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This is a sample itinerary to give you an idea of how we could plan your vacation. Normally, we begin by sending you a proposal and then work together closely with you to personalize the itinerary according to your specific interests and requirements. We also try to include any special events that might be taking place during the period of the visit.
Here we suggest starting and ending in Florence, however you can also plan to go straight to your villa when you arrive in Tuscany and depart from there on the last day if you have fewer days for your trip – just keep in mind that villa rentals run weekly from Saturday to Saturday.
The towns and venues mentioned in the itinerary will vary, based on the location of your selected accommodation. We try to plan day trips that require no more than 1 hour's driving time to the sightseeing destination – this way your visit can remain a vacation.

Sample Itinerary (Total Culinary Experience: Lucca) 10 days/9 nights

DAY 1 (Fri.):
Arrive in Florence. Take a taxi from airport/station to a charming historic B&B or hotel in the city center. Free afternoon/evening in Florence to relax and dine in one of the city's great restaurants, (usually one of our representatives will come to meet you at the hotel in the late afternoon to say hello and provide suggestions for dinner and anything else you may need.)
DAY 2 (Sat.):
After breakfast, take a guided walking tour through the historic city center of Florence. If you don't rent a car, our drivers will take you to the villa in the early afternoon. When you arrive, relax and settle in, enjoy the stunning views and explore the beautiful grounds.
A traditional Tuscan welcome dinner at the villa, prepared by your personal chef, will be the perfect way to end the day.
DAY 3 (Sun.):
Spend the morning with a professional Italian chef learning how to prepare some of the delicacies typical of this area in Tuscany. Class will be held at his restaurant, giving you a hands-on experience in creating a Tuscan meal. This is an interesting and entertaining way to improve your cooking skills and learn some fantastic new recipes. Once you have prepared your full course lunch you will have the pleasure of enjoying it!
In the afternoon, visit Lucca, the lovely capital of the province that has preserved much of its original medieval architecture and charm. The great walls that surround the center, unchanged from the 16th century when they were built, are considered to be the symbol of the city. Lucca's nickname, "City of the Hundred Churches", is due to the exceptional number of ecclesiastic monuments that can be found inside its walls. Take a guided tour to become better acquainted with this enchanting town that has become a favorite in Tuscany for many visitors.
The evening will be spent relaxing at the villa and enjoying a light home cooked meal.

DAY 4 (Mon.):

It's an early start, because you're off to the local fish market and grocery store where your personal chef will show you how to select the freshest and best ingredients for today's cooking class. Lucca's location, close to its famous coastal areas, means that seafood is an important part of the local cuisine. Return to the kitchen where you will prepare and enjoy an incredible lunch!
In the afternoon, you will take a tour of some of the most impressive historic villas in Tuscany. Enjoy a sampling of these luxurious residences from different historic periods to see how the Italian aristocracy lived at the time. These sumptuous homes, with original antique furniture, priceless artwork and amazing gardens are indicative of the wealth and opulence that characterized Italian history.
Back at the villa you will have a chance to rest before you head out to a local restaurant for dinner.

DAY 5 (Tues.):
Today you learn about main ingredients and sauces. This is an essential cooking lesson that will teach you about the origins of Italian cuisine. A seminar about Extra Virgin olive oil will enlighten you with regard to one of the most well known components of Mediterranean cooking. You will taste a variety of oils in order to better recognize the differences. Lunch will be a sampling of the many things you prepare.
In the afternoon you'll go to visit Carrara, famous worldwide for its marble. Take a guided tour inside the quarry to see how the marble is extracted and then stroll through the quaint town before heading back to the villa where there will be a surprise for dinner…
DAY 6 (Wed.):
Learn to make pasta and pizza! A fun class where you can really get your hands into things! You will try everything, from fresh pasta and ravioli to the famous focaccia bread, and of course several kinds of pizza, including a "pizza dessert".
At this point, no stay in the province of Lucca would be complete without a trip to the beach. Take a walk through Viareggio, the resort town famous for its Carnival pageant as well as its chic beaches, luxury shops and excellent nightlife. Next door is Forte dei Marmi, one of the most exclusive seaside resorts in Europe. This is a playground for the jet set, where during the summer you can be sure to find some of the most well known international celebrities. Of course, this coastal area known as Versilia is also renowned for its exceptional restaurants, and for dinner you'll try one for yourselves…

DAY 7 (Thurs.):

Today, if you are with a large group, you can decide to split up and do two different activities, so everyone can pick what they like best:
Spend the day at one of the oldest thermal Spas in Europe, the Bagni di Lucca. The therapeutic properties of its waters were known from the time of the Romans. The luxurious Spa, immersed in a stunning Tuscan landscape, offers state-of-the-art facilities and treatments that guarantee an incredible experience of total relaxation and well-being. The Day-Spa package includes access to the thermal pool, several body treatments and a delicious lunch at the Spa's excellent restaurant.
If you prefer, discover a part of Tuscany that is still a hidden gem and venture into the unexploited northern territory of Garfagnana, a natural woodland paradise embraced by the Apennines and the Apian Alps. The color green and nature are the protagonists of this incredibly beautiful area. Rich with rivers, lakes and waterways, the Garfagnana is home to many nature preserves and national parks. Explore the historic hamlet of Castelnuovo di Garfagnana, the area's capital, which offers stunning views and an impressive array of Renaissance monuments. Thursday is also market day, a tradition from medieval times. Stands bearing a multitude of products fill the streets and squares of the historic center, making for a unique experience. Later, for lunch you will try some of the local specialties.
Everyone will meet back at the villa for dinner.

DAY 8 (Fri.):
Today for your final cooking lesson, the chef will share his favorite recipes with you. An exceptional menu will be the result of your efforts. This memorable experience is sure to leave you satisfied and, hopefully, a better cook than before you started!
In the afternoon you will visit the enchanting hills of Lucca, true to the Tuscan standard of exceptional landscapes. Naturally, this area does not lack for vineyards or olive groves, bell towers or hilltop hamlets. In fact, the route you will take has been named Strada del Vino, the Road of Wine, because as you head towards the town of Montecarlo you will notice the endless rows of grape vines, destined to become the prestigious wines of this area, DOC Colline Lucchesi and Montecarlo. A guided visit to a local vineyard and its wine cellars will offer you a hands-on experience to learn about and taste these wonderful blends.
Return to the villa to unwind, pack and get ready for the chef's sumptuous farewell dinner.

DAY 9 (Sat.):
Leave the villa in the morning after breakfast. Return to Florence and check into a historic B&B or hotel for the final night. Spend a free afternoon enjoying the city.
Enjoy dinner at a characteristic restaurant.

DAY 10 (Sun.):
After breakfast, it is "arrivederci" (which means "see you again")…
We hope you had a memorable vacation with NewTuscanExperience! Hopefully we'll have you back again soon to try another itinerary or a different province!

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