FOR WOMEN ONLY
SATURDAY, JULY 7 – SATURDAY, JULY 14, 2018

Women Tours Italy, Small Group Tour, Susan Van Allen, 100 Places in Italy Every Womn Should Go, Golden Week in Tuscany, For Women Only

Join author Susan Van Allen, (100 Places in Italy Every Woman Should Go), for a splendid, femme-friendly adventure in Tuscany’s Val d’Orcia. This paradise, south of Siena, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has been beloved since the Renaissance for its enchanting medieval hilltop villages rising in the mist, thermal springs, gorgeous valleys of vineyards, olive groves, and farmlands, accented by stately cypress trees.

We’ll be based in the spa town of Bagno Vignoni, at a charming hotel with private thermal pools. Every Golden Day we’ll have an immersive experience meeting Susan’s friends: award winning chefs, winemakers, and artisans. We’ll visit the famed La Foce Gardens, awe-inspiring city of Siena, wander through a 12th century abbey, cobblestoned vias of Pienza, Montepulciano, and Montefollonico. The week is a gift of La Dolce Vita=The Sweet Life, in its summer-sunflower-blossoming glory—to bring you inspiration and pleasure, with breathtaking landscapes, masterpieces of architecture, world-renowned wines, and fresh-from-farmlands delicious tastes.

 

Brief Itinerary
Day 1

: Depart USA
Day 2: Welcome to Bagno Vignoni, with Cocktails and Dinner
Day 3: Fun Cooking Class in Charming Village of Montefollonico
Day 4: Visit the World Famous La Foce Gardens / Pienza at Sunset
Day 5: Discover Siena, One of Italy’s Most Beautiful Cities
Day 6: Experience Amazing Abbey of Sant ‘Antimo /
Wine Tasting at Award-Winning Montalcino Winery
Day 7: Delight in La Dolce Vita / Marvelous Montepulciano / Farewell Dinner
Day 8: Transfer to Florence or Rome for your Flight Home

CLICK HERE for Rave Reviews for Golden Weeks in Italy, now celebrating Six Successful Years of Bringing Joy to Women Travelers!

“This trip was clearly designed by an artist…everything flowed along beautifully, a delicious, transformational experience of La Dolce Vita!” — Helen, California

 

What’s Included:
  • Entertaining hosting by author Susan Van Allen, focusing on Italy’s celebration of all things female
  • 6 nights at Hotel Posta Marcucci in Bagno Vignoni, including entrance to hotel’s thermal pools, spa with saunas and relaxing rooms
  • Transportation by private minibus, including arrival and departure transfers from Florence airport or train station. (Transfers from Rome can be arranged with a supplement of $100/per person, based on 2 people traveling together).
  • Daily buffet breakfast at the hotel
  • 5 Dinners: 2 multi-course dinners, with wine, 3 multi-course dinners at Hotel Posta Marcucci, beverages excluded
  • 4 Lunches: 1 following cooking class in Montefollonico, 1 following garden tour at La Foce, 1 with wine tasting in Montalcino, Ala Carte Lunch at Hotel Bagno Vignoni (30-euro credit)
  • Cooking class with award-winning chef in Montefollonico
  • Vin Santo tasting in 750-year old cantina, Montefollonico
  • Entrance and private tour of La Foce Gardens
  • Visit and Tasting at Women-Owned & Operated Winery, Montalcino
  • Visits to the hill towns of Pienza and Montepulciano
  • Guided tour of Siena, by entertaining expert, including entrance to Duomo, with whisper headsets included
  • Visit to Abbey of Sant’Antimo, with self-guided audio tour
  • Gratuities for group activities: guides, drivers, and servers at group meals
  • Travel journal and optional writing workshops
  • $25 Donation to UNESCO’s World Heritage Center

 

What’s Not Included
  • Airfare
  • Meals not specified in the itinerary (1 dinner, 1 lunch are NOT included)
  • Spa treatments at Hotel Posta Marcucci
  • Optional Excursion to Cortona
  • Optional Travel Insurance
  • Everything not mentioned under “What’s Included”

This week is expertly designed, with a blend of wonderful group activities, and time for you to enjoy this paradise on your own, according to your desires.

