Tuscan & Umbrian Countryside featuring Italy’s Charming Hill Towns
April 23-May 3, 2019
Includes Roundtrip Airfare Phoenix
$4,799 (Double Occupancy)
11 Days ● 16 Meals: 9 Breakfasts ● 3 Lunches ● 4 Dinners
Highlights: Rome – Orvieto – Spoleto – Cooking Class – Assisi Home-Hosted Lunch – Montefalco Winery – Bevagna – Olive Oil Farm Florence – Siena – Choice on Tour Monteriggioni – Volterra – Guarnacci Museum – San Gimignano
Day One: Overnight Flight
Follow the less-traveled roads of Umbria and Tuscany. Along the way experience charming towns, regional delicacies and renowned Italian wines.
Day Two: Rome, Italy – Tour Begins
Welcome to Rome – Italy’s dynamic capital city. Say hello to your fellow travelers during a welcome dinner. Today dinner will be included.
Day Three: Rome – Orvieto – Umbria
Travel to the Etruscan hill town of Orvieto. A local expert leads you on a walking tour amid the town’s treasures, including a visit to its prominent Gothic cathedral, home to a Signorelli fresco. Explore the many sides of Orvieto on your own. Perhaps pause for a leisurely lunch, sip on some white wine and become a part of the local scene. This is just the beginning. You’ll spend the next four nights immersed in country life in a pristine Umbrian hill town. Today breakfast and dinner will be included.
Day Four: Umbria – Spoleto – Cooking Class – Umbria
Set off for a guided walking tour of historic Spoleto. See medieval palaces, the ornate Duomo of Santa Maria Assunta, and the magnificent Ponte delle Torri, an aqueduct dating back to the 13th century. Enjoy free time to peruse the town’s shops and cafés. Next, visit a country restaurant housed in a 16th-century farmhouse. This is the Italy few get to experience. Take a stroll through their herb garden (weather permitting) and see how they make their own cheese. Afterwards, join the chef for a hands-on Umbrian cooking lesson. Indulge in an early dinner in the countryside before turning in for the evening. Today breakfast and dinner will be included.
Day Five: Umbria – Assisi – Home-Hosted Lunch – Umbria
Travel to Assisi, birthplace of St. Francis. Set out on a walking tour of the old city with a local guide. Come to know its history as you stroll the medieval streets, pausing along the way to see its famed Basilica of St. Francis. Next, you are in for a treat when an Umbrian family welcomes you to their country home as they prepare you a delicious home-cooked meal. Share stories and make an Umbrian friend (or two). Today breakfast and lunch will be included.
Day Six: Umbria – Montefalco – Winery – Bevagna – Olive Oil Farm – Umbria
Head to the “Balcony of Umbria.” The charming medieval town of Montefalco received this moniker because of its unobstructed views of the Umbrian countryside. Step back in time as you explore independently. Then, it’s on to a local winery to sample some of this region’s most prized wine, Sagrantino. Next, savor a lunch of authentic Umbrian dishes. Continue to Bevagna where we meet a local expert for a walking tour featuring Roman and medieval archaeological and architectural marvels. Cap off your day by learning about another locally made product – olive oil – at a family-run ‘frantoio’ (olive-presser). Today breakfast and lunch will be included.
Day Seven: Umbria – Winery – Tuscany
It’s on to Tuscany! You’ll fall in love with the picturesque Renaissance landscape of hills and villages as we make your way through the Val D’Orcia region. Of course we’ll make a stop at a local winery to see the wine cellar, family estate, vineyards and olive groves. The winery’s chef creates an authentic Tuscan lunch, expertly paired with wines produced on-site. Later, make yourself at home in your restored Tuscan palazzo. Today breakfast and lunch will be included.
Day Eight: Tuscany – Florence – Tuscany
Today it’s Florence, “Cradle of the Italian Renaissance.” Join a local guide for a walking tour of the city’s iconic sights. Return to another age as you view the Cathedral of Santa Maria Del Fiore, located in the religious center of the Piazza Del Duomo and the Palazzo Vecchio. Catch a glimpse into the creative side of Florence when you meet a local artisan in his workshop to see how and where he refines his craft. Take some time to browse the shops and explore Florence on your own. Today breakfast will be included.
Day Nine: Tuscany – Siena – Monteriggioni – Tuscany
Travel to the city of Siena. During your locally guided walking tour, visit the historic piazza famous for the Palio Horse Race. Then, the choice is yours! Explore the 14th-century Torre (Tower) del Mangia, the 3rd tallest tower in Italy at your own pace or join your guide to get to know local life in a Contrada (neighborhood). Each of these small, close-knit communities is unique and has traditions all their own. Then it’s off to the walled town of Monteriggioni. Stroll its quaint streets, seemingly frozen in time. Take an afternoon break and try some local snacks before heading back to your quiet Tuscan retreat. Today breakfast will be included.
Day Ten: Tuscany – Volterra – San Gimignano – Tuscany
Roll along the country roads to Volterra, a former Etruscan city perched high above the countryside. Spend time at the Guarnacci Museum, one of the oldest public museums in Europe, founded in 1761. Then it’s on to an alabaster carving demonstration* at a local workshop. Later, we travel to San Gimignano, known as the “City of Beautiful Towers.” Look up to see the town’s fourteen medieval towers that date back to the 13th century. Enjoy a stroll along Piazza del Duomo and Piazza della Cisterna. Tonight, gather for a farewell dinner with your fellow travelers. Partake in an interactive and fun presentation on wine by the restaurant’s sommelier. Today breakfast and dinner will be included.
Day Eleven: Tuscany – Tour Ends
Your journey comes to a close in Montaione. Today breakfast will be included.