Secure your spot on the trip and book now by paying your deposit of USD 1500$/person.
Tuscany instantly brings to mind images of medieval walled towns perched atop rolling hills, surrounded by vineyards and winding roads flanked by Cypress trees, the always-fresh and delicious food, and, of course, the wine… oh the wine…
We’re taking over a 100% vegan Tuscan Agrivilla and making it our home for 8 days and 7 nights. Nestled among the rolling hills of the historic town of San Gimignano, and created with an environmental emphasis on zero-waste, no plastic and sustainable sources of energy, it’s the perfect springboard to dive into this gorgeous part of Italy each day.
The I Pini Vegan Agrivilla is a 100% plant-based accommodation nestled among the rolling hills of the historic town of San Gimignano, surrounded by pines, vineyards, olive groves and permacultural gardens. With breezy rooms, a gorgeous saltwater pool, a vegan chef & kitchen and plenty of wine to go around, it’s the perfect place to come home to after a long day of sightseeing. We’ll be having all our dinners here, as well as a few lunches and snacks.
Check out the photos below, and this video that gives you a good sense of what life is like on this trip!
USD 500$/person; only 4 single rooms available. Book quickly!
January 20th, 2022
How to book: simply choose the required package when you go to our booking page.
How to book: simply choose the required package when you go to our booking page.
Please note that the itinerary below is subject to change. The Covid-19 pandemic is affecting our ability to properly get the final confirmation on a few activities and meals with some of our Italian partners and suppliers. Having said that, rest assured that our on-the-ground local friends are all working diligently to ensure that our trip is action and food packed, and that our goal for this trip is to make it as memorable as all our other World Vegan Travel and Joyful Vegan Trips have been!
If we need to change anything, it will be only for the betterment of the trip!
We will be meeting at a location in Florence in the early afternoon (the exact time and place will be shared with our travelers before the trip, of course!) for a quick trip briefing and all-around introductions of your fellow travelers.
After a trip briefing, introductions and a toast to our upcoming adventures, we board our bus for the 1-hour drive to our accommodation for the next 7 nights, the Agrivilla I Pini, a 100% vegan hotel tucked in the hills behind medieval San Gimignano.
After check-in, we’ll have time to get to know each other better over some drinks and snacks. before dinner is served at around 7pm.
After a delicious 100% plant-based breakfast, we’ll board our bus for a leisurely 1.5hrs drive along the Crete Senesi. This region is mostly made of clay, silt and sand, and has a more desert feeling (especially in the fall). It’s a departure from the more green color schemes of the rest of Tuscany. It’s a gorgeous area and the drive through it is a photographer’s dream. We’ll be stopping a few times in order to get that perfect travel photo!
We’ll stop for our first Tuscan lunch in the small town of Trequanda at a local vegan restaurant. You’ll have time to explore this small hill-town a bit before boarding the bus once again and finishing up our Crete Senesi drive with our arrival in Siena.
This medieval city was a proud, wealthy and independent city-state during the Middle Ages and very much Florence’s rival. Today it’s one of the best “hill towns” in Tuscany, with history, sites and plenty of pedestrian-only alleyways in which to wander and explore. We’ll enjoy a guided walking tour with our guide, who will show us around this amazing city, or you are free to explore on your own.
Of course, a visit to Siena is not complete without an aperitivo on one of Europe’s greatest medieval squares, the Piazza del Campo. We’ll enjoy a glass of wine or Aperol Spritz while admiring the beautiful architecture surrounding us.
We then board our bus for the 45-minute drive back to our villa, where we’ll have time to freshen up before dinner.
Today we head off on a roadtrip to the nearby gorgeous Val D’Orcia. For many, this is what they imagine when they think about Tuscany: rolling green vistas, windy roads, hill towns and medieval villages.
We start with a scenic 1h30 drive to the small town of Pienza. Set on a crest with marvelous views of the Tuscan countryside beneath it, this small town punches above its weight class with an impressive Renaissance town square, and one lovely lane to explore after another. We’ll meet our local guide for the day here for a 1.5hrs walking tour, and you’ll also have some free time to explore this cute town by yourself.
This is a wine region so that means we MUST visit a winery, right? A 30 minute drive takes us to Villa S. Anna Winery. This winery is part of a larger property owned for about 200 years by the current owner’s family, and is situated on the hills around the town of Montepulciano, renowned for its fine wines (which we will visit later today!). They are very proud that their wine is 100% vegan, with no animal products used during the wine-making process.
