A MEDIEVAL VILLAGE WITH ALL THIS?
Even if it is not famous on a large scale, the handcrafted production of pasta is something Tuscany can be proud of. It is possible to learn about it while visiting a small village near Pisa. Arianna & Friends organizes half day tours to a renowned artisan pasta factory just opposite a historical castle and very near to a fantastic butcher’s shop!
An artisanal pasta factory
Our guide meets you at an agreed meeting point near Lari and takes you to a small family-run pasta factory that exports its production to all the world. During the visit the guide informs you on the traditional methods of production and on the very original conditions in which this family works. You will understand why this pasta is so amazing and also why the Italians love it so much. The Martelli Pasta Factory operates since 1926 and it is located just in some historical buildings of the town. You will meet Dino Martelli and his lovely family.
A panoramic medieval castle
The factory is located in a small medieval village called Lari, where you will also explore a perfectly preserved medieval castle, the Castle of the Vicars, dating back to the XIV century with its gloomy dungeons. The castle is very fascinating not only for its history of many centuries but also for its extremely panoramic location in the center of Tuscany. Lari is particularly scenic since the view covers the whole lower Arno valley, with a unique sight over Pisa.
A butcher’s shop
One of the most beautiful aspects of a small village in Tuscany is the presence of many boutique shops. You have the opportunity to see the most representative one in Lari: the butcher’s. We meet the butcher and see his cellars where prosciutto and salamis are ageing and we sample plenty of their cold meats, that are also available in the shop for sale.
A cheese grotto (if available)
Lari is a little town that hides lots of gems. One of that is a cheese grotto, located in the undergrounds and where a very special cheese is aged for many months. If available the tour continues with the visit of the grotto and we will have the pleasure to taste this cheese that is made with a mixture of cow, goat and sheep milk, a real joy for our taste buds.
At the very end of the tour to Lari you are invited to taste a local cherry liquor, typical produce of the small village, at one historical bar in town.
If you want to immediately sample the pasta created in Lari by the Martellis, it is possible for you to book a lunch at a local restaurant in town with 2 types of Pasta and local wine.
This is a list of specialties that you are likely to sample as part of the program of this tour. Please, note that the specialties of the tasting session and/or lunch may vary according to the season and the availability of the products in the day of the tour.
In our tour we like showing you places off the beaten track and introducing you to Tuscan people with their personal stories, careers and characters.
You will have one of our guides with your party during the whole tour. Please, see below all the guides who can be with you.
During this experience you can also meet some of the Tuscan friends involved in the events. Please, see below which friends you are likely to encounter.
The total rate for this activity varies according to the number of people in your party.
Check rates in the table below.
PRIVATE TOUR TO PASTA FACTORY, MEDIEVAL CASTLE
NUMBER OF PEOPLE IN YOUR PARTY
|2 persons||€ 280|
|3 persons||€ 315|
|4 persons||€ 350|
|5 persons||€ 385|
|6 persons||€ 420|
|7 persons||€ 455|
|8 persons||€ 490|
|Extra Adult||€ 35|
|Extra Teenager (12-17 yrs)||€ 25|
|Extra Child (4-11 yrs)||€ 25|
|Lunch (including 2 types of Pasta Martelli)||€ 35 per adult|
|€ 25 per teen/kid|
- A private English speaking tour leader for the whole tour. Also available in French, German, Spanish and Russian
- A visit to the Castle
- A visit to the pasta factory
- A visit to a butcher’s shop with rich tasting of cold meats
- A visit to the cheese grotto with cheese tasting
- A tasting of cherry liquor at a local bar
Rates do NOT include
- Lunch: 35 euro per adult, 25 euro per teen or child
Transportation is not included in the rates above. For more info on transportation, please see the box “Transportation options”.
This is and email we received from Joe and Helen who enjoyed a few tours with us including a Lari tour with Arianna.
If you are looking for a touring company that focuses and specializes in the Tuscany, Italy region, look no further than Arianna and Friends. Arianna, who owns the firm, is a hands-on owner specializing in tours by her company, including leading several tours herself. Arianna and her team provide a broad range of tour categories, of which I will only mention a few. For a complete list of activities see the WEB site.
My wife and I had the pleasure of experiencing 4 world class tours, (1) Academia David (2) Foodie Tour (3) Cooking Class (4) Tour of Siena.
