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Piemonte Wine Tour: 7 Days

Arrival in Milano Malpensa. Transfer to Serralungad’Albaby private bus and accommodation at the beautiful Boscareto Resort (or similar). Free time to relax. Dinner and overnight.


Breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: Transfer to Santo Stefano Belbo, native land of the famous Italian writer Cesare Pavese. Guided tour. Visit to Pavese’s native house with the room where he was born, books, documents and pictures of the author.

Lunch in a restaurant in Santo Stefano Belbo.

Transfer to the nearby village of Canelli, home to the Asti D.O.C.G., the bestselling sparkling Italian wine abroad, made with sweet Moscato grapes, using champenois method, same process in the production of Champagne in France and adapted to this sweet wine. Visit to one of the historic cellars, renamed “Underground Cathedrals”, which have been declared UNESCO World Heritage Site. Dinner in cellar.
Transfer to Serralungad’Albaand overnight

Breakfast in resort.

Morning: transfer to Monforte d’Alba, brief town tour and then proceed to Barolo, the capital of Langhe. Visit the Fallettidi Barolo Castle, the Wine Museum “WIMU” with wine tasting and to the Corkscrews Museum. Free lunch. Afternoon: transfer to Serralungad’Albato relax, before Dinner and overnight..

Breakfast at the resort.

Morning: tour of some villages on the hills where the famous Barolo wine is produced. Arrival in Grinzane Cavour, with its wonderful Medieval Castle, UNESCO site, and houses, the Regional Wine Cellar, the Ethnographic Museum and the Langa Museum. Wine tasting in the Regional Wine Cellar. Transfer to Dogliani, where travellerswill visit the “Poderi Luigi Einaudi”. The history of the Poderi(estates) started in 1897, when Luigi Einaudi (second President of the Italian Republic), only 23 years old, acquired the farmhouse ‘San Giacomo’ in the village of Dogliani, surrounded by 40 acres of vineyards. Visit of the winery, the cellar with wine tasting. Light lunch in a local restaurant, and back to the hotel for time to relax.

Late Afternoon: transfer to Alba, a city known for its White Truffle International Fair. The Dome has been rebuilt in Gothic style; not far away, the Church of San Giovanni Battista hosts works of art from the fourteenth century. The Federico Eusebio Museum presents artifacts from Prehistory to the Roman era, as well as a section dedicated to natural history. Dinner at “Piazza Duomo” Restaurant by Chef Enrico Crippa (3 Michelin stars). The restaurant is located nearby the ancient town of Alba, closed to its Dome.
Return to Serralungad’Albaand overnight

OF TURIN WINES (80 Km –50 miles)

Breakfast at the resort.

Morning: transfer to Torino; Visit of the Egyptian Museum, an archaeological museum, specialised in Egyptian archaeology and anthropology. It houses one of the largest collections of Egyptian antiquities, with more than 30,000 artifacts. It is the second most important Egyptian museum in the world after the Cairo museum and one of the largest museums in Italy.. After a pleasant walk towards the historic centre, lunch in restaurant at Baratti&Milano, one of the oldest and most prestigious historic cafés in Turin.

Afternoon: transfer to Pessioneto visit the Martini&Rossi Museum of Oenology an exceptional location, home to an iconic Italian brand. Wine experience “Make Your Own Vermouth”, an innovative format that offers an immersion in the art of making Vermouth, a solid Piedmontese cultural heritage. Discovering the principles of preparation and the use of aromatic extracts and distillates to personally recreate the flavours of your Vermouth, playing with aromatic notes and aromas. You will have the chance to experience a real oenological laboratory. Dinner at “Terrazza Martini” new Bar Lounge, with an unmistakable charm. Return to Torino for overnight

Breakfast at the hotel. Morning: transfer to Piazza Castello and visit to the Royal Residence hub: Palazzo Realeand its Gardens, symbol of the magnificence and opulence of the Savoy dynasty. This is the epicentreof all this power, where the Collezioni Realiare held, to show the careful administration by the Savoys and their love for art; Palazzo Madama, the first Senate of the Italian Kingdom, that takes its traditional name from the embellishments it received under two queens (madama) of the House of Savoy. Lunch at historical “Ristorante del Cambio” the most renowned and gastronomic restaurant in Turin, a real city institution.

Afternoon: visit to Palazzo Carignano, a symbolic place for the history of the House of Savoy and the Italian Risorgimento: besides being the birthplace of Charles Albert and Victor Emmanuel II, it was the site for the PiedmonteseParliament and the first Parliament of Italy.
Walk through the central Via Po up to the Mole Antonelliana, the symbol of the city. Visit of the National Cinema Museum and panoramic lift to the terrace overlooking the entire historic centre. Dinner at the Officine Grandi Riparazioni, an ancient repair and
maintenance centre for railway vehicles turned into a meeting and exhibition centre with its excellent restaurant. Overnight at the hotel.

DAY 7 –TORINO / MILANO MALPENSA (140 km 85 miles)
Breakfast at the hotel and transfer to Milano Malpensa.
Departure. End of our services.

Italian Cooking Tour: 8 Days

Day 1: Nizza Monferrato
Arrival at Nizza Monferrato in Piedmont. In the evening you will enjoy an “apericena”, an aperitif with plenty of different apetisers, a mixed combination between an aperitif (aperi) and a full dinner (cena), a very popular tradition in Piedmont. Accommodation in a deluxe farmhouse/country inn. Overnight in hotel.

