A Week in Tuscany 9 days
About This Experience
Slow down and stay awhile—with a full week in Tuscany, you’ll be free to discover the true definition of the Italian phrase “la dolce vita” as you soak up the sweet life in two of the region’s most idyllic and tranquil Renaissance towns, Lucca and Siena. With a laid-back itinerary (hey, it’s the Tuscan way) and lots of immersive experiences to choose from, you can decide just how relaxing and indulgent you want your time in Tuscany to be.
Your Tour Includes
Round-trip airfare & transfers
7 nights in handpicked hotels
Breakfast daily, 2 three-course dinners with beer or wine
Private deluxe motor coach
Multilingual Tour Director
Select entrance fees
Why You'll Love It
Looking out on Lucca’s red-roofed villas & cypress trees
Counting the towers in San Gimignano
Walking through time in Siena’s medieval center
Rolling hills, quaint vineyards & serene olive groves
Ancient frescoes, intricate duomos & Gothic architecture
Sipping Chianti, sampling chocolate & hitting the spa
Overnight Flight1 night
Lucca3 nights - hotel info
Tuscany brings a breath of fresh air and new friends to greet
Breakfast (in flight), Dinner
Ciao and welcome to Florence. Upon arrival, a Go Ahead representative greets you at the airport and escorts you to your hotel in Lucca. Situated at the base of the Apuan Alps, the city is famed for its rustic Renaissance-era walls, which have encircled the tranquil town for centuries. Take some time to settle in before getting to know your fellow travelers at this evening’s welcome dinner.
Belt your favorite operas in honor of Puccini
Optional Excursion - Tuscan Cooking Class and Dinner
Delve behind the walled city of Lucca and discover the medieval architecture decorating what was once Tuscany’s capital city. Follow a local guide as you walk along Lucca’s famed 16th-century ramparts, looking down upon the countless towers, churches and red-roofed villas below. During a visit to the Puccini Museum, uncover the earliest inspirations of the Giacomo Puccini, who spent his childhood in Lucca before composing some of the world’s most famous operas, including Tosca, Madame Butterfly and La Bohème. This evening, choose to visit a local culinary school for a cooking lesson. Here you’ll have the opportunity to try your hand at creating traditional Tuscan fare alongside some of the region’s master chefs. Afterward, sit down to dinner and savor the fruits of your labor before returning to Lucca for the night.
Must be booked 20 days before departure
Tuscan Cooking Class and Dinner $115* pp
Eating authentic Italian food is one thing, but learning to recreate your favorite dishes beside a master chef is another experience entirely. Stay close to your home in Lucca on a visit to a local culinary school. Here you’ll have the chance to get behind the kitchen and discover the passion and attention to detail that go into some of the region’s most popular specialties. And after lovingly handcrafting your dinner, you’ll sit down with your fellow chefs to taste the fruits of your labor.
Savor a tall glass of red or a dip in a lake-fed thermal grotto
Optional Excursion - Tuscan Spa Day and Chocolate Tasting
Indulgence and Tuscany are practically synonymous. Spend today indulging however you like, whether that’s taking a long, meandering walk, lingering over a tall glass of red wine or digging into a towering plate of pasta. You may also join our optional Tuscan Spa Day & Chocolate Tasting and treat yourself to a day of pampering in Monsummano. At the Grotta Giusti Spa, you’ll have the chance to enter the spa’s thermal grotto before receiving a restorative aromatic massage. After a leisurely morning of rest and relaxation, you’ll have yet another opportunity to indulge yourself during an afternoon chocolate tasting at a local chocolate producer.
Must be booked 20 days before departure
Tuscan Spa Day and Chocolate Tasting $185* pp
If we could sum up Tuscany in one word it would be indulgence. Discover the true meaning behind the phrase “la dolce vita” with a day of pampering and luxury carried out in true Italian style. Begin with a visit to the Grotta Giusti Spa in Monsummano Terme. Within the spa, you’ll have the opportunity to enter the natural thermal grotto, once described as the “Eighth Wonder of the World” by Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi. Relax and breathe in the grotto’s therapeutic vapors or take a stroll to admire the cave’s otherworldly stalactites and stalagmites before receiving a 20-minute restorative aromatic massage. Afterward, you’ll have plenty of time to take in scenes of the Tuscan countryside from within the warm, therapeutic waters of the spa’s thermal pool. You’ll also be free to take advantage of the whirlpool, jacuzzi and water-jet massage. Following your time at Grotta Giusti, cap off your day with one last indulgence: a chocolate tour and tasting with one of Tuscany’s leading chocolatiers.
