Private Driving Day Trips from Florence to the Chianti, Siena, San Gimignano, Pisa, Lucca, wineries, castles


Private Driving Day Trips from Florence
Chianti, Siena, San Gimignano, Pisa, Lucca, Cortona, Montepulciano, Carrara, wineries, castles
 


Unforgettable Tuscany
San Gimignano & Siena
The Cinque Terre
Cortona & Montepulciano
A Day in the Chianti
History & Art & Wine in Tuscany
Montalcino for Serious Wine Connoisseurs
Sassicaia and Tuscany's Coastal Wines
Pisa, Lucca and Wine Tasting
Maremma and Its Morellino Wines

"My name is Maurizio. I was born in the fall of 1956 in the heart of Florence. During my adolescence the historical center of the city with its well-known monuments provided a continual backdrop for my upbringing and learning. I studied Art History and Architecture to discover the origins of the city, believing that the keys of the future lie in the past. I married a lovely woman in 1977, and I have 2 "children," 26 and 21 years old. I began my working career as a fashion designer, working in the United States and in Japan. My son Matthew now works in this field, and I am very proud of him! One of my favorite books, partially damaged by the great flood of the Arno River in 1966, is dedicated to Renaissance Art History. I bought it in Lucca when I was a young teenager. I began working as a driving guide just for fun 12 years ago: today it is my life!!! I love to share with foreigners my interest in all things Tuscan: the traditions, the art, the architecture, the local products, the wine. I strive to establish friendly relationships with my guests, offering not simply a service but providing emotions and true feelings. To be quite frank there is no one part of Tuscany that I prefer more than others. I love to introduce guests to unknown locations where popular traditions are still alive. Being a driving guide is not simply a job: it is an endless journey, proving special experiences and learning exchanges. Each tour is a new discovery for both my guests and myself!"


"M
y name is Euan. I'm from Glasgow, Scotland, but I have been living in Florence now for nearly 10 years, preferring Tuscany to the colder climes of home! I trained as a squash instructor, but I quickly fell in love with the beauties of this land, and would be delighted to show you exactly why I stayed here, guiding you around in a relaxed and friendly manner, always willing to give you a fresh approach and insight into life in Italy. My hobbies include food and wine (Italian, of course, not Scottish!). I enjoy being around people and will happily help guests to make the most of their precious time in Tuscany."

Here are seven itineraries Marizio and Euan offer, for groups of up to six people (larger groups are also possible; please ask us about prices):

A Day in the Chianti
Unforgettable Tuscany
The Cinque Terre

San Gimignano & Siena
Cortona & Montepulciano
History & Art & Wine in Tuscany

Montalcino for Serious Wine Connoisseurs




UNFORGETTABLE TUSCANY

Depart at 9:15 am from your lodgings in central Florence.

After your guide meets you at your central Florence lodgings, this completely unique private full-day trip starts with a quick pause at Piazzale Michelangiolo for the best photo op in Italy: the entire city spread out at your feet in all its red-roofed glory. Next comes the impeccable Tuscan countryside, with its olive groves and dark green cypress trees and ochre villas and opulent vineyards. You will stop at one of these for a tasting of wine and olive oil, then it's on to a completely different kind of farm producing salamis, cheeses and balsamic vinegar, all of which you'll taste. Now it's time for lunch! Here's how you do it in Tuscany: start with a toast of rosé or sparkling white wine accompanied by appetizers made from vegetables and meats produced on site, then proceed to a pasta dish, followed by local cheese dressed with balsamic, and end with homemade dessert, all washed down with three different wines.


More glorious scenery awaits on the road to Castellina in Chianti, where you'll have free time to visit the town and walk off some of that lunch! On the way home you'll stop in Europe's tiniest walled medieval village, and then you're off to the enchanting ancient town of Fiesole, perched atop a hill overlooking Florence. Depending on how much time remains, you are free to visit the Etruscan tombs, the Roman amphitheatre, the cathedral and the church of San Francesco before returning to Florence at 7:30pm.

This tour lasts 10 hours and is for a minimum of 2 people and a maximum of 8 people. It is available daily, on request, from March 15 to October 31. We recommend you try to avoid Sunday, when many wineries are closed.

2016 Prices
  • 2 people:
  • 3 people:
  • 4 people:
  • 5 people:
  • 6 people:
  • 7 people:
  • 8 people:
  669 EURO
710 EURO
761 EURO
813 EURO
854 EURO
895 EURO
947 EURO
Price includes transportation to/from downtown Florence, private guide, all tastings, lunch, and excursions. Entrance fees at archeological sites or museums are NOT included.