 

PRICE: $3990/per person, double occupancy / $4190 per person/single occupancy
(Deposit Payment: $350, Final Payment Due: 5/9/2018)
Small Group Tour: 14 guests maximum

In Collaboration with Perillo Tours, America’s leading tour operator to Italy for over 70 years.

For more information, and to sign up for this adventure, Contact Christine at Perillo Tours: support@italyvacations.com, 800-482-5925, (10am to 6pm, Eastern Standard Time)

DETAILED ITINERARY:

GOLDEN DAY ONE, Saturday, July 7 –Depart USA for Florence or Rome

AIRPLANE

 

GOLDEN DAY TWO, Sunday, July 8 – Welcome to your Golden Week

 
20170507_070000000_iOS Benvenuta! You’ll be met by our driver at the Florence airport or train station*, then transported through the beautiful countryside to your home for the week: Hotel Posta Marcucci in Bagno Vignoni, a village famous for its curative thermal springs since the days of the Roman Empire.

You’ll feel yourself slow down as you settle into this Old World boutique hotel, surrounded by awesome views of the flowing valley and Mount Rocca. Soak your travel aches away in the Posta Marcucci’s warm pool, fed by a mineral-rich spring.
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Wander to the nearby heart of the village, to discover the stunning “square of sources” –a 16th century giant bubbling water-filled tub, and shrine to Saint Catherine who soaked here!!
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In the evening, we’ll gather to toast the week ahead. I’ll give you tips for your travel journal, so you can create a treasured souvenir of this adventure.

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We’ll dine in Posta Marcucci’s restaurant, enjoying the first of many memorable meals, featuring Tuscany’s traditional delicious flavors, backdropped by the sunset, bathing the valley in golden light.

Meals: D

*Transfers from Rome can be arranged with a supplement of $100/per person, based on 2 people traveling together

Driving time from Florence airport to Bagno Vignoni is 2 hours, from Rome 2.5 hours.

 

GOLDEN DAY THREE, Monday, July 9 – Taste Tuscany

Wake up and smell the caffe.  Enjoy an abundant breakfast buffet, featuring homemade jams, fresh baked bread and pastries, along with eggs made to your liking…get used to this delightful beginning to all your golden days.

Then we’ll set off for the hamlet of Montefollonico, for a cooking class at an enchanting restaurant, converted from a 300-year old olive mill, that’s been a gourmet destination for decades. We’ll join its glamorous, award-winning signora chef, for a stroll around her herb garden to gather ingredients, then tie on aprons for hands-on pasta making. Lunch will follow, enjoying the fruits of our labors.

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Next, we’ll wander through the Montefollonico medieval gate, feeling as though we’ve stepped back in time, as we visit a local ceramic artisan and a philosopher/winemaker’s 750-year old cantina, for a taste of vin santo, Tuscany’s signature desert wine.

Relax back in Bagno Vignoni, where you are welcome to enjoy a Travel Journal Writing Workshop in the early evening. Dinner is at the hotel, or on your own, at one of the village’s lovely, welcoming restaurants.

Meals: B, L, D*
*4-course dinner at the hotel is complementary, (excluding beverages), or you may wish to dine at one of Bagno Vignoni’s restaurants, at your own expense.

 

GOLDEN DAY FOUR – Tuesday, July 10 – Extraordinary La Foce Gardens / Elegant Pienza

 
We’ll take a drive through a classic landscape of winding roads and cypress trees to arrive at a world-famous garden: La Foce.

