Romantic Tour in town!
  • Mini cruise on the Arno River on board of a vintage Barchetto, Florence Gondola-style traditional boat (approx. 50 minutes aboard)
  • Celebrate this amazing perspective on Florence with a Cool Wine Aperitivo
  • Licensed English speaking guide on board
  • Your tour will begin in central Florence, where you’ll meet up with your guide - more details are provided upon booking
  • Travel through the bustling Piazza della Signoria, home to the impressive Palazzo Vecchio, and see the exterior of the Uffizi Gallery before approaching the Ponte Vecchio, Florence’s historic bridge
  • Small group tour, 18 people or less
  • Boat Tour is offered 7 days a week and must be booked 10 days in  advance
  • Boat Tour is offered May - September
  • Boat Tour times are at 5:00 pm and 6:00pm
  • Discount given for children ages 6 - 12 years old - must be accompanied by an adult/guardian

 

Additional Info

  • Region Tuscany
  • City Florence
  • Duration 75 minutes
  • Highlights

    Enjoy Florence's Arno River aboard a traditional local "barchetto" (the Florentine Gondola) enjoying a glass of wine.

     

  • Pricing & Booking

    $58.00 per person with a minimum of two. Discounts available for children ages 6 -12 years old.

    GROUP SIZEDISCOUNT %$ DISCOUNTFINAL PRICE
    03 - 04 20.00 % $ 24.40 $ 97.60
    05 - 06 30.00 % $ 36.60 $ 85.40
    07 - 08 40.00 % $ 48.80 $ 73.20

    An estimate based on the daily exchange rate with the Euro. Due to the fluctuation in the Euro, the prices are subject to vary by up to 5% (usually a decrease, occasionally an increase). The precise price is confirmed upon booking. 

    Please note: L&B Italian Tours has an on-call operator in Italy, in the event that anything changes or you have problems in Italy, you can contact us easily. 

  • Price 58.00 per person

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