A DAY IN THE CHIANTI

Depart at 9:30 am from your hotel anywhere in Florence.



Spend the day tasting wonderful wines and exploring the world-renowned area between Florence and Siena known as the Chianti. You will leave Florence from the south, taking the winding and picturesque Chiantigiana Wine Road. Your day of tastings begins at a 13th-century castle village lined with quaint alleyways.

 

Afterwards, you'll move on to visit Greve in Chianti, the main town in the Chianti Classico region, birthplace of Giovanni da Verrazzano, who discovered the bay of New York in the 14th century. The town's charming 19th-century square is the site of a weekly market, and on any day of the week you'll have plenty of time on your own to stroll around the delightful piazza and visit the famous butcher Falorni, where you will be able to taste salamis, cheese and wild boar sausages. If you wish, you can stop in at a local wine cooperative which proudly displays over 150 different types of wine, almost all of which you can taste.




By now it is almost time for lunch, and your guide will suggest that you head to a nearby farm. Before enjoying a wonderful meal al fresco on their panoramic outdoor terrace, you will have a chance to walk through their historic wine and vinsanto cellars and taste their wonderful wines as well as their small production of mosto di chianti - balsamic vinegar aged in small casks for 15 to 30 years.

After lunch, a small family-run modern vineyard awaits you, where a wonderful Chianti Classico is made. The rest of the afternoon can be tailored to your personal tastes. If weather permits you can visit the interesting Chianti Botanical Gardens. Or else you can learn more about Etruscan civilization by visiting another charming wine town, Castellina in Chianti. If you have not had enough wine yet, a visit can be arranged to another fabulous nearby winery, Rocca della Macie.





A 60-minute drive takes you back to Florence with enough memories to last a life time. The tour is approximately 7/8 hours long. The cost of lunch and wine tastings is not included (price varies from winery to winery, with some wineries being free of charge). Please be aware that the itinerary may change due to opening and closing times of local establishments.

2016 Prices
  • 1-3 people:
  • 4-6 people:
  • 7-8 people:
  473 EURO
504 EURO
534 EURO
All fees include transportation to/from your address in downtown Florence and private guide. Your guides are happy to pick you up and take you home to other locations. Please ask us for a price
Larger groups are also possible; please ask us about prices





SAN GIMIGNANO & SIENA

Depart at 9:30 am from your hotel anywhere between Florence and Siena.

Your driving guide will pick you up and drive you to visit the amazing medieval village of San Gimignano. Already a powerful community in the 12th century, San Gimignano gained renown for its soaring towers, built to symbolize the wealth of the town and of its merchants. Situated along the busy French road that connected the northern part of Europe to Rome and the Adriatic Sea, the village profited economically from the constant flow of goods, textiles, wine and safron traveling along this medieval "freeway."


On the way to Siena, you will stop at little-known Abbadia a Isola, the "Abbey on the Island," which dates back to 1000 A.C. This was the hamlet of Ava, who in 900BC married a warrior from the North and created this island in the middle of a swamp to host a church. On this man-made island, you will have time to visit the stunning Romanesque church and its well-preserved artifacts.


A
fter a stop for lunch, perhaps in the quaint 12th-century fortress of Monteriggioni, a stronghold of Siena with no less than fourteen picturesque watchtowers, you will reach the city of Siena, the Gothic dream. Perennial enemy of Florence and cradle of the Ghibelline party, the two cities have seen 300 years of wars, battles, intrigue and betrayal. Siena's outstanding black-and-white marble Cathedral and Baptistery represent the city's artistic wealth as well as its religious devotion.

 


T
he town hall is located in the 12th-century shell-shaped main square, called Il Campo. This is where the famous Palio, the medieval horse race, takes place every summer in July and August. No rule is the only rule during this mad bareback race in which 10 out of the 17 districts of Siena participate by rotation. Before the race, half the city watches as the other half parades in a colorful pageant of medieval costumes and traditions.


A 50-minute drive takes you back to Florence. The tour is approximately 7/8 hours long. The cost of lunch and entrance fees is not included.