Furthermore, this is a rare women’s winery! Run by Simona Ruggeri Fabroni and her two daughters, this all-women team dedicate passion and skill to improving their wines. Being that the typical European winemaker is often a man, this is certainly a breath of fresh air!
After a tour of the winery, we’ll sit down for lunch, complete, of course, with a tasting! You will get to enjoy the following award-winning wines: Chianti Colli Senesi DOCG, Rosso di Montepulciano DOC, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG and a Selection of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG.
Ok, it’s time to burn off those calories! A short 15 minute drive takes us to the “big town” in the area, Montepulciano. Located on a hill, this town is all about wineries. Even the lower floors of their town hall is a wine cellar! Our guide will give us a tour of its uphill laneways, climbing pretty much the entire time until we eventually arrive at its gorgeous and classic town square. Whew!
We’ll have some time to rest on the 1.5hrs drive back to the villa, where we’ll one again arrive with some time to freshen up before another delicious dinner.
Today we head out to nearby Umbria with a visit to Assisi. Famous for its hometown boy-made-good St. Francis, one of the most venerated religious figures in Christianity, and largely associated with patronage of animals and the natural environment. Even better, the town of Assisi is a marvel, with wonderful streets to explore and crowned by its Basilica, one of Europe’s artistic and religious highlights.
We’ll actually arrive in town for lunch, which we’ll have at the top of this hill-town, meaning that our guided walking tour will be mostly going downhill this time! Once again, you can choose to follow the guide, go explore on your own, or do half-and-half 🙂
The drives are long today: 2 hours each way. But Assisi is one of those towns that is totally worth the trip!
Dinner is, as always, back at the villa.
After yesterday’s long drives, we’ll take things a bit easier today and spend it around our neighborhood.
We’ll start the day with a talk from Colleen, hopefully held in the villa’s beautiful grounds (depending on the weather!), which will lead us to lunch.
We’re then off to romantic Volterra (45mins), one of the region’s gems and often underrated! Offering some of the best sightseeing in Tuscany, Volterra is rich in history, from its Etruscan roots (2000 years ago!) to being absorbed into the Roman Empire (ruins of a theater still survive, and just a year ago they discovered the long-forgotten amphitheater!) and onwards to being an independent city. Today it offers lots of things to the tourists but without the usual crowds we often see in other Tuscan towns.
We’ll meet our guide for the day and enjoy a 1.5hrs walking tour. Once again, you are free to follow the guide or go off on your own.
After seeing its Manhattan-like cityscape from our own villa, it’s now time to properly visit San Gimignano (45 mins drive from Volterra)! While touristy during the day, we’ll get there in mid-afternoon to a quieter scene. There are no real important interiors to visit, so we’ll enjoy a walking tour of its perfectly preserved medieval streets and gawk at its 14 medieval towers.
Our villa is only 5 minutes away, where dinner awaits!
This morning we will get on the bus and drive just for about 1 hour to the beautiful Sanctuary of Ippoasi, a wonderful animal sanctuary where we’ll enjoy a tour of their operation and visit their resident farm animals. It truly is an honor to be able to visit such places around the world, to learn about the plights of local animals and show them our support.
Lunch will be at the sanctuary, before driving the 15 minutes needed to reach one of Italy’s most renowned towns: Pisa!
Behind its world-famous leaning tower, Pisa actually hides a wonderful town packed with history and architecture treasures, as well as an arcaded core that’s fun to explore. Our guide will take us on a guided walking tour, which will include visits to the beautiful Duomo and Baptistery. If the tower is opened to the public by then, you can also choose to go up (not included in the trip, but we’ll help you get tickets a few days before our visit so you can skip the lines).
The drive back to the villa takes 90 minutes, where once again dinner awaits!
Today’s our last day together, and we’ll make the best of it!
There are few options organized for this morning. You’ll get to pick one of the following:
Regardless of what you choose to do, we’ll all end up in San Gimignano and board our bus back to our villa for lunch.
After lunch, we’ll start our afternoon of festivities!
The villa offers a 90-minutes farm tour & tasting (extra costs apply) or you can of course simply lounge by the pool and take in the relaxing vibe of Tuscany.
Colleen will then host a cooking demo and we’ll play one of Brighde’s infamous trivia (we hope you’ve been listening to our guides all week-long!). Throughout there will be a drinks & snacks station.
Dinner tonight is a fun make-your-own-pizza party. Perhaps we can have a competition?
