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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.

Four new guided walking tours in Europe!

March 7th, 2018 by
Ravello, Amalfi Coast, Italy

We are delighted to introduce 4 new guided walking holidays to our portfolio, to some of the most popular destinations! Led by an experienced local guide, escorted trips are ideal for solo travelers, couples and small groups of friends. Share your experiences with the rest of the group, make new friends and stroll through the landscapes together, as a team.
A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles
– Jim Cahill
View of Mount Etna from Taormina
Striking active volcanoes, black beaches, thermal springs and a stunning cobalt sea make the Aeolian Islands a unique must-see destination. On this 7-night trip we’ll explore the varied landscape by boat and on foot, which is without doubt the best way to take in the natural beauty and contrasts of this part of Sicily
.7 nights, inn to inn, guided
• All breakfasts, 1 lunch and 1 evening meal
• Walk on Mount Etna, Europe’s highest active volcano
• See the continuous volcanic activity of Stromboli
• Discover the picturesque villages of the Aeolian Islands
•Walk around Vulcano’s spectacular crater rim
• Prices starting from $1,545 pp
Positano, Amalfi Coast, Italy

Walking the Amalfi Coast

The stunning Amalfi Coast, in the middle of the boot of Italy, you’ll visit picture-postcard Positano and uncover food traditions that are being kept alive by the locals. On this trip we mix awe-inspiring scenery with 2,000 years of history and delicious regional cuisine
.7 nights center based, guided
• All breakfasts, 4 lunches and 6 evening meals
•Walk the heady ‘Path of the Gods’ to Positano
• Stroll through Amalfi’s cobbled streets
•Discover 2,000-year-old history in Pompeii
•Delicious regional cuisine: fresh seafood dishes, vegetables
and fruit, handmade pasta and pizza (invented in Naples!)
• Prices starting from $1,435 pp

Walking Cala Gonone
Walking in Sardinia

With its stark beauty, crystal clear waters, golden beaches and undulating limestone ridges, Sardinia is one of the Mediterranean’s finest gems. Based in the Dorgali area, we explore the idyllic forest-framed coastline of the north and the rugged rocky mountains of the south, walking through valleys, gorges, peaks and spectacular turquoise bays.

7 nights center based, guided
• All breakfasts, 5 picnic lunches, 5 evening meals and 1 wine-tasting
•One of the wildest islands in the Mediterranean
• Stunning sandy beaches
•Fascinating ancient Nuraghic monuments
•Boat trips, paddling and swimming opportunities
• Prices starting from $1,545 pp

 

Walking in the Austrian Tyrol

Walking in the Austrian Tyrol

Stretching along the valley at the northern end of Tyrol’s largest lake, the quiet village of Achenkirch is the perfect base for a week of walking. Surrounded by the lush meadows and jagged peaks of the Rofan and Karwendel mountain ranges, the walking trails throughout the area are plentiful, and of varying grades.

7 nights center based, guided
• All breakfasts and all evening meals
• Beautiful Tyrolean scenery
• Spectacular views as we climb up the Rofan and Karwendel mountain ranges
• Moderate and challenging walks – pick which level suits you each day
• Traditional local Tyrolean cuisine
• Climb to mountain summits including the imposing Hochiss (2,298m)
• Prices starting from $1,505 pp

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.



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