Florence & Tuscany ‘live the life’



This tour is geared to people who are both first timers to both Florence and the Tuscan countryside but also those who are already lovers of it all.

How can it appeal to all levels?

Because for the first timers it is an unbelievable full immersion to all things authentically Tuscan in terms of food, art, culture and history. It will provide a thorough base for all future Italian trips both in Tuscany and Italy in general.

For the already addicted, it will simply take your existing knowledge to a deeper understanding. The daily tours with Freya and Sara, art historians and lovers of the whole Italian package, will really go beyond the usual superficial information readily available in standard tours and guidebooks.

The restaurants are Freya & Sara’s favourite haunts and the menus have been chosen to give a an excellent gastronomic experience and perfectly complement each other.

Monday October 16th: 

4:00pmРWe jump straight into Renaissance Florence and start with a visit to see masterpiece frescoes by renaissance artists and  hunt out renaissance architecture and sculpture finishing with a visit to the Medici home from the 1400s.

We have an Italian aperitivo together and continue onto a wonderful dinner together with a menu planned to really introduce you to some of the gastronomic delights for which the area is so well renowned.

7pmР Aperitivo

8:00pm– Dinner

Dinner is included

 

Tuesday October 17th:

9:00am– We start the day with the magnificent Franciscan church Santa Croce stacked full of masterpieces followed by some of the best renaissance bronze and marble sculpture at the Bargello national sculpture museum. After a coffee break at one of our favourite caffes we conclude the morning with a visit to the medieval town hall converted into the first Medici ducal palace in the 1500s.

12:30pm– Lunch together

2:30pm ‚Äď We step into the shoes of the multi-talented craftsman from the medieval and renaissance period and we each make a fresco with a professional fresco artist and teacher at his workshop.

We each make a fresco from start to finish and then take it home with us afterwards. This is a two hour activity.

Dinner is on your own today. We will be happy to give you suggestions

Breakfast and lunch are included.

 

Wednesday October 18th:

8:15am– We begin with an early start today so as to avoid the large crowds at the Accademia gallery and have the Michelangelo works as much as possible to ourselves. Afterwards, we step back in time and visit the stunning and intact San Marco monastery renovated in the 1400s and understand how monastic life was in the renaissance. We experience the work of the great master Fra Angelico who lived here and decorated both the monastic cells and the communal areas.

After a coffee stop, we visit the duomo (cathedral) Santa Maria del Fiore and the magnificent baptistery with the masterpiece medieval mosaic ceiling.

Lunch is on your own today. We will be happy to give you suggestions

Free afternoon

7.00 pm- Aperitivo at the Hotel

7.30pm– Dinner

Breakfast and dinner are included

 

Thursday October 19th:

8:30am– check out

9:00 am– We bid farewell to Florence from the best vantage point overlooking the city, from in front of the San Miniato al Monte church. After a tour of this favourite Florentine one thousand year old church with magnificent medieval mosaics and a breathtaking renaissance chapel, we leave for the Tuscan countryside.

We visit a cheese farm nestled in the heart of Tuscany and discover how the cheese making process works as well as a delicious degustation of the fruits of their work.

Lunch is at a favourite family run place of ours and afterwards we visit a monastery to see a masterpiece fresco recently restored and open to the public after decades of being closed, by the renaissance master painter Domenico Ghirlandaio.

In the late afternoon we check in to our accommodation and have some relax time before a wonderful dinner that we have planned with the chef in the restaurant paired with the wines produced on the property.

8:00pm- Dinner at the Agriturismo

Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included

 

Friday October 20th:

9:00am– After breakfast we leave for Siena. In this stunning medieval city, long time rival to Florence, we start the visit with the internationally renowned cathedral, a treasure trove of beautiful craftsmanship followed by the museum of the cathedral for the masterpiece painting by the Sienese great, Duccio di Buoninsegna. We continue to the town hall to visit the most famous secular artwork from Italian medieval art, the Good & Bad Government cycle. Walking the streets in Siena we hunt out the symbols of the numerous neighbourhoods and enjoy the beauty of what some have called Medieval Pompei so much does Siena seem a step back in time to seven hundred years ago.

We lunch together in Siena.

Afterwards, we have a short visit to the delightful medieval town of San Gimignano. We visit together the main church called the Collegiata and then there is some free time to simply enjoy and soak up the atmosphere.

8:00pm- Dinner at the Agriturismo

Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included

 

Saturday October 21st:

9:00am– Today is dedicated to the smaller villages in the Chianti area of Tuscany. The lesser known places, the age old authentic places where time seems eternal. Lunch at a wonderful local place together and stops for wine tasting and coffee at places where you need to have a local to discover.

8:00pm– Dinner

Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included

 

Sunday October 22nd:

9:00am– Check out

Breakfast is included

Cost:

The total cost per person is 2800 euro.

What is included?

Hotel (3 stars) cost based on twin share room (single occupancy supplement applies).

All breakfasts, 4 lunches, 5 dinners (fixed menus with food and beverages included).

All guided tours & admissions to sites & individual headsets for the tours (to hear the guide better).

Transport in Tuscany (new, comfortable, elegant Mercedes 7 seater vans enabling us to drive right inside the historical sites where traffic is restricted).

What is not included?

Dinner on day 2 and Lunch on day 3.

Transport arriving to Florence.

The six-day Florence & Tuscan experience has been designed by Freya Middleton and Sara Papini.  Together they will be present for all tours and meals.

 

Who we are:

Sara is born and bred in Florence and is proud as punch about it! After a degree in art history from the university of Florence she set off to fine tune her English in London. There, she worked in the field of her two great passions: the British museum for the art and history and at a Virgin active club teaching swimming and aqua aerobics.
When not making waves and setting records for butterfly at the non-professional European competitions, Sara can be found in Florence hunting out the local artisans, the best budino di riso at any of the caffes or studying for a new and exciting itinerary.

Freya is born and bred in Sydney and whilst she feels Australian and her Aussie twang doesn’t seem to be going anywhere too soon, Florence is her home and Italy is her office and she is tickled pink about it!
Initially drawn to art history because of her love of a good story and symbolism, she never managed to leave Italy after arriving for the first time on a post graduate research  scholarship in 2000 because Italy fuels her curiosity and excitement.

Why Freya’s Italian Experience was created:

Freya and Sara have been working together for the past seven years and they decided to launch Freya’s Italian Experience as they both recognised in each other a shared boundless enthusiasm, energy, joie de vivre, work ethic, love of people and limitless thirst for exciting projects and love of all things Italian.

They constantly search to go beyond the obvious and love to truly understand the numerous layers of meaning in Italian culture, history and art. Communicating and sharing their knowledge through creating a dialogue between the present and past through the local people of today and the art of yesterday is their vocation.