In Siena, you are on your own to visit the town as you like. The driving guide will of course give you many tips and lots of background information while you are on your way to the city. If you prefer to have a two-hour guided walk through the city, the cost is 120 Euros extra, paid in cash on the spot. Please note that you will need to reserve this in advance. There are very few licensed guides in Siena and it is not possible to reserve a tour with them at the last minute

2016 Prices
  • 1-3 people:
  • 4-6 people:
  • 7-8 people:
  473 EURO
504 EURO
535 EURO
All fees include transportation to/from your address in downtown Florence and private guide. Your guides are happy to pick you up and take you home to other locations. Please ask us for a price
Larger groups are also possible; please ask us about prices




CORTONA & MONTEPULCIANO

Depart with your guide at 9:30 am from your hotel anywhere in Florence.

After an hour and a half of driving among the vineyards and olive groves of the Valdichiana area of Tuscany you will come to the hill town of Cortona, a city of ancient origins, most recently made famous in Frances Mayes' books Bella Tuscany and Under the Tuscan Sun. Like most Italian towns, Cortona holds a wealth of history. It was an important Etruscan settlement and a significant Roman center until its destruction by the Goths. Built on a high hilltop, Cortona offers amazing views of the countryside - the Valdichiana stretching westward, and Trasimeno Lake visible over the low hills to the south. Wear your walking shoes, because the streets in Cortona are steep! You will stroll through the city center, with time on your own to visit the town's cathedral and the well-known church of San Domenico.

Around noon you will leave Cortona and head towards Montepulciano, in the heart of the Orcia Valley, known all over the world for its wine and its pecorino sheep cheese. One of the highest Tuscan hills towns, Montepulciano is built along a narrow ridge of limestone. It is a stunningly good-looking town, full of vistas, odd squares and corners, and endowed with dozens of Renaissance palaces and churches.



Y
our first stop is San Biagio, an unforgettable church on the outskirts of town. The architect Antonio Sangallo the Elder built this church above an earlier chapel and it is one of the most harmonious Renaissance creations in Italy, constructed inside and out from porous travertine, whose soft honey-colored stone blends perfectly with its niche in the landscape. Afterwards you will have time on your own for lunch.

Next your explorations will continue to the upper portion of the town. You walk through Via Poliziano (named after the Renaissance poet and humanist, who was born here), visiting the churches of Sant'Agnese and Santa Lucia. Montepulciano is famous for its vino nobile, a full-bodied red wine, so a visit would not be complete without a tasting. You will indeed have a chance to savor this wonderful red in one of the unique wine cellars, which are located in caves beneath the city -- perhaps served with a piece of pecorino cheese from Pienza!

After the tasting you will leave Montepulciano and head back to Florence. In Cortona and Montepulciano, you are on your own to visit the town as you like. The driving guide will of course give you many tips and lots of background information while you are on your way to the city. This tour is approximately 7/8 hours long. The cost of lunch and wine tastings is not included.

2016 Prices
  • 1-3 people:
  • 4-6 people:
  • 7-8 people:
617 EURO
648 EURO
679 EURO
All fees include transportation to/from your address in downtown Florence and private guide. Your guides are happy to pick you up and take you home to other locations. Please ask us for a price
Larger groups are also possible; please ask us about prices



CINQUE TERRE

Depart with your guide at 9:30 am from your hotel anywhere in Florence.

Your English-speaking driver/guide will pick you up for your 90-minute trip across the northern border of Tuscany past olive groves, hilltop castles, vineyards and ancient villages, until you reach the sea near Pisa. Here you'll turn north and drive along the shore, beneath the Apuan Alps, which form one of Europe's most fascinating optical illusions. These are the mountains where Michelangelo discovered what he believed to be the finest stone on earth: Carrara marble. The mountains are actually made of marble, Mother Nature's own handiwork, which makes their pure-white flanks gleam in the sun like the snow-covered slopes of the more famous Alps to the north. This glorious vision soon gives way to the heavily-forested hills of Liguria, where pastel-colored hamlets cling to seemingly impossible summits. Shortly you'll see the vast Bay of La Spezia, nicknamed the Gulf of Poets because it was so beloved by Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley.

Only a few miles more and you'll pull into Monterosso al Mare, the southernmost of the Five Villages. Here, your driver will help you purchase train or boat tickets (or both, depending on your ideal itinerary for the day, which he will help you decide on the way there). Relax and see the coastline the very best way as you cruise along the rugged shoreline. Perhaps you will then want to hike part of the way back, or just take the little train, getting off at each village for a stroll through the ancient alleys. Whatever your pleasure, your driver/guide will meet you in the late afternoon at the northernmost village, Riomaggiore, or at any other point along the route, for your trip back to Florence.


This excursion is approximately 10 hours long. The cost of lunch and train or boat tickets is not included.

