Tuscany Villa Rentals at Toscana MiaTuscany Villa Rentals at Toscana Mia

Click to view Italian Products


Find the Perfect Italian Villa Rental, Click here to search


JUST RELEASED!
Guide to Buying
Real Estate
in Italy
 


 Toscanamia is an ECO-Friendly Website

 

“The Tuscany Effect” Women’s Tour
Passion, Beauty and Sensuality in the Land of Sun, Sea and Romance


(As featured in Chico’s)

“The Tuscany Effect” Sample Women's Tour – 11 Days

Exclusive tour limited to 16 participants

About our Ladies' Getaway

Are you tired of your hectic busy life with no time for relaxation or for yourself?  Join this tour and learn to relax, savor all your experiences, and fully enjoy life as the Tuscans do.

Who goes on these tours?  If you are full of life, robust and hearty, a survivor of a life-threatening illness, are aching for sensuality and beauty, widowed, divorced, a girl who just wants to have fun, would like to travel  with  your girlfriends, or love a girls’ getaway, you are ready for this tour!

The "Live Like a Tuscan Tour", operated by Toscana Mia, offers you an intimate introduction to northwestern Tuscany, including Versilia (an area of northwestern Tuscany that includes the Italian Riviera) in a small group setting.

Mingle with locals in villages that date back thousands of years.  Linger over a two-hour lunch while savoring the countryside.  Learn first-hand about Serenella’s Tuscany and the culture and history that make this region so very unique.  You'll soon understand why Tuscans are so proud of their heritage, as well as their reverence and passion for life.

Ask Serenella about how to live like a Tuscan, from relishing each moment to making money doing what you love to marrying the love of your life – at any age!  Serenella has just done this in her own life and will show you how.  And you'll find out how to take the Tuscan lifestyle home with you wherever you are

 

Why our tours are a unique experience and designed for you

 

You will find this tour is not the usual offering.  We have taken great pains to ensure your experience is one-of-a-kind.  Our women’s tour differentiates itself in the following areas (you can click on each area for details or see the entire Differentiation List).

Discover your Tuscan Soul in a Tuscany Less Traveled…

Click to see Highlights

Click to see Detailed Itinerary

 

Highlights

 

  • Accommodations in an historic four star villa hotel

  • Lesson on  “Cooking with passion” at a top-rated Tuscan cooking school in a 16th century estate

  • Dinner and wine pairings during a seminar with one of Italy’s top Sommeliers

  • Private walking tour of a Tuscan Hills estate (as pictured in Chico’s September 15th, 2008),  with centuries-old frantoio (olive oil press), wine cellar, beautiful garden and incredible herb beds

  • Excursion to the idyllic seaside village of Portovenere

  • Visit to Lucca, the only large medieval town in Italy still fully encircled by its ancient walls

  • Visit to Pisa and the Piazza dei Miracoli, featuring the awe-inspiring Leaning Tower

  • Explorations and tastings  of Food and wine and at rustic locales and farmhouses

  • A shopping stop or a breather for sea air and relaxation on the beach at Forte Dei Marmi, an Italian Riviera luxury spot and shopping mecca

  • Surprises…

 Your Toscana Mia land tour arrangements include:

  • Accommodations as indicated in the itinerary or similar

  • Transportation in a private, air-conditioned mini-bus with reclining seats

  • Meals include all breakfasts and lunches or dinners as indicated in the itinerary

  • Cooking lesson and dinner as indicated in the itinerary including all ingredients and equipment

  • Wine lesson and dinner as indicated in the itinerary, including all equipment

  • All sightseeing as shown, including entrance fees

  • Boat/train tickets where required

  • Services of a professional tour organizers, tour leader and additional guides as required

  • Assistance with bags on and off the bus

Not included: travel insurance; any airfares; airport departure taxes; excess baggage fees; cost of obtaining passports or visas; gratuities; spa treatments; optional activities; personal expenses such as meals, beverages or sightseeing not included in the itinerary; communication (including telephone) charges; laundry 

 

“The Tuscany Effect” Sample Women's Tour – 11 Days

Exclusive tour limited to 16 participants

Women’s Tour Pricing and Payment Schedule

 

Special Deluxe Land Tour Price: $4,588/person* (Classic Room, Double Occupancy)
Single Supplement:
$1,250 (For one person in private Classic Room)
 

Extras Available

(add extras to above prices for total)

Superior Room (only 3 available):

$125 extra for double occupancy
$250 extra for single occupancy

Deluxe Room (only 2 available):

$200 extra for double occupancy
$400 extra for single occupancy

 

*Flexible Payment Plans available (see Terms and Conditions). Prices based on Classic Room double occupancy, land tour only and do not include airfare.

