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Through our Expertly Done Culinary & Wine Travel series, explore cultures, food, and wine enhanced by the knowledgeable, approachable insights of Premier Tours & Travel’s hand-selected experts. Enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime tour of Tuscany's villages and cities, enjoy the finest Tuscan wines and feast on delicious cuisine. Then relax and refuel at your beautiful farmhouse in the Val D’Orcia region — an UNESCO World Heritage Site.
April 16-April 24, 2023 (departing USA April 15, 2023) with Chef Ron Suhanosky (Chef Ronsky)
September 17-25, 2023, 2023 (departing USA September 16, 2023) with Chef Ronsky
October 1-October 9, 2023 (departing USA September 30, 2023) with Chef Bob Waggoner
October 8-16, 2023 (departing USA October 7, 2023) with Chef Bob Waggoner
From $7,599 Per Person; Double Occupancy; Single Supplement $1800; Limited to 20 passengers
Depart the United States for Florence, Italy
Day 1 – Florence, Val d'Orcia
Arrive Florence international airport in the morning.
Arrive Florence airport in the morning. A private group transfer will be waiting for you for travel to your villa. Depart Florence and travel through the rolling hills, olive groves and vineyards of the beautiful Tuscan countryside to your accommodations for the week. Enjoy a welcome lunch upon arrival and enjoy the balance of your day at leisure to refresh, relax and acclimate. Later this evening, observe the preparations for your dinner while enjoying the wonderful wines of Tuscany, makes for a truly memorable first evening in beautiful Tuscany! Buon Appetito! Welcome Tuscan Dinner at the villa.
Day 2 – Siena
Wake up to breakfast and the amazing views of the Val d’Orcia region of Tuscany, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Your day begins with a step into the past that takes you to the city of Siena with its narrow back streets, fortified houses, medieval towers, tiny piazzas, and lesser-known churches rich in masterpieces. Walk around the Palio de Campo, where a bare-back horse race has taken place for centuries in the main square, the Campo, while continuing to stroll past the many cafes, bars and shops. Note the fan-shaped central square where you will view the Palazzo Pubblico, the Gothic town hall, and Torre del Mangia, a slender 14th century tower with sweeping views from its distinctive white crown. This tour takes you behind the scenes into the neighborhoods (called Contradas) with the church and museum, which give an understanding of the spirit and the fascination of this event. After your tour, choose lunch and/or shopping on your own, before meeting your driver to return to your villa. Chef’s Dinner.
Day 3 – Pienza – Pecorino Cheese Farm — Montalcino
Walk among the vineyards in front of the beautiful Val d’Orcia landscape and visit an ancient cellar in Montalcino this morning. Taste the depth and richness of the superb, world-class Brunello wines produced with the Sangiovese grape. Following, we will introduce you to a real shepherd who will open the doors to his family history and traditions. Visit the private dairy farm and learn about pecorino cheese making from this local expert. Taste a mix of artisanal cheese at the farm. Enjoy time at leisure for exploring the village of Pienza, including lunch at leisure and shopping on your own in the many quaint shops. Enjoy assisting Chef as much (or as little) as you wish for the evening Chef’s Dinner.
Day 4 – Montalcino Vineyards, Brunello Wine Tastings
Depart for Cortona where you will visit an oil mill with Sommelier Klajdi to learn about the process of making Italian olive oil at a local mill. From the olive grove to a tour of the machinery — including the Italian granite mill to the modern equipment — learn everything you need to know to select the best olive oil. Visit the well-known town of Cortona, made famous in the movie, “Under the Tuscan Sun,” for a guided walking tour. This small charming town is in the Valdichiana, or Chiana Valley, in the province of Arezzo in southern Tuscany. The city, enclosed by stone walls dating back to Etruscan and Roman times, sits on the top of a hill about 600 meters (about 1968 feet) above sea level. This dominant position over the valley offers a spectacular view from all over the town of the surrounding valley and even Lake Trasimeno. In Cortona, there will be time for enjoying a bit of history combined with time for shopping in the many wonderful art galleries and shops. Return to the villa for time at leisure before this evening’s dinner with our local culinary artisan.
