- Duration: 5 full days + 5 nights
- Type of tour: circular
- Tour starts and ends in Milan
Accommodations with Continental Breakfast:
- Day 1: 3* to 5* Country House in Parma area
- Day 2 & 3: 3* to 5* Hotel in Florence city centre
- Day 4 & 5: 3* to 5* Hotel in Milan city centre
- Day 1: Transfer by private car / minivan to your accommodation in Parma area
- Day 2: Transfer by private car / minivan to your accommodation in Florence city centre
- Day 4: Transfer by private car / minivan to your accommodation in Milan city centre - Stopover in Pisa
Private Guided Visits / Tours / Activities:
- Day 1: Full day private tour by car / minivan of Parma area with an Authorised Tourist Guide, including visits of a Parmesan Cheese factory and a Parma Ham factory
- Day 2: Full day private tour by car / minivan of a Balsamic Vinegar Producer and Museo Ferrari in Maranello
- Day 3: 3-hour private walking tour of Florence city centre with an Authorised Tourist Guide
- Day 5: 3-hour private walking tour with an Authorised Tourist Guide of Milan city centre
Admission Tickets to:
- Museo Ferrari in Maranello
Meals at selected home-style local restaurants (wine not included):
- 1 3-course dinner at your Country House in Parma area
- 1 3-course dinner in Florence
Full assistance 24 hours/day by our Back Office
All taxes (tips not mandatory)
Day 1 – PARMA
Welcome to Italy!
Today you will reach Parma in Emilia Romagna, the region of Northern Italy between the Po River and the Appennine Mountains.
Parma is known for its delicious food products. First, you will visit a Parmigiano Reggiano factory, where you 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! (see our blog at https://www.vitoritalytours.com/blog/item/5-my-private-italy-parmigiano-reggiano-please-don%E2%80%99t-call-me-parmesan.html).
Later on, time for a visit to a Parma ham factory, where you will learn the secrets of the most delicious ham, Prosciutto di Parma. A very tasty experience at the end of an unforgettable day!
Parma, Prosciutto di Parma
Alternatively, you may savour authentic Italian cuisine on a fun-filled cooking class led by a local cook. Immerse yourself into the tradition of fresh Italian pasta and study the secrets of preparing pasta dough from the scratch, using just flour and eggs. You will make your own “tortelli d'erbetta” (Parma most traditional pasta with a filling of ricotta cheese and chards) and delicious tagliatelle with tomato sauce – all local ingredients! Once your amazing meal is ready, you will enjoy what you prepared matched with a glass of local wine.
Day 2 – MODENA and MARANELLO
This morning you will stop at the estate of a Balsamic Vinegar of Modena Producer, to delight in the unique, enticing taste of traditional balsamic vinegar!
Balsamic Vinegar of Modena is obtained from partially fermented, then cooked and concentrated grape must. The grapes come exclusively from the vines of Lambrusco, Sangiovese, Trebbiano, Albana, Ancellotta, Fortana and Montuni. The minimum percentage of grape must is 20% of the total quantity of product to be processed. The processing of Balsamic Vinegar of Modena takes place with the classic method of “acetification” mediated by the use of selected or slow-moving or slow "chip" colonies. The next phase is that of refinement: both the latter and the first, take place inside containers of fine wood, such as oak, chestnut, oak, mulberry and juniper. The minimum period of ageing is 60 days; at the end of refinement, the product obtained is subjected to an analytical and organoleptic examination, entrusted to a group of expert technicians and tasters: this ensures that the product can be certified as Balsamic Vinegar of Modena.
Then, you will move to Maranello, near Modena, where the famous sports car manufacturer Ferrari is based. This area is called “The Motor Valley”: actually the factories of the famous Italian sports car makers Ferrari, De Tomaso, Lamborghini and Maserati are located here. In Maranello, you will visit Museo Ferrari, not just a collection of the past, but an extraordinary experience of the world of Ferrari and sports car racing! The Ferrari Gallery exhibits the legendary cars, pictures and trophies that have made the brand renowned all over the world.
Maranello, Museo Ferrari
Day 3 – FLORENCE
Welcome to Florence, the symbol of Italian Reinassance.
Despite its international fame and greatness, Florence is also a small city, whose history is interwoven with that of its passionate citizens for more than one thousand years
In Piazza Duomo you will be astonished by the Duomo, with the incredible Brunelleschi’s cupola, a masterpiece of art and architecture whose building techniques building are still covered with a veil of mystery. Beside it, Giotto’s Campanile (Belltower) and the Baptistery, one of the oldest buildings in the city, with its famous bronze doors made by Pisano and Ghiberti in the 14th and 15th centuries. In Piazza della Signoria you will walk in the middle of bronze and marble masterpieces by Giambologna and Cellini inside the marvellous Loggia dei Lanzi, and will admire the imposing Palazzo Vecchio, one of the symbols of Florence and still the seat of government of the city. You may also spare some time to relax, visiting a typical market for shopping, strolling through the pedestrian streets of the city and crossing the oldest bridge in Florence, “Ponte Vecchio” (Old Bridge), rich of jewellery shops.
At lunch, enjoy “Panino con Lampredotto” in a typical Florentine market! And remember, Florence is famous for its beef steak, the “Fiorentina”, so for dinner move to Oltrarno where Florentines like to dine away from the crowds. In case you are a vegetarian, don’t worry: Tuscan cuisine offers tasty alternatives like “Pappa al Pomodoro” or “Ribollita”.
