9. From Florence: Siena & San Gimignano Day Trip with Lunch
Meet your driver and tour leader in your hotel lobby to embark on a full-day trip to Siena and San Gimignano. Hop aboard a private vehicle for a scenic drive through the rolling hills of the Chianti region, covered with vineyards and olive groves.
First up, make your way to the town of Siena, stopping at the Basilica of San Domenico. Inside the church are the relics of Saint Catherine, the patron saint of Siena. Take a stroll to the Piazza del Campo to see the political center of town where the famous horse race Il Palio is held twice a year.
From there, meander towards the Gothic Cathedral, which boasts an impressive collection of artworks by Michelangelo, Donatello and Bernini. Along the way, pass by a delicatessen that sells wild boar salami. If you fancy it, you can step inside for a tasting.
Then, it’s onward to lunch at a boutique winery surrounded by the Chianti hills and vineyards. Taste the wine and the famous extra virgin olive oil with seasonal produce. Make your second stop at the walled town of San Gimignano, a UNESCO World Heritage site. See the 13 towers that dominate the skyline as you drive towards it.
Learn how San Gimignano gained importance during the Middle Ages as a stop on the pilgrim route between Italy and France, known as Via Francigena (the road to France). The townsfolk produced silk and cultivated saffron that still grows around its foothills. Another industry that still exists here is that of Vernaccia di San Gimginano, a white wine.
Learn about the region's history and where to find the best artisanal stores, coffee shops and gelato spots from your guide. Check out a selection of artisan stores selling locally made products. Stroll the winding streets, admiring spectacular views of the valley beyond.
Afterward, meet your chauffeur for the transfer back to your accommodation in Florence. On the way, stop for one last magnificent panorama at Piazzale Michelangelo, and gaze upon views of the city.
Before you leave, don’t forget to ask your local guide for tips on what else to see, do and eat during your stay in Florence.