Susan Van Allen, Golden Week in Tuscany, 100 Places in Italy Every Woman Should Go, Women's Travel, Smll Group Tours Italy

It’s the dream-come-true of Iris Origo, an acclaimed writer, who, with her husband Antonio, bought the property in 1924, turning it into a jewel-of-an-estate. The garden features formal Italian and English styles to spectacular effect—sculpted hedges, terraces of colorful blooms, and lemon trees. We’ll be treated to a private tour, where we’ll hear the story of courageous Signora Origo–an idealist, who sheltered orphans here during turbulent World War II days, and became a local heroine by transforming the territory into prosperous farmlands.
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Lunch in this dreamy spot will follow, giving us a chance to savor the experience.

Following an afternoon break in Bagno Vignoni, we’ll head out for a magical evening. Sunset is the best time to enjoy Pienza, a hilltop town that will wow you with its elegant Renaissance architecture.

Pienza

You can stroll along a panoramic promenade, shop in town for artisan treasures, and taste Pienza’s prized Pecorino cheeses. Dinner is on your own, with Susan’s recommendations. Choices range from cozy wine bars to sophisticated ristoranti.

Meals: B, L

 

GOLDEN DAY FIVE – Wednesday, July 11 – Discover Siena / Soak under the Stars

 
Today we’ll discover one of the most beautiful cities in Italy: Siena. It’s a masterpiece of Medieval times, with fabulous Italian Gothic architecture, charming alleyways, and a thriving university town vibe.

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Lucky us, we’ll be there for Market Day, and have a chance to elbow in with the locals for bargain goodies. Our expert guide will lead us on an entertaining walk to see Siena’s stunning landmarks, including the Duomo and scallop-shaped piazza = Il Campo, where the traditional Palio=horse race, is held biannually. Then we’ll have time to wander as we wish, enjoying lunch, sightseeing, and shopping on our own.

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Back in Bagno Vignoni by early evening, a unique night awaits. The hotel offers special Wednesday pool hours, so you can soak under the stars, until midnight! An optional Travel Journal Writing Workshop will also be available.

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Meals: B, D*
*4-course dinner at the hotel is complementary, (excluding beverages), or you may wish to dine at one of Bagno Vignoni’s restaurants, at your own expense.

GOLDEN DAY SIX – Thursday, July 12 – Awesome Abbey of Sant’Antimo / Award-Winning Women-Owned Winery

This morning we’ll experience Tuscany’s powerful spiritual history, at the Abbey of Sant’Antimo–a 12th century Romanesque wonder, majestically rising in a valley of wheat fields and olive groves.

TUSCANY - ABBEYThe tranquil setting was once crowded with pilgrims, resting from their walk on the Via Francigena footpath, that runs through this area, connecting Canterbury to Rome. The Abbey is a spellbinding sight, adorned with Gothic sculpted columns and arched windows that filter magical shafts of light through its chapels. Nearby is a pharmacy, selling cosmetics, teas, and liqueurs, made with locally gathered herbs, in the tradition of Benedictine monks who once lived here.

Next, we’ll immerse ourselves in the world of Brunello di Montalcino, one of Italy’s most prestigious wines, produced in this province. We’ll visit an exceptional winery—the only in Italy that has an all-female staff, and produces award-winning Brunello designed by an all-female panel of experts. We’ll enjoy lunch with a wine tasting, overlooking the vineyards.

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We’ll return to Bagno Vignoni for a relaxing evening, and dinner on your own. You also have the option to take a 10-minute taxi ride to the neighboring village of San Quirico, where you can explore its Horti Leoni (16th century terraced gardens), quaint shops, and have dinner in one of their delightful restaurants.

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Meals: B, L, D*
*4-course dinner at the hotel is complementary, (excluding beverages), or you may wish to dine in Bagno Vignoni, or take a taxi for dinner in San Quirico, at your own expense. Taxi rates each way: 25euros total for 1-3 persons, 30euros total for 4-7 persons.

