Under the Tuscan Sun: An Enchanting Italian Getaway
By Philantopia on November 29th, 2023 | Categories: Blog

We caught up with one of our travel experts, Anna R., who recently enjoyed one of Philantopia’s most decadent travel packages to Tuscany, Italy: Under the Tuscan Sun! Learn all about her experience, below.

Whether you drive through the Tuscan countryside, or ride the train from Rome, the Under the Tuscan Sun travel package is everything you might imagine. Rows of sunflower fields, farms, vineyards, and Cypress trees dotted with Italian Villas along the way. Your destination? Cortona, Italy, a small hilltop town with a breathtaking and vast view of Tuscany.

My partner, Daniel, and I had the pleasure of visiting Tuscany this past July 2023 and checking out the destination. As so many of our nonprofits have been using Philantopia’s Italy packages for their fundraisers, I wanted to share a little about the package and the incredible destination…

Visitors who choose to drive themselves will find parking just outside the gated walls of Cortona. Only locals are permitted to drive/park within the town. However, rest assured your Philantopia lodging representatives will happily greet you and make sure that you and your belongings are taken to your apartment. If you take the train, your concierge will make arrangements to have a driver meet you to whisk you up the hill to the town.  

“Enchanting” is the first word that comes to mind as you enter the small walled commune. The entire town is walkable on the narrow and hilly cobblestone streets, lined with small family-owned restaurants, shops, art galleries and homes, not to mention the many historic stone churches. The views from the edges of town are spectacular! Again, you will see the many farms, sunflower fields and vineyards, as well as taking in beautiful sunsets. From the Piazza Garibaldi you can even see sparkling Lake Trasimeno.

Our accommodations were nothing less than charming. The very spacious two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartments range from modern décor to true Italian Renaissance. An inviting space where you’ll find quiet, rest and relaxation after a day of sightseeing. There is a fully functional kitchen with modern appliances, yet with so many fabulous places to eat, it may well go untouched. The apartments all have large screen TV’s as well as air conditioning in case you are there during the warm summer months (which we were).  

Communication with the Philantopia property in Italy was exceptional. They make sure you have a way to contact them should any need arise. They also have first rate recommendations for adventures and restaurants. One such recommendation we visited was Al Tocco: a superb, 5-star, and not-to-be-missed culinary experience which we can’t recommend highly enough.  

There are an abundance of quaint cafés and restaurants, many with outdoor spaces so you may enjoy not only the quality food, but the ambiance of the lively town. One such place to have this experience is during your wine tasting, at the coolest little wine bar in town called Sōttō Vōce. I highly suggest you sit at an outdoor table, it’s a great way to view the piazza. Here we not only enjoyed the tasting but also our friendly sommelier, who was very versed about the wines, and vineyards from which they come.  

The private three-hour walking tour of Cortona was phenomenal. The guide was extremely knowledgeable about every aspect of the town and region. We experienced unique and hidden sights you would otherwise miss. It was slow-paced, with plenty of time to ask questions. My advice is to wear comfortable walking shoes, as all the streets are cobblestone. Finally: don’t worry, you will definitely be able to understand every word!

If you are fortunate enough to be there on a Saturday, and we were, you will definitely want to catch the open-air market in the morning. It is abuzz with vendors selling everything from fruits and veggies from local farms, and local meats and cheeses, to leather goods, clothing and art. Get there early to enjoy an espresso at a café before enjoying the shopping experience. Just don’t wait too long because by early afternoon, it disappears. 

As you stroll through the streets or Cortona, you feel as though you may have stepped back in time, or perhaps are in a movie. Cortona is the quintessential picturesque Italian town, just awaiting your arrival, Bella, ciao!  

The Under the Tuscan Sun Package is just as it sounds and a package I can’t recommend highly enough for your fundraiser, your donors will absolutely love it! 

Thanks for sharing your experience, Anna! Learn more about the Under the Tuscan Sun travel package.