Local Living Italy - Southern Tuscany
Experience life the local way and you’ll experience a Tuscany that most tourists miss. This trip offers plenty of opportunity to get your hands dirty during a cooking class, as you’ll learn to prepare and enjoy this picturesque region’s culinary and viticultural delights. Peruse the local markets and delis in search of the finest organic fare, sample wines in the very vineyards that produced them, and work off all that deliciousness with walks through some of the world’s most beautiful scenery. Just start forwarding your mail here now.
Hands-on cooking class using local organic produce. Wine tasting with local meats and cheeses. Visit to Montalcino and Abbey Sant’Antimo. Half-day Montepulciano excursion. Five home-cooked dinners at the agriturismo. Tour of agriturismo’s orchards, fields and cellar. Transport between destinations and included activities.
Learn traditional recipes and eat delicious Tuscan cuisine, tour the agriturismo’s organic orchards and wine cellar and learn more about the Slow Food movement, visit medieval Montalcino and sample delicious local wines, explore the Tuscan countryside and stone-walled hill towns
The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.
VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.
While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered.
Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
1. It is important to note that in Europe, all guiding is based around local guides all of whom are licensed to work only in a particular city. As such, our leaders are able to provide orientation walks which will show you the layout of each town and city as well as the location of local services such as post offices and laundromats, but are unable to legally share historical facts and figures in public places.
2. In Europe it is very rare to find elevators in train stations, hotels or other public places. We use public transport on this trip, which means you will need to carry your luggage from platform to platform, in and out of trains and buses etc. and also possibly up several flights of stairs. You will also need to be able to stow your luggage safely on trains and buses. It is therefore essential that you pack light and bring luggage which is compact and lightweight, and which you can easily transport. The carrying of your luggage remains your responsibility at all times.
3. Please note that if during your visit to Italy you wish to visit popular museums such as the Uffizi or Accademia Galleries in Florence, to avoid waiting in line for a long time (especially in high season May-September when it could be a question of hours!), it is advisable to reserve tickets in advance. Tickets can be reserved online at various websites including www.florenceart.it or www.virtualuffizi.com for Florence and www.tickitaly.com for all.
Group Leader Description
This G Adventures group trip is accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects.
Group Size Notes
Max 12, avg 10
Eating is a big part of traveling. Travelling with G Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Generally meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility, though generally food is cheap. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other’s company. There is no obligation to do this though. Your CEO will be able to suggest favourite restaurants during your trip. The above information applies to G Adventures group trips. Please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and meal budgets.
This particular tour has a strong focus on food and the majority of meals provided are homemade with locally sourced ingredients. Special meal requirements can be catered to with some advance notice, so please provide details of any special meals during the booking process. Coffee and tea are provided with breakfast, and all other beverages during your stay are at your own cost including soft drinks, locally produced wine and espresso.
Minibus, local bus, train, walking
About our Transportation
Intercity transport on this trip will mostly be by train and occasionally by local bus. The bus and train systems in Italy are generally good, with seat reservations and toilet/snack facilities on longer journeys. Keeping to schedules is notoriously not one of the Italian transport system’s specialties, so pack in your MP3 player, a good book and some Italian phrases, and kick-back and enjoy the views with the locals.
Please note that you MUST be comfortable carrying your own luggage as there will be a lot of up and down stairs on this trip due to the nature of station layouts in Italy (very few are equipped with escalators or elevators). Between public transport and hotels you may be required to carry your luggage short distances (up to 20 mins walk), in larger cities you may travel by metro or city bus, and occasionally the group will take taxis to and from hotels.
If required all local flights are included in the cost of your tours unless otherwise noted. It is important that we have your passport information at the time of booking in order to process these tickets. Internal flight tickets are issued locally and will be given to you prior to the flight departure.
We believe single travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and single travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.
Small, locally owned agriturismo/guesthouse (5 nts), hotel (1 nt).
