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Hidden Organic Tuscany
10 Years of Rave Reviews!
We’re celebrating 10 years of making dreams come true with our FULLY-ESCORTED, off-the-beaten-path, small group tours that highlight the BEST of Tuscany. With unsurpassed connections throughout this artistically rich, stunningly beautiful region, you’re treated to authentic, insider experiences each and every day of your stay – including invitations into private homes and artisan workshops, where you’re welcomed in true Italian style – like one of the family!
Our Italian Team
Who better to showcase the best of Italian culture than Italians themselves? Each member of our Strada Toscana team of guides, chefs, artisans, experts and drivers is native Italian – and each is unsurpassed in his or her knowledge, passion and love for sharing local culture, traditions and beauty with you, their special guest.
Hidden, Organic Tuscany…
A Cultural & Walking Adventure in Spectacular Tuscany
Hidden Organic Tuscany is a full-escorted small-group, cultural tour of TUSCANY with daily walks – plus options for non-walkers. Be prepared to be enchanted, mystified and truly amazed as you immerse yourself in an UNFORGETTABLE JOURNEY that leads through Tuscany’s unspoiled countryside, fairytale castle towns and forgotten ancient sites.
Elegant Villa Accommodations
By day you’ll explore spectacular nature trails, medieval hill towns and evocative ancient sites, then return to your elegant, PRIVATE VILLA for delectable organic meals and sweeping Tuscan sunsets before retiring to your cozy sleeping room, furnished with antiques from the family estate.
DATES & PRICES:
- September 9-14, 2019
- October 20-26, 2019
- 7 Days/6 Nights
- Regular Trip Price: $4,195. FALL SALE PRICE: $3,895 USD per person (no single supplement!). Good through Dec. 1, 2018.
- Monthly payments option available upon booking
- WALKING RATING: The walks on this tour are rated as easy to moderate, with durations on average of 1.5 – 3 hours and distances of 5-10 kilometers (3-7 miles). Although most routes are relatively short, you will encounter cobblestones, rugged pathways, uneven steps and steep ascents and descents in order to reach stunning views and hilltop villages. Our walks ideal for active travelers. No hiking experience is necessary, but we do recommend walking regularly before your trip, including up hills, whenever you can. Although non-walking options are provided throughout the tour, we caution that this trip is not the right fit for those who have difficulty walking or have a health-related condition that would limit participation and/or impede or inconvenience others.
- SCROLL UP and click on “ITINERARY” for all the fabulous details!
REVIEWS : What People Are Saying
“Pamela exceeded my expectations of what my first dream trip to Italy would be. The people, the culture, the food and the wine.. I could have never experienced Italy the way Pamela plans her tours. She has every detail covered and her team are beyond wonderful. Kind, caring and so excited to share their Italy with you. We met and experienced Italy with strangers who turned into friends….I’ll be back one day!!” —Tracey Flight Speares
“Pamela created the most amazing experience for all of us. Her connections with local Italians, and her love for them, is obvious. I can’t recommend her tours strongly enough. Pamela absolutely delivers what she says she’s going to deliver – and more.” —Mindy Thomas
HIDDEN ORGANIC TUSCANY ITINERARY INCLUDES…
Top 10 Tuscany Foodie Experiences!
- Come along on a real TRUFFLE HUNT with a tartufaio and his amazing dogs. You’ll be walking a picturesque forest trail while on lookout for prized white truffles, so keep your fingers crossed. Finders keepers!
- Visit an organic, Tuscan sheep ranch and sample their exceptional PECORINO with your lunch. Now you’ll understand why pecorino is by far the cheese of choice in this region.
- Italy is surely the land of pasta, but knowing which pasta to pair with which sauce is nothing less than an art form. Take part in a lively, PASTA-MAKING lesson with our talented private chef, and find out her best-kept secrets for marrying pasta with the right sauce.
- Enjoy a real aperitivo (often mistaken for a happy hour) and find out what drinks and snacks are traditionally enjoyed at APERITIVO – amongst friends and family, of course.
