1. From Siena: San Gimignano, Montalcino & Wine Tasting
The first part of your full-day tour begins with a visit to the walled medieval town of San Gimignano, the City of Fine Towers, a UNESCO World Natural and Cultural Heritage Site. Armed with helpful information from your tour escort you’ll have free time to explore the town’s historical center and browse its artisan shops. San Gimignano is also the birthplace of Vernaccia, a white wine produced exclusively in the area. The wine is noted for its high quality and for being the first Italian DOCG wine. The tour continues on to Monteriggioni, the ancient crown-shaped fortress that appeared on Italy’s old 100-Lire currency. The 13th-century walls feature 14 towers that Dante likened to the giants in his Inferno. Afterwards, you’ll stop at a winery for a lunch of salami, cheese, and other local products, accompanied by a tasting of Chianti wines. Visit Val d’Orcia, another Tuscan jewel and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Continue on to Montalcino, perched on a hill overlooking 1,500 hectares of Brunello vineyards that have contributed to the area’s international reputation. The final stop of the day will be a local wine cellar, where you’ll have a chance to taste the renowned Brunello of Montalcino, rated among the finest Italian DOCG wines. Sample other typical local products as well.