 

Please contact us if you have special accommodation requirements for individual pricing.

 

Payments, Registration and Cancellations: All payments are to be made to Toscana Mia (hereafter referred to as SI). Any checks must be drawn on US banks and must be payable to Toscana Mia in US currency. Payment constitutes a full acceptance of the Terms & Conditions specified herein.

 

 

Why our tours are a different experience

Toscana Mia Tours

Other U.S. Tour Operators and Guides

Group Size: Limits groups to intimate numbers (16)

40-50 person herd-of-cattle tours

Accommodations: Uses villas or villas converted to hotels for a smaller, more intimate, more “real” setting

Large hotels in tourist centers

Uniqueness:  No two tours the same: change of accommodation venue, types of day trips, special surprises, etc.

Cookie-cutter tours

Itinerary: Serenella can do the usual tourist locations (and sometimes has on request).  She prefers to take people to out-of-the way locales, where no English is spoken.  Explorations are in northwest Tuscany, a region less known to Americans (Lucca, Riviera della Versilia, Apuan Alps, and Garfagnana).  Pisa is included because it is truly the square of Miracles and close by.

Usual tour = Florence, Siena, San Gimignano and, sometimes, Pisa

Flexibility:  No one to report to so if there needs to be a change, it is made immediately. Because of flexibility, you do not miss any available festivals or exhibits.

Little flexibility

Frequency: Tours are twice per year and exclusive

20 – 30 times per year

Presentation:  Explanations are spontaneous and adapted (customized) to each group

Usually scripted memorized tour, the same for every group

Unique Viewpoint:  This is Serenella’s Tuscany from a true Tuscan’s standpoint. It is a unique perspective from an insider and outsider. She has lived extensively in each country as an adult and has a deep grasp of Italian culture while understanding the expectations of Americans. She is fluent in both languages (as an example, Italians never ask if she is an American.  She does get asked about her Tuscan accent).

It is not uncommon for her to be doing simultaneous translations from the locals to the tour participants and back.

Usually employees who have learned the (other) language in school, either Italians who have learned English or Americans who have learned Italian

Personal Attention to Detail: Serenella take a personal interest in every detail of the tour from guest comfort to wine to every course of food to making sure she works only with people who are passionate about what they do. She does research trips to test everyone before using them.

Usually, tour operator organizes tour. Much is dependent on best pricing.  Tour operator conducts the tour.  The details and quality depend on the suppliers.

 

Local Connections: Serenella has close ties with her suppliers and they work as a team.  They have become friends because they we are all on the same page for sharing their passions.

She especially likes to involve inspirational women who are local characters, have overcome great odds and are doing what they love.

Dependent on professional network

Special Access: Serenella has literally hundreds of relatives and friends in her part of Italy to draw from for advice and entry to special venues and restaurants, not normally frequented by tourists.

Dependent on professional network

Personal Passion:  She consciously works on sharing everything she is passionate about points out details along the way and makes the tour very personal.

Some tour guides are better than others.   Superior ones are passionate about what they do.

Follow Up With Clients: Serenella has taken special personal interest in clients who desired to pursue more with Italy and helped them with their goals.

No follow up

Media Recognition: Serenella’s unique approach and perspective has attracted media coverage

Varies

“THE TUSCANY EFFECT” WOMEN’S TOUR
Passion, Beauty and Sensuality in the Land of Sun, Sea and Romance

(As featured in Chico’s)

DETAILED ITINERARY

The "Live Like a Tuscan Tour", operated by Toscana Mia, offers you an intimate introduction to northwestern Tuscany, including Versilia (an area of northwestern Tuscany that includes the Italian Riviera) in a small group setting.

Mingle with locals in villages that date back thousands of years.  Linger over a two-hour lunch while savoring the countryside.  Learn first-hand about the culture and history that make this region so very unique.  You'll soon understand why Tuscans are so proud of their heritage, as well as their reverence and passion for life.

