Food & Wine: Flavors of Tuscany & Umbria10 days Food & Wine Tours
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Expert Tour Director
Local cuisine with beer or wine
Sightseeing with local guides
Personalized flight options
Recommended by 96% recommend this tour Read Reviews 
Overnight Flight1 night
Your trip begins with a regularly scheduled overnight flight to Florence aboard an internationally recognized airline.
Florence3 nights Hotel info
Included meals: Dinner
Welcome to Italy! A Go Ahead representative welcomes you at the airport and escorts you to your hotel. The rest of the day is free for strolling along the cobbled streets and stone bridges of Florence or just relaxing in your hotel. This evening, become acquainted with your fellow travelers as well as the region’s famed cuisine at this evening’s welcome dinner.
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Included entrances: Tuscan cooking class, Church of Santa Croce
Discover the timeless city of Florence, birthplace of opera and the Italian language. Today’s guided tour introduces you to the city’s Renaissance relics. Marvel at Brunelleschi’s masterpiece—Florence’s massive pink, white and green Duomo. Then, enter the church of Santa Croce, where the tombs of Galileo and Michelangelo and the Dante Memorial are displayed. This evening, learn to make cuisine the Italian way at a private Tuscan cooking class. Then, enjoy the freshly prepared meal with your fellow chefs.
Included meals: Breakfast
Bask in a free day to explore the Renaissance City on your own. Or, opt to join an excursion to the walled city of Lucca and Colle Verde, a rural farm where olive oil is pressed. Tonight, join an optional dinner at a villa in nearby Fiesole.
Optional Excursion - Medieval Lucca & the Flavors of the Countryside $119*pp Details
Visit the gorgeous Tuscan town of Lucca, famous for its Renaissance-era city walls, medieval churches and awe-inspiring towers. Then travel to Colle Verde, a farm where some of Italy’s highest-quality olive oil is pressed. During your excursion, learn about the process by which olive oil is extracted and refined. Then, enjoy a light lunch and an olive oil tasting session.
Optional Excursion - Fiesole Villa Dinner $95*pp Details
Head just outside Florence to Fiesole, a historic Tuscan town perched on a hill overlooking the Renaissance city. Tonight’s dinner is set in a picturesque villa with panoramic views of the city below. Start your evening with an aperitif and then enjoy a refined Italian dinner with local wine.
Siena2 nights Hotel info
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Included entrances: Tuscan wine tasting
En route to the enchanting city of Siena, stop in San Gimignano, “the city of beautiful towers.” Take in views of the scenery before continuing to a local wine tasting, where you’ll have the opportunity to sample some of the region’s fine wines. Arrive in Siena for this evening’s included dinner.
Included meals: Breakfast, Light lunch
Included entrances: Brunello wine tasting, Siena Cathedral, Piccolomini Library
This morning, travel through vineyards and olive groves to the hilltop town of Montalcino, famous for its Brunello di Montalcino wine. Enjoy the opportunity to taste this local treasure and an included light lunch. Follow a local guide on this afternoon’s tour of Siena, longtime rival of nearby Florence. Visit Siena’s Romanesque Duomo, which houses major works of art by Donatello and Nicola Pisano, along with the famous Piccolomini Library.
Perugia2 nights Hotel info
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Included entrances: Museum of the Etruscan Academy
Continue your travels across Tuscan landscape to reach Lake Trasimeno, the historic location of the battle between Hannibal and the Romans. After a lunch of Umbria specialties, transfer to the hillside town of Cortona, where there will be time to meander through the steep, narrow streets and look for the remains of the original city wall, before a visit to the Museum of the Etruscan Academy of Cortona, home to an impressive collection of Etruscan artifacts. Cross from Tuscany into Umbrian and arrive in Perugia by nightfall.
Included meals: Breakfast
A local guide introduces you to the vibrant streets and landmarks of Perugia, the medieval town symbolized by the Etruscan Arch. See the Palazzo dei Priori, the gorgeous medieval palace dating back to 1298, and the Cathedral of San Lorenzo. Enjoy a free afternoon wandering along the stately Corso Vannucci, an avenue reserved for pedestrians, to visit some of the cafes and shops. You might also wish to visit the Duomo, with its elaborately carved choir stalls, or the renowned Archaeological Museum. Or, join an optional excursion to the beautiful Assisi, a pilgrimage site and home to the church of St. Francis, and the lesser-known but equally picturesque Spello.
