The Setting

Nestled in the Chianti hills, overlooking valleys rich in history, is the 15th century manor house - Castellare de’ Sernigi. Once owned by wealth merchants and patrons of the arts - the Sernigi family, It's enviable location in the heart of Tuscany in the thousand-year-old hamlet of Palazzuolo, a stone's throw from Siena, San Gimignano and Florence, make Castellare de’ Sernigi an idyllic base.

Lovingly restored, the finely appointed and fully air-conditioned 7 bedroom villa each with Tuscan views and en suite bathroom is furnished with antiques, two large upstairs sitting rooms with picturesque views, spacious dining and living room, well-equipped kitchen and cellar. Surrounding the villa, in the lush gardens are furnished seating areas, a large stone terrance with arbour covered al fresco dining area, and swimming pool with surrounding stone deck.

Tour Inclusions

  • 13 nights' accommodation - Villa Castellare de' Sernigi

  • 1 night accommodation - Pensione Sorriso, Vernazza, Cinque Terre

  • Travel by mini-bus, train and boat as per itinerary

  • Sightseeing as per itinerary with entry fees

  • Culinary art sessions (optional) including fresh pasta making

  • 30 meals including a help-yourself breakfast daily, welcome lunch and traditional dinners prepared by local cook with limited wine*

  • Hosted from Florence (day 1 - 15) including transfers to/from Florence

  • Services of professional guides at selected locations

  • Pre-departure function with antipasti and wine, tour notes and booklet

  • BOOKING BONUS: 6 weeks complimentary Beginners Italian language course for 1 person, or Italian cooking class for 2 people valued at $220.

*additional wine can be purchased


Day 1: Florence.

Day 2: Castellare de’ Sernigi, day at leisure. Cooking and enjoying the fruits of our labour.

Day 3: San Gimignano and Volterra.

Day 4: Castellare de’ Sernigi, day at leisure. Culinary art session and visit to a 15th Century convent.

Day 5: Florence.

Day 6: Castellare de’ Sernigi, day at leisure. Shopping at the open market and lunch at a local taverna.

Day 7: Overnight Vernazza, Le Cinque Terre.

Day 8: Lucca and Pisa.

Day 9: Castellare de’ Sernigi, day at leisure. Visit to a winery and lunch.

Day 10: Montepulciano, Pienza and Montalcino.

Day 11: Barberino.

Day 12: Florence.

Day 13: Castellare de’ Sernigi, day at leisure. Shopping at the local market and culinary art session

Day 14: Siena.

Day 15: Farewell and transfer to Florence.


Download our brochure for a more detailed itinerary:

15 days not enough? Why not continue your Italian experience with our Simply Sicily tour.


Don't just take our word for it...

"While it may seem like a once in a lifetime opportunity, we have been lucky enough to take part in "The Tuscan Experience" twice. We first went in 2008 & returned in 2012 with friends who had seen our photos and heard our stories and were keen to experience it first hand. The Tuscan Experience, hosted by the very warm, friendly & knowledgeable Renato Di Stefano, is a truly amazing and memorable experience.

It is hard to choose a highlight as everyday brought a new highlight. Day excursions exploring nearby towns such as Siena, San Gimignano, Lucca and Pienza, trips into Florence for a private tour of the Uffizi Art Gallery & to do some shopping, a private tour of a local winery followed by a home cooked lunch & wine tasting, a visit to a cheese factory, a tour of the Carrara Marble Quarry where Michelangelo sourced his block of marble to sculpt the statue of David and an overnight stay on the unique Cinque Terre. These are just a few of the many excursions and highlights we were fortunate enough to experience.

Equally enjoyable were the days we spent closer to home just lazing around the pool and the beautiful villa we were lucky enough to call home for two weeks, cooking pasta from scratch and picking up some cooking tips on authentic Italian dishes from Renato who is a wonderful and passionate cook, walking through the picturesque countryside to the nearby towns of Tavarnelle and Barberino for a morning coffee and accompanying a local guide and his dog on a search for truffles. 

"The Tuscan Experience" is a truly amazing and unique experience and I would have no hesitation recommending this tour to anyone wanting to experience the real Tuscany. "

Annette & John Burkett