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Landscapes of Italy Culinary Tour: Charming Lake Towns

Landscapes of Italy Culinary Tour | Charming Lake Towns
9 Days from X per person
Multiple Dates Available
Lake Garda, Peschiera del Garda, Verona, Tuscany, Chianti, Siena, San Gimignano. 

Embark on a captivating journey through the picturesque landscapes of Italy with this 9-day travel itinerary. Begin your adventure in Verona, exploring the stunning Lake Garda area and its charming towns, including Sirmione and Gardone Riviera. Experience the rich history and romantic allure of Verona itself, followed by a delightful wine tasting experience. Continue to Tuscany, where you'll visit iconic towns like Siena, San Gimignano, Pienza, and Montepulciano, indulging in delectable Tuscan cuisine and wine. Conclude your unforgettable trip with a scenic tour of the Eastern Chianti countryside before departing from Florence or Pisa Airport.


9-Day Itinerary
Day 1: Lake Garda | Welcome to Verona! Upon arrival at Verona Airport you are welcomed to Italy by your local representative who assists you with transfer to your hotel in Peschiera del Garda. The evening is then free for you to relax after your journey.


Overnight: Villa Le Cortine, Sirmione

Day 2: Lake Garda | Today enjoy a full day sightseeing tour of glistening Lake Garda area with your private vehicle and expert local guide.

You visit Desenzano del Garda, one of the liveliest and most popular towns on Lake Garda where you see Roman ruins dating back to the 4th century. You then stop at Sirmione to visit the ruins of a Roman villa, which was once thought to be the residence of the Latin poet Catullus. Then take the public ferry across to the pleasant resort town of Gardone Riviera, with its estate Vittoriale degli Italiani where the writer Gabriele D’Annunzio lived from 1921 to 1938. After lunch you visit the town, before heading to Villa Bettoni near Bogliaco to enjoy its beautiful gardens.

Overnight: Villa Le Cortine, Sirmione

Day 3: Verona | This morning you are transferred to Verona for a 3.5-hour walking tour. The city owes its romantic reputation to Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet which was set here. Your tour includes Piazza delle Erbe, Juliet's House and the Roman Arena, one of the largest and finest preserved amphitheatres. This afternoon visit an historical enoteca for a tasting of local wines, during which the owner explains more about the estate's history and wines, including the local favourite, the “elixir of love”. At the end of your tour you have time for a leisurely lunch before returning to your hotel in Lake Garda. The remainder of the day is at leisure to enjoy the fantastic setting.


Overnight: Villa Le Cortine, Sirmione


Day 4: Lake Garda, Parma, Tuscany | This morning you are transferred to your hotel in Tuscany. En route you stop in the beautiful city of Parma in the Emilia-Romagna region, where you meet your guide for a sightseeing tour of the city. Your visits include the 12th-century Duomo and the Renaissance church of San Giovanni Evangelista, before continuing on to your hotel in rural Tuscany.

Overnight: COMO Castello del Nero

Day 5: Chianti, Siena, San Gimignano, Chianti | Today enjoy a full-day excursion to Siena and San Gimignano with your private vehicle and English-speaking driver. Your first stop is the scenic Tuscan town of Siena for a 3-hour walking tour. Siena was built on three hills and is enclosed by a set of walls and gates. Visit the Piazza del Campo, one of the finest main squares in Italy. See the Palazzo Pubblico which has served as Siena's town hall since the 1300s and visit the Duomo, considered to be one of the finest Gothic cathedrals in Italy with unforgettable frescoes in the Piccolomini Library. Continue on to the picturesque medieval town of San Gimignano, known for its surviving towers, where you are at leisure to explore on your own. You may wish to visit the Collegiata containing 15th-century frescoes, the Palazzo del Popolo, now the municipal museum containing Renaissance paintings, or the Church of Sant’Agostino.


Overnight: COMO Castello del Nero

Day 6: Noble Cookery Day | This morning you are transferred to the private wine producing estate of Lorenza de’ Medici and Piero Stucchi Prinetti for a memorable day of authentic Tuscan cooking. In the mid-1970s, Piero Stucchi Prinetti was the first person in the Chianti area to open the gates of his estate when he began to offer a hospitality programme which included visits to the estate, wine and olive oil tasting as well as the unique opportunity to stay at Coltibuono and participate in the Villa table cooking courses hosted by his wife Lorenza de' Medici.

You have a unique chance to learn about Tuscan cuisine through an exclusive hands-on approach in Coltibuono’s family kitchen. Learn how to prepare a full menu and afterwards enjoy it while sampling Coltibuono wines and extra virgin olive oils during a fabulous lunch.

Overnight: COMO Castello del Nero

Day 7: Southern Tuscany | Today you enjoy a full-day excursion to some of the lovely Tuscan towns to the southeast of Siena. You visit the pretty town of Pienza whose centre was redesigned by Pope Pius II so he could build a model Renaissance square in his native village. Nearby Montepulciano is an archetypal Tuscan hilltop town, set 605 metres above sea level and offering superb views over the surrounding countryside. Inside the ancient town walls and fortifications you find winding streets and a wealth of Renaissance-style palazzi and churches. During your excursion today you have the opportunity to enjoy a tasting of some of the wonderful wines of this region.


This afternoon you visit a typical Tuscan farmhouse located in the heart of Val d’Orcia, close to Pienza and Montepulciano, to enjoy a private cheese-making. The owner gives you a brief introduction of what they produce on their estate followed by an explanation about pecorino and ricotta-making. You also have the chance to visit the laboratory and learn about the entire process of cheese-making.

Overnight: COMO Castello del Nero

Day 8: Eastern Chianti | Today you enjoy a full-day excursion into the beautiful Chianti countryside with your English-speaking driver-guide. Visit lovely hilltop towns such as Greve and Castellina, and enjoy a wine tasting at local vineyards. Renowned for its art, history and evocative landscapes, Tuscany is a region where the past and present merge in pleasant harmony. Hill towns gaze across the countryside from up high, many encircled by Etruscan walls and slender cypress trees. In the countryside, among the vineyards and olive groves, there are hamlets and farmhouses, as well as fortified villas and castles that symbolize the violence and inter-communal strife that tore Tuscany apart in the Middle Ages.


Stop at Badia di Passignano, a medieval hamlet and abbey founded in 395 AD by the Archbishop of Florence. Monks of the Vallombrosian Order still live in the abbey and are the keepers of its cultural and historical treasures. You have the opportunity to visit the abbey's wine cellars, before relaxing in the renowned Osteria di Passignano for a real Tuscan wine and olive oil tasting experience and light lunch.

Overnight: COMO Castello del Nero

Day 9: Journey Home | Today your driver meets you for your private transfer to Florence or Pisa Airport. 


Trip Highlights
  • Guided tours of Lake Garda towns 
  • Half-day guided tour of Verona
  • Wine tour and tasting in Verona
  • Guided tour of Parma
  • Private full-day tour of Siena and San Gimignano
  • Wine tour and tasting in Tuscany 
  • Cooking class in Tuscany
  • Wine and olive oil tasting in Tuscany
  • Full-day tour of Siena
  • Wine tour and tasting in Siena
  • Private cheese-making class 
  • Full-day tour of Chianti countryside
  • Wine and olive oil tasting in Chianti

Available Packages