MICHELANGELO - Grand Tour of Italy East 12 Days

Lazio, Umbria, Tuscany, Veneto, Emilia Romagna, Lombardy: six regions where you will admire the extraordinary beauty of Italy, you will be seduced by its enchanting landscape, you will enjoy different habits and traditions as well as diverse yet most savory cuisine!!

SUMMARY

  • 12 full Days + 12 Nights
  • Type of Tour: point to point
  • Start in: Rome
  • End in: Milan
  • Minimum number of participants: 4

 

PRICE PER PERSON

Double occupancy in 3 Star Hotel - Country House*

  • Spring Summer 2018: 3,690 € (Groups of 4 to 5 travellers) - 3,610 € (Groups of 6 to 7 travellers)
  • Autumn Winter 2017 - 2018: 3,590 € (Groups of 4 to 5 travellers) - 3,510 € (Groups of 6 to 7 travellers)
  • Supplement for accomodation in single room: 360 €

Double occupancy in 4 Star Hotel

  • Spring Summer 2018: 4,225 € (Groups of 4 to 5 travellers) - 4,150 € (Groups of 6 to 7 travellers)
  • Autumn Winter 2017 - 2018: 4,125 € (Groups of 4 to 5 travellers) - 4,050 € (Groups of 6 to 7 travellers)
  • Supplement for accomodation in single room: 480 €

Quotation on request for accomodation in 4 Star Hotel - 5 Star Hotel - Historical Palace

* Accomodation in Abano Terme is in a 4 Star Hotel

Please note that the Baroque Concert in Venice is not included in the price and will be booked upon request.

 

WHAT'S INCLUDED:

  • 12 nights with European Breakfast
  • 12 3-course dinners (wine not included)
  • Private transportation in a comfortable air-conditioned van
  • English speaking full-time Tour Leader
  • Private tour of Vatican Museums and Basilica di S. Pietro in the Vatican State with a licensed Tourist Guide
  • Private tour of Galleria degli Uffizi in Florence with a dedicated Tourist Guide
  • Private tour of Venice city center with a dedicated Tourist Guide
  • Cooking class in a Wine Estate in Chianti
  • Access to Thermal Baths in Abano Terme
  • Visit to a glass atelier in Murano
  • Admission to all locations mentioned
  • Private walking tours with your English-speaking Tour Leader
  • Private transportation in a comfortable air-conditioned van
  • All taxes and tips

Day 1 - ROME

Welcome to Italy! Our Tour Leader will meet you at the hotel. There, you will meet also your travel mates, who will spend with you these unforgettable days! Let’s have a coffee together just to know each other!
Our tour begins with the “Eternal City”! There so much to do in Rome! We will start from the 2,000 years old Colosseum and the Imperial Forums, the administrative and monumental centre of the Roman Empire. Then, we will have lunch in the park of Villa Borghese, Rome’ most famous park. Originally the estate of Cardinal Scipione Borghese’s 17th century residence, it covers about 80 hectares and boasts various museums and galleries. In the afternoon we will visit the Pantheon, dedicated to the worship of every god (Pan-every Theon-divinity), now memorial chapel of great Italian people of the past, the Church of St. Louis of the French famous for the cycle of paintings by the Baroque master Caravaggio at the end of the 16th century, and finally we will sit beside Fontana di Trevi, a Rome icon known all over the world.
After having thrown a coin into the Trevi Fountain, tonight we will have dinner in Trastevere, a charming medieval neighbourhood with a fiery temperament! We will taste the Roman Cuisine in a typical Trattoria where you may try “Saltimbocca alla Romana” ( veal lined or topped with prosciutto and sage),“Bucatini cacio e pepe” (pasta with Pecorino Romano cheese and ground black pepper) and, in season ,”Fiori di Zucca Fritti” (fried zucchini flowers)!!
Overnigth in Rome

Day 2 – ROME and CAPRAROLA

Today will be a very busy day! Let’s start from the enchanting and immense Vatican Museums with its the exquisite and unique Sistine Chapel, and the Basilica of St. Peter in the Vatican, framed by the magnificent four column-deep colonnade designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini. We will complete our Roman tour with a visit to the “Terrazza delle Quadrighe” (Terrace of the Quadrigas) on top of the “Altare della Patria” (Altar of the Fatherland), with a breathtaking view on the Colosseum, the splendour of the Imperial Forums, the magnificent churches of the historic centre, the River Tiber and the Jewish Ghetto.
In the afternoon we will reach Villa Farnese in Caprarola, about 50 km north-west of Rome. The villa, a pentagon-shaped building with a circular interior courtyard, is one of the finest examples of Renaissance architecture. Ornament is used sparingly to achieve proportion and harmony. You will be startled by the beauty of this palace and of the frescoes which decorate the walls of the rooms!
Overnight in Caprarola

