MAY 26 - June 2, 2019
sEPT 29- oCT 6, 2019
MAY 26 - June 2, 2019
sEPT 29- oCT 6, 2019
Join us for a magical week as we travel to Montalcino, Italy, tucked into the breathtaking southwestern corner of Tuscany, where the unhurried pace of life in a medieval village will leave you refreshed, reawakened and reinvigorated.
We’ll enjoy spending our days just outside the walled village at the exceptional Borgo Canalicchio di Sopra Wine Relais, a beautiful property set among vineyards on one of Brunello di Montalcino’s historic, most renowned estates. We’ll take several day trips and explore the exceptional Tuscany region, including visits to the area’s top wine producers. Come experience the breathtaking vistas across the Val d’Orcia and dip your toes in the healing waters of the Tuscan countryside. Sample fresh pressed olive oil. Take a private cooking class or two. Hunt for truffles in the nearby hills and dine at our favorite restaurants off the beaten path.
Join us for this magical week of ‘la dolce vita’!
The group is limited to 10 participants.
We will meet you at Rome airport and travel to Montalcino by private transport, at which time you can get acquainted with your fellow travelers over a welcome aperitif. After a bit of time to relax, we’ll visit the village and then enjoy our first wine tasting and dinner at cozy Grappolo Blu, a trattoria just off the main piazza.
The day begins with breakfast and then on to a fun trek across the vineyard and up the hill toward Montalcino. You will have free time to wander the village before a scrumptious lunch at Le Logge di Piazza, situated near the main piazza. Afterwards, we’ll go on a historical walking tour through the cobblestone streets of Montalcino before heading back to the Borgo for a bit of rest prior to dinner. We will then head to Sant’Angelo in Colle for the sunset and a delicious meal paired with spectacular wines at Trattoria il Leccio, one of the highest rated restaurants in the hilltop village of Sant'Angelo in Colle, near Montalcino.
After breakfast at the Borgo, we will get to spend the morning in the village. Whether you choose to shop or just sit and watch village life go by, morning will be at a leisurely pace. In the afternoon, we will set out for the Chianti region where we’ll stop at Fontodi Vineyard for a tasting of the region's Chianti wines. We will then stop to see the butcher shop of Dario Checchini, the famous butcher in the hills of Chianti. Dinner will be at a local restaurant in Chianti before we head back to our Borgo.
On this morning of our fourth day, we have a special treat as we will have a cooking class with the women of Quartiere Pianello in the village. After class, we will walk to a local gelateria for a class on making creamy Italian gelato.
We’ll then head back to the Borgo for a rest prior to dinner. Dinner will kick off with a special candlelight wine tasting in the medieval fortress at the village, followed by a delectable meal at Drogheria Franci, featuring old vintages of Brunello wine.
Today we’ll spend the day touring the countryside around Montalcino. After breakfast, we will travel to visit the spectacular village of Bagno Vignoni where one can take a dip in the hot springs. After a late lunch, we will visit to the village of Pienza and spend time at a local farm to see how the famed Pecorino is made. Dinner will be in the picturesque village.
Today we will spend a delightful morning cooking with the friendly team at Locanda Demetra, who grow much of the food they use in their restaurant. After dining on the fruits of our morning labor, we will visit the spectacular Abbey of Sant' Antimo in a nearby valley. We will continue around the valley and visit one of our favorite Brunello vineyards, Ciacci Piccolomini, before returning to the Borgo.
Dinner will be at the Borgo. Michele and Deb will be hosting a special poolside dinner where we can cook together and enjoy the spectacular beauty of our special home for the week.
For our final day together, bring your walking shoes, for today as we are off to hunt truffles in the nearby village of San Giovanni d’Asso! Follow along as the truffle-sniffing dogs work their magic and find these prized possessions in the earth. From there, we’ll head to lunch at nearby Osteria delle Crete where we get to treat our palates with a taste of those incredible truffles.
After returning to the Borgo, we will head to the spectacular Boccon di Vino just outside the walls of the village for our Grand Finale Wine Dinner.
Today we must bid each other farewell as we head home or to other parts of Italy. Transfer will be provided to Rome to catch your flights to your next destination.
This itinerary is subject to change without notice, but we will make sure it is just as great!
Perched atop a hill in southwestern Tuscany, the magical and picturesque setting of Montalcino is the perfect place to unwind, refresh and rejuvenate. This little medieval village rests in one of the most beautiful and least traveled parts of Tuscany and has remained largely unchanged over the centuries. In addition to the charm and splendor of Montalcino, the village is surrounded by the breathtaking Val d’Orcia, a UNESCO World Heritage Natural Park, a must see for visitors.
Take in stunning views that soothe the most restless of souls. Vineyards of the renowned Brunello wine dot the landscape, while a medieval fortress stands guard over the village. Scarcely changed since the 16th century, ancient holm oaks, the symbol of Montalcino, keep guard along the walls as cobblestone roads wind throughout the countryside accompanied by majestic cypress trees.
Although small with only 1400 inhabitants within its walls, Montalcino has over 200 wineries and is home to Italy’s exceptional Brunello di Montalcino wine. Situated 564 meters above the valley and just an hour’s drive from the Mediterranean Sea, the village’s climate boasts warm calming days and cool cozy nights.