Optional Excursion - Charming Umbria: Assisi & Spello $65*pp Details
Embark on an afternoon tour of Assisi, a hilltop medieval town and the birthplace of Saint Francis. Marvel at the restoration of the Basilica of St. Francis, which was damaged by twin earthquakes in 1997 and painstakingly restored to its original form. After a guided tour of the basilica, take some free time to explore on your own. Afterward, you'll head to the town of Spello for a guided walking tour. Enter through one of the town's three Roman arches and explore the cobblestone streets that wind through Spello. Listen in during a commentated visit to the 12th-century Church of Santa Maria Maggiore, including the Cappella Baglioni. Before heading back, enjoy some free time to indulge in gelato or coffee. Please note: This excursion includes some walking uphill.
Rome1 night Hotel info
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Included entrances: Funicular ride, Orvieto wine tasting
Journey across Umbrian valleys en route to Rome. Stop along the way in Orvieto, which you’ll reach via funicular, for a wine tasting followed by a light lunch. Arrive in Rome, the Eternal City, where you can enjoy a free final evening.
Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)
Linger in Rome for two nights on our tour extension. Otherwise, a Go Ahead representative accompanies you to the airport for your flight home.
Add Rome City Stay $359 pp
Please note: Extension is not available on all departure dates.
Only in Rome can you sip cappuccino at a cafe in front of the Pantheon, buy grapes at a centuries-old market, and have an audience with the pope—all in one morning. For a mix of spectacular art, grand history and exuberant street life, no other city comes close.
Rome2 nights Hotel info
Included meals: Breakfast
Included entrances: Colosseum
Start the day with a guided tour of Imperial Rome, where a local guide will show you around Piazza Venezia, the Forum and the Colosseum. With the rest of the day to explore on your own, you might linger over a sumptuous meal at a sidewalk cafe in Piazza Navona.
Included meals: Breakfast
Spend another day at your leisure in Rome or take an optional tour of Vatican City, with visits to the Vatican Museum, St. Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel. Tonight, enjoy a festive evening at our optional Dinner with Tenors.
Optional Excursion - Iconic Sights: Vatican City $89*pp Details
This guided tour takes you inside the world’s smallest state, Vatican City. Upon arrival, you'll first visit the Vatican Museums, which recently celebrated a 500-year anniversary and hold many of the world's most important Classical and Renaissance-era sculptures. Next, you'll visit the Sistine Chapel, where you'll gaze on what is perhaps Michelangelo's greatest masterpiece. Finally, you'll visit the enormous St. Peter’s Basilica, the epicenter of the Roman Catholic faith. The artists whose efforts have contributed to its glory are some of the best Italy has ever known, including Bramante, Peruzzi, Raphael and Michelangelo. Masterpieces await at every turn, from Bernini’s magnificent bronze canopy to Michelangelo’s Pietà. Please note: This excursion is not available on Sundays. Advanced reservation and booking is required prior to your final payment deadline. Backpacks are not allowed in the Vatican and a dress code of no shorts or sleeveless shirts is enforced.
Must be booked 70 days before departure
Optional Excursion - Dinner with Tenors $79*pp Details
End your day with an elegant four-course dinner at one of our favorite Roman restaurants. While you dine, you’ll be treated to some of opera's best-loved arias…and you might even join the singers on stage. Don’t miss this lighthearted evening of food and fun!
Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)
A Go Ahead representative accompanies you to the airport for your return flight home.
Passport & Visa
In order to enter Italy, U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport. The expiration date must extend at least six months beyond the date of your return home. No visa is required for U.S. or Canadian citizens. If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact the Italian consulate for your specific entry requirements.
Airlines have varying weight restrictions on luggage. Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage; be advised that you are responsible for any such costs. Contact your airline for detailed information regarding luggage size and weight restrictions for your flight, but please note that Go Ahead travelers are restricted to one checked bag per person due to storage limitations on motor coaches and other internal transfers, which may include train connections or flights. One carry-on bag is also permitted, provided that it does not exceed 45 total inches (length + width + height). Make sure you label your baggage and carry valuables, medication and documents in your carry-on bag.
Clothing & Packing Tips
To ensure you’re comfortable while out exploring, we recommend packing lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that can be easily layered. For sightseeing, we suggest bringing a sturdy pair of walking shoes or sneakers, as well as a lightweight sports jacket or rainwear. If you’re planning a visit to a high-end restaurant or performance, you may also want to bring dressier attire. Also, please remember that it’s preferable to avoid showing bare legs or shoulders during visits to churches or other religious sites (entrance may be denied on this basis).
There are no major health risks associated with traveling to Italy. Travelers should be in reasonable health to take our scheduled walks, although we will make every effort to accommodate those who chose to stay behind. Be sure to check with your doctor or local health care provider for the latest updates and personal travel requirements.
