Discovering the True Essence of Tuscany
Private & Customized Tours of Italy for the Sophisticated Traveler

Vintage Vespa scooter rental

Create Your Week

Have a vacation specially designed for you or your group: relax at a pace that most suits your taste, pick and choose activities that respond to your specific interests. Any itinerary designed by La Dolce Toscana is customizable. Here on the right is a list of the some of the activities we may organize for you followed here below by a few brief descriptions. If there is something that interests you that is not on this list, please do not hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to be of assistance.

FOODIE TOUR OF FLORENCE

Typical Tuscan focaccia bread called schiacciata
Combine culture and gastronomy in this unique tour through Florence center that will awaken your taste buds and satisfy your cravings. This walking/tasting tour of the city will take you on a sensorial voyage that goes from simple Italian street food to the finest gourmet specialties. Nibble on enticing delights such as cheeses, truffle, porcini mushrooms, olives, pates, pastas, focaccias, panini, and cured meats while enjoying tastings of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, spices and wine. Afterwards indulge in pastries, desserts, chocolates, gelato and coffee. Our expert will guide you through what is behind each regional specialty and will take you from the history to the present of Tuscan cuisine, all while leading you through a maze of bread shops, bakery shops, gourmet boutiques, eateries, wine bars and the central farmers' market hall. An absolute MUST for foodies and anyone curious about Italian food culture.

ARTISANS TOUR OF FLORENCE

Hand made in Tuscany
Embark on a journey into the Oltrarno neighborhood (“over the Arno”) of Florence, the area south of the Arno river, farther away from the crowds, where the true Florentine spirit is still tucked away in its quiet streets and many artisans' workshops. It is a journey into the past as you weave through hidden alleys and past the many ancient Florentine case torri, tower houses, still erect after more than 700 years of history and strife. Stop by the studios of master artisans who keep Florentine tradition alive through their meticulous handcrafts. Discover the art behind jewelery-making, marble decoration and mosaics. Visit the workshop of a shoemaker, a blacksmith and a paper maker who will illustrate for you the process behind creating the famous marbled paper. A colorful trip into Florence's brilliant artistry that bridges the city's grandiose past with its dynamic present.

New! DANTE-BROWN INFERNO TOUR

Activities inspired by the new Dan Brown novel Inferno on Dante's Divine Comedy (Divina Commedia)
Our Dante-Brown Inferno Tour not only takes you through the streets, the sites, the palazzi and the piazze that the characters of Dan Brown's latest novel, Inferno, travel through. It also focuses on the life and death of the Supreme Poet, Dante Alighieri: his passionate, courtly love of Beatrice, his involvement in Florentine politics wrought with strife, his exile from his beloved city, his empty tomb in Florence to which his body never made its return, his visions of the afterlife. Come relive the action in Dante's hometown and study the enigmas and symbols on our half-day Dante-Brown Inferno Tour.

WINERY TOURS AND TASTINGS

Typical Tuscan wine cellars
It's no secret that Tuscany is paradise for the wine lover. Home to some of the world's most notable wine regions (among which Brunello di Montalcino, Chianti, Carmignano, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Vernaccia di San Gimignano), a trip to Tuscany could easily focus solely on its wine culture. We have hunted down some of the best wineries of the region: both large, prestigious, historical estates and quainter, charming, family-run affairs. Both kinds of experiences are fascinating and worthwhile and offer different glimpses into the Italian wine industry and the history of the land. Our wine tastings are delightful adventures even for non drinkers and are always paired with tastings of some of the region's gastronomic specialties and led by lively and engaging hosts.