Day 2: Nizza Monferrato/Canelli/Nizza Monferrato
Breakfast in hotel. Morning: visit of the Bersanowine cellars and old farm tools museum in Nizza Monferrato, displaying a collection of top wines, including Barbera d’AstiD.O.C.G. and Barbera del Monferrato d.o.c.g.. Transfer to the nearby village of Canelli, home to the Asti
D.O.C.G., the bestselling Italian wine abroad, made with sweet Moscato grapes with the champenois method, the same used in the production of Champagne in France, adapted to this sweet wine. Visit of a winery and cellar to get a full knowledge of this wine and of course, a taste of it! Back to the farmhouse in Nizza Monferrato. Lunch in restaurant in Nizza Monferrato.

Afternoon: first session of your Piedmontese and Italian cooking class: an award winning chef will show you all the secrets of the most renowned Piedmontese and Italian dishes. Lesson ends with the delicious dinner, prepared by yourself under the chef supervision. Overnight in hotel.

Day 3: Nizza Monferrato/Costigliole d’Asti/Nizza Monferrato
Breakfast in hotel.
Morning: transfer to the village of Costiglioled’Astifor a truffle hunting (white or black depending on the time of the year). You will visit the “Casa del Trifulau” (truffle hunter’s house) and will be taught everything about history, characteristics, environment and traditions of truffles. Most important thing, you will take part actively in the truffle hunting with the support of an expert and his dogs, trained for this purpose.

Afternoon: visit of Costiglioled’Asti’s old city center and his wonderful Castle. This majestic building was built in the XIII century. In the sixteenth century it was an important military stronghold, but what we see today is the result of a restoration made in the nineteenth century that transformed the building into a fashionable neogothic structure. Lunch in a typical restaurant. Return to Nizza Monferrato. Second session of your cooking course with a dinner made by yourself under the chef supervision. Overnight in hotel.

Day 4: Nizza Monferrato/Acqui Terme/Nizza Monferrato
Breakfast in hotel.
Morning: You will just relax and unwind! Transfer to the nearby Roman historic city of Acqui Terme, the most renowned spa resort in Piedmont, where you will enjoy a few hours of total care of your body and mind. Lunch in restaurant.

Afternoon: visit of the old city center. Return to Nizza Monferrato. Third session of your cooking class with a dinner made by yourself under the chef supervision. Overnight in hotel.

Day 5: Nizza Monferrato/Gavi/Nizza Monferrato
Breakfast in hotel. Morning: driving tour through the hills and vineyards of Monferrato up to the village of Gavi, that gives its name to the Gavi D.O.C.G., probably the most renowned white wine of Piedmont. Visit of its fort and its main wine cellar and shop. Lunch in restaurant.

Afternoon: return to Nizza Monferrato, fourth and last session of your cooking course. Overnight in hotel.

Day 6: Nizza Monferrato/Barbaresco/Barolo/Alba/Grinzane Cavour/Nizza Monferrato
Breakfast in hotel.
Morning: you will explore the Langhe area, a part of Piedmont that may be considered the food and wine district along with Monferrato and Roero, UNESCO heritage. First stop at Barbaresco, giving its name to one of the best red D.O.C.G. wine, nicknamed “The wine of queens” according to an old saying. Here you will visit and have a taste at the renowned Marquis of Gresywine cellars. Trip goes on to Barolo, home to the worldwide famous Barolo D.O.C.G., also nicknamed “Wine of the kings”. Visit at a local wine maker premises followed by a Piedmontesetypical lunch accompanied by a taste of different kinds of Barolo d.o.c.g.and other wines of this area.

Afternoon: Grinzane Cavour, where you will visit its castle hosting the Enoteca Regionale Piemontese Cavour (Cavour Piedmontese regional cellar) and Langhe Museum. The castle is also home to a famous international literary award held here once a year, named Grinzane Cavour Prize. Transfer to Nizza Monferrato with a stop along the way in Alba, the “capital” of the Langhe, a beautiful medieval city home to the famous white truffle and the “round and mild nut”, basic ingredient of Nutella, the worldwide famous nut and cocoa cream produced by Ferrero company, which has its headquarters here. Back to your hotel for dinner and overnight .

Day 7: Nizza Monferrato/Torino
Breakfast in hotel.
Morning: Transfer to Torino to begin a walking tour through the beautiful streets of the old town centre. Free lunch.
Afternoon: visit to the Royal Residence hub: Palazzo Realeand its Gardens, symbol of the magnificence and opulence of the Savoy dynasty, is the epicentreof all this power, and where the Royal Collections are held, bearing witness to the careful administration by the Savoys and their love of art; Palazzo Madama, the first Senate of the Italian Kingdom, and takes its traditional name from the embellishments it received under two queens (madama) of
the House of Savoy; Palazzo Carignano, a symbolic place for the history of the House of Savoy and the Italian Risorgimento: as well as being the birthplace of Charles Albert and Victor Emmanuel II, it was the site for the Piedmontese Parliament and the first Parliament of
Italy. Dinner and overnight in hotel.

Day 8: Departure
Breakfast in hotel. Time at leisure according to departure time

Culinary delights of Emilia Romagna & Marche: 8 Days

DAY 1: Welcome to Emilia (D)
Arrive at Milan Malpensa international airport and be met to start your “Central Italy Experience” and transfer to your elegant hotel in Emilia area. Free time to freshen up and then be ready for a delicious Welcome Dinner, accurately prepared by the resort’s master chef, with local products. Overnight.

