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Tuscany - San Gimignano, Siena, Pienza, San Antimo, Moltepulciano, Florence....

3 days in Tuscany, Renaissance, romanticism, a country of green hills, of pastel colours, vineyards and olive trees. Excellent wines of the Chianti area, tasty food and ancient towns which guard treasures with a 3,000 years long history.

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Tuscany is the country of poets, artists and scientists like Boccacio, Decameron, Galileo, Michelangelo. The magnificent cathedrals of Florence, Siena, San Gimignano, Pisa and others show us the richness and creativity of aristocratic families and masters of their trade throughout their history.
 
Of course much of the inspiration comes from the wine. Among the best in the region are undoubtedly Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano which, at the court of the Medici family, were both known as the kings of wine. Then there’s Chianti Classico from the heart of Tuscany. The wine’s name dreives from the country which got its name from an Etruscan family living here in the past. 

Day 1 - LJUBLJANA - SAN GIMIGNANO – SAN DONATO

Departure from Ljubljana in early morning. Arrival in the heart of Tuscany around lunch. First introduction of the area will be through the small town Radda in Chianti. Radda has a 2,000 years long history, but was left by her inhabitants in the 1950 for economic reasons. But in the 70’ it came alive again, the vineyards were renovated, olive trees planted. Today the town counts 1,600 inhabitants, but it is getting famous all over the world for its good wine and  olive oil. After wine tasting in Radda we will continue to the medieval Manhattan, San Gimignano. Here in the 14 th century rich merchants from the town competed for who could build the highest tower. Having the highest tower was a sign of prestige, a status symbol. At a certain point in history you could count 72 towers in this small town. 
The estate and wine cellar of Fattoria San Donato will be our accommodation for the next few days. Here we will also taste the famous white wine of the popes, Vernaccia of course accompanied by famous Tuscan cuisine.
We can find documents of the Vernacio wine that date back to the 13th century. There was a tax on exportation of this wine out of the San Gimignano area. This wine was also mentioned by Dante Alighieri in his Nine circles of hell where the Vernacio is constantly presented on the table of Lorenzo de Medici. Often it was drunk by pope Leone X and Vernaccia di San Gimignano was the first italian wine to get the D.O.C. certificate in 1966 and later, in 1993 the D.O.C.G. 

Day 2 - MONTEPULCIANO – PIENZA – SAN ANTIMO – SIENA

After breakfast drive to Montepulciano, a beautiful town of renaissance and baroque architecture. There was a settlement here already in the times of the Etruscans and their legacy is an old family-run wine cellar in the centre of town. Wine tasting and snack in the Crociani wine cellar famous for the noblemen’s wine Nobile de Montepulciano. 
Our next stop will be the town of  pope Pius II, Pienza. In this small town Pius the II for the first time used the renaissance ideology of a town by the measures of the people. In the middle of the 15th century he named the city after himself and entrusted the restoration work of the city to the architect Bernardu Rosselini. The town  today overflows with gourmet shops selling local specialities like the excellent goat cheese, Pecorino. After that we are headed to the monastery of San Antimo. According to the legend, the first chapel was built there by Charles the Great in the 8th century. On a lonely plain stands Italy’s most beautiful romanesque church. 

We will end this intense day in Siena with some time free for dinner and relaxing in pleasant surroundings. 

Day 3 - SAN DONATO - FLORENCE - LJUBLJANA

After breakfast we drive back to Slovenia via Florence where we will spend some free time for lunch and have a guided tour by a professional local guide.

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