Taking several days to spend in Tuscany means that in addition to time to enjoy the must-see sites like Siena, Florence, and the splendid landscapes, you will also have time to explore the local culture close up, and indulge your own passions with a Tuscan twist. Here are some of the options that clients have enjoyed. We are of course open to discussion of new ones.
Perhaps your group will decide to have a special lesson on wine tasting led by a sommelier, accompanying a memorable meal, learning both about local wines and wine-pairing in general. Perhaps wine-tasting will be a theme of your stay, taking care to try the different varieties which have made Tuscany famous, from the Chianti and Super Tuscans to Brunello and Vin Santo. Perhaps you will time your visit to witness the harvest, or you would like to combine your wine tasting with the visit to a splendid historical villa or majestic castle.
Why not treat yourselves to a private cooking lesson, either at an impressive fully-equipped cooking school, or in the intimate atmosphere of your rental villa? Take home the recipes, knowledge, and the glow of a unique insight into Italian food. Explore the traditions which accompany the local specialties in season during your stay, such as pecorino cheese making or truffle-hunting or a visit to an olive press in the fall. Visit a pasta-making or cheese-making facility (depending on the area you tour with us). Or simply try a one-of-a-kind meal, complete with fine wines and personal attention and explanations from the chef.
Nothing quite compares to the Siennese Palio which takes place in July and August. If your visit coincides with this world-renowned, historic and yet surprisingly local spirited race, consider digging in deeper. Tour a Contrada, join in a pre-Palio dinner, see the blessing of the horse, splurge if you can on actual tickets, or jostle with the locals in the center square. We are happy to help with all of the arrangements!
Language and Culture
Siena is home to the University for Foreigners, founded with the very aim of spreading the Italian language and culture. If your stay is an extended one or you would like to look into a workshop or seminar on Italian language, art history, art restoration or other regional topics, we are happy to look into it for you.
Meet the artisans behind the beautiful pieces you dream of taking home. Meeting the talented individuals who make finely etched lead crystal, or hand-crafted copper pots, or delicately painted decorative ceramics will both provide for a fascinating learning experience and perhaps even the opportunity to bring home a uniquely meaningful souvenir or gift.
Perhaps YOU are an artist or aspiring artist and are keen to try your hand at a known or new skill while relaxing in Tuscany. We can arrange for private painting lessons (acrylics might make the most sense) or ceramics painting, for example. A group of artists or writers might like to schedule a week-long workshop on site in the panoramic countryside, with tours to break things up before inspiration wanes.