1-WEEK ITALIAN EXCELLENCES TOUR
Central Italy

From Umbria, the land of Saints, to the marvellous sceneries of Chianti and Val d’Orcia.
Enjoying harmony between man and nature through food and wine in Central Italy.
  • 007-chianti
  • 004-val-d-orcia
  • 003-deruta
  • 002-assisi
  • 006-volterra
  • 005-pecorino-di-fossa
  • 001-spoleto
  • 007-chianti
  • 004-val-d-orcia
  • 003-deruta
  • 002-assisi
  • 006-volterra
  • 005-pecorino-di-fossa
  • 001-spoleto

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Umbria, the green heart of Italy
  • Assisi, the birthplace of St. Francis
  • Val d’Orcia, where man and nature blend perfectly
  • Volterra, masters of the “smooth” stones
  • Chianti, winemakers for 800 years

WHAT'S INCLUDED:

Accommodations with Continental Breakfast:

  • Day 1: 3* to 5* Hotel / Country House in Spoleto area
  • Days 2 & 3: 3* to 5* Hotel / Country House in Assisi area
  • Days 4 & 5: 3* to 5* Hotel / Country House in Val d’Orcia area
  • Days 6 & 7: 3* to 5* Hotel / Country House in Chianti area

Activities / Transfers:

  • Day 1: Pick up in Rome and transfer to Todi area – Visit of an Umbrian olive oil mill with tastings and lunch - Stopover in Spoleto – Free time
  • Day 2: Private ebike tour of Assisi and Bevagna area - Private visit of a Sagrantino di Montefalco winery with tasting
  • Day 3: Truffle hunt experience with lunch - Round trip tour to Deruta - Visit of an Artisan Ceramics Laboratory in Deruta
  • Day 4: Transfer to Val d’Orcia - Fresh Tuscan pasta cooking class in Pienza
  • Day 5: Full-day private tour of Val d’Orcia area, with stopovers in Pienza and Bagno Vignoni - Private visit of an organic “Pecorino di Pienza” cheese laboratory with tasting and light lunch - Visit of an organic Brunello di Montalcino wine cellar with tastings
  • Day 6: Private transfer to Volterra – Visit of an alabaster laboratory in Volterra - Stopover at San Galgano Abbey – Transfer to Certaldo – Private dinner at your accommodation with a Tuscan “Mama”
  • Day 7: Full-day ebike OR Vespa motorbike of Chianti area - Private visit of a Chianti Classico winery with tasting and light lunch

All transfers by private car / minivan

All dinners booked at selected local restaurants

Full assistance 24 hours/day by our Back Office

Optional pick ups and drop offs at Airports / Railway Stations

DAY 1 – SPOLETO

Benvenuti in Italia, welcome to Italy.

Umbria is called “the green heart of Italy”, and its people are very proud of it. First, you will stop at an organic farm near Todi, where you will learn about organic cultivations and have a typical Umbrian lunch. Then you will stop in Spoleto, a medieval hill town in the Umbria region, famous for its summer music festival, “Festival dei Due Mondi”. Thick walls and a magnificent gorge surround the city and fine medieval and Roman monuments sit along the streets. The Duomo is one of Spoleto's finest sights: begun in the 12th century, the cathedral is set against a backdrop of hills and valleys. High above the town stand the Rocca, a Papal fortress which was used as a prison until the 1980s. A massive bridge, Ponte delle Torri, built in the 14th century, functioned as both a bridge and aqueduct; you can walk on it for breath-taking views of the valley and gorge below.

Spoleto, the Duomo

In Spoleto try the typical “torta al testo” (bread prepared with water, flour, salt, pepper, and olive oil, and cooked on a special marble stone in a wood-burning oven); it is sometimes stuffed with ham, sausage, or simply with herbs prepared in olive oil.

DAY 2 – ASSISI and bevagna

In upper Umbria, the spiritual centre of Italy, you will be based in Assisi, the birthplace of St. Francis.

