Day 01: ARRIVAL
Arrival at Rome airport, meet & greetings and transfer by private minibus to the hotel. Time at leisure for individual visit or relax. Dinner at the hotel or restaurant, overnight.
Day 02: ROME (Baroque and Imperial Rome)
Breakfast at your hotel. Meet the English speaking guide and departure by private minibus to Piazza Esquilino through Venezia and St. Peter’s square to reach Navona Square, a typical baroque square, originally a stadium built by Caesar Domiziano in the 1st c.A.D. Today it is known as the square of the artists and the "Four Rivers Fountain", the Pantheon, a real architectonical wonder of the Ancient Rome, also admired and studied by Michelangelo, which is also today it’s the burial place of Raffaello and some Italian Kings and Queens. At the end visit Trevi Fountain a work masterpiece by Nicola Salvi. Lunch at your own. In the afternoon the tour includes the Colosseum, Rome's greatest amphitheater built by the Emperor Vespasian in 72 A.C. The Palatine hill, most important of the seven hills where Rome was founded and where the imperial palaces were built with a surface of 80.000sqm, The Roman Forum was the political, military and social centre of the whole Roman Empire and the Basilica Emilia, the Arch of Titus and the holy road. The Capitol hill religious center of ancient Rome and Piazza Venezia, Rome topographical-Centre with "The Vittoriano" monument dedicated in 1911 to the King Vittorio Emanuele II. Dinner at the hotel or restaurant, overnight.
Day 03: ROME (Catholic Rome)
Breakfast at your hotel. Meet the English speaking guide and departure by private minibus to Vatican city. Admission to The Vatican Museums. Founded by Pope Julius II in the early 16th century and enlarged by successive pontiffs, the Vatican Museums boast one of the world's greatest art collections. Exhibits, which are displayed along about 7km of halls and corridors, range from Egyptian mummies and Etruscan bronzes to ancient busts, old masters and modern paintings. Highlights include the spectacular collection of classical statuary in the Museo Pio-Clementino, a suite of rooms frescoed by Raphael, and the Michelangelo-painted Sistine Chapel, built in XV century by Pope Sixtus and adorned by Michelangelo, Botticelli, Perugino and Ghirlandaio. Will follow the entrance St.Peter's Basilica the largest Church all over the world. Here you’ll admire "The Pietà" Michelangelo’s masterpiece carved when he was only 24 years old. Lunch at you own. Afternoon time at leisure for shopping. In the evening the group will move to the Roman Castles area, a territory rich in green landscapes, rich in art, history and food&wine, very close to Rome. Dinner and wine tasting in a typical “osteria”. Back to the hotel in Rome and overnight.
Day 04: ROME – VITERBO – CORTONA (TUSCANY)
Breakfast at your hotel. Meet your private bus and departure towards Cortona (Tuscany) to reach the marvelous hotel (relais) renovated from an old villa. During the transfer stop in Viterbo, a charming ancient city situated between the two magnificent lakes, Bolsena and Vico. The historical events which have characterized the province of Viterbo have left many fascinating things to see and experience including churches, palaces, castles, ruins, etc. The historical centre of the town – surrounded by its medieval towered town walls of the 11th –13th century, contains a remarkable architectural legacy. Lunch on your own and departure to Cortona . Accommodation at the Villa. Dinner with traditional Tuscan menu and overnight.