Day 3 – SPOLETO, CAMPELLO S/CLITUNNO, TREVI and SPELLO

Our first stop this morning will be 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; we can walk on it for breath-taking views of the valley and gorge below.
We will have lunch in Spoleto; you can try a typical Spoleto food, “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.
After lunch, on our way to Trevi, we will take some beautiful pictures at Clitunno Springs.
In a quarter of an hour we will get to Trevi, a small village in the heart of the Spoleto valley, emerging from a silvery sea of over three-hundred thousand olive trees that surround the city, providing a unique and fascinating view from below! Roman walls encircle the town with their characteristic spiral shape, unwind along the hilly slopes. In Trevi we will visit its Olive Museum, where a farmer of the place shall accompany us inside the loop of olive cultivation, production and storage of oil, giving indications about the various processing techniques, not forgetting the rituals, superstitions, religious beliefs typically local. Actually olive oil is a product of excellence in the Umbrian region and its cultivation is part of the history and traditions of its people.
We will spend the night in Spello, a charming medieval town on the top of a hill, far from tourist destinations.
Overnight in Spello

Day 4 – ASSISI and PERUGIA

After a very relaxing night, today our first stop will be Assisi, birthplace of St. Francis. The construction of the Basilica began two years after his death in 1228. Between the end of the 13th and the beginning of the 14th century the basilica's walls were frescoed by the best known artists of that time: Giotto, Cimabue, Simone Martini and Pietro Lorenzetti. "The Basilica of Saint Francis is unique. Nowhere in Italy there is so rich and complete representation of the art of the late 13th and early 14th centuries. One of the supremely important events in the history not only of Italian but of European art." This is what is said about the basilica of Saint Francis…. surely worth a visit!!
If the weather is good, let’s have a picnic in St. Francis Woods and 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 colored flowers and herbs."
--St. Francis, Prayer of the Canticle of the Creatures
Perugia is our next stop for today. Perugia has been an important city since the Etruscan era and was an important center of art in the middle ages. Still surrounded by walls, its top sights include the Etruscan gate, Rocca Paolina citadel, one of the most impressive and frightening symbols of papal power ever built, and the National Gallery of Umbria housed in Palazzo dei Priori. Here is housed a precious collection of Renaissance paintings by Perugino, Pinturicchio, Piero della Francesca and Beato Angelico, as well as other works of art ranging from the 13th to the 18th century.
We will also visit artisan workshops in the historic centre of the town, a nice way to know habits and way of living of Umbrian people.
Overnight in Perugia

Day 5 – AREZZO and CHIANTI

From Perugia we will head for the medieval Arezzo, of Etruscan origin, birthplace of the great poet Petrarch. Arezzo became internationally famous as the backdrop to a widely acclaimed movie when some of the most beautiful corners of the city’s monumental centre formed the setting for scenes in Roberto Benigni’s film “Life is Beautiful”, three-time Oscar winner in 1999. We’ll also visit the Basilica of Saint Francis, where Piero della Francesca painted one of the greatest Renaissance frescoes, "The Legend of the true Cross" .
It’s time to get to Chianti, renowned for its excellent wine! We will spend our afternoon in a splendid country house among vineyards and olive trees! We will also attend a cooking class and taste the excellent wine of the estate. Dinner will be served in this relaxing place, where you will eat what you have cooked in the afternoon!
Overnight in Chianti

Day 6 – FLORENCE

Welcome to Florence, the land of Giotto and Dante! Today a guided sightseeing tour will introduce us to the city’s splendour. In the morning we will visit the Duomo, with its pink, white and green marble façade, Giotto’s Campanile, one of the most striking views of the town, and the Baptistery, one of the oldest buildings in the city, in the Florentine Romanesque style with its magnificent bronze doors made by Pisano and Ghiberti in the 14th and 15th centuries.
In the afternoon we will reach Galleria dell’Accademia which hosts Michelangelo's David, the most famous sculpture in the world! After that, we’ll visit the Convent of Santa Croce where Michelangelo, Galileo and other Italian glories are buried. We will also spare some time to relax, visiting a typical market for shopping and strolling; through the pedestrian streets of the city and crossing the oldest bridge in Florence, Ponte Vecchio, rich of jewellery shops.
Tonight dinner in a typical restaurant in Oltrarno, the Florence of the Florentines!
Overnight in Florence


Day 7 – FLORENCE and SANSEPOLCRO

Our itinerary today includes the visit to the Uffizi Gallery, one of the most famous museums in the world for its extraordinary collections of paintings. Then, we will see the imposing Palazzo Vecchio, one of the symbols of Florence and still the seat of government of the city, with the crenellated tower of Arnolfo.
In the afternoon our Tour Leader will drive us first to Fiesole, for a fantastic view of the city, and then to Sansepolcro, Piero Della Francesca’s birthplace, where he was born around 1412. Here we will discover some special places that characterize the city centre, its history and traditions.
Near Sansepolcro we will spend the night in a fancy country house, where we will enjoy a typical Tuscan dinner.
Overnigth in Sansepolcro