Toscana Mia limits its group sizes to 16 people, assuring a more personal and memorable experience.  It's as if you're taking an exciting excursion each day with your friend Serenella.  The owner and operator of Toscana Mia in California, was born in Tuscany and spends part of every year there.  It is through her eyes that you'll see and experience Serenella’s Tuscany, this magical place; something that you'll never experience with larger tour companies.

So come home to your Tuscan soul and indulge yourself – you deserve it!  Experience “The Tuscany Effect.”

ITINERARY:

Day 1:

Depart the USA or Canada by overnight flight to Pisa.

 

Day 2: Arrival at Villa Marta

You are met by the tour driver in the afternoon at the Pisa airport or Lucca train station and driven a short distance to the beautiful, family-run Hotel Villa Marta, located near the medieval town of Lucca.  A former hunting lodge, transformed into a fine and elegant 4-star country resort, deep in the Luccan countryside in the heart of Tuscany, a place where you can enjoy total peace and relaxation, due in no small part to the welcoming and attentive hospitality with which Andrea and Alessia care for their guests.

Your hosts will introduce you to your travel mates with whom you'll share your intimate journey of Tuscany.  Welcome cocktails and dinner will be served at the villa.  Introduction to Tuscany is the theme.

Note:  Pisa (PSA) is the closest airport. If you fly to Florence, there are a few options for arriving in time for the orientation dinner.  You may wish to fly in a day earlier to Florence and stay overnight.  On the following day, you can take the train to Lucca (about a 1 hour ride) where you will be met by the tour driver at 5:00 p.m.   Or, you may wish to fly to your European gateway city a few days earlier for sightseeing and then take a train to Lucca. 

Villa D.

 

Day 3: Villa - Lucca  - Villa Marta

After breakfast, we set out in our bus for a drive to Lucca and a private walking tour with our own professional guide.  Lucca has been an important location for thousands of years - from the earliest Ligurian settlers to the Etruscans to the Roman Empire and through the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. We venture “inside the walls” and take in this beautifully preserved and elegant city (still totally enclosed by ramparts), visit some of its numerous churches (at one time over 100) and palaces, and see the house where composer Giacomo Puccini was born. 

You are free for lunch, so grab a panino and have a picnic on the walls or visit one of the delicious restaurants for some famous, rustic Lucca soups.  In the afternoon, you are at your leisure to roam around Lucca and visit the shops, tour museums, eat gelato, rent bicycles or just relax and soak in the glorious local atmosphere. 

We will have dinner back at the Villa.

Villa B.D.

 

Day 4: Villa Marta – Viareggio – Cooking Class - Villa Marta

After another satisfying breakfast and a relaxing morning, you'll set off for an "only in Tuscany" experience as we venture to the Versilia area and Viareggio, the birthplace of your tour leader Serenella.  It is the oldest coastal town in Versilia, renowned for its winter carnival, and its shipyards where world class yachts and sailboats are built for the very famous, from movie stars to heads of state.  Viareggio is proud of its fishermen, the "Liberty"-style (similar to art-deco) buildings and the seafront Promenade.   You will have lunch in this area on your own.  Explore its delights, take a long walk along the Passeggiata or spend some time hanging out on the panoramic municipal pier and watch the fishing boats come in from the sea

In the afternoon, you'll visit the Piano del Quercione in Tuscany for a private class with renowned cookbook author and chef Sandra Rosy Lotti ("La Lotti") at her cooking school set in the 15th century estate of Campo Romano (the cooking school is actually in a building from the 16th Century).  Sandra has also been the guest chef for several events at the James Beard House in New York. She will talk about her passion for true, sensual Tuscan cooking.

This hands-on class is suited for cooks of any experience and is always delightful.  You're teamed with your travel mates to prepare an entire dinner that you'll enjoy at the end of the class.  The meal is accompanied by the classic regional wines and estate-pressed olive oil

This is a hands-on class in English and interesting, for any level of cook. We prepare and enjoy our own dinner at the Campo Romano villa, then take a ride back to our villa hotel. 

Villa B.D.

 

Day 5: Villa Marta – Garfagnana (Bagni di Lucca, Barga, etc.) – Villa Marta

In the morning we depart for the beautiful Garfagnana area in the Serchio River Valley located in the hills north of Lucca.  We will stop at the mysterious Ponte Della Maddalena (a.k.a. The Devil’s Bridge) and will visit several Tuscan hill towns including Bagni di Lucca, Castelnuovo Di Garfagnana and Barga. 

