You’re Invited! Escape to Tuscany: October 2016

You’re Invited! Escape to Tuscany: October 2016

Escape to Tuscany with The Overseas Escape

I’m going to Tuscany in October and YOU are invited to join me!

Wait, what?! Over the past month I’ve been collaborating with Arianna and Alessia from KMZero Tours to create what I would define as the perfect Escape to Tuscany – chock-full of activities, wine and incredible cuisine, based out of a gorgeous villa 30 minutes from Florence. For me, the best way to experience a destination is to soak it up, dig deep, and truly experience the culture and cuisine. Tuscany, perhaps one of the most famous and influential regions in Europe, is the birthplace of the Renaissance, Western Music, and the Italian Language. You’ve seen the paintings of the beautiful rolling countryside, you’ve savored the wines, and boy do you ever love the cuisine – breads, olive oils, fresh pastas and cheeses, soups. I’m dying to explore it all and want YOU to join me.

Arianna (of KMZero Tours) and I concocted the perfect plan for experiencing all that makes Tuscany so special- being active (biking, hiking, ballooning, and lots of exploring!), yet offering downtime for vineyard strolls or relaxing by the gorgeous pool. The process of putting together the perfect plan has been an incredible one and I’m SO grateful to have connected with sweet Arianna – a Tuscan native with a vivacious spirit!

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The itinerary:

Day 1 | Arrival to Florence with transfer to the villa in Montogoli. For our welcome dinner we’ll feast on homemade pizza from a wood-burning pizza oven and toast to the good life over chianti!

landscape 1 (1)

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Day 2 | In the morning we’ll set off on a guided hike from the gorgeous village of Meratale Val di Pesa to Greti, en route we’ll have a refreshing “merenda” – a local panini in the fields paired with a good glass of wine. The hike will conclude at an organic goat cheese farm for cheese tasting and a tour. In the evening we’ll stroll to the village of Montefioralle (considered one of the most beautiful villages in Italy!) and the famous village of Greve in Chianti to dine at an incredible slow food restaurant featuring local, sustainable cuisine.

landscape 1

cheese 16

montefioralle 3

Day 3 | Embracing our love for all things Tuscany – especially cuisine, we’ll take part in a 4 course cooking class with a passionate local chef at her charming culinary studio. Guided from the prep through the entire meal (antipasto to dolce) in a magical atmosphere where EVERY detailed to carefully planned and thought – it will be magnifico! In the afternoon we’ll tour a famous terra-cotta studio, engaging and learning about the craft from the artisans. As the sun sets we’ll toast to the good life with a meal back at the villa.

traditional dinners 1

Cooking class chef Veronica 2

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Day 4 | A day unlike any other: we’ll discover the secrets to the true of Italian cuisine: PASTA. We’ll spend time with a local pasta producer at a pasta workshop to learn about artisanal pasta – what makes it SO tasty and why it’s better than anything mass-produced (looking at you, Barilla!). Afterwards we’ll scoot on to FLORENCE to discover the San Frediano district, considered the most authentic part of Florence, for a walking and food-tasting tour with Arianna as our guide. We’ll conclude at Ponte Vecchio bridge capture our own iconic pictures. Wiggling to find more room in our bellies, in the evening we’ll have dinner at a small local restaurant featuring organic and seasonal products.



(Image Credit: Bike, Street, Cityscape)

Day 5 | Bright and early, this day might be one of my favorites of the trip, get ready:

While the Tuscan sky still twinkles with stars, we’ll shuffle out the door to experience a dream unlike any other – a sunrise hot air balloon ride over the Tuscan countryside! Apart from the magic of sailing across the sky in a basket (the science of this still baffles me!), the views of the rolling vineyards and villages below will be ones to savor for a lifetime. Upon landing we’ll have a delicious picnic of local cheeses, processco and local dishes. As if the day couldn’t get any better, after the balloon ride we’ll proceed on to a historic winery for a guided tour, tasting and lunch. In the afternoon we’ll head off on a bike ride to a nearby village to practice our Italian at the local grocery store, then return to the villa to prepare a polenta feast with our purchased provisions.

hot air balloon 7

hot air balloon 6

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Day 6 | At our leisure we’ll spend the morning at Vernaccia di San Gimignano (the most famous Tuscan white wine with DOCG certification) for a tour, tasting and light lunch. (It should be noted that I live for Tuscan whites so I’m beside myself at the thought of experiencing this winery firsthand!) In the afternoon, you’ll join ME on a photo tour of San Gimignano – I’ll share all my secrets for getting beautiful village shots (like I did here) and we’ll try what’s considered the best ice cream in the world. Before departing we’ll stop in a local silver workshop to learn how a young and talented silversmith turns shapeless silver into works of art. Upon return to the villa, I’ll share techniques for editing your San Gimignano images in Lightroom to make them extra frame and Instagram-worthy!

