Optional Pre-Cruise Package: Tuscany

July 6–10 // 2025

Join the Purdue President’s Council on a four-night pre-cruise package exploring the beauty of Tuscany. Immerse yourself in the charm of hillside medieval villages, savor local Tuscan cuisine and wines, and delight in stunning landscapes and thermal pools.


  • Four nights at the Fonteverde Tuscany in a Classic Room featuring entrance to the natural thermal pools, daily breakfast, and free Wi-Fi
  • Montepulciano Walking Tour followed by a Tuscan Cooking Class by a local chef, including a delicious lunch made from fresh, local ingredients
  • Free time in the picturesque village of Cortona to explore its ancient streets and landmarks
  • Guided tour through the villages of Val d’Orcia including Pienza, Montalcino, and San Quirico d’Orcia with a Pecorino cheese-tasting session in Pienza
  • Wine-tasting at a renowned local winery with a traditional Tuscan lunch
  • Historic Orvieto Tour with a guided visit to the Cathedral and exploration of the underground city
  • President’s Council Welcome and Farewell Dinners and a group dinner at a local restaurant
  • All sightseeing with experienced, English-speaking local guides and transportation
  • Arrival transfers from the airport to hotel and hotel to ship
  • Gratuities for local guides and drivers
  • All service charges, taxes, and porterage
  • Purdue President’s Council and Global Tracks pre-cruise staff


WELCOME TO ITALY! Upon arrival at Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport (FCO) in Rome, you will be met by a local representative and transferred to the Fonteverde Tuscany, approximately a two-and-a-half-hour drive.


Fonteverde, one of The Leading Hotels of the World, is located in San Casciano dei Bagni, a charming medieval town on the splendid hills of the Val d’Orcia, in the heart of the Siena hills. Fonteverde is renowned for its thermal waters and stunning views of the surrounding Tuscan countryside, offering guests a serene retreat amidst olive groves and vineyards. This exclusive resort, with just 78 rooms and suites, was originally constructed in the 17th century as one of the Medici’s villas.

Fonteverde is an oasis of wellness best known for its thermal spas, with waters rich in fluorine, magnesium, and sulfur. The thermal water pools and outdoor swimming pool look out onto stupendous valleys. Enjoy included entrance to the natural thermal pools at 98.6°F, access to the Etruscan circuit with Sauna, Turkish bath and thermal grotto, and use of fitness facilities, plus morning walks and muscle toning.

Classic Rooms combine historical charm with modern amenities and feature a queen bed, desk, flat-screen TV, minibar, travertine marble bathroom with shower, and free Wi-Fi.

Check-in time is 3:00 pm. The hotel will do its best to accommodate early arrivals; however, early check-in cannot be guaranteed. If you prefer immediate access to your room, it is suggested to book the night prior.

Join fellow travelers this evening for a President’s Council Welcome Dinner at the hotel where you can taste regional specialties paired with local wines. This is a perfect introduction to Tuscan cuisine.

Overnight Fonteverde Tuscany (D)

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel.


Start your day with a morning walk through the enchanting streets of Montepulciano, a town renowned for its medieval architecture and stunning vistas. As you meander through its narrow, cobblestone lanes, you’ll encounter historical landmarks such as the Torre di Pulcinella clock tower, charming piazzas, and the magnificent Palazzo Comunale. Take in the sweeping views of the Tuscan countryside from various vantage points, and don’t miss the chance to visit the impressive Duomo and other significant monuments that tell the rich history of this ancient town.


This afternoon, immerse yourself in the culinary traditions of Tuscany with an engaging cooking class. Under the expert guidance of a local chef, you’ll learn to prepare authentic regional dishes using fresh, local ingredients. This hands-on experience will deepen your appreciation for Tuscan cuisine. Afterward, enjoy the delicious meal you’ve created, and savor the fruits of your labor.


After a delightful lunch, continue your journey to the picturesque village of Cortona. Spend your afternoon exploring this charming town at leisure, with its ancient streets, historic buildings, and vibrant local culture. Visit landmarks such as the Basilica of Santa Margherita and the Etruscan Academy Museum, or simply enjoy the ambiance of the town’s quaint shops and cafes. The panoramic views of the surrounding valleys are not to be missed, providing a perfect backdrop for a leisurely stroll.

Return to the hotel for the evening at leisure and dinner on your own, providing an opportunity to explore the local flavors further, unwind in the serene setting of your hotel, or perhaps stroll through the peaceful landscapes surrounding the area.

Overnight Fonteverde Tuscany (B, L)

Enjoy the morning at leisure to enjoy your luxurious retreat at Fonteverde. During your free time, indulge in the rejuvenating thermal pools, where the naturally warm, mineral-rich waters offer a perfect escape for relaxation and healing. Pamper yourself with a variety of spa treatments designed to soothe the body and mind, from massages and facials to holistic therapies.

