This trip is offered exclusively to club members. To become a club member, click here.
Fred & Nancy Cline invite club members "Under the Tuscan Sun" at
Tuscany. Images immediately spring to mind: rolling hills gold with wheat waving in the breeze, winding roads lined with Cypress trees, hillside villas with red-tiled roofs, vineyards aflame in autumn colors. This romantic region, steeped in history, is the birthplace of the Renaissance that swept through European art, philosophy, and culture. Evidence of those cultural movements appears around every corner– from the stunning architecture, to frescoes painted on walls and arches, and the statues and reliefs carved into buildings and fountains. Today, Italy is home to the Slow Food movement, a mission to connect artisanal producers, farmers, chefs, restaurateurs and epicureans with enthusiastic and educated consumers. Nowhere are these principals more at home than in Tuscany, where wineries, cheesemakers, and farmers of all kinds take particular pride in their creations. We invite you to spend a week in the extraordinary Villa Laura exploring the magical region of Tuscany and its many charms. Che Bella Italia!
After a night of heavenly sleep, open your eyes to the unequaled Tuscan morning light.
8.30am – Linger over breakfast in the villa dining room then lace up your walking shoes and head to Cortona.
9.30am –Start your first day exploring Le Celle, the monastery that was once home to St. Francis of Assisi. Continue to Museo dell’Accademia Etrusca, where ancient Etruscan artifacts tell the story of Tuscan life in the 2nd century BCE. At La Loggietta you’ll sip wine and savor local flavors as the tower bells ring and the town bustles beneath you in Cortona’s main square. Then it’s back to the Villa for an afternoon of relaxation, or a self-guided adventure of your own. Wander and shop through cobblestone streets, duck into ancient alleyways, marvel at the endless views. Cortona really is the iconic Tuscan town of your imagination.
8pm – Evening meal is served at the villa.
8.30am - Enjoy breakfast at the Villa.
9.30am – You’re off to Assisi, the birthplace of St. Francis of Assisi and the spiritual capital of Umbria. Tour the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Basilica di San Francesco, and immerse yourself in Italian art through the ages. The basilica includes frescoes by Giotto, Lorenzetti, and Cimabue; stained glass windows from 13th-century British, German, and Flemish craftsmen; and relics from St Francis’ life. Following the basilica tour, explore Assisi in your own time, wander the cobble streets and visit the little artisan shops before meeting back up with the group.
2pm – A special treat: Head to the Bibenda wine bar in the center of Assisi to meet with Sommelier and owner Nila Halun. Taste wines from the Umbria region together with a light lunch of local hams, cheeses, homemade jams and other local specialties.
8pm – Evening meal is served at the villa, if you still have room.
Please make your own flight arrangements to Rome Fiumincino airport. We’ll meet you at the Hilton airport hotel at 1pm. The hotel is a 5 minute walk from arrival terminals 1, 2 and 3 through a covered tunnel and very visible posted sign. You’ll find a bar and comfortable seating areas to relax, refresh and enjoy your first Italian coffee before heading to the villa! You will meet your tour guide and board the bus for the the 2 hour journey to Cortona.
3.30/4pm – Arrival time at Villa Laura.
7pm – “Aperitivo” is served! We will all gather to sip prosecco and get to know each other a little better. Laura, your tour guide for the week will give a short talk on the area and the history of the villa.
8pm – Evening meal is served. Prepared by the villa chefs highlighting the region’s seasonal, local cuisine using our organic vegetable garden.
8.30am – Enjoy breakfast at the villa
9.30am – leave for Castello Brolio in Chianti. Start at the castle with a visit to the gardens, family chapel and private museum. After the castle it’s off to one of the most beautiful places on the estate, one of our Cru vineyards. Then to the wine cellars, and finally a private seated Cru wine tasting.
1pm – Enjoy a four-course Tuscan lunch at the castle’s restaurant Osteria del Castello, complete with wine.
The evening is free to enjoy as you wish.
8.30am – Enjoy breakfast at the villa.
After breakfast you have a leisurely morning to spend as you desire, head into Cortona for a coffee or relax at the villa. At 11.30am you’ll to the Avignonesi winery. Tour the vineyards and grounds, including a restored 19th-century farm estate. Learn about the unique terroir and character of their vineyards, and their meticulous farming practices. The tour culminates with a multi-course lunch at the winery restaurant.
After lunch, stretch your legs by exploring the streets of Montepulciano, the medieval and Renaissance town founded by Lars Porsena, the Etruscan King. Climb the narrow stone streets and enjoy the views the incline affords.
5.30pm - Meet at the rally point to return to the Villa.
The evening is free for you to enjoy as you please.
Pienza and San Quirico
8.30am – Enjoy breakfast at the villa.
9.30am – Leave the villa and head to the beautiful hilltop town of Pienza. Stop just outside the town walls for a tour and tasting at the farm of a local artisan cheese maker. Enjoy a light lunch of cheese, sliced meats, homemade bread and other local specialties. Then head into the small, Renaissance gem that is Pienza’s main Piazza. Learn a bit of local history as you take in the Palazzo and cathedral, then explore the town on your own.
On the way home the bus will stop in San Quirico to give you a chance to walk around, visit the gardens and have a coffee on the main square.
7.30pm – Evening meal at the villa
Cooking lesson, Il Falconeire
8.30am – Breakfast at the villa
Spend the morning and early afternoon as you please. Eat breakfast at the Villa. Walk into Cortona and buy those last few mementos. Pack and relax.
3.30pm - head to the exquisite Relais Il Falconiere for an unforgettable group cooking class and multi-course dinner.
Arrivederci! Enjoy your last breakfast at the Villa before departing for the Rome airport.
Please note that the bus will make stops at Rome Centre and the airport. If you need to travel to another destination, you will need to make your own transportation arrangements.
• Breakfast is offered daily at 8:30.
• All scheduled tours, museum visits, transportation, meals, and wines served with dinner are included in the cost of registration.
• Additional or unscheduled meals, excursions and taxis are extra.
|ABOUT VILLA LAURA
The Villa accommodates 18 guests in nine rooms, each with its own en suite bathroom. Other amenities include air-conditioning, swimming pool, hot tub, pond, wood-burning pizza oven and Wi-Fi.
Originally built in 1504, Villa Laura is two buildings— the main villa and adjacent farmhouse. Both are completely restored and decorated in tasteful blending of traditional style with modern comfort. The recently remodeled kitchens and bathrooms are custom built by local craftsmen using marble and original stone where possible. All of the beautiful old terra cotta floors have been lifted, cleaned, and re-laid. Traditional Tuscan Busatti fabrics can be seen throughout, along with porcelain-painted antique wall lights and Baccarat crystal chandeliers. Beds are primarily four-posters made in nearby Spello by an artisan ironworker. All bedding is top-of-the-line luxury. The walled city of Cortona and its shops and restaurants are five minutes away by car or 15 minutes on foot.
October 18th - 25th
Deluxe suites - $3950 per person based on double occupancy
Standard rooms - $3650 per person based on double occupancy
Single supplement - $1000
Deluxe suites are larger. Most suites and rooms feature both a bath tub and shower. Prices are per person for wine club members.
Not a member? Join today and then book your trip!
BOOK YOUR TRIP TODAY!
Contact Teresa at 707.931.7544 or email@example.com