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2013 Tour Program

posted Aug 31, 2012, 2:30 PM by Jen Hayes   [ updated Oct 17, 2012, 1:14 AM ]
Bells in Tuscany
March 30-April 7, 2013

30. Saturday – Arrivals and Rehearsal
Pick-ups according to travel arrangements of individual passengers in Florence. All convene at the charming Borgo Bottaia (located 1km from the village of Grassina and just 10km from the heart of Florence) for our first rehearsal at 4.30 pm. Enjoy dinner at the Villa and some social time.

31. Sunday – The Hills of Florence and Rehearsal
Sunday is a full day of rehearsal for the group. There will be plenty of time for music and relaxation. Those not ringing bells can take a short trip into town to explore, or might elect to head into the local hills to find some lovely hiking trails. Some might just prefer to curl up with a great book or a bottle of Tuscan wine. One of our favorite local chefs will serve us lunch and then assist us in preparing dinner. You’ll be learning how to cook all’Italiana and get to eat it, too. This casual cooking lesson has been a favorite on previous tours. Just don’t drink too much wine… there’s still rehearsal after dinner!

1. Monday – Greve in Chianti (Dress Rehearsal)
What would Italy be without wine? A visit to Italy’s most famous wine region, Chianti, with its heart in the small town of Greve, is a must. We’ll make sure we have enough time to fit in some rehearsal before we head out, but there will be plenty of time for lunch and a wine tasting. Stroll through this quaint Tuscan town, making a stop in a wine shop to see all the different Chianti vintners. A walk through the vineyards and a stop off at a local monastery will have you in the perfect mood to perform a dress rehearsal for the staff and other residents at Borgo Bottaia after dinner.

2. Tuesday – Prato & Poggio a Caiano (Concert - Vinci)
Historically, Prato has been the home to Italy’s textile industry. With amazing wools and other fabrics being produced here, we will have an opportunity to learn more about the factories that supply the Italian runways with their stoffa. More recently, Prato has played an important role in the Slow Food Movement. We’ll meet with a local gastro-tour guide for more about how to eat local and eat well. After lunch, we’ll make a visit to the Medici country home in Poggio a Caiano before heading to Vinci to play our first concert.

3. Wednesday – Pisa (Concert - Pisa)
Eat a light breakfast on Wednesday morning since we’ll head for western Tuscany and visit our local favorite, “Ristorante David,” for lunch. This is only after a stop at Tuscany’s finest chocolatier, Amedei. This is truly a day of decadence! The afternoon takes us to Pisa where you can do some shopping nel corso, or visit La Giurisprudenza, or just hang out on the Ponte di Mezzo. Be sure not to miss the main attraction, the Leaning Tower. Our evening concert is right in the center of town in one of Pisa’s historic churches and noted concert venues. Return to Le Fonti for a good night’s sleep.

4. Thursday – Lucca (Concert - Lucca)
In the morning, we’ll stop off at one of western Tuscany’s famous locales, Villa Torrigiani. Get a glimpse at how the aristocracy of the Renaissance lived at this beautiful home with amazing gardens. It’s a quick bite to eat and then off to Lucca. Circle the town on the ancient walls or search for hidden piazzas and mercati. Can you find the tower with the famous tree planted on top? Grab a light supper and meet to set up for our concert in Via Filungo. Return to the villa for a good night’s sleep. Tomorrow is an exciting day!

5. Friday – Florence (Concert - Pistoia)
This is Good Friday. Chapels throughout the city of Florence will be bedecked with flowers and it’s a tradition to visit seven churches to pray. While we may not make the full rounds, we’ll make an effort to take part in the tradition. You’ll have a free day to discover markets and churches throughout the city center. Plan ahead to visit the David or the Uffizzi galleries. Check out Via Tornabuoni for some high-end shopping or the Mercato San Lorenzo for the budget-conscious. Lunch is on your own but be sure to meet our transport to take us to our evening concert 20 minutes outside of Florence in historic Pistoia.

6. Saturday - Departures
After breakfast on Saturday, we’ll pack up our stuff and head out. You may also choose to extend your stay in Florence* to experience Easter at the Duomo. The famous Carrello explodes in a flurry of doves and is not to be missed. If you need to catch a train or plane, we’ll get you to the right spot. From here you’re on your own… alla prossima!

*There is a possibility of extending your stay at our accommodations for additional nights. Please contact us for more information. We would also be happy to assist you in finding hotel accommodations within the city limits.