Italy Vacation Tour: Discovering Its Heart & Soul

A 9 day trip to Italy 
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Visit the heart of Italy, and nourish your soul with unforgettable travel experience. Meet the locals, and taste home-cooked meals. Walk the hidden streets of Rome. Enjoy a private tour of Renaissance art, then relax in the quiet elegance of Hotel Ville sull'Arno, a newly re-modeled ancient villa in Florence. Sip Sagrantino di Montefalco wine in the vineyards of Umbria, and picnic under olive groves in Tuscany. Enjoy a true taste of the Italian way of life on this special tour.

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Most tours are customized for private travel.

General Information

Photos
Wheels of parmesan cheese in Tuscany.
A golden moment in Florence that takes your breath away
David by Michelangelo - Florence
Hotel Ville sull'Arno - Il Villino SPA suite - Florence.
medieval skyscrapers against a cloudy blue sky in Tuscany
Detailed Itinerary

Places Visited 

ROME – ORVIETO, DERUTA AND BEVAGNA – ASSISI, SPELLO AND MONTEFALCO – SIENA, PIENZA AND MONTEPULCIANO – PERUGIA – SPOLETO, NORCIA – FLORENCE

Departure Dates 

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.

Detailed Itinerary 

Day 1 - Arrive in Rome, Italy

Your tour begins with your arrival this morning in Rome. Enjoy a private transfer from the airport to your luxurious 4-star hotel in the historic city center. This afternoon at your hotel, you’ll be given a presentation of your tour itinerary and treated to a welcome cocktail. You’ll also have free time in the afternoon to begin exploring the city. This thriving metropolis bustles with well-dressed Italians socializing at the outdoor piazzas, Vespa scooters that dart through narrow alleys, and children playing in quiet courtyards. Stroll through the charming side streets and hidden piazzas near your hotel. You may stumble upon a magnificent classical fountain or even ancient ruins amidst the modern buildings. Tonight walk over to the lively Piazza Navona to enjoy a wonderful meal at one of the many restaurants lining the piazza, most of which serve traditional Roman cuisine.

What's Included: transfer, accommodation

Day 2 - Travel from Rome to Orvieto in Umbria

Today you’ll travel through the Umbria region to discover renowned Renaissance art and local artisan crafts. Your first stop is in Orvieto, the ancient hill town of Umbria that is majestically situated on a steep cliff of volcanic rock. In Orvieto, you’ll take a guided tour of the famous cathedral, a masterpiece of Renaissance architecture featuring marvelous marble facade and intricate frescos by master painter Luca Signorelli. Visit the town’s historical center with its quaint medieval streets and impressive papal palaces. You’ll also see the historic Pozzo di San Patrizio, a well that was designed in 1527 to solve the problem of Orvieto’s lack of water. For lunch, enjoy the local cuisine at a typical family-run restaurant in the town. Your next stop is Deruta, where you will visit the most prestigious and oldest workshop of majolica ceramics and traditional Umbrian fabrics. Here the ceramics are painted in classic patterns passed down through the generations, and the fabrics are woven on antique looms. In the evening, you’ll stay at a characteristic Umbrian country inn and dine at an elegant restaurant.

What's Included: breakfast, guided tour, accommodation

Day 3 - Full-Day Excursion to Assisi, Spello and Montefalco

Today you’ll visit two beautiful sites in Umbria as well as a charming village in the nearby province of Perugia. Enjoy a guided tour of Spello, a quintessential Italian hilltop town surrounded by olive groves and vineyards. In this medieval village, you’ll escape from traffic, tourist crowds and any signs of modernity. Protective walls built around the town in the Middle Ages remain completely intact and the winding serpentine streets also date back to the 14th century. You’ll walk through the narrow streets to admire the city’s lovely pink stone buildings and lush, flowering balconies. Visit the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore’s Baglioni Chapel where you’ll find stunning colorful frescos created by one of the most acclaimed Italian painters, Pinturicchio. Travel to one of the most renowned Montefalco wine estates for lunch including the regional specialties, whose origins date back to the Middles Ages and even earlier, of pecorino cheese, sausages, and Sagrantino di Montefalco wine. 

In the afternoon, you’ll drive up into the hills of Umbria for a guided tour of Assisi, the city of Saint Francis. Discover the spirituality of Francis, the patron saint of animals and the environment. The town itself offers sweeping views of Umbria’s rolling hills and inspires the visitor with its scenery as well as mysticism. Walk through the city’s narrow shaded streets, stroll through the pleasant squares, and admire the churches and cloisters. A highlight of your tour is the magnificent Basilica of Saint Francis, with breathtaking frescos by Giotto and Cimabue. Next you’ll visit the landmarks of Saint Francis’ spiritual journey. You’ll visit the Convent of Saint Damiano, where Saint Francis first received his calling from heaven in 1205. Then see where Saint Francis and his followers made their first home and dedicated themselves to a life of simplicity, humility and charity. Located on the slopes of Monte Subasio outside the walls of Assisi, the Hermitage of the Carceri was where Saint Francis went to pray and contemplate. This special place still has the tranquil, peaceful air and unspoiled natural beauty that Saint Francis loved.

What's Included: breakfast, guided tour, lunch, accommodation

Day 4 - Visit the Val d'Orcia Wine Region and UNESCO World Heritage Site of Pienza

Escape to the sublime and peaceful setting of the Tuscan countryside. You’ll visit the Val d'Orcia, one of prettiest regions of Tuscany, with its vibrant colors and lovely landscapes. Your first stop is Siena, a charming medieval city characterized by its Gothic brick architecture and impressive UNESCO-listed piazza. You’ll visit the cathedral to admire the magnificent ornate interior and more frescos by Pinturicchio. For lunch, enjoy a light meal made with typical products and accompanied by wines of the Val d'Orcia (Brunello di Montalcino, Rosso di Montepulciano).

