Sign up for this trip by filling in this form. Sign-up fee: USD 500$/person.
Tuscany instantly brings to mind images of medieval walled towns perched atop rolling hills, surrounded by vineyards and winding roads flanked by Cypress trees, the always-fresh and delicious food, and, of course, the wine… oh the wine…
We’re taking over a 100% vegan Tuscan Agrivilla and making it our home for 8 days and 7 nights. Nestled among the rolling hills of the historic town of San Gimignano, and created with an environmental emphasis on zero-waste, no plastic and sustainable sources of energy, it’s the perfect springboard to dive into this gorgeous part of Italy each day.
USD 4495$/person – early-bird special, discounted from USD 5250$
no single supplement; only 2 single rooms available
April 10th, 2021
As part of our COVID-19 precautions, we will not be offering shared-rooms. As such, all singles will have their own room, at no extra single supplement cost.
Due to the minimum availability at our Tuscan villa, we can only accept 2 single travelers.
Once the 2 rooms are booked, single 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 fee (500$/person).
The sign-up fee is non-refundable under any conditions UNLESS the trip is not confirmed by the deadline of April 10th, 2021. Please carefully read our cancellation policy section for more information, especially in relation with the Covid-19 pandemic.
In order to sign up, fill in the form on this page. Any problems or questions? Email us!
If you are signing up as a single, do so quickly! We only have 2 single room available, and there is no single supplement. Please read our single travelers section for more information.
Please note that signing up before the deadline of April 10th, 2021 does not guarantee the trip will run as this depends on having the necessary minimum of participants.
Following the sign-up fee, the remaining balance will be due in 2 installments:
We can work with you on a payment plan: pay your trip in the usual 2 installments, or opt for several. Contact us to discuss what works best for you!
We currently accept US DOMESTIC BANK TRANSFERS, INTERNATIONAL WIRE TRANSFERS and CREDIT CARDS PAYMENTS. Once you sign-up, we will send you the necessary information for you to make your payment.
EXTRA PAYMENT FEES
Online Bank Payment – US only: also called eCheck or ACH, we do not charge a fee for this, although your bank may do so. Please inquire with them directly.
International Wire Transfer: for those outside of the US. We do not charge any fees for this method, although your bank most likely will. Please inquire with them directly, and do mention that our bank is located in Mauritius, so they can give you the correct fees amount.
Credit card payment: the following fees will be added to the total:
Since our trips are highly catered and made of activities that need a lot of planning and organization, all payments (the initial 500$ sign-up fee, 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.
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.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we have been unable to travel to Italy and put the final touches on a few activities and meals. Once we have everything finalized, we will post the itinerary here.
Overall, you can expect mostly early days, as we want to take advantage of the coolest hours of the day. Some of the days we’ll be out all day while on others you’ll have the chance to return to the villa after lunch if you choose to spend some quiet time by the pool with a book and wine in-hand. The historical hill-town of San Gimignano is also not far away (~20 minute walk) if you’d like to explore it some more, do a bit of shopping, or simply sit at a terrace.
The trip starts and ends in Florence. We will not be visiting the city on our trip so we do recommend arriving a few days before the trip (or depart a few days after) so you can have the chance to explore this amazing town.
Overall, this is what you can expect to see, do and visit during this magical trip to Tuscany (subject to changes):
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 CPG 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 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 by early 2021. As our trip is in October, we sure hope that this is enough time for the pandemic to subside somewhat, and even hopefully for a vaccine and/or testing to become widely available.
We will also be traveling as a group, which means we will not be taking any public transportation (we have our own coach) and staying in different hotels (we are taking over our own entire villa). While we’ll be visiting lots of places, our time in Italy will be somewhat contained, as much as one can when traveling (compared to solo traveling, where you stay in a different hotel each night, etc). Many experts have predict that group travel may be the first style of travel to open up, and definitely the safest way to travel in the post covid-19 days.
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, October is an excellent time of year to visit Tuscany. Many believe that it is in fact the BEST time!
On top of fewer crowds, a harvest in full swing and a Tuscan landscape dressed in warm autiumn shades, October also brings lovely — albeit a little more unpredictable than in September — weather.
Travelers will find very comfortable temperatures for sightseeing, exploring the countryside and engaging in outdoor activities. Days remain warm and sunny, with temperatures ranging from 20°C to 25°C (68°F to 77°F), while a sweater or light jacket will suffice for the cooler evenings. Do note that rain is not uncommon during this time of year so an umbrella or rain jacket is a good idea.
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 late-summer garb, such as light cotton pants, t-shirts, etc. We might have a few hot days — who knows! — so a pair of shorts might be a good idea to have just in case. We’d also recommend bringing a swimsuit, again in case any hot days show up, as we will have a swimming pool at our Tuscan villa. A hat is a good idea to block off the sun.
A sweater or light jacket for the cooler evenings 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. Tuscan towns and villages are made for exploring, and often the streets are cobblestones. As most are build on hilltops, expect a fair amount of uphill and downhill walking. Overall we’re not going on any big hikes, so there’s no need to bring your best pair of hiking boots. 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.
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 CPG 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.