The Accademia Gallery that houses the David, the tour was spectacular. While the line to enter was over 2 hours long, we waited only 5 minutes before entering the museum thanks to Arianna’s guide. Our guide was extremely knowledgeable not only of the David and the museum, but also of the entire city of Florence. During a culturally rich 4-hour tour, we visited key sites of Florence and were provided a roadmap of recommendations of where we may want to focus our time over the upcoming days.
The Foodie Tour was simply amazing… and delicious! With Arianna as our guide, we experienced a variety of culinary delights in the small village of Lari, Tuscany. From a fresh small butcher shop where we sampled all different types of delicacies, to a pasta factory that produces a specialized pasta unique to all of Italy, to a bar that served a cherry liqueur to finally a luncheon made with all fresh ingredients. The lunch was fabulous. There is also a castle in town not to be missed. The history of the castle and how it protected Lari over the last centuries is beyond impressive.
The Cooking Class was the crème de la crème, held at a breathtakingly beautiful location called Rita’s Farm. This farm is located about 75 minutes outside of Florence and would be impossible to find without Arianna. The farm itself is amazing and is an actual working farm. The facilities were very modern. The cooking menu consisted of Italian flag bruschetta, pasta Martelli with Arianna’s special sauce, tiramisu with a lot of chocolate and fruit and custard crostata. Absolutely delicious start to finish. We learned many new meal preparation techniques and skills.
To wrap up the tour, we visited Siena and experienced the incredibly impressive Duomo. Our guide expertly shared the rich history of the Duomo and Christianity during that time. The architecture, artwork and craftmanship rival any cathedral visited. The tour also included a lovely walkabout of Siena’s square and the amazing horseracing track. There is so much history there, plus many authentic restaurants to choose from.
If you want an authentic Tuscany experience, there is only one choice you can make, Arianna and Friends. They were simply the best!!!! We are looking forward to returning and working with Arianna and Friends again.
Helen and Joe
This is an email we received from Misty, who brought her all family to Tuscany for a day trip food trip to Lari.
Our day with you on Saturday was unanimously the best part of our three week trip to Europe. We had not planned to return to Italy because there is just so much more in the world to see but you’ve have changed our mind.
You talked with us like we were friends catching up about everything from religion, to politics, to history and academics. You helped us fall in love with Tuscany and see it through the eyes of locals. You didn’t just translate the words and explain the processes; you conveyed the passion, the hardships and the joys of everyone we came in contact with. We truly appreciate you accommodating us in so many ways. I don’t only hope to return to Tuscany, but I hope to have more time with Arianna and Friends.
We sincerely hope that one day you will come to visit with us and this is not a token offer. Our door is always open. We think you have found a recipe for success and wish you a long and prosperous business journey so that you can touch the hearts of many more.
Please friend me on Facebook and ciao, until next time,
This is a message we received from a Canadian family who joined us for the tour of Lari while staying in Tuscany
I just want to thank all of you on behalf of our whole group! The tour was AMAZING and we enjoyed it so much! Massimo was a great guide and had so much good info on all the places we visited. Everyone was so kind and generous, we could not have had a better time! I live here in Italy and will for sure be returning in the future next time I have visitors. Exceptional service!
Kelly, Erin, Misty and Christy 🙂
This is a message of appreciation we received from Laura Anne who strived to see some pasta being produced in Italy:
Sorry I missed this email, but we were already in Italy!
Thank you again so much for the tour. It was absolutely lovely.
Everyone really had a great time.
I completely envy your job!
Let me know if you need anything!
Laura Anne S. 🙂
This tour takes place in Lari, a small village just 30 minutes from Pisa, 1 hour from Florence, 15 km from Selvatelle, about 20 km from San Gimignano and Montaione.
Unless differently specified, the tour guide meets you at a meeting point in or near Lari.
This program takes 3,5 hours. Time for transportation not included.
Available on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays (on Saturday only in the morning).
This tour is available in English language. German, French, Spanish, Russian or Italian are also available with no surcharge.
Ideal for children
No particular clothing required.
The program of this tour includes a sip of a local liquor and samplings of cold meats at the butcher's. If you have any food restriction, please inform our personnel during the enquiry process.
This program and its rates do not include transportation and are set on a self-driving base. For further information see the box "transportation options".
The destinations reached during this activity are in the Tuscan countryside, in areas off the beaten track that cannot be reached by public transport. We highly recommend renting a car or a scooter in order to reach them. As an alternative, we can offer a valued service by chauffeured car, van or minibus. Any cost of transportation is to be added to the rates displayed on the rate table of this page.