Hidden Italy | An Insiders Tour of Tuscany 3-9 September 2018 | $3,500pp | No Single Supplement

An Insiders Tour of Tuscany from Hidden Italy introduces you to the very best of Italy’s most beautiful region: the most fascinating cities; masterpieces of art; secret gardens; Italy’s finest cooking and wine; and some of the most beautiful landscapes in Europe.

Tuscany represents the best of Italy. A region of incomparable natural beauty, Tuscany has beguiled locals and foreigners alike for centuries: it has a celebrated cuisine; produces some of Italy’s finest wine and, of course, it was the centre of the Renaissance, a pivotal moment in history that transformed Italy and Europe.

The products of this marvellous period embellish the towns, villages and cities of the region making it an essential destination for any visit to Italy. Tuscany, however, is much more than a living museum, it remains a place of innovation in fields as diverse fashion, viniculture, engineering, manufacturing and agriculture.

It is easy to skate over Tuscany’s beautiful surface but it takes an insider to unlock the secrets of this timeless region and there are few people better prepared to do this than Hidden Italy’s own Anna Sagaria.

The tour leader

Anna Sagaria has worked with Hidden Italy for fourteen years. She was born and raised in San Quirico d’Orcia in southern Tuscany; she studied art history and literature at University of Siena; she has lived in Florence for the last seven years and she is a certified guide for both Siena and Florence. She is also fluent in three languages and has been leading tours in Tuscany for over twenty years and, of course, she loves her region.

The accommodation

Our accommodation in Florence is an exclusive 4-star hotel housed in a Renaissance building located in the pedestrian historic centre of Florence, on one of the most elegant shopping streets in town. The refined rooms are decorated with frescoes and antiques and it has a roof terrace with 360 degree views of the city.

In the Val d’Orcia we will be based in the pedestrian heart of Anna’s hometown, San Quirico d’Orcia, a perfectly intact medieval town that was an important staging point on the Via Francigena, the pilgrim road to Rome. Our accommodation is a beautiful 4-star hotel in a restored noble palazzo that dates from the 14th century, which has private gardens, a pool and a wellness centre.

Guided visits

The tour includes private visits to: the Mercato Centrale, Florence’s famous produce markets; the Uffizi Gallery (one of the world’s great art museums); the nearby Accademia (to see Micheangelo’s incomparable David); the private gardens of an historic Florentine family (with aperitivo); the ‘Opifico’ (a rare opportunity to visit Florence’s historic restoration institute, founded by the Medici in 1588); Luca Signorelli’s magnificent fresco cyle at the isolated ‘Monastery of the Moon’. It also includes guided walks through the historic centres of both Florence and Siena as well as three of the most beautiful towns in central Italy: Montalcino, Pienza and Montepulciano.

The food

The food and wine, of course, are some of the highlights of the tour: beginning with a cooking lesson above the Mercato Centrale, Florence and finishing with a cooking lesson in the kitchens of one of the finest restaurants in southern Tuscany; a gelato making demonstration at the best gelataria in Florence; a visit to a pecorino cheese producer; a ‘panforte’ demonstration in Siena; and a wine-tasting with lunch in a Medieval castle overlooking Montalcino at one of the historic producers of Brunello di Montalcino, Italy’s greatest red wine.

The walks

Anna will lead you on a beautiful two hour walk along country lanes in southern Tuscany, starting at the medieval walls of Montalcino, proceeding through forest and vineyards to finish at one of the most impressive medieval castles in the district (where one of the best Brunello is produced).

An Insiders Tour of Tuscany runs from 3-9 September 2018. Tour Cost is $3,500pp and there is NO Single Supplement.