Italy with Stefano de Pieri


Italy with Stefano – Food and Culture tour

TUSCANY & ROME
15 – 25 September 2018

10 night/11 day tour

Maximum 10 guests

– 6 places booked, only 4 places remain –
Book now for the 2018 Tour

Italy with Stefano – Food and Culture tour to Tuscany & Rome
Saturday 15th September – Tuesday 25th September, 2018
Hosted by celebrity cook, Stefano de Pieri

Come and join me on an unforgettable journey through two different, but equally emotional parts of Italy – Tuscany & Rome. Come with me and share in the history, the arts, the food and the wine of these regions, and above all, to relax with a laugh or two.

Stefano de Pieri

Features and Inclusions

Celebrity cook, Stefano de Pieri & Donata Carrazza as your personal hosts throughout the tour
Fully escorted excursions, scenic drives, sightseeing visits as described in the itinerary
All entrance fees/tickets to listed visits
Local tour leader, professional guides for all excursions
Private transfers throughout the tour
7 nights’ villa accommodation in Tuscany
3 nights’ 5-star hotel  accommodation in Rome
House keeper and cleaning included at the villa
All meals as outlined in the itinerary including meals prepared by Stefano
All wine and food tastings as per itinerary
Fully stocked pantry with food and wine at the villa

Cost

per person, twin share (land only)

– $10,900AUD

Single supplement
– $4,000AUD

Book now for the 2018 tour

Itinerary

DAY 1: Saturday 15th September 2018 – FLORENCE/TAVERNELLE VAL DI PESA, TUSCANY
2pm – Tour commences. Meeting point at Florence main train station, Santa Maria Novella – in front of train station, near taxi rank. (Keep a look out for assistant with Avanti Italy sign)
Be greeted by assistant at meeting point at Florence train station (Santa Maria Novella) and transferred to Villa Castellare dei Sergnini, Tavarnelle di Pesa, Tuscany where Stefano will be waiting to greet you.
Meet your hosts, Stefano and Donata and enjoy a welcome refreshment on arrival at the villa and get to know your fellow travellers. Meet friends and owners of the estate; Enzo and Annagloria and settle into the villa.

Free afternoon to relax at the villa with a glass of wine and enjoy the surrounds.

Welcome Dinner at villa – Traditional Tuscan dinner prepared by Stefano
(R, D)

DAY 2: Sunday 16th September 2018 – CHIANTI – Tutti-a-tavola cooking class.
Breakfast at the villa

10am – Transfer to Tutti-a-tavola cooking class for a typical Italian style Sunday pranzo (lunch). The Mammas of Tutti-a-tavola invite you to join in to discover the flavour of life in Tuscany. The kitchen in Tuscany is called “casa”, the centre of the house and family, where traditionally the fireplace is always lit and everybody shares not only meals but social life. Here they invite you to cook with them, not only Tuscan food but the sum of years of traditional family cooking. All participants receive a Tutti-a-tavola apron and recipe book.
3pm – Transfer back to the villa after dinner

Light dinner by Stefano at the villa
(B, L, D)

DAY 3: Monday 17th September 2018 – FREE DAY/TAVERNELLE
Breakfast at the villa

Italian language conversation with Donata and rest of morning free to relax and stroll into Tavarnelle for a coffee and shopping.

For those that wish, spend the day cooking with Stefano – preparing both lunch and dinner.
(B, L, D)
DAY 4: Tuesday 18th September 2018 – FLORENCE AND FIESOLE
Breakfast at the villa

8am – Transfer to Florence where we will meet our guide for 4 hour morning tour in Florence visiting the Santa Maria Novella church and cloisters & San Marco monastery.

9am – 1pm – This morning in Florence is dedicated to masterpiece frescoes and master artists. Through their work we will discover not only the artistry of the technique but the history behind the commissions and the stories of some of the greatest renaissance families. We start by visiting the Santa Maria Novella complex (pharmacy, church, cloisters) a place rich in temporal and spiritual power, mystery and beauty. We then walk to the monastery of San Marco where we will visit not only the cells of the Dominican friars, intact from the 1400s, but also delve deeper into Medici patronage and the family’s connection with the leading artists of the century.
In the between these two sites we will pop in to see a masterpiece fresco by a leading renaissance artist which most walk straight past as it is hidden behind nondescript doors!
There will be a coffee stop at a local bar in the middle of the tour for a refuel!
After the tour, lunch at a local trattoria.

After lunch, enjoy free time for shopping in Florence.

5.30pm – Meet group and guide for transfer to Fiesole, located just 8 kms from Florence, the city has always been considered a getaway for the upper class of Florence and up to this day Fiesole remains the richest municipality in the whole of Tuscany. It is also famous for its stunning views overlooking Florence.

Here we will visit the famous Roman Theatre before heading to Hotel Benicista for an aperitivo abbondante (drinks and finger food) whilst enjoying the stunning view of Florence.

8pm – Depart Fiesole to return to villa
(B, L, Aperitivo Abbondante)

DAY 5: Wednesday 19th September 2018 – FREE DAY/ COOKING AT THE VILLA WITH STEFANO
Breakfast at the villa

Italian language conversation with Donata and rest of morning free to relax and stroll into Tavarnelle for a coffee and shopping or walk to the medieval town of Barberino.

