Explore the history and culture — and food and wine — of Italy’s heartland on this small group journey full of unique experiences. Jim Kern will escort this tour which begins in Florence, and will visit Tuscany, Umbria and Rome. This area is known the world over for its wine and its countryside of unrivaled charm. Enjoy wine tastings, a cooking class, and so much more. Travel off the beaten path to experience the heart and soul of Italy.
Thursday, September 7: Depart USA
Boarding our overnight flight, we’re off on our adventure to Italy. Buon viaggio!
Friday, September 8: Florence
Florence is one of the world's most beautiful cities and it is long admired as the Renaissance capital of Italy. Florence straddles the River Arno and its famous shop-lined Ponte Vecchio Bridge, which, lit dazzlingly at night, is one of the world's most photographed bridges. Our home for our first three nights in Italy is in a perfect location with the building itself dating back to 1280. It is situated in the heart of Florence in front of the magnificent Bargello Palace, near the Piazza della Signoria and the Duomo. Tonight we will enjoy a three-course welcome dinner with wine together at a local restaurant. (D)
Saturday, September 9: Florence
Today our day begins with a walk to a local market where we will meet our chef who will help us select local, fresh ingredients that we need to prepare a Tuscan meal. We then head to the kitchens where our chef will guide us in preparing lunch. Afterwards we will enjoy the dishes we have prepared, with a good Tuscan wine. After lunch we are free to explore the city of Florence. In Florence you'll find all types of shops from luxury boutiques to craftsmen shops, from antique stores to food markets, where you can find delicious cheese, wines and more. (B,L)
Sunday, September 10: Florence
Following breakfast at our hotel, we will meet our local guide and enjoy a full-day tour of the city of Florence. Stroll around this Renaissance gem, cross the River Arno over the Ponte Vecchio Bridge and pass by countless statues from the great masters. See Santa Croce and the Duomo, the two churches of importance in Florence. Next is our visit to The Accademia,
where some of Europe's most important art is on display. This gallery is the home of Michelangelo's beautiful statue of David. Carved from a single block of marble by the 26-year-old genius, you can’t really grasp the statue’s size and detail until you see him up close. We then continue on to the Cappelle Medici, where Michelangelo was commissioned by Lorenzo Medici to build a monument to the Medici family. Enjoy some free time for lunch on your own. Later in the day we will visit the Uffizi Gallery, one of the most important museums in the world, known for its Renaissance masterpieces. (B)
Monday, September 11: Perugia
This morning we leave Florence behind and head to the region of Umbria. Along the way we stop at a ceramic shop to watch an artisan at work on his creations and have the opportunity to purchase unique pieces. We then continue on to a local farm where we will enjoy a lunch of classic Tuscan delights, accompanied by a wine and olive oil tasting. Perugia is one of Italy’s best-preserved hill towns with many museums and churches. Within the city walls little has changed architecturally for over 400 years, and a few hotels and restaurants are in triple-digit ages. Culturally, Perugia's never-ending stream of cultural events and concerts, as well as it's thriving art scene, ensures Perugia melds the modern with its past. Our hotel for the next three nights offers an enchanting view of the Umbrian Valley and is within walking distance to the main historical sites. Dinner tonight is included at a local restaurant. (B,L,D)
Tuesday, September 12: Perugia
Today we travel to the medieval hill town of Gubbio. Here we will be met by a local guide and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding Umbrian hill and learn about the medieval, Gothic and Renaissance monuments that are here. Gubbio ceramics have maintained over time their unique character and a strong attachment to traditional techniques and handmade details. The popular dragon and peacock designs and the Gubbio dinnerware have a solid group of fans among pottery lovers and collectors. Today is the local market day where we will have the opportunity to purchase handmade goods made by local artisans, including wrought iron work and lace. We return to Perugia for a tour of the Baci Chocolate Museum and Factory, where we will learn about the “love story” behind the making of the chocolate and hear how the recipe has been unchanged for 100 years. The balance of the day is free in Perugia. (B)
Wednesday, September 13: Perugia
Assisi is our destination after breakfast, the birthplace of St. Francis. We will explore the twisting alleyways from medieval times, set against the backdrop of sacred Mt. Subasio. Here we meet our local guide and visit the St. Francis of Assisi Basilica where we will see paintings by Cimabue, Lorenzetti, Martini and Giotto. We continue on to a local Umbrian farm where we will enjoy a tasting lunch, sampling meats and other local produce from this area. Next, we travel to Trevi, considered the land of protected designation of origin of the extra-virgin Olive Oil of Umbria. We will visit the Museum of the Olive Civilization. Our tour, guided by a local farmer, will take us through the olive cultivation cycle, production and various process and extraction techniques. We return to Perguia where we are free for the remainder of the day. (B,L)
Thursday, September 14: Rome