The splendid Basilica, one of the emblems of Christianity, located on Mount Subasio and overlooking the entire valley, is dedicated to him. Apart from being a strong appeal for millions of religious believers, the Basilica is a monument of great artistic value. The construction of the Basilica began two years after his death, in 1228, and between the end of the 13th and the beginning of the 14th century the basilica's walls were frescoed by the best artists of that time: Giotto, Cimabue, Simone Martini and Pietro Lorenzetti. St. Francis's Basilica consists of two churches laid upon each other and a crypt containing the tomb of the Saint.  The Lower Basilica, with a double front portal, presents a simple facade embellished with a rose window and a mosaic. The interior is decorated with frescoes by some of the most important painters from 1200 to 1300, from Cimabue to Giotto and from the Lorenzettis to Simone Martini. In the Upper Basilica it is possible to see the life cycle of St. Francis in frescoes painted by maestro Giotto, the stories of the Old and New Testament covering the entire nave, and other wonderful frescoes by Cimabue and Torriti.

Try to enjoy the mystical atmosphere of Assisi:

"Be praised, my Lord, through our sister Mother Earth,
Who feeds us and rules us,
And produces various fruits with coloured flowers and herbs."

(St. Francis, Prayer of the Canticle of the Creatures)

Assisi, the Basilica of St. Francis

DAY 3 – deruta

In the morning, you will wander in the local woods with a professional truffle hunter and his talented dog, looking for precious truffles. At the end of the hunt, you’ll enjoy your freshly foraged truffles tossed with fresh tagliolini egg noodles and fried eggs – a delicious combination (pls note: the hunting season starts in March and ends in December, the best time is October and November).

You will then head for Spello, a charming medieval town on the top of a hill, far from tourists’ destination. Then Deruta, famous for its splendid brightly coloured maiolica, here you will visit a ceramics laboratory, to enjoy the colourful creations of ceramics master artisans.

Ceramics in Deruta

At dinner, enjoy “salumi di cinghiale o cervo” (boar or deer sausage) and pecorino cheese, or taste the region's prized white truffle oil.

DAY 4 – val d’orcia

In these days you will explore Val d’Orcia, one of the most fascinating places in Italy, included by UNESCO in the list of World Heritage Sites. The landscape of Val d’Orcia is part of the agricultural hinterland of Siena, redrawn and developed when it was integrated into the territory of the city-state in the 14th and 15th centuries to reflect an idealized model of good governance and to create an aesthetically pleasing picture. The landscape’s distinctive aesthetics, flat chalk plains out of which almost conical hills with fortified settlements on the top rise, inspired many artists. These images have come to exemplify the beauty of well-managed Renaissance agricultural landscapes. 

The “pici” are the most famous pasta dish in the Province of Siena. It is a type of pasta made by hand, thicker than normal spaghetti, which is made by rolling the dough and rubbing it with both hands. In the afternoon of your first day in the area, you will pleasantly learn to make not only pici, but also tagliatelle and tasty sauces for seasoning, such as meat ragout, aglione sauce, or cacio e pepe (cheese and pepper). At the end of this cooking course on fresh pasta, you will enjoy the first courses, properly paired with a glass of wine.

Val d'Orcia

DAY 5 – val d’orcia

Your first stop today will be Pienza, “Pio’s town”: here Pope Pius II decided to build the perfect palazzo for his papal court according to the project of an “Ideal City" drawn up by artists such as Piero della Francesca. From the loggia of the Palace, you will enjoy a breath-taking panorama of the landscape all around! Pienza is also the area of the typical “Pecorino di Fossa” cheese, a real delight to the palate; here you will visit a cheese factory, where the cheese masters will uncover the secrets of this ancient cheese, a real delight to the palate!

Then, you will get to Montalcino, one of the prettiest hill towns in Tuscany. Around the village, rows of olive-trees and precious grapevines and the yellow fields create an enchanting landscape. Here you will visit a Brunello winery, for a tasting of the most famous Supertuscan wine, probably the best Italian red!

You will finally stop in Bagno Vignoni, a tiny and charming village where the main square is a pool 49 meters long and 29 wide, from the bottom of which bubble up several hot springs whose therapeutic quality has been renowned since antiquity! All this creates such a pleasant sensation, it will be hard to leave!

