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Tour 13 day/ 12 nights
A fantastic tour to discover the Italian gastronomic authenticity. A journey through Umbria, Tuscany, Emilia-Romagna, Veneto, Lombardy. Typical wineries and restaurants. Cooking classes to learn how to prepare tasty traditional dishes and recipes. Tastings of wines and local products. The unique experience of truffle hunting. Visit to an oil mill and a distillery. Wine museum. Ferrari Museum in Maranello. Panoramic roads to reach wonderful medieval cities. Visit to famous cities of art.
Arrival at Rome Airport and transfer to Umbria one of the gastronomic heavens of Italy. Our hotel is dedicated to the Italian wines and music, a fantastic base to discover the senses of the Italian produce. Special welcome dinner in the hotel restaurant with seasonal dishes including a briefing on local products and traditional umbrian recipes.
Orvieto, a city with an incredible cultural heritage is a typical Umbria hill top town built on a tufa stone offering breathtaking panoramic views. After a guided tour and free time for lunch, we continue to Torgiano to visit the Wine Museum.
By exhibiting archaeological finds, artworks and ethnographic collections illustrating viticulture and vinification, the museum offerts a veritable trip through time and narrates a venerable story, full of magic spells and unexpected interpretations revealing the thousand facets of wine: an energetic food appreciated for its taste and stimulating properties, a precious product for barter, irreplaceable protagonist of the symposium, an element characterizing religious rituals and a recurring ingredient in pharmaceutical preparations. After our visit we have a tasting of umbrian wines and products before returning to our hotel for dinner.
Today we travel to the north eastern part of the region to the town of Pietralunga. Set in the fantastic scenery a place where nature, gastronomy, art and silence merge in a harmonious combination. Pietralunga is one of the Umbrian capitals of truffles and today we will take our chance to find the precious and expensive tubers.
Our morning is dedicated to truffle hunting with the locals, an activity which will take place in a local estate/wood surrounding the village. Lunch with our findings will be organized at a local restaurant.
After some free time to explore in the afternoon, we return to Perugia for a guided tour of the city. A mighty etruscan centre and important mediaeval city, is an incredible centre of art and today we discover the heart of the city with our guided tour. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Our morning is dedicated to visiting Assisi, the town of St Francis, part of the Unesco World Heritage list.
After the visit, we transfer to Tuscany and stop en route to Etruscan Cortona, the set of Under the Tuscan Sun, the best selling novel of Frances Mayes. Here we have lunch in a local typical restaurant before visiting the hamlet with our guide.
We continue for the spa town of Montecatini Terme after the visit, our base for the next five nights. Dinner in the hotel restaurant.
A free morning – Afternoon cooking class at a local farm to include: making of pasta, typical tuscan soup and tiramisù dessert. The activity will include (depending on season) picking up ingredients in the vegetable garden, preparing the dishes under the guidance of the family cook. When plates are ready we start our tasting and dinner.
Early morning departure for Lucca, a city of culinary traditions and incredible cultural heritage. Visit of the town, including Palazzo Mansi hosting one of the biggest tapestry collections in Europe, and a walking tour of the center with an itinerant brunch in the town’s delicatessen and wineries to discover the local products. Afternoon visit of a local olive oil mill in the area of Montecarlo. Return to Montecatini Terme for dinner and overnight.
Morning visit of the medieval town of Bolgheri, a beautiful hamlet historically belonging to the Della Gherardesca Family and also known for its “Viale dei Cipressi”. The village has kept its original aspect: the historical buildings, the old roads, charming corners and little shops create a fascinating atmosphere enriched by the astonishing view of the hills, the Mediterranean maquis, extensions of olive trees and a superb view of the sea and islands in the distance.
After free time to explore, the tour continues along the wine route of the local Doc, producing such famous wines as Sassicaia and Ornellaia. We visit a local estate.
Lunch is arranged in a typical restaurant in Castagneto Carducci with a selection of typical dishes to include home made pasta and the famous game and wildboar sauce. Castagneto is situated at the top of a hill in a fantastic position over Maremma, and has a stunning historical centre which is dominated by a castle still inhabited today by the Della Gherardesca. Dinner in the hotel restaurant.
A day dedicated to discovering the Renaissance capital and explore some of the world’s famous museums. Florence is also rich in gastronomy traditions so today you will have some free time for lunch to try your favorite tuscan “Trattoria” or “Enoteca” (wine shop) amongst our suggestions. You are free in the afternoon before we return to the hotel for dinner.
Today we travel to Verona and the Veneto Region stopping enroute in Emilia Romagna. We have a guided tour of the city of Bologna where charming narrow streets are filled with activity and lined with arched porticos and arcaded walkways, all clustered around two main squares, Piazza Maggiore and Piazza del Nettuno. The compact and intricate centre of Bologna, surrounded by the remains of its medieval walls, is perfect for exploring on foot. More than 20 defensive towers, built in the 12th and 13th centuries, are dotted around the city; some lean more than the famous Leaning Tower in Pisa. The two most famous towers in Bologna, the Asinelli and the Garisenda keep watch at the end of Via Rizzoli. The city is home to the oldest university in Europe, is famous for its red-tiled roofs and is known for its love of fine food and cooking.
Lunch today is included in a local typical restaurant to include the famous home made “tortellini” pasta and a selection of products from Emilia Romagna. The afternoon is dedicated to visiting the “Ferrari” museum in Maranello, not far from Modena on our way to Verona. We accommodate at our hotel located in the Lake Garda area, a fantastic location to discover the Verona and Valpolicella, one of the most important wine areas in Italy. Dinner in the hotel restaurant.
Our excursion today takes us by coach to historical Verona – a city of Roman ruins, medieval buildings, Italian culture and romance – the setting for Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet. On our guided tour of the city which takes us into Verona’s historic heart, we will see Juliet’s balcony and Verona’s great Roman Arena, which remains largely intact. After some free time for lunch, on leaving Verona, we continue to a local winery in Valpolicella where we enjoy a wine tasting and a talk about the region’s wine production.
Today we travel through the Veneto Region to the fascinating city of Vicenza. Our day is dedicated to visiting the heart and soul od the city of Palladio, Vicenza, our visit will include: Piazza dei Signori, the palaces of the centre, the Duomo and the famous Teatro Olimpico, the first indoor theater in masonry in the world, with interiors made of wood, stucco and plaster. It was constructed by architect Andrea Palladio, between 1580 and 1585.
We continue our tour to visit nearby Bassano del Grappa, famous for inventing the spirit Grappa, and have a visit to Nardini Distillery for a Grappa Shot in the historical city centre in the early afternoon,as well as a stop on the the lovely “ Ponte degli Alpini” with a spectacular view on the city and the Grappa Mountains.
You are free to enjoy the lakeside town of Desenzano or perhaps take a local ferry to nearby Sirmione. Our last afternoon in Italy is dedicated to a final experience on cooking in a local farmhouse under the attentive supervision of the hosts. Different working groups will be assembling plates for dinner. An aperitivo and wines for every course will be served as we say arrivederci to Italy.
Transfer to Verona Airport.