- Italians are passionate about COFFEE, and learning the multitude of different ways to enjoy Italian-style coffee (from cappuccino to macchiato) is nothing less than loads of fun! Even if you’re not a coffee drinker.
- Who would has ever guessed that saffron has a long history in Tuscany. To learn the fascinating insider scoop, you’ll be meeting an SAFFRON grower just over the border in Umbria – plus you’ll be sampling saffron products from breads to liquor.
- NATURAL wines (cousins of organic wines) are an up-and-coming niche in Tuscany. Learn the difference (and there is a difference) plus enjoy a private natural-wines tasting with our own delightful sommelier.
- Roll up your sleeves as you toast authentic BRUSCHETTA over wood coals. Find out first-hand how Tuscans have enjoyed their bruschetta for centuries – with the exceptional, local, extra virgin OLIVE OIL – then sprinkle on a bit of sea salt and savor every bite.
- Pizza anyone? Tuscan-style PIZZA, that is, with a crust as thin as a cracker. Enjoy a delightful pizza-making lesson and then watch as your pizza bakes in an brick oven so large it takes a week to get up to temperature.
- Find out first-hand why Italians never drink wine without accompanying it with food, and learn super easy tips from our own expert sommelier on PAIRING WINE with food – perhaps at your next dinner party!
The sweeping hillsides of the VAL d’ORCIA – the most photographed area in the Tuscan countryside. From amber fields of grain in springtime to golden sunflowers in summertime to green rye grass of late autumn, the panoramas in this part of Tuscany are absolutely breathtaking.
CLASSIC HILL TOWNS, complete with fortressed walls and watch towers, dot the landscape in the heart of Tuscany. Step back in time as you visit some of the most beautiful preserved of these medieval villages in the region.
At the eastern border of Tuscany, just into Umbrian territory, lies lovely LAGO TRASIMENO – the fourth largest lake in Italy – and the site of one of Italy’s most historic battles between Hannibal and the Romans during the second Punic War in 217 BC. Today the lake is rimmed charming villages and castles and that offer stunning views of the azure waters.
VILLAS and FARM ESTATES dot the Tuscan countryside in all directions, and the quintessential crumbling farmhouse has become subject of countless books and movies – including Frances Mayes, Under the Tuscan Sun. Get an up-close look at these beautiful structures – some restored, and some still waiting their turn.
Tuscany gets its name from Etruria – the land of the Etruscans. Get to know this fascinating, pre-Roman civilization through their ANCIENT SITES and tombs, tucked away throughout the Tuscan countryside.
DAY 1: Arrival Poggio alle Trese
- Welcome and orientation, countryside walk, bruschetta-making lesson
Welcome to your elegant villa accommodations, Poggio alle Trese, surrounded by organic olive groves and vineyards. You’ll enjoy a warm welcome and trip orientation with our Strada Toscana team, including a mini-tour of the villa and grounds. Afterwards, get on our your walking shoes as you get acquainted with some of the nearby walking trails that wind their way through farm fields and olive groves.
This evening you’ll relax with a delightful welcome aperitivo, hosted by sommelier, Paola, followed by a delectable dinner, prepared by our own Tuscan chef, Doriana, featuring organic dishes and wild herbs.
DAY 2: Lago Trasimeno
- Scenic lakeside walk, ferry to Isola Maggiore, island walk, castle tour, wine pairings with organic and natural wines
- Breakfast and dinner
This morning, after a delicious breakfast, you’ll be heading to picturesque Lago Trasimeno where you’ll enjoy a lakeside walk, followed by a ferry ride to the island of Maggiore. Here you’ll take a ring walk around the tiny island along with time on your own to explore and stop for lunch. (The lake fish is delicious, by the way!)
After lunch you’ll return by ferry to the lakeside village of Castiglione to take a tour of the town’s imposing castle and fortress, followed by a stop in nearby Panicale for artiginal gelato. Yum!
