Harvest Italia 2014 – Itinerary

Day 0 - Monday, October 27, 2014

When traveling to Italy from the United States, plan on arriving the next day. As you make your travel arrangements, this is a time to consider traveling in advance of, or just after, the tour to explore another area of Italy or Europe on your own time.

Day 1 – Tuesday, October 28, 2014
Benvenuti in Toscana! Welcome to beautiful Tuscany and Agriturismo Il Pozzo.

Arrive at the Florence International Airport A eroporto di Firenze "Amerigo Vespucci Airport in Tuscany, Italy where a Harvest Italia travel specialist will greet you and escort you to Agriturismo "Il Pozzo" (The Well)  in Capolana, about 40-mins. southwest of the airport. Spirit of Italy Tours will offer one pick-up time. (Specific time TBD based on guest arrival times.) 

The tour begins with time to settle into your apartments at Agrituismo 'Il Pozzo' where we will be spending the week getting acquainted with the sights, culture and incredible landscapes that theTuscany region offers.

Carla Veneri, the proprietor of Il Pozzo, will welcome guests and gladly give a tour of the property. A light welcome lunch (beverages, panini, and sweets) will await you after your long journey in the dining area of the main house. You can take time to explore the Il Pozzo property that is surrounded by lush green hillsides, olive groves, cypress trees and wide open spaces, or just take time to relax. You’re on Italian time now, no need to rush.

In the evening, Harvest Italia tour guests are invited to enjoy a sumptuous welcome dinner prepared by the Il Pozzo restaurant staff. Il Pozzo is personally managed by its owners and the farm produces homemade products such as olive oil, and assorted vegetables. Our meal will include seasonal fare and assorted local wines. Dinner will give us the chance to become acquainted and discuss the itinerary for the week.

Meals – light lunch and dinner

Day 2 – Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Olive picking at Casa Falcioni

Buon giorno! Each day of the tour begins with an Italian-style gourmet breakfast buffet featuring Il Pozzo’s specialty products, homemade bread, pastries and biscotti. jams, pecorino cheese, cereals, coffee, milk, tea, juice, and more.

After breakfast we will be transported by minivan over to the exquisite Casa Falcioni property nestled in the nearby medieval town of Cavriglia for a full day of olive picking. At Casa Falcioni, guests will be greeted by Silvano and Tanya Falcioni, the proprietors of the olive farm. An overview of the olive picking process, olive rakes and gloves will be provided. A warm lunch (included) featuring seasonal, hearty autumn fare (pasta/lasagna/salad/bread and Chianti wine) will be served on the premises.

In the late afternoon we will head over to the town of Arezzo to the IperCoop an Italian style supermarket and department store. (Think Target meets Costco Italian style). There you can stock up on groceries, browse for clothing or enjoy homemade gelato and more.

We will then head back to Agriturismo Il Pozzo. That evening we will dine on an authentic Tuscan meal in the nearby town of Subbiano situated along the banks of the famous Arno River. Or, guests can also option to dine in their apartment.

Meals – breakfast and lunch

Day 3 – Thursday, October 30, 2014
Visit to Vertine Olive Press and the Medieval town of Radda-in-Chianti

Following breakfast, we will head to the Vertine Olive Press in the Chianti region where you will have the opportunity to see your self- picked olives pressed into beautiful, fragrant, and delicious extra virgin olive oil. The Falcioni’s will accompany us to explain the olive oil making process and the requirements for obtaining the high quality extra virgin olive oil label. This promises to be an especially memorable occasion knowing that you were involved in the collection process. As a thank you gift, the Falcioni’s will provide each guest with a complimentary 375 ml bottle of your self-picked olive oil.

The Falcioni's will also host us to a picnic lunch just outside the olive press in the breathtaking Chianti. We will spend the rest of lthe afternoon driving through the region with a stop in the charming Medieval town of Radda in Chianti where you will have time to stroll, sightsee, visit the one-of-a kind local boutiques, or simply relax over a cappuccino. In the evening we will head to a trattoria in the town of Montevarchi.

Meals – breakfast and lunch

Day 4 – Friday, October 31, 2014
Firenze – the crown jewel of the Renaissance

Following breakfast, we will depart to the historic center of Firenze (Florence), considered one of the most important cities in Italy and one of the crown jewels of the Renaissance. You will have the full day to explore and wander at your leisure. Firenze is a small city and is a veritable feast for the eyes. There is history at every turn and it is home to several of Italy’s best museums and landmarks —The Uffizi Gallery, The Academia (home to Michelangelo’s David), The Duomo and the Ponte Vecchio which crosses over the picturesque Arno River.

