Active Gourmet Holidays
Active Gourmet Holidays

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(Options: Customized Itineraries, Longer Stays, Market Visits)
Florence, Italy - 3 or 4 nights
Available year round

 

Treat yourself to a relaxing getaway in a small and elegant family-run hotel, located less than 10 minutes from the center of Florence. The relais is an excellent base for excursions in the Chianti area and has received many awards including Condé Nast Johansens Award Winner as "Most Excellent European Relais" and Karen Brown’s guide Award Winner as "Most Romantic Inn" and Trip Advisor's Award of Excellence. You can choose to have cooking lessons, learning the secrets of authentic Florentine and Tuscan cuisine from the host's mother while her daughter translates for the guests. 

 

You may also have a guided walking tour of Florence, a shopping outlet tour, a Chianti wine tour with the host who is a first level sommelier along with other activities you may choose to help you immerse yourself in the Tuscan way of life.

 

Below you will find sample 3 or 4 night tours but we can also customize an itinerary for you to include other activities.

 

The small hotel overlooks one of the most breathtaking hills surrounding Florence between the Certosa Convent and Ponte Vecchio. The family will make you feel at home with their wonderful hospitality. This 9 room Relais has been completely restored and contains modern amenities with beautiful marble bathrooms, gorgeous furnishings, with some rooms having a lovely terrace where breakfast can be served and all rooms having a beautiful view of the garden. During May to October, guests can also enjoy a beautiful swimming pool with a large solarium. 

 

The cooking school is located adjacent to the hotel, in the family's well equipped kitchen of their home. The hands-on cooking classes include learning traditional Florentine and Tuscan recipes and last approximately two and a half hours.

 

You will learn to prepare an antipasto, like bruschetta or crostini toscani, a primi piatti like pappa al pomodoro or tagliatelle pomodori e zucchini, and a dolci such as tiramisu or torta della nonna. Buon appetito!

 

 

 

 

SAMPLE ITINERARY

 

Four Night Program


 

Arrival anytime after 12:30pm (transfers can be arranged if you do not want to rent a car). For your first evening, settle in and get acquainted with your beautiful surroundings. Your hosts will be happy to make a recommendation for dinner at one of the many wonderful restaurants in the area.

 

During your stay, in addition to your cooking lesson, you will enjoy a full day deluxe guided tour of the Chianti countryside and San Gimignano, with private car and driver. The tour is led by your sommelier host and is composed of a visit to the lovely village of Greve and then a famous winery visit. The owner will conduct a tour of the property and explain the process of wine-making; then a visit of the cellars and a wine tasting. The tour proceeds to Castellina in Chianti (one of my favorite villages!) or another small village of the area for lunch on your own. 

 

You will also be treated to a guided walking tour of Florence which lasts about 3 hours. You will see famous sculptures, frescoes and paintings in the Duomo, Santa Trinita, Orsanmichele as well as the Baptistery, Bell Tower, Gates of Paradise, Brunelleschi's Dome, Vasari's Corridor, Piazza della Signoria, Palazzo Vecchio, Medieval towers, Ponte Vecchio, Renaissance Palaces, famous shopping streets and other sights. There is also a visit to the renowned Uffizi Gallery to view Botticelli's works and other famous paintings.

 

This holiday is a perfect short escape to get a taste of Florence and its treasures, or an ideal add-on to a longer stay in Italy. 

 

*The content or order of the itinerary may change depending on dates, availability of services or activities, local festivals/holidays, weather constraints, etc. Menus are samples and may vary according to the season

 

 

PLEASE INQUIRE ABOUT ADDITIONAL OFFERINGS:

 

- Walking tours of Florence: a different way of approaching this town. This tour gives not only a possibility to walk around the main spots, known all over the world, but also the secret corners which hide fascinating stories of this ancient city. An interesting experience led by an official guide and is usually with a large group. The meeting point is the center of Florence and you must arrive either by car if you have a rental or a taxi (taxi is approximately 15€) (*this tour is already included in the 4 night program above) 

 

- Booking of museums' tickets: Florence offers a wide choice of museums, the main of which is of course the Uffizi gallery, but do not forget the Accademia, with the original David by Michelangelo, or the Medici chapels, the Bargello... In each of them the Italian and international art is kept and shown to thousands of tourists every year, but this means that most of the times there are long queues before them. In order to avoid them, our guests can ask us to reserve their entrance tickets for whichever museum and, according to availability, we will be glad to do so (*this is already included in the 4 night program above)  

 

- Booking of concerts and opera tickets: It may not be known that "The Maggio Musicale Fiorentino" is an outstanding orchestra of international fame, we will be glad to reserve for you tickets for all of the operas and concerts performed during the season by the most famous and talented musicians. 

 

- Booking of green fees: our strategic position enable the clients who love golfing, to easily reach all of the main golf clubs, among which the unique Ugolino golf club, which is only 15/20 minutes from our property, or the more international Pavoniere golf club (half an hour from us). Reception will be at your complete disposal for reservations  

 

- Tours to Chianti, Siena and San Gimignano: these are just some of the towns and villages that we visit with our guests. The Chianti tour usually includes a visit to beautiful Siena, and then proceeds to the countryside. Here it is possible to visit a few of the several, typical  villages of Tuscany. One of the main is San Gimignano, the village of towers, where it is possible to find an intact Medieval ambiance. We usually visit the cellars of a prestigious Chianti wine producers followed by the wine tasting,...an amazing day! (*this is already included in the 4 night program above) 

 

- Outlet tours: for those addicted to shopping, we will be glad to take you to one of the great outlets around Florence, where it's possible to find all of the main brands (Gucci, Valentino, Dolce&Gabbana, Fendi, a.s.o.) at very interesting prices. 