This evening you’ll enjoy our signature aperitivo followed by a delectable organic-based meal together with a wine and food pairings lesson with our sommelier, Paola, featuring both organic and natural wines.
DAY 3: Pienza & Bagno Vignoni
- Pienza passeggiata walk, organic cheese-making lesson and tour of organic sheep farm, thermal spa (optional)
- Breakfast, lunch and dinner
This morning, after breakfast, we’re off to Pienza for a scenic ring walk with breath-taking views over the sweeping Val d’Orcia – one of the most spectacular parts of Tuscany. After some time to explore the town itself, it’s off to our friend, Giuseppe’s organic sheep farm where time to it’s time to don a cap for an oh-so- fun organic, cheese-making class.
Afterwards you’ll enjoy a delectable lunch, featuring organic pecorino of course, followed by a jaunt to nearby Bagno Vignoni, where you can relax in the incredible mineral waters of the town’s charming thermal spa. Prefer more steps instead of a soaking? Follow the well-marked pathway just outside the village and take in the splendid views.
This evening brings another fireside aperitivo, followed by a delicious, regionally inspired dinner.
DAY 4: Poggio alle Trese
- Scenic nature walk, organic vineyard tour, picnic lunch, natural table settings, pasta-making lesson
- Breakfast, lunch and dinner
This morning, after breakfast, you’re off on a scenic nature walk where you’ll find an unspoiled – and undiscovered – Italy as you meander along winding lanes flanked by crumbling farmhouses – all surrounded by nature and wildlife that is particular to this area.
After a picnic-style lunch, you’re in for a treat as we gather together for a hands-on mini-lesson with the talented Signora Barbara, where you’ll learn tips and secrets for creating a stunning organic table setting based on nature and found objects.
The it’s time to don an apron for a delightful pasta-making lesson with Chef Doriana, and to learn the art of of pairing the right pasta with just the right sauce. All with organic ingredients, of course!
This evening you’ll enjoy a friendly aperitivo hosted by sommelier, Paola, followed by a delectable dinner featuring your hand-made pasta.
DAY 5: Sarteano & Chiusi
- Walk with local truffle hunter (and his dogs), Etruscan necropolis, herb lesson, pizza night with Pino
- Breakfast, lunch and dinner
This morning, after a leisurely breakfast at the villa, featuring organic cakes, yogurts and cheeses, you’ll enjoy some free time to relax or walk the nearby country lanes. Then Paola will be taking you on an herb walk in the villa’s garden to explain the uses of cultivated and wild herbs in Italian culture.
After lunch, it’s off to join our friend, Michele, for a truffle-hunting trek through the nearby forest, along with his delightful truffle-hunting dogs. What fun! Afterwards you’ll continue to the outskirts of the Tuscan town of Sarteano where you’ll discover a park of Etruscan tombs and ruins.
After a stop back at the villa to freshen up, you’re off to the nearby village of Chiusi for a visit of the fascinating archeological museum, followed by a pizza dinner at our friend, Pino’s, cozy pizzeria.
DAY 6: Città della Pieve
- Countryside ring walk through private vineyards and olive groves, cantina tour and tasting of natural and organic wines, saffron tasting and mini-lesson, herb walk
- Breakfast, lunch and dinner
This morning, after a delightful buffet-style breakfast at the villa, featuring organic torte, yogurts and cheeses, it’s off to the medieval village of Città della Pieve for a fascinating urban walk that includes the town’s unique cathedral and winding avenues. Then it’s on to meet our friend, Alessandro, for a delicious, organic saffron tasting, accompanied by his organic wine – from the vineyard right next to the villa!
Lunch is served at our friend, Cristian’s charming, organic bistrot and features the local saffron – and more.
This evening brings a special farewell apertivo and dinner, featuring local organic products and wines.
DAY 8: Departure
- This morning our drivers will transport you to Rome Fiumicino Airport.
