ITALY: Boutique Foodie Tour - 10 days
10th - 19th September 2020
Destinations: ITALY: Rome, Tuscany - Corona & Siena
Tour Grading Moderate - Fun
Tour Commences In: Rome
Number of Days: 10 days / 9 nights
Accommodation: 5, 4 star and Boutique hotels
Leaders: Australian chef and experienced local guides
Tour Concludes In: Siena
Tour Style: Luxury / Deluxe
Meals: Breakfasts: 9, Lunches: 7, Dinners: 6
Transportation: Luxury / Deluxe minivans
Join Boutique Foodie Tours on the fabulously delicious foodie tour that will not only inspire you as a cook and foodie, but will teach you new skills, give you a chance to sit back and watch culinary experts at work, taste top class food and engage you in an iconic food culture that dates back thousands of years.
Includes immersive food tours, hands on cooking classes, farm tours, fine restaurant dining, wine tasting, culture, history, shopping and much more.
- A specially curated itinerary for foodies
- Tour authentic foodie neighbourhoods of Rome, tasting as you go
- Sample the best Italian food from people who know how to cook
- Visit the stunning Borghese Gardens and Gallery
- Immerse yourself in authentic hands-on cooking classes
- Shop one of the most famous markets of the world
- Sip on the best coffee in Rome
- Be impressed by the beauty of the Piazza Navona and ancient Pantheon
- Dine on authentic local foods
- Experience the delights of Italian train travel through Tuscany
- Explore the beautiful Tuscan hilltop town of Orvieto
- Discover the wonders of medieval Cortona
- Gaze at the breathtaking views of the Val di Chiana and Val d’Orcia
- Tour a real Tuscan farm and watch the cheese making masters at work
- Be overwhelmed listening to the chanting of Benedictine monks
- Discover the spectacular beauty of Siena on our privately guided walking tour
- Sample prestigious and celebrated Italian wines
- Shop some of the best artisan products and delicacies of Tuscany
- Spend twilight sipping aperitivo in ancient piazzas
- Taste, inhale, touch and see the most beautiful food in a country that is a foodie’s dream!
- A specially curated itinerary especially for Boutique Foodie Tours
- Private international & domestic airport arrival and departure transfers for all guests
- 5 & 4 star modern & boutique accommodation
- Luxury private Chauffeur driven luxury air- conditioned vehicles & local trains for all transfers & sightseeing
- Fully escorted by our experienced Australian professional chef & food educater, Austrealn manager and local tour guides
- Meals as indicated in Itinerary; B = Breakfast: L=Lunch: D=Dinner:
- Admission fees to all monuments, activities, excursions as per the itinerary
- Cooking classes as per the itinerary
- Walking tours as per the itinerary
- Local market tour as per itinerary
- Hotel porterage (1 bag per person)
- Bottled water included whilst touring in vehicle
- An exclusive information travel package
Day 1: Thursday 10th September 2020: Arrive Rome:
Day 2: Friday 11th September 2020: Rome:
Day 3: Saturday 12th September 2020: Rome:
Day 4: Sunday 13th September 2020: Rome – Orvieto – Cortona:
Day 5: Monday 14th September 2020: Cortona:
Day 6: Tuesday 15th September 2020: Cortona – Pienza – Cortona:
Day 7: Wednesday 16th September 2020: Cortona – Montepulciano – Montalcino – Cortona:
Day 8: Thursday 17th September 2020: Cortona – Siena:
Day 9: Friday 18th September 2020: Siena:
Day 10: Saturday 19th September 2020: Siena - Florence:
All our hotels are excellent four- and five-star boutique hotels. We highly recommend our hotels as they have excellent services and facilities. All rooms have modern facilities, private bathrooms with double or twin beds.
Climate & Clothing:
In summer the weather in Italy is mild to warm, the temperature average between June and July is about 78°F - 26°C. Summers are relatively dry, but rain does occur all year round. The general rule is to bring comfortable clothing including lightweight cottons. Comfortable walking shoes are essential as is a light waterproof jacket. We provide a detailed packing list to all our guests prior to departure.
Currency & Money Matters:
The official currency in France is EURO (€). On January 1, 2002, the Euro became the official currency for 300 million Europeans, in use in 12 countries of the European Union. Traveller’s Cheques can be exchanged at some banks and currency exchange offices but are not as welcome as cash or credit cards. ATMs are widely available in major cities and tourist areas.
The electrical current in France is 220 volts AC, 50Hz. The European two-pin plug is standard.