Our accommodation is a rural Tuscan agritourismo in a country setting with beautiful valley views. An agritourismo is the Italian term for a family run property which is based around agricultural and produce production. The land has been in our host’s family for nine generations, but today’s building is modern, as the original property was destroyed during WWII. It has seven rooms, most with ensuite bathroom facilities. The property has a small pool and many outdoor areas where you can relax, including a terrace.
A real highlight of this trip is our host Stefano. A very keen producer of everything local and organic, he loves showing visitors around the region of his ancestors.
Via Castelfidardo, 51
+39 06 4441078
Please note that day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned on this day. Upon arrival to the city on day 1 (or earlier if you have booked pre-accommodation with us), please make your way to the joining hotel (note that check-in time will be in the afternoon). Once you arrive at the hotel, look for a note or bulletin board in the reception with a note from your CEO. This note will give the details of your Welcome Meeting on day 1 (usually between 5pm and 7pm), where you will get a chance to meet your CEO and other travellers, as well as learn more about how the tour will run. If you don’t see a note, please ask reception for details!
If you are arriving later and will miss the Welcome Meeting, your CEO will leave a note at reception for you with any information you may need, and with morning instructions for the next day.
GETTING TO HOTEL STELLA:
By Bus from the Airport:
Shuttle buses run from Fiumicino airport and Ciampino Airport to Termini station in the city centre approximately every half hour. Look for the Terravision stand at the arrival terminal. Cost is €5 one way and takes approximately 1 hour.
By Train from the Airport:
The Leonardo Express is the name of the train that will shuttle you from Rome’s main international airport, Fiumicino, to central Rome’s Termini station. A Leonardo Express train leaves every half hour in each direction.
Trains to Roma Termini Station start at 6:35 in the morning with trains running at 5 and 35 minutes after the hour. The last train of the day departs at 11.35pm. The train station is open 4am to 1am and covers 35 km in around 30 minutes. Cost is 14 Euros per person. Tickets for Leonardo Express are available at rail ticket office, newspaper seller tobacconist’s, and self-service tellers, each located in the railway station atrium.
You must always stamp tickets in the machines on the platform before starting your journey.
To find the hotel, exit Termini train station via the right hand exit, if you have your back to the trains, and walk toward the sign posted Via Marsala. Cross the street into Via Marghera and then take the third street on your left, Via Varese. Coninue straight across piazza Indipendenza At the end of the piazza, the street will become Via Castelfidardo. Hotel Stella is at number 51.
By Taxi from the Airport:
Taxis run fixed rates to and from airports. The rate is 40 EUR. The rate for designated Fiumicino taxi drivers is 60 EUR and are inclusive of luggage, for a maximum of four passengers.
We don’t expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, as soon as possible please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your CEO (if you are not on a group tour please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier). If you are unable to get in touch with your leader, please refer to our emergency contact details.
Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.
EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures UK office (manned UK 8am – 8pm)
+44 (0) 2072439878
If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.
Toll-free, from calls within North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from within UK: 0344 272 0000
Calls from within Germany: 0800 365 1000
Calls from within Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from within New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999
For absolute emergencies after office hours please contact +44 7817 262559
If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, and your call will be returned as soon as possible.
What to Take
Our advice is to pack as lightly as possible. We highly recommend using a backpack, sports bag or soft compact suitcase, whichever you find easiest to carry, plus a small daypack.
•Light fleece top
•Light windproof/waterproof jacket
•Small towel and swimwear
•Personal clothing for mild to hot weather (See also “What to Take” and “Local Dress” sections of this dossier)
•Sturdy walking shoes
•Watch or alarm clock
•Camera and film
•Passport (with photocopies)
•Travel insurance (with photocopies)
•Airline tickets (with photocopies)
•Credit or debit card (see personal spending money)
•G Adventures vouchers, pre-departure information and dossier
•Any entry visas or vaccination certificates required
Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap. Aboard the expedition ship Explorer laundry facilities are provided at a charge. Aboard the Amazon Explorer laundry facilities are provided free of charge for each passenger once a week.
Contact your local embassy or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent. It is your responsibility to have the correct travel documentation. While we provide the following information in good faith, it is vital that you check yourself and understand that you are fully responsible for your own visa requirements.