Siena4 nights - hotel info
Pop into the postcard-perfect scenery in this fortress town
Make your way from Lucca to Siena, stopping en route in the World Heritage-listed medieval fortress town of San Gimignano. This rural Tuscan town feels as though it’s been plucked straight out of the 13th century (with the exception of the freezers in the gelaterias). During your free time, you’ll be able to walk among San Gimignano’s 14 remaining towers, listen to the melancholic music of street musicians, enjoy a glass of wine or just indulge in a leisurely lunch. Afterward, continue on to the World Heritage-listed town of Siena, your Tuscan home away from home for the next four nights.
Discover colorful traditions and the many shades of Siena
Optional Excursion - Chianti Wine Tasting
Siena Cathedral , Piccolomini Library
This morning, join a local guide on a walk through Siena’s historic center, a prime example of medieval urban planning and the legendary site of Italy’s famous horse race, the Palio. As you make your way through town, take in the city’s stunning mix of Gothic structures, stopping to admire the ornate Duomo and take a peek at the frescoes lining the Piccolomini Library. You’ll also pass the iconic Campo Square, where the horses compete and the locals gather. In the afternoon, choose to head to the Chianti region, where you’ll partake in Italy’s longstanding tradition of agriturismo (agricultural tourism) as you tour a local winery. Learn about how the winery produces its vintages and soak in the sprawling vistas before tasting some of the region’s most popular labels.
Chianti Wine Tasting $59* pp
Delve into Italy’s incomparable wine culture and longstanding tradition of agriturismo in the Chianti hills, the heart of Tuscany’s wine country. Take in the vast and colorful vineyards the region is known for as you make your way to a local winery. There, you’ll get an inside look at how Chianti is produced—from grape growing all the way to bottling—before sitting down to taste three of the winery’s most distinctive labels paired with antipasti and crostini.
Leisure is calling—continue getting your share of “la dolce vita”
Optional Excursion - Siena's Contrada Culture
Continue lapping up la dolce vita with another free day in Siena. Meander among the medieval alleyways, sit back and sip cappuccino at an intimate cafe or dig a little deeper into the town’s distinctive cultural neighborhoods (or contrade) on an optional walking tour.
Siena's Contrada Culture $49* pp
The historic city of Siena in comprised of 17 contrade, or neighborhoods, each with its own distinctive culture, motto, emblem and neighboring adversaries. Discover how the legacy of each contrada is deeply rooted in Siena’s annual Palio, a world-renowned horse race and festival, and how the heritage of each neighbor comes together to make Siena a truly unique Tuscan city. You’ll explore one contrada in depth, entering into its significant landmarks, before paying a visit to the medieval Santa Maria della Scala, one of the oldest hospitals in the world.
Walk through backdrops that inspired Francis Mayes’ novel
Optional Excursion - Cortona: Classic Tuscany
Cap off your stay in Siena by doing as much or as little as you please. If you’d like, you can explore beyond Siena on an optional excursion to Cortona, a quintessential Tuscan town made famous by the Francis Mayes’ novel-turned-film Under the Tuscan Sun. In the evening, head into the countryside to the charming walled town of Monteriggioni, where you’ll sit down to one last meal with your fellow travelers.
Cortona: Classic Tuscany $75* pp
Made popular by Francis Mayes book and film Under the Tuscan Sun, Cortona remains one of Tuscany’s most charming and culturally authentic villages. As you make your way through this classic Etruscan hill town with your local guide, you’ll pass by postcard-worthy scenes of terraced olive groves and eclectic edifices, from the Duomo to the Piazza Garibaldi. You’ll have the opportunity to enter the Diocesan Museum to view the Annunciation of Cortona painting and explore the Etruscan Museum for a look into local history. Following your guided tour, you’ll have free time for lunch and to do some exploring of your own before returning to Siena.