Day 8 - URBINO and GRADARA

Today we will reach Urbino, in the Marche region, a small and fabulous town which became the cradle of the Renaissance culture. Inside Palazzo Ducale, Galleria Nazionale delle Marche (National Art Gallery of the Marche) hosts one of the most important collections of Renaissance paintings in the world. The city is also Raffaello’s birthplace, perhaps the most famous painter of the Renaissance time. Urbino represents a” pinnacle of Renaissance art and architecture, harmoniously adapted to its physical site and to its medieval precursor in an exceptional manner”, this is one of the reason why it is a UNESCO World Heritage site!
In the afternoon our Tour Leader will drive us to Gradara, still in the Marche region, very close to the Adriatic Sea. Legend has it that its Castle was the scene of the famous and tragic love story of Paolo and Francesca, caught in each other’s arms and killed by Gianciotto, Francesca’s husband. This love story was immortalized by Dante in his Divine Comedy.
On the way to Ferrara, we will relax in a country house in the Emilia Romagna region, where we will enjoy a typical dinner with Tortelloni, Ravioli, Cappelletti, Cannelloni with Sugo alla Bolognese, or Prosciutto di Parma and Parmigiano Reggiano! No doubt you will satisfy your culinary fancy!!
Overnight in Faenza

Day 9 – FERRARA and TERME EUGANEE

This morning we will cycle through the historic centre of Ferrara, city of the Renaissance, UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s a cozy, deliciously quiet town, with its colossal palaces and still ringed by its intact medieval walls! You will be amazed by its beauty!
In the afternoon, time to relax in Abano, a spa resort in the Veneto region of north-east Italy, close to Padua. Here we will enjoy spa sessions and absorb the therapeutic qualities of a lazy afternoon.
Overnight in Abano Terme

Day 10 – VENICE

Here we are in Venice! Let’s start with St. Mark’s Square and the interior of the Basilica, a 900 year-old marvel of architecture! The church is unique in Italy for its golden Byzantine and Medieval mosaics, its intricate stone and marble traceries and exuberant Middle Eastern domes. Near St. Mark’s Basilica is Palazzo Ducale, the most impressive secular building in Venice and once the official residence of the supreme authority of Venice, the “Doge”.
In the afternoon we will visit Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari (Saint Mary’s of Friars): this vast Gothic church is striking for its huge size and for the quality of its works of art, including masterpieces by Titian, Giovanni Bellini and Donatello, and several grandiose tombs. Then Santi Giovanni e Paolo, one of the city’s greatest Gothic church, built by the Dominicans in the 14th century, which houses monuments to no fewer than 25 Doges. We will explore the streets and savor everyday life in an intricate maze of ancient narrow alleyways, lively squares with magnificent buildings and meandering canals, and finally we will walk on the Rialto Bridge, the busy "heart" of Venice.
Before dinner, we will relax by tasting wine and savoring delicious ”cicheti”, finger food ranging from simple cheese or salami to almost any kind of seafood, fried and grilled vegetables, sweet and sour sardines, creamy codfish and much, much more! At dinner, try “Sarde in saor” (marinated sardines), a risotto with seafood, the typical “baccala' mantecato”, to finish with a fantastic bussola (a ring-shaped and cinnamon-flavored cake)!
Upon request, you will have the possibility to assist to a Baroque music concert in the evening.
Overnight in Venice

Day 11 – VENICE and GARDA LAKE

This morning we’ll start the tour with a visit to a very traditional glass atelier in Murano, where glass-making families have been carrying on the art of glass blowing for over 700 years. You’ll be amazed by the simplicity of the tools used and by the artist’s intense concentration in the heat and smoke of the burning furnace.
Time to relax on the Garda Lake! In the afternoon we will reach Sirmione , the “Pearl of the Lake”. Its magic atmospheres were already described in Catullus' poems in 1st century B.C. Catullus was born here, and probably lived in the beautiful villa on the extreme tip of Sirmione peninsula. It was the biggest Roman villa in Northern Italy and its impressive remains, today called “Grotte di Catullo” (Catullus’ Grottos), can be admired. We will pass by the Castle, built by the Scala family, closing the entrance to Sirmione Peninsula and we will stroll along its lanes.
Later, let’s sit in a country house sorrounded by vineyards, where we will have a savoury typical dinner, sipping a glass of Lugana wine while watching the sunset!
Overnight on Garda Lake

Day 12 – MILAN

Today we will reach Milan. Milano is the Fashion Capital of Italy, so it shouldn’t be surprising that there is some great shopping to be done in this city! We will stroll down the streets of the Quadrilatero d’Oro, admiring the shop windows of Prada, Armani, Verace, Ferragamo, Dolce and Gabbana and Valentino.
A must-see is the Duomo. It’s one of the biggest churches in the world, a fact which may surprise you when you stand outside it – the Duomo sits on the grand Piazza del Duomo, and beside the immense and beautiful Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, so it doesn’t actually look as massive on the outside as it feels once you get inside. We can also take an elevator up and walk around on the cathedral’s roof!
Tonight will be our last night together! We will have our farewell dinner in a typical Milanese restaurant in the “Navigli”.
Arrivederci with another tour at the discovery of Italy with VITOR.
Overnigth in Milan