DAY 2: Parmigiano & Balsamic Vinegar Tastings (B,L)
Early bird breakfast this morning! Today you will leave your Hotel quite early in order to get to an authentic Parmigiano Reggiano producer on time for the cheese making (roughly 8AM). There are dairies in an array of cities and you´ll visit a dairy in Reggio Emilia, about one hour from Modena. The visit is complete, and you will be an expert by the end of the cheese tour. You´ll see all elements of the Parmigiano production from the processing of milk in the vats, the molding of the curd, the salting and then the aging process of the photogenic cheese wheels.

After this fascinating visit you will head back to the wealthy little Modena for a visit to the 11th century Unesco heritage preserved Duomo and relax over an aperitif of a bubbly “vino bianco”, outside if weather permits. Lunch today is at local trattoria, right in the heart of Modena, tasting traditional cuisine. After lunch, you will probably want to enjoy a short little digestive walk! Before returning to the hotel, you will visit a beautiful “Acetaia”, a real “Aceto Balsamico” cellar, where you´ll learn about the interesting history and production of this liquid gold and taste a few aged balsamic. This is a treat! Return to the hotel, dinner on your own and overnight.

DAY 3: CulatelloHam Tasting –The Motor Valley (B,L)
Breakfast at the Hotel and then head towards Colorno, in Parma province, to visit a small and upscale Culatello cellar producer’s; you will taste some slices of the Crème de la Crème prosciutto of Italy, finishing with an elegant lunch focusing on local specialties. Sample dishes will be offered, including Culatellodi Zibellod.o.p. and a selection of the best charcuterie. Superb wines will be chosen for you from the encyclopedic wine list. After lunch enjoy a digestive “passeggiata” in Parma, a small gourmet town that was also the home of Italy’s famed composers Giuseppe Verdi and Arturo Toscanini. Don’t miss the wonderful Duomo. Also, you can’t miss the great Teatro Farnese and the art gallery renowned for its paintings by Correggio. On the way back to the Hotel, along the Via Emilia, you will have an interesting tour of the most important factories and museums dedicated to engines such as Ferrari (Maranello), Lamborghini (Modena), Maserati (Sant’Agata Bolognese) and Ducati (Bologna). When in Maranello, learn all about the “prancing horse” and visit the museum, which is quite large, and you can see over 40 real models such as Formula 1 racecars from many different decades. For Ferrari lovers, there is also a Ferrari shop and you can even have the chance to enjoy a test drive (Ferrari California or Ferrari 458 Italia)! Return to the hotel, dinner on your own and overnight.

DAY 4: Bologna –Ravenna –Pesaro (B,L or B,L,D)
Breakfast at the hotel, this morning you will have a walking tour of Bologna, with a local art guide, who will lead you through the best highlights of Emilia Romagna’s capital, such as the Two Towers, Piazza Maggiore and Piazza del Nettuno, the Jewish Ghetto, and the fascinating 16th century Anatomical theater in the Archiginnasio Palace ancient home of the University of Bologna “the learned”, that shows on its walls one of most precious heraldry collection in the world. Also visit Piazza Malpighi where stands the apse of the Gothic church of St. Francis next to the graves of Glossatori, the first professors at the University of Bologna. Lunch on your own, with our suggestions for many wine bars and restaurants. In the afternoon you will leave Emilia Romagna to Le Marche, going southern, and you will stop on the way in Ravenna, where you will be taken back by the breathtaking 6th and 7th century mosaics, all with your own private art guide. These are some of the most gorgeous mosaics in the world. Located close to the Adriatic Coast, Ravenna is a town with a lot of history! The Roman Emperor Octavian Augustus built a port here, denoting the strategic importance of Ravenna and later the city was one of the main hubs of Byzantine culture in Italy. You´ll learn all about the town’s history and visit some major highlights such as the mosaics of 5th century GallaPlacidia(daughter of Emperor Theodosius), the Saint Francesco Basilica with Dante’s Tomb, the Basilica of San Vitale (with some of the best early Christian art in Italy) and more.

In the early evening arrival at your hotel in the region Marche. After checking in, you will have a tasty dinner at the hotel’s restaurant. Overnight.

DAY 5: Urbino (B,D)
Today after breakfast we explore the land once ruled by the lords of Montefeltro. The day is devoted to visiting Urbino, one of Italy’s most fascinating towns of the Renaissance, seat of an ancient university and perfect destination for art history lovers. It is also the birthplace of Raphael and site of the Unescoworld heritage.

Have a guided tour of the magnificent Palazzo Ducale, one of the most interesting architectural and artistic examples of the Italian Renaissance; it is a wonderful and mysterious place, which houses the Galleria Nazionale delle Marche with its precious paintings by Piero della Francesca, Tiziano, Paolo Uccello and Raphael. Among the many rooms of the building there’s a private one where the Duke Federico used to spend his time: the study room. It preserves valuable stuccos on the vaulted ceiling and a lower section paneled with engraved wood. Lunch on your own, and your local expert tour manager will be happy to give you some advices to choose the best spots.

After this local experience, you will head back to Pesaro, and have a guided walking tour of this beautiful town, birthplace of the famous musician, GioachinoRossini. There’s so much to see and do in Pesaro: from the ancient Roman remains dating from when it was called Pisaurum, to the Museum of Ceramics and Art Gallery; from the fascinating mosaics in the Cathedral to the Gothic church facades; from Villa Ruggeri in the Liberty style to the Sforza Fortress and the Ducal Palace. Pesaro boasts parks, beaches, art, history and music.
Properly talking about music, you can’t miss a visit to Rossini’s house, the theater and the Conservatory that conserve Rossini’s operas and memorabilia.