Our itinerary includes the visit to the Uffizi Gallery, one of the most famous museums in the world for its extraordinary collections of paintings. Here you will admire works by Botticelli, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Caravaggio and a lot more. Also, you should not miss Galleria dell’Accademia, hosting Michelangelo's David, the most famous sculpture in the world!
Florence is also the main Italian centre for the production of high-quality leather goods. The Florentine artisans are so famous that many fashion brands have opened their factories in the city or close to it, due to the high skill of the artisans involved and to the continuous inspiration that designers take from the town’s masterpieces. The area around Piazza Santa Croce is full of leather shops and workshops.
Thanks to the tradition of Tuscan tanneries, there is no better place to find shoes for all tastes than Florence: from the creations, designed and produced by hand by skilled craftsmen, to the large collections available in stores, renewed every season. Above all, for refinement and elegance, Ferragamo (also worth seeing the museum), Gucci and Prada. If you prefer a simpler style, across the river Arno there are many shops specialized in handmade shoes and sandals.
At dinner you will taste the typical Tuscan cuisine at a home-style local restaurant in Florence, enjoying simple yet unforgettable recipes of the Tuscan tradition (see our BLOG at https://www.vitoritalytours.com/blog/item/8-in-tuscany,-eat-like-a-tuscan.html).
Florence: Santa Maria del Fiore with Brunelleschi’s Dome and Giotto’s Bell Tower
Day 4 - PISA
On the way back to Milan you will stop in Pisa, the beautiful Tuscan town famous all over the world for its Torre Pendente (Leaning Tower).
Piazza dei Miracoli, set over an ample green field, hosts four whiter-than-white masterpieces of grandiose Medieval art: the renowned Leaning Tower (also the Bell Tower), the Camposanto (or graveyard), the Baptristy and the Cathedral itself. These last two are so unique that their creation gave origin to a new style, "Pisan Romanesque".
This area was chosen to construct the Duomo of Santa Maria Assunta exactly for its centrality; founded in 1064, it was intended to celebrate the grandeur of Pisa during the Marine Republic’s epoch of power. "The temple of marble white as the snow" is how the structure is described on the gravestone of its architect, Buscheto di Giovanni Giudice. Consisting of five naves with its transept divided into three naves, it is surmounted by a splendid dome encircled by a loggia. The Duomo’s façade and exterior lateral sections feature elaborate decoration in marble (which can also be seen on its interior), mosaics, and bronze.
In front of the Cathedral stands the Baptistry, also in a particular version of the Romanesque style. Initiated in 1152 by Diotisalvi, the Baptistry was finally completed in the 14th century; at that point, Gothic elements were also added. Of cylindrical form and circled by arcades of columns, this structure in white marble even boasts amazing acoustics.
The Camposanto closes the northern end of the piazza in which the complex lies. This monumental cemetery, begun in 1278, is bordered by a fence of marble and houses a cloister at its centre. The majority of the frescoes that once coloured its walls were, unfortunately, destroyed in a fire in 1944 during the battle for Pisa.
Ultimately, the real symbol of Pisa is the Campanile, that is the Leaning Tower, that completes the image of this city. Because of land sinkage beneath it, the Tower stands at a significant incline – this sinkage impeded its very construction to a great extent. It was started in 1173, taken up again in 1275, and not completed until the second half of the 1300s. In cylindrical form, its lower part is done in blind arcades that then mutate into six floors of loggias, repeating motifs from the Duomo. Inside, a spiral staircase of 294 steps leads to the heights of one of the most famous towers in the world, where the lovely belfry and a spectacular view of the surrounding landscape await.
Pisa, Campo dei Miracoli
Day 5 - MILAN
Milan is first of all the Fashion Capital of Italy! The showrooms of all Italian manufacturers are located in the city and here buyers from worldwide distribution find the one and only “Italian Style”! But Milan is not only fashion, it is also and above all art, beauty and culture! Piazza del Duomo is the geographical and historical centre of the city. It is surrounded by palaces with arcades; in the middle, you can see the Duomo, one of Europe’s biggest Gothic cathedrals, whose construction started in the 14th and ended in the 20th century. And on the Gran Guglia, the cathedral’s highest spire, the Madonnina, a symbol of Milan, stands. To the left of the cathedral lies the 19th century Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, a covered passageway in a Latin cross shape linking the grand Piazza del Duomo with Piazza della Scala, featuring mosaics and a wrought iron and glass roof.
Piazza del Duomo in Milan
You may also visit “Castello Sforzesco”, the Sforza Castle, a summary in stone of the political, military and artistic history of Milan. Then stroll down the streets of the Quadrilatero D’oro, the heart of the fashion industry, admiring the shop windows of Prada, Armani, Versace, Ferragamo, Dolce & Gabbana and Valentino. And in late afternoon taste a gorgeous Cappuccino at Pasticceria Cova, as locals often do in via Montenapoleone, “Montenapo” for the Milanese!
At dinner, what about a tasty yellow “Risotto alla Milanese”? According to an ancient tradition, the Duomo is where Risotto alla Milanese was “born”, invented by a boy who worked for the stained glass artist Valerio di Fiandra, nicknamed “Zafferano” for its habit of adding spices to his colours. One day he put some saffron in the rice as well and the result was a great success!
The tour is over, but the memories of a fantastic journey will accompany you for a lifetime!
Arrivederci for another tour with VITOR, Visit Italy on the Road.