Set in the beautiful mountainous northwest corner of Tuscany, the medieval city of Barga is situated on a spur overlooking the mid-Serchio River Valley.  In its heyday, Barga was a stronghold of the Medicis of Florence and is on the edge of the area known as the “land of wolves and outlaws” otherwise known for vast chestnut forests, wild boar, delicious pecorino cheeses and porcini mushrooms. We will have lunch at a rustic restaurant in this area.

The towns of Bagni di Lucca, Castelnuovo di Garfagnana, Castiglione di Garfagnana and the Apuan Alps and Devil’s Bridge are featured in the book The Most Beautiful Villages of Tuscany.

We will return to the villa for dinner on your own.

Villa B.L.

 

Day 6: Villa Marta – Forte Dei Marmi –Tofori – Villa Marta

It's a generous breakfast at the villa before leaving for Forte Dei Marmi.

Founded as a shipping port for Tuscan marble in antiquity, it is now an Italian Riviera playground for the rich and famous.  Take a leisurely stroll, sip dark, rich espresso at a caffe; and sample a warm "focaccina" fresh out of the wood-burning oven.  You can visit the exclusive shops, such as Armani, Prada and Pratesi, or shop for bargains at the Wednesday outdoor market where you can hunt for deeply discounted designer fashions. 

Midday, you'll enjoy a more relaxing pace when you visit Bagno Bonaccia (a private beach establishment) in Forte Dei Marmi.  Your host, Martino Barberi, will serve you a wonderful lunch, followed by (optional/weather permitting) sunbathing in the afternoon.  For those looking to stretch their legs, take a walk along the beautiful beach with a wonderful background view of the Apuan Alps (where Michelangelo remained at length to obtain the whitest marble for his famous works).   This afternoon is about relaxation or you can fit in a bit more shopping in "Il Forte.”

In the evening, you will have a great opportunity to visit a beautiful estate famous for its garden, view and rustic food.  This villa estate was once a self sustaining hamlet and still has many of its own products today.  The wine, olive oil, herbs, eggs and other food are home-grown.  The pasta is hand-made. The wine cellar is ancient, the rose gardens are delightful and the herb garden is one of the most extensive around.  Dinner will be at this location.

Hotel Villa B. L.D.

 

Day 7: Villa Marta – Pisa – Villa Marta

After a lovely breakfast, a leisurely morning and lunch on your own at the villa, we ride our private bus to Pisa.

This is our most “touristy stop” to be sure.  We cannot let you visit this area without seeing what is considered one of the most beautiful squares in the world. We visit the world-famous leaning tower of Pisa and the "Piazza dei Miracoli” (Square of the Miracles). This square is considered to be the most ambitious monument of the Tuscan-Romanesque period.  We will visit the Duomo, the Baptistery, and other landmarks. Purchasing tickets to climb the tower is optional. A wonderful dinner will take place in the Pisa area. 

Villa B.D.

 

Day 8: Villa Marta –Apuan Alps (Marble Quarries) – Dinner with Sommelier – Villa Marta

We ride our private bus to spend the morning in the enchanting village of Pruno under the Monte Forato - the "pierced" mountain. (Twice a year, locals gather to observe the moon as it shines through a hole in the mountain and, at summer solstice, the sun is viewed through this natural arch).  Upon arrival at Pruno, you'll take a short walk through quaint cobblestone streets, enjoy an espresso or have some photo opportunities.

We then tour a part of the majestic Apuan Alps, famous for their breathtaking views, their marble quarries and the unique Carrara marble used by famous artists, including Michelangelo and Henry Moore.  We may choose to visit the Marble Museum or tour a marble workshop to see how marble is processed.

Lunch is in a rustic restaurant in the mountains, specializing in home-made, delicious food.

After a couple of hours’ rest at the villa, you will have a special evening an opportunity to meet with one of Italy’s foremost Sommeliers at a dinner arranged especially for you and your group at a local restaurant.  Serenella’s friend, the charming Captain Leone Ramacciotti will prepare a special lesson for our group (in Italian with Serenella translating) as we dine at a restaurant chosen by Leone and taste perfect pairings of a multi-course dinner emphasizing local specialties and Italian wines

Hotel Villa B. L.D.