After breakfast at our hotel, we depart for the charming town of Orvieto, perched on a butte high above the Paglia and Tiber Rivers. We meet our local guide and take the funicular to the city center. The Medieval Duomo, or cathedral, is one of the most impressive examples of medieval architecture in Italy. Building started in 1290, but took almost four centuries to finish. The cathedral's stunning facade is embellished with mosaics that shine in the sunlight. After free time to explore and shop, we will travel south to Rome. Upon arrival we will enjoy a panoramic tour of the ancient sights of Rome, giving us insights into Rome's millennia of history. We will see the famous Colosseum, Rome's most recognizable sight, the Roman Forum and Nero's Circus Maximus, where chariot races were held. Next we will see Palatine Hill and the Baths of Caracalla, now the remains of what was once one of the most elaborate bath complexes in Italy, which could host up to 3,000 people at the same time. We will also see some of Rome's important churches and fountains. Our hotel for the next three nights is just a few steps from the Termini train station for easy exploration of the city, and from this location it is a pleasant walk to the Rome National Museum, Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, Fontana di Trevi, Colosseum and Fori Imperiali. Our hotel is also known throughout the city for their wine cellar with a fine collection of wine. (B)
Friday, September 15: Rome
Our early breakfast this morning will allow ample time to appreciate the Vatican's spectacular Sistine Chapel and Raphael's Rooms, plus St. Peter's Basilica. We begin our journey by exploring one of the world’s most fascinating cultural gems, the Vatican Museum. Stroll the hallways which house over 9 miles of artwork. Experience Michelangelo’s famous "Creation of Adam" with your own eyes in the Sistine Chapel, or wonder at the works of the young genius Raphael in Raphael’s Rooms. We will visit many wings of the museum, including the Ancient Greek and Roman sculpture wing, the Hall of Maps and the Hall of Tapestries. This morning's grand finale is St. Peter's Basilica, the largest Church in Christianity, guardian of St. Peter's tomb, Michelangelo’s Pieta sculpture, and Bernini’s immense baldachin canopy. Following our tour we will visit a local restaurant to learn about the history of pizza, and watch a pizza-making demonstration. Following our pizza lunch, we are off to the Gallaria Borghese, to see a collection of paintings, sculptures, mosaics and bas-reliefs from the 15th-18th centuries. See works from Bernini, Raphael, Domenichino, Rubens and many others. Our evening is free to explore the Eternal City after dark, with its beautifully illuminated landmarks. (B,L)
Saturday, September 16: Rome
Today is entirely free for us to enjoy additional sightseeing, last-minute shopping, and all that Rome has to offer. Tonight we will gather for a farewell four-course dinner with wine and entertainment. (B,D)
Sunday, September 17
This morning we will transfer to the Rome Airport for our flight home. (B)
Double occupancy: $3695.00 per person
Single occupancy: $4463.00 per person = SOLD OUT
$750 per person is required to confirm your reservation
Due on or before June 16, 2017
Deposit is non-refundable.
After June 16, 2017, trip cost is non-refundable
- Fully escorted
- 9-night hotel accommodations
- Transportation by private coach with professional driver/guide.
- Sightseeing as stated in daily itinerary
- 9 breakfasts (B), 4 lunches (L) and 3 dinners (D)
- Hotel portage of one bag per person
- International Airfare
- Airline baggage fees
- Personal items
- Meals not listed in itinerary
- Gratuities for drivers and guides
- Travel Insurance
Travelers on this tour should be in reasonably good health. Certain components of this trip may not be able to accommodate those with special needs. We regret that we cannot provide individual assistance to guests with walking, dining or other personal needs.
PROOF OF CITIZENSHIP
All passengers are required to have a passport valid through March 18, 2018. Non-US citizens must have a valid passport and advise Destinations Unlimited, inc./Travel Leaders of your nationality at the time of deposit.
Travel insurance is highly recommended and available through Destinations Unlimited, inc./Travel Leaders. If the insurance premium is paid within 14 days of deposit, pre-existing conditions are covered, some limitations apply. Optional Required to Work coverage is also available to protect against business-related reasons for cancellation.
If you decline Allianz insurance, we strongly advise the purchase of travel insurance through another broker.
Destinations Unlimited, inc./Travel Leaders, Goway, all applicable airlines, tour operators, escorts and providers are not responsible for accidents, loss, detention, damage to baggage and property, for personal injuries, annoyance delays and expenses arising from the same, quarantine, war, weather, strikes, force majeure, or any other means of conveyance to arrive or depart as scheduled, disturbances, government restrictions or regulations, discontinuance or change in transit or hotel services and other causes over which they may have no control. Destinations Unlimited, inc/Travel Leaders acts only as an agent for suppliers in selling travel-related services, accepting reservations, and booking services that are not directly supplied by this travel agency (i.e. air and ground transportation, hotel accommodations, meals, tours, cruises, etc). The right is reserved to refuse anyone as a member of the tour at any time. Reasonable changes in the hotels and itinerary may be made where deemed advisable for the well-being of the tour passengers. Please note that information on this flyer is based on details available at the time of printing and is subject to change. Any payment constitutes your acceptance of these terms and conditions.