Pieve a Castello 2021: A boutique hotel situated in idyllic countryside between Siena and Florence

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PIEVE A CASTELLO

2022


Where is it? * The entire complex is highly protected in terms of planning, and lacks permission for an elevator; and there are unavoidable steps, stairs and uneven ground to be negotiated. As such it is unsuitable for those with restricted mobility.

Pieve a Castello is in central Tuscany, Italy: • Siena 15 miles, • Florence 37 miles, • Pisa 66 miles, • Rome 160 miles.

Why do people visit?

What is it? Pieve a Castello is a fully restored, architecturally distinguished complex, a rare survival from the 8th century AD, when it was an important Augustinian canonry providing hospitality to the countless travellers on the early medieval ‘main road to Rome’.

is it a hotel? Pieve a Castello is a Residenza d’Epoca, a ‘period building’ licensed to offer accommodation and meals, in compliance with stringent hotel regulations.*

Most people come to Pieve a Castello for the unique travel experience of staying in such an ancient, historic, and special place ... in the heart of one of the world’s richest cultural areas. But they also come for the relaxed ‘house-guest’ style, the friendly, professional staff, the accomplished chef, and, not least, for the two highly qualified ATG guides (Leader & Manager) who ‘make it happen...’ (see pages 10 & 11).

Will it be too hot...? Pieve a Castello (220m/720ft) is situated at the edge of the forested Montagnola hills – rising to 671m/2,918ft. The hottest month is July with an average temperature of 23°C/73°F (average high 28°C/83°F) ‘warm with cooling breezes’. All rooms have air conditioning and heating systems. Winter temperatures average 7°C/45°F.

˚F ˚C 104 40 95 35

Hours 400

Hours of bright sunshine Rain in mm

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When can i swim? May to October. The average July pool temperature is 25°C/77°F.

Private groups Pieve a Castello is the perfect setting for groups of family and friends to enjoy a week-long holiday. You can choose your own itinerary from our programme, and enjoy a fully staffed and serviced, allinclusive private holiday – ‘as you like it’.

Booking procedure Book online, or by contacting the Oxford office by phone or email (see below).

Certificate Number 5739 ISO 14001

Pieve a Castello is owned by Alternative Travel Group Ltd., T/A ATG Oxford 274 Banbury Road, Oxford, OX2 7DY, United Kingdom +44 (0)1865 315678 • trip-enquiry@atg-oxford.com • www.atg-oxford.com ReGisTeReD in enGLAnD nUmBeR 1449375 • VAT nUmBeR 348 2372 47

All holidays in this brochure that do not include flights purchased through ATG are ABTOT protected by the Association of Bonded Travel Organisers Trust Ltd. Our ABTOT Trust number is 5181. The air holidays and flights in this brochure are ATOL protected by the Civil Aviation Authority. Our ATOL number is 2618.


Contents 2...............What Is It? 3...............Contents 4-7...........You Can Expect… 8-9...........Room With a View 10...........Making it Happen … For You 11...........Excursions & Events

Programme 2022 12...........As You Like It - 1 13...........As You Like It - 2 14...........As You Like It - 3 15...........Painting Tuscany 16...........Tuscan Gardens 17...........Italian Gardens 18...........Siena & the Palio 19...........Walking, Language & Libretto 20...........Via Francigena 990 21...........Trips by Date

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5th century BC alabaster bust of a goddess excavated during building works. The site is believed to have been an Etruscan temple.

Manuscript of the route of the Via Francigena, recorded in 990 AD by Sigeric, Archbishop of Canterbury and Chancellor of England, during his return journey from Rome.

Nicholas Breakspear, an Augustinian Canon and the only English Pope (Adrian IV 1154-1159), was among the canonry’s benefactors.

Besieged by a Guelf army in 1400AD, the canons fled. The buildings gradually became derelict – although their ancient structure, 8th century church and baptistery remained intact. Before 20 years of restoration….

YOU CAN You will be staying as a ‘house guest’ in this architecturally and historically important, fully restored, 8C Augustinian canonry. People: To ‘make it happen’ there is a high ratio of staff to guests. All staff are experienced and welcoming: a manager, accomplished chef, housekeeper, cleaners and waiting staff. There are also two highly qualified ATG guides, a Leader and Manager, who will provide expert guidance and information, and are available to you throughout your stay. Your room: There are 10 bedrooms, each one different, but all have views of the central courtyard and idyllic Tuscan countryside; ensuite facilities, a sofa, writing table, fridge-bar, cupboard with drawers and a safe, TV & WIFI – and air-conditioning.

