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.