Today is sadly our departure day. After breakfast we will pack our things and board our bus for our return to Florence. You can choose to be dropped off at the train station or the airport, before continuing on with your travels.
For ongoing travel, the earliest times you should be aiming for are:
Here at World Vegan Travel and Joyful Vegan Trips, we thank you so very much for entrusting us with your precious holiday time, and hope we’ll get to see each other somewhere in the world again soon!
Due to the room configuration at our villa, we can’t offer any shared twin rooms. Friends will need to book their own rooms unless they want to share a bed!
Solo supplement is USD 750$/person, and we only have 4 single rooms available.
Once the 2 rooms are booked, solo travelers will go on the waiting list. If someone cancels and a room becomes available we will offer the spot to the next person on the list.
We expect this trip to sell out quickly so ensure your spot on the trip and sign up early by paying the sign-up deposit (1500$/person).
The sign-up fee is non-refundable under any conditions UNLESS the trip is not confirmed by the deadline of January 20th, 2022. Please carefully read our cancellation policy section for more information, especially in relation with the Covid-19 pandemic.
In order to sign up, click the booking link on this page. Any problems or questions? Email us!
If you are signing up as a solo traveler, do so quickly! We only have 2 single room available and we foresee them going quickly. Please read our solo travelers section for more information.
Please note that signing up before the deadline of January 20th, 2022 does not guarantee the trip will run as this depends on having the necessary minimum of participants.
Following the sign-up fee, the remaining balance will be due in 2 installments:
We can work with you on a payment plan: pay your trip in the usual 2 installments, or opt for several. Contact us to discuss what works best for you!
We currently accept US DOMESTIC BANK TRANSFERS, INTERNATIONAL WIRE TRANSFERS and CREDIT CARDS PAYMENTS. Once you sign-up, we will send you the necessary information for you to make your payment.
EXTRA PAYMENT FEES
Online Bank Payment – US only: also called eCheck or ACH, we do not charge a fee for this, although your bank may do so. Please inquire with them directly.
International Wire Transfer: for those outside of the US. We do not charge any fees for this method, although your bank most likely will. Please inquire with them directly, and do mention that our bank is located in Mauritius, so they can give you the correct fees amount.
Credit card payment: the following fees will be added to the total:
Since our trips are highly catered and made of activities that need a lot of planning and organization, all payments (the initial 1500$ sign-up deposit, 50% deposit and final payment) are all non-refundable. This is because we must forward payments for accommodation, transportation, suppliers, etc. very early on, in order to privatize our accommodation, activities and our meals.
The Covid-19 pandemic has arguably introduced some degree of anxiety and incertitude regarding international travel. Our policy is that, should there be a need to cancel the trip (ie covid19 reasons, natural disaster, human conflict, etc) before the trip’s deadline, then the sign-up fee (only) will be refunded, minus processing fees (ie bank, transfer, etc). These are usually small amounts.
If the trip needs to be canceled once we have started to accept the post-signup fee payments (50% deposit and final remaining balance), we will strive to refund as much as possible or offer a voucher for future CPG Vegan Trips, whichever we can best negotiate with our on-the-ground partners and suppliers. We will really try our best!
Please note that the refund of your sign-up fee will only apply if we cancel the trip. Our policy is to not run a trip if Covid-19 imposes too many restrictions for the enjoyment of the trip, such as:
If the trip does go ahead (ie none of the above apply) and you are unable to attend the trip for any personal reasons, even related to covid-19 (ie your own country changes its travel/quarantine policy, you contract the virus, etc), there is unfortunately no refund. The trip needs to be canceled by us, if we believe it can not run in accordance with our high standards of quality.
Should you still need to cancel for any reason once you have signed up, we will offer your spot to the first person(s) on the waiting list. If we are able to fill your spot, we will refund all payments made, minus processing fees. Having said that, do note that there is no guarantee we will be able to fill up your spot. For this reason, again, it is a good idea to get solid trip insurance when you first sign up.
Arriving late or leaving a trip in progress will not result in a refund, and no refunds will be made for any unused portion of the trip.
TRAVEL MEDICAL INSURANCE – MANDATORY
This is requirement to join a World Vegan Travel trip. We need to know you are covered for any medical situation, including evacuation, in case of emergency. You will need to provide a policy and emergency contact number in order to join the trip. This can be done just prior to the trip’s date.