Day 5 – Montepulciano – Talosa Wine Tasting
After breakfast, your morning travel begins with a visit to the medieval town of Montepulciano set atop a narrow ridge of volcanic rock that combines Tuscany’s superb countryside with some of the region’s finest wines. Make your way up the steep and winding walkways that lead to the narrow streets, where you will arrive at the Piazza Grande, the heart of Montepulciano and the focus of the city. Stop in the middle of the square or near the lovely fountain and feel the unique atmosphere offered by the Plaza surrounded by the Duomo, the Palazzo Comunal, the Palazzo Tarugi and the Palazzo Contucci. Historic cantinas right within the walls, which have been dug out underneath the prestigious palazzos, make for a nice stop for a glass of wine. We continue our walk to Cantina Fattoria della Talosa for a wine tasting of their Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, including a light lunch in the famous Talosa Cellars, which date back to the 16th century. The brick passageways contain a series of vaults and niches where the barrels are placed. Inside the Historic Cellar, there are huge oak barrels where Vino Nobile di Montepulciano is aged. Evening Chef’s dinner at the villa.
Day 6 – At Leisure
For your last day in Tuscany, soak up the Tuscan sun poolside to rejuvenate for final three days in the vibrant city of Florence. Transfer to dinner with wine pairings in the Tuscan countryside.
Day 7 – Transfer to Florence
Private Group Transfer to the Grand Hotel Minerva (or similar) for two nights. On the way to Florence, there will be a stop in the beautiful town of San Gimignano. Known as the Town of Fine Towers, San Gimignano is famous for its medieval architecture, unique in the preservation of about a dozen of its tower houses, which, with its hilltop setting and encircling walls, form "an unforgettable skyline". The "Historic Centre of San Gimignano" is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There will be time for shopping and exploring the sites following a group lunch before continuing on to your hotel in Florence. Evening at leisure.
Day 8 – Florence
Wake up to breakfast and an amazing view of the city of Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance. Today, embark on a guided walking tour of Florence’s Renaissance heart, such as the Duomo, the 14th century Ponte Vecchio, and San Lorenzo Market. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure to visit the Galleria dell’ Accademia to see works by many of the greatest artists of the 14th and 15th centuries to include Michelangelo’s famous sculpture of David, or simply to do some last-minute shopping. Reconnect with the group for a Farewell Dinner.
Day 9 – Transfer to Florence International Airport for flight to United States.
**IMPORTANT INFORMATION: Itinerary subject to change. Premier Tours & Travel reserves the right to modify programs and itineraries (including arranged sightseeing, accommodations, dining experiences, aircraft, trains, vessels, and so forth) at any time due to unforeseen circumstances or circumstances beyond Premier Tours & Travel’s control, including force majeures. In the instance our Expert host cancels due to unforeseen circumstances, Premier Tours & Travel has the right to substitute another Expert host, such as a chef, in such an emergency (timing allowed) and/or the tour will continue in its entirety. Every effort is made to operate our itineraries as planned but alterations may need to be made after the final itinerary has been issued. Airfare is not included. Deposits are utilized to secure services on your behalf and are nonrefundable. Deposits are transferrable to a future Expertly Done Culinary & Wine Travel tour. Wine is included as noted otherwise alcoholic beverages are the responsibility of each adult guest. Guests are limited to one carry on and one checked baggage and will be responsible for any additional fees charged for additional luggage. Please see Key Items to Know Before You Leave Home attached.
