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Testimonial:
I enjoyed everything about this trip…The group was great as if it was handpicked. The tour locations were “SPOT ON” and the free day option was the best added touch. Thanks for a great experience.
-Jewel K, Bowie MD
Print Itinerary
Italy: Tuscany Food & Wine Group Tour - 7 Days

GEC Trip Type: GROUP TOUR

*Solo Travelers: You're in luck! Free roommate matching provided - unless you'd prefer to purchase a single room.

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TRIP DESCRIPTION:

The group will travel:
- October 21 - 27, 2018

Experience the world's most amazing food and wine with this popular and exciting GEC group tour through the Tuscany region of Italy.

Join us as we:

  • Tour Florence, Tuscany, San Gimignano, the Chianti wine region & Siena
  • Experience an informal evening culinary & wine tasting walk in the Florence Central Market with your GEC Trip Leader
  • Go wine tasting in the Chianti region
  • Have the option to visit Pisa and/or the stunning seaside towns of Cinque Terre

  • You'll even take a guided walk of Florence with a local guide, as well as have a leisure day in Florence to further explore the city or region with your fellow travel mates (many group members have even taken a day trip via train to Venice during the free day on past trips!)

    This group tour is full of amazing history, breathtaking landscapes, incredible food and wine, and - as it is with all GEC group tours - wonderful new friendships that will last a lifetime. And at this price, you’ll be hard pressed to find anything equal!

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    GET THE SCOOP! Want to see what previous travelers are saying about the Global Expeditions Club? Check out the club's Testimonial Page.

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    Make Friends. Travel the World. With over 80,000+ members across the US and Canada, the GEC is the largest and fastest growing adventure travel club in the world! GEC is a unique and exciting social travel club open to anyone interested in traveling to exciting destinations around the world with other like-minded adventurers. Membership is free... just sign up for a trip and you are a member!


    Places Visited:

    Group Tour of Tuscany Italy, Florence, Italy, Tuscany, San Gimignano, Chianti, Siena, Pisa, Cinque Terre


    Trip Itinerary:
    B: Breakfast | L: Lunch | D: Dinner

    Brief Itinerary:

    Day 1: Arrive in Florence. Evening group orientation
    Day 2: Guided Walking Tour of Florence. Informal Evening Visit to the Grand Central Market (B)
    Day 3: Tuscany Day Tour to San Gimignano, Siena & Chianti Region (B, L)
    Day 4: Full Day at Leisure to Explore Florence (B)
    Day 5: Optional Pisa Tower Morning Tour (B)
    Day 6: Optional Cinque Terre Day Tour (B)
    Day 7: Trip Ends After Breakfast (B)


    Detailed Itinerary:

    Day 1
    Arrive in Florence. Evening group orientation


    Arrive in Florence Italy. The trip officially begins with an early evening group orientation meeting held at the hotel (details provided before departure). Here you will get a chance to meet your GEC Trip Leader, as well as all of your fellow travel companions for what is sure to be the beginnings of many great friendships!

    Following the orientation, why not join your Trip Leader and fellow travel mates out for an optional dinner in Florence.

    Overnight in a 4-star hotel in Florence


    Day 2
    Guided Walking Tour of Florence. Informal Evening Visit to the Grand Central Market (B)


    Starting the day off after breakfast, we head out on a guided 2.5-hour morning walking tour of the magical city of Florence with a professional local Florence guide. Being the heart of the Tuscan region, Florence seeps with history and beauty. Known as the Athens of the Middle Ages and the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance, it once was the center of medieval European trade and finance and, in its time, one of the wealthiest cities in the world. Because of this rich history, and a centuries old love for extraordinary architecture and art, today Florence is simply known as one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

    Among some of the places that we may visit today are the Piazza Della Signoria (to see a replica of Michalangelo’s David statue), Palazzo Vecchio, Ponte Vecchio (the famous pedestrian bridge lined with shops), and we will get the chance to view the impressive Duomo (Cathedral) di Santa Maria. The remainder of the afternoon is free to wander Florence with your new travel mates. Shop, grab a coffee at an outdoor cafe, visit a museum, etc. The city is loaded with exciting options and your GEC Trip Leader and/or the local walking tour guide will be happy to provide some suggestions.

