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Italy with Cosimo

8 Days

 4999€/pax 

DAY 1 - FLORENCE

This is the beginning of our journey where you will be met by Cosimo at the hotel.
Following your check in you will be introduced to your personal guide of Florence for a walking tour of the historic centre. Although famous for its grand Piazzas, it is in the narrow alleyways that you can tap into the true depths of the City.
Nothing in Florence is coincidental. Everything has a reason and it is through the stories and
anecdotes to be shared by your guide that the mysteries and secrets of the city will be revealed.


The day concludes with a welcome dinner in one of Florence’s acclaimed restaurants where
you will be introduced to traditional Tuscan cuisine and sample Chianti wines.

DAY 2 - FLORENCE

08:30am

The day begins at the Uffizi, famed as the first established gallery in the world. Here our personal tour guide will take us through the fascinating development of the renaissance.


Afterwards there is some free time to eat, shop and sightsee, before we come back together to tour Palazzo Vecchio. Much more than the town hall of Florence, this was heart of the Medici’s strong hold on the city and its walls contain many secrets which will be shared with you.

The tour culminates with an optional tower climb to take in breath-taking views of the city.

DAY 3 - FLORENCE

A visit to Florence would not be complete without a tour of the Accademia Di Belle Arti.
Replicas of Michelangelo’s David can be found all over the city but here you will see the original and learn more of its fascinating background.


We will be happy to provide suggestions for some afternoon free time but later in the afternoon we come together for a traditional pasta making class which will conclude with a dinner. Taste the fruits of your labours matched with local wines.

DAY 4 - SIENA

We hit the road today in comfortable mini vans to travel to Florence’s historic competitor, Siena.

Nowadays famous for the Palio of Siena, horseracing held in the main square, the history of Siena is deep and complex.

On arrival we will be met by a local guide who will take you through the city and unravel some of its mystery.


After a shared lunch we will check in to your hotel and regroup in the in the early evening for one of Italy’s great institutions – Aperitivo.

DAY 5 - CHIANTI REGION

DAY 5 - CHIANTI REGION

Italy with Cosimo

8 Days

A partire da €50

OVERVIEW

From the 17th century, English aristocrats embarked on “The Grand Tour”. And central Italy was the key destination.
Focusing on Florence to Rome we have designed this trip to incorporate some of the iconic must dos as well as visit parts which are more off the beaten track where you can immerse yourself in the true Italian experience.


The tour begins in the heart of the historic renaissance. Experience the opulence of the Medici rule and immerse yourself in the wonders of Leonard Da Vinci, Michelangelo and Botticelli to name a few.

Move on to bask in the sun of the rolling Tuscan hills, sample famous wines of the region and enjoy the cuisine for which Tuscany is famous.

Concluding in the historic epicentre of the roman Empire, Rome will have you mesmerized.


Designed by Cosimo Ceccherini, an Italian born Florentine who now divides his time between New Zealand and Italy, you will experience personally fantastic curated private tours with some of the best specialist guides, food classes, wine degustation and lots of aperitivos. Be prepared not just for wonderful sightseeing but also for high jinks and laughter.


It will be a small group of a maximum of 16 people. The tour has been designed with the Italian institution of “passeggiare” in mind, relaxed and unrushed. However, most of the museum visits are scheduled for early in the day to avoid the big crowds that they tend to attract.

Deliberately midday to mid-afternoon caters to free time – you may wish to avoid the heat and adopt the Italian tradition of “pisolino” (beauty nap). Get ready to experience central Italy up-close and personal.

DAY 1 - FLORENCE

This is the beginning of our journey where you will be met by Cosimo at your first four star hotel.


Following check in you will be introduced to your personal guide of Florence for a walking tour of the historic centre. Although famous for its grand piazzas, it is in the narrow alleyways that you can tap into the true depths of the city.


Nothing in Florence is coincidental. Everything has a reason and it is through the stories and
anecdotes to be shared by your guide that the mysteries and secrets of the city will be revealed.


The day concludes with a welcome dinner in one of Florence’s acclaimed restaurants where
you will be introduced to traditional Tuscan cuisine and sample Chianti wines.

DAY 2 - FLORENCE

The day begins at the Uffizi, famous for being the first gallery established in the world. Here our personal tour guide will take us through the fascinating development of the renaissance.


Afterwards there is some free time to eat, shop and sightsee, before we come back together to tour Palazzo Vecchio. Much more than the town hall of Florence, this was heart of the Medici’s strong hold on the city and its walls contain many secrets which will be shared with you.

The tour culminates with an optional tower climb to take in breath-taking views of the city.

DAY 3 - FLORENCE

A visit to Florence would not be complete without a tour of the Accademia Di Belle Arti. Replicas of Michelangelo’s David can be found all over the city but here you will see the original and learn more of its fascinating background.


We will be happy to provide suggestions for some afternoon free time but later in the day we come together for a traditional pasta making class which will conclude with a dinner. Taste the fruits of your labours matched with local wines.

DAY 4 - SIENA

We hit the road today in comfortable mini vans to travel to Florence’s historic competitor, Siena. Nowadays famous for the Palio of Siena, horseracing held in the main square, the history of Siena is deep and complex. On arrival we will be met by a local guide who will take you through the city and unravel some of its mystery.


After a shared lunch we will check in to your hotel and regroup in the early evening for one of Italy’s great institutions – Aperitivo.

