LEONARDO - Grand Tour of Italy West 12 Days

From Rome to Milan through Florence, visiting charming villages in Tuscany and Umbria, trekking in Cinque Terre, enjoying Italian wine and Parmigiano! A tour which will satisfy even the most discerning guests!


  • 12 Full Days + 12 Nights
  • Type of Tour: point to point
  • Start in: Rome
  • End in: Milan




  • 12 nights with European Breakfast
  • 3 3-course dinners (wine not included)
  • Private transportation in a comfortable air-conditioned van
  • Admission to Vatican Museums and Basilica di S. Pietro in Vatican City
  • Admission to Galleria degli Uffizi AND / OR Galleria dell'Accademia in Florence
  • Orvieto Underground excursion in Orvieto
  • Visit to a Wine Estate in Montalcino with tasting
  • Cooking class in a Wine Estate in Chianti
  • Daily trekking excursion in 5 Terre
  • Guided visit to a Parmesan Cheese factory and a Parma ham factory in Parma
  • Visit to a Wine Estate in Franciacorta with tasting
  • Admission to all locations mentioned
  • All taxes and tips

Day 1 - ROME

Welcome to Italy! Our Tour Leader will meet you at the hotel. There, you will also meet your travel mates, who join you in this unforgettable trip around Italy! 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)!!
Overnight in Rome


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 the town of 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!
In the evening we will get to Orvieto in Umbria, one of the most interesting hill towns in Italy, perched up on volcanic rock, with a history that dates back to the Etruscans. Although just an hour from Rome, the architecture is different, with many of the buildings constructed out of tufo, a type of volcanic rock.
The traditional recipes of Orvieto, such as “Umbrichelli all'arrabbiata" (hand-made pasta with tomato and chili dressing) or “Zuppa di ceci e castagne” (chickpeas and chestnut soup), “Pollo alla cacciatore”(Italian hunter-style chicken) and Crescionda (cake with amaretto , flour, cinnamon sweet liqueur , eggs, bread crumbs ), together with white Orvieto DOC, will delight your dinner!
Overnight in Orvieto


Today we will first visit Orvieto’s main attraction, the 14th century Cathedral – a masterpiece of Gothic architecture with a glistening façade of stained glass, mosaics and sculptures. Then, a pleasant guided tour along a very easy route makes it possible to get to know Orvieto’s underground world, created by its ancient inhabitants over about 2500 years of uninterrupted digging. A tour on a discovery of a millenary, surprising and unexpected “Underground City”, which you will surely enjoy!
In the afternoon we will pass by Bagno Vignoni in Tuscany, a tiny and charming village different from all the others: actually, the main square is a pool 49 meters long and 29 wide, from the bottom of which bubble up a number of hot springs whose therapeutic quality has been renowned since antiquity! All this creates such a pleasant sensation that it will be hard to leave!
We will then get to Montalcino, one of the prettiest hill towns in Tuscany, where we will enjoy  a tour of a winery and tastings of wine! Actually, the dry wine Brunello di Montalcino is one of the best Italian reds! And in the surroundings rows of olive-trees and of precious grape vines and the yellow fields create an enchanting landscape. It will be unforgettable to have dinner in such a charming land!
Overnight in Montalcino


Our first stop this morning will be the Abbey of Sant’Antimo, a former Benedictine monastery near Montalcino. In this elegant Romanesque edifice of the early 12th century we will possibly listen to the Gregorian chants of the Monks living here. Quite a moving experience!
We will then move to Pienza, a small city in Val d’Orcia, a land of mellow rolling hills, stately cypress trees and cozy farmhouses.  Pienza means “Pio’s town”, the Pope who decided to build the perfect palazzo for his papal court according to the ideas of the “Ideal City" drawn up by such artists as Piero della Francesca. From the loggia of the Palace you can enjoy a breath-taking panorama on the landscape all around! And for lunch don’t forget to try the typical Pecorino cheese of Pienza, a real delight to the palate!
In the afternoon we will then get to Siena, famous for its summer horse-race, known as” Il Palio” and run in Piazza del Campo. We will visit Palazzo Pubblico and Torre del Mangia and you will be astonished by  the black and white of the Duomo and the beauty of the Baptistry. We will also see Fontebranda, the area in the heart of the Contrada dell'Oca which owes its name to the most famous fountain in Siena and we will have lunch. But, maybe, the thing that you are going to remember better, is the colour of the frontages and of the roofings, the renowned colour “Sienna”, a pigment first produced during the Renaissance,  that makes the city lovely and warm. People who loves dessert won’t be disappointed: cantucci (biscuits with toasted almonds), ricciarelli (soft biscuits with icing sugar), panforte (cake with fruit nuts and spices) and cavallucci (biscuits with honey, walnut, candied fruits and spices) will delight your palate!
Overnight in Siena


