San Gimignano & Volterra + optional winery
A day of Medieval wonder in the Tuscan countryside — with far less driving than going all the way to Siena!
A NOTE ABOUT DRIVING TIMES
Livorno-San Gimignano, 90 min; San Gimi-Volterra, 45 min; Volterra-Livorno, 75 min.
Both San Gimignano and Volterra are set in the midst of a particularly picturesque section of Tuscany. Volterra is a gem, and clients frequently tell us they loved it because it feels yet unspoiled by tourism. The optional winery visit takes place at Podere La Marronaia, where you have the choice of a simple tasting or lunch.
Typically we stop in San Gimignano first, when crowds are fewer, and stay for about 90 minutes, which is ample time for most clients. We feel there are more things to see in Volterra and budget most of the day there; however the timelines are flexible without the winery.
- 08.00 pick up at the ship
- 08.00-09.30 drive to San Gimignano
- 09.30-11.00 San Gimignano
- 11.00-11.45 drive to Volterra
- 11.45-15.45 Volterra
- 15.45-17.00 drive back to port
If you’d like to include the simple wine tasting we’d trim 15 minutes off San Gimignano to arrive at the winery at 11am. We’d leave the winery around noon and be in Volterra around 1pm.
If you’d like to have lunch at the winery the itinerary would be along these lines:
- 08.00 pick up at the ship
- 08.00-09.15 drive to Volterra
- 09.15-11.30 Volterra
- 11.30-12.15 drive to the winery
- 12.15-13.45 lunch at Podere La Marronaia
- 13.45-14.00 drive to San Gimignano
- 14.00-15.30 San Gimignano
- 17.00 drive back to port
To reach San Gimignano we will pass through the most wonderful Tuscan countryside — classic rolling hills, neatly-rowed vineyards and silvery-green olive groves, a living picture postcard!
San Gimignano, “the Manhattan of Tuscany”, is best known for its watchtowers that were a display of power and prosperity in Medieval times. Although only 14 of San Gimignano’s original 76 towers remain the effect is still dramatic and will give you lots of great photo opps.
Take your time strolling the narrow cobbled streets and open piazzas, and be prepared to step back in time. Art lovers may wish to step into the church of Sant’Agostino where they will find a substantial selection of works by some of Italy’s major Renaissance painters. San Gimignano is also home to award-winning gelato; look for it in the main piazza.
Like San Gimignano, Volterra seems to have been plucked right out the Medieval epoch. The once Etruscan city sits high on a rocky plateau and is protected by Medieval ramparts. You are in a place where the magic of history is still alive!
Volterra is also noted for its alabaster, which comes from the surrounding hills. You will find an array of gorgeous hand crafted alabaster objects on every corner.
An audio guided tour, not too long and very well done, is available in the tourist office in Piazza dei Priori for a reasonable fee.
We have permission to park in the historic center of Volterra, saving you the grief of the many, many stairs one must take from public and bus parking.
In Volterra highlights include:
- Piazza dei Priori and the clocktower (made famous by the Twilight series)
- Beautiful shops and boutiques of all sorts
- The Roman theatre
- The 2,500 year old Etruscan wall, a section of which still stands
- Pinacoteca Comunale, with many fine works from the 14th-17th C, including the spectacular Deposition by Rosso Fiorentino
- World-renowned Guarnacci Etruscan museum
- A fascinating torture museum
- Many lookout points from which to enjoy the spectacular countryside
DURATION: 9 hrs
OTHER COSTS & NOTES
These wine tasting rates are valid if you pay in cash, and reflect 10% off the full rates that apply when paying by card or Paypal.
- OPTIONAL WINERY (Podere La Marronaia)
- Tour & guided tasting with snacks and local cheeses, 20 Euro per (wine-drinking) person
- Tour, guided tasting and lunch, 30 Euro per person
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