google-site-verification=ZpCxVSUUsCSuUnUl0H74A2uvf8thCUihqH0POhmGPag South Tuscany & Umbria | the-active-gourmet

We have the perfect recipe for your holiday!

 

At The Active Gourmet Travel, we design active holidays for people
who love good food, good wine, and discovering special places.

 

Contact Gail today by email or freephone:

 

gail@theactivegourmet.com    0800 023 663

 

Copyright © 2019 | The Active Gourmet Travel, creating a travel experience to savour since 1994

South Tuscany & Umbria con gusto

Daily Schedule
Tour Dates & Cost

 

Take this wonderful opportunity to approach the cuisine of this bountiful
region the way the locals do – with enthusiasm, with relish – con gusto

 

Absorb the special smells of the countryside as you cycle or wander on
tiny white roads through fields of sunflowers. Experience the rhythms
of the grape harvest, learn the secrets of olive oil and cheese making,
and the mysteries of lake fishing and hunting. 

Historic walled towns, vibrant countryside, stunning seasonal food and
wine, supportive locals. What more could one ask for?

 

No need to pack up and move on every day - experience life on a small organic farm, learning historic recipes, sampling the produce and sucking up the atmosphere.

Return home revitalised, and not one kilogram heavier!

Interested in this tour? Contact Gail for more information.

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South Tuscany & Umbria – Daily Schedule

 

Day 1
Meal/s included: DINNER 

Meet in the afternoon at Chiusi TGV station in Chiusi Scalo, and transfer
to our Umbrian country house, set on a small organic farm, overlooking
a lake, near the borders of Tuscany, Umbria and Lazio. This is home for
the next seven days. Collect your bike, or tie on the walking shoes, and
set out to explore the nearby villages, before enjoying our first experience
of the stunning cuisine of this area. Our host will provide an introduction
to the workings of his cantina – wine cellar – before a dinner of local specialities.

 

Day 2
Meal/s included: BREAKFAST / LUNCH / DINNER

To the neighbouring town of Chiusi, a setting much-loved by the early Etruscan people, and by a series of Popes. In modern times the stunning climate has led to the development of a thriving tree nursery industry. Enjoy an introduction to the secondo piatto in the inimitable Tuscan-style, at a lakeside restaurant. After lunch, continue the clockwise circumnavigation of Lake Chiusi, or take the longer route to the fortified Castiglione del Lago sitting dramatically above Lago di Trasimeno. Before dinner, depending on conditions, there could be a chance to participate in the
grape harvest.

 

Day 3
Meal/s included: BREAKFAST / LUNCH / DINNER

After breakfast, set off for the noted wine town of Montalcino,

travelling through the countryside of the Val d’Orcia, made famous
in the books of Iris Origo. These must be the best known cypresses
in the world. (Support vehicle ferrying today!) The steep streets of
Montalcino hide a multitude of caves storing one of Italy’s premium
wines, brunello di Montalcino. Neighbourhood rivalries are still very
strong in Montalcino and you will see the banners delineating the
various medieval quartieres whose residents relish their annual battles.

 

Descend to the exquisite Abbey of Sant'Antimo, set in the Umbrian

valley. Founded by the Emperor Charlemagne, the abbey boasts

Gregorian chants sung by monks that can still be heard here several
times a day. Down to the unique spa of Bagno Vignoni – the town
square is a large thermal pool – and there are several other
establishments to investigate.

 

Cruise back home after lunch. On returning to the farm, learn how to

grind the local organic wheat. For dinner tonight, we will be helping

make one of Umbria’s typical pastas. We will collect wild and cultivated

herbs for the salad and other fresh produce from the estate.

 

Day 4
Meal/s included: BREAKFAST / LUNCH / DINNER

If lake conditions are suitable, a chance to try the traditional fishing

techniques of this region. To Pienza, a model Renaissance town laid

out on a rectangular pattern by local Pope, Pius II, in the 1400s. Behind the impressive walls and strong facades lie many secrets!

 

Recently, Pienza has proven very popular as a movie set – the locals enjoy their lucrative roles as extras, even if they do have to represent gentlemen from Verona! Strolling the cobbled streets, it is easy to spot the most famous product of this town: pecorino, a delicious sheep cheese. Don’t hesitate to sample it! We’ll enjoy a tasty selection of cheeses with our picnic lunch. Return on small roads, or have a well-earned rest and ride in our support vehicle. Tonight, participate in pizza and bread making using a traditional oak-fired oven. Perhaps some fish?

