8D/7N - 2020 Southern Tuscany - private tour

    Southern Tuscany   

    Private Tour

    Sorano-Vitozza-San Quirico-Pitigliano-Sovana-Tarquinia-Viterbo-Gorello-Montemerano-Manciano-Talamone-Uccelina Park-Argentario Peninsula-Montalcino-Montepulciano-Bettole

    08 days/ 07 nights, Sorano/Bettole

    **Please contact us for 2020 dates & prices


Day 01 Sorano- Vitozza- San Quirico-Sorano

In the morning, meet the guide at the hotel and we will start the easy bike tour with an e-bike. First of all we will reach the village of San Quirico . It stands at an altitude of 507 meters a.s.l. and is the most densely populated fraction of the municipality of Sorano. Over the centuries it was controlled by Orvieto, the Baschi, and after the lords of Vitozza departed for France, it was ruled by the Orsini. Then, we continue by bike to Vitozza, one of the largest cave settlements in Italy. Vitozza is situated in a rocky, isolated position in the valley of the River Fiora. Lush with vegetation and springs, these caves were inhabited from prehistoric times up until fairly recently. We will then cross an exceptionally fascinating street: through a long hollow road until emerging in the archeological area. Located above a spur and surrounded by thick vegetation, it is entirely scattered with Etruscan caves, and here you can catch sight of Roman columbarium and medieval fortification remains. Before returning back to Sorano we will stop to the magnificent and imposing "Fortezza Orsini di Sorano" - the Orsini Fortress, once the stronghold and home of the powerful and rich Aldobrandeschi and Orsini nobility in Maremma. It is now the home of a single fox who has the place all to himself each night after the tourists have all gone home. Welcome dinner at the accommodation with typical organic food.

Day 02 Sorano- Pitigliano-Sovana-Sorano

Today, you will hike along the Etruscan Vie Cave. Start the day by a private transfer to Pitigliano where you will meet the guide who will make you discover the southern Tuscany in the magic triangle Sorano, Sovana and Pitigliano. First of all, you will discover Pitigliano: A perfectly preserved old town perched high on a ledge overlooking two rivers. We will walk in the narrow street with several stores, cafés and restaurants. Explore the whole town and one of the underground cellar of the Pitigliano wine, then walk down the steps by the main gate to get to the path that goes around the bottom of the town for starting a 1 hour and half guided hiking tour through the Vie Cave, which were the highways of Ancient Etruria, carved deeply between tall cliffs of tufa rock by the Etruscans. Later on, arrive in Sovana and enjoy some time at leisure to discover the charming city center before heading back to Sorano by private transfer. Sovana is a fabulous small town with two churches, with stone carvings and bits of frescoes, and many stores, restaurants and cafés.

Day 03 Sorano- Sovana-Sorano

Walking tour of Sovana Etruscan necropolises. Private transfer to Pitigliano and meeting the guide to discover the necropolis of the Tuscan Maremma’s most outstanding qualities, where you can’t go more than 10km without stumbling over the remains of an Etruscan city or tombs. Our guide will tell you about this pre-Roman civilisation who used to live in Etruria. We will discover their fantastic relationship with the Ancient Greeks and their knowledge of winemaking and pottery over the peaceful civilisation, preferring music and dancing to the war. The Romans came in the 2nd century BCE with the express purpose of taking Etruria for themselves and as a result, much of the Etruscan culture and artistic fervor can now only be found in such necropolises as Sovana’s Citta del Tufo. The park is expansive, stretching over raw forest in the middle of the fertile Fiora Valley. With your guide, you will start the guided tour by looking at rock graves that date back to the 8th-7th century BCE! The Tomba Ildebranda is the park’s most famous tomb. Twelve columns supported the roof, one for each capital of Etruria. Centuries ago it was painted bright green, yellow, red and blue and covered in floral and animal motifs more magnificent than most modern churches. Today, only the shell of these hulking building remains, but you can still explore it. The others are spread in the park like the Tomba dei Demoni Alati where you can still see the paint that flecks the carved figure likeness of the deceased Etruscan buried below and guarded by a lion statue.

Day 04 Sorano-Tarquinia-Viterbo-Sorano

Today, discover the Tarquinia Necropolis and Viterbo, the papal town. Depart to Tarquinia crossing the Dunes where there are spectacular views of Allumiere, Civitavecchia, Tarquinia and the Argentario Peninsula before seeing the 18th century aqueducts and the Etruscan Necropolis. The Etruscan Necropolis of Monterozzi counts with approximately 6,000 tombs, most of them are spaces digged into the rock and surmounted by tumulus, the oldest of them dating back to the seventh century BC. Among these, approximately 200 contain a series of frescoes representing the largest pictorial Etruscan art group arrived to our days and, at the same time, the largest proof of the whole Ancient paintings before Roman Imperial Age. This extraordinary series of depicted tombs represents the most prestigious group of the necropolis, absolutely the most important of the Mediterranean, so much that it has been defined by scholar M. Pallottino as the “first chapter of Italian Painting History”. Many are

interesting graves that we can visit, included the Tomb of the Panthers, of the Bulls, of the Baron, of the Wishes, and the tomb of Anina's in the neighboring necropolis of Scataglini. This enormous heritage, not only artistic but historic, represents an outline of the daily life of Etruscans and it was included in 2004 in the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Then continuing the journey, we will visit the papal town of Viterbo that will give you a feeling of being set back in the middle-ages: especially the district of San Pellegrino, with its twisting alleys, old houses with the typical external staircases, the cobble-stoned streets and the workshops where the artisans still go after their trade. We will end the tour by a visit of the nearby cathedral and the papal palace.