You must obtain Comprehensive Travel Insurance as a condition of travelling with Boutique Tours & Travel. We recommend that you purchase insurance at the time of Booking. Insurance is available from BT&T. http://www.boutiquetours.com.au/insurance-quote-form
Italian is the official language, but English is widely understood in the main tourist areas.
Our hotels offer a wonderful selection of dishes at their buffet breakfasts and our tour offers a with a wide variety of both menu and venue for lunches and evening meals.
Medical Services & Facilities:
Our hotels have access to a doctor if required. They can also assist guests with purchasing of medicine. The international hospitals in France are very good and have western trained medical and surgical specialists. Dental care is also available.
Passports & Visas:
To enter Italy you require a passport valid for at least six months beyond the date of entry and with at least two blank pages. No visa is required for tourists.
Pre & Post Tour Accommodation:
Boutique Tours & Travel suggests that you may like to arrive a day before the start of your tour to allow time to relax and refresh. You are also very welcome to linger longer after the tour is completed.
Boutique Tours & Travel has negotiated special overnight rates at this hotel for both pre and post tour accommodation. Please ask for details at time of booking. Local tour guides are also available on request.
We welcome single travellers and we are able to arrange single accommodation. We negotiate strongly to keep single supplements at a reasonable cost. If you wish to share a room, we will endeavour to match you with another single guest and adjust the costs accordingly and refund any costs after you return home. We accept no responsibility for the suitability of a room partner.
Specific requests such as adjacent or connecting rooms, bedding requests, smoking or non-smoking rooms and special dietary needs or any other arrangement should be advised at time of booking. Please note that every effort will be made to secure your special request; however, they cannot always be guaranteed.
Italy Standard time is GMT+ 1 (GMT + 2 during Summer Daylight Saving Time)
Our small group tours provide you with a good balance of group activity and personal discovery.
We generally use modern deluxe minibuses for tours. We also walk where and when it’s suitable.
Water & Beverages:
Our hotels offer bottled water and bottled water is provided whilst touring in minibus. Some alcoholic beverages are included in the cost of this tour.
Day 1: Thursday 10th September: Arrive Rome: (D)
Ciao e Benvenuto, hello and welcome to Roma, the Eternal City and top foodie destination of the world. You will be met by your tour director and transferred to your hotel. Depending on your arrival time, you may have free time to explore Rome at your leisure. Later this evening we meet in the hotel for an aperitivo, introduction and tour briefing before departing for our ‘Welcome Dinner’ – a truly Roman experience.
Day 2: Friday 11th September: Rome: (B/L/D)
We start our day soaking up the atmosphere of foodie Rome by visiting an authentic neighbourhood and discovering the heart of Italian food. We meet the locals and sample and taste everything from delicious pastries, pizza and the iconic Roman pasta dish of Cacio e Pepe to the best gelato in the city. Pick up some delicacies to take home along the way. For a hit of culture this afternoon you can choose to visit the stunning, romantic Borghese Gardens, which date back to the 17th century, and the Borghese Gallery, which houses one of the finest collections of art by the Old Masters. Or return to your hotel for the afternoon. Then it’s on to an evening cooking class with a local who will guide us through two of Rome’s famous pasta dishes, and which we will enjoy together at the end of the class.
Day 3: Saturday 12th September: Rome: (B/L/D)
This morning we explore the colourful and lively Campo dei Fiori, the ancient piazza that houses one of the most famous markets in the world and a bastion of Roman city life. From artisan meats, pasta, cheese and local delicacies to flowers, coffee makers and scarves this is the place to wander, look, chat, shop and be inspired. From here we take a very short stroll along the cobblestoned streets to one of Rome’s oldest caffes where we sample Rome’s best coffee. Then it’s time to take in some sights and explore the much-loved Piazza Navona and the ancient Pantheon. A highlight today is lunch in one of my favourite restaurants in Rome, a very old trattoria where the locals eat and where they serve authentic food and classic Roman dishes. After lunch is a free afternoon as we meet again in the early evening for a memorable food and cultural tour of one of the most important neighbourhoods in the city, with centuries old working class roots. We will taste some of the best food and wine on offer in Rome and be entertained and informed as we do so. This will be an unforgettable evening.
