Italy Tour Poster

Tour of Hill Towns and Countryside of Tuscany & Umbria

Tour of the Hill & Towns Countryside of Tuscany and Umbria  – May 12th to May 20th 2020

For eight nights, you can have the exclusive opportunity to be escorted through the most magical parts of Tuscany and Umbria by Castle delle Serre owners, Salvatore Gangale and the Castello di Amorosa wine family.  We invite you to join in this intimate collaboration and cultural experience with Salvatore as he shares his most influential perspectives of the food, wine and history of his native country of Italy.  Based on over forty years of experience, we assure you that you will relish in the most authentic meals and local experiences during this stay, effectively capturing the essence of la dolce vita only as a true Italian could.

Guests through charming villages, farmhouses, majestic castles and the beautiful architecture of churches and monasteries. You’ll taste some of the world’s finest olive oils, wines, learn how the Italians cook, and eat meals you’ll remember for a lifetime.

Tour Host: Salvatore Gangale, Castle delle Serre owner and native to Italy. Salvatore brings with him over forty years of experience, that assures you that you will relish in the most authentic meals and local experiences during this stay as he takes you through Italy as only a local can, effectively capturing the essence of la dolce vita only as a true Italian could. Antonio and Kaci Gangale will also be helping to add local Italian insight during the tour .

Tuscan Countryside

Day 1 Chianti and Sleep at Castello delle Serre:

Salvatore, our host, will meet us in Florence in the lobby of the Hotel River at 9:00am.  At 9:30 am our group will depart on board our deluxe air-conditioned private motor coach and head south exploring some of the hidden treasures of the enchanting Chianti countryside. We will drive through Chianti’s rugged hills of unspoiled forests, beautiful vineyards, castles, stone churches, monasteries and farmhouses to visit the quaint village of Greve and Radda in Chianti.  We will get our first taste of the sweet life with the best gelato in Tuscany before visiting top Super Tuscan winery to the south of us.  At the winery we will have a private vineyard and cellar tour followed by lunch and tasting on premises. Castello delle Serre will be our home for the next six nights. A welcome dinner and music will complete the first day of our tour.

Castello

Day 2 San Gimignano and Sleep at CDS:

Today we will traverse the Chianti region on our way to San Gimignano, “Delle Torri” (of the beautiful towers).  This is one of the bestpreserved medieval towns in Tuscany, where 16 of the 70 original towers of San Gimignano remain today. The towers were originally used to watch for invading enemies and later became a symbol of power for many of the richest families.  If you choose you may want to climb up one of them to get a sense of history and to enjoy the beautiful view.  We will then taste some of the best local Vernaccia (white wine) with a light lunch;  Returning in time for a Castle tour explaining the restoration of this Historic Registry Building before enjoying a local dinner.

Siena

Day 3 Siena and Sleep at CDS:

After enjoying our morning espresso we will then depart with a local guide for the medieval city of Siena, most famous for its horse race, the Palio. Our tour guide will lead us through this charming city unspoiled by time.  We will visit the Medici town hall, the magnificent Piazza del Campo (town square), the spectacular sculpture-studded Duomo (church) and its museum with works by Pinturicchio, Pisano and Michelangelo, and visit the most important parts of the city.  We will then lunch in one of the most authentic local restaurants of Siena, eating as the contra’s (rivaling neighborhood factions) of Siena do just before their traditional Palio horse race.  After lunch we will be on our own to shop and explore the city of Siena.  We will return to Castello delle Serre for a casual dinner with wine.

Pienza

Day 4 Montalcino & Pienza, Sleep at CDS:

We will travel to “Picture Perfect Pienza”. This little gem of a city was created by Aeneas Silvius Piccolomini, who became Pope Pius II. He transformed the farming village where he was born into his personal renaissance utopia. We will taste some of the famous pecorino cheese produced in this area before we proceed onto the fortified town of Montalcino, situated on the “little mountain” with a 14th century castle. Montalcino was a retreat for the Sienese when the Emperor Charles V captured their city. We will enjoy lunch with the local wine in the village before visiting our favorite producer of Brunello di Montalcino, the king of Italian reds. We will enjoy a fine dinner at a local restaurant on the way back to the Castello.

Montepulciano

Day 5 Montepulciano and Sleep at CDS:

Today we will tour the unknown countryside of Tuscany.  We’ll explore the byroads and quaint villages not in the tourist books, the places that are still unspoiled.  After a wine tasting of Vino Nobile in the beautiful town of Montepulciano, we’ll have lunch in one of the historic cellars in the center of town, followed by time to shop.  Later we’ll return to Castello delle Serre for a casual pizza party night with the Castello family!