We look forward to having you share in the magic of Montalcino and the relaxed enchanting pace of the Tuscan lifestyle!
Our home for the week is the exceptional Borgo Canalicchio di Sopra Wine Relais, a beautiful property set among vineyards, on one of Brunello di Montalcino’s historic, most renowned estates. The Borgo offers a place for us to truly immerse ourselves in refined elegance and simplicity while allowing our souls to soak in the pleasures of its amenities.
The estate accommodates 10+ guests in five separate apartments. Each attendee will have their own individual bedroom with a private bathroom.
Each apartment, furnished in exceptional Tuscan country style, is enhanced by all the modern comforts one could need. Breakfast will offer the possibility of sampling typical, genuine Tuscan delicacies.
In addition, five acres of well tended gardens and two swimming pools with salt water treatment lie nestled amongst the Brunello vineyards. The Borgo will be the ideal location for us to immerse ourselves in the spirit of ‘dolce fa niente’ making our stay a truly unforgettable experience.
Michele grew up as part of an Italian American family that originated in Sicily and Le Marche in Italy. She grew up, along with her brother, helping her mother prepare homemade pastas and other Italian specialties that have left her with an unbridled passion for the Italian lifestyle and its celebration of life, love and food. Her frequent travels to Italy have led her to the magical village of Montalcino, which she travels frequently and now owns a little apartment with her business partner, Deb. Since 2008, Michele co-authors the award winning blog, Our Italian Table, with her brother. She is also a frequent contributor to L’Italo Americano newspaper.
Debbie Lencioni Keith is a second generation Italian American with deep familial roots in Lucca and Pordenone. Some of her fondest memories are of cooking with her Nonnies and hearing stories of the Old Country. She shares many of these recipes on her website www.debbiekeithcaterer.com and her blog Debs Recipe a Day. Combining her connection to the land, her family and spirit of the people of Tuscany is what inspired the Magic of Montalcino.
$4,500 per person double occupancy (queen bed) & private bathroom in a shared apartment with a common living/dining/kitchen
$5,200 per person/double occupancy for an apartment all to yourselves
$2250 due upon booking (non refundable)
Balance due 90 days before trip
*Note: Some of our apartments have lofts with queen/twin beds, this would require the sharing of a bathroom. Please inquire about pricing for on this option.
Group airport transfers the first day of the tour and the last day of the tour.
Excursions to the famous Brunello region of Tuscany, walking tour of magical Montalcino, a hands on cooking class, truffle hunting with Paolo and so much more…
All meals including dinners showcasing the finest local ingredients & complimented by the top regional wines.
WE RESERVE THE RIGHT TO CANCEL A TRIP UP TO 60 DAYS PRIOR TO THE TOUR START DATE DUE TO PARTICIPATION OF LESS THAN 5 PEOPLE.
Taxis other than provided on planned excursions
Wine over and above what is included in the tour
Initial payment due upon booking or if you're feeling like diving right in, go ahead and pay in full by selecting one of the three other options!
What airport do I fly into?
You will be traveling into Rome, Italy (Airport Code: FCO).
Do I need transfers from the airport?
A group transfer will be provided from the Rome, Italy (FCO) airport at a specific time on the arrival and the departure day of the retreat.
Do I need a passport/visa?
US citizens will need a valid passport to visit Italy, but no visa is required at this time. Nationals of all other countries should check travel requirements well in advance of their retreat and comply with all visa requirements of Italy. Italy is a member of the EU.
Do I need Travel Health Insurance?
Yes! We highly recommend travel insurance as your health insurance may not cover you internationally. Be sure to check with your health insurance to see if this is necessary.
I noticed wine is included on this trip, is the supply unlimited?
We will be tasting and drinking wine with meals. If you are care for additional wine, it will be available for purchase.
What if I don't want to go on one of the excursions?
This is your vacation and we want you to make it your own. If you want to stay and enjoy the Borgo or tour on your own you can arrange
What is the electrical currency/outlet in Montalcino, Italy?
Italy utilizes a European style plug with two round blades and is at 220V. Adapters and converters will be necessary if you are bringing any electrical items. But don’t worry about bringing a blow dryer, there is one in every bathroom.
Is there internet access on property?
Send photos while lying by the pool overlooking the vineyards… yes, there is free wi-fi on property.
Will my cell phone work in Italy?
You should check with your carrier about your phone plan. There are apps you can download to your phone that allow you to call via wifi, such as What’s app or Viber.
Do I need to rent a car?
The streets are narrow and driving in Italy is a culture unto itself. Taxi’s will do transports to and from the airport (on arrival and departure days only) and when we take you to our planned events. Taxi’s will be available for hire, if you desire for an extra fee. Leave the driving to the professionals and walk, ride or catch a cab. Sit back, relax and enjoy!
What is the weather like that time of year, what should I bring to wear?
September is usually very nice, most days will be warm and pleasant. Rain can occur so light clothing with a raincoat thrown in just in case. Comfortable shoes are a must for the many adventures we will share; truffle hunting, shopping, walking tour and trekking up the mountain from the vineyards to Montalcino.
Bathing suit to use in the beautiful salt water pool
Comfortable shoes (Montalcino has lots of cobblestones!)
Plug adaptors / converters
Casual clothing, layer for various weather