Ali EdwardsTravel with designer, educator and author Ali Edwards on this tour of the scenic lands of Tuscany.
$3998.00 | per person- SOLD OUT
If you are interested in continuing your jouney after our Tuscany tour, join us for an additional tour of Rome. The cost of the Rome add-on is $949.00 per person.
Take advantage of our payment plan!We offer a low monthly payment plan to make it easy to book the scrapbooking vacation of your dreams! To take advantage of this and to make your reservations you can call us toll free at 877-887-1188 or make your reservations online.
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Bella Tuscany : October 3 - 12, 2011
- Round-trip airfare from the United States
- First Class hotel accommodations
- Private motor coach & driver
- Most meals
- All taxes
- All transfers
- Special events & gifts
- Sightseeing as listed in the itinerary
Monday, October 3rd
Hilly landscapes, great Italian cuisine, an authentic Tuscan cooking lesson, visits to family-owned wineries, wine tasting at a castle in Chianti, fantastic shopping, unbelievable food, stunning architecture, and the world’s greatest collection of art all await us. We will travel roads that are off-the-beaten path and explore the world of photography, journaling and scrapbooking with the very talented, ALI EDWARDS and ScrapMap founder, JIM WEST. Our Tuscany expedition begins with an overnight flight from the United States to FLORENCE. On board the airplane, dinner will be served. D
Tuesday, October 4th
This morning our plane will arrive at the Florence Airport. We will collect our luggage and board our private, first class motor coach. We will drive to the charming resort town of MONTECATINI TERME. Upon our arrival, we will check into our centrally located first-class hotel. This will be our home for the next eight days! Once we settle in, Jim will take the group on a leisurely stroll through the streets of town, and we’ll learn what makes this place one of the most attractive resort spa towns in all of Italy. Tonight, we will enjoy a special “welcome dinner” at our hotel, and Ali and Jim will host a welcome orientation and provide some fun surprises! The remainder of the evening is at your leisure. B, D
Wednesday, October 5th
Today, following breakfast, Ali will provide a fun scrapbooking class at our hotel. Following class, there will be time for lunch on our own before we board our motor coach and drive to the medieval town of LUCCA. Here we will meet our local guide Ellen, who will take us on a fascinating tour of the city. Lucca is the birthplace of the famous composer Puccini, and we’ll learn more about him and others who have made this extraordinary city their home. There will be time to stroll through the streets on your own, shop in one of the many boutique shops, have a gelato or stroll from piazza to piazza at your leisure. We will return to our hotel in the early evening. The remainder of the night is on your own. For those who are interested, Jim will organize a special dinner at the mountaintop town of Montecatini Alto. B
Thursday, October 6th
This morning, after a hearty breakfast, we will drive through the picturesque landscapes of Tuscany to the hillside town of SAN GIMIGNANO, famous for its ceramics. Here we have free time to shop in one of the many shops along the main thoroughfare, visit the beautiful basilica, have a gelato in the charming piazza and enjoy the views of the Tuscany Valley. We will all meet to board our motor coach midday and drive a short distance to visit a typical family owned winery - the SAN DONATO WINERY. Here we will have a unique opportunity to learn how Tuscan wines are produced in this region. A light lunch will be served at the winery, along with wine tasting, and our afternoon will be filled with great fun and good cheer. We will return to our hotel later in the afternoon, and the remainder of the evening is at your leisure. B, L
Friday, October 7th
This morning follow breakfast, we will drive to the historic town of SIENA. Upon our arrival, we will meet our local expert guide Federica, who will take us on a leisurely walking tour of the town. We will first start at the Church of Santa Dominico, which houses relics of St. Catherine. We will then stroll through the narrow streets, from piazza to piazza and learn more about the history and extraordinary architecture. Our walking tour will end at the famous Piazza del Campo, site of the biannual Palio, Siena’s spectacular medieval-style horse race. This race is so popular, that the horses actually walk into a church with the rider, prior to the race, and are blessed inside the church! There will be plenty of time to have lunch on our own and shop in some of the very special shops. We will leave Siena later in the afternoon and return to our hotel. Tonight, we will enjoy a delicious dinner at our hotel, followed by a brief class on Journaling with Jim. B, D
Saturday, October 8th
This morning, following breakfast, Ali will teach a very special class. Later in the morning, we will drive to the family owned- IL POGGIO WINERY, where we will enjoy the unique opportunity to participate in an authentic Tuscany Cooking class. Our teacher is an Italian grandpa who is a retired executive chef. This is a hands-on class, and we’ll each learn how to make homemade pasta, different sauces, sample homemade crostini, and learn the recipe to make the popular Italian drink, Limoncello.
