Don’t ‘do’ tours?
Then this is the tour for you.
Let’s ‘do’ Tuscany as the locals do.
No museums, no umbrella flags, no microphones, no big cities.
Just us and you and a truffle hound named Blue.
Let’s go off the beaten path, sleep in a vineyard, break eggs, peel garlic and spill wine. Eat with the villagers, drink with the vignerons.
Your guides Briano and Larsino, long time friends and colleagues, have a passion for Tuscany and an in-depth knowledge of the local way of doing things. Small town ‘Sagre’ festivals, exclusive ins at boutique wineries, hands-on cooking lessons, backstreets of small towns, market days, just the right things to order from the menu, and getting as close to sheep as you even would want to be.
Do you like day trips to secluded places and relaxing nights around the fire with good food, great wine and better stories? Then this is the trip for you.
We have 12 luxury van seats, six rooms in a rural agriturismo with all the comforts of home, and ten days to share an insider’s view of Italy.
Join us on this all-inclusive adventure!
If it takes getting chased by wild boar to learn the backroads of Tuscany, Lars Leicht qualifies. Though Lars was on a bicycle at the time and heading downhill, the boar was able to keep up. Maybe it was the pack of hunters in hot pursuit, and maybe the boar was trying to use Lars as cover. Either way, both Lars and the boar seemed relieved when they each took a different fork in the road.
Lars first fell in love with Italy while on a university study program in 1984. He then had the good fortune to go to work for a leading Italian wine importer which helped bring him to Italy pretty much every year since — more frequently in the last ten years as he brings groups of professional sommeliers on discovery tours. Lars lived in Tuscany for three years, all the while making key discoveries and life-long relationships that continue to build and expand; he also has an extensive network of family in the small town of Anagni, outside of Rome, where his grandparents grew up.
Lars loves the big cities with their museums and treasures, but much prefers to be off the beaten path and to go where the locals go. Being fluent in Italian helps; and he still learns some local dialect on his adventures.
A former journalist and wine industry veteran, Lars now dedicates his time to helping others discover the insider secrets and backroad joys of Italy as the aptly named “Wine Sherpa in Chief” for his
Vino Viaggio agency and works closely with the Tomaines on their Bella Italia Escorted Tours.
Shall we join Lars on the less traveled route?
Your Tour Director: Brian Tomaine
Brian is the owner and lead Tour Director at Bella Italia Tours; his great-grandparents emigrated from Sicily to the U.S. in the early 1900’s and he has always felt a strong connection to his Italian heritage. Brian made his first trip to Italy almost 20-years-ago and immediately fell in love with the lifestyle, the culture and, of course, the food! Since that first trip, Brian has returned countless times and his bond with “il Bel Paese” continues to grow to this day.
After college, Brian landed a position with one of Italy’s most prestigious wine producers which gave him the opportunity to gain even more in-depth insights into Italian culture and history.
During the two decades Brian has spent exploring Italy and sharing it with others, he earned his accreditation as a Certified International Tour Manager and formed Bella Italia Tours. He continues to develop and maintain friendships with people throughout Italy and travels extensively whether for business or pleasure.
As part of a multifaceted career, Brian also spent 10 years as a professional wedding photographer and still enjoys photography as a hobby.
Our last day ends with a visit to a local icon and symbol of combining Italian tradition with American ingenuity – the Castello Banfi vineyard estate in Montalcino. We’ll take a guided tour and enjoy a tasting at this, one of Italy’s most prestigious and award winning wineries, before repairing to the nearby hilltop town of Sant’Angelo Scalo – population 65. We will take over a good chunk of the main piazza to dine al fresco on traditional dishes made with love and served with passion. Tonight we gather once more around our home fire for our farewell dinner.
Our time together ends today; after breakfast we’ll hit the road one last time for the trip to Rome’s Fiumicino airport for our return flights. Or, perhaps we’ll part company here if you should decide to remain in Italy. (Your Tour Director can help you arrange transportation from the agriturismo.) Either way, we’ll be bringing home some great memories and new friendships. Arrivederci and we hope to see you again soon!
*Airport transfers are included as part of the group. If you are unable to travel with the group, you’ll need to make separate arrangements. You will be notified via email as soon as you book as to what times the airport coach will depart so that you may make your flight reservations accordingly. We understand that flights arrive and depart at different times and plan ahead for that. We do adjust travel plans to try and accommodate everyone however, if you are unable to travel with the group to and from the airport, please contact us, we’re here to help! Certain items on the itinerary are subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances.
Click one of the pictures below to enlarge.
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.