Day 05: CHIANTISHIRE (excursion including tasting and light lunch)
Breakfast at your hotel. Meet your English speaking guide and departure by private minibus to the Chianti region of Tuscany. The home of Italy’s best known wine, it is full of vineyards where you can stop, taste the produce and buy some to take home. And there are plenty of picturesque villages to explore as well. Chianti sits between Florence and Siena.. The countryside is surprisingly rugged, with lots of oak and chestnut woods, and craggy slopes. This makes it hard to farm and the region went into a decline after WW11. However, wine makers then realised that the land was ideal for growing grapes and now it’s highly productive. The best wine is Chianti Classico. The main road through Chianti is the S222, also known as the Chiantigiana, which forms a convenient wine route. There are also plenty of quiet “strada dei bianchi “– (white roads) – that you can explore. There are some lovely hill towns to explore. Castellina in Chianti is a hill town, which has an historic fortress in the centre and lots of medieval streets. Make sure you wander along Via delle Volte, a medieval underground street lined with cellars and secret nooks. Then there’s Gaiole in Chianti, which is a village that’s close to Castello di Brolio – a Florentine fortress which is now home to the Ricasole family – one of Chianti’s main wine producers. High up in the hills you’ll find the most atmospheric village in the region: Volpaia. It was a fortified village – and you’ll find it hard to spot where the castle ends and the village begins. Volpaia was on the ancient pilgrim route, the Via Francigena, which ran across Europe to Rome. The main town in Chianti is Radda in Chianti. It’s a great place to stroll around, with lots of shops (yes, selling Chianti), bars and restaurants. The church there, San Niccolo, has a Liberty-style façade although it dates back to medieval times. However, many people spend more time visiting Radda in Chianti’s celebrated grocery shop: Casa Porciatti. This stocks a vast array of local cheeses, wines, meats and honeys. It’s a lovely place to browse and they’ll even ship items home for you if you don’t want to be weighed down with cases of wine. During the excursion stop in a famous wine cellar for tasting and light lunch. Return by private minibus to the relais. Dinner with traditional Tuscan menu. Overnight.
Day 06: MONTEPULCIANO AND CORTONA
Breakfast at your hotel. Meet the English speaking guide and departure by private minibus to Montepulciano. This is one of the most lovely hilltop towns in the whole of Tuscany, and that's some statement, since it seems that almost every little village you come to on your holidays in the Montepulciano region is staggeringly beautiful. But this town does top the lot. For a start it's one of the oldest. Founded by the Etruscans in the 6th century it stands in a fortified position high up on a prominent ridge. These are welcomed warmly, into an intriguing maze of fine palazzos, incredibly picturesque piazzas, Renaissance churches and charming houses built in honey-coloured stone with softly aged terracotta roofs. At the end transfer at the winery to visit and rich tasting of wines and typical product (replaces lunch). In the afternoon come back to Cortona: possibility for shopping typical Tuscan product. Your holidays in Cortona will continue a tradition started by the Etruscans who took one look over the fertile plains and rolling hills of the surrounding Tuscan countryside and immediately decided that here was an unrivalled place. They weren't taking their holidays in Cortona, though, they made it their home by laying the foundations for the defensive walls that encircled the town and contributed so richly to its power and wealth. Benefits you'll enjoy on your holidays in Cortona. A variety of distinguished piazzas can be reached by strolling through the complicated knot of narrow streets and alleyways lined with overhanging, timbered medieval houses. Your Cortona holidays will give you glimpses of the Etruscan and, surprisingly, the Egyptian civilisations in the town's Museo dell'Accademia Etrusca - one of Tuscany's best. Your last minute holidays in Cortona will also immerse you in the region's own history. There's a very pretty 13th century campanile at Palazzo Comunale, great to visit in the evening, not to mention the melon tombs of the Tanella di Pitagora (so called because of the shape of the grassy mound that has grown over these ancient Etruscan burial places) on the plain just outside the town. What a place !! So much has happened to it in the past. So much of it still awaits your visit in the future that you simply have to grab those late deals to Cortona. At the end way back to the relais. Dinner: Exploration of Tuscan cheeses, including wine chosen for occasion. Overnight at the villa.
Day 07: TUSCANY – VENICE
Breakfast at your hotel. Transfer by private minibus to Florence rail station. Departure by fast train to Venice. Arrival and transfer by private boat to the hotel. Accommodation and time at your leisure. Lunch on your own. Dinner at the hotel or in restaurant and overnight
Breakfast at the hotel. Departure by private minibus to Florence, meet the English speaking guide and starts an outdoor tour of the Duomo complex: Giotto’s bell tower, the Baptistery with its bronze doors. Visit of the interior of the Cathedral* with the magnificent Cupola del Brunelleschi. A short walk through the historic streets of the heart of Florence brings to the renowned Galleria dell’Accademia to admire the famous David by Michelangelo and other works by the great artist. Lunch at your own. At the end departure from Florence rail station to Venice by fast train . Transfer by private boat to the hotel and accommodation. Dinner at the hotel or at the restaurant and overnight.