DAY 6: Gradara–Fano (B,D)
Breakfast. A trip to Le Marche should include a visit to one of the most famous castles in Italy. Then, you need to schedule a day exploring the historical beauties of Gradara. You will see this lovely town even before getting there, as the beautiful medieval castle stands out among the woods and hills. Just a few steps and you will be immersed in an atmosphere of old times that recalls a thirteenth century tranquility. The Castle of Gradarawas the first military fortress on a border land which was turned into a majestic noble residence by powerful families. Tradition in this medieval village certainly contributed to making this fortress famous as the background of the unfortunate love between Paolo and Francesca, sung by Dante. But what really makes the Castle of Gradara unforgettable is the architectural beauty of an extraordinarily well-preserved complex, that has retained the appearance and atmosphere of an ancient medieval settlement.

Lunch on your own and in the afternoon, you will move southern towards Fano, known as the city of fortune, because of the Temple Fortuna around which the entire city has developed. The historic walls of Fano stretch for over half a kilometer, interspersed with cylindrical towers offering a wonderful example of Roman architecture that dates back to the period of the Emperor Augustus. You will have a walking tour of the city center, including a visit to the mysterious underground Fano, a fascinating itinerary through tunnels and galleries, taking you to truly unique places. Before dinner enjoy a walk by the seaside, you can perceive the long seafaring tradition of this city in the characteristic fishermen’s houses, along its beaches and in the many excellent restaurants. Your local expert tour manager will show you the Walk of Lisippo, on a fixed dock protected by the rocks, overlooking the sea. After all these beautiful walks to discover Fano that will never cease to amaze you, it’s finally time to sit at the table and try the two local specialties: Brodettoand Moretta. The Brodettoof Fano (fish soup) is a typical dish of the Adriatic Sea cooking tradition, while Morettais a hot drink mixed with a liquor born among sailors and fishermen in the port of Fano to get warm before going out to sea. Return to the Relais for overnight.

DAY 7: Ancona –Conero –Loreto –Roma (B,L,D)
After breakfast, you will head, in the morning, to Ancona and Riviera del Conero. Overlooking the sea, with one of the largest ports in Italy, Ancona is a city full of monuments and beautiful landscapes; it is also known as “City Dorica”, a name which refers to its Greek origins. The Cathedral which dominates the city from above and from which you can enjoy a special view, the picturesque arch of Trajan and Mole Vanvitelliana on the side of the harbor, the War Memorial overlooking the sea in one of the most unique areas of the coast. Don’t stop at the most famous monuments! Walking through the alleys and historical streets, you can discover hidden spots and panoramic views. After lunch at a local winery and tasting of Rosso Conero, one of the best red wines of the region, you will have a panoramic tour of the Conero Riviera: the stretch of coast on the slopes of Monte Conero, rich of beaches, bays and coves of exceptional beauty. Last stop of the day but not the least as per importance, will be in Loreto, a beautiful hill town second only to Assisi and Rome as a place of religious pilgrimage. The town is a showcase of some of Italy’s greatest artists and architects. People come here from all over the world to visit the Basilica della Santa Casa, known for enshrining the house in which the Blessed Virgin Mary is believed by some to have lived. Devotees believe that the same house was flown over by Angelic beings from Jerusalem to Tersatto(Trsatin Croatia) then to Recanati before arriving at the current site. In the early evening proceed onto Rome, where you will spend the last night of the tour. Check in at the hotel, dinner and overnight.

DAY 8: Arrivederci Italia (B)
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to the airport to take your flight back home.

Savoring Apulia: 8 Days

Arrival at Bari international airport and meet your local guide; transfer to a Deluxe Masseria Hotel in Fasano, the best area to discover Apulia living like a local. Check in and free time at your disposal to relax . Before dinner, you will have a welcome cocktail in the Masseria garden and then get ready for tasting some very special local food at your Welcome dinner. Of course, local wines of the area will be combined with the various dishes. Overnight.

Breakfast at the Masseria. Today will begin with a guided tour of the beautiful city of Bari, capital of Apulia region. While strolling around the old town, you will have the chance to watch women in the streets making “strascinatiand orecchiette”, two typical pastas of the area. You will be amazed at how fast they make these foods! Lunch on your own and in the afternoon, head toward the Murgiaarea, a subregion of Apulia between the Ionian and Adriatic costs. Its main characteristic is the geology it presents, in fact, the landscape is riddled with holes and ravines through which small streams and rivers gurgle, creating what is in effect, a giant sponge. Excursion in Alberobello: this small town is the capital of the Trulli(small, white buildings with conic roofs that are unique just to this region in Italy and are a UNESCO World Heritage Site). Guided visit of the Trullifollowed by dinner with local specialties at a restaurant in the area. Return to your Masseria, overnight.

Breakfast at the Masseria. In the morning, you will visit a local olive oil mill that has been operated by the same family for almost 100 years. The farmers will teach you everything you need to know about olive oil, and you will taste some of their best oils produced at the mill. Proceed then to the elegant little town of Martina Franca; during the local guided tour, you will learnaboutthe town’s baroque architecture. First stop will be at factory producing the famous “Capocollo di Martina Franca,” salumethat is lightly smoked with local herbs, and enjoy many other specialties there for lunch. Return to the Masseria for a short rest in the early afternoon and go then to Locorotondo, which is a jeweled hilltop town considered to have the best views of the Valley of Itriaand Murgia.