All visitors to the EU (European Union) and EEC (European Economic Community) countries require a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand passport holders do not need a visa to visit the Schengen area (see below), however they may not stay longer than three months in any 6-month period.
For other nationalities, travelling in Europe has been simplified with the introduction of the Schengen visa. As a visitor to the Schengen area (Austria, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Greece, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Portugal, Finland, Italy, Spain, France, Luxembourg, Sweden, Czech Republic, Hungary, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Switzerland) you will enjoy the many advantages of this unified visa system. Generally speaking with a Schengen visa, you may enter one Schengen country and travel freely throughout the Schengen region during the validity of your visa. There are limited border controls at Schengen borders, if any at all.
Please note that the UK and Ireland are NOT part of the Schengen agreement.
A Schengen visa is applied for at the Embassy or Consulate of the Schengen country in which you will be spending the most nights on your trip to the Schengen space. If you are only visiting one country on your trip then you apply for your visa at the Consulate of this Schengen country.
Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
Italy is in the Eurozone and the unit of the currency is the Euro.
Credit cards and debit cards are very useful for cash advances but you must remember to bring your PIN number (be aware that many ATM machines only accept 4-digit PINs). Both Cirrus and Plus system cards are the most widely accepted debit cards. Visa cards are the most widely accepted credit cards. While ATMs are commonly available, there are no guarantees that your credit or debit cards will actually work in Greece – Check with your bank. You should be aware when purchasing products or services on a credit card, that a fee usually applies.
Do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money. A combination of Euros, traveller’s cheques and cards is best. Avoid relying on traveller’s cheques alone as these are less and less readily cashed as clients use them very little.
Always take more rather than less, as you don’t want to spoil the trip by constantly feeling short of funds.
As currency exchange rates can fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com
It is customary in Europe to leave a small tip for service providers, such as waiters, if you are pleased with the service (€1-2). Tipping is an expected – though not compulsory – component of your tour program and an expression of satisfaction with the persons who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are several times during the trip where there is opportunity to tip the local guides. You may do this individually, or your CEO will offer to collect the money and tip as a group. Recommendations for tipping local guides would range from €3-5 per day depending on the quality and length of the service; ask your CEO for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture. Also at the end of each trip if you felt your G Adventures CEO or skipper did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline €20-25 per person, per week can be used.
Bicycle tour – €50 per person
Bicycle rental – €15/day
Spa treatments – vary from €30-100, depending on the service
Palazzo Pubblico & Torre del Mangia – €5.50, €6.50 & €9.50 for both.
Battistero or Baptistry – €3.50
Duomo – €6
Uffizi Gallery – €6.50 – €10 (Book online prior to arrival in Italy as tickets get sold out sometimes months in advance)
Duomo – Free
Cupola climb – €8
Accademia Gallery – €6.50 – €10
Walking Tour – €25
Tourist Bus (hop-on, hop-off – 2 routes) – €20
Palazzo Pitti – € 8.50
Medici Chapels – €6
Train – €2.50 one way
All prices are per person (unless stated otherwise), and are subject to change as services are provided by third party operators.
Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.
You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as any personal medical requirements. Please be aware that quite often we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities, and for legal reasons our leaders are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc. When selecting your trip please carefully read the brochure and itinerary and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please refer to the Physical and Culture Shock ratings in this dossier for trip specific information. For travellers over 70 years a completed Medical Form is required. G Adventures reserves the right to exclude any traveller from all or part of a trip without refund if in the reasonable opinion of our CEO they are unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group.
Safety and Security
Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government’s advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers’ cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home – you won’t need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your CEO has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Your CEO will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.
Protests and Demonstrations- Protests and demonstrations, even those that are well intended, have the potential to turn violent with no warning. Counter protests can also turn violent. Action by security forces to disperse demonstrators and protesters may occur at any time. If you are in an area where demonstrators or protesters are gathering, avoid the temptation of staying for a good photo opportunity and leave the area immediately.
Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards) have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).
Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk.