Pecorino di Fossa

DAY 6 - VOLTERRA

On the way to Chianti, here is Volterra, Tuscany’s oldest continuously-inhabited town, with settlements documented since 1,500 B.C. Volterra has an unmistakable Medieval character, where the atmosphere of an ancient village can still be felt and whose authenticity is protected by the relative isolation that has limited the development of the city centre in the industrial era, safeguarding the city from urban speculation. Here you may visit Piazza dei Priori, the main square, the centre of civic power since the 8th century, Porta all'Arco, the 4th century B.C. Etruscan gate to the city walls, its 12th-century Cathedral and the ruins of the Roman Theater (40 B.C.) and Roman Baths (3rd century AD).

Alabaster is a soft stone, much easier to work than marble, which is far harder. This malleability makes it perfect for carving small sculptures and richly detailed ornamental motifs. Historically, alabaster was used to carve the human face. More than 2,000 years have passed since the Etruscans first began carving alabaster, but it is still crafted today in the hilltop town of Volterra. Although it no longer represents a significant part of the local economy, it is nonetheless a fundamental part of the town’s culture. In the city, you will visit a laboratory and find beautiful shops selling artefacts and handmade unique pieces carved into this semi-transparent stone.

Volterra

DAY 7 – chianti

Today you will wander around Chianti, home of the world-famous wine!

Only a few regions can offer such a beautiful and rich panorama as Chianti: green hills sketched by miles and miles of vineyards and olive groves, ancient walled villages, panoramic curvy roads. Chianti Classico area spreads from Florence to Siena and includes the municipalities of Greve, Panzano, Radda, Gaiole and Castellina. Most of the route consists of the grid of roads connecting the larger towns to villages and castles, like the one leading to Radda, former headquarters of the Chianti Military League, and then to Castello di Brolio where Bettino Ricasoli devised the “recipe” for Chianti wine.

The history of Chianti has always been deeply linked to its wines and other first-rate products, making it the perfect destination for a journey through traditional Tuscan food and wine: the towns in the area make up the production zone of world-renowned Chianti DOCG red wine.

After Sagrantino, Brunello and Vino Nobile, Chianti will be the ideal conclusion of your tour at the discovery of the wines of Central Italy!

The tour is over, but the memories of this fantastic journey will accompany you for a lifetime!

Arrivederci for another tour with VITOR, Visit Italy on the Road.

Chianti

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Message from the CEO
Dear all,
in these very difficult days for all of us, for Italy and the whole world, we hope that you, your families and your loved ones are well and are making the most of your time.
It feels like the entire world right now is on edge. It seems like the world has paralyzed, our lives have suddenly changed, it’s so difficult to adapt to a new reality, some people we know are leaving us forever.
There is also a lot of fear about what will happen. No one can make predictions.
But there is a beginning and an end to everything.
There are thousands of doctors, researchers and scientists who are working on a solution.
We are reacting with strength, determination and cohesion without forgetting our deep humanity, joy and creativity. Human beings have already overcome difficult times like this, so we must look ahead and keep on living. In this period let’s try to do things we have never done, to rediscover our families, our loved ones and friendships. Let’s use this period to improve ourselves internally, to think about the gift of our lives, to love, to embrace, to smile, to tell each other things that we would never have said.
To our friends who like travelling and exploring….
It's very difficult to be world travelers stuck at home. We must stop and get through this exceptional chapter safely, and we miss travelling. But please, keep on dreaming, with the same positivity, passion, curiosity you had before. On our side, we are here at work with the same passion and professionalism, with the same desire to continue to share emotions, stories, projects with our friends. We are working for a tomorrow made of new services and new ideas, to make your travels even more pleasant, more comfortable and more intense. It is a new challenge, which we never expected to face but, with your help, we will start again, stronger than before and always close to you.
And soon the time will come when once again we will swim together in our beautiful lakes and seas, walk together in our cities, cook together in our kitchens, eat together at our trattorias, sip together a glass of wine at our cellars.
Until then, I want to thank you for your support and understanding. Take care of yourself, we can't wait to give you a warm welcome back to our fantastic country.
Grazie e ciao,


Marcello Cordovani
Founder and CEO