For those looking to stay active, the resort features a state-of-the-art fitness center and offers scenic walking and hiking trails that allow you to explore the stunning Tuscan landscape. Or, experience the unique thrill of truffle hunting, guided by experts who will lead you through the picturesque countryside in search of these prized culinary treasures.

Later this afternoon, choose to partake in an optional activity at the Fonteverde.


Cocktail ClassThe Barman of Fonteverde will host a fun cocktail lesson to teach us how to make favorite Italian cocktails such as a Negroni, Bellini, Rossini, Martini, and Americano.

Wine TastingIndulge in an exquisite wine tasting experience at Fonteverde, where you can savor the rich flavors of renowned Tuscan wines amidst the stunning backdrop of the rolling countryside.

This evening, enjoy a group dinner at a local restaurant.

Overnight Fonteverde Tuscany (B, D)


After a delightful breakfast, embark on a guided tour through the iconic villages of Val d’Orcia, a region renowned for its breathtaking landscapes and rich historical significance. Begin your journey in Pienza, a UNESCO World Heritage site celebrated for its Renaissance architecture and exquisite Pecorino cheese. Stroll through the picturesque streets of this “ideal city,” designed by Pope Pius II, and enjoy a Pecorino cheese-tasting session that highlights the unique flavors of this local specialty, known for its rich, savory taste and aromatic profile.

Continue to Montalcino, a quaint town revered as the birthplace of the illustrious Brunello wine. Wander through its charming streets lined with stone houses and artisan shops, see the imposing Fortress of Montalcino with its panoramic views of the surrounding vineyards, and perhaps stop at a local enoteca to sample the town’s world-famous wine. Learn about the meticulous process that goes into crafting Brunello, a wine that has earned its place among the most esteemed in the world.

Your cultural exploration will also include a visit to San Quirico d’Orcia, a charming medieval village known for its well-preserved architecture and vibrant local life. Walk through the narrow, winding streets to discover historical gems like the Collegiate Church of San Quirico, the medieval city walls, and the Horti Leonini gardens, a beautiful example of Italian Renaissance landscaping.


Enhance your experience with a premium wine-tasting session at a renowned local winery, where you’ll indulge in some of the finest vintages of the region, guided by expert sommeliers who will share insights into the winemaking process and the distinct characteristics of Tuscan wines. This sensory journey is complemented by a traditional Tuscan lunch, offering a taste of authentic local cuisine amidst the scenic vineyard views. Enjoy dishes crafted from fresh, regional ingredients while gazing out over the scenic vineyard views.

This evening, enjoy a President’s Council Farewell Dinner at the hotel, where we will savor regional specialties paired with local wines. Raise a glass to toast the memorable adventures and shared experiences of our journey through Tuscany!

Overnight Fonteverde Tuscany (B, L, D)

Enjoy a final breakfast at the hotel.


Check out and meet in the lobby for a group transfer to the Windstar Wind Surf docked in Civitavecchia.


En route, stop in the historic city of Orvieto. Take a guided tour of its stunning cathedral and explore the underground city with its labyrinth of caves and tunnels, reflecting centuries of history.

En route, stop in the historic city of Orvieto, perched majestically on a volcanic cliff. Take a guided tour of its stunning cathedral, the Duomo di Orvieto, an architectural masterpiece renowned for its intricate facade adorned with golden mosaics and elaborate sculptures. Inside, marvel at the breathtaking frescoes by Luca Signorelli in the San Brizio Chapel, depicting vivid scenes of the Last Judgment.

Afterward, delve into Orvieto’s mysterious underground city. Explore a labyrinth of caves and tunnels carved into the rock, reflecting centuries of history, and offering a fascinating glimpse into the lives of ancient inhabitants. Discover Etruscan wells, medieval passageways, and remnants of ancient olive oil presses.


Transfer to the port for embarkation. Enjoy lunch onboard as we begin our Italian Splendors Cruise.


Optional Pre-Tour Package Price:

$x,xxx per person, double occupancy Deposit: $xxx per person
$x,xxx per single Final Payment: March 12, 2025
Cancellation & Penalty Schedule Penalty Applicable
From time of deposit until March 12, 2025 $xxx per person penalty
After March 12, 2025 100% of total package penalty

Additional nights at the Fonteverde Tuscany // Price: $xxx per night per couple or single

Inclusions: Package includes accommodation at the Fonteverde Tuscany in a Classic Room with entrance to the natural thermal pools, daily breakfast, and free Wi-Fi; inclusive of service charges and taxes, airport arrival transfer, and porterage. Please note the airport arrival transfers are only included if the hotel package is confirmed with Global Tracks.