san gimignano 2

Eating Italy in Rome - The Overseas Escape-42

San Gimignano's winery 2

Day 7 | Our final full day in Tuscany, we’ll hold back our tears (sorry, I can be dramatic!) and set out for a morning tour of a extra virgin olive oil producer. Lunch will be light but educational as we sop up the EVOO with crusty fresh baked bread. In the afternoon we’ll enjoy the Dolve Vita lifestyle with time to enjoy the pool and take a relaxing walk. In the afternoon we’ll sip apertivos with a local architect that knows a thing or two about Tuscan furniture and design, explaining how the style has become so influential in Western culture. Our final evening will conclude with a famous Florentine Steak and (of course) chianti toasts to a week well spent in Tuscany!

chianti classico winery 11 (1)

house 13

traditional dinners 7

Day 8 | Morning departure back to the Florence airport.

I chianti believe how amazing this week is going to be!

What does the tour include?

We’ve bundled up everything into one dreamy Tuscan package to make the trip total bliss:

  • lodging (7 nights in a gorgeous Chianti villa)
  • all meals, beverages and wine – breakfast, lunch & dinner (with the exception for 2 dinners at local tavernas)
  • all transportation – totally private (including pickup/dropoff from the Florence airport)
  • experienced tour leader and guides
  • all tours (including: historical Chantio Classico wine producer, artisanal olive oil mill, goat cheese farm, walking tours of Montefioralle and Greve in Chiani, artisanal pasta workshop, organic Vernacccia di San Gimignano wine producer, silver workshop, walking & food tour in Florence)
  • hot air balloon ride over Tuscan countryside
  • Tuscan design talk with local architect
  • photography and walking tour in San Gimignano with yours truly! 😉
  • 4 Course Cooking class with local chef
  • guided hike through the vineyards
  • fun Italian language workshop with Arianna
  • bike tour in Mercantale Val di Pesa

That said, the only item you need to account for is your transportation to Florence!

Sounds amazing, how much will it cost?

Top to bottom, the trip will be 2,400 EUR for 8 days/7 nights if you sign up by June 1, 2016.

When and where is this magical Escape to Tuscany taking place?

After a lot of conversation, Arianna and I settled on October 15-22, 2016. Why? With the weather mild in Tuscany, the pool will still be open and it’ll be ideal for being out and about. Most importantly though: this is one of the peak weeks for witnessing the fall colors vibrantly settle on the Tuscan countryside. As a photography-lover I can’t wait to capture the change in foliage.

Lastly, let’s talk about this villa. For the blissful week we’ll be staying at the Montrogoli villa – designed and decorated in true Tuscan style, the place is gorgeous and perfect for conversation, creativity and comfort. Only pictures can do it true justice:

house 1

house 10

house 14

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WHO, exactly, is invited?

You! I collaborated with Arianna extensively over the past month about the itinerary and activities with YOU in mind. That said, this is trip is NOT a large tour-bus gathering of The Overseas Escape readers and friends, instead it’s limited to small, intimate group of adults that love seeing, doing, and experiencing. I will (of course) be there as a host and fellow traveler!

I’m really interested, how can I find out more?

Wonderful! Email me at

>> UPDATE 5/15:

WOW. Only 2 spots left! Contact me asap if you’d like to join!

>> UPDATE 6/1: 

SOLD OUT! Email me if you’d like to join us next time!

  • This is AMAZING! I love that you are putting this together. I would love to go – might have to see if it’ll work in my time frame 🙂

    • if THE helene in between joins this trip then I can die a happy lady. but really though, y’all should join! 😀

  • WOW!!! 🙂

  • Wow, such a fantastic idea and it looks like an incredible trip!! I’ve always wanted to check out the beautiful foliage in Tuscany during the fall.

    • and I can’t even imagine tuscany through your lens! I might come steal you from LA and bring you with me!

      • Haha I would be totally okay with that!! 😉

  • What an amazing week this will be!

  • This looks like such a fantastic week! Checking my calendar; if it is plausible I would love to join!


  • Sounds like a dream!! Just reading about it makes me hungry. (And thirsty for some Italian vino!!)

    • ha… another gal called it the “gourmet vacay” which seems so appropriate. long story short, i’m going to be 10 lbs heavier by the end of the week.