2016 Prices
  • 1-3 people:
  • 4-6 people:
  • 7-8 people:
689 EURO
720 EURO
750 EURO
All fees include transportation to/from your address in downtown Florence and private English-speaking driver/guide. Your driver/guide is happy to pick you up and take you home to other locations. Please ask us for a price

Larger groups are also possible; please ask us about prices


HISTORY & ART & WINE IN TUSCANY

Depart at 9:30 am from your hotel anywhere in Florence.

This tour combines the best of Tuscany: a fascinating medieval village seeped in history together with the famous Chianti Classico wine area. The morning is spent in the amazing medieval village of San Gimignano.

Already a powerful community in the 1100, San Gimignano became famous for its daring towers built to symbolize the wealth of the town and of its merchants. Situated along the busy French road that connected the north part of Europe to Rome and the Adriatic sea, the village of San Gimignano profited economically from the constant flow of goods, textile, wine and saffron that traveled along that medieval "freeway". In town, you will have time on your own to wander the alleyways or to visit the artistically important Collegiate church with frescoes of the New and Old Testament dating back to the 14 th century and the Renaissance jewel of a chapel dedicated to Santa Fina. Afterwards you'll head to another picturesque area known for its impressive red wines: the Chianti.

Your drive will follow the picturesque Chiantigiana Wine Road, passing ancient farmhouses, impressive villas, and rows and rows of lush vineyards. By now it is almost time for lunch, however beforehand enjoy an aperitivo wine tasting in a winery which produces Chianti Classico and Super Tuscans, walking through historic wine and vinsanto cellars. Your guide will then suggest a wonderful country restaurant where weather permitting you can dine on local culinary delights al fresco. After lunch a short drive will take you to Greve in Chianti, the main town in the Chianti Classico region with its busy 19th-century market square. You will have time to stroll around the delightful piazza and visit the famous butcher Falorni, where you will be able to taste salamis, cheese and wild boar sausages. Greve is the birth town of Giovanni da Verrazzano, who in the 14th century discovered the bay of New York. If you wish there is the chance to visit a local wine cooperative which proudly displays over 150 different types of wine, almost all of which you can taste. If desired before returning to Florence, make a brief stop in the 13th-century castle village of Montefioralle, with its quaint alleyways. Return to Florence, with memories to last a life time.

The tour is approximately 7/8 hours long. In San Gimignano, you are on your own to visit the town as you like. The driving guide will of course give you many tips and lots of background information while you are on your way to the city. The cost for the wine tastings is not included (price varies from winery to winery and some wineries are free of charge)

2016 Prices
  • 1-3 people:
  • 4-6 people:
  • 7-8 people:

484 EURO
514 EURO
556 EURO

All fees include transportation to/from your address in downtown Florence and private guide. Your guides are happy to pick you up and take you home to other locations. Please ask us for a price

Larger groups are also possible; please ask us about prices


MONTALCINO FOR SERIOUS WINE CONNOISSEURS

Depart at 9 am from your hotel anywhere in Florence.

Spend the day in one of the most beautiful parts of Tuscany, sipping one of the most prestigious of Tuscan wines. After a ride of about 90 minutes you will arrive in the breathtaking area around Montalcino, home to the famous Brunello wine. Your day will be spent visiting two or three top producers (depending on how much time is spent at each place!) and enjoying tastings of this full bodied sangiovese red wine. Upon your arrival in the area your first stop will be at the well-known Altesino winery located on a beautiful country estate. Afterwards it is almost time for lunch, and what better place to enjoy it than in the town of Montalcino! Here you will have time on your own to stroll around the streets, enjoying the panorama, the Medici fortress and the shops that make this hill town so special. You may want to taste a few wines at the picturesque "slow food" wine bar owned by a retired local wine enologist.



After lunch you will drive to visit the very special ancient countryside Romanesque abbey of Sant'Antimo, hopefully in time to hear the haunting Gregorian chants. The day continues with a visit to the historic cellars of Biondi Santi, the birthplace of the Brunello di Montalcino wine. Enjoy a tasting and learn more about this famous family and winery. Time permitting, another winery will be visited. Otherwise on your way back to Florence, you can relax and enjoy the landscape that has made Tuscany so unique.

The tour is approximately 8/9 hours long. Please note that due to closing days at the wineries, the itinerary may be altered. The cost of lunch and individual tastings is not included (price varies from winery to winery).