GOURMET COOKING CLASS

Tuscan hand made tagliolini (pasta all'uovo, egg pasta)
Come tempt your tastebuds and discover the scents, the flavors and the secrets to Italian cooking: what makes it so delicious and healthy and how to recreate this in your own kitchen at home. Our gourmet cooking classes are not only informative and instructive events, they are above all fascinating, fun, lively, entertaining and cultural experiences. Lessons are held either on private estates or in historical villas and are conducted by expert or professional chefs. You may choose to engage in a simple half-day lesson where you will learn to prepare a 3-course meal plus dessert, or a more advanced full-day lesson in which you will be taught a whole array of traditional recipes ranging from breads to homemade pasta, to sauces, main courses and side dishes...and of course dessert! For true die-hard foodies, you may even plan an entire vacation around cooking, participating in several lessons during your stay. Our cooking classes are always followed by a convivial meal of the dishes you have prepared accompanied by tastings of the estate's finest wines and olive oils. It is a delightful and enjoyable experience even for those who normally don't do the cooking at home: hours of tasting and nibbling and sampling that will satisfy any appetite!

TRUFFLE HUNT EXPEDITION WITH TASTING

Precious Tuscan truffles
The art of truffles remains elusive to most. Discover the importance of this highly prized subterranean mushroom during an adventurous hunt for “the diamond of the kitchen,” as it was called by the famous French gourmand Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin. You will be accompanied by an expert truffle hunter and his faithful dog whose nose will lead the way into the Tuscan woodlands in a hopefully fruitful search for this diva of haute cuisine. After the hunting expedition, enjoy a delightful tasting of truffles over lunch in an exclusive setting.

CITY OR COUNTRYSIDE RIDE IN A 19TH CENTURY-STYLE HORSE-DRAWN CARRIAGE

A hourse carriage tour in Florence and Tuscany
Discover Florence and the surrounding countryside in a unique way. Our excursions atop a horse-drawn carriage are an exciting journey into the past. A slow and relaxing ride with the hypnotizing rhythm of horse hooves clacking on the ground offers you enchanting sights and sounds and panoramic views that are a rare and exclusive experience. Our elegant coachman, Giacomo, will take you on a different kind of exploration, rediscovering a long-forgotten road or inventing a new one just to reach that breathtaking view. Half-day and full-day rides are available either in Florence city center or in its surrounding hills and even extensive multi-day tours are available for a deeper exploration of the countryside and its ancient villages.

HOT-AIR BALLOON RIDE OVER CHIANTI

An excludive hot air baloon tour over the Tuscany contryside landscape
Take a thrilling and adventurous flight over the spectacular Chianti region in a hot-air balloon. The already remarkable landscape evolves into immense and majestic beauty from above where you can admire the geometric patterns of ancient towns, endless vineyards and olive groves as they merge with the soft, natural forms of woodlands and valleys. Take in the infinite shades of green as they blend in with ochre, auburn, brick and mahogany. Flights take off early morning after dawn. On clear days in the distance you can see Florence, the Apennine mountain range, the Elsa valley, San Gimignano, Certaldo, Volterra, Siena and in the distance, Monte Amiata and the Tyrrhenian Sea. After landing back on the ground, enjoy a marvelous champagne breakfast picnic with local produce.

PRIVATE AIRPLANE RIDE OVER TUSCANY AND BEYOND

An exclusive Cessna 172 flying tour over the Tuscany contryside landscape
Climb aboard a Cessna 172 Skyhawk on a panoramic flight above one of Italy's most magnificent regions, admiring the gorgeously stupendous landscape from a different angle. Make a quick trip to the island of Elba, travel from Florence to Siena in an alternative way, treat yourself to a lunch break in Venice... the possibilities are endless. Various itineraries are available and may be designed on request. Max 3 passengers per plane.

VINTAGE SCOOTER RENTAL/VINTAGE CAR RENTAL

An exclusive hourse carriage tour in Florence and Tuscany
Discover the sweet and romantic backroads of Tuscany while taking a step back in time to the lively, spirited years of Federico Fellini's La Dolce Vita or Roman Holiday starring Audrey Hepburn. Travel through Tuscany's breathtaking scenery, up and over hills on delightful roads on a vintage Vespa scooter, in a 1966 Fiat 500 car or a vintage Volkswagen Cabriolet Beetle. An exclusive experience that allows for many thrilling discoveries. You may choose to go on individual explorations and we will supply you with suggested itineraries or you may opt for a guided tour.