Trip Insurance (ie. covering your flight tickets, luggage, etc.) is definitely recommended as well, but not mandatory.
The itinerary is therefore subject to change, especially if we find an experience that we believe would make the trip even better.
DIET RESTRICTION & ALLERGIES
We do try to accommodate everyone’s food restrictions, especially allergies. We can only do so if you let us know of any requirements when you sign up. We begin working with all our hotels and restaurants a long time in advance, and meals are usually locked several months before the trip. At this point, it is often no longer possible to change menus.
In other words: it is your responsibility to alert us of any dietary requirements, restrictions, allergies and needs, when you sign up.
We do realize our prices seem high. However, when compared to many other tours to the region, we are actually comparatively priced when you take into account that our trips include all meals (and vegan to boot!) and drinks, all the tips for drivers and local guides, and many other extras like a amenities/essentials bag, a free laundry day, the support of 2 full time tour leaders (most tours have only one), and, finally, the chance to travel with author and animal advocate Colleen Patrick-Goudreau.
It’s also worth noting that there aren’t many 100% fully vegan tours to Tuscany. Veganism is still somewhat of a new concept in Italy, despite their cuisine being very vegetarian-friendly at its base. Our trip cost does factor in the lengthy and hard work done with all our hotels, restaurants and local partners in educating and preparing them for our visit (meals, advocacy, toiletries, etc), which is far beyond any tasks that other tour companies are faced with. This work begins several months before the trip, and approaches full-time hours around 2-3 months prior to the trip’s start date.
We also realize that for many, these types of trips are something they’ve dreamed about for many years. As such, we’ve constructed an itinerary that will make this trip truly memorable in regards to our accommodation, meals, and choice of activities.
Colleen Patrick-Goudreau and World Vegan Travel work closely together to create JOYFUL VEGAN TRIPS, which are specifically curated by Colleen to ensure the high quality that she has come to be known for. All trips include activities and dedicated time with Colleen, such as Q&A session, round-table discussions, sharing, and more.
Absolutely! We have many people on our trip that sign up as singles. However, due to our new COVID-19 policy and the limited space at our Tuscany villa, we only have 2 single rooms available. Please see our COST & SIGN-UP section for more information.
Should you still be on the waiting list when the trip closes and gets confirmed, we may be able to offer you a single room (depending on availability).
You are in charge of your own transportation — whether it be flights, train, bus, car, etc. — to our starting city, and your return transportation from our departure city.
For your arrival, we ask that you try and arrive early on the first day, as our first meeting tends to be around noon. This exact time and place will be confirmed at a later date, but do plan ahead adequately to leave you enough time to get to our meeting place by that time. Even better is arriving one or more days before. This would provide you with a chance to take care of jet-lag and visit the town.
Please note that your transportation to our first meeting point is not included.
For citizens of western countries (ie USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, etc), no visas are necessary for a stay of 90 days or less in the Schengen Area, of which Italy is a member. Other European citizens do not need a visa to enter Italy.
Medical travel insurance is mandatory on our trip. We need to have assurances that you are fully covered in the event of a medical emergency, including repatriation. You will need to send us your policy detail and emergency contact number before the trip’s start date.
Trip Insurance (trip cancellation, lost baggage, etc.), on the other hand, is entirely up to you, though we highly recommend purchasing it. It often comes packaged along with medical travel insurance, or you may get coverage simply by paying for the trip using a credit card (inquire with your card supplier).
While of course we cannot predict the future (2020 sure emphasized that point!!) many things are pointing to a yes. For one, Italy is currently opened for domestic and European travel, with museums, restaurants, hotels and sights all opened to tourism.
Airlines and some medical and travel experts do believe that things look good in terms of returning to some kind of normal in 2022. As our trip is in June, we sure hope that this is enough time for the pandemic to subside somewhat, and for vaccination rates in Europe to be at their targeted levels.
As we are not a travel agency or booking agents, we can’t book any flights or ongoing travel (ie hotels, transportation, etc) for you. However we can surely help with recommendations, suggestions and tips as you look into flights, or extending your holiday. It never hurts to ask, so don’t hesitate to contact us with any queries whatsoever!
In general, June is an excellent time of year to visit Tuscany, with slightly fewer crowds than the next few weeks/months will bring, and milder temperatures. We also have better chances at clear days in the mountains although of course this is no sense a guarantee!
Travelers will find very comfortable temperatures for sightseeing, exploring the countryside and engaging in outdoor activities. Days remain warm and sunny, with temperatures starting from a minimum of 25°C (77°F) and going up from there.
