This is a journey to discover Amiata and its surrounding from ancient to modern history, through cherches and museums, old roads and good tuscan cuisine.
The history of Amiata covers a vast period: the Etruscans, the early and late Middle Ages, modern and finally contemporary times. Churches and castles, picturesque villages, tombs thousands of years old, all cast their spells.
Day 1 – Arrival
rrive at the hotel and check in to your room. While you are enjoying an aperitif your tour leader will talk about the tour. Typical local dishes will be served at dinner together with specially selected wines from the surrounding area. After dinner multimedia show to introduce Mount Amiata and its territory.
Day 2 – The Etruscans in Tuscany
The first trip will be to Sorano where we shall visit the Etruscan necropolis dating back to the fourth century B.C.
Then we shall walk along the roads hewn out of the living rock to the village itself, where you will be able to see the fascinating architecture of the castle and the houses, fused into a unified setting.
Next is Pitigliano, a small town with a unique history where past meets present; medieval architecture merges with Etruscan grottoes carved out of the living rock.
We will lunch in the old centre at a typical ‘hostaria’ where we will also be able to taste the famous white Pitigliano DOC.
In the afternoon a visit to Palazzo Orsini, principal seat of the Aldobrandeschi family in the Middle Ages.Events surrounding the great traveller, Nicolo III, an officer in the Venetian army are also of great interest. There is also a Jewish quarter in Pitigliano called “La Piccola Gerusalemme” (little Jerusalem), and it was the most important Jewish settlement in this area although there were others at Santa Fiora and Piancastagnaio.Many things remind us of them.
In the late afternoon return to the hotel for dinner.
Day 3 – Monte Amiata’s Romantic Villages
This morning our route will take us along the “anello dell’Amiata” starting in Abbadia San Salvatore, an extremely old village whose Abbey, founded in the eighth century by King Ratchis, a Lombard, is particularly interesting. Not to miss the evocative crypt under the church, the earliest part of it. There is something magical about the village which is undoubtedly of one Tuscany’s hidden treasures.
Following, visit to the mine area of the village: the discovery of cinnabar, from which mercury is extracted, in the mid nineteenth century led to an industrial revolution that changed Abbadia SS into one of the most important mining centres in the world. The related museum illustrates this epoch.
Lunch in a typical restaurant with traditional dishes from Abbadia San Salvatore.
In the afternoon visit to Santa Fiora. The villages on Amiata are very different: some mystical, others exciting, but Santa Fiora is the most romantic and poetic of them all. Even Dante mentions it in Canto XI of Purgatory. You will have a walk along the old centre and inside Peschiera Park (old fish farm)
Later, departure for the hotel and dinner.
Day 4 – The Etruscans at Chiusi
This morning we visit Chiusi, one of the most important towns in Etruscan times.There is a rich and extensive archaeological zone and a particularly interesting museum.There will be plenty of free time for shopping.
Dinner will be at the hotel after our return.
Day 5 – Castel del Piano’s ancient cellars and Daniel Spoerri’s Garden
Castel del Piano is a fascinating place known not only as the capital of Montecucco DOC, but also for its amazing subterranean cellars. We start the day with a visit to the old part with its outstanding views over the valley.
After a short trip by bus, we shall reachthe pittoresque town of Seggiano for a Montecucco DOC wine tasting.
Then we shall go onto Daniel Spoerri’s garden nearby. Founded in 1992, to exhibit a series of contemporary sculptures by internationally famous artists, it covers eight hectares.
Lunch inside the park restaurant. Following a visit of the known open-air museum.
In the afternoon, return to the hotel by bus.
Day 6 – The Aldobrandeschi’s at Arcidosso and Montecucco Wine
In the morning, leave for Arcidosso and visit to the old town with its amazing Aldobrandeschi castle and the superb view from the top of the tower.
Next, visit to an olive oil mill to discover every thing about Amiata olive ‘cultivar’: Olivastra Seggianese. Following, olive oil tasting. We lunch in a traditional restaurant, and in the afternoon visit the Casa Museum which records what life was like in the nineteenth century.
From here we shall wind down a wonderfully panoramic road to the Val D’Orcia and Montenero, where we shall visit a wine estate.
In the late afternoon, return to the hotel and dinner.
Day 7 – Montalcino and its famous Brunello wine
A morning visit to Montalcino, including a visit to the “Fortezza” (Fort) and free time to wander round the shops.This stunning medieval city is one of the world’s wine capitals.The countryside is very special:undulating hills covered with vines and cypress trees with beautiful stone houses on the summits.
Then we shall head for Castel Nuovo dell’ Abate for lunch.
In the afternoon a visit to the abbey, Sant’Antimo, partly built of glowing alabaster. This abbey is now home to Cistercian monks who sing all the Offices of the day.
We head for the hotel in the late afternoon and dine there.
Day 8 – Departure
After breakfast, final departure.
This is for groups.
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