B/7 A proposal For Sports and Nature Lovers, who also wish to enjoy:
Art, Wines, Cooking, Walking, Jewels, Gardens and Perfumes
in Florence and in the glorious Tuscan Countryside!

This is a proposal for small groups of friends, 1 to 16 people, with a common love for Sports, Art and Nature, who also wish to enjoy :  wines, cooking, perfumes and walking, with a privileged access to private palaces and villas, to artist studios and secret gardens in Florence and in the splendour of the Tuscan countryside! 

The villa has a garden with a pool and is surrounded by parkland, it is located 5 miles from the centre of Florence, but seems miles away from the congestion of the city - In 1 hour by car, you can reach the sea, the mountains and small cities, full of art, like: Pistoia, Pisa, Lucca, Arezzo, San Gimignano, Siena, The Chianti area.

We propose the following excursions, so that you can choose which one you consider more interesting – On request, we can make reservations for you where  needed and give you information about how to reach the different places - You can do these excursions by yourselves, with your own car, or  reserve a guide if you consider it useful, or a driver-guide, when you want to relax totally!  

A) 1 full day: to Fiesole, Florence and a Special Event: first to Fiesole, an Etruscan city, later dominated by Rome although the Romans preferred to install themselves below when they built the city of Florence. Fiesole includes a visit to see the archaeological area (image on the right): the Roman amphitheatre still in function, the Thermae and the archaeological Museum, with finds from the 3rd century BC on. Then to Florence through enchanting panoramic streets, to see the gorgeous church of San Miniato (image on the left), which dominates the city. You can have a light lunch before starting the visit to the Uffizi Gallery, the world’s most famous collection of primitives and Renaissance paintings, and much more (image in the centre). Special Event: at the Academy of the Art of Perfumes, in a private Florentine palace you will be seduced by the power of perfume and discover certain scents. Presentation of the Art of Perfumery and a drink with a spectacular view of the city. Reservation needed. Possibility of shopping in the palace.

B) Pistoia and Abetone: Art and Nature: to the Cathedral in Pistoia to see the beautiful glazed Terracotta by Andrea della Robbia, the Silver Altar, the Christ by Coppo di Marcovaldo and the Baptistery, the Church of Sant’Andrea with the famous Pergamo and the Christ by Giovanni Pisano, the Ospedale del Ceppo (image on the left) with the front fully decorated with terracotta by Giovanni della Robbia.  You can have a light lunch in Pistoia before going up to Abetone, at 1388 m. on the Apennines, which is ideal in summer for some fresh air and in the winter for skiing. Whatever the season the nature is stunning!

C) 1 guided excursion for an archaeological and panoramic walk through woods and Etruscan tombs- difference in height mt. 450- Km. 15 – about 4/5 hours- not too hard! Other excursions of this type are available of medium difficulty or for well-trained people. Reservation needed.

D) Architecture and Nature in Pienza, the ideal city of the Pope Pius II Piccolomini and built by B.Rossellino, to see the Cathedral and Palazzo Piccolomini (image on the right) in the middle of  enchanting countryside (image on the left). Then you reach Montalcino and Montepulciano, the villages producing the best wines, to taste the Brunello. Light lunch with local specialties.

E) In Florence to see Beato Angelico at San Marco and Michelangelo’s David and other masterpieces at the Academy. Then on to  Piazza Santissima Annunziata to see the Ospedale degli Innocenti , built by Brunelleschi in 1420. If booked, a Special Event: a surprising oasis in the heart of Florence, a drink in a garden with ancient trees, full of flowers, redesigned in the late XIX, behind the facade of a rare private palace. You will be able to have something to eat before walking to the Cathedral, the Baptistery with its golden doors and Giotto’s bell tower. The small Chapel of the Misericordia, and then if not exhausted, to Orsammichele and the Bargello, to see, among many other masterpieces, the other David, the bronze one, made by Donatello in 1430.

Donatello's David (on the left) and Michelangelo's David (on the right)

F) Lucca, the Mediterranean sea and Pisa: to see the city of Lucca (image on the right), of Roman origin, with its beautiful cathedrals, palaces and the famous walls, later Elisa Bonaparte the sister of Napoleon was the princess of Lucca. It is possible to see the home-studio of Giacomo Puccini, where many of his operas were composed. A swim and light lunch at the Mediterranean Sea. Then on to Pisa: the leaning tower and the Miracle square, a declared wealth for humanity, with the marble of the Romanic cathedral built between the 1063 and 1118, the pulpit by G.Pisano and the leaning tower. (image on the left) .

G) Florence and a Special Event: a visit to Pitti Palace to see the Galleria Palatina, the Grotte of Buontalenti with Venus by Giambologna and a copy of the Prisoners by Michelangelo, now at the Academy, but originally done to stay here. A fantastic walk through Boboli gardens follows (image on the right) with beautiful sculptures and fountains such as the Ocean by Giambologna. If booked in time, a Special Event is possible: the director of the Silver Museum of Pitti Palace, will give you a guided visit, demonstrating the work of ancient silversmiths, and other collections, and will show the recent acquisitions in modern jewellery, speaking about “ Jewellery from M. Luisa de ’ Medici, to the great artists of today. Reservation needed. (image in the left). 

You will be staying at the Hotel Villa Villoresi:  It’s a special place! Where you will feel at home, enjoying the elegant, relaxing atmosphere of the noble Tuscan country villas!

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