ABOUT CHEF BOB WAGGONER
Chef Bob Waggoner Bob received his formal training with Michael Roberts at Trumps in Los Angeles from 1981 to 1983, and later in France at a constellation of Michelin-rated restaurants with chefs Jacques Lameloise, Charles Barrier, Pierre Gagnaire, Gerard Boyer and Mark Meneau. At 23, he took on his first chef position at the private club “Members” in Caracas, Venezuela. Chef Bob Waggoner returned to France at age 24 to become chef of the Hotel de la Poste in Avallon for three years. Then, in 1988 at age 26, in the town of Moneteau in Burgundy, he became the first American chef to own his own restaurant in France, the much acclaimed Le Monte Cristo. He is one of the few Americans to be Knighted with the “l’Odre du Mérite Agricole” from the Government of France. In 1991, Waggoner was offered the opportunity of Chef de Cuisine with Chef Jean-Pierre Silva, the two-star Michelin, at Le Vieux Moulin in Beaune, France. After 11 years in France, he returned to the States in 1993 to cook at the award-winning Turnberry Isle in Florida, before joining The Wild Boar in Nashville, where he earned the restaurant a coveted AAA Five-Diamond Award and the Grand Award from Wine Spectator.
He finally found his way to Charleston where he was Executive Chef of Charleston Grill at Charleston Place for a dozen years. Every year, Chef Bob was at the Charleston Grill, it was awarded AAA Four-Diamond and the Mobile Four-Star award, and in 2001-2005 he was nominated four times for The Beard Foundation "Best Chef Southeast" award. He is author of the Charleston Grill at Charleston Place: French Influenced Lowcountry Cuisine cookbook. Always well regarded as a media-savvy chef, he has won an Emmy for his television show “Off the Menu” with Turner South. He also hosted 2 cooking shows with PBS, U Cook with Chef Bob and Sing for Your Supper with Chef Bob. Currently, he is the owner of “In the Kitchen with Chef Bob Waggoner” where he hosts cooking classes in a relaxed, casual, and sophisticated atmosphere. With his easygoing nature, he can teach anyone the culinary tips and techniques for "how it's done" in the finest restaurants.
ABOUT CHEF RON SUHANOSKY
From a very early age, Chef Ron Suhanosky (Chef Ronsky) knew he wanted to be a chef. Growing up in Connecticut, he was the pasta tester for his great grandmother’s weekly Sunday meal.
Chef Ron graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in 1992 at the age of 21 and was one of three students in his graduating class to proceed into a line position in a four-star restaurant. Chef Ronsky started to hone his craft as a cook at New York City’s River Café in 1992 and Park Avenue Café in 1993 under Chef David Burke. After cooking for three years in NYC, Chef took a cooks position at Biba in Boston in 1994 with Chef Lydia Shire. A year later, after meeting his future wife, they decided to move to Italy and work at the world renowned Il Cibreo in Florence in 1995 with Chef Fabio Picci. He returned to the United States to head such kitchens as Boston’s Galleria Italiana in 1996 and Il Buco, New York in 1998. He opened his first restaurant, Sfoglia -- which translates to uncut pasta and reflects Chef's true passion -- on Nantucket in 2000 and the Manhattan Sfoglia opened in 2006. In 2016, Chef Suhanosky opened a small neighborhood trattoria called Chef Ronsky’s that operated as a one man show for five years. He dedicated himself to creating a true local restaurant that his clients enjoyed. Chef Ronsky recently made the decision to follow his dream to return to Italy and resides in Umbria where he is a personal chef to old friends and new coming to the country through his business, Ciao Mi' Amor.
He released his first cookbook, also called Pasta Sfoglia, which won a James Beard Award in the Single Subject Category and made a number of best cookbook lists, such as: The New York Times, Bon Appetit, Food Arts, Manhattan Magazine, LA Times, AOL FOOD, Epicurious, Gastronomer's Guide and more. After the success of his first cookbook, Chef Ronsky quickly signed up to release his second cookbook, The Italian Table. Having garnered rave reviews in The New York Times and New York Magazine for both Sfoglia Restaurants, Chef Ronsky has also been a frequent guest on The Martha Stewart Show, as well as The Today Show. He appeared on The CBS Early Show for a segment on bringing everyone back to the dinner table. Chef Ronsky has even created his own compilation CD of eleven songs called Sounds of Sfoglia, which helped him to complete the dining experience he expresses in his restaurants.