In the afternoon, you’ll travel back to the Tuscan region to visit the quaint medieval hilltop town of Montalcino, known for the acclaimed Brunello di Montalcino wine—one of the best wines in Italy and a collector’s favorite. Finally you’ll visit Pienza, just a short drive away from Montalcino. Pienza is a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its historic value as one of the best-planned Renaissance cities. This small city was once a model of ideal living and government. 

What's Included: breakfast, tour, accommodation

Day 5 - Cooking Class and Sightseeing in Perugia

Today’s itinerary includes more incredible art and a cooking class that will teach you the secrets of Italian cuisine. You’ll visit Perugia, the capital of Umbria and the heart of Italy. Delve further into the fascinating world of Italian Renaissance art with a guided tour through Perugia’s medieval Palazzo dei Priori. Here you can see the extraordinary Perugino frescoes and the national paintings collection of Umbria, including notable masterpieces of Gothic art. You have the option to visit Perugia’s chocolate factory that produces the "Bacio Perugina" chocolate kisses.

After lunch and a relaxing break, you’ll dive into your Italian cooking class taught by an expert local chef in the kitchen of a traditional, family-run Italian restaurant. You’ll prepare several typical dishes from this region of Italy and enjoy the meal that you prepared for dinner.  

What's Included: breakfast, cooking class, dinner, accommodation

Day 6 - Discover the Best of Renaissance Art and Culture in Florence

Today is dedicated to exploring Florence, one of the cities where Italian art reached its peak, as well as where you can find exceptional artisan products that are made locally. In the morning, you’ll begin your tour at Piazzale Michelangelo, from where you will get a breathtaking view of the entire city center. The tour takes you to all of Florence’s major monuments, avoiding the crowds while showing you the most important sites: the cathedral with its awesome dome by Brunelleschi, the spectacular bell tower by Giotto, and the elegant Piazza della Signoria where locals hang out. You’ll also visit the picturesque Ponte Vecchio with its historic goldsmith shops and finally the Accademia museum for a glimpse of Michelangelo's breathtaking David statue.

In the afternoon, enjoy shopping at outlet stores where you can buy designer products at discounted prices. You will find only the best quality, made in Italy products, including famous designer brands like Prada, Gucci, Armani, Fendi, Tod's and others. Tonight for dinner you’ll enjoy fine dining at one of the best gourmet restaurants in the city.

What's Included: breakfast, tour, dinner, accommodation

Day 7 - Discover the Rugged Mountain Landscape of the Valnerina Region

Travel to the rugged Valnerina, an off-the-beaten-path region of Umbria. This majestic landscape is surrounded by dramatic, craggy mountains that were inaccessible to cars until only recently. In the morning, you’ll take a guided tour of Spoleto, walking down the monumental staircase to the magnificent cathedral in its spectacular scenic location. Inside the cathedral, you can admire the lovely Life of the Virgin fresco by Filippo Lippi. At the top of the hill, you’ll visit the fortress of Spoleto that features an impressive tower. Enjoy a traditional lunch in Norcia — a village known for its gastronomic delicacies: black truffles, hams and sausages, and lentils. You should know that the tradition/art of curing meat in order to produce delicious hams, salamis and sausages was firstly invented and coded here in Norcia, and that is the reason why in the Italian language still nowadays places that sell cured meats are called "norcineria."

In the afternoon, you’ll visit some of the most interesting villages in Umbria: Castelluccio, located high in the Sibillini Mountains of Umbria, and Preci, a medieval village with the splendid abbey of Sant'Eutizio. This historic sanctuary was built around a fifth-century oratory and was made famous by the monks’ ability to treat illnesses using the precious medicinal herbs of the Sibylline Mountains. It's also home to a museum on the first Italian school of surgery.

What's Included: breakfast, tour, accommodation

Day 8 - Guided Tour of Rome from Ancient Ruins to the Vatican City

Travel back to Rome from Umbria on a private minibus and enjoy an educational guided tour of ancient Rome. You’ll see the fabulous and fascinating origins of the Eternal City, including the Colosseum—Rome’s most recognizable landmark— the Roman Forum, and the imperial palaces of Roman emperors. The afternoon is at your leisure for more sightseeing, strolling or shopping. Rome is a bustling city where the street life is a spectacle in itself. Spend time in the piazzas that are full of people enjoying la dolce vita. 

If you’re looking for an interesting neighborhood that many tourists miss,  visit Trastevere. This trendy working-class neighborhood has a great restaurant scene and eclectic ambience. Near Trastevere is another must-see site of Rome: Vatican City. A visit to the Basilica of Saint Peter’s can be life-changing. Many have said that this place of worship restored their faith because of its overpowering beauty and spirituality. Not matter what draws you here, the Vatican Museums will inspire all with its multitude of rooms features works of art spanning the ages and world. However, nothing is more spectacular than the masterpiece of all masterpieces: the Sistine Chapel, will certainly leave you breathless. Tonight you’ll enjoy a farewell dinner at a refined restaurant in central Rome.

What's Included: breakfast, tour, dinner, accommodation

Day 9 - Depart from Rome and Return Home

This morning concludes the tour. You’ll be provided with a private transfer to the airport for your return flight home. Arrivederci, Italia! 

What's Included: breakfast, transfer

Price

Starting Price 

$2,470
This trip is customizable for your private travel.

What's Included 

  • Accommodations
  • In-country transportation
  • Some or all guided tours and activities (dependent on season)
  • Expert trip planning
  • 24x7 support during your trip
The starting price is based on travel during the low season for a minimum of two travelers staying in shared 3-star accommodations. Please inquire for a custom trip quote based on your travel preferences and travel dates.