The Tuscan Olive Harvest Tour
Join us on an extraordinary Olive Harvest adventure to Franco Lombardi’s farm, Azienda Agricola Pornanino, in the heart of the Chianti region of Tuscany. We’ve organized a cultural and culinary event for those who want to participate in the fall harvesting of olives and see the production of this year’s olive oil.
Crisp, clean air and clear blue skies make autumn a special time of year to see Tuscany, leaving a lasting impression on travelers to the region. As the weather cools off, the colors of autumn warm up - the grape leaves turn a dazzling gold, then russet or bright red.
Suddenly, the entire countryside becomes a painter's canvas bursting with vibrant colors. If you've never been to Italy in the fall, try to imagine New England fall colors with shimmering olive trees, multi-hued grape vines, picturesque villas and ancient castles punctuating the hillsides.
Take a trip with us through the Tuscan countryside at this time of year and you can have, literally, the road-less-traveled to yourself, as the hectic atmosphere surrounding the summer tourist crowd fades away.
We encourage members of our group to arrive in Florence a few days before the actual week in the villa starts - to relax & get over your jet lag. Debra and I will be in Florence for three nights starting on Wednesday, and can coordinate some unique things to do on Thursday and Friday for those interested. Our contacts can provide some private tours (for the Uffizi, the Acadamia, and the Vasari Corridor), and we can all meet for dinners at some of our favorite Florence restaurants.
October 29 - November 5, 2016
- 7 Nights in a villa
- Breakfast each day
- Five Dinners
- All Transportation in Tuscany
- Cooking classe w/tuscan meal
- Guided trips to Tuscan towns
- Olive Harvest
- Olive Oil Seminar
- Visits to area wineries and shops
Saturday – You’ll be picked up at the Florence airport around noon and driven to our villa. Once everyone has checked in, we'll make a trip to the COOP where you can stock your kitchen for the week. In the evening we’ll enjoy a group dinner at an area restaurant.
Sunday – After everyone has had breakfast, we’ll make the short drive to the village of Panzano. On the first Sunday of each month, the weekly town market held in Panzano is expanded to include artisan wares of all sorts. Basket weavers, honey producers, hand embroidered linen makers, boutique wineries and antique dealers set up booths to market their handmade goods. We’ll visit L’Antica Macelleria Cecchini, the butcher shop of the renowned Dario Cecchini. In the evening, we’ll make dinner in our villa.
Monday - In the morning we’ll visit the village of Radda in Chianti, followed by a tour and lunch at the Chianti Cashmere goat farm. In the afternoon, we'll visit a medieval castle near Gaiole for a special wine tasting and tour. In the evening, we’ll have dinner in an area restaurant.
Tuesday - We’ll visit Pornanino early for a morning of picking olives, followed by lunch prepared by Francesca. In the afternoon, we’ll visit one of the area hill towns or a winery. In the evening, we’ll have dinner in an area restaurant.
Wednesday – We’ll depart after breakfast for Siena, where we’ll wander the streets of the medieval city, see the Duomo, watch the world go by at a cafe in the Piazza del Campo, or explore the shops. Lunch will be on your own. In the evening, we’ll have dinner at an area restaurant.
Thursday – We’ll depart after breakfast for San Gimignano, where we’ll visit the weekly market, wander the streets of the medieval city, have lunch in an Osteria or Trattoria and explore the shops. In the evening, we’ll have dinner at an area restaurant.
Friday - We’ll get an early morning start and head to the kitchen of a Chianti chef for a cooking class and meal. The hands-on course covers traditional, home-style Tuscan and Italian recipes cooked in a friendly atmosphere. Participants prepare a complete meal (5 or more recipes) including appetizers, a pasta dish, a vegetable or meat dish and dessert, using fresh, natural, local ingredients. Each course is accompanied by the wine which best complements it. Then we all eat together! In the evening, we’ll make a light dinner in our villa.
Saturday - After an early breakfast at the villa, we’ll pack up and leave for the Florence airport around 7:00AM.