Oh the Meals! by Your Own Chef Doriana
Italy is known for its incredible food, and Tuscany’s particular cuisine is fundamental for a full immersion in the local culture. Your private chef, Doriana, is descended from a long line of Tuscans, and it shows in her cooking. From her delectable Chianini beef peposo to her exquisite torta di mimosa, Doriana’s hand-prepared meals are nothing sort of culinary experiences. So pull up a chair, in the villa’s regal dining hall, and prepare for another memorable, sumptuous meal. Buon appetito.
INCLUSIONS Walkers’ Hidden, Organic Tuscany
- 6 nights stay Villa Poggio alla Trese, exclusive to our group only. Rooms feature antique furniture from the family’s estate, organic toiletries, hair dryers and yoga mats.
- Private ground transportation to/from Rome Fiumicino Airport on arrival and departure days (Mercedes Benz vans with private drivers)
- Private ground transportation service to/from towns and sites included in the itinerary (Mercedes Benz vans with private drivers)
- All generous buffet breakfasts featuring local, organic produce, hand-made pastries and organic herbal teas and made-to-order Italian coffee
- 3 lunches
- 5 organic dinners featuring seasonal specialties and local wines, including organic and natural wines
- 1 pizza dinner
- Regional wines with each included lunch or dinner, featuring natural and organic wines from local wineries
- Accommodations for special dietary requirements, including gluten free, dairy free, Paleo and Vegan
- Daily walks along a variety of scenic pathways and urban settings. Walks are on average 2 hours, 8 kilometers, and are always optional.
- Evening aperitivo hours (a signature of our tours!) with sommelier, Paola, featuring hand-selected wines or prosecco paired with just the right nibbles
- Wine tasting in the estate’s cantina
- Castle and fortress tour
- Etruscan necropolis
- Pasta-making lesson
- Herbs and aromatics lesson
- Natural table-settings mini-lesson
- Wine pairings lesson with sommelier
Entrance fees to all sites included in trip itinerary
Daily accompaniment with Strada Toscana guides and hosts
Gratuities for meals and tours
Not included: Airfare, ground or water transportation outside of that listed in the trip itinerary, alcoholic drinks, wines or meals ordered “on your own”, gratuities for hotel staff and drivers
The Unexpected is Part of the Journey: At Strada Toscana we weave amazing, authentic experiences into every trip, but sometimes unexpected things come up. If Mario calls to tell us they’re pressing olives at just this moment, off we go (I mean, we wouldn’t let you miss his newly pressed olive oil!), and if a site has an unscheduled closing, we improvise to include something equally as wonderful and interesting. The quality of our tours is never at risk, as our team is committed to excellence, along with our vast, local, Italian connections.
Walkers’ Hidden Organic Tuscany
- September 9-14, 2019
- October 20-26, 2019
- 7 Days/6 Nights
- Regular Trip Price: $4,195. FALL SALE: $3,895 USD per person (no single supplement!)
- Sale price available through December 1, 2018
- WALKING RATING: Easy/leisure to moderate, with durations on average of 2-3 hours and distances on average 8-12 kilometers – ideal for active travelers with or without hiking experience. You can expect hard cobblestones, uneven pavement, steps and steep hills. In addition, elevators are not available at boutique accommodations. Although non-walking options are provided throughout the tour, we caution that this trip is not the right fit for those who have difficulty walking or have a health-related condition that would limit participation and/or impede or inconvenience others.
- A $500 deposit is required to reserve your space on this tour.
Have questions? Visit our Frequently Asked Questions Page
Hidden Organic Tuscany accommodations are a private villa, reserved exclusively for Strada Toscana guests. Villa Poggio alle Trese boasts elegant guest rooms with tall shuttered windows and chestnut beams, all furnished with antiques from the family estate. Take a dip in the sparkling pool, sip a glass of vino beneath the jasmine-covered gazebo, then savor a chef-prepared, gourmet meal in the stunning dining room – or under the stars on the lemon-tree terrace.