The day will end in Cisternino, another beautiful hill town with stunning views. You will indulge in the town’s traditional dinner, which is held at the butcher shop with an annexed wooden oven. You will choose between lamb, veal, or sausages that will be cooked “al Fornello” just for you. An experience you can only have in Cisternino! Return to the Masseria, overnight.

After breakfast, you will visit a nearby cheese producer where you will get to see the interesting process of making fresh mozzarella and other cheeses. Lunch on your own.

Have a nice stroll through Monopoliin the early afternoon and experience next a wine tasting at the Tenuta Gemi, a local farmhouse in the neighborhoods of Monopoli, offering homegrown products and typical wines from the area. Continue on to your next outstanding accommodation in Ostuni. After checking in, relax some time before enjoying a delicious just caught fish dinner at hotel.
Return to the hotel, overnight.

Breakfast at the hotel. Today will begin with an excursion to Altamura with a stop in Gioiadel Colle at a terrific winery to taste Primitivo and other local wines. You will have lunch at the winery and then continue the drive to Altamura, a town famous for making one of the best breads in Italy. Here you will have the chance to visit a century old bakery where you will see how bread, focaccia, and other delicacies of the region are made. Afterwards, visit a beautiful nearby cathedral and observe the unique architecture. Arrive Matera in the early afternoon: this city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is located in the Basilicata region that borders Apulia. The Sassi district is the ancient heart of the city and still has existing prehistoric dwellings from thousands of years ago that are carved out of the face of the calcareous rock.

Your local guide will bring you in a tour of the Sassi, to learn more about these fascinating habitats. Dinner will be served in Matera at a charming restaurant. You could enjoy food with different flavors that belong to the Basilicata region.
Return to the hotel, overnight.

Breakfast at the hotel before your transfer south to the Salento area, where Lecce is the most prominent city. Stop on the way in Ostuni, known as “the white town”; in fact, it is a gleaming white hilltop town with sun-bleached streets and cobbled alleyways. Continue toward Brindisi, where we will visit a winery for a tasting of local wines. Lunch on your own. Arrive in Lecce early afternoon. This lively university city is considered one of the most interesting cities in the region for its typical seventeenth century architecture. It is often called the Florence of the South for its monuments, mansions, and ornate buildings. Your deluxe hotel in Lecce is very close to the city center, and you will stay here for the remaining two nights of the tour. After checking in, you will have an aperitif in the heart of the city followed by a delicious fish dinner. Return to the hotel, overnight.

After breakfast at the hotel, meet your local guide for a city tour; visit the central food market and then have some free time when you can enjoy shopping and strolling in the lively city center. Lunch on your own. In the afternoon, you will have one last foody experience: creating your own local specialties that you will enjoy during your Farewell dinner. Return to the hotel, overnight.

After breakfast, depart to Brindisi airport to catch your flight back home.

Umbria Between Wine and Nature: 8 Days

Arrival at Rome Fiumicino Airport and private transfer to Umbria. Check in at an elegant farmhouse in Montefalco area, the best of the fascinating villages in the Valle of Spoleto. Get ready for a very special welcome dinner, with local dishes prepared with on site products. Overnight.

Breakfast in hotel. This morning you will travel through a dream landscape to Assisi, St. Francis was born here in 1182 and spent most of his adult life preaching around this area of Umbria. Your local guide will introduce you to the Roman remains under the still standing temple of Minerva, and the Basilica of San Francesco with Giotto’s frescoes which decorate the lower church. Also worth a visit is the Basilica of Santa Chiara, dedicated to Saint Clare of Assisi, a follower of Saint Francis of Assisi and founder of the Order of Poor Ladies, known today as the Order of Saint Clare; the remains of Saint Clare are kept in the Basilica. After lunch on your own, you will proceed to Spoleto, a town rich in Roman and medieval history; explore the ancient center including the Roman house the Duomo to see Filippo Lippi’s final fresco cycle. There is also free time to wander the streets, shops and cafes in this evocative town. Return to the farmhouse in Montefalco and enjoy a relaxed dinner in Umbria’s countryside. Overnight.

Assisi (same itinerary as previously described).
In the afternoon you will move to Gubbio, a town with a strong medieval aspect, which is austere in appearance because of the dark grey stone, narrow streets, and Gothic architecture. Many houses in central Gubbiodate to the 14th and 15th centuries and were originally home of wealthy merchants. The hills above the town were already occupied in the Bronze Age and it was an important town of the ancient Umbrian people in pre-Roman times, made famous for the discovery there of the Eugubine Tables, a set of bronze tablets that constitute the largest surviving text in the Etruscan language and transcribed into ancient Umbrian.

After breakfast in hotel depart to Perugia, where you will meet your local guide for a half day guided tour of the Umbria’s largest town, a rich microcosm of medieval and modern. Its highlights include the magnificent frescoes in the Collegiodel Cambio and the town’s famous chocolates.

