Hike through Tuscany or stay in a castle

Hike through Tuscany: To see Tuscany at its absolute best, join Hedonistic Hiking’s spring walking tour in May, starting from the ancient city of Volterra and crossing the stunning coastal plains of the Maremma region to the charming town of Massa Marittima.

This part of Italy is rich in history and art, but is also home to some of the country’s most exciting and innovative wine makers, including the area of Bolgheri which is famous for its legendary Sassicaia wine.   The walking tour includes hikes through the vineyards and a private tasting in a well-known Enoteca in Volterra.

“Early May is just stunning here” explains Jackie Parsons of Hedonistic Hiking.  “The wheat fields are an intense green and the meadows full of amazing wild flowers.  With the fields of poppies, the olive groves, the vineyards and the tall cyprus trees, this landscape never looks more beautiful than in the spring.”

Accommodation for this tour is based in two hotels – one on the walls of Volterra with lovely views across the Val di Cecina, and the other in a converted palazzo in pretty Massa Marittima.  The guided walks each day will also include a visit to the iconic medieval town of San Gimignano.   The holiday starts and ends in Pisa, from where it is easy to visit Florence, Siena, the Cinque Terre or cities further afield in Italy.

Jackie and Mick Parsons own and operate Hedonistic Hiking, a company specialising in fully-guided gourmet walking tours in Italy and Australia.  They divide their time between Victoria and Tuscany and are passionate about the food, the wine and the walking of both countries.

The tour runs from May 4-11, 2012, is priced at €2395 per person based on two people sharing and is fully inclusive.  Visit www.hedonistichiking.com or call  +61 (0)3 5755 2307.

The Welcome Beyond travel company is happy to announce that Castello di Vicarello in Tuscany, Italy is now part of  its selection of unique vacation homes.

Castello die Vicarello is a working farm in the middle of the rolling Tuscan hills, producing its own high quality organic red wine and olive oil. The medieval castle with seven romantic suites offers complete privacy and a spa area for relaxation. The style of the rooms is an eclectic mix of Italian and Asian designer pieces. As Aurora, the owner describes: “We put in what we like and when we feel a room is okay for us then I think it’s fine for our guests.”

The philosophy at Vicarello is simple: “We are who we are. We did this place because we fell in love with it. We put all our energy into it, our past life, our experiences. The approach to the guests is easy going, not formal. We like guests to feel at home – although we don’t like people to go around naked!”

www.welcomebeyond.com

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