We will start our daily tour with one of the most beautiful cities in Tuscany, San Gimignano, also known as the "Medieval Manhattan", thanks to its very old and impressive 14 towers that dominate the town skyline. Originally the towers were 72, built by patrician families probably to demonstrate their wealth and power. Seven of San Gimignano's towers are around Piazza del Duomo. The tallest tower is Torre Grossa, 54 meters high, dating back to 1298. We can climb to the top of the tower and enjoy a fantastic view of the city and the picturesque countryside! We will also visit San Gimignano 1300, a Museum which brings to life the city as it existed 700 years ago! It is not just a museum but an experience, where everything you see has been done entirely by hand!
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 Florence


Welcome to Florence, the land of Giotto and Dante! Today a guided sightseeing tour introduces us to the city’s splendor. We’ll visit the Duomo, Giotto’s Campanile and the Baptistery, one of the oldest buildings in the city, in the Florentine Romanesque style with its famous bronze doors made by Pisano and Ghiberti in the 14th and 15th centuries. At midday we will  have lunch with “Panino con Lampredotto” in a typical Florentine market.
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 Oltrarno, the Florence of the Florentines, enjoying a Florentine grilled steak with a glass of good red Chianti wine!
Overnight in Florence


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 we will visit the Villa Medicea at Poggio Caiano, built by Lorenzo the Magnificent, which is beautifully situated in a large estate between Florence, Prato and Pistoia. The highlight is certainly the “Salone”, (Great Hall), named after the Pope Leo X, splendidly decorated with allegorical frescoes celebrating the Medici family.
Overnight in Pisa


Today we will discover Pisa, the beautiful Tuscan town famous all over the world for its Torre di Pisa (Leaning Tower). Its construction started in 1173 but was finished at the end of the 14th century; the cylindrical tower, 54 meters tall, has eight floors, six of them with open galleries, and inside the spiral staircase has 294 steps leading to the top. Then we will visit the large square “Campo dei Miracoli” (Field of Miracles), with its Romanesque buildings, the Duomo and the Baptistery, to end with the Camposanto, the cemetery for noble citizens of Pisa in the past. Upon request we will be able to climb to the top of the tower (please note that advance booking is required).
After Pisa our Tour Leader will drive us to the unique, wonderful Cinque Terre National Park in Liguria, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997. We will stay in Manarola, one of the five fishing villages which are part of the Park, perched high atop the rocky Mediterranean coastline.
Overnight in 5 Terre


Today is the day for trekking! From Rio Maggiore starts the "Via dell'Amore" (Lovers' Lane),  a well-paved coastal path linking Rio Maggiore with Manarola. Studded with stone beaches embedded in the cliffside, it offers stunning  sea views. Either by train or on foot we will also reach the other fishing villages: Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso. The vineyards, typical of this area, contribute to create a unique landscape with dry-laid stone walls, winding paths, enchanting beaches between cliffs and clear waters!
Do you like anchovies? They are a local specialty of Monterosso! Ever tried “Linguine al Pesto”, a sauce made from basil leaves, garlic, salt, olive oil, pine nuts and pecorino cheese? And what about Ligurian wines? Sciachetrà will seduce you!! Tonight, after a long but satisfying day, we will appreciate a typical Ligurian dinner!
Overnigth in 5 Terre


Leaving Cinque Terre will be hard, but our tour isn’t finished yet! Let’s get to Parma in Emilia Romagna, the region between the Po River and the Appennine Mountains. Parma is also known for its exquisite food products: the Parma ham called Prosciutto di Parma and the famous Parma cheese called Parmigiano Reggiano. We will visit a Parmigiano Reggiano factory, where we will see cheese masters at work: a very special way to get into the production culture of the area and to discover how a true gastronomic gem is made. A real “tasty” experience!
Parma is also an elegant city with a small historic center. Here we will visit the Cathedral, a great example of Romanesque architecture, and the Baptistery, built of pink marble in an octagonal shape.
We will then move to Castell’Arquato, one of the most beautiful little medieval towns in Italy, still appearing as it was in the early 10th century. We’ll walk along the winding streets, climbing up to the central square, admiring the Fontana del Duca (Duke’s Fountain) , the Torrione and Palazzo del Podestà, and finally the Castle or Rocca Viscontea. Castell'Arquato is in the area of the Colli Piacentini (Piacenza Hills), an important area for wine production. In the evening we will have a typical dinner enjoying Prosciutto di Parma and other salumi with Gnocco Fritto and Parmigiano Reggiano, together with a glass of good red wine Gutturnio or a white Ortrugo!
Overnight in Castell'Arquato


Today our Tour Leader will drive us to Franciacorta, in the Lombardy region, an area renowned for producing the best Italian sparkling wine. We will visit a winery and its hilly estate and enjoy the Franciacorta wine, the Italian sparkling wine that matches Champagne in terms of elegance and complexity!
After lunch we will get to 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 & Gabbana and Valentino.
Overnight in Milan

Day 12 - MILAN

A must-see is the Duomo of Milan. 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!
We will have time for shopping and strolling through the pedestrian centre of the city.
Tonight will be your last night in Italy! 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.
Overnight in Milan