This tour is specifically designed to highlight the celebrated cuisine of the Italian countryside. Nevertheless, the itinerary also allows for plenty of free time for you to explore the Italian fare on your own. Be sure to try those less familiar pasta sauces and the vast range of cured hams, cheeses, rustic breads and desserts. Tuscany is known for its wine, oil, sauces and pasta, favoring subtle, lighter pastas and desserts (mostly cookies and breads) made with nuts, fruit and honey. For authentic meals, try local trattorias, small restaurants often with only a couple of open tables and hand-printed menus. Italians tend to indulge in long meals featuring wines and the occasional beer, followed by the requisite after-dinner drinks, grappa or limoncello.
Arrival & Transportation Information
Round-trip flights arrive in Florence and depart from Rome. When you first arrive at the airport in Italy, a Go Ahead representative will meet you after clearing customs. Please remain in the arrival lounge, as the representative might be escorting one of your fellow travelers to the bus at the time of your arrival. All other included transportation on this tour is by private motor coach. In your free time, you may wish to explore the major cities of Florence and Rome by public transportation. Florence is split up into two separate sections by the Arno River, with most of the attractions spread out around the Duomo. The city is walkable, although frequent local buses are also available.
Museums in Florence
If you are interested in visiting any of Florence's many museums during your free time, we recommend that you make reservations in advance. Additional information is available on the Polo Museale website. Please note that the museums are closed on Mondays.
Italy operates on the European standard 220 volts.
Italy is one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and six hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time (EST). When it is noon in New York, it’s 6 pm in Florence.
The euro is the currency you’ll be using on your tour. Better rates of exchange are usually available in Italy, although it’s worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive. We strongly advise that you take debit/bank cards and credit cards, which can be used to access cash at local banks, as needed. You can use most debit/ credit cards at ATMs on the international networks Cirrus and Plus, but make sure to check with your home bank about withdrawal fees. We suggest informing your bank and credit card company of your travel plans, so they don’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.
At the conclusion of your tour, it’s customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity. We recommend tipping in your tour country’s currency, the equivalent of $3USD/CAD per person per day for your driver and $6USD/CAD to $9USD/CAD per person per day for your Tour Director. If applicable, we also recommend the equivalent of $2USD/CAD per local guide. Tips can only be paid in cash. Please keep current local currency exchange rates in mind when tipping.
See what our travelers say about this tour—all reviews are authentic and unedited.
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Singing with the Choir
I see almost everyone suggested that the hotels were too far from town and have been mentioning this for a long time; however, Go Ahead does not seem to listen because they have not changed hotel locations. We spent a lot of our own time and money getting into the city centers. As for the food, it was delicious, but it seemed we ate the same foods at different locations - need more variation in foods. We had fish one day which was excellent and off the normal menu. In addition, the dinner in Rome on our last night was too far from the hotel and the hotel itself was so far from anything. I am glad I did not extend my trip because of this. I agree that for the cooking class we did not get to eat as a group at a table; however, they are moving to a new location and that issue will probably be resolved. As for the walking, many people in our group were not able to participate. For these reasons, I would not recommend this trip to some of my friends. I went on another tour four years ago with a different company which was a littler more expensive and it far exceeded this tour. I would recommend addressing the complaints of your clients even if it means charging a little more for the tour.
Judy, Your concern regarding hotel location is certainly understandable, and please know that this issue is something we are constantly working on with the intentions of providing the best balance between quality and value. In terms of hotel locations it is always our goal to situate our groups as closely as possible to the city center. However, if this is not possible the hotel will be easily accessible by public transportation. In terms of meals, in response to customer feedback we are starting a new initiative to offer more choices for our included meals, without impacting our tour prices. We hope that with this change our customers will enjoy their meal inclusions even more. Please know that the feedback of our customers is taken seriously and we are always making adjustments constantly improve the quality of our tours.
Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | November 18, 2014
food and wine tour
Just returned from this tour. Our tour director was excellent. The itinerary was packed full, which was good, but not enough down time. The tours were wonderful. Be prepared to walk a lot. Our guide showed us so much that I am having a hard time remembering it all. The hotels were okay, but not great. Most of them had difficulty with wi-fi access. The breakfasts were nothing to rave about, but okay. My normal is grains and fresh fruit. I learned to eat salami, cheese and Tuscan bread for breakfast. The included meals were with the exception of a couple were not up to par for what you would expect from a food and wine tour. The wines were great. So, if you drink enough I guess the food won't matter. The cooking glass was fun and that food was good. The last hotel in Rome was 15 to 20 miles away from any activity, in a residential area where the closest place to eat was at least a 4 block walk. And, there was no shopping nearby. We were told to taxi or take the metro. 7 of us took the metro back from the Vatican area and experienced hoards of people and several pick pockets. The next day we took a taxi. I would strongly recommend not taking the metro in Rome. And I am from Chicago. For the departure dinner, we were bused all the way across to the other side of Rome during rush hour only to be brought to a pizza place. My personal favorite places were Florence, Sienna, Perugia and Assisi. And of course the vineyards. We had a great group of people. I am glad I went, but don't think I would rush to do another tour right now. Hope this helps.