 

Day 9: Villa Marta – Porto Venere – Villa Marta

After a villa breakfast, we journey north into the region of Liguria to the little- known, enchanting village of Portovenere. It is frequented mainly by Germans, English and the increasingly adventurous American audience of television commercials in which this village has been featured. Lunch will be in the village. Have some delicious pesto, born in this area.

We will walk the paths of the village with beautiful views of the sea and multi-colored tower houses.

In the afternoon, you will have some free time in Lucca for shopping.  In the evening, it’s home to the villa for dinner on your own.

Villa B.L.

 

Day 10:  Villa Marta – Pietrasanta - Camaiore – Good Bye Dinner at Villa

After breakfast, we head to Pietrasanta - the city of art - for a visit of the town. Famous modern artists, including Fernando Botero, call Pietrasanta home. Old and new frescoes coexist here. Michelangelo stayed in Pietrasanta while searching for the “perfect, white marble.”  Wander the narrow streets and enjoy the shops and art galleries.

Lunch is on your own.

We will also visit the ancient Roman village of Camaiore with its beautiful Pieve (country church) and quaint shops.

We will return to our villa at in the afternoon for our farewell dinner, surprises and good-byes.

Villa B.D

 

Day 11:  Villa – Departure for Home

Depending on your departure time, you can either take our minibus to the Lucca train station or the Pisa airport.  If you are leaving on flights out of Pisa at a later time in the day, or are departing from another city, we can arrange to have a taxi take you.

Villa B.

 

Itineraries: Villa hotel accommodations and sightseeing are subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances, weather or local festivals. Sea transportation is subject to change due to government regulations, water levels and other factors. SI reserves the right to amend the order of sightseeing as necessary. Every effort will be made to operate tours as planned. Alterations to itineraries may occur after the final itinerary is issued.

 

Women’s Tour Pricing and Payment Schedule

Download Terms and Conditions for this Tour

 

Women’s Tour Pricing and Payment Schedule

 

Special Deluxe Land Tour Price: $4,588/person* (Classic Room, Double Occupancy)
Single Supplement:
$1,250 (For one person in private Classic Room)
 

Extras Available

(add extras to above prices for total)

Superior Room (only 3 available):

$125 extra for double occupancy
$250 extra for single occupancy

Deluxe Room (only 2 available):

$200 extra for double occupancy
$400 extra for single occupancy

 

*Flexible Payment Plans available (see Full Terms and Conditions). Prices based on Classic Room double occupancy, land tour only and do not include airfare.

 

Please contact us if you have special accommodation requirements for individual pricing.

 

Registration, Payment and Cancellation

Toscana Mia Women's Tour  Payment Options

Deposits

Final Payment

Cancellation Penalty

Deposit + Final Payment Plan

I acknowledge that by clicking and paying for my tour deposit, I wholly agree to all of these terms.

$1,000.00 per person
deposit constitutes registration
 

 

Must be received 60 days prior to departure

  • More than 120 days prior to departure (before November 1, 2008): $200/per person administrative and processing fee

  • 120 - 90 days prior to departure (before February 1, 2009): $1,000/person administrative and processing fee

  • 89-60 days prior to departure (Feb. 2 – March 1, 2009): 30% of tour cost per person

  • 59-44 days prior to departure (Mar. 2 – 15, 2009): 50% of tour cost per person

  • 45 days or less prior to departure (after Mar. 15, 2009): 100% of tour cost per person

Monthly Payment Plan Available
 

Please contact us to work out an installment payment plan

I acknowledge that by clicking and paying for my tour deposit, I wholly agree to all of these terms.

$1,000.00 per person
deposit constitutes registration
 

 

Must be received 60 days prior to departure

Same as above

Special Offer:

Payment in full  by check (no installments) receives  5%  discount on total

One-time, up-front total payment

Upon Enrollment

Same as above

Payments, Registration and Cancellations: All payments are to be made to Toscana Mia (hereafter referred to as SI). Any checks must be drawn on US banks and must be payable to Toscana Mia in US currency. Payment constitutes a full acceptance of the Terms & Conditions specified herein.

CST 2065355-40

 


CALL: (650) 288-4838 or Toll Free (888) 292-8002  CONTACT US VIA EMAIL