Discover Lucca with Elena

Elena Benvenuti is a multilingual private guide who can take you places that the ordinary tourist would likely miss. With Elena, you will learn the background and significance of Tuscany's rich history along with its culinary masterpieces

Visit Tuscany’s Little Gem and discover our rich history, culture and scenery 

Lucca—A city full of history surrounded by its stately walls, one of the jewels of beautiful Tuscany. I am a life-long native and resident of this beautiful area and a leading expert at organizing personalized tours of Lucca and its provinces all year round. I particularly specialize in small and big group tours, combining culture and history, gastronomic Tuscan culinary tours, wine and olive oil tasting, including cooking classes for smaller groups so that your Tuscan holiday will be a memorable one for years to come.

Discover Lucca and its historical sites in neighboring towns: The ancient Roman's thermal bath in Massaciuccoli, revisit the middle ages with the legendary “Archer of Lucca”, enjoy a leisure bicycle tour of the city together with me, your friends, and loved ones, try your hand at cooking with my help in creating delicious local specialties, or simply take a stroll around the city's quaint streets for a unique shopping experience!

I also offer itineraries that include tasting various wine selections holding the DOC (Denominazione di Origine Controllata) label and olive oils with the DOP (Denominazione di Origine Protetta) from the Lucca hills and Montecarlo, also visiting historic churches, strolling through charming smaller cities nearby, such as Barga, known for its cured meats, cheeses, and other Tuscan specialties to name a few. Allora ci vediamo presto . . .

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 The tours offered below are suggestions. You may also ask for customized itineraries.

Option A: Guided tour of Lucca (2 1/2 hours tour)

  • the highlight of my beautiful town Lucca

  • history of Lucca

  • lovely walk on the impressive and imposing walls

  • legend, Saints, festival

  • traditional dishes, cakes, olive oil and wine description

  • tours are usually by foot, but for an additional charge, we can do it with a bike or on a horse-carriage with a final wine tasting


Option B: Wine tour in the countryside of Lucca or elsewhere in Tuscany.

  • typical regional snacks and special wine tasting

  • a stroll through the vineyards and tasting a sampling of wines

  • meeting the owner of the farmhouse to learn specific aspects of wine production.

  • history and tour of the area, legends, Saints, geography and local festivals.


Option C: Cheese and prosciutto bazzone tour in Garfagnana (1 hour drive from Lucca)

  • history and tour of Castelnuovo Garfagnana village, legends, Saints, geography and local festivals.

  • the spectacular Devil’s Bridge, built in 1110.

  • a special stop in a slow food centre, where you will try the local delicious products, which include the incomparable prosciutto bazzone, mondiola (salami), mortadella, crostini, polenta, and more.

  • all this is combined with local wines or beer.

  • See “Culinary tours and more” below for more detailed information.

 

Option D: Cooking class, level 1

  • make fresh hand-made pasta

  • sugo bolognese

  • crostini

  • chicken breasts alla “favolosa”

  • plus tasting of three different DOC wines 

     

Option E: Cooking class, level 2

  • risotto, or melanzane alla parmigiana, devil’s rabbit with olives and polenta

  • caponata of vegetable, and cake

  • plus the tasting of three different DOC wines of Tuscany


Other full or half day tours are possible in the surroundings of Lucca

  • Torre del Lago Puccini

  • Barga and Castiglione Garfagnana

  • Spectacular Lucca Villas (http://livingwithabroadintuscany.blogspot.it/2017/03/a-visit-to-impressive-villas-of-lucca.html)

  • Pietrasanta and Viareggio

  • Birth place of Leonardo Da Vinci

  • Pisa

  • Volterra

  • Colle Val D’Elsa

  • Monteriggioni

  • Siena

  • Firenze

  • Arezzo

  • It is also possible to do a fashion day—a full day of shopping among Prada, Armani, Gucci and the other famous Italian brands; with reservations it is possible to visit the factories and buy there.

With any of the above choices, we can always insert a stop for a tasting of wine, olive oil or other local products.

After you consider these possibilities, please contact Elena by e-mail to discuss costs: ebenvenuti7@gmail.com

Culinary tours and more....