 

Day 5
Meal/s included: BREAKFAST / LUNCH

Today’s outing is to another wine giant (and sworn enemy to Montalcino), Montepulciano. Again, the hillsides are honeycombed with cellars containing splendid wines (Nobile di Montepulciano is the most sought-after). Return at speed via a scenic but obscure, largely downhill, route past stately palazzi and the inevitable grape vines and olive trees.

 

Dinner this evening is your choice and cost – local villages, plus the towns of Chiusi and Castiglione del Lago are all readily accessible.

 

Day 6
Meal/s included: BREAKFAST / DINNER

Take the chance to circumnavigate Italy’s fourth largest, and probably

shallowest, lake – Lago di Trasimeno. Much of the route follows a

dedicated cycle track close to the shoreline. You will get great views

of the small islands and of the massacre site where Hannibal drove

the Romans into the lake. (This historic event is still celebrated today).

 

Pause for lunch and to visit the museum depicting life on the lake over

the centuries, then return through beautiful lanes to our country house.

Tonight the famed active gourmet arriverderci feast in our home cantina – a truly memorable experience!

 

Day 7
Meal/s included: BREAKFAST

After breakfast, your Italian rural experience is over. Transfer to Chiusi to collect a rental car or to connect to a train to continue your European journey.

The Umbrian country house

The beautiful Tuscan countryside

Tuscan cooking class

A rest with the 'mothership'

The autumnal vineyards

Tour Dates & Cost

Dates on application
NZ$5500 twin share or double basis 

A single supplement applies (if you prefer an individual room)

 
Included in each 7-day tour: 
Transportation
  • Daily support vehicle (no panniers or backpacks needed).

  • Luggage transfer between localities.

  • Option to drive your own rental vehicle (surcharge applies).

  • Any purchases you make in the markets and antique shops can
    easily be transferred.

  • Hire of quality mountain bikes (if required).

Accommodation
  • Quality accommodation in properties of character, mostly with private
    facilities. We stay two to three nights on average in each place, using the
    base to explore the environs.

Food and wine
  • Five gourmet dinners featuring the best of regional specialties – not
    forgetting the special 
    arrivederci feast on our final night.

  • Three lunches including spectacular picnics.

  • Several times you’ll get the chance to ‘follow-your-own-nose’ for midday
    and evening meals.

  • All breakfasts, including exquisite homemade preserves.

  • Tutored wine tasting and special events.

Guidance
  • An experienced facilitator with knowledge of the attractions, the people, and the history of the area.

  • Our active gourmet tours offer a range of routes from undemanding to taxing, through the very heart of stunning countryside. High fitness levels aren’t essential though reasonable fitness is preferable.

  • Pre-trip guidance (and cycle instruction is available if required).

  • Daily briefing and guidance.

  • Rest days and independent exploration possible (we supply very detailed maps which allow a choice of routes).

  • Literature, including a detailed itinerary, clothing guide, use of large-scale maps of the area, and general advice on travelling in Europe.

​​

A sense of adventure is compulsory!

 

Exclusions
  • Travel insurance (mandatory)

  • Transfers and flights

  • Castle and museum entry fees – you choose which to visit

  • Gratuities (tips) and drinks

  • Golf club hire and green fees, kayak hire where applicable

  • Visas and passports (as necessary)

  • Personal items, eg. laundry, telephone, internet charges

  • Optional extras

 

A limited number of days available?

You can join in for a shorter time. We also offer associated walking or car itineraries for non-cycling partners.

 

Footnote: Please note that there may possibly be changes outside the organiser's control, such as fluctuations between the NZ dollar and the overseas supplier's currency, or changes in prices or services. Prices shown are correct as at  July 2019. The organiser reserves the right to change any details in this outline, should this prove necessary, at any time until full payment is received. 

 

See our FAQ page for more information or email Gail to book.

Enjoying a Tuscan lunch

The Tuscan landscape

Picnic fare

Keen on a personalised tour?

 

We will design an itinerary for you, tailormade to suit your needs, interests and time frame. You decide when and how long you wish to tour for, who with and on what mode of transport.

 

Or we can help you select the most suitable tour from our extensive portfolio of the very best of worldwide activity holidays.