Experience Tuscany and the Italian Riviera
by Celece Seegmiller
Last summer, I had the opportunity to travel with my mother on a Mediterranean cruise. We sailed from Barcelona, Spain and made stops in France, Italy, Turkey, and Greece. It was a wonderful way to get a “taste” of each destination. If I could go back to one port of call and spend more time, it would be Florence, Italy. I would not only spend more time there, but also the Tuscany region and the Italian Coast. Obviously, I was delighted to learn the Mesquite Chamber of Commerce selected the Tuscany and Italian Riviera itinerary for their fundraiser tour this year.
This tour departs September 15, 2017 and returns September 22. If you love food, wine, art, history, and beautiful scenery, this is the tour for you. The trip begins with a relaxing stay in a Tuscan estate for three nights. Here, guests will enjoy authentic Tuscan dinners paired with wines produced on-site. The chef even offers an interactive pasta-making demonstration. Can you imagine sharing that recipe with your friends when you return home?
A day trip to Florence, also known as the “Cradle of Italian Renaissance,” is included, where travelers will join a local guide for a walking tour of this fascinating city. Sites include the Cathedral of Santa Maria Del Fiore and the Palazzo Vecchio. From there, a choice of visiting the Uffizi Gallery or the Leonardo da Vinci Museum is included. The Uffizi Gallery features important works from the Renaissance Period and the museum features the world of this brilliant man of many traits in addition to being a sculptor and painter. The last stop is a Florentine gold shop to learn about the interesting techniques handed down from generation to generation. The remainder of the day is free for you to enjoy the sidewalk cafes and enjoy traditional food, wine, people watching, and shopping. Note – you may want to pack an extra bag for your souvenirs. The leather shoes, handbags, and jackets are incredible, not to mention the jewelry.
The following day includes a scenic journey through the hills of Tuscany to the medieval city of Siena. See the historic Piazza del Campo with a local expert and then enjoy some time for shops and outdoor cafes. The day ends with a trip to one of the oldest wine estates in the Monteriggioni region, where you can sit down with a family member to hear about their wine and taste their creations. After returning to the Tuscan estate, a local musician will serenade you during dinner.
The next morning, pack your bags and say goodbye to Tuscany as you make your way to the Italian Riviera for three nights. You’ll stop in the medieval city of Lucca, encircled by 16th century Renaissance walls and the ancient maritime Republic of Pisa for a view of the Duomo and the famous Leaning Tower before checking into your Italian Riviera accommodations.
A highlight of this tour is Cinque Terre, with its rugged coastline and colorful buildings. Travel by rail to this nearly inaccessible string of villages nestled between the mountains and the Mediterranean. The following day includes a trip to Santa Margherita Ligure for a boat ride to glamorous Portofino. This town’s colorful harbor is lined with everything from fishing boats to yachts of the rich and famous. The seaside pastel buildings create the perfect postcard. Imagine the beautiful photos for your annual Christmas Card.
This eight day tour includes transportation to and from Mesquite, Nevada, roundtrip airfare, 10 meals, three nights in a Tuscan Estate, three nights in the Italian Riviera, and a professional tour escort and driver. Not only is it convenient, it is an incredible way to see some of Italy’s most popular and scenic regions. You will return home with incredible photos, memories, and new friends from your community.
Space is limited and must be reserved by March 16. It is not restricted to Mesquite residents or chamber members –everyone is invited. Travelers have the option to add this to a cruise, or extend their trip in Europe.
For additional details, contact Mesquite Chamber of Commerce member and group tour coordinator, Celece Seegmiller at The Travel Connection, (435) 256-8897 or