08.30am :

Depart with your guide at 9:30 am from your hotel anywhere in Florence. After an hour and a half of driving among the vineyards and olive groves of the Valdichiana area of Tuscany we will reach the hill-town of Cortona, a city of ancient origins, most recently made famous in Frances Mayes’ books Bella Tuscany and Under the Tuscan Sun.

10.00am :

Like most Italian towns, Cortona holds a wealth of history. It was an important Etruscan settlement and a significant Roman center until its destruction by the Goths. Built on a high hilltop Cortona offers amazing views of the countryside – the Valdichiana stretching westward, and Trasimeno Lake visible over the low hills to the south. Wear your walking shoes, because the streets in Cortona are steep! You will walk at leisure through the city center, with time to visit the town’s cathedral and the well-known church of San Domenico.

12.00am :

Lunch in a typical Tuscan restaurant in Cortona where you will taste some specialties of the best Italian tradition, such as bruschettas, home-made pasta, local salami and excellent wines.

02.00pm :

Transfer to Arezzo and meeting with your private guide: start of a 2h walking tour of this beautiful city. The Piazza Grande is the most noteworthy medieval square in the city, opening behind the 13th century Romanesque apse of Santa Maria della Pieve. Once the main marketplace of the city, it is currently the site of the Giostra del Saracino ("Joust of the Saracen”) and is surrounded by the Palace of the Lay Fraternity (Fraternita dei Laici), a 14th-15th century palazzo, with a Gothic ground floor and a quattrocento second floor by Bernardo Rossellino; the Vasari Loggia, with a flat Mannerist façade designed by Giorgio Vasari, the, Episcopal Palace, seat of the bishops, rebuilt in the mid-13th century. Furthermore, Arezzo is full of beautiful churches such as Santa Maria della Pieve, with its massive, square-planned bell tower with double orders of mullioned windows; and the gothic cathedral of Saint Donatus.

05.00pm :

End of the tour and transfer back to Florence or to alternative destinations.