Once an important Etruscan settlement, Perugia has piled up layers of history ever since, turning Renaissance palaces into shops and inserting modern escalators into medieval remains. You will walk through the medieval ghost town under Rocca Paolina. The virtual underground city was a stroke of genius by the architect who was ordered to destroy the area. The tour also includes a visit to an Etruscan well and the extraordinary Etruscan gate from the 2nd century BC. Before lunch you can’t miss the visit of Perugia’s chocolate factory and the Chocolate Museum to learn about chocolate production. The museum explains the process of converting cocoa into chocolate and introduces the history of the Perugina chocolate company. Independent lunch. On the way back to Montefalco, you will make a stop in Bevagna, one of Umbria’s most evocative towns. During Spring you can view a circuit of mediaeval artisans in their workshops including Francesco, the artisan paper maker surrounded by shredded fabrics, an enormous water operated pulping mill, and boiling animal hides. Part of the guided tour is the visit to a revocation of a Medieval house complete with frescoes, bed linens, bath and weaving loom. Also visit the town’s Roman mosaics and the beautifully evocative piazza encircled by Bevagna’s other essential sights; the two Romanesque churches that face each other across Piazza Silvestri, the intact medieval main square. San Michele and San Silvestro (its utter lack of adornment and steeply raised presbytery radiate a stern Romanesque purity).

Breakfast in hotel. Today you will have a unique experience by spending the morning with the farmers in the vineyard. This is the time of the year for the grape harvest: you will see and experience all the traditional activities of the countryside. At the end of this hard work, you will enjoy a delicious picnic lunch in the vineyard, sipping of course a local red wine!
Return to the hotel and have some free time to relax before an excursion to Spoleto (same itinerary as before). There are plenty of restaurants and bars here where you can decide to have independent dinner. Return to Montefalco, overnight.

Breakfast in hotel. This morning depart for an excursion to Todi, one of the most strikingly situated of Umbria’s famous hilltowns. This ancient Etruscan, and then Roman settlement, still preserves an uncorrupted medieval look, with several churches, three austere public places and many sleepy corners.

On the way back to Montefalco, you will stop in Deruta, famous in the world for its ceramics. Here you will be able to admire and, if you wish so, to buy, the typical renaissance inspired ceramics. Once you reached Montefalco again, get ready for a cooking class with Mrs. Alessandra: in the kitchen, she will teach you the ancient Umbria art of cooking. At the end, of course, you will taste your delicious “work”, together with a few glasses of wine!
Return to the farmhouse, overnight.

After breakfast in hotel, board your minivan and visit more of Umbria, Italy’s green heart. You will first stop in Orvieto, perched on a 300 m. Plateau. Orvieto overlooks down a vineyards spotted plain. Visitors admire the Duomo, among the greatest of Italy’s Romanesque Gothic Cathedrals. In the afternoon, on the way to Todiarea, where you will spend the rest of the nights of your tour, you will stop in Cittàdella Pieve, an Etruscan Roman center, with a rather troubled past, having been contended between medieval lords and the Church state. Worth seeing here is the Duomo, dedicated to Saints Gervasioand Protasioand which still today holds the masterpieces of the great artist Pietro Vannucci, known as “Il Perugino” (The Adoration of the Magi of the Oratory of Santa Maria dei Bianchi, The Baptism of Christ Cathedral, The Descent from the Cross of the Museum of the Diocese of Santa Maria dei Servi), ) one of the most important painters of the Italian Renaissance. Also, you could visit the Torre del Pubblicoand the church of Sant’Agostino. Nowadays this destination is made even more attractive by the Paliodei Terzieri, an historical reenactment of an ancient contest between the town’s neighborhoods, which features a parade with over 700 costumed characters. Proceed then to your elegant farmhouse in the countryside of Umbria.

Breakfast at the hotel. Further exploring Umbria, and getting closer to Trasimeno Lake, you will come across Magione, a castle first mentioned at the time of the Knights of Malta. Built in the mid 12thcentury as hospital of the Knights of St John of Jerusalem, currently Knights of Malta, the facility is now the operational center of a wide farm/estate whose products are known for their high quality.
Next stop en route will be Paciano, a charming village founded around the XIV century, on a spur of Mount Petrarvella, and is definitely worth a visit thanks to its four churches, dedicated respectively to Saint Giuseppe, Saint Borromeo, Saint Maria and to the Madonna della Stella. The village is surrounded by 14thcentury walls, about 600 meters long, which includes eight towers and three gates, Porta Fiorentina, Porta Perugina and Porta Rastrella. A walk through the narrow streets of the center allows you to experience this ancient atmosphere.

Finally, before heading back to your farmhouse, you will stop at a local farm for an olive oil tasting; the perfect climatic conditions and the fertile soil at the foot of the Apennines are ideal for a slow ripening of the olives and, hence, their low acidity. These olives are the source of an extraordinarily rich quality of extra virgin olive oil produced in the hills of Trasimeno Lake.

Return to Todiarea; dinner tonight will be at the farmhouse, with tasty dishes prepared with local homegrown crops and wine from local wineries. Overnight.

After breakfast at the hotel you will have a full day excursion to the Trasimeno Lake area. You will first visit Castiglione del Lago, a town owing its foundation to Etruscan ancestors, as testified by the burial remains uncovered in the area. Very well preserved within Castiglione are the town hall, the ducal palace of the Della Corgnafamily, and the castle, with impressive wall, constitutes one of the main examples of military art in the region.