No funicular ride
Was disappointed that there was no funicular ride in Orvieto as was promised in brochure. The restaurants, while very good, were often far from the hotels. The hotels were very nice. The wine tastings were excellent, as were the local guides.
Room for Improvement
The hills and level of difficulty needs to be emphasized, the amount of walking also. The tour bus could not get to a close proximity of many locations due to the narrow streets. That needs to be mentioned. Many people had problems with walking distances and hills. I would have preferred to pay a little more to be in hotels close to the city centre instead of having to take taxis back and forth when we had free time. Admissions that were to be included in the tour were not. When we were in Siena, the cathedral was closed and we were taken to another church. We went back the next day and had to pay admission again to enter the Cathedral. We didn't go on the Funicular ride in Orvieto. It would have been nice to sit and eat together at a table after the cooking class. We had plates and glasses on our laps and the floor. The hotel in Rome was outside the city centre and the restaurant for the final dinner took one hour to reach. The bus driver got lost. The ride to the airport took 45 minutes at 4:30 in the morning. It was an enjoyable trip, but some simple improvements could make it outstanding!
Great trip except...
Everything was great, but there was too much walking. I booked this trip because the description said easy to comfortable walking. Instead of a level 2, I would put it at a level 4. Maybe when the description was first printed it was a level 2 but, apparently, now the tour buses aren't allowed near the tourist sites. I had invited a couple of friends to go along with us on this trip, assuring them that there wouldn't be too much walking. I'm so glad that they didn't join us. I didn't book the two day extension in Rome, and I'm glad that I didn't. The hotel was much too far from anything. The tour director, Sylvana, was great and a big help when we had a medical problem. She arranged for a doctor. to come to the hotel and he wrote a prescription and she accompanied us to the pharmacy to get it filled.
Hello Marie, Thank you for your review and we’re so happy to hear that overall you enjoyed your Flavors of Tuscany & Umbria tour! We are currently in the process of revamping our pacing system to make our tour descriptions more clear so that our travelers have accurate expectations for their tour. We appreciate your feedback and will take it into serious consideration as we continue to work on this project.
Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | October 14, 2014
Our Laura was a wonderful blend of humor, information and entertainment. She helped gel our group into a life long group of friends. She kept us on time while keeping us laughing. Somehow, she was able to fill each day to the brim with great activities and memorable tours. Thank you so much for making the most of my dream trip!
Bring Your Walking Shoes
The tour was very enjoyable and worth while. The only concern that I had was the amount of walking (especially uphill) that was involved. The tour was listed as a level 2, but it should definitely have been listed at least a level 3. The uphill walking and hot weather often made it difficult and tiring. Fortunately there were no travelers who had any physical disability or heart condition.
Hi John, Thank you for your review of your recent tour of Tuscany & Umbria- I’m glad you had a good trip! We appreciate your feedback regarding the pacing of the tour, and this is something we are currently in the process of modifying our materials to be clearer and more precise for our travelers.
Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | August 08, 2014
Rock & Roll Wagon
This tour would have been perfect except for the tour bus we were given. I assume that we were given our 35 ft "jeep" because we were only 28 people but we were shaken, thrown about and bounced around the entire tour. Dozing was impossible as we traveled with this relic. That said the hotels were excellent; the restaurants selected were very good and the flights were perfect.
Hi Jerome, I’m glad to hear you had a great time in Italy. Thank you for sharing your comments regarding the transportation on tour. I will be passing the feedback along to our operations team for them to look into this issue further. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any further comments or concerns. We look forward to having the pleasure of welcoming you on another Go Ahead Tour!
Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | July 23, 2014
Wonderful Tour and Director
Our tour to Tuscany, Umbria and Rome was wonderful. We were able to experience the charm of the small towns and to visit many historical landmarks. Our tour director Barbara was patient, fun, knowledgeable and accommodating. The additional tour guides were passionate about their work. The tour itself was so well organized, and paid attention to detail, even providing a packed breakfast for our early departure on the morning of our return flight. (since the kitchens were not yet opened). The transportation was comfortable with our amazing experienced driver, Giovanni. The hotel accommodations were very good, and the meals, exceptional. We visited many of Rome's landmarks and the trip to the Vatican touched on all we wanted to see. For instance, we spent a half hour sitting and viewing the Sistine Chapel. The pace was steady and we never felt hurried, and we were given enough free time.
