• Out and about in the country
    Out and about in the country

Le Crete and Pienza

The tour kicks off from the famous Crete Senesi, specifically from Buonconvento, the home of Villa Armena, one of the 100 most beautiful villages in Italy, with a stroll through this wonderful town, before continuing with a visit to the Abbey of Monte Oliveto Maggiore, dating back to early 1300. En route you will stop several times to photograph the fantastic Crete Senesi landscape, the most romantic area of Tuscany. San Giovanni d'Asso is a small village perched gently on a hilltop, famous for its truffles: how about a lunch of truffles in a typical local trattoria? But if you enjoy Pecorino cheese with truffles then maybe you'll enjoy lunch at one of the many farms in the Crete which produce the best Pecorino in the whole of Tuscany! The tour continues towards Pienza, in the heart of Val d'Orcia, a Renaissance town, created by Pope Pius II. In this quaint village you'll find many small local crafts shops where you can buy all manner of local products. And after a coffee and a stroll through the streets of this charming village you will return to Villa Armena for an evening of relaxation.

Abbeys of Tuscany

This tour takes you to three of the most famous abbeys in Tuscany. The first one, the Abbey of Monte Oliveto Maggiore dates back to 1319 and is decorated with 21 frescoes by Sodoma and Signorelli. After visiting all the wonders that this beautiful monastery has to offer, you head for Sant'Antimo Abbey, dating back to the eleventh century, just in time to hear the splendid Gregorian chant of the chorus of monks. Lunch will be at a restaurant in a small village overlooking Sant'Antimo or in Montalcino; it is up to you to decide. In the afternoon, you will go to the "ghost" Abbey of San Galgano which is famous for its Sword in the Stone. This is where the day ends and you will then return to Villa Armena where an evening of good food and relaxation awaits you.

Truffles and olive oil

This wonderful tour departs from the Crete Senesi, specifically from the Abbey of Monte Oliveto Maggiore. You can admire the 21 frescoes dating from the 16th century by Signorelli and Sodoma that adorn the beautiful cloister; you will learn all about the history of the monastery and you can visit the pharmacy of natural products managed by the monks. From the monastery you will make your way to the "Romita" a family-run farm-house famous for the quality of its extra virgin olive. You will learn the tricks of the trade and have the opportunity to sample it. To wrap up this wonderful experience you will have lunch at a typical local trattoria, a very special lunch of pasta with truffles obviously accompanied by the best Tuscan wines.