Free time for lunch and in the afternoon, you will continue on to Tuorosul Trasimeno, where the epic battle between the armies of Rome and of Carthage, headed by Hannibal, took place. Do not miss, in the same area, Isola Maggiore, which rises near the north bank of the lake and is surrounded by typical Mediterranean vegetation, as well as artistic monuments. Final stop will be Passiganosul Trasimeno, one of the most popular and historically interesting villages among those overlooking the lake. Its middle age walls testify the development of the center, evolving from a small agricultural village to a castle, which, after the Lordship of UguccioneII in the 917, was constantly aimed at by the towns of Arezzo, Perugia and Florence.
Your day will end with an aperitif beside the Lake at the sunset, and you will then have an unforgettable Farewell dinner in a beautiful restaurants by the lake.Return to your countryside mansion for overnight.

After breakfast transfer to Rome airport for your return flight.

Pearls of Liguria: 8 Days

Arrive Milan Malpensa International airport and be met by your tour manager; transfer to your charming accommodation on the Riviera Ligure. Free time to relax after checking in, tonight you will have a delightful Welcome Dinner, in a typical seafood restaurant on the seaside. Return to the resort, overnight.

Breakfast in hotel, today you will visit Genoa, the capital of Liguria, where you will have a fun,creative, cultural and interesting 360-degree cooking class! You will cook an entire Italian Riviera menu.
The class, in a cozy elegant kitchen in the historic center of the city, is 100% hands-on, your cook will guide you through all the ingredients and the cooking techniques and you will learn how to cook like an Italian (or better like a Genoese!).

During the course you will chat on Genoese and Italian cuisine and you will be told stories behind each local product you will use and each traditional dish we will prepare. It will be a full immersion in the Italian Riviera food culture!

You will learn how to make pesto sauce in the mortaras tradition rules will prepare handmade traditional pasta, a savory pie learning how to stretch dough thin like a brideveil and you will cook an Italian dessert.
During the class you will enjoy an aperitivo where you will taste local wines jointly with samples of local cheese and charcuterie. The class will end you will eat all together what you prepared, all wrapped up with a digestive as the Italians do. It will be as a lunch with friends.
In the afternoon you will have a digestive walking tour of this interesting city. Genoa,on the north west coast of Italy, is Italy’s principal seaport. Genoa was 2004 European Culture Capital; money flowed into the port city made famous by Columbus and now it’s a better place than ever to visit. It has a fascinating aquarium,an interesting port area, and a historic center said to be the largest medieval quarter in Europe, with a wealth of churches, palaces,and museums. Your local guide will show you the most beautiful spots of the city: Via Garibaldi, heart of the UNESCO World Heritage sites with the richness of its”Palazzi”,their frescoes and gilded decorations, Piazza De Ferrari, elegant architecture of the 20thC.; Columbus’s house, the imposing Palazzo Ducale, and the stories of the ancient republic; the Cathedral and its treasures, Palazzo San Giorgio, the story and Glory of the ancient Marine Republic, creating the bases of our modern economy.

At the end of the tour, free time at your disposal, to discover more of Genoa, before enjoying a delicious seafood dinner in an elegant restaurant on the seaside. Return to your accommodation for overnight.


After breakfast at the resort, you will leave have a half day excursion at the famous Cinque Terre: a string of five fishing villages perched high on the Italian Riviera, which until recently were linked only by mule tracks and accessible only by rail or water. You will board the ferry and make stops in the five villages: Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore. An ancient system of footpaths is still the best way to visit these beautiful villages. The Cinque Terre is noted for its beauty. Over centuries, people have carefully built terraces to cultivate grapes and olives on the rugged, steep landscape right up to the cliffs that overlook the Mediterranean Sea. Each town has a distinct character, but all share a similar aesthetic: narrow, tower-like pastel-colored houses cluster atop one another in an appealingly hodge-podge pattern, and steep streets are interrupted by staircases cutting through the towns’ historic centers. The scenery in Cinque Terre is simply breathtaking. This beautiful area was recognized in 1997 by the UNESCO Mankind’s World Heritage, and today it’s a National Park and Protected Marine Area with the aim of protecting this great cultural heritage and natural environment. Lunch on your own, in a typical “osteria”, and in the afternoon you will visit a family-owned farm and winery in Riomaggiore; during the tour you will walk through the sea-view steep slopes and explore the dynamic vineyards, continue then to the cellar and enjoy some quality wine tasting, from the known Schiacchetrà to the classic local white wines, but also surprising reds and rosés. You will listen a local wine expert, owner of the farm, proudly explaining the production of his wines, safeguarding local products that do not have famous name. Apart from the vineyards, the farm is also involved in beekeeping and the production of integral honey; also, they have a small plantation of lemon trees used for limoncello and jams. At the end of the day, come back to the mainland and reach your small luxury boutique hotel/resort in the Riviera Ligure, after checking in relax some time before dinner at the hotel’s restaurant. Overnight.


Breakfast in hotel, today will be dedicated to an excursion in the Riviera Ligure, you will visit some of the most beautiful cities of the area, among which: Portofino, San Fruttuoso e Santa Margherita Ligure. Portofino is a famous tourist resort located in the province of Genoa. The city is considered as the hub of tourism always visited by celebrities. It welcomes the tourist with its beautiful shops, its natural park, the beach with its clear water and the charming beauty of nature surroundings have helped the enormous growth of the tourist place. Also, you will visit San Fruttuoso Bay and see the two powerful attractions of this indentation along a mountainous coastline. One is an ancient Benedictine monastery and the other the Christ of the Abyss. The monastery is a lovely stone building with a small dome, which straddles the beach. The Christ of the Abyss is an above-life-size bronze statue a little way offshore and over 15m. (50 feet) under the sea. You can see a replica in the church next to the monastery. Next stop will be Santa Margherita Ligure, a fair-sized town, large enough to receive the huge number of tourists that come there; visit Antiochi’s Church and Villa Durazzo Centurione, which is a monument to the faded glory of the Riviera. The garden terraces are a public park and a pleasant place to sit. Return to the hotel, dinner and overnight.


