Best flavors of Tuscany and Umbria
DAY 1: ROME – MONTEFALCO (D)
Arrive at Rome Fiumicino Airport and transfer to transfer by private minibus to Umbria. Check in at a 4-star farmhouse in Montefalco area, the best of the fascinating villages in the Valle of Spoleto. Get ready for a very special welcome dinner, with local dishes prepared with km0 products. Overnight.
DAY 2: ASSISI - THE WINE ROUTE & BEVAGNA (B,D)
Breakfast in hotel. This morning go to Assisi: St. Francis was born here in 1182 and spent most of his adult life preaching around this area of Umbria. Assisi is the quintessential- ly quaint and tranquil Italian hill town, and here you will be able to visit the Basilica di San Francesco.
In the afternoon, go to Torgiano, famous throughout the world for its fine wines. Here you will visit a cantina and have a wine tasting session. Then, visit Bevagna: the town was recently voted the most beautiful village in Italy by census takers. Return to your farmhouse in Montefalco area, dinner and overnight.
DAY 3: SPOLETO & COOKING CLASS (B,D)
Breakfast in hotel. This morning you will visit Spoleto: within its wooded setting, is the loveliest of the Umbrian hill-towns. Found- ed by the Umbrians, Spoleto was one of central Italy’s most important colonies. You will have a free morning to explore Spoleto. In the afternoon, you will experience an interesting cooking class, learning some traditional Umbrians recipes. Along with your private chef you will prepare local dishes you will taste then for dinner. Overnight.
DAY 4: ORVIETO & TODI (B,D)
After breakfast in hotel, board the coach and visit more of Umbria, Italy’s green heart. You will first stop in Orvieto: perched on a 300 m. Plateau, Orvieto looks down over a vineyard-spotted plain. Visitors flood into the town to admire the Duomo, among the greatest of Italy’s Rom- anesque-Gothic Cathedrals.
In the afternoon, continue on to Todi, one of the most strikingly situated of Umbria’s famous hill- towns. An ancient Etruscan, and then Roman settlement, it still preserves an uncorrupted medie- val air, with several tiny churches, three austere public palaces and many sleepy corners. Return to the farmhouse in the late afternoon, dinner and overnight.
DAY 5: MONTEFALCO – SIENA – MONTERIGGIONI – CHIANTI AREA (B,D)
Breakfast in hotel. This morning depart Umbria for Siena, Tuscany. Siena is one of Italy’s most
enchanting cities. While Florence, its historical rival, saw its greatest flourishing during the Renaissance, Siena’s artistic glories are earlier and Gothic. The medieval center bris- tles with majestic buildings, such as the Palazzo Comunale on il Campo, the main square, while its profusion of churches and small museums harbor a wealth of artwork. At the
end of the guided tour, you will have some free time before a wine tasting session in an ancient “Cantina” in Siena’s countryside.
In the afternoon, transfer to Monteriggioni, a gem of a medieval hilltop town. It was built in 1203 and ten years later became a garrison town. It is completely encircled by high walls with 14 heavily fortified towers, built to guard the northern borders of Siena’s territory against invasion by Florentine armies. You will have some time to visit Monteriggioni independently, before having dinner at a restaurant located inside the castle. Then, transfer to your farmhouse in the Chianti area.
DAY 6: FLORENCE (B,D)
After breakfast board the coach and transfer to Florence for a full day excursion. Upon arrival, meet your local guide and have a walking tour of Florence, which will take in the multi-colored marble cathe- dral, Piazza della Signoria, Santa Croce Basilica…
In the afternoon, return to the farmhouse, free time at your disposal for relaxing in the swimming pool or choose among one of the several local activities we can handle for you. Dinner and overnight at the farmhouse.
DAY 7: LOCAL MARKET - VOLTERRA & SAN GIMIGNANO (B,L)
Breakfast in hotel. This morning you will go to a market for some food shopping. You will be able to choose among fresh fruit and vegetables, meat, pasta…
Then, transfer to Volterra: like many Etruscan cities, Volterra is situated on a high plateau, offering fine views over the surrounding hills. In many places, the ancient Etruscan walls will still survive, and the well-preserved medieval ramparts give the town a forbidden air, while the gentle Tuscan countryside rolling out for miles around provides perfect contrast.
Have lunch in a typical trattoria inside the walls. In the afternoon, you will stop in San Gimignano for a visit. The 13 towers that dominate San Gimignano’s majestic skyline were built by noble families in the 12th and 13th centuries, when the town’s position – on the main pilgrim route from northern Europe to Rome – brought it great prosperity. For a small town, San Gimignano is rich in works of art, good shops and restaurants. Before returning to your farmhouse, you will stop in a local “Tenuta” near San Gimi- gnano for a wine tasting session of the wines produced here. Independent dinner and overnight
Day 9: DEPARTURE (B)
After breakfast transfer to Rome airport for your return flight.
DAY 8: CORTONA & COOKING CLASS (B,D)
Breakfast in hotel. This morning depart to Cortona: it was founded by the Etruscans and apart from being one of the oldest hill towns in Tuscany, it is also one of the most scenic. A major power in the Middle Ages, it was able to hold its own against Siena and Arezzo. Today it is a charming maze of old streets and medieval buildings, like the Palazzo Comunale on Piazza Signorelli.
In the afternoon, you will transfer to a villa in the heart of Chianti, where you will enjoy a cooking class. You will prepare a seasonal menu using fresh vegetables and herbs and extra virgin olive oil.
Finally, you will dine on the delicious dishes you prepared! Return to the farmhouse and overnight stay.