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Piedmont vs Tuscany – which do you choose?

May 22nd, 2018 by

Timeless Tuscany or Perfect Piedmont?

The sophisticated Piedmont region of northern Italy and timeless Tuscany in the heart of Italy are two of our most popular walking and cycling destinations.

As well as the breathtaking landscapes coming to life, including the grapes growing on the vines in Piedmont, during the summer there are many festivals to enjoy. Meanwhile, in the Chianti region of Tuscany, the Via Francigena is alive with bright sunflowers and fragrant apple orchards, and olive groves glisten in the sunlight.

Here are our highlights of each region.

“I love places that have an incredible history. I love the Italian way of life. I love the food. I love the people. I love the attitudes of Italians.”
– Elton John
Timeless Tuscany

Art Cities, gorgeous landscapes, wine and charming towns and villages all add up to be the quintessential Tuscany experience.

• Explore the unspoiled Chianti countryside and visit the world-famous ‘Super Tuscans’: Florence, with its Renaissance architecture; Pisa, birthplace of Galileo Galilei, and medieval Siena.
• The Chianti region is as varied in its scenery as it is in its wines. The soft rolling hills covered with rows of grapes, quaint hamlets and low lying forests have inspired poets, artists, photographers and travelers for centuries.
•The Chianti wine region is famous for its Chianti and Chianti Classico red wines. The tradition of cultivating vines goes back a long time in history, to the Etruscans that inhabited the area before the Roman Empire.
•Casole d’Elsa is a pretty Etruscan village atop a panoramic ridge, with an amphitheatre and Etruscan tombs; Colle di Val d’Elsa is a fascinating town of two halves with an elevator linking the new piazza with the medieval upper town.

Barberesco, Piedmont Italy
Piedmont

Wine and vineyards, breathtaking views, enchanting hilltop towns and unparalleled gastronomy top the list of reasons to visit Piedmont.

• Producing two of the world’s best red wines, Barolo and Barbaresco, taste your way through the region’s fine vineyards. There is a frisson to walking between rows of sun-smooched vines, with their grapes visibly plumping in the swelter.
•Enjoy magnificent views of dramatic Alpine peaks that seem to float ethereally among the clouds as they encircle the quilted patchwork of vineyards, colorful sunflowers and lush hazelnut groves. Some great photo opportunities!
• Standing proud above vine-cloaked rolling hillsides, towns such as medieval Roddi and Serralunga d’Alba are home to cobbled streets, imposing castles and warm, friendly locals – with amazing views.
•Piedmont’s fertile land is home of the Slow Food Movement. Enjoy quality, local meats served up in mouth-watering  ragùs, aromatic white truffles and signature cheeses like Gorgonzola.

From farm to table in Tuscany

February 8th, 2018 by

 

Montepulciano Tuscany Italy

Two new Tuscany tours for “foodies”

There is no word for “foodie” in Italian; Italians are foodies in the deepest sense of the word. In Italy, food is not simply a meal, it is a culture, a way of life. Ask an Italian to tell you about a dish and they will not just tell you about the fresh local ingredients, but the times and place and people connect to it. Food in Italy is not just food..it is Italy itself.

“When Italians say ‘Mangia! Mangia!’ they’re not just talking about the food…the food was, of course, meant to nourish us, but is was also meant to satisfy, in some deeper way, our endless hunger for one another…We remembered who we were through food.”  
-Sergio Esposito, Passion on the Vine
Italian Cooking Class
Highlights of our Taste of Tuscany walking and cycling tours
• 7 nights center-based accommodations in a warm and welcoming agriturismo
• All buffet breakfasts and 4-course evening meals
• Based in Chianciano Terme, between UNESCO Val d’Orcia and lush green Valdichiana
• Enjoy a day pass to use at the Theia Spa where you can relax in the healing waters
• Fun cooking class with Stefano, owner of the agriturismo – then dine on the meal you prepare!
• Wine-tasting and olive oil tasting sessions included
• A farm-to-table experience with “Zero Mile Cooking”.
Grape Harvesting time in Tuscany
A Taste of Tuscany Walk
 Owner of the agriturismo, Stefano, is extremely passionate about the produce of the local area, and 65% of the produce he cooks with is grown or reared on site on his farm..

Agriturismo La Pietriccia

A Taste of Tuscany Cycling

The views from the agriturismo are stunning. Relax and take in the beauty around you, and chat to Stefano about his farm and products.

View of Chianciano Vecchia
At Lake Chiusi you can enjoy the bird life and lunch at the lakeside restaurant. In the past, residents of Chiusi called the lake “Light of the Moon” because a legend told that in the calm of the night the beautiful good of the sky would come to stare at her reflection in these waters. Above: A glorious view of Chianciano Vecchia, the ancient part of Chianciano.

Breakaway’s 2018 Travel Guide

January 31st, 2018 by
Porto PortugalThis is our round-up of destinations that have either been dubbed as trending for this year by travel and industry experts, or that we have chosen based on anniversaries or celebrations in the regions. Take a look and get some destination inspiration for the year!

 

Algarve Beach
Croatia

Croatia boasts 1,250 mi of coastline, over 1,000 islands, and 8 national parks. And this month, the new James Bond film is filming in Dubrovnik! It’s been chosen as one of the top emerging destinations for 2018 by Forbes and by Skyscanner.

Croatia

7 nights | Hotel-to-hotel | Guided  or Self-guided | Meals vary according to tour
• From $1,485pp

Lake Bled
Julian Alps, Slovenia

With over two-thirds of the region protected by the Triglav National Park, Slovenia’s Julian Alps have been tipped by Lonely Planet as one of the world’s top three must-visit regions for 2018. Admire iconic Lake Bled and its medieval castle.

Slovenia

10 nights | Hotel-to-hotel | Self-guided |  All breakfasts & 4 evening meals
• From $2,325pp

Dolomites

The Dolomites, Italy

2018 marks the centenary of the end of WW1. Poignant reminders of the fighting between Italy and the Austro-Hungarian Empire litter the limestone Italian mountains of the Dolomites. An interesting and beautiful destination.

Dolomites

7 nights | Single-center | Guided or Self-guided | All breakfasts and evening meals
• From $1,455pp

Valletta Malta

Valletta, Malta

Malta’s historic capital Valletta has been granted European Capital of Culture status. This vibrant city is only a short ferry ride away from its more tranquil sister, Gozo. Why not spend extra nights in Valletta and experience its history?

Gozo

7 nights | Single-center | Self-guided | All breakfasts and evening meals
• From $1,205pp

Porto Portugal

Porto, Portugal

Portugal’s second largest city boasts an array of magnificent architecture, including the third most beautiful bookstore in the world, the Lello Bookstore (Livraria Lello), which inspired JK Rowling for her Harry Potter series.

Porto

                 7 nights | Hotel-to-hotel | Self-guided | All breakfasts and 4 evening meals

• From $1,925pp

Germany

 Bavaria, Germany

Southern Bavaria’s fairytale castles are straight from a children’s story book. Neuschwanstein Castle inspired Walt Disney’s Sleeping Beauty castle. ABTA has also featured Germany (including Bavaria) in its Travel Trends Report 2018.

Bavaria

                 7 nights | Single-center | Self-guided | All breakfasts and evening meals

• From $1365pp




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