​Florence is also a shopper’s paradise. There are gorgeous high fashion (alta moda) shops selling luxury goods, department stores and the bustling outdoor markets selling everything from souvenirs to quality leather items. The city also boasts many of the finest restaurants and gelato in the country. The city center is best traveled on foot and allows you to easily reach all the significant points of interest.

Spirit of Italy Tours will provide guests with a suggested itinerary so that you can navigate on your own as well as offer tour and restaurant suggestions to optimize your sightseeing and dining experience. Round trip transport is provided.

After a long day, we will head back to Agriturismo Il Pozzo to enjoy another home cooked Tuscan meal on the premises.

Meals – breakfast, dinner

Day 5 – Saturday, November 1, 2014
Cortona, Chianti wine tasting and cooking demo

After breakfast we head out for another full day. We begin by visiting  Cortona, one of the oldest towns in Tuscany surrounded by Etruscan walls, around 3000 years old; a town made famous by Francis Mayes in her book Under the Tuscan Sun.

We will dine in Cortona for lunch and then drive over to to the lovely Poggi del Chianti estate and vineyards located in the hills of Cavriglia where Chianti, one of Italy’s most famous red wines, is produced. Proprietor, Mirko Monnani, will take us on a personal tour of the wine cellar and inform us about the Chianti wine making process. There will be ample time to taste a selection of the Chianti varietal wines produced on the estate.

In the late afternoon we’ve arranged for a cooking demonstration (location TBD) that will rely on fresh harvest ingredients found in the nearby shops and farmers markets, and of course, Tuscan olive oil. A local chef will prepare a harvest-inspired dinner featuring fresh pasta and focaccia bread and local wines. Guests will have the chance to prepare their own cantucci, a traditional almond biscotti (biscuit), perfect for dipping in vinsanto or a cappuccino.

Following dinner we head back to Agriturismo Il Pozzo.

Meals – breakfast, dinner 

Day 6 – Sunday, November 2, 2014
Fiera Antiquaria di Arezzo and Poppi Castle

After breakfast, we head out early to the Tuscan city of Arezzo. Arezzo is an important small medieval Tuscan city steeped in history and provides the chance to see extraordinary monuments and art. Famous names such as Piero della Francesca, Giorgio Vasari, and Beato Angelico lived here and have made great artistic contributions.

We will spend the morning visiting one of the most prominent and longest running antique markets in Italy, the Fiera Antiquaria di Arezzo. In progress since 1968, more than 500 exhibitors come from all over Italy on the first weekend of the month offering a wide range of goods from valuable antique furniture, jewelry, books and prints, and works of art to inexpensive curios and knick knacks. Tourists are welcome and bargaining is an acceptable practice. This delightful event takes place in the Piazza Grande in the historical center of town where Roberto Benigni’s Academy Award-winning film, “Life is Beautiful” was shot. The market spills out and winds its way into the narrow streets and alleys of the city amidst restaurants and beautiful shops. This is a town where strolling and people watching takes on real meaning. For lunch we will dine at a a local trattoria. 

In the afternoon, we will drive through the countryside to Castello dei Conti Guidi di Poppi. The Poppi Castle is considered one of the most impressive works of Tuscan mediaeval architecture.
The Castle is situated majestically on a hilltop above the mediaeval town of Poppi, noted as one of the most beautiful villages in Italy.

We’ll return to Agriturismo Il Pozzo where you will have the option to dine in your apartment or join us at a local restaurant.

Meals – breakfast

Day 7 – Monday, November 3, 2014
LaVerna Sanctuary and hillside town of Bibbiena

On the last full day of the Harvest Italia tour we will head up to
the historic LaVerna Sanctuary nestled in the mountains in eastern Tuscany. The sanctuary was established by St. Francis of Assisi and is the headquarters of the Franciscan order. We will eat lunch close by in the hillside town of Bibbiena
 
In the later afternoon, you can decide to stay-put at Agriturismo Il Pozzo relaxing, reading, journal writing, hiking the lush countryside surrounding the property, or decide to do nothing at all. 

In the evening we will enjoy a farewell meal at Il Pozzo and reflect on the experiences we enjoyed during the week and the new friendships made.

Meal - breakfast, dinner

Day 8 – Tuesday, November 4, 2014
Guests departure - Arrivederci

After breakfast, transportation will be provided to the Florence Airport or central train station.

Meal - breakfast
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Note: Harvest Italia 2014 is presented by Spirit of Italy Tours, a newly established tour company specializing in boutique tours to Italy.