Day 08: VENICE
Breakfast at your hotel. Meet the English speaking guide and visit of St. Mark’s Square with its famous St. Mark’s Basilica, a superb example of the Romanesque-Byzantine style that was built in 10th century. Next to the Basilica there is the Doge’s Palace (Palazzo Ducale), the ancient seat of the main government departments. Visit of the rooms, the courts and the prisons passing through the Ponte dei Sospiri. The bridge leads to the New and Old Prisons, where Giacomo Casanova was kept prisoner, and passing through secret passages it is possible to reach the attic of the Maggior Consiglio room. Lunch at your own and afternoon at leisure. In the evening embarking on a gondola (up to 6 people per gondola) and enjoy a 35 minutes romantic tour with live music and songs. A gondola serenade has always represented the quintessence of the romance! Enjoy the glamour of this experience which makes you plunge in this unique city’s atmosphere. Dinner at the hotel or at the restaurant and overnight.
Day 09: TREVISO (cooking class)
Breakfast at your hotel. Departure by private minibus to Treviso, meet your cooking teacher and start the cooking lesson ( Three and a half hours / four fully participatory lessons with teacher-supervisor ever present, expenses and materials necessary for the construction and cocking of all that is necessary for the execution of the recipes, tasting of all the products combined with wine tasting). In the afternoon by private minibus tour on the Prosecco hills, stop in a famous wine cellar and tasting of sparkling white wine PROSECCO. Dinner in a farmhouse (or in a castle) with traditional menu . Overnight at the farmhouse or in an ancient castle .
Day 10: PROSECCO HILLS – VERONA - MILAN
Breakfast at your farmhouse/castle. Departure by private minibus to Verona, meet the English speaking guide and visit the famous “Love city” with its numerous historical monuments scattered around the Medieval city center. You'll enjoy a walking tour that traces the time-line of history in this fascinating city, the Romans conquering the city and the world-famous Verona arena that stages the annual Verona opera. Then, following the narrow streets and back-alleys you'll discover many hidden treasures along the way. During the tour you can see: Piazza delle Erbe, the Market Square, Piazza dei Signori, and Piazza Bra, with the Arena and of course the Juliet’s House. Lunch at your own. In the afternoon departure by private minibus to Milan. Accommodation in the hotel, time at leisure. By private minibus transfer to a historical restaurant, dinner and way back to the hotel. Overnight.
Day 11: MILAN
Breakfast at the hotel. Meet the English speaking guide: The itinerary starts from the Duomo, symbol and soul of Milan. The works were begun in 1386 and took almost six centuries before their completion. In white marble the majestic construction has more than 3400 statues that make the Duomo the most important symbol of the “Flowered Gothic Art” in the world. The “Madonnina", the famous gilded statue, 4 meters tall, graces the top of the Duomo's highest pinnacle and is one of the symbols of the Milanese tradition. Walking through Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, it is possible to reach the square where rises one of the world’s most famous opera houses, the Teatro alla Scala, a neoclassical structure designed by the architect Giuseppe Piermarini. The visit goes on in via Mercanti, sole surviving route proof of the medieval town, to discover one of the most suggestive and picturesque corner of the old Milan. Then the tour gets to Castello Sforzesco, one of the most important buildings in Milan; it was erected as a defensive fortress during 1360 and 1370 by Galeazzo II Visconti. The Castle hosts the rich Pinacoteca, with masterpieces by Mantegna and Cesare da Sesto, and the Ancient Art Museum of the Castle, that includes sculptures such as the Pietà Rondanini, the last piece by Michelangelo. Lunch at your own. In the afternoon visit of the marvelous church of Santa Maria delle Grazie. The great value of the church is in the convent where, between 1495 and 1497, Leonardo da Vinci painted The Last Supper “Ultima Cena”, his most famous and largest work (booking in advance obligatory). At the end time at leisure for shopping or individual visit. In the evening transfer by private bus to the Navigli ( Channels district) for a dinner in a typical restaurant and way back to the hotel. Overnight.
