9. From Rome: Private Day-Tour of Tuscany
Take a break from the chaos of Rome with a Tuscan holiday. The tour focuses on the famous Val D’Orcia region, visiting the historic hill towns of Montepulciano, Pienza and the vineyards of Montalcino. If you have a taste for Tuscany but just a short time in Italy, this tour is for you! A comfortable air-conditioned car or minivan will collect you in Rome and by mid-morning, you will be in the ancient Etruscan town of Montepulciano. The next stop is at the vineyards of Montalcino. This is where one of Italy’s best wines, Brunello di Montalcino, is produced.
Absorb views over some of Tuscany’s most beautiful vineyards before heading to Sant’Antimo Abbey where, with a bit of luck, you’ll be just in time to hear the monks perform Gregorian chants. Your private driver will take you out of town to a beautiful Tuscan vineyard. At lunch, enjoy a wine tasting accompanied by bruschetta and three more types of wine along with a spread of cold cuts and local specialties over a three-course lunch. Next stop – Pienza. You will hear how this World Heritage site was conceived by Pope Pius II as a “utopian village” and get information on sites you may want to visit, such as the two Renaissance palaces and the beautiful Duomo. Pienza is a small town so you'll go off on your own and take some time to wander around, enjoying ancient architecture and views of the rolling countryside.
Whatever you choose to do with your time, be sure to sample Pienza’s most important product, pecorino cheese, in one of the many artisan food stores around the town. With full bags packed with wine and cheese, meet back at the car for a comfortable and scenic drive back to Rome.