Following our cooking lesson, we’ll walk into the vineyard and learn about wine making and olive oil production. This is followed by wine tasting and a delicious five course lunch! We will return (stagger) back to our hotel later in the afternoon, where the remainder of the evening is free for you to enjoy at your leisure. B, L
Sunday, October 9th
Today is a full day of leisure on your own. You may opt to relax in one of the local spas in town and enjoy a massage, facial or swim. If you are interested, we are offering a special “optional tour” to one of the most picturesque places in all of Italy, the extraordinary CINQUE TERRE. (Cost of this optional tour is 45 Euro per person.) This tour begins with a drive to the northwest area of Tuscany, where we will pass the famous Carrera Marble quarries, made famous by Michelangelo, who obtained his marble from this location. Upon our arrival at the Cinque Terre, our first of three stops will be a visit to the town of RIOMAGGIORE. Here we will walk around, shop and stroll through the inviting streets. We’ll then board a train that will take us to our next stop, the town of VERNAZZA. There will be plenty of time to enjoy lunch on our own and take advantage of all the special photo opportunities before taking the train to our next stop, MONTEROSSO. Again, we will have time for more photographs, a nice gelato and walking around this special place at our leisure. In the later part of the afternoon we will board the train and ride to the town of La Spezia. Here we will meet our coach and driver who will take us back to our hotel. Tonight, dinner is served at our hotel. B, D
Monday, October 10th
This morning following breakfast, we will drive to the town of VINCI, childhood home of Lenardo Di Vinci. We will have an opportunity to visit the museums, walk through the town and see his childhood home. Following this, we will drive to one of Italy’s award winning chocolate houses- Slitti Chocolate shop. Here we will sample four different kinds of chocolate, including tasting their delicious thick hot chocolate. There will be time to shop for goodies before we board out coach and drive back to our hotel. Tonight for those who are interested, Jim will bring the group to the top of Montecatini Alto, via the funiculare. Here you can enjoy a dinner and see the beautiful Tuscan countryside below. It is a great photo opportunity, not to be missed! Dinner is at an additional cost. B
Tuesday, October 11th
Today, following an early breakfast, we will journey to the “Cradle of the Italian Renaissance,” the beautiful city of FLORENCE. Upon our arrival, we will drive to the Piazza Michelangelo, where we will have an opportunity to take a professional group photograph. This piazza overlooks the city of Florence below, and we will see the River Arno, the famous Ponte Vecchio and many of the landmark sights. We will then travel into the central part of the city, where we will meet our local expert guide Christina, who will take us on a leisurely walking tour, enlightening us with many highlights of the city’s priceless treasures. We will start outside the famous Academy Gallery, which houses Michelangelo’s monumental figure of David, and then proceed to Piazza del Duomo, the center of religious life in medieval Florence. Here we’ll see the impressive Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore and Baptistery, where we will view the masterfully crafted bronze doors. We make our way from piazza to piazza, and pass special boutique shops that will beckon us to step inside. We will finally arrive at the Church of Santa Croce, burial place of Michelangelo, Galileo and Machiavelli. This will be our meeting place later in the day. We will give everyone an opportunity for free time in Florence for lunch on your own, shopping in the markets and wonderful stores and visit the spectacular art museums. Later in the afternoon, we will drive back to our hotel. Tonight a special dinner will be served at our hotel, as we bring our Tuscany Expedition to a close. B, D
Wednesday, October 12th
This morning we will pack our luggage and depart for the Pisa Airport for your flight back to the United States.
Wednesday, October 12th
For those who are adding the ROME package onto your tour, following breakfast, we will drive south to the Eternal City. Upon our arrival, we will enjoy a PANORAMIC TOUR OF ROME, driving past the Coliseum, Roman Forum, Circus Maximus, the Vatican and St. Peter’s Basilica, Santa Maria Marjorie and drive on the famous Via Veneto and in Republic Square. We will also visit the Trevi Fountain, where we will throw our coins in the fountain, assuring our return back to Italy.
Later in the afternoon, we will check into our first class hotel, and settle in. Tonight we will enjoy dinner at a restaurant located near our hotel. B, D
Thursday, October 13th
This morning, following breakfast, we will drive to the VATICAN CITY. Here we will meet our professional guide who will provide for us, an informative guided tour of the Vatican Museum, Vatican Garden, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica.
In the afternoon, we are offering an “optional tour” to the famous TIVOLI GARDENS & FOUNTAINS. (Cost of this tour is 28 Euro per person.) Without doubt, this is some of the most beautiful landscaping in all of Italy. These gardens and fountains are located at the famous Villa D’Este, one of the special estates built hundreds of years ago by.
There will be time for taking photographs and leisurely walking through the grounds. If you love incredible landscaping, you don’t want to miss this spectacular place. We will return to our hotel later in the afternoon, where the remainder of the evening is at your leisure. B
Friday, October 14th
Today is completely free for you to enjoy at your leisure. You may opt to visit the Spanish Steps, walk through the Coliseum and Forum, stroll through some of the great piazzas in the city - the Piazza Novona, Piazza Republica or the Pantheon area, shop in some of the very special boutique shops on Via Nationale or just sleep in and relax at our hotel. For those who are interested, we are offering an “optional tour” this morning to St. Peter’s Square, to share in a general audience with the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI. (Cost of this tour is 15 Euro per person.) Tonight we will enjoy a “farewell dinner” at a local restaurant near our hotel and bring our entire Italy Adventure to a closes. B, D
Saturday, October 15th
This morning we will check out of our hotel and drive to the Rome Airport for our flight back to the United States. During our flight, lunch and a snack will be served on board the airplane. B, L, Snack
Itinerary and pricing are subject to change. Some restrictions apply. Space is limited and on a first-come first-served basis. Please read our Terms and Conditions before placing deposit. Prices are per person based on double occupancy. Insurance is available and highly recommended. This tour is fully refundable until final payment has been made. Gratuities of 10 Euro per day per person are not included with this pricing and will be collected at final payment time.