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Irresistible Tuscany. With a View from Your Private Villa.

Tuscany beckons. Home is a private villa. Relax by the pool. Golf, play tennis, take a private cooking lesson. See San Gimignano and its 14 Renaissance towers. Journey around Chianti, take a jaunt to Pienza, to timeless Montalcino, to exquisite Siena.

     In Tuscany, the hills reveal millennia of history and mythology (and nourish the heavy-laden grapevines). Towns ooze charm that gets under your skin. Cyprus-ringed villas cast their spells. Fields of grain and groves of olives flaunt their bounty with each whisper of wind. Farmers smile at passersby, then return to their work.


Italy

Type:Custom Journeys

Mode:Land

Sample Journey

This is a nine-day sample itinerary. We also offer a pre-tour or post-tour extension to Florence, which you shouldn't miss. Remember that R. Crusoe can create a Tuscany journey of any length to meet your exact specifications.

Day 1: United States
• Overnight flight to Italy.
Overnight in flight
 
Day 2: Florence, Tuscany, Italy
• Arrive in Florence.
• Drive through Tuscany to your private villa.
• Dinner at the villa.

Overnight in Private Tuscan Villa

Day 3: San Gimignano
• Walking tour of San Gimignano.
• Fattoria Poggio Alloro, a local farm.
• Optional cooking lesson in the villa kitchen followed by dinner.

Overnight in Private Tuscan Villa
 
Day 4: Chianti
• Tuscany's Chianti region, with visits to the area's prestigious wine estates.
• Falorni butcher shop and Castello di Verrazzano.
• Options for wine-tasting at Cantine Sociali or Castello di Volpaia, or visit to Radda's ceramics workshops.
• Dinner at the villa.

Overnight in Private Tuscan Villa
 
Day 5: Villa Neighborhood or Florence
• Explore the vicinity of your villa, or tour Florence.
Options to golf in the Tuscan countryside, play tennis, wine-tasting, browse outdoor markets.

Overnight in Private Tuscan Villa

Day 6: Pienza, Montalcino, Val d'Orcia
• Drive to Pienza, walking city tour including cathedral, Palazzo Piccolomini, Val d'Orcia.
• Walking tour of Montalcino.
Castello Banfi tour and wine-tasting.
• Light dinner at the villa.

Overnight in Private Tuscan Villa

Day 7: Villa or Florence
• Day at leisure with options to play golf or tennis, or day in Florence.
Overnight in Private Tuscan Villa


Day 8: Siena
• Private tour of Siena's old town including private insider's tour of a contrada.
• Leisure time.
• Farewell dinner at the villa.

Overnight in Private Tuscan Villa

Day 9: Tuscany; United States
• Fly home, or comtinue on in Florence or elsewhere with R. Crusoe & Son.

Download this trip Itinerary
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Sample Pricing

Per person sharing room, based on 10 participants, from $4,850.

      Please speak to an R. Crusoe tour specialist for additional pricing information, which depends on the villa chosen, the number of participants, the sightseeing chosen, and meals included.

For more information, to book, or to speak to an R. Crusoe & Son tour specialist, please call us at 800-585-8555.

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Chianti and Super Tuscans. A Brief History.

Thank Cosimo III de’Medici, the Grand Duke of Tuscany, for Chianti. This Italian red was first produced in the 13th century as a white wine, though little is known about its early incarnation.

     In 1716, Cosimo declared that only four Tuscan villages—Castellina, Gaiole, Radda, and Greve—and a spit of hilly land near Spedaluzzo would henceforth be the sole official producers of Chianti.

     Slowly, Chianti metamorphosed into a red wine, though the grapes used were, one again, unknown. In the 1890s, the Italian statesman Baron Bettino Ricasoli standardized the ideal recipe for “modern” Chianti: 70 percent Sangiovese grapes, 15 percent Canaiolo, 10 percent Malvasia and or Trebbiano, and 5 percent other local red varieties.

     Nearly a century later, the Denominazione de Origine Controllata (DOC), overseen by the Italian government, established the Ricasoli Formula for Chianti, a Sangiovese-based red with a maximum of 30 percent Malvasia and/or Trebbiano added.

     At the same time, however, a group of Chianti vintners banded together and skirted the DOC regulations to create what they believed would be superior Chianti. They called it Super Tuscan, and the name stuck. Some wanted to make Chianti using only Sangiovese grapes; others wanted to introduce French grapes such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Still others wanted to age the wine in new oak barrels. A quick look at your local wine shop will tell you that these innovators have been tremendously successful.

     Most Chianti on those same shelves falls into two designations: Chianti DOCG and Classico.  Chianti DOCG (Denominazione de Origine Controllata e Garantita) is made from a blend of grapes grown within seven Chianti sub-zones and grapes grown outside Chianti. The sub-zones are: Colli Fiorentini, near Florence; Chianti Rufina, near the commune of the same name; Classico, in the heart of modern Chianti; Colli Aretini, around Arezzo; Colli Senesi, in the Siena hills; Colline Pisane, around Pisa; Montespertoli, near the commune of the same name; and Montalbano, in Chianti’s northwest reaches.

     Classico grapes are grown strictly within Cosimo’s original four Chianti towns—Castellina, Gaiole, Radda, and Greve. In general, Classico tend to be medium-bodied with plenty of tannins and floral, cherry, and nutty notes. It can be aged in the bottle for up to 20 years.

     Basic Chianti, on the other hand, is known for its fruity notes of cherry, plum, and raspberry and is are best opened three to five years after bottling.

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