Customised Volterra and Bolgheri 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 7 - 8 people that takes you into the very heart of Tuscany. Get the most of your time ashore to explore both the ancient hilltop Etruscan city of Volterra and enjoy a Supertuscan wine-tasting in the charming village of Bolgheri.
Meet your private driver-guide at 08:00 or as close as possible to your ship for the pleasant hour's drive through the Tuscan hills to the ancient town of Volterra. Volterra sits on a high plateau offering uninterrupted views of the surrounding hills and boasting over 3,500 years of history. It was one of the most important Etruscan cities from 4-6 century BC and is rich in archeological remains, both Etruscan and Roman. The Etruscans built a 7km ring of walls around the city and as you enter the original Etruscan gate, the Porta all'Arco, you will feel you are stepping back in time as you wander the narrow medieval streets and piazzas. Volterra has always exploited its strategic location as well as its numerous natural resources in the land such as salt, alabaster and copper and today it is still an important centre for the production of alabaster - you will certainly see several small, jam-packed and dusty alabaster workshops as you stroll around the town. Volterra has 3 museums of considerable artistic and historical value with the Guarnacci Museum holding one of the most important displays of Etruscan antiquities in existence. After experiencing the city, travel through rolling vine-covered hills overlooking majestic sea pines and follow the famous cypress tree-lined avenue that leads up to the charming village of Bolgheri. Your first stop will be in the Ornellaia vineyards where your driver has a secret detour following tractor tracks that lead to a stunning terraced area overlooked by a giant oak. From here you can admire row upon row of vines reaching out to the sea towards the island of Elba as your driver gives you a a brief explanation on the wines of this particular area. Upon reaching the centre of Bolgheri, you will have the opportunity to sample olive oil from a local producer and stroll through the picturesque hamlet for a lively lunch at the enoteca (lunch is at your own cost). In the afternoon, visit a local wine-producer for an introduction to viticulture, wine production and a tour of the cellars and vineyards - wine-tastings are at an additional cost from 25 Euro per person depending on vineyard. After a busy and very Tuscan day, enjoy the relaxing and comfortable hour's journey back to your ship in the port of Livorno with arrival at around 1700.