Extend Your Stay
Add Florence $329*
Make your stay in Tuscany last a little longer by beginning with two nights in Florence, the capital of the Renaissance. Once home to the world’s artistic, literary and architectural greats, Florence is bursting with beautiful things to explore, from the Church of Santa Croce to the iconic Duomo.
Overnight Flight1 night - hotel info
Florence2 nights - hotel info
Italian language, opera, the Renaissance—all born right here
Touch down in Florence this morning. After a Go Ahead representative collects you from the airport and brings you to your hotel, you’re free to begin exploring the city that inspired such famous artists as Michelangelo, Leonardo and Donatello.
Meet the city that hosted the masters, from Dante to Michelangelo
Optional Excursion - Florentine Dinner
Church of Santa Croce
Discover the city that was at once the birthplace of the Italian language, Renaissance and opera. Marvel at Brunelleschi’s masterpiece—the massive pink, white and green Duomo and Giotto’s Campanile. Then, take a look inside the Church of Santa Croce, where the Dante Memorial and the tombs of Galileo and Michelangelo are displayed. You’ll also see the Palazzo Signoria, an open-air gallery for ancient and Renaissance statues. Afterward, spend the evening exploring on your own, or join our optional Florentine Dinner for a taste of authentic Tuscan cuisine.
Florentine Dinner $89* pp
Enjoy a traditional meal at a bustling trattoria in the heart of Florence, the capital of Tuscany. Sit back as you sip a glass of wine, charmed by the rustic restaurant's atmosphere and warm Italian hospitality. Enjoy a delectable and satisfying meal beginning with antipasto or soup. Then, enjoy a main course featuring pork, beef, veal or lamb, as well as seasonal vegetables. Finish with a dish of creamy gelato or biscuits and a glass of sweet dessert wine. This evening promises to be not only an exceptional dinner, but an authentic Tuscan experience.
Luccafor a day - hotel info
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.
There are no major health risks associated with traveling on your tour. Be sure to check with your doctor or healthcare provider for the latest updates and travel requirements.
Tuscan cuisine is simple and rustic, featuring pheasant (fagiano), hare, wild boar (cinghiale) and pasta flavored with truffles (tartufi). Other specialties are bistecca alla Fiorentina (grilled steak), arista alla Fiorentina (pork with rosemary), Toscani mangiafagiolli (bean stew) and finocchione, a salami flavored with fennel. Tuscany’s Chianti is well-known, but other wines worth trying include Brunello di Montalcino, Rosso di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. And there’s no better way to end your meal than with biscotti—dipped in a glass of Vin Santo (dessert wine), of course.
Transportation / Walking on tour
Round-trip flights arrive in and depart from Florence. 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 is by private motor coach.
Museums in Florence
Steeped in culture and history, the museums of Florence are popular attractions that you might consider visiting during our pre-tour extension in the city. However, Go Ahead recommends that you make reservations two months in advance if you would like to visit any of the museums in Florence, particularly the Uffizi or the Accademia. For more information about the museums, go to www.polomuseale.firenze.it/english/musei.
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).
Airlines have varying weight restrictions on luggage. Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage. Please contact your airline or refer to its website for detailed information regarding your airline’s checked baggage policies. Bear in mind that your luggage will probably weigh more on your return trip due to souvenir shopping. We allow only one suitcase per person. One carry-on bag is also permitted, provided that it does not exceed 45 inches (length + width + height). There may be times when you will have to handle your own bags, and you’ll find that lightweight luggage provides a distinct advantage. Make sure you label your baggage and carry valuables, medication and documents in your carry-on luggage.
The euro is the currency you’ll use on tour. Better rates of exchange are usually available in your destination countries, although it’s worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive. We advise that you take a combination of bank/ATM cards and credit cards, as needed. We suggest that you inform your bank and credit card company of your travel plans, so that they won’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.
terrible hotel locations
everything was excellent except for the hotel locations in Lucca & Siena. both were out of the way, especially the one in Siena. when we signed up, we knew the location of the hotel in Lucca would be out of the city center but the advertized hotel in Siena was within the city walls which would have made getting to the historical center walkable. the Garden Hotel was far from the city center (by that i mean a 20 minute cab ride from the city center). i would have preferred to spend the money i spent on taxis on a more centrally located hotel.