DAY 5: CORTONA IN TUSCANY
Enjoy a day at leisure in Cortona or consider our Cooking Class and/or our Tour to Siena. We have some optional ideas for you or just enjoy being in this amazing city.
Many options are available from Cooking Classes to a day trip to Siena and more. Today, enjoy Tuscany at your leisure - perhaps it's a thorough exploration of delightful Cortona, a cooking class, horse-back riding, Vespa rental and much more.
Optional experiences to consider for Today:
• Cooking Class from Cortona
— Just outside of Cortona, in the company of an expert chef, participants learn how to make several courses including a dessert. It is a different experience where the participants learn to prepare a multiple-course meal and then partake in the sampling of the prepared dishes while enjoying the olive oils and wines of the region! -Duration 3-5 hours. $248 per person.
• Horseback Riding Adventure
— Commences at 9:30/10:00am or 2:00/3:00pm. $99 per person for first 2 hours, $37 per hour for each additional hour. Front desk of hotel will arrange round-trip taxi for you at guest expense. Options available for beginner or experienced riders.
• Walking Tour of Siena with Round-trip Transportation
— Departs around 9:30am. $465 per person. The tour includes round-trip transfer from Cortona to Siena with a walking tour of Siena in the morning and some free time in the afternoon. Today's tour will walk you through the old Ghetto, the Tower District (Contrada della Torre), and through little alleys, and on to the Basilica dei Servi, from which point you can enjoy an amazing view of the old town. We will take in Orto dei Pecci; a pleasant and easily accessible garden, located just behind the main square: The serenity and tranquility of this green oasis, together with the view of the incredible Torre del Mangia will mesmerize you.
• Morning Walking Tour of Siena with Cooking Class in Afternoon
— Departs around 9:30am. $599 per person. Enjoy the morning tour (see description above) and then a special cooking class in the afternoon. Our driver then whisks you to a nearby villa where you will enjoy a tour of the vines, immersion in all things Wine, Balsamic, and Olive Oil followed by a cooking lesson. And, yes, you then enjoy the fruits of your labor. Our chef is capable and entertaining as you enjoy learning more about Tuscan cooking. We then return to the hotel in Cortona for a free evening.
• Cortona and the Franciscan Monastery Le Celle
— $190 per person. A classic private walking tour of Cortona comprises the Garibaldi Square with its magnificent panoramic view over the Valdichiana, the Church of St. Dominic built for the Dominicans with its medieval architecture and paintings by Luca Signorelli e Lorenzo di Niccolò, via Nazionale, the Republic Square with the Town Hall, the Church of St. Francis with its collection of objects owned to St. Francis of Assisi, Piazza Signorelli with Palazzo Casali and the Duomo. Then the tour continues by car outside the city walls of Cortona to the Franciscan Monastery of Le Celle, immersed in a forest and a place of an extraordinary beauty, calm and Franciscan spirituality.
• Cortona Ancient Walls, Fortresses, Convents and Churches
— $190 per person. This is a walking tour on steep slopes in the oldest part of Cortona leading up to the very top of the hill. For this reason is suitable for guests who enjoy walking (hiking) on slopes. The prize at the end is a fantastic view of Cortona and the valley below and the beauty of this less frequented and untouched part of the town. Above the center, half-way up to the hill of Cortona, are the Church San Francesco and beyond a cypress-lined courtyard, is the 15th century Chiesa di San Niccolò. The 15th-century church has a small porch with slender columns and the interior houses paintings by Luca Signorelli: the two-sided panel-painting, Descent from the Cross and Madonna Enthroned, and a fresco, Madonna with Saints. Passing by the little church San Cristoforo and Porta Montanina we will stop on the top to visit the Sanctuary of Santa Margherita, the town's patron saint. Finally walking down through the old part of town through the narrow alleyways of the quarter called Poggio San Marco you will admire also the beautiful 12 Via Crucis Stations with mosaics by the Futurist artist Gino Severin, a native of Cortona.
• Assisi Privately Guided Tour with round-trip transportation
— $279 per person. Enjoy this special visit to the hometown of Saint Francis, peacefully set on the slopes of the Subasio Mountain. The Basilica of Saint Francis is one of Europe's most important church buildings and undoubtedly the cultural highlight of the entire region. Our guide will show you the most important monuments, the Roman remains, the charming intact medieval town, stunning views of the landscape and the town’s hidden treasures. During this guided tour you will see the Basilica of St. Francis*, Piazza del Comune (central square), Minerva temple and other sites.
Cortona is a small but fascinating hill town in the province of Arezzo, Tuscany. It is situated on a commanding hill that overlooks Lake Trasimeno, known for the infamous rout of the Romans by Hannibal and the Carthaginians. Its cyclopean walls, still preserved in great detail, are said to be 3000 years old. It was one of the twelve cities of Etruria.
Soak in the morning: enjoy a walk through the vineyards, or a hike up to the castle or a leisurely stroll through the piazza and streets.
Breakfast is included this morning should you have time before your departure. We say Arrivederci today or perhaps you might want to extend your stay. Inquire with us about adding the Amalfi Coast.
Are you wrapping up your Journey in Tuscany? Enjoy our included Departure Transfer to the Rome FCO Airport.