Tours

About our Tours

I moved to Germany  in 1998 for a year of work and European living.  Whenever I had enough free time I found myself heading to Italy to “live the Italian life”;  eating, drinking, visiting friends and watching life happen.  After moving back to the US, I continued to escape to Italy for holidays and whenever I could spend a week or two. Having been there many times, I started to travel off the beaten trail and entertaining myself traveling the regions I love, Tuscany and Umbria, randomly, getting lost, meeting people, getting suggestions from locals telling I must explore the local secret sites.  People recommended places to visit where many locals and most tourist never visit.  My tours were launched when friends begged me to take them to Italy and share these off the beaten trail jaunts.   Today every tour produces more suggestions about local new restaurants, tiny museums, thermal baths, local organic cheese makers, and on it goes.  Hence, my tours change, grow and produce more unexpected gems, many I have driven past for years before discovering!

Read More...

Let’s Go Italy tours are for people who want a vacation in Italy on an active but relaxing tour.  We meet in Florence and travel by a 9 passenger van to Umbria, where we will take up residence at Maridiana, an alpaca farm just outside the town of Umbertide, very near the Tuscan border.  Fields of flowers and alpacas await us we wind our up the hill to the farm that will be our base for the next 10 days.  Each morning after a leisurely breakfast prepared in our kitchen, we will take day trips to small villages and hill cities in the area, each with it own unique history, foods, crafts, wines and alleys to explore.  Usually these destinations are 60 minutes or less away from our farm, so travel time is kept to a minimum.  In Perugia, the largest city of Umbria we will visit the impressive and famous city center, tasting it’s trade market chocolates, and a tour of a tiny 1212 abbey housing looms that are in use to this day making traditional Umbrian pieces.  Wine and olive oil tasting in small, non-commercial wineries and olive oil mills will give a real sample of the rural Umbrian life. Visits to the hill towns of Tuscany and Umbria call for some uphill walking, but we’ll get off the main tourist streets and have time to smell the roses.  A cooking class and truffle tasting as well as a visit to pottery factories in Deruta will be included.

If you wish, you are welcome to arrive in Florence a day or two early (or stay a few days after the tour) and take some time to see the cities of Florence and Siena on your own, neither of which is included in this tour. The tour is LAND ONLY. Each person is responsible for their own flights to and from Florence. The hotel we suggest and can make reservations for you in Florence is not luxurious, but clean and reasonably priced. Breakfast is available at the hotel for small fee or eat at one of several small places in the neighborhood. It is short distance from the airport, less than a 5 minute taxi ride. City buses stop about a 3 minute walk from the hotel, and the bus ride to city centre takes less than 10 minutes. See Detailed Itinerary for each of the different tours and What’s Included/Required for more specific information.

This tour is comfortably paced – you will go home feeling refreshed and more familiar with real life in Italy, not exhausted from hurrying from place to place, bus to bus, and hotel to hotel.  All meals are included, although we will make our own breakfasts and some dinners at the farm with food provided.  Other meals will be at small restaurants.  The two stone farmhouses at Maridiana each accommodates 5-6 people, and each has 2 bathrooms, a common living room, dining room and a full kitchen.  Views from the farm are spectacular, and the resident peacock will keep you amused.  I will be our tour leader and have traveled to Italy many times, and  I have found the best of small, out-of-the-way villages with craftspeople to talk to and get to know.  Sit back and enjoy the wine, food, and the good life in rural Italy.