Trip Overview: Bella Italia
Italy, a country renowned for its rich history, mouthwatering cuisine, and stunning landscapes, continues to captivate travelers from all corners of the globe. While iconic cities like Rome, Florence, and Venice often steal the spotlight, there is an extraordinary adventure waiting to be discovered—a small group journey that takes you deep into the heart of Bella Italia.
Day to Day Itinerary
Day One: Welcome to Bella Italia
Buon giorno and welcome to Italy!
Upon arrival, each guest will be privately transferred to the Le Méridien Visconti Rome Hotel - located within walking distance of the Spanish Steps and the Vatican. Le Méridien Visconti is a perfect location in the heart of Rome for leisure, business, shopping and nightlife.
This afternoon we will have our first “taste” of Classical Rome during our Art and Gelato walking tour. Stops will include the Spanish steps, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon and Piazza Navona. We’ll be stopping along the way to sample local treats and delicacies.
Day Two: The Ancient City of Rome
Today we’ll discover the most impressive sites of the ancient city: the Colosseum and the Roman Forum. We’ll walk through this interesting ensemble of ancient ruins reflecting the 12 centuries of history that created Roman civilization.
Day Three: Vatican City - Early Access
We’ll have to get up early for this experience but it will be worth it to see the Vatican Museums, containing amazing treasures of art collected by the Popes over the centuries, without the crowds. This early access tour also includes the Sistine Chapel and St Peter’s Basilica.
This evening you’ll have a chance to get to know your fellow travelers over a glass of fine wine and fabulous Italian cooking at a local restaurant.
Day Four: Perugia
Today we will leave the city of Rome and head into the countryside of Umbria. Enjoy a walking tour and wine tasting in the town of Orvieto which dates back to the Iron Age (the town, not the wine!)
We will then continue on our travels to the Sina Brufani Hotel. This hotel is located in the heart of Perugia’s ancient city center, one of Umbria’s most prestigious landmarks. Since 1884 Sina Brufani has been the only 5-star luxury hotel to stand out over the city.
Day Five: Perugia and Assisi
Today we start by exploring Perugia, a town of Gothic palaces and jazz cafes, where ancient alleys of stone drop precipitously off a 19th-century shopping promenade; a capital city disguised as a medieval hill town.
The Umbrian capital is also one of Italy’s greatest art cities. The artist Perugino was born just to the south of the lake in Città della Pieve and made these bluish-green landscapes his own. In fact, Perugia produced and trained some of Umbria’s finest artists, including Gentile da Fabriano and Perugino’s proteges: Pinturicchio, Lo Spagna, and Raphael.
The biggest name in the local industry is Perugina, purveyor of Italy’s finest chocolates. Perugia stages a daily passeggiata (stroll) down Corso Vannucci and plays host to one of Europe’s most celebrated jazz festivals every summer.
In the afternoon, we’ll continue our look into Italy’s medieval past by taking a guided stroll through the lanes of the historic town of Assisi, built at the foot of Mount Subasio.
Day Six: Spoleto and Valnerina
This morning we will visit Spoleto, a fascinating art town in the Umbria region. It has a wealth of history, varied cultural heritage and important art events.
In the afternoon we will head to the Valnerina (the valley of the River Nera, southeast of Spoleto) one of the most beautiful of central Italy’s many well-kept secrets, featuring forgotten medieval villages and dramatic mountain scenery.
Day Seven: Farm to Table Umbrian Cooking Lesson
Today we’ll try our hand at cooking a complete traditional Umbrian menu at a farm house outside Perugia, including various types of bread, focaccia, pasta, sauces, main courses, vegetable dishes and desserts. We’ll consume our effort for lunch which will include wine and coffee.
After lunch, we travel back to Perugia, to explore the city on your own.
Day Eight: Florence
This morning, we depart for Florence, stopping along the way at Castello di Verrazzano in the Chianti Region. We’ll enjoy a wine tasting, lunch, and a tour of the vineyard there.
After lunch, we will check into Hotel Berchielli. Built-in a traditional Italian style dating back to the 19th century, this hotel is ideally situated in the old town of Florence.
Enjoy exploring the city of Florence on your own this evening.
Day Nine: Walking Tour of Florence
Known for being the Cradle of the Renaissance, Florence is also the most populous city in Tuscany. With its historic city center, a vast array of Italian Renaissance art and architecture, and countless museums and art galleries, Florence is a must-see for those interested in art and history.
Today we will have the opportunity to see these masterworks of the Italian Renaissance for ourselves (including the awe-inspiring monumental figure of David) during our walking tour of the city.
Day Ten: Northern Italy - Milan, Parma, and Lake Maggiore
Following breakfast, we’ll be heading to northern Italy. Our first stop in the region of Lombardy will be the city of Parma. Here you’ll be able to “pig out” during our visit to a Prosciutto factory and taste one of the most famous hams in the world.
Next, we will be continuing on our journey in the north with a walking tour of Milan. The undisputed fashion hub of the world and Italy’s second-largest city – Milan serves as the region’s capital and offers travelers a glimpse into the cosmopolitan world that is modern-day Italy. With architectural masterpieces like its famous Gothic Duomo and a variety of spectacular art – including Da Vinci’s Last Supper – Milan also captures the essence of ancient Italy.
We will end our day at the Regina Palace Hotel. Located in Stresa, the hotel overlooks the shores of Lake Maggiore and faces the Borromeo Islands. The hotel represents yesteryear’s charm and prestige enriched by the history and the grace of each decade that has passed.
Day Eleven: Lake Maggiore
Formed at the end of the last ice age, and a popular holiday spot since Roman times, the Italian Lakes have an enduring, beguiling beauty.
We will be visiting Lake Maggiore, Italy’s second-largest lake. Around the lake shore are a series of pretty towns and these serve as gateways to the gorgeous Borromeo islands, which we will be visiting by boat.
Behind the towns, wooded hillsides rise, strewn with decadent villas, lush botanical gardens and even the occasional castle. The snow-capped peaks of Switzerland provide the perfect backdrop for your Instagram post!
Day Twelve: Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow!
Time to head back to reality!
We will be leaving Lake Maggiore and privately transferred to the Milan airport for our flights back home.
Prices Start at:
-$5,961 per person based on double occupancy
-$7,482 per person based on single occupancy
*Final Payment due now*
Pay Over Time through Please Go Away and Uplift.
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All tours and activities will be private and accompanied by our knowledgeable local tour guide who will accompany us throughout our journey.