Victoria Goyet of Endless Beginnings Tours offers "Living the Tuscan Dream"
Endless Beginnings, a leading Italian and French travel organizer introduces a true insider’s tour, not only traveling the way it should be, but the way it used to be…. a small select group personally escorted by their host, Tuscan castle owner Salvatore Gangale.
[USPRwire, Wed Aug 18 2010] Victoria Goyet, president of Endless Beginnings (http:// www.endlessbeginnings.com), a leading USA based Italian and French tour operator, has grown tired of tours claiming to be “unique”, showing the “real” or “undiscovered” Tuscany. Victoria believes if Tuscany was undiscovered, it wouldn’t be on everyone's travel agenda. So Endless Beginnings has introduced a true insider’s tour, not only traveling the way it should be, but the way it used to be…. a small select group personally escorted by their host, Tuscan castle owner Salvatore Gangale, who’s been living the dream in Tuscany since 1994! This is a ONE time departure for those who can plan a "last minute" holiday to a place that is uniquely special!
Beginning on October 16th from Florence until October 23rd the itinerary for this one time departure follows:
October 16th: Depart from a central location within Florence, traveling to San Gimignano for a guided visit as you step back in time in this photogenic hilltop town, famous for crown of towers. Meet fellow travelers over lunch before continuing on to Monteriggioni, a medieval hamlet whose circular walls and towers are among the best preserved in Italy. A late afternoon arrival at your destination, Castello delle Serre, a luxurious castle inn and your home base for the next 7 nights. Unwind and relax at the welcome cocktail reception!
October 17th: Begin the day with a leisurely breakfast at the loggia bar before the 10 am departure to explore the Chianti Classico wine country. Begin with wine tastings at select boutique wineries in Radda in Chianti and Castellina in Chianti one of Chianti's prettiest villages before a light snacking lunch. Afterwards, an afternoon guided tour of a Castle winery followed by an exclusive winery tour at a friends' estate, Tolaini, where the wine making is state of the art and quality is the top priority. They'll host a private dinner of Tuscan fare paired with their exquisite wines ~ a real treat for the senses!
October 18th: It's the best of Siena on the agenda today ~ it hasn't changed much since it’s heyday during the medieval ages. In complete contrast with its archrival Florence, Siena is a maze of brickwork and narrow alleyways. Meet your Sienese local guide for a tour of the magnificent black & white striped Duomo, site of the Palio race, the Piazza del Campo and the church of San Domenico. Enjoy a one of a kind dining experience as you have lunch at Antica Osteria Da Divo. The restaurant is made up of ancient Etruscan rooms cut out of volcanic “tufa” stone interspersed with medieval remains and walls. Return to the Castello for a little relaxation before a light dinner of wood fired pizzas from our own oven.
October 19th: Following breakfast take a personalized tour led by your host, Salvatore, to Italy’s second most visited abbey, Monte Oliveto Maggiore. This peaceful and beautiful Benedictine abbey was begun in 1319 and is most famous for its Great Cloister decorated with 36 frescos depicting the life of St. Benedict. The abbey is just a short scenic drive from the Castello and sits atop some of the most picturesque countryside of this area. The monks here produce their own olive oil, grains, wines, and liqueurs and are available in their small shop. After the tour its on to lunch at a friend's local restaurant. Return to the Castello in the afternoon for a special cooking lesson followed by dinner we have all prepared together!
October 20th: A day to Relax & Re-energise! Spend the day rejuvenating yourself in the healing thermal waters of Terme di San Giovanni. This recently renovated spa has magnificent views of the surrounding valley is just a short distance from "home". The entrance fee for use of the hot sulphuric pools is included in the tour package. but if you'd like treatments & massages those must be booked in advance and are at additional charge. While lunch is on your own, we recommend enjoying the spa’s lovely cafè for a simple and tasty bite. The afternoon, which is at leisure, is followed by dinner at Ischieto, an elegant farmhouse that specializes in local food & wines as well as homemade cheeses, fresh pastas, top quality meats and excellent desserts.
October 21st: A tour of the Val d'Orcia towns of Montalcino & Pienza are a must for lovers of Tuscan food & wine. The hilltop town of Montalcino is home to the famous Brunello and Rosso di Montalcino wines and we have organized a special visit to some of our favourite wineries. Then it's on to the abbey of Sant Antimo, a place of deep mysticism and spirituality where , if the timing is right, you'll hear the monks' Gregorian chants. The day continues in Pienza, Italy’s finest example of Renaissance architecture, a town built to memorialize a Pope! You'll have time to enjoy a casual lunch on your own before a walking tour of the town, ambling along the picturesque Via dell’Amore and stopping for a Pecorino cheese tasting, a pungent sheep’s cheese that is Pienza’s specialty. The scenic drive back to the Castello through the Val D’Orcia at sunset is breathtaking. Dinner will be served at another great local restaurant.
October 22nd: For the final day of touring, visit two towns brought to light by the American movie industry, Cortona and Montepulciano! Cortona, a town of Etruscan origin, clings to a hill just beyond Lago Trasimeno and is best known these days as the setting for Frances Mayes’ novel “Under the Tuscan Sun” though it has a long and proud history. The winding road up to town is surrounded with olive groves, monumental churches, monasteries and convents & topped with a hilltop fortress while Cortona itself is filled with steep alleyways, artsy shops, and open air cafès. Take time for lunch on your own here before departing for Montepulciano, more recently known as the setting for “New Moon” of the Twilight series. This has been an Italian favorite long before the movie for the exquisite red wine, Vino Nobile, and the elegant renaissance façades. Visit the Cantina del Redi, housed in the exceptional Renaissance building, Palazzo Ricci, for a very special wine tasting. In the late afternoon return to Castello delle Serre to unwind before the farewell dinner with live music.
To be one of the select few (no more than twelve) to experience this Tuscan Dream.
Endless Beginnings Tours
8121 Forest Shadow Circle
Cornelius, North Carolina 28031