GOLDEN DAY SEVEN – Friday, July 13 – La Dolce Vita / Marvelous Montepulciano / Farewell Dinner

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This is your day to immerse yourself in La Dolce Vita, and experience the Val d’Orcia according to your desires, with my suggestions…

OPTIONS:
–At Posta Marcucci: Indulge in a spa treatment, thermal pools, play Bocce in the hotel garden court
–Walk the Via Francigena from Bagno Vignoni to San Quirico (1 hour, 3 miles)
–Explore the Parco dei Mulini (Old Roman baths) below the village of Bagno Vignoni
–Travel Journal Writing Workshop
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FOR ADDITIONAL COST:
Cortona Excursion:
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An English speaking private driver will transport you to this hill town in the neighboring Valdichiana, where you’ll be met by a local guide and discover a beautiful mix of pre-Roman Etruscan walls, Renaissance and Baroque masterpieces. You’ll have time on your own to enjoy Cortona’s caffes, artisan shops, and restaurants amidst medieval vias. The town is the setting for Frances Mayes’ wonderful book, Under the Tuscan Sun.
9:30AM-3:30PM, Includes Driver and Guide in Cortona for 2 hours. Ride from Bagno Vignoni to Cortona takes 1.15 hours, along a scenic route
COSTS: 4 persons = $230 per person, 5 to 9 persons = $185 per person,
10 to 14 persons = $115 per person
*Please let Christine know when you sign-up if you are interested in this option. You will be charged for it at final payment, according to the number of sign-ups.

In the late afternoon, we’ll take a lovely drive to Montepulciano.
3011Montepulciano

Set on a narrow ridge, this town was beloved by the noble Medici family and features marvelous Renaissance palazzos and churches, fine leather shops, gorgeous viewpoints, and enotecas to taste the town’s famous wine, Vino di Nobile.

Palazzo_del_Capitano_Montepulciano

From Montepulciano, it’s a short drive to Montichiello, where we’ll gather on the panoramic terrace of one of Italy’s most adored restaurants, for our final celebratory dinner of this Golden Week.

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Meals: B, L*, D
*You’ll receive a 30-euro lunch credit at the hotel, to enjoy its ala carte menu.

 

GOLDEN DAY EIGHT – Saturday, July 14 – Arrivederci

 
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Our driver will transport you to the Florence airport or train station*, where you’ll depart with Golden Memories of our week together…

*Transfers from Rome can be arranged with a supplement of $100/per person, based on 2 people traveling together.
Driving time from Bagno Vignoni to Florence is 2 hours, to Rome 2.5 hours. Keep this in mind, when making airline reservations. Return flights should depart after 11am.

Meals: B

My Golden Week experience was wonderful…more than I had anticipated. Everything was so well planned, including all of my transportation arrangements. Susan helped to make our experience pleasurable as well as memorable. I would recommend this tour to anyone looking for a cultural experience while the enjoying the full flavor of Italy.  — Maureen, New Jersey

CLICK HERE for Rave Reviews for Golden Weeks in Italy, now celebrating Six Successful Years of Bringing Joy to Women Travelers!

 

Activity Level:

Siena and the villages we visit are pedestrian only, so be prepared for walks on cobble stoned streets—bring comfortable walking shoes! Our day in Siena will require the most walking, at a relaxed pace, with stops along the way to rest, as needed.

 

Hotel Posta Marcucci

is a 3-star, boutique/historic property, beloved for its valley views, antique-filled lobby rooms, vintage bar, extraordinary staff, restaurant, thermal pools, and spa with saunas and relaxing rooms, that are free to hotel guests. Guest rooms are comfortably and simply styled, smaller than luxury hotels, with shower-only bathrooms. Bathrobes and slippers are provided, as well as TV and WiFi.
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For more information, and to sign up for this adventure, Contact Christine at Perillo Tours Today: support@italyvacations.com, 800-482-5925
(10am to 6pm, Eastern Standard Time)

Would you like to arrive early or extend your Golden Week, in Florence or Rome? Christine can arrange for discounted hotel rates and packages. Just ask!