We take all prudent measures in relation to your safety. For ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling, please visit:
Our small group adventures bring together people of all ages. It is very important you are aware that, as a minimum, an average level of fitness and mobility’ is required to undertake our easiest programs. Travellers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their own luggage at a minimum. Travellers with a pre-existing medical condition are required to complete a short medical questionnaire, which must be signed by their physician. This is to ensure that travellers have the necessary fitness and mobility to comfortably complete their chosen trip. While our CEOs work hard to ensure that all our travellers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day’s activities unaided. Please refer to the physical ratings in this Trip Details document for more information.
The medical questionnaire can be found online at:
A Couple of Rules
Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your CEO, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy please bear in mind that all clients must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of USD 200,000 for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.
Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation
Through our commitment to responsible tourism we have developed the Planeterra Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of people and communities around the world through support of international charities, local organizations and community projects in the places that we visit on our tours. G Adventures matches all individual donations and pays all administration costs, which means that 100% of each donation is doubled and goes directly to support our projects. For more information about Planeterra and the projects we support, or to make a donation, please visit www.planeterra.org
Planeterra Dollar-A-Day Program
Our Dollar-A-Day Program provides travellers with the opportunity to help us give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating one dollar per day for the duration of their tour. 100% of these proceeds will go directly to support our G Adventures for Good projects.
To participate in this program please indicate at the time of booking that you would like to participate in G Adventures’ Dollar-A-Day program, either by clicking the check box online, or by advising your G Adventures specialist or travel agent. (Note: Donation will be charged in the currency of your booking)
In Italy, shoulders should be covered while visiting churches and cathedrals. Ask your CEO for more specific advice.
Travel Forum - The Watering Hole
Be sure to stop by The Watering Hole, our adventure travel forum. If you’re interested in meeting others booked on your upcoming trip, check out the Departure Lounge section of our forum and introduce yourself. Otherwise, just drop in at anytime to share some travel tips, ask questions, meet other travellers and quench your thirst for travel. Our forum is located at wateringhole.gadventures.com.
Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout
Allow USD150-195 for meals not included.
6 breakfasts, 5 dinners
PRODUCT_LINE: EIST, ID: 22969
Terms, conditions and restrictions apply; pricing, availability, and other details subject to change and/ or apply to US or Canadian residents. Please confirm details and booking information with your travel advisor.
Day 1 Rome
Arrive any time.
Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting
Day 2 Rome/Chianciano Terme (1B, 1D)
After settling into the agriturismo, our host, Stefano, will welcome us with the first of our many wonderful meals comprised of local and often organic produce. He is a very keen producer of everything local and organic and loves showing visitors around the region of his ancestors.
Train (2.00 hour(s))
Private Vehicle (0.25 hour(s))
Day 3 Chianciano Terme (1B, 1D)
Visit Chianciano Terme, with free time in the afternoon to enjoy lunch followed by a local wine tasting.
Chianciano Terme Orientation Walk
Local Wine Tasting
Day 4 Chianciano Terme (1B, 1D)
Visit the medieval hilltop town of Montepulciano. Enjoy an included half-day cooking class in the afternoon.
Half-day Cooking Class
Local bus (1.00 hour(s))
Local bus (1.00 hour(s))
Day 5 Chianciano Terme (1B, 1D)
We are in for a treat as our host, Stefano, takes us through his orchards, fields, and cellar showing us local produce from the ground up.
Day 6 Chianciano Terme (1B, 1D)
Visit the quintessential Tuscan hill town of Montalcino and stop along the way for Gregorian chanting at the famous Abbey of Sant’Antimo.
Montalcino & San Quirico visit
Minibus (2.00 hour(s))
Day 7 Chianciano Terme/Rome (1B)
Morning transfer to Rome. Depart from the Rome train station in the afternoon.
Please be sure to allow for enough time to travel to the airport if you are flying out on this day. There are frequent trains to the Termini airport that take approximately 30 minutes to arrive to the train stop at the airport.
Departure Day (Activities)
Private Vehicle (0.25 hour(s))