    In the late afternoon, why not join your GEC Trip Leader for an informal walk over to the nearby Grand Central Market. Here you’ll have a chance to roam the market with your fellow group members and buy/try a variety of local wines, breads, meats, cheeses, vegetables, pizza, desserts, etc. It's a great way to sample some of the best foods of Italy just like the locals do.

    Overnight in a 4-star hotel in Florence


    Day 3
    Tuscany Day Tour to San Gimignano, Siena & Chianti Region (B, L)


    Getting a bright and early start, we will travel through the Tuscan countryside to the picturesque medieval hill-town of San Gimignano, a UNESCO world heritage site. Famous for its medieval towers and quaint atmosphere, San Gimignano is one of the main attractions in Tuscany. Here you'll have some free time to wander the town and climb high up on the old ruin walls at the very top of town for a sweeping view of the Tuscan countryside. Don't forget to sample the absolute best gelato in Italy at Pluripremiata Gelateria, located across from the well in the first main Piazza you reach going up the hill (in the piazza just before the piazza where the Duomo is).

    After spending time in San Gimignano, we will travel to the Chianti area and to the Medieval town of Siena, both of which, along with San Gimignano, are situated in the heart of Tuscany. Along the way we will stop by a typical Tuscan winery where you will visit the cellars and vineyards. Afterwards you will taste the wine produced, which will be accompanied by a delicious Tuscan lunch consisting of typical food such as pasta, cured meats, cheeses and local pastries.

    In the afternoon the tour continues with sightseeing in Siena. Here an official local guide will lead the group on a tour to the city center. You will have the chance to admire the magnificent Cathedral and the Town Hall in the Piazza del Campo, scenery of the world famous Palio horse race. The tour will end with the visit to the marvelous Monteriggioni medieval fortress before returning back to Florence.

    Overnight in a 4-star hotel in Florence


    Day 4
    Full Day at Leisure to Explore Florence (B)


    Today is a free day to spend as you like. You may want to venture off with some of your fellow group members to relax in one of the numerous cafes that line the many ancient piazzas in Florence and later stop by a local specialty shop and pick up a bottle of local wine, cheese, bread and olives and spend the day in leisure... Italian style! Many members have also grouped up to visit one of the many museums located throughout Florence and quite a few have even ventured off on a long day trip via train to Venice or visited another vineyard out in the Tuscan countryside. The choices are endless and your GEC Trip Leader will have many ideas for you.

    This evening, join up with your fellow group members for a fun night out dinner.

    Overnight in a 4-star hotel in Florence


    Day 5
    Optional Pisa Tower Morning Tour (B)


    After breakfast, if you purchased the optional tour, we’ll venture off for a half day morning tour to visit the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa, one of the most visited cities in Tuscany. The beautiful Piazza dei Miracoli is among the most beautiful monumental complexes in the world. The town's most prosperous period was undoubtedly the 12th century and this is witnessed by the urban shape of the old town center with many buildings, squares and alleyways that run along the river Arno, which was for centuries the major communication route. It has always been an estuary town and was already an important naval base in Roman times intensifying trade in the Mediterranean. Pisa is also famous for one of the most prestigious higher learning institutions of Europe: the Scuola Normale Superiore. An authorized city guide will accompany our visit of the interior of the Cathedral and the exterior of the Leaning Tower and Monumental Cemetery. At the end of the tour you will also have free time to wander in the square and take plenty of pictures.

    For those who didn’t chose the optional tour, the day is yours to spend at leisure in Florence.

    Overnight in a 4-star hotel in Florence


    Day 6
    Optional Cinque Terre Day Tour (B)


    After breakfast, if you purchased the optional tour, we’ll take a full day guided journey to the stunningly beautiful seaside cliff towns of Cinque Terre. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Cinque Terre seamlessly blends the land, sea and buildings into a unique and unforgettably gorgeous landscape. The area consists of miles of rocky coasts with caves, beaches, hiking paths, homes that hug the mountainside, and breathtaking views.

    Traveling about 3 hours west from Florence to the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, we’ll first reach Manarola a tiny urban jewel characterized by Genoese style ‘case-torri’. We will then move to Vernazza, a village overlooked by the remains of a Medieval castle with a cylindrical tower which you can enjoy some free time exploring.