DAY 5 - CHIANTI REGION

In the thirteenth century how did powerful families gain superiority and demonstrate their wealth? They built a tower. In the medieval village of San Gimignano there are more remaining towers than any other village in Italy and this produces a beguiling landscape.


After learning of San Gimignano’s tumultuous history, we will travel through the rolling hills of the Chianti region to arrive at Panzano.
Dario Cecchini is an 8th generation butcher whose family’s customers included Leonardo Da Vinci and Dante Alighieri. Still operating a butcher shop, Dario has expended his operations to include restaurants in Panzano featured in Chef’s Table. A table has been reserved for
you!

DAY 6 - VALDORCIA to ROME

We leave Siena bound for Rome, travelling through the grapevines and olive groves of the Val D’orcia. Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2004, it was a source of inspiration for many Renaissance painters.
 
The first stop will be an hystoric winery in Montalcino, owned by a local family from whom you will learn everything about Brunello di Montalcino, including how to appreciate it by drinking different vintages.
 
After the wine tasting, we will venture just a few further kilometres to Pienza, a Papal village famous for its Pecorino cheese. Here we will enjoy a gourmet lunch in an former convent of the XV century with stunning views of the Val D’orcia.
 
Next we travel to Montepulciano, a quintessential Tuscan medieval village vaunting green landscapes marked by rolling hills and castle walls. Situated on a limestone hill 2000 feet above sea level, it is famous worldwide for its "Vino Nobile". There, we will visit an historic cellar called "The Underground City" located in the downstairs of a local wine shop.
 
We will arrive in Rome in the early evening where you will be checked in to your accommodation.

DAY 7 - ROME

We start the day with a guided walking tour of the historic centre of the Eternal City, brimming with art, architecture, culture and.... fountains (Rome has more fountains than any other city in the world).

 

Having got your bearings, you will be free to explore the wonders of Rome at your leisure. Cosimo will be able to provide suggestions for sightseeing shopping and grazing.

 

We will regroup again in the evening for aperitivo and Pizza.

DAY 8 - ROME

A visit to Rome would not be complete without taking in the world’s smallest state – The Vatican. The Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museums are two of the most iconic places in Rome. Filled with history, culture and religious power, there is no other place in the Eternal City where so many artistic treasures are concentrated. The awe inspiring sights will be complimented by the wealth of knowledge of our personal guide.


After some midday free time we will explore another hidden gem of Rome, Quartiere Coppedè. Designed and built in the 1920s, this Gaudi like suburb will welcome you with bizarre, surreal buildings containing sculptures and architectural decorations with Masonic and esoteric symbolic meanings. Its mysterious and magical dimension is unlike any other part of Rome.


Our trip concludes with a farewell dinner in a nearby local Ristorante, located in cloisters on Piazza Caprera.

ACCOMODATION

At Keys of Italy we think quality accommodation is an essential part of the tour experience.
Hotels for this tour remain to be finalized but you can expect accommodation of the following four star calibre.

2024 DEPARTURE:

  • July the 4th

What’s included in the trip:

  • An experienced tour leader for the entire 8 days ensuring stress free travel

  • Transport for the duration of the tour in premium mini vans

  • 8 nights in 4 star boutique accommodation with breakfast included

  • Private guided tours with specialist guides and all entry tickets to museums galleries, cooking class and wine tastings

  • Welcome dinner in Florence

  • Pasta class dinner

  • Lunch in Siena

  • Aperitivo in Siena

  • Lunch in Panzano at Dario Cecchini’s restaurant

  • Wine tasting in Montalcino with sommelier/wine maker

  • Wine tasting in Montepulciano with sommelier/wine maker

  • Lunch in Pienza

  • Aperitivo and pizza in Rome

  • Farewell dinner​

What’s not included

  • Visa if required

  • Travel insurance (required)

  • International airfares

  • Drinks and meals other than above inclusions

  • Optional tours which you may like to take. We'll will be there to help

  • Personal spending money

  • Transport to our arrival hotel meeting point and on your last day following check out

  • Anything not mentioned on "what's included"

More info? Contact Cosimo!

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Booking and Cancellation

The following fees apply:

- €500 non refundable deposit to secure the booking

- Full payment is to be made by 1 April

- On cancellation prior to 1 May, payments already made (less the deposit ) will be refunded; between 1 May and 1 June  70% will be refunded; between 2 June and 16 June 50% will be refunded; from 17 June  there will be no refund

 

In the event that less than 6 bookings are made, Keys of Italy reserves the right to cancel the tour on the basis that payments made will be fully refunded

 

Credit card and money transfer fees may apply.



If you would like to book the hotel in Florence for some days prior to your arrival, or in Rome following the conclusion of the tour, we can assist.
Should you wish to carry on with more exploring of Italy, we can help you prepare an itinerary. We strongly suggest doing so a few months ahead of time.


As numbers are limited we recommend early booking. Close off is 4th of May

WHO'S COSIMO?

 

Cosimo was born and grew up in Florence.

After completing his qualifications in hospitality he travelled the world eventually settling in New Zealand where he was proud to become a citizen.

Cosimo travelled throughout New Zealand, living and working in different cities.

Recently he and his partner bought a villa in the Italian countryside and have enjoyed the experience of renovating it.

 

Integrating his knowledge of both Italy and New Zealand and his love of travelling the world, Cosimo is in a unique position to ensure a truly memorable tour irrespective of where you call home. Italy - see it, feel it, taste it!

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