  • All of my vacation days are booked for this year and I still read through the entire post because it sounds so amazing and fun! It seems like you’ve organized quite the experience and I’m sure people will love it!

    • yay, even though you can’t make it it’s great to hear you give the itinerary a thumbs up! okay so next year… where should WE go?! 😀

  • Kari Guastella

    This looks like so much fun! What a great trip!

  • Kaitlyn

    Not truly related but I think you should steal my name I thought of when I was reading this: “gourmet vaca” haha

  • This sounds absolutely amazing and I’m sure it will be a beautiful success! I hope you have many more trips to follow and I can come on future one. Sometimes it SUCKS having a job and no leave.

    • ahh, what? no leave whatsoever? that’s brutal!

      based on how this one is going (we’re actually almost filled up – crazy!) I’m definitely considering doing future trips.. what are your thoughts on portugal?!

  • Love this! Very tempting….. 🙂

    • eeee! come with us, girlfriend!

      okay so I recently stumbled across your other IG account – love it! that july 2014/now post you did is so inspiring. you look incredible girlfriend!

      • Oh I wish I could!! We may be heading to Eastern Europe around the same time though 🙂 And thanks for the sweet words!! Keeping healthy is now my new hobby lol.

  • Wow this is soooooo tempting!!! I’m planning to visit Rome and Tuscany next.


  • Wow this sounds absolutely amazing!! If only my vacation days weren’t booked for the year!

  • Sounds like it will be an amazing week for those that go! The thought of a hot air balloon ride over the Tuscan hills has me wishing I could go!

    • how crazy is the hot air balloon, right? i think it’s going to be the highlight of my year and, who am I kidding, I can’t wait to instagram it! 🙂

  • Brandy

    This looks like it will be an amazing trip! I would totally go had I not just been to Italy (including Florence and Tuscany!) in October of last year. It’s definitely a great time to go – the weather was perfect! I hope that you’ll do more of these types of trips in the future, as there are plenty of other places in Europe that I haven’t been to but would love to visit with a small group.

    • ohh, awesome – so much good feedback: a. that you loved tuscany in october and b. you’d be game to join on another small group trip! so, curious, where would you want to go? what are your thoughts on portugal?

  • Stacie Eirich

    A fantastic dream — I could look at these pictures all day — the experience of being amid the beautiful Tuscan countryside looks amazing. I think I’ll have to keep dreaming for now — thanks for sharing.

    • oh, you’re more than welcome, dear! feel free to email me if you want to make that dream a reality! 😉 (Okay, that’s insanely cheesy but I had to say it!)

  • Holy smokes this the most dreamy itinerary!!!! Such a small price to pay for all the work (other than flights) to be done for you and get to do the best of the best in such an authentic setting. I sincerely wish I could go because I would be soooo down!!

    xo Mary-Katherine |

    • ahh, you’re THE sweetest! thanks for all the support for this big (fairly crazy) project! initially as I was working out the itinerary i was sure that i’d lost my mind thinking that I actually had the ability to host something like this… but it’s working out and we’ve already got a number of folks on board! i’m so excited! 😀

  • Oh my gosh – this sounds absolutely amazing! I would LOVE to go, but sadly I’m too poor at the minute paying off my credit cards haha! Next time you host another one of these things (possibly a little cheaper and in Europe again) I’ll be there! I can’t wait to see all the pictures of it all!
    xo April | April Everyday

    • totally understand – next time, dear! soo, question, what are your thoughts/interest on portugal? 😀

      • Portugal sounds amazing! We actually almost booked a little weekend getaway for Lisbon last month!

  • Chloe_Dominik

    Wow! Sounds amazing! Italy is still on my go tos! Tuscany, exploring, food and cooking! Would love to go!
    Chloe |

    • and you definitely should! ;D We actually have a few solo female travelers that are joining, it’s going to be an amazing!

  • Oooooh girl, if I wasn’t such a book-ahead sort of person (everything’s already sorted for 2016 sadly) I’d want to be here fo’ sure! There’s no way this could be short of incredible 😉

  • This sounds absolutely amazing! Wish I could make it!

  • Hey! Get preg and start blogging about family friendly travel and we will meet you there! 😉

  • If you do this in 2017, count me in! Boo on limited vacation days! Hope you have a great time!

  • If I wasn’t already going to Italy for a month in two weeks, I would so be game for this. It looks amazing! Keep us updated on other tours you might have planned.

  • I’m going to Italy in July, but keep us posted! This is the coolest idea, and I would love traveling around with fellow bloggers.

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