 

- Wine tasting: we are surrounded by the Chianti hills, where one of the best Italian wines is produced, and that's why the wine tasting here is all-involving. Your sommelier is going to explain the different ways of wine-making while sipping three different types of Chianti wine. A swallow of Tuscany in a romantic and relaxing atmosphere. 

 

 

 

GROUP SIZE

 

A minimum of 1 participant is required to run this tour and the tour is limited to a maximum of 6 participants. (A supplemental charge will apply for single travelers only in the event where others are not participating in the tours or cooking classes of the program. Please inquire).

 

(The number of participants refers to how many persons are required to run the tour, not to how many persons you must have in your party. Please inquire.)

 

 

 

HOW TO ARRIVE

 

BY CAR: From Autostrada del Sole, A1 Milan-Rome, get off at the Florence Certosa exit and follow the directions for downtown Florence. After about 1 mile there is a stop light by Square near the Galluzzo district. Go straight to via Senese to Florence. After about 500 meters, turn left onto via delle Bagnese. Take the second street on the right, Via di San Quirichino. After about 80 meters, you'll see number 16 and the entrance to the hotel.

 

BY TRAIN: The Santa Maria Novella train station is only 4 miles from the hotel. You can easily reach the hotel by taxi (cost about 15 euros) or by booking the hotel's transfer service (for a fee).

 

BY PLANE: The Florence Airport, Amerigo Vespucci, is about 8 miles from the hotel and has an excellent 24 hour taxi service. Alternatively, you can book a transfer (fee-based) to the hotel. There are many car rental companies at the airport such as Avis, Europcar, Maggiore, Hertz. 

 

*These details are provided as additional information. Please check below to see if transfers are included in this tour.

 

 

 

 

BOOKING INFORMATION

  

2018 Fees Per Person

FOUR NIGHT PROGRAM

 

High Season (May to end of October)

 

Deluxe Double Room/US$1100 (Double Occupancy)
Deluxe Double Room/US$1550 (Single Occupancy)

 

Low Season (November to end of April)

 

Deluxe Double Room/US$825 (Double Occupancy)
Deluxe Double Room/US$1100 (Single Occupancy)

 

THREE NIGHT PROGRAM

 

High Season (May to end of October)

 

Deluxe Double Room/US$725 (Double Occupancy)
Deluxe Double Room/US$1075 (Single Occupancy)

 

Low Season (November to end of April)

 

Deluxe Double Room/US$550 (Double Occupancy)
Deluxe Double Room/US$725 (Single Occupancy)

 

*High Season Rates also apply to Easter Week

 

*Single Travelers: Please inquire about a supplemental charge in the event that no other clients are participating in the tours or cooking classes of the program during your chosen dates.

 

*Pricing may vary depending on market fluctuation

Deposit

After availability is confirmed, a non-refundable US$350 per person deposit and the completed and submitted registration form will secure your reservation. Final payment is due in full 75 days before your arrival date.

2018 Dates

Available year round on request.

Included

FOUR NIGHT PROGRAM

 

*Four (4) nights' accommodation
*Daily breakfast
*One (1) cooking lesson
*Dinner following the cooking lesson
*One (1) Guided Chianti tour with wine tasting
*One (1) guided walking tour of Florence
*Admission to Uffizi Gallery

 

THREE NIGHT PROGRAM

 

*Three (3) nights' accommodation
*Daily breakfast
*One (1) cooking lesson
*Dinner following the cooking lesson
*One (1) guided walking tour of Florence
*One (1) wine tasting at the Relais of Chianti wine with the explanation of the technique of tasting and the history of this prestigious label

 

Airfare, transfers, taxi ride to Florence center for walking tour, personal expenses and city taxes are not included.


For further inquiries or to register, click here.

 

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CANCELLATION POLICY

 

Please contact us for cancellation policy information. Travel insurance is highly recommended.

 

 

 

CLIENT REMARKS

 

 

John T. and Sandy D.,Reston, Virginia

"It was wonderful!! We had a great time. All of the events (cooking, winery tours, city tour, etc) were well worth it.  Our lodging was first rate and our hosts and their staff were friendly, accommodating and responsive. Thank you so much for an unforgettable vacation."

Mary Lou W., Fredericksburg, Virginia

"Hi Jo-Ann, just couldn't wait till I got home to tell you what a great time I had! Lorenzo and his whole family are wonderful. Everything was seamless and they thought of anything I might need. Truffle hunting was all that I hoped it would be & more. The hotel is lovely and immaculate. They work nonstop. Thanks so much for all your work, too.

Virna and Michael S., Issaquah, Washington

"Jo-Ann was very responsive with our inquiries and helpful in recommending places to stay and ways to get around even in portions of trip that were not purchased through her."

 

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MAP*

This exciting region is depicted below. You can also access Google MapsTM by clicking HERE

 

 

*In some cases mapping may give clients a general sense of location due to changes in venue. Please inquire about specific location.

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HOMESTYLE TUSCAN COOKING 

Hi Jo-Ann - We wanted to let you know that we had an AMAZING time at the cooking school. My mother and I could not have had a better time. Paola and Simonetta were such wonderful hosts and teachers. We were treated like family. The house and property were beautiful. The hands-on cooking classes were so much fun...we learned so many great recipes that I cannot wait to test on my friends back home. I will definitely be recommending this experience to all of my friends and colleagues. Thank you so much for all of your help in setting up this once-in-a-lifetime dream vacation. It is something neither one of us will ever forget!

 

Best, Erin S. and Flor V.,
New York, New York

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