Day 05 Sorano- Gorello-Montemerano- Manciano –Talamone

Among the sweet hills of the Tuscan Maremma in a place dominated by tufa rocks and spas, we will visit magnificent medieval villages and masterpieces which will bring us back to the past. Going towards Manciano, we will do a nice stop to visit the Castle before reaching Montemerano, one of the most characteristically medieval places in the Maremma. Situated on top of a hill entirely cultivated with century old olive trees, it introduces itself to our eyes as one of the most perfectly well-preserved village in which you will breathe a magic atmosphere. The castle of Montemerano, in which the village lays, was involved during the past in fights and arguments between the family Braschi, relatives of the Aldobrandeschi family, and the town of Orvieto that wanted the supremacy on this territory. There are still some trails of this in the show organized every year: “Il raduno dei cavalieri e delle Amazzoni” in June and “La Giostra del drago” in April. Going along the fortified walls of the castle, at the North-western gate, you could visit the church of San Giorgio that represents one of the most interesting examples of the Tuscan figurative art. Inside you can see frescoes of the 1400 and 1500 and the famous Tavola della Madonna della Gattaiola. From here you can smell the sulfur of the wild hot spring of the Gorello waterfalls. We will also do a nice stop in a cheese maker for a cheese tasting. Welcome dinner at the accommodation with typical sea food.

Day 06 Uccellina Park

Right on the coast, the panorama is incredible. Views stretch from the Park Mountains' along the coastline to the Monte

Argentario peninsula and out over the sea towards the isles of Giglio, Montecristo and Elba. Walking paths are properly signed

out and kept in good shape. You will appreciate the Maremma park's serious approach, if you ever got lost on what Italians normally call a 'signed out' walk. The fauna of the park is plentiful: from Maremma cows and horses to wild boars, foxes and turtles. The protected flora is Mediterranean at heart (pine woods, marshlands, aromatic herbs, ancient olive groves) and just breathtakingly beautiful. The Maremma National Park sports one of the most beautiful and unspoiled coastlines in Tuscany. Collect shells and drift wood to start working on that beach hut and as with everything in Tuscany, you will have history all around you: visit the sturdy Renaissance look-out towers built by the Medici to ward off pirate invasions or the ruins of a medieval monastery as San Rabano abbey. The stunning Maremma National Park in the south of the region is one of the best destinations for hiking in Tuscany.

Day 07 Boat Tour on The Argentario Peninsula

Boarding from Talamone, spend half of the day discovering the extraordinary promontory of Monte Argentario, with its small coves and bays. It is considered by dedicated scuba divers to be one of the most interesting zones in Italy for its abundance of fish and a sea-bed rich in coral and shells. The Maremma coast has many facets: the mystical atmosphere of the Orbetello Lagoon and the golden, groomed beaches of the Feniglia and the Giannella not far from the Capalbio coast with lunar sand and wild, untouched dunes making it unique. The Islands of Giglio and Giannutri are rare jewels with rocky cliffs plummeting to the crystal-clear, emerald green sea and the scent of the Mediterranean scrub and aromatic herbs filling the air. Fully equipped tourist ports such as Punta Ala, the fishing villages of Talamone, Santo Stefano and Porto Ercole on the slopes of the Argentario, reveal panoramic views over the coast and the islands and offer unforgettable sunsets spread across the sky.

Day 08 Talamone– Montalcino- Montepulciano– Bettole

This land has a gentle sensuality and colours that change dramatically with the seasons. The bare clay turns as gold as the wheat in the fields and when the sun is too fierce there are shady houses and cypress trees, straight and tall as soldiers’ lances. Castles and abbeys, churches and convents, villages and cities, farms and streets form a “slice of history” stretched over a geography that seems moulded for it. The Orcia Valley is an invitation to discover this land, a life which flows with the rhythms of the land and places where people still live in harmony with Nature; and a travel through its food and wine will be the best way! From the hill town of Montalcino, completely encircled by fortified walls, renowned for its world-famous Brunello di Montalcino. Climbing to the top of the hill you have stunning views over the valleys all around, characterized by vineyards, olive trees, fields and other little villages. Then, continue to Montepulciano the Orcia Valley, part of Unesco Heritage. Then Montepulciano, a quintessential Tuscan medieval village, boasting a green landscape of rolling hills, castle walls and ramparts, thermal springs and fine wine. It is famous worldwide for its Vino Nobile and its underground Etruscan cellars and as a “jewel of the 1500s” thanks to its splendid Renaissance art and architecture. Welcome dinner at the accommodation with typical meat food.

Inclusions: Romantic accommodation in double room, daily breakfast, three dinners, 1 wine tour and tasting in Pitigliano historical cellars, 1 wine tour and tasting with cold cuts in the Sovana archaeological winery, 1 cheese tasting in Maremma, 1 wine tour and tasting with cold cuts in Montepulciano, Full day private excursion with driver/host English speaking on day 08, half day easy biking guided tour of Sorano archaeological path, half day hiking guided tour of Pitigliano “Vie Cave”, half day hiking guided tour of Sovana Etruscan tombs, full day guided tour with driver/ Italian lifestyle tutor of Tarquinia and Viterbo, full day guided tour with driver/ Italian lifestyle tutor of Maremma villages and hot pools, half day boat tour of Argentario, full day driving guided tour of Orcia valley, entrance fees to Tufa archaeological park, Orsini Fortress, Aldobrandesca fortress, Tarquinia archaeological park and Uccellina natural park.

Hotels: Sorano- stay at a Country Inn, Uccellina Park – stay at a Country Inn, Orcia Valley- stay at a Country Inn

Extensions on request: 2 Nights B&B double accommodation, 3 full day driving/guided tours, arrival transfer included daily tour

Note: transfers from Rome, pre & post nights available on request

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