Day 4: Sunday 13th September: Rome - Orvieto – Cortona: (B/L)
This morning we experience Italian train travel as we journey from Rome to the stunning medieval hill town of Orvieto, in the beautiful region of Umbria. Perched atop a gigantic rock and surrounded by vineyards, olive groves and the ubiquitous Tuscan cypress trees, Orvieto is not to be missed. We take the cable car to the top of the hill and wind our way through cobblestoned streets and narrow alleyways to the 14th century Gothic cathedral with its magnificent facade, which dominates the piazza. Lunch is a simple meal at a local enoteca, before continuing on to Cortona. This two thousand year old Tuscan hill town overlooks the breathtaking Val di Chiana and is home to the author, Frances Mayes, of Under the Tuscan Sun fame. We check into our hotel and enjoy a free evening.
Day 5: Monday 14th September: Cortona: (B/D)
Wake up in picturesque Tuscany as you may have been dreaming to do all your life. After breakfast enjoy a walking tour of Cortona, taking in the breath-taking panorama of the Val di Chiana and Lake Trasimeno from the esplanade of Piazza Garibaldi. We visit the enchanting Renaissance Church of San Niccolò, and the ancient Church of San Domenico, where you can enjoy a moment of reflection before continuing on to the historical centre of town. We will meet some locals and have the opportunity to shop for beautiful gifts and souvenirs from the artisan boutiques, including hand crafted jewellery, local delicacies, leather goods and hand made products. Enjoy a free afternoon or meet me for an afternoon stroll to see Bramasole, the home of author, Frances Mayes. In the evening we rendezvous in the heart of Cortona at the famous and vibrant Piazza della Republica for an aperitivo, then enjoy a pre-dinner passeggiata (promenade) before dining on typical Tuscan cuisine at a local trattoria.
Day 6: Tuesday 15th September: Cortona – Pienza - Lake Trasimeno – Cortona: (B/L)
Choose to meet for an early morning power walk before we head off on a trip to a local farm where they make world-class cheeses. We will tour the stables and dairy and participate in a behind the scenes look at cheese making. We then enjoy a long lunch of regional, home grown and produced specialities sitting on a terrace overlooking the magnificent valley. We have the opportunity to purchase olive oils, wine, honey, pasta and much more from the farm shop. Then we depart for Lake Trasimeno, the fourth largest lake in Italy and home to wild birds and ringed by medieval stone villages. We spend some time walking and exploring the lake and its villages before heading back to Cortona for a free evening.
Day 7: Wednesday 16th September: Cortona – Montepulciano – Montalcino – Cortona: (B/D)
This morning we depart for a day trip to two of the most beautiful hill top towns of Tuscany. We start in Montepulciano, a medieval town of charming, twisting streets and picturesque piazzas, ancient churches and Renaissance palaces and with stunning views of the Val d’Orcia from every corner. We visit a copper kitchenware-making workshop, have the opportunity to purchase handmade Tuscan ceramics and explore the medieval streets, piazzas and churches. There’s plenty of free time to find delicious caffes and pasticceria’s, enoteca’s and osteria’s for lunch. We meet at the bottom of the hill for a short trip to Montalcino, home to the prestigious Brunello wines. This magnificent hill town dominates the surrounding valley with its medieval walls and fairy tale fortress. We wander the pretty streets and enjoy a wine tasting of the famous bold flavour Sangiovese grape wines before driving a short way to the ancient Benedictine Abbey of S’Antimo to listen to the beautiful Gregorian chanting of the monks. Then we return home to Cortona for dinner in a local osteria.
Day 8: Thursday 17th September: Cortona – Siena: (B/D)
We say goodbye to Cortona this morning and head for Siena. This UNESCO listed medieval city is one of Italy’s loveliest, with its magnificent Piazza del Campo, its breathtaking black and white Duomo and its narrow winding streets. We check in to our hotel and then have a guided tour of this beautiful city and its sights, with the opportunity to purchase locally made, famous panforte. Lunch is at your leisure with a free afternoon and we meet again in the Piazza for an aperetivo and dinner. Then choose a free evening or attend the theatre for a wonderful cultural evening.
Day 9: Friday 18th September: Siena: (B/L/D)
It’s an early departure this morning as we head to the country to meet a local chef at the market for a cooking class. We will shop together at the market, deciding the menu according to what we find and then cook a delicious seasonal menu together. We then sit down to enjoy the lunch we have prepared and chat around the table. It’s back to Siena in the later afternoon for some free time before meeting for our farewell dinner at a simple family run trattoria.
Day 10: Saturday 19th September: Siena – Florence (B)
We depart Siena for Florence where sadly it’s time to say farewell to everyone. Thank you for sharing in our passion on our Foodie tour of Italy.
Some guests may wish to stay in Siena or continue their journey in Italy. BT&T is able to assist with any further travel arrangements.