Customised Chianti and San Gimignano shore excursion from the port of Livorno for the discerning traveller seeking an authentic Italian experience on a small group tour with only the very best of English speaking driver guides. Discover Italy 'close up' in a Mercedes minivan of up to 8 people that takes you into the very heart of the beautiful Tuscan countryside. Get the most of your time ashore to explore both the enchanting towered hilltop town of San Gimignano and discover delightful Chianti villages as you enjoy some of the best wines this area has to offer.
Meet your private driver-guide as close as possible to your ship for the relaxing drive through a Tuscan landscape of vines, olive groves and hills topped with castles and abbeys, arriving into Chianti countryside to visit and enjoy a wine-tasting at a small but renowned family-owned estate (additional charge of around 10 Euro per person). Stroll around the enchanting market town of Greve-in-Chianti and delve into the enticing Antica Macelleria Falorni, specialists in wild boar as well as pecorino cheeses. Cross the rolling hills to Montefioralle a very tiny hamlet where Amerigo Vespucci was born, arriving into the Antinori vineyards at Badia di Passignano. As we make our way towards the hilltop town of San Gimignano, stop to enjoy a wonderful Tuscan lunch at a lively osteria or farm (additional charge). Continue on to the beautiful historic centre of San Gimignano, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The town bears exceptional testimony to the civilisation of the Italian Middle Ages in the 11-13th centuries as it groups together within a small area all the buildings typical of urban life with squares, streets, houses and palaces, wells and fountains. San Gimignano was importantly placed on a trade route as well as a relay point on the Via Francigena for pilgrims journeying to and from Rome. The town itself was controlled by two major rival families and was the scene of incessant conflicts between the two. As symbols of their wealth and power, there were once an incredible 72 towers rising above the rooftops, some as high as 50m. There are fewer towers nowadays, but the fourteen remaining are still impressive in the misty distance, forming an unforgettable skyline in the heart of an Etruscan landscape - for spectacular views, climb one of the towers. The Rocca, a ruined fortress on the highest part of the hill, is surrounded by green parks and olive groves where you can sit and admire the Tuscan panorama. The town is renowned for its Vernaccia di San Gimignano wine (one of the few DOCG white wines of Italy) and it has also reintroduced the farming of saffron which was cultivated here in the Middle Ages and was an important part of the city’s economy. Certainly not to miss is a visit to the Gelateria di Piazza, where Sergio Dondoli creates award-winning gelato with flavors including Vernaccia wine sorbet. After a day discovering our beautiful Tuscan countryside, sit back, relax and enjoy the comfortable hour and a half journey back to your ship in the port of Livorno with arrival at around 5pm.