This was a beautiful and hassle-free tour through Tuscany in June 2015, with a lovely American family from Washington DC called the Scrivener family. The group of eight was made up of the “Nonna” (Grandmother), son and daughter, son in law and the four grandchildren. We started off from the stunning and historical city of Florence and soon after we stopped for a touching visit at the American WWII cemetery where more than 4,000 crosses are spread on the edge of a hill. This was one of the special activities requested by the family during our pre-tour communication, and I was more than happy to add this to the itinerary and share this moment with them. On this day we also visited the fascinating town of San Gimignano and stopped briefly in Monteriggione before heading towards our first accommodation in the town of Pienza.
Over the next few days, we toured around the southern part of Tuscany, a much more remote area, but still very rich in history, nature and culture. We enjoyed the amazing views that only the Orcia valley can offer. We tasted and learnt about Pienza's very famous Pecorino cheese, we sampled some delicious red wine in a historical canteen in the undergrounds of Montepulciano village, and we had fun at the natural hot-springs of San Filippo.
The next two nights were spent in the quiet and picturesque village of Sovana, settled inside a natural park and just a few kilometres away from the spectacular town of Pitigliano. Here we learnt about the mysterious Etruscan civilization which ruled this part of Italy before the Roman time, and visited some of the many necropolis that can be found in the area. After all the countryside and historical sights I knew the children wanted to take a swim in the Italian sea so, after tasting some freshly pressed and healthy Tuscan olive oil from a local producer, we took a detour to the beach and cooled down in the water before heading to our new accommodation, the Tenuta il Sassone.
The Tenuta il Sassone is located on a stunning spot with remarkable views over the Tuscan Maremma and run by a lovely couple that really made us feel at home. We took part in an authentic cooking class run by the very funny chef, Bruno, who shared with us the secrets to the perfect Bolognese sauce and fresh pasta. That night, with the company of the owners, the chef and the rest of the staff, we tried what we had cooked, and enjoyed a wonderful dinner together.
It was very difficult to leave Tenuta il Sassone the following morning, but the tour was coming to an end so, after a slow start to the day, we headed north to the medieval town of Siena. After enjoying some leisurely time exploring this beautiful city with its impressive Duomo, we enjoyed an incredibly scenic drive through the worldwide famous wine region of Chianti, where we spent our last night together.
This case study was written by our fabulous Tour Leader, Stefano Lai!
You can have a look at his profile, and the profile of our other expert guides at http://backroadstouring.com/unique-travel-experience/expert-guide-companions