Day 12: MILAN – LAKE COMO – LAKE MAGGIORE
Breakfast at the hotel. Departure by private minibus to Como. Meet the English speaking guide, embarkation and departure by public boat for a mini-cruise. The lake banks in Como are bordered by several villas of 18th century surrounded by marvellous gardens that are witnesses of the charm of the area during the centuries influencing painters and poets. Picturesque little stoned towns on the banks of the lake, where time seems has stopped to run. During the navigation, the guide will show the most suggestive points of the lake: Villa Olmo, Villa d’Este, Villa Balbianello , (owned by FAI, Italian Fund for Environment) and furthermore. Stop in Bellagio. Walk through the little streets and suggestive steps where there are interesting shops. Lunch at you own or at the restaurant. In the afternoon the tour gets to Cadenabbia by ferry boat and by private minibus you’ll reach Stresa, the marvellous town on the western shore of Lake Maggiore . Accommodation and dinner at the 4 hotel in front of the lake . Overnight.
Day 13: LAKE MAGGIORE – RELAX
Breakfast at the hotel. Full day at leisure for relax and shopping. In the late afternoon transfer to an ancient wine cellar for tasting and dinner.
Day 14: LAKE MAGGIORE
Breakfast at the hotel. Meet your guide and embarkation on the boat to Isola Bella. Visit the baroque palace of the '600 and charming Italian garden which made the island famous in the world. Built from 1632, the Palace and Gardens of Bella Isle, are the primary attraction of Lake Maggiore. The gardens form an extraordinary, flowered monument laid out over a series of ornate and overlapping terraces, a classic and inimitable example of seventeenth century "Italian garden". At the end the tour goes on to the Isola Pescatori (Fisherman Island). It is occupied almost entirely by an antique, rustic, village, from the tortuous and narrow lanes and preserves the flavour of old age. Lunch at typical restaurant. In the afternoon departure to Isola Madre, the largest of the Borromean Islands. Its gardens, where all manner of peacocks, parrots and pheasants roam freely, are full of rare plants and exotic flowers, helping to create the charm of a tropical land. Isola Madre is particularly famous for its azalea, rhododendron, and camellia blossoms and also for a rarities such as a spectacular Kashmir cypress and palm Jubaeae Spectabilis that reached the venerable age of 125. Go back to Stresa by boat and then to the hotel. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 15: DEPARTURE
Breakfast at the hotel. Time at leisure and transfer to Malpensa/Linate airport. END OF SERVICES
RATES PER PAX
(min. 10 pax)
Suppl. Dinner at restaurant
9 Dinners € 440,00
Reduction for accommodation and dinner at farmhouse on the Prosecco Hills
The rate includes:
- 14 overnights in hotel (3 nights in Rome, 3 nights in Tuscany, 2 nights in Venice, 1 night at the castle in Prosecco area, 2 nights in Milan, 3 nights on lake Maggiore ) on BB basis
- 3 HB (traditional Tuscan menu) at the hotel in Cortona + 1 HB in the castle (or farmhouse) at the Prosecco Hills
- 1 special dinner in the wine cellar (last day – lake Maggiore area)
- 2 visits with tasting in wine cellar on Tuscany area (replaces lunches)
- 1 lunch at the restaurant on Pescatori Islands (Lake Maggiore)
- Private coach as per program
- 2nd class fast train ticket Florence – Venice
- Gondola ride in the evening – Venice
- 3 hrs Cooking class at Treviso
- Public boat on Como lake (Como – Bellagio - Cadenabbia)
- Private boat on Maggiore lake
- 6 FD English speaking guides (2 Rome, 2 Tuscany area, 1 Como lake, 1 lake Maggiore)
- 4 HD English speaking guides (1 Viterbo, 1 Venice, 1 Verona, 1 Milan)
- Taxes and services included
The rate does not not include: Meals not included, drinks, city taxes, gratuities and extras and anything else not specifically mentioned in "Price includes"
Entrance fees per pax: € 100,00
Rome: Vatican Museum, Colosseum, Pantheon;
Venice: Doge’s Palace,
Milan: La Scala, Sforzesco Castle, audioguide in Duomo
Lake Maggiore: Borromean Palaces and Gardens
Milan: Entrance fee “Last Supper”, per pax € 14,00
Suppl. Lunch at the Bellagio restaurant, per pax € 38,00
This program is based on transport fees, ground services costs into force on January 2017. Any increase of the tariffs will be reflected in the price of services.