Duomo Italy

Day 6 Orvieto & Cooking Demonstration and Sleep at CDS:

We will board the bus for Orvieto, famous for their much celebrated Duomo. The Duomo is thought to have Italy’s most beautiful Gothic facade and there we will view the fascinating Signorelli frescos.  We will stroll though Orvieto with a local guide and taste the local wines during our lunch. We will return on the early side to pack for our departure early the next morning. A cooking demonstration will take place before dinner at the Castello.

Deruta Italy

Day 7 Deruta for Ceramics and Sagrantino Winery and Sleep at San Crispino:

In the morning we will travel to Deruta, the center of Italian maiolica ware (pottery) since the 14th century.  We will observe “Ceramisti” modeling the clay in a pottery factory where we can purchase the wares and have them shipped to our homes.  Next we’ll be visiting Sagrantino Winery.  Sagrantino is the Italian grape of the Umbria region.  Known for its high tannic levels, this fruit produces wines that are inky purple with an almost-black center.  The bouquet is one of dark, brooding red fruits with hints of plum, cinnamon and earth. This wine has a relatively small production and is not widely known outside Italy!  Then it is dinner before we retire to San Crispino for the night.

Assisi

Day 8 Assisi and Sleep at San Crispino

After breakfast, we will tour with a local guide this beautiful medieval town, with lovely views and fountains-splashed piazzas. We will visit the Basilica di San Francesco with its beautiful frescoes, the Temple of Minerva, the Basilica Santa Chiara and stroll through the streets where St. Francis walked.  We will shop at our leisure with a light lunch.  Our farewell dinner will be in Assisi after we pack for our departure on Sunday.

City View

Day 9 Florence

Early departure for Florence.  We will stop for cappuccino in Cortona, home of the novel and movie “Under the Tuscan Sun” and walk the Corso to see all the beautiful, classic Italian crafts. From leather gloves, to cashmere scarves, Borsellino hats and fine art galleries, Cortona has it all. This charming hill top village was once the summer hunting grounds of the kings of Italy, we will be witness to its small “big city” feel. The first drop-off will be at the train station around 12:00 pm, if needed.  The second drop off will follow immediately at the Hotel River in Florence.

The Tour will Include

  • All meals (continental breakfast, lunch and evening meal)
  • Beverages included with meals and select outings
  • Bilingual local tour guides
  • Bus transportation
  • Eight nights lodging in a premium Italian Castle and a Historic Inn
  • Accommodations based on double occupancy
  • Sightseeing, tours, museums
  • Wine and olive oil tasting
  • Cooking demonstration
Vineyards

The Tour does Not include

  • Air transportation and Travel insurance
  • Laundry and Room Service
  • Telephone charges
  • Gratuity to local tour guides and bus drivers
Book Now!

This is an active, walking tour of the hill towns. Walking is required and is an important part of this excursion. All trip members are expected to be active, to be in good health, to enjoy traveling as part of a group and to be ready to experience cultural differences with grace and good manners.

Tour Price:  $4,695 per person double occupancy includes applicable taxes.

Passports:  U.S. Citizens must be in possession of a VALID passport. All other nationalities must check with the Italian consulate for proper papers.

Visas:  NO VISA REQUIRED for U.S. Citizens; others check with your local Consulate. This is your responsibility.

Reservations:  A deposit of $2400 per person is required to secure a reservation. Space is limited to 18 travelers and is on a first come-first-served basis.

Balance Tour Fees:  The balance of the tour cost ($2295) is due on or before December 31, 2019.

Cancellation:  PLEASE READ CAREFULLY, AS WE WILL ABSOLUTELY ADHERE TO THE FOLLOWING CANCELLATION POLICY.
Cancellations may be submitted for double occupancy only and must be written and dated, for the proper refund. Cancellations before December 31, 2019 is refundable, less $500 per person. After January 1, 2020, there will be no refunds.

Validity: TOUR is based on a minimum of 16 participants. In the event the minimum numbers of 16 participants do not book the Castello di Amorosa Tour, Castello di Amorosa Winery reserves the right to cancel the tour. In the event Castello di Amorosa cancels the tour for lack of participants, a full refund will be given. All rates are based on the current value of the US Dollar and are subject to change without notice.

Insurance:  We strongly recommend that you take out comprehensive insurance. (Health, accident, baggage and trip cancellation) Castello di Amorosa Winery shall not be responsible for any injuries, damages, or losses caused by any traveler in connection with terrorist activities, social or labor unrest, mechanical or construction difficulties, diseases, local laws,
climatic conditions, abnormal conditions or developments, or any other actions, omission, or conditions outside the tour agent’s control. By embarking upon his/her travel, the traveler voluntarily assumes all risks involved with such travel, whether expected or unexpected. Traveler is hereby warned of such risks and is advised to obtain appropriate insurance coverage against them.

To book, contact Wine Club at 707-967-6274 or at Club@CastellodiAmorosa.com .