While we don’t have a luggage restriction on this trip, we recommend you not to bring more than 1 suitcase per person. You will need to carry your bags only from the bus to the hotel twice (plus the trip to our meeting place) but you should still make sure you can lift it by yourself (ie it’s not too heavy).
We do have one free laundry included on the trip, so hopefully this can help in not over-packing. Laundry will also be available on other days at a fee.
In terms of clothing, it’s a good idea to bring some summer garb, such as shorts, t-shirts, light dresses, light cotton pants, etc. Also bring a swimsuit as our villa has a pool. A hat is a good idea to block off the sun.
A sweater or light jacket could be needed for the evening and is a good idea. A rain jacket or a small umbrella could prove useful at this time of year.
Do bring some comfortable, but sturdy, shoes, as we have many walking tours and hiking opportunities. You probably don’t need rugged hiking boots. Hiking shoes or runners with decent grip should do the trick.
You can always bring a 2nd set of comfy shoes/loafers to wear in the evening, for dinner and also afterwards when we’re relaxing with a nightcap.
We will be sending an info packet several weeks before the trip that will include, amongst other bits of information, a packing list.
If you are coming from outside of Europe, then yes, your mobile phone should work, but do check with your carrier to make sure. It is highly recommended to turn off global roaming unless you carrier can offer you a package for your stay in Italy. Otherwise you risk being charged exorbitant fees upon you return home!
If you are a UK or other European citizen, your phone should work as usual as Europe no longer has borders when it comes to mobile phone usage. However do check with your carrier to ensure your package qualifies.
If your phone is unlocked (please check with your carrier directly) you can also purchase a local Italian SIM Card when you arrive in the country (usually sold at airports). You can sometimes find SIM cards on Amazon; for example the Orange Holiday Europe prepaid SIM card.
Yes, our hotel has WIFI, and we will also have internet connection on-board our coaches. For the latter, connection speeds may vary, as will the connection itself.
We provide all accommodation, transportation and meals. All expenses during our included activities are taken care of, including tips for guides and drivers.
You will then only need cash for extra purchases such as souvenirs, extra drinks outside of what’s included, extra snacks, etc. There are ATMs in every town and credit cards are accepted in most places. This mostly means Visa and MasterCard, with American Express having quite a lower acceptance rate outside of hotels and higher-end restaurants.
The tour leaders will be carrying extra cash. If you decide to go on an optional activity at the last minute but don’t have enough money, we will be able to help you out and you can simply pay us back when we find an ATM.
For drinks during meals: we have a limited amount of alcoholic beverages (beer and wine) per meal. Any extra drinks on top of what’s provided will require you to pay the suppliers (ie hotel, restaurant) directly. We will make it very clear how much is included before each meal.
Tipping hotel and restaurant staff is not necessary and entirely up to you.
This is generally not a problem, but we do need to be informed at the time of booking so we may prepare the meals accordingly. Please be as precise and detailed as possible. Once on the trip, it is difficult and/or not possible to change our meal plans.
Colleen (and her husband David) is very much another traveler in our group and will be taking the same vehicles and participating in the same activities as the rest of us. You can approach and talk to her at any time, just like anyone else. Having said that, do remember that she will be as tired as everyone after a long day of travel or sightseeing, so we should just be respectful of that as we are of anyone else.
We do have quite a lot of walking activities on this trip, with a fair amount of uphill and downhill walking, since most Italian towns are build on hilltops. A certain amount of physical fitness will provide for a happier trip. Having said you can always opt to skip these visits but this would somewhat dampen your enjoyment of the trip.
Youth above 16 years young are welcome. We are currently not accepting any younger children.
There’s no upper age limit, though do note that there is a fair amount of walking on this trip.
We will provide water, juice, coffee, tea, some cocktails and wine/beer during lunches and all dinners and some activities. We will make it clear what’s included and what’s not. Premium alcoholic drinks (ie expensive cognac, whiskey, champagne, etc) are not included. You can pay for those on the spot or sign it to the room and pay when checking out.
World Vegan Travel and Joyful Vegan Trips aim to be a safe place for all LGBTQ travelers. We have a zero-tolerance policy on discrimination of any sort.
Generally speaking, Italy is considered a gay-friendly country and public opinion on homosexuality is generally regarded as increasingly culturally liberal. Same-sex civil unions and unregistered cohabitation have been legally recognized since June 2016.