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DRIVING DAY TOUR Ceramics, Truffles & Pisa   -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

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We are a group of 8 adults who enjoy cooking and drinking wine. What a perfect match to Villa Aquilea! The cooking class and pizza night with James were highlights at the villa, and "Butterfly" restaurant was spectacular! We enjoyed other culinary finds on our day trips in the area. The view from the villa is the best in Tuscany!

- Cindy B, Rochester Minnesota, guest 2010

My husband and I visited the Villa last August and I still can't believe the vivid memories of the house, flowers, the pool and the wonderful people in the surrounding town of Lucca. I can actually say to friends that I cooked an Italian meal in Tuscany. We visited Florence and Pisa during the day and then cmae back to this beautiful place in the evening. We watched the movie Under the Tuscan Sun while visiting and then looked around and it was not a movie it was real. We would recommend the experience to anyone.

- Bob and Edna P, Palatine, Illinois, guests 2009










This full day tour, with Paolo (see his biography below) lasts about 7-8 hours, and winds along the Tuscan roads between Florence and Pisa, stopping in small rural villages to visit local craftsmen and specialty cuisines, and ends with a visit to Pisa.

Paolo will pick your group up at your villa and be your guide/driver for the day.  First, you visit Montelupo Fiorentino, a little town famous for its traditional production and decoration of ceramics. Visit a small ceramic workshop and find out about the history of ceramics from Montelupo and its ties with the Medici family since the 15th century.

At noon you will reach a small town, where you'll a small truffle company and learn all about black and white truffles, native to this area, which are among the most rare and exclusive foods in the world.  This small company is one of the most renowned family-run truffle business in Italy, and here the truffles are worked into truffle pates, pastes, oils, butters, and other products.

The visit will be followed by lunch in a local truffle restaurant, where you will be able to taste truffle in various culinary creations.

After lunch leave for Pisa to visit the Piazza dei Miracoli with its Baptistery, Duomo, and the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa, the tower where Galileo conducted his experiments on the laws of gravity.


Paolo speaks English and has worked in tourism in Italy for 23 years, driving his own tour groups for the past 10 years.  He and Alessandra (she gives our guests walking tours in Florence) are friends of ours.  They live in a beautiful country house that was once property of Michelangelo, and they are both courteous and enthusiastic about sharing their knowledge and contracts with the culture and people of Tuscany.  Paolo loves to help his clients experience the authentic places that would be impossible to discover without his many many personal contacts.  He is especially proud of his spotless luxury Mercedez touring van, with leather seats -- this is very comfortable and not the typical touring van.  The van seats 7 guests.  For larger groups, he'll arrange a second van.

Price: Entrance fees and lunch are not included in the price.  Please note that, if you want to climb the leaning tower, you'll need to reserve yourself online before the visit (because the reservations require your passport number and other information).  It's easy and we'll give you all the details on how to do this.  The tour isn't available Saturdays or Sundays beause the truffle company is closed.

150euros/person (minimum 4 guests)


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