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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Experience the Olive Harvest of 2010

A friend of mine is organizing this wonderful trip to Italy in November 2010...check it out!!

Spirit of Italy Tours Invites Guests to Experience the Splendors of Tuscany

During the Olive Harvest Season in November 2010

“Harvest Italia”, a seven night tour to Tuscany, Italy, November 1 – November 8, 2010, is designed to coincide with the annual olive harvest which occurs each year during this time period. The tour is offered by Spirit of Italy Tours, a boutique travel company offering small groups of travelers an intimate, one-of-a-kind journey to Tuscany. This family-friendly tour is centered in the Valdarno (Valley of the Arno River) region of Tuscany, an area rich with historical art and architecture and landscapes that appear to be straight out of a painted Renaissance masterpiece.

The cornerstone of Harvest Italia will be picking olives by hand at Casa Falcioni, a 10-acre property in the charming and central Tuscan town of Cavriglia that boasts an olive grove with nearly 600 olive trees belonging to the frantoio, leccino and moraiolo varieties. Situated atop a rolling hillside, Casa Falcioni is surrounded by cypress and chestnut trees and affords spectacular views of the Valdarno. Tour guests will learn how to pick olives and the traditional olive oil making process, as well as enjoy a guided tour by the Casa Falcioni proprietors to a local olive pressing facility to see self-picked olives turned into olive oil.

“Picking olives is a wonderful, relaxing and fun way to enjoy quality time with family and friends in a natural setting. It is easy, safe and a fun activity even for young children,” says Vicky Gray-Clark, Spirit of Italy Tours founder and operator. “Olive oil is a staple in the Italian diet and is growing more popular in the U.S. During previous visits to Casa Falcioni with our young son, we found the start-to-finish process of collecting olives followed by seeing them pressed into oil fascinating. Each Harvest Italia guest will be able to take home a bottle of olive oil made from their hand-picked olives which makes the experience even more rewarding.”

Leisurely paced, the Harvest Italia itinerary encourages guests to foster an intimate connection with the Tuscany landscape with time to savor the food and wine, and explore the sights, language, culture and indescribable beauty of the region during harvest season. In addition to olive picking, the carefully selected activities include visits to outdoor markets (mercati) that feature a variety of items from farm fresh local produce to cappuccino to Italian leather goods; a journey to the famous Fiera Antiquaria di Arezzo – considered one of Italy’s finest open-air antique markets; and venture deep into the cellars of a local winery known for producing outstanding Chianti. The itinerary also includes visits to Firenze, Siena and Cortona, an authentic Italian cooking demonstration featuring seasonal fare, and basic cooking techniques. Shoppers too will be pleased to know that in the immediate vicinity there are several luxury brand factory outlets, as well as discount leather warehouses where exceptional Italian handmade goods are available at reduced prices.

Additional information, including itinerary, pricing and registration is available on the Spirit of Italy Tours website:, or by contacting Vicky at

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