My gourmet tours are for those interested in tasting their way through the beautiful Tuscan countryside regardless if you are a chef, home cook, or amateur in the kitchen. You will enjoy this epicurean tour immensely. You begin your tour right in the heart of picturesque Tuscany, Lucca, Garfagnana, Barga… For food lovers, my gourmet tours will take you through the rolling Tuscan landscapes for the very best gourmet spots and culinary adventures far off the beaten tourist tracks. Depending on your personal interests, we will visit the charming town of Barga, Ghivizzano where “L’Antica Norcineria” (www.anticanorcineria.it) is known for its authentic handmade Salami Prosciuttato, Linketto - cured beef with its natural porcini flavor among many other varieties.

With advance booking, we can also include a visit to the cheese production of Bertagni (www.caseificiobertagni.com) near Castelnuovo Gargagnana for a snack at Vecchio Mulino (www.vecchiomulino.info). All of these places are waiting for you.  

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Elena Benvenuti
340.612.8485
ebenvenuti7@gmail.com

"Elena should be known as 'The Dream Maker!' She single-handedly made our second honeymoon a spectacular event. We hoped to see a medieval castle on our tour, but never did we expect a private tour of a walled medieval city. There is no better way to put it than she provided us with a life changing event. You are in amazing hands when you give your business to Elena. She is service personified! You simply cannot do any better."

Matt & Andrea Lawrence, Canada

"Elena's warm, friendly way of interacting with people completely put us and the group we were with at ease. Her sparkling personality and knowledge of the area provided us with the best day of our tour of Italy."
Frank Tamburrino, USA

“One of the high points in my trip to Tuscany was the cooking class. This was a deviation from the ‘normal’ touring, where I got to work and eat with the local people, to see how they live and enjoy life. This experience will live on in my memory for a long time.”
Dave Lotz, Pittsburg, USA

"Thanks so much for the wonderful time we had with you in Lucca. The day touring the city and the winemaker for lunch were experiences we will never forget . . . our experience with you was special."
Richard & Beth Davis, USA

"Elena is a top notch guide with great knowledge of local attractions. She is friendly, lively, helpful and easy to work with."
Paul Spadoni, USA

"Elena is a very pleasant person and nothing is too much trouble for her. She is so knowledgeable about everything Italian and made the wine tasting afternoon a wonderful experience. In fact, we all enjoyed it so much we returned in the evening for our evening meal. Elena was the life and soul of the party. Her knowledge of Lucca is second to none and expressed in such a way that it was a pleasure to listen to her. We can't wait for a return visit."
Frances & Alf Frances, Wales

"Thank for making the evening so fun and enjoyable! Your enthusiasm and joy for life are contagious. The beauty, enchantment and fun of Tuscany were enhanced for sure during our recent tour."
Don Nigro, USA

"Elena made the evening. Best guide we have had in Italy!"
James McAlpin, Utah, USA

"Elena made Italy a very real experience."
Paul & Arleen Emberger, Florida, USA

"The commentary was informative, articulate and humourous! A wonderful tour and experience."
Zoë, Ireland

"This woman is fantastic! Funny, articulate and wonderful to watch. She is very informative, knowledgeable and kind. She made us feel very welcome."
Barbara Keddy, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

"Great meal, great wine, great company and music."
Barbara & Thomas Powers, Millberry, Maine, USA

"Absolutely suberb! Energy, enthusiasm, great English, excellent knowledge and wonderful sense of humor."
Lawrence E. De Simone, Ph.D., Connecticut, USA

"So informative. So vivacious. So knowledgeable. So charming. We would like to take her home with us!"
Wanda & Don Lash, Athens, Georgia, USA

“Elena was the best tour guide that we had during our stay in Tuscany. Other guides were able to relate dates and names, but Elena made Lucca come alive, she was able to share charming tales about the history and evolution of Lucca. The tour was not just dull facts and figures, but she was able to place us back in time. Elena was our tour guide, historian and ultimately a friend. Elena was proud of her home town, and this came through in the tour. Her effervescent personality and friendly manner made the day informative and fun. She went out of her way to ensure that we had a pleasant time, even joining us for lunch at her favorite Bistro. The friendly rivalry that exists between Lucca and Pisa was used as an amusing counter-point to Elena’s presentations.”
Dave Lotz, Pittsburg, USA

 

 

 

 

 

 

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