Spirit of Italy Tours Announces “Harvest Italia 2010” Olive Picking Tour in Tuscany

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A Once-in-a-Lifetime Family-Friendly Journey to Experience the Splendors of Tuscany in Autumn; Centerpiece of 7-Night Boutique Tour is Hand Picking Olives That Are Pressed into Your Own Bottle of Olive Oil

“Picking olives is a relaxing way to experience the harvest with family and friends in a natural setting.The process of collecting olives and seeing them pressed into oil is truly fascinating," says Vicky Gray-Clark, founder,Spirit of Italy Tours.

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Autumn in Italy is a feast for the eyes, and of course, the palette. Breathtaking fall colors can be seen from vineyards and olive groves to the mountains and the weather is mild and sunny. Harvest Italia 2010, offered by Sprit of Italy Tours, is a seven night/eight day tour to Tuscany, Italy, November 1 – 10, 2010, designed to coincide with the annual olive harvest – la raccolta – which occurs each year during this time period. Family-friendly, and ideal for family reunions or special celebrations, or for individual travelers, the tour is centered in the picturesque small towns and villages of the Valdarno (Valley of the Arno River) region of Tuscany, an area steeped in history and bordered to the west by the Chianti Mountains and to Pratomagno Mountains to the east; about 30 minutes southeast of Florence.

Let’s pick olives together!
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 and relaxing way to experience the harvest first-hand and enjoy quality time with family and friends in a natural setting. It is an easy, safe and fun activity even for young children,” says Vicky Gray-Clark, Spirit of Italy Tours founder and operator. “The start-to-finish process of collecting olives and seeing them pressed into oil is truly 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 carefully handpicked Harvest Italia 2010 itinerary will include visits to outdoor markets, a winery tour, cooking demonstration, and much more. The tour affords guests the security and time-saving options of a planned schedule of events to savor seasonal culinary delights, explore the sights, language, culture and indescribable beauty of the region during harvest season, yet allow people time for leisure exploration. Tour size is limited to no more than 12 adults (plus children) to allow travel to off-the-beaten path locations

Spirit of Italy Tours has selected the lovely Agriturismo Valleverde as home base for the seven night duration of the Harvest Italia tour. Agriturismo Valleverde lies deep in the hills of the Chianti and is conveniently located to Florence, Siena and Arezzo; offering an ideal point of departure for many day trips. The property features a characteristic farm house and adjoining apartments featuring tastefully appointed two and three bedrooms all which have been restored and furnished in updated Tuscan country-style furnishings. Designed with practicality in mind, each apartment unit features a combined dining room/living room, kitchen, private bathroom and terrace with garden views.

Pricing and Registration
Harvest Italia 2010 pricing, itinerary and registration information is available at http://www.spiritofitalytours.com/registration.htm, or by contacting Vicky Gray-Clark at 408-318-1980. Come visit Spirit of Italy Tours on Facebook http://tinyurl.com/yj69z9b and YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8HjqJ7amPCU.

About Spirit of Italy Tours
Sprit of Italy Tours is a boutique travel company located in San Jose, Calif., offering small groups of travelers intimate journeys to Tuscany. The company’s Harvest Italia 2010 tour is scheduled for November 1 – 8, 2010. Company founder, and tour operator, Vicky Gray-Clark, has traveled throughout Italy and is affectionately known as an Italophile – one who loves all things Italian. For additional information on Spirit of Italy Tours, please visit, http://www.spiritofitalytours.com.

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