I am recommending this tour based on the cities visited. With that being said there is still much needed room for improvement. Communication was lagging greatly. Our tour director although a likeable woman made decisions to change the itinery without first consulting the tour group. This led to verbal disagreements along with an exchange of dissatisfaction from almost all in our tour group. There were many times when the group was rushed & left with little time to shop or enjoy any free time that was alloted on our excursions. Choices in dinner venues were made by the tour director who is Vegan and didn't take into account possible food allergies to seafood and such so although the meal was included in our cost for the tour many did not eat based on food options (or lack of an alternative menu). Excursions were cancelled without prior notification based on number of individuals signed up for a particular excursion with no secondary option available. Our tour director even commented on the Go Ahead people in the States were a separate entity & that they had no idea how to run a tour in Italy and that she knew what was best for our group & that she would decide on the venues & dinner options for our tour group. She basically thru Go Ahead Tour Company under the bus. Many times the tour director's whereabouts were were unknown. She choose to not always accompany our group when a local guide was utilized. When we were instructed to meet as a group at a particular location she was always last to arrive. She never disclosed her phone number to anyone in case of an emergency although she utilized her phone quite often for professional & personal use. There were a couple of incidents (one involving my husband) where he was hit by a car that was backing out in Ovieto and another incident where one older gentleman was intentionally tripped by a local in Rome and hit the pavement hard and bleeding. I asked if these type of incidents were reported to the tour company and all was said was she was just the Tour Guide. She had no first aide kit with her in case of emergencies. Thank goodness my husband who was hit by the car didn't suffer any life threatening injury because it seemed as though it was quickly swept under the rug. No offer of medical aide was ever offered to him either. We were told the Funicular which is a popular ride and was seen on The Amazing Race was out of order and that we could not ride it up so we had to use the elevator. Then minutes later we were told the tour director was unsure because of conflicting info (pointing the finger again) if the Funicular was really not operating. 5 of us decided that we wanted to see if it was really closed for the day or it was still being run because we all wanted to experience the ride. It was indeed running & had never been shut down. Once we disclosed the information to the group they were upset that they didn't get the opprtunity to ride it as well based on the information that the tour director provided the group.On another occassion we were dropped off at the top and had to desend(walking) down to the town. The descent incline was much more difficult than anticipated & I was left to render aide to an elderly woman who was unable to make it down on her own. The tour director was nowhere to be found and was later discovered to have climbed down first instead of waiting on her tour group and bring up the rear to ensure everyone in her group was able to make the climb down without any incident or mishap.The entire trip was not a bust, mainly becuase of the group of individuals in our tour group. We made the best of the tour we were dealt and managed to have a pleasant time on our own. One thing I would like to see improved is the finger pointing. The tour director seemed to always state how she had no other options (no plan B) and my response to her was always they same...if you can't negotiate the venue or the dinner menus then don't take your tour group to places that won't accomodate our needs. I strongly believe our particular tour director had a prearrange aggreement with the business owners to bring her tour groups to their business establishments and received some sort of kickback. In the end I'm not sure who is at fault (Tour Director or Go Ahead Tours) for the less than exceptional trip to Italy I and others in my tour group experienced. When I paid for trip of a lfetime I expect a lifetime of exceptional experiences and memories not Mutiny On The Bounty and Rage Against The Tour Director. The upside is that I was able to speak with several veteran travelers in our tour group who rated this tour low in comparision to other tour groups they have experienced first hand. I will be holding their suggestions in high regards when planning my next trip of a lifetime. Florence was beautiful & I would suggest going there over Rome. My biggest issue with Rome was that our hotel was not central to shopping areas, downtown, or markets. It was located in a residential area and you had to take a taxi to get close to shops, markets, the square & restaurants. The smaller towns are much more beautiful & you can walk most places for shopping & eating.
Dear Lorie, Thank you for your feedback on your recent trip to Italy and for taking the time to talk with me this week. Your comments on the logistics of your tour have been passed on to our Operations department so that we can continue to monitor the quality of our tours. At Go Ahead we pride ourselves on having knowledgeable and professional tour directors, and I am sorry to hear that yours didn’t meet your expectations. I will be following up on the issues you’ve raised in order to keep our standards high. Again, thank you for taking the time to write this review and we hope to welcome you on another Go Ahead Tour in the future!
Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | July 17, 2014