Our tour was originally supposed to be with Silvia but due to a last-minute conflict we were guided by Azzurra that day. She was a great tour guide, showed us some amazing hidden treasures of Tuscany and was fun to hang out with for the day! Here was our itinerary:
We were picked up in the morning and headed out for Il Casale, a beautiful organic cheese farm. We met the owner, Sandra, who told us about the cheesemaking process, the farm and the house. She was very kind, and extremely passionate about her craft, which is always so wonderful to see. We tried all of the varieties of goat cheese and pecorino that they make on the farm (with bread and wine, of course) until we were stuffed.
Then it was on to Pienza, where Azzurra showed us some of the historical highlights and gave us some free time to explore.
Afterward we went to San Quirico, which was an adorable little town with fewer tourists than Pienza.
Then a tour of a family-run Brunello winery, Molino di Sant'Antimo, given by one of the daughters of the family (Giulia) and the head of business management and marketing. Then her mother prepared an amazing lunch for us in their home and we ate while tasting beautiful Brunellos.
Afterward we stopped at the abbey of Sant'Antimo, and were supposed to hear the monks chanting but were too late for it (although Azzurra said it's not really worth hearing, we would have liked the choice of whether to go there before lunch if we had known there was only a certain time window for this).
Then we visited Montalcino, Azzurra showed us some more interesting historical sites and we had some more time by ourselves to walk around.
In Montalcino we were given an olive oil tasting at an organic shop specializing in local cheese/olive oil/pasta, etc.. I had thought this was going to be an olive oil tasting AT an olive mill, but I think we had run out of time for that. The tasting at the store was nice, though, and they gave us a couple of little bottles of very nice olive oil to take back with us.
After our 8-hour day of touring, we were dropped off back at our hotel.
This was my FAVORITE day of our entire honeymoon, I was just blown away by the beauty of the Val d'Orcia and all of its history. It was so much better having someone take us around to the best bits of the region rather than trying to explore it on our own, and Azzurra was a wonderful guide.
If you are considering a tour day during your stay in Tuscany, I highly recommend Tuscan Escapes!
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