For those that wish, spend the day cooking with Stefano – preparing both lunch and dinner.
(B, L, D)

DAY 6: Thursday 20th September 2018 – TAVERNELLE MARKETS & COOKING WITH STEFANO
Breakfast at the villa

Today we walk into Tavarnelle and meander through the open market in the piazza, selecting fresh local ingredients with Stefano for today’s meals.

Return back to the villa and for those that wish, spend the day cooking with Stefano – preparing both lunch and dinner.
(B, L, D)

DAY 7: Friday 21st September 2018 – LUCCA
Breakfast at the villa

8.30am – Transfer to Lucca where we will meet our guide for a 3 hour tour of the city, including the San Michele in Foro church and the Cathedral.

9.30am – 12.30pm – Enjoy a three hour walking tour of the beautiful town of Lucca. We will visit the cathedral and the Romanesque church of San Michele in foro and go back in time to when Lucca was a powerful republic with silk merchants who provided some of the most beautiful silks for Europe. We will walk the medieval streets whilst at the same time hunt out the remains of the ancient Roman city. Lucca was the only city in Tuscany to retain her independence from the Medici dukes in Florence and she is a beautiful discovery loved by all.
Lunch at a typical Tuscan trattoria.

Enjoy free time in Lucca before heading back to the villa.

Dinner at the villa by Stefano
(B, L, D)

DAY 8: Saturday 22nd September 2018 – DEPART TUSCANY FOR ROME
Breakfast at the villa

9.30am – Depart Castellare de’ Sernigi for Rome (approx. 3 hour drive).

Stop along the way for a casual lunch at an Autogrill (not included)

Check-in to 5-star hotel, Eitch Borromini – Palazzo Pamphili, in the heart of Rome.

2.45pm- Meet driver for transfer to meet our guide Amy for our tour; From the Ancient to the Baroque: Hidden Rome – including Santa Teresa in Ecstasy, Santa Sabina & Basilica of San Clemente

3pm – 6pm – Today we will explore off the beaten track masterpieces of baroque, early Christian and ancient Roman architecture and art.

Our tour today will begin at the Basilica of San Clemente where we will explore three layers of history, the 12th century modern church complete with Byzantine mosaics, followed by the exploration underneath of the 4th century early Christian basilica complete with fascinating (and controversial!) 11th century frescoes. Our final layer will take to the ancient Roman layer to explore a 1st century apartment building complete with ancient Mithraic temple before crossing the road (yes, metres underground!) into another building to explore the ancient Roman mint.

We will then go to one of the most historically important and indeed beautiful seven hills of Rome, the Aventine Hill. Here we will visit the romantic Park of the Oranges complete with one of the most beautiful views over Rome, before visiting one of the best preserved early Christian basilicas in Rome, Santa Sabina. Here you will see Saint Domenic’s orange tree and the oldest wooden door in Rome complete with one of the oldest carved images of Christ on the crucifix. You will then view the secret keyhole of the Knights of Malta. Believe it or not you will look through the keyhole and view three separate states at once!
We will then finish our tour with a visit to the small church of Santa Maria della Vittoria which houses one Gianlorenzo Bernini’s most controversial sculptures – Santa Teresa in Ecstasy. Was her state of ecstasy provoked from being struck by a heavenly arrow or something more salacious?

6.30pm – Return back to Hotel, freshen up and prepare for dinner

7.30pm – Meet group in Hotel foyer for Welcome to Rome dinner at a local restaurant.
(B, D)

DAY 9: Sunday 23rd September – ROME
Breakfast at hotel

10.20am – Meet driver and transfer to Villa Borghese to meet our guide, Amy for our tour –
Art & Passion: Galleria Borghese
11am – Today we will explore one of the most beautiful galleries in Rome, the Galleria Borghese. The Villa Borghese, built for the infamous Cardinal Nephew of Pope Paul V, Scipione Borghese, was designed as a personal art gallery to show off the Cardinal’s art collection obtained by often nefarious yet highly original means. Today this collection houses magnificent pieces by artists such as Caravaggio, Titian, Raphael and Bernini together with an exquisite collection of ancient sculpture. We will explore the art, the artists, the scandals and the passions of one of the finest collections of art in the world.

Late lunch at a local Trattoria

Free afternoon and evening for shopping and to explore Rome on own.
(B, L)

DAY 10: Monday 24th September 2018 – ROME
Breakfast at hotel

9am – Meet our guide Amy for a walking Food & Art tour of Rome.

Today we will be combining two of our favourite passions, food & art.

9am – 12pm – During this 3 hour experience we will visit a market stall in a small piazza near the Pantheon run by the same family for 57 years where we will try the freshest seasonal fruit and vegetables, freshly made cheese, local bread as well as taste the family’s olive oil and wine from the Roman hills. Further along we will taste and learn more about the regional cheeses that underpin Rome’s best loved dishes and experiment with tradition and innovation by tasting a selection of salamis and cured meats.

As we weave our way around Rome’s cobbled streets eating and drinking we will visit churches that house works by seminal artists such as Caravaggio and Raphael and also visit the streets where Caravaggio lived work, drank and accidentally killed a man after a medieval form of tennis!
Free afternoon to explore Rome and for shopping.

7pm – Meet the group in the hotel foyer to enjoy our last night in Rome!
(B, D)

DAY 11: Tuesday 25th September 2018 – DEPART ROME
Farewell breakfast at hotel

10am – Conclusion of the Italy with Stefano tour and time to bid farewell and transfer to Rome airport.

Arrivederci e Buon viaggio!
(B)