After breakfast at the hotel, you will go for a full day excursion to the the Nervia Valley, where you will visit the most representatives of the Medieval villages in the “Imperiese”: Dolceacqua and Apricale. There four more villages (Castellaro – Taggia – Badalucco – Triora), that you can decide to visit in the afternoon, as an alternative to the wine tasting in Dolceacqua. Apricale is a beautiful and charming historic center. The present town goes back the IX century and preserves part of the medieval walls, three doors with pointed arches and the ancient castle. Dolceacqua most attractive feature is the oldest part of the village, called Terra, which is situated at the foot of Mount Rebuffao, and it’s dominated by the Doria’s Castle. Also, this village is known for the famous 15th-century, Romanesque bridge that Claude Monet had painted in 1884, defining it “a gem of lightness”. Lunch on your own, and in the afternoon, stop at “Cooperativa Riviera dei Fiori” in Dolceacqua for a Rossese wine tasting: it is believed that the introduction of this vine in Liguria has taken place by the Greeks, but there is also a version that supports the Etruscan thesis. During the Middle Ages Andrea Doria elected it as festive wine for its fleet and centuries later Napoleon also had the opportunity to taste it, sending many bottles to Paris. Its characteristics, its long tradition and its denomination of origin (DOC) make Rossese wine one of the most popular and appreciated Ligurian wines. At the end of the tour, you will reach your charming accommodation in the Riviera dei Fiori, check in and have some free time to relax in the grounds of resort/small boutique hotel. Dinner and overnight.


Breakfast at the hotel: this morning go to Bordighera, an elegant city, center of the elite tourism of the mid-1800s. Royals, writers and artists from all over Europe but especially English, built here their gorgeous villas and planted exotic gardens. You will visit the splendid villa of Queen Margherita di Savoia, the Villa Garnier, built by the famous architect of the Paris Opera House and the Giardino Pallanca. Also, your tour manager will lead you to a walking tour of Bordighera historical center: a maze of narrow alleys surrounded by massive walls.

Just behind Bordighera don’t miss Vallebona with the Vecchia Distilleria (old distillery) where they produce Acqua di fiori d’arancio (orange blossom water) that is ancient product, a natural distillate that has been used for centuries as a beauty secret, as an herbal remedy and above all as an aroma in the kitchen. Here, Pietro Guglielmi grows bitter orange trees few years ago completely lost and distils orange blossom water with the old methods of his ancestors. Actually, this precious water is recognized to be a Slow Food Presidia or Liguria.


After breakfast at the hotel, board your minivan and head to Sanremo, another center of elite tourism of past times as the hotels and villas in Art Nouveau or eclectic style testify.

The first stop in town is Villa Nobel, a Moorish-style building which hosted the famous Swedish scientist Alfred Nobel from 1890 to 1896. It was here that he decided to establish the famous “Nobel prizes”. Nowadays the villa thrives with prestigious cultural initiatives and it houses permanent museum of Nobel relics together with a gallery of Italian Nobel Prizes. Its park is full of age-old and precious plants.

Proceed then to the characteristic historical center, “La Pigna”, which once was the pulse of a no longer existing Sanremo. It was the actual old town and now it is both the “humblest” and the most spontaneous area of the town. It is full of covered alleys, little squares, and terraced houses together with dull colors and long silences which in turn create emotions and sensations unknown to mass tourism. You will reach next Piazza dell’Oratorio, where you can admire the 18th century frescoes inside the oratory. You won’t miss the Palace of the Counts Sapia Rossi, Napoleon was hosted here in 1794. Last stop before visiting the Sanremo city center is Madonna della Costa (Our Lady of the Coast), as the sanctuary is called here in Sanremo. This 17th century building was once a safe landmark for sailors approaching Sanremo. The inside of the sanctuary is richly decorated with marbles and stuccoes.

Free time for lunch, and in the afternoon, you will visit a local farmhouse in Taggia, where you will know more about the extra virgin olive oil production process. Going back to the origins of Taggia means rediscovering the story of a territory where the presence of man is confirmed by the prehistoric remains in the Grotta dell’Arma or the legend according to which Greek navigators on our coasts identified this valley and gave it the name of “Taleia”, a name that is quite similar to Taggia and which means “blooming”.

The original olive trees in the Sanremo hinterland were native to this part of Europe. They were growing before man existed. Today the crop is riper, less bitter and bigger but the Ligurian DOP oil produced is of the highest quality. The village of Taggia, in fact, give name to the local variety of olive, called the Taggiasca and the town’s wealth is, in part, still based on this fine fruit. The olive itself is extremely hardy and grows from sea level up to 1000 meters. Some of the trees live for 300 hundred years and all produce three colors of fruits – red, black and green. Your expert tour manager will bring you to a local “frantoio”, where you will see the original water wheel and olive presses below the present factory. Return to your charming accommodation, relax some time before a very special Liguria Farewell Dinner.


After breakfast at the hotel proceed to Milan, where you will have a half day guided tour. Your local art guide will introduce