    After, we will reach Monterosso, known as the ‘pearl of Cinque Terre’. This ancient fishing village with lovely beaches, crystal clear waters, and lush vegetation covering the rocks will certainly enchant you. From here we’ll enjoy a 1h boat crossing to Portovenere where we’ll have the opportunity to see unique views of the village from a seaside perspective, a perfect spot for photos! In Portovenere you will have free time to visit this elegant and popular town where nature and human architecture are perfectly balanced. Finally, we take another boat to reach the city of La Spezia where the bus will take us back to Florence.

    For those who didn’t chose the optional tour, the day is yours to spend at leisure in Florence.

    This evening, why not join the group for an optional last night out dinner.

    Overnight in a 4-star hotel in Florence


    Day 7
    Trip Ends After Breakfast. (B)


    Today your GEC group trip officially ends after breakfast. You'll transfer the 10 minutes to the airport on your own (taxis are readily available at the hotel and your Trip Leader can help coordinate taxi sharing with members who are on the same or similar time flights).



    Important Information



    This is a GEC small group trip that is open for anyone to join. You can sign up as a solo traveler* OR join with a spouse, friends or other family members. All are welcome!
    *Solo Travelers: You're in luck! No mandatory single supplements. We provide free roommate matching - unless, of course, you'd prefer a single room which you can purchase during checkout.


    This tour requires a total minimum group size to run. Please DO NOT purchase your airfare or any personal travel requirements until you receive a written confirmation of guaranteed departure.

    Prices are based on double occupancy in twin rooms. If you would like your own hotel room, please choose the optional single room supplement at check out. If you do not mind being paired up with a roommate of the same gender, then the single supplement does not apply.

    Please note that effective July 01, 2011 a Tourist Tax applies to all visitors staying at a hotel in Italy. Hotel guests are required to pay the tax directly to each hotel in cash before checkout. The charges must be paid directly to the hotel by EACH PASSENGER, and cannot be covered or pre-paid by a tour operator per government rules. Taxes are currently EUR 4.50 per person, per night and subject to change.

    Visas to Italy (at time of this printing) are not required for US and Canadian citizens... only a valid passport with a minimum of 6 months before expiration is required. Please be sure to confirm this before departure and/or for your country of citizenship.

    Your passport should be valid for at least 6 month following the last day of the tour.

    If choosing the optional Cinque Terre Day Tour, then you must be able to climb and descend stairs without any problems, as these steep towns have to vehicular roads.

    All tours and excursions are based on availability. Please book your space ahead of time to best ensure that the activities that you want to participate in are still available. You won’t be able to join the optional activities in country.

    To ensure the affordable cost of this trip, all day tours and excursions on this trip are booked on a group basis and our group will likely share a larger bus and local guide with other travelers who have booked through other tour operators and agents. Please be sure to be on time for each departure as instructed by your GEC Trip Leader or the bus will depart without you and no refunds will be possible.

    Please contact us with questions and/or if you would like advice on how to find the best flight.

    Trip ID: EU1232
    PRICING
    Departure Dates:

    Local Fee
    $100.00
    Optional Add-Ons
     
    OPTIONAL: Pisa Morning Tour (Day 5)
    $84.00
    OPTIONAL: Cinque Terre Day Tour (Day 6)
    $127.00
    OPTIONAL: Single Room (choose only if you want your own hotel room)
    $879.00

    Price Includes
    • Food & Wine Tour of Tuscany
    • 6 nights in European 4* hotel in Florence
    • GEC Trip Leader throughout
    • Expert English speaking local experts for select tours
    • Visit to the Tuscan hilltop Village of San Gimignano
    • Visit to Siena
    • Tour of the Chianti region with wine tasting local vineyard
    • Informal visit to the Florence Central Market with your GEC Trip Leader
    • Guided walking tour of Florence
    • Transportation and tours as indicated in modern a/c vehicle
    • Breakfast daily
    Price Does Not Include
    • International airfare
    • Airport transfers
    • Meals and beverages not indicated
    • Travel medical insurance (details)
    • Italy Tourist Room Tax (see "Important Information" section)
    • Local fee
    • Personal expenses
    • Tips
    • Passport and Visa fees & expenses (if required - See Important Notes Section)
    • Optional tours and activities
    Accomodation Included
    • 6 nights in European 4* hotel in Florence
    Seasonal Info
    • Spring and fall in Italy are as good as it gets. Temperatures average about 78 degrees (26C) during the day and 57 (14C) at night. Shorts can be worn during the day (except in any religious building), but be sure to bring along a light coat, sweater and some pants for nighttime and those cooler days.


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