2016 Prices
  • 1-3 people:
  • 4-6 people:
  • 7-8 people:
617 EURO
648 EURO
679 EURO
All fees include transportation to/from your address in downtown Florence and private guide. Your guides are happy to pick you up and take you home to other locations. Please ask us for a price. Wine tastings are extra and cost approximately 40 Euro/person.
Larger groups are also possible; please ask us about prices





a

SASSICAIA AND TUSCANY'S COASTAL WINES
Depart at 9 am from your lodgings in central Florence.

This very special day takes you through some of the loveliest landscape in Italy, to a fairy-tale "town in a tower" and culminating with visits to two of Italy's finest winemakers. Throughout the world, their vintage, Sassicaia, is synonymous with the highest quality wine. On this private excursion, you'll visit the winery where Marchese Mario Incisa della Rocchetta started it all, and where Sassicaia is produced today. After a stroll through the delightful village of Bolgheri, you'll lunch at a historic enoteca and then continue to a second winery where you'll taste wine and oils from the Montescudaio area before returning to Florence.

This tour lasts 9.5 hours and is for a minimum of 2 people and a maximum of 6 people. It is available daily, on request. We recommend you try to avoid Sunday, because the wineries might be closed.


2016 Prices
  • 2 people:
  • 3 people:
  • 4 people:
  • 5 people:
  • 6 people:
395 EURO/person
310 EURO/person
270 EURO/person
240 EURO/person
215 EURO/person
Price includes transportation to/from downtown Florence, private guide, lunch, and two winery visits with tastings.

a
a


a

PISA, LUCCA & A WINERY VISIT
Depart at 9 am from your lodgings in central Florence.

This private day trip offers a rare opportunity to combine a famous architectural landmark, a beautiful Italian town, and a picturesque winery. Your driver-guide will pick you up and take you straight west across the northern hills of Tuscany to a family winery nestled in the foothills of the Apuan Alps, where you'll visit the vineyard and the cellars, as well as enjoy a tasting of their vintages. Next you're off to the very special town of Lucca, protected by its dramatic tree-lined ramparts, so broad and inviting that the locals use them for bike rides. You'll stroll the lively cobblestone streets, past the impressive palazzos that attest to the city's former wealth, and you'll visit its totally unique circular square, as well as its jewel box churches. After a delicious lunch at one of the city's most picturesque enotecas, your driver-guide will whisk you to Pisa, where you'll have a private guided visit of the Cathedral and the breathtaking Cemetery before returning to Florence.

This tour lasts 9.5 hours and is for a minimum of 2 people and a maximum of 6 people. It is available daily, on request.

2016 Prices
  • 2 people:
  • 3 people:
  • 4 people:
  • 5 people:
  • 6 people:
495 EURO/person
345 EURO/person
270 EURO/person
225 EURO/person
195 EURO/person
Price includes transportation to/from downtown Florence, private guide, lunch, winery visit with tasting.
Entrance tickets in Pisa are extra. We regret that it is not possible to include climbing the Tower.


a
a


a

MAREMMA AND ITS MORELLINO WINES
Depart at 9 am from your lodgings in central Florence.

Maremma is one of the wildest and most beautiful regions of Tuscany, blanketed with olive groves and Mediterranean scrub, a land where a special breed of horse roams freely along with wild boar. Its most famous wine, Morellino di Scansano, captures the local colors and flavors, just as it has captured the hearts and palates of wine lovers the whole world over. Because it is not overcrowded with tourists, we are able to offer a truly special private day trip to this enchanting region, one that will fill you with memories and give you something unique to talk about when you get home. Your day starts as your driver-guide picks you up at your Florence lodgings and drives you southwest, diagonally across the entire region of Tuscany to a historic winery where you'll visit the cellars and have your first taste of the local wine. Next, oh my! You're off to fairy-tale Montemerano, one of the most unspoiled medieval hill towns in Italy. After a relaxing stroll through its tranquil streets, you'll move just down the road to the famed spa town of Saturnia, where lunch is waiting at a classic enoteca. Like all good Italians, you'll stretch your legs in town after the meal, and then continue to one of the most renowned local wineries, where your visit will be followed by a short lesson in Tuscan winemaking, accompanied by a tasting before returning to Florence.

This tour lasts 9.5 hours and is for a minimum of 2 people and a maximum of 6 people. It is available daily, on request.

2016 Prices
  • 2 people:
  • 3 people:
  • 4 people:
  • 5 people:
  • 6 people:
395 EURO/person
310 EURO/person
270 EURO/person
240 EURO/person
215 EURO/person
Price includes transportation to/from downtown Florence, private guide, lunch, and two winery visits with tastings.


a
a