Christopher Whinney receiving the Conservation International and National Geographic ‘World Legacy Award’ for Heritage Tourism from Queen Noor of Jordan, at National Geographic, Washington DC.

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As you explore the ancient canonry you will find comfortable rooms and shaded terraces for sitting and relaxing, a Bosendorfer concert grand piano (you are welcome to play) in the acoustically perfected church, a well-stocked library, a travertine-lined pool (50x26 ft) with salt filtration, and organic gardens with burgeoning vegetables.


The buildings, on an ancient fortified site, were, for 700 years, home to an Augustinian canonry, that provided hospitality to countless travellers on the Via Francigena – the ‘main road to Rome’. The Augustinian canonry – ‘the oldest church and baptistery in Tuscany’ – with its 22 dependent canonries, has left a legacy of paths – once routes for medieval travellers on their way to and from Rome.

EXPECT Meals: Breakfast, a wide choice of options, including eggs from the chickens, is usually served in the courtyard; lunch on the shaded lower terrace, if not a celebrated ATG picnic in the country; predinner drinks and canapés are accompanied by a presentation related to the next day’s activities… Then, a gourmet dinner with produce fresh from the organic gardens, and fine regional wines – served in early medieval splendour. Walking: The ancient paths of the Via Francigena that ‘fan out’ through vineyards, olive groves and forested hills, include 200 miles of self-guided walks, many of an hour or two, others longer. Excursions (see itineraries), prefaced in predinner presentations, are offered each day. These usually visit outstanding features of the area, and often include escorted walks of 1-3 hours – although you can, of course, walk as much or as little as you like. Concerts & Events: Concerts, exclusively for guests, in the acoustically ‘perfected’ 8C church, are included in many itineraries. Others feature wine tasting, cookery demonstrations, dinner at a restaurant in one of the iconic nearby hill towns.

Today, fully restored, there are 10 en-suite bedrooms, rooms and shaded terraces to sit and relax, a library, church for weekly concerts, spectacular dining area, and idyllic pool.

This picturesque location, between Florence and Siena, is ‘perfect’ for discovering Tuscany’s legacy to Western Civilisation – from prehistory to Renaissance, Art to cuisine….

Guests are welcomed by experienced staff. Gourmet meals, served with fine wines, are prepared by the chef, using fresh produce from organic gardens.

Pieve a Castello remains exclusive – a totally unique travel experience offering the highest quality and service.

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1. Staying in a restored 8th century canonry 2. Misty morning – views across the courtyard 3. Organic garden 4. Outstanding architectural features intact 5. Breakfast in courtyard

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6. Ingredients fresh from gardens 7. Travertine pool 8. Concerts exclusively for guests 9. Pre-dinner drinks and canapés 10. Accomplished chef 11. Dining in style!

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Room 1: Large, first-floor room with writing room, bath & shower (double/twin)

Room 3: Large, second-floor room with unique shower room (double/twin)

Room 4: ‘Cosy’ room on second floor with four-poster bed, bath & shower (double)

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Room 2: Large, second-floor room with writing room, bath & shower (double/twin)

ROOM WITH A VIEW

Room 5: Former dovecote on second floor with spacious shower (double)


Room 7: Courtyard room with bath, shower and side door to garden (double/twin)

There are 10 bedrooms, originally used for multiple-occupancy by early medieval travellers. In a protected building of this antiquity, every room is different, each with unique features. All bedrooms have private ensuite facilities (with bath/shower or shower), heating and air-conditioning, sofa, writing desk, fridge-bar, TV, cupboard with drawers and safe, and views of the central courtyard and open countryside.

Room 10: Cosy courtyard room with shower (single room with single bed*)

Room 8: Courtyard room with bath, shower and side door to garden (double/twin)

Room 9: Charming, corner courtyard room with shower (single room, French-sized double bed*)

Room 11: Courtyard room – with writing niche, shower and 8th century apse (!) (double)

*Rooms 9 & 10 do not have a single occupancy supplement. 9


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ost people choose Pieve a Castello primarily for the unique experience of staying in such an ancient, historic and special place … that is ideal for simply relaxing and enjoying.

making it happen for you Each day, the two ATG guides (Leader & Manager) will co-ordinate arrangements to suit you, whether you decide to relax and enjoy Pieve a Castello, take a selfguided walk (many an hour or two, others up to 7 hours). Walk as much or as little as you like!

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If you feel the need for activity – there is much on offer. Excursions, escorted walks and visits (see itineraries) are described in each evening’s pre-dinner presentation – so you can decide if you prefer to participate or relax.

Terrain: ancient paths and tracks across farmland with vineyards, olive groves pastures and forested hills with a wide variety of flowers, birds and views. Walk as much or as little as you like!

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As You Like it - 1 stay at one of the oldest, most perfectly preserved, early medieval buildings in europe, surrounded by idyllic countryside, with the leisure to explore the area’s incomparably rich cultural Heritage. Day 1 After arrival at Pieve a Castello and time to relax, there will be a tour of this unique complex of early 8th century buildings. Evening presentation: Tuscan heritage. Day 2 We walk through idyllic countryside to discover paths of the ancient ‘main road to Rome’. We return for lunch, and later enjoy a tour of the organic vegetable gardens and a cooking demonstration. Evening presentation: Dante Alighieri, Guelfs and Ghibellines. Day 3 We walk through forests of the Montagnola to the fortified, hill-top village of Monteriggioni, described in Dante’s ‘Divine Comedy’. Evening presentation: Good & Bad Government by Ambrogio Lorenzetti, followed by dinner in nearby Casole d’Elsa. Day 4 We spend the morning in Siena, visiting the Palazzo Pubblico and enjoying iconic, early Renaissance works of art including Lorenzetti’s renowned frescoes. Optional free afternoon to explore the city. Evening presentation: Ascendancy of the Medici. Day 5 We drive (45 mins) to hills overlooking Florence, and walk to visit the magnificent church of San Miniato al Monte, before exploring other nearby ‘gems’. Evening concert in the church before dinner.

Dates & prices may 3 – 10 & may 10 – 17

£2,645

Florence visits to Iris and Rose Gardens in flower

June 7 – 14

£2,645

Golden orioles and nightingales at Pieve a Castello

september 27 – October 4

£2,645

Wine harvest in vineyards Supplement - double room for single: Transfer airports: Pisa & Florence

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£375

Day 6 We drive (1 hour 10 mins) to Montalcino, south of Siena, centre of the famous Brunello wineproducing area, then walk through vineyards to the exquisite Abbey church of Sant’Antimo. Evening presentation and wine tasting: Chianti! Day 7 We drive (25 minutes) to Villa Vicobello, and visit the fine Renaissance garden built by Baldassare Peruzzi for the Chigi family in the 16th century. After lunch, optional walk following the ancient Via Francigena to a frescoed church and hermitage. Evening: gala dinner. Day 8 Departure day.


As You Like it - 2 Whilst the diversity of sightseeing opportunities, based at Pieve a Castello, is of an incomparably high standard – so, too, are the opportunities for exploring the area on foot. Day 1 After arrival at Pieve a Castello, there will be a tour of this unique complex of early 8th century buildings. Evening presentation: The Augustinian Canonry. Day 2 We walk, following routes used by early medieval travellers between Pieve a Castello’s 22 small, dependent canonries. We return for lunch, and later enjoy a tour of the organic vegetable gardens and a cooking demonstration. Evening presentation: Renewable medieval energy. Day 3 We follow ancient tracks to nearby Colle Val d’Elsa where we visit the fortified, medieval ‘Colle Alta’ and its evocative ‘tunnel’ streets. Evening presentation: The Anti-chamber of Paradise, followed by dinner in nearby Monteriggioni. Day 4 We walk through forests of the Montagnola to a frescoed church and hermitage. After lunch we visit Siena to discover the history and outstanding art and architecture of the Cathedral complex. Evening presentation: Wealth created by the Via Francigena. Day 5 We drive (20 mins), then walk up a track with panoramic views of San Gimignano, the ‘medieval Manhattan’. After walking through the town, we continue to the fortified village of Certaldo, birthplace of Boccaccio. Evening: private concert in the church. Day 6 We drive (1 hour) to visit the great Benedictine abbey of Monte Oliveto Maggiore, with its cloister of frescoes by Signorelli and Sodoma. We walk through the surrounding landscape of picturesquely eroded hills. Evening presentation and wine tasting: Chianti! Day 7 We drive (35 mins) to visit Villa Geggiano, just outside Siena, with its elegant gardens, theatre and wonderful views over the city. Afternoon free to relax and enjoy.... Evening: gala dinner. Day 8 Departure day.

Dates & prices June 14 – 21

£2,645

Nightingales, golden orioles, fireflies

July 4 –11

£2,645

Festivals in nearby historic hill towns … swimming!

september 6 –13

£2,645

Late summer: warm, cooling breezes, swimming… Supplement - double room for single:

£375

Transfer airports: Pisa & Florence

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As You Like it - 3 stay at an exclusive, private residence – an award-winning conservation project – in unspoilt countryside. each day explores a different aspect of tuscany’s fascinating history, art, architecture and landscape. Day 1 After arrival at Pieve a Castello and time to relax, there will be a tour of this unique complex of early 8th century buildings. Evening presentation: ‘The Via Francigena’. Day 2 We walk, following ancient routes of the Via Francigena, through idyllic countryside to the Benedictine Abbey of Isola, and the walled hilltop town of Monteriggioni. Later we enjoy a tour of the organic vegetable gardens, followed by a cooking demonstration. Evening presentation: ‘The Medieval Traveller and the Legend of the Sword in the Stone’. Day 3 We drive (40 mins), then walk to the spectacular, ruined Cistercian abbey of San Galgano; and nearby small, domed Romanesque church – still with the ‘Sword in the Stone’, from which the fable originates. Evening presentation: ‘Contrada Tradition’, followed by dinner in nearby Colle di Val d'Elsa. Day 4 We visit lesser-known areas of Siena, the ‘best-preserved great medieval city in Europe’ and explore its ancient, but still vibrant ‘contrada culture’. Evening presentation: Etruscan origins and legacy. Day 5 We drive (1 hour), then walk to explore the great Etruscan city of Volterra, visiting its fine museum and Etruscan tombs. Evening: private concert in the church.

Dates & prices July 11 –18

£2,645

Pool perfect for swimming...!

August 30 – september 6

£2,645

October 11 –18

£2,495

Pool still warm

Wine harvest in Colli Senese Supplement - double room for single: Transfer airports: Pisa & Florence

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£375

Day 6 We walk through open country of the upper Elsa Valley before following paths up through olive groves to the medieval hill village of Casole d’Elsa – built on Etruscan foundations. Evening presentation and wine tasting: Chianti: Great Reds. Day 7 We drive (20 mins) to Castello di Celsa – high in the Montagnola (wonderful views!), and visit its fine 16th century gardens. Optional walk back. Evening: gala dinner. Day 8 Departure day.


PAiNtiNG tusCANY spend each morning painting in an idyllic spot at or near Pieve a Castello, with views over the timeless tuscan countryside. Afternoons include optional walks of 1 - 2 hours and sightseeing – and/or free time to paint. this tour will be led by a renowned painter specialising in tuscan landscapes. Day 1 After arrival at Pieve a Castello and time to relax, there will be a tour of this unique complex of early 8th century buildings. Predinner presentation of the tour leader’s approach to the week. Day 2 Morning painting session in the grounds of Pieve a Castello. After lunch, an optional walk explores the surrounding countryside, before returning for afternoon tea. Day 3 We drive (10 mins) to a picturesque spot at the hamlet of Abbadia Isola. After painting and visiting the abbey, we continue to hilltop Monteriggioni, encircled by 13th century walls with 14 watchtowers. Late afternoon walk in the surrounding hills. Dinner at a local restaurant. Day 4 Morning painting session. In the afternoon we visit a nearby villa with Peruzzi gardens, with the option to walk part of the return journey. Day 5 We drive (20 mins) to a picturesque, frescoed church and hermitage for our morning painting session. Optional afternoon visit to nearby Casole, whose twinkling lights are visible at night from Pieve a Castello. Evening: private concert in the church. Day 6 We drive (30 mins) to a viewpoint over classic Tuscan countryside. After painting we enjoy lunch with a view – of medieval, iconic San Gimignano and its famous towers. Optional walk and visit to the town, or return to Pieve a Castello to paint or relax. Day 7 Morning painting session. Optional afternoon walk and visit to nearby Colle di Val d’Elsa, with its ancient walls and fascinating, medieval tunnel streets. Evening: farewell gala dinner. Day 8 Departure day.

Dates & prices may 24 – 31

£2,645

Colours of early summer

may 31 – June 7

£2,645

Golden orioles and nightingales at Pieve a Castello

October 4 –11

£2,645

Colours of autumn Supplement - double room for single:

£375

Transfer airports: Pisa & Florence

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tusCAN GArdeNs three great centres of italian gardens – Lucca, Florence and siena, with outstanding tuscan gardens representing their development from the early renaissance through to modern times. Day 1 We travel by road to the delightful, walled city of Lucca. Nights 1 + 2: 4H Hotel Alla Corte degli Angeli, Lucca Day 2 We visit two historic properties: Villa Reale di Marlia, an historic garden that once belonged to Elisa Bonaparte; and Villa Torrigiani, an elaborate villa set in a simple, formal garden. After lunch, free time to explore Lucca. Day 3 We drive (1.5 hours) to Florence and visit (subject to opening) one of the historic Medici properties to the north of the city, Villa di Castello or Villa Petraia. After lunch we visit the delightful garden of Villa Gamberaia, much appreciated by Edith Wharton, before continuing to Pieve a Castello (1 hour, 15 mins). Day 4 We drive (35 mins) to visit Villa Geggiano, just outside Siena, with its elegant gardens, theatre and wonderful views over the city. Optional free afternoon in Siena, or return to Pieve. Day 5 We drive (25 minutes) to Villa Vicobello, and visit the fine Renaissance garden built by Baldassare Peruzzi for the Chigi family in the 16th century. Optional afternoon walk (1 hour). Evening: private concert in the church.

Dates & prices Note: for this tour nights 3-7 are at Pieve a Castello. For accommodation nights 1-2 see itinerary.

April 26 – may 3

£2,795

Profusion of spring flowers

september 13 – 20

£2,795

Late summer flowering Supplement - double room for single: Transfer airports: Pisa & Florence

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£375

Day 6 We follow scenic roads south to the villages of San Quirico (1.5 hours) and Pienza (25 mins), pausing in each to visit small, historic gardens. After lunch we continue (30 mins) to the superbly designed, Cecil Pinsent gardens of La Foce, former home of writer Iris Origo. Day 7 We drive (1 hour) to visit two villas in hilltop Fiesole, north of Florence: the renowned Villa Medici, with its sweeping views over the city; and Le Balze, another Cecil Pinsent garden. Afternoon free to relax. Evening: farewell gala dinner. Day 8 Departure day.


itALiAN GArdeNs Complementing the tuscan Gardens itinerary, this trip makes a progression from further south, visiting some wonderful gardens, ancient and modern – all very different in character, but each in its own way outstanding. Day 1 From Rome Fiumicino airport we drive (1 hour, 15 mins) to the Monti Lepini. Time-permitting, we visit the nearby Abbey of Valvisciolo. 3H Hotel Principe Serrone, Sermoneta Day 2 We visit Ninfa, ‘the world’s most romantic garden’. We then drive (1 hour) to gardens created 1,900 years ago at Tivoli’s Villa of the Emperor Hadrian. We continue (1 hour) to the Monti Cimini. Villa Lina, Ronciglione Day 3 We visit the splendid Villa Farnese at Caprarola, and its influential 16C gardens; then on to the Castello di Ruspoli/Villa Vignanello garden – originally a castle and monastery. Villa Lina, Ronciglione Day 4 We visit the Villa Lante gardens, a synergy of Vignola’s Palladian geometry with his patron’s taste for outdoor living. We then visit the starkly contrasting, 16C Bomarzo gardens, before continuing (2 hours) to Pieve a Castello. Day 5 We drive (30 mins) into the wooded hills behind Pieve to visit the ‘Peruzzi’ gardens of the Castello di Celsa. We enjoy a scenic drive through the Montagnola, with an optional walk (1.5 hours). Evening: private concert in the church. Day 6 We visit two gardens near Siena: at the Certosa di Pontignano, with its impressive cloister; and at Villa Geggiano, with wonderful views over the city. Optional free afternoon in Siena. Day 7 We drive (40 mins) to visit Villa Poggio Torselli, once owned by Machiavelli, with its awardwinning Renaissance gardens and commanding position affording sweeping views towards Florence. Optional afternoon walk. Evening: farewell gala dinner. Day 8 Departure day.

Dates & prices Note: for this tour nights 4-7 are at Pieve a Castello. For accommodation nights 1-3 see itinerary.

may 17 – 24

£2,795

Early summer gardens in flower

september 20 – 27

£2,795

Late summer flowering… Supplement - double room for single:

£375

Transfer airports: Arrival: rome Fiumicino departure: Pisa & Florence

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sieNA & tHe PALio this exclusive ‘immersion’ experience of one of the world’s greatest and most historic festivals provides unique insights into italian culture and enduring traditions of the medieval life and times. two hours of each morning (days 2 - 7) are spent in ‘immersion’ italian language sessions, tailored to all levels of ability. included, too, is one of the best views of the race from a private window on the Piazza del Campo. Day 1 After arrival at Pieve a Castello and time to relax there will be a tour of this unique complex of early 8th century buildings. Day 2 NB: Two hours of each morning of days 2 - 7 are spent in ‘immersion’ Italian language sessions, tailored to all levels of ability. After language session, we enjoy a presentation on the history, celebrations and traditions of the Palio. After lunch, enjoy a two-hour walk through the Tuscan countryside. Day 3 After a relaxed morning at Pieve a Castello, we travel to Siena for the Tratta – drawing lots to select the horses for the Palio and allotment of these horses to the contrade. Lunch in Siena and time to explore. Day 4 Morning and lunch at Pieve a Castello, followed by a walk to Monteriggioni (3 - 4 hours). Optional: Siena – early evening procession of the Votive Choir of the contrade.

Date & prices June 27 – July 4

£3,775

Immersion in a unique ‘World Class’ experience of a still-vibrant historic culture. Note: Our access to a privileged window view of proceedings and the Palio costs around £1,000 per person! Supplement - double room for single: Transfer airports: Pisa & Florence

£375

Day 5 In the afternoon we visit Siena for the Prova Generale (fifth and final race trials) and we are privileged to join the Cena Propriziatoria/Cena della Prova Generale (a very special dinner) – at a contrada. Day 6 The day of the Palio! In the afternoon we depart for Siena. Day 7 Morning review of the previous day’s unforgettable events! Afternoon walk through the Montagnola Senese, followed by private concert and gala farewell dinner. Day 8 Departure day.

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WALkiNG, LANGuAGe & LiBretto there is no language more beautiful than italian. And we have yet to find a teacher more delightful or inspirational than Giancarla Bindi, who has been leading our language and Palio trips for many years. Her belief is that the enjoyment in learning a language lies in being able to immediately use what has been learned – providing insights into italian culture and way of life: immersion! divided into groups according to knowledge of italian, whether ‘none’, ‘a few words’ or ‘conversational’ – you will soon be speaking italian! Day 1 After arrival at Pieve a Castello and time to relax, a tour of the 8th century buildings is followed by a presentation of Giancarla’s approach to the week. Day 2 Morning Italian lessons. After lunch at Pieve a Castello, an optional afternoon walk explores the surrounding countryside (2 hours), before returning for afternoon tea. Day 3 Morning Italian lessons. After lunch we visit the nearby iconic, hilltop village of Monteriggioni, with an optional walk (3.5 hours) back to Pieve a Castello. Dinner at a local restaurant. Day 4 Morning visit to Siena, visiting the astonishing 15C frescoes in the Santa Maria della Scala hospital, followed by a guided tour (in Italian!) of the Duomo (cathedral) crypt. Optional return on foot, following the route of the early medieval Via Francigena (3 hours). Day 5 Morning Italian lessons. Afternoon walk and visit to San Gimignano, the ‘medieval Manhattan’, with its famous towers. Evening: private concert in the church. Day 6 Morning Italian lessons, with visit to Colle Val d’Elsa, and exploration of the higher town’s medieval tunnel streets. Afternoon free before dinner at a traditional local restaurant. Day 7 Morning Italian lessons. Afternoon visit to a Chianti wine estate for a tasting of its interesting range of wines, with optional return on foot (1 hour). Evening: gala dinner.

Dates & prices Immersion in Italian language and culture. All levels welcome!

April 19 – 26

£2,695

October 18 – 25

£2,695

Supplement - double room for single:

£375

Transfer airports: Pisa & Florence

Day 8 Departure day. 19


ViA FrANCiGeNA 990 in 990Ad sigeric, Archbishop of Canterbury, during his return journey from rome, made notes of where he stayed overnight – the earliest surviving record of the Via Francigena route. We follow the best-preserved sections of sigeric’s route ... to Pieve a Castello, the oldest and best-preserved overnight stopping place on the Via Francigena. (Nights 5 - 7 at Pieve a Castello). Walking: Moderate to challenging walking along dirt and gravel roads, farm tracks, mule paths, vineyards, woodland trails and tracks. Day 1 From Rome Fiumicino airport we drive (1 hour) to Sutri, where we visit the evocative Roman amphitheatre and ancient church (visited by Sigeric), before continuing to Ronciglione. 4H Sans Souci Day 2 We walk from Lake Vico through the forested Monti Cimini to medieval Viterbo, then on to ancient thermal baths (opportunity to wallow), before following original paved Roman road to Montefiascone (13.5 miles, 7 hours). 3H Urbano V Day 3 We enjoy fine views of the lake on our walk to Bolsena, where we explore features that existed at the time of Sigeric’s visit (11 miles, 5.5 hours). 5H Ludwig Hotel

Dates & prices Note: for this tour nights 5-7 are at Pieve a Castello. For accommodation nights 1-4 see itinerary.

may 13 – 20 (Fri)

£2,645

Walking back in time (…as early travellers headed north to cross the Alps as snows melted)

september 16 – 23 (mon)

£2,645

Traditional timing of medieval journey north (…to cross the Alps before the first snows) Supplement - double room for single: Transfer airports: Arrival: rome Fiumicino departure: Pisa & Florence

£375

Day 4 We follow the Francigena route to the ancient town of Acquapendente, visit fine 9C crypt, then continue along the Paglia Valley to walk, following ancient tracks across a pass, before continuing to the Orcia Valley, and San Quirico (12 miles, 6 hours). 4H Hotel Palazzo del Capitano Day 5 We continue by road to Siena ... and then walk across the forested Montagnola hills to Pieve a Castello (11 miles, 5 hours). Day 6 We walk to the 10C Benedictine monastery Abbadia Isola, then continue on foot to the iconic, fortified village of Monteriggioni (8 miles, 4 hours). Day 7 We follow the route of the early medieval Via Francigena, passing several pilgrim ‘stations’, to San Gimignano – with its famous towers (15 miles, 8 hours). Evening: gala farewell dinner. Day 8 Departure day.

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2022 April 19 - 26

Walking, Language & Libretto Tuscan Gardens

£2,695* £2,795

3 - 10 10 - 17 13 - 20 17 - 24 24 - 31

As You Like it - 1 As You Like it - 1 Via Francigena 990 italian Gardens Painting Tuscany

£2,645 £2,645 £2,645 £2,795 £2,645

June 31 may - 7 7 - 14 14 - 21 27 - 4 Jul

Painting Tuscany As You Like it - 1 As You Like it - 2 siena and the Palio

£2,645 £2,645 £2,645 £3,775

July 4 - 11 11 - 18

As You Like it - 2 As You Like it - 3

£2,645 £2,645

September 30 Aug - 6 6 - 13 13 - 20 16 - 23 20 - 27 27 - 4 Oct

As You Like it - 3 As You Like it - 2 Tuscan Gardens Via Francigena 990 italian Gardens As You Like it - 1

£2,645 £2,645 £2,795 £2,645 £2,795 £2,645

Painting Tuscany As You Like it - 3 Walking, Language & Libretto

£2,645 £2,495

26 - 3 may

May

October 4 - 11 11 - 18 18 - 25

£2,695

* Prices are per person, based on two people sharing a double/twin room. Double-for-single supplement: £375 We welcome private group bookings of up to 16 participants at any time of the year, subject to availability and a minimum stay of one week. Price depends on group size, season, itinerary and any special requirements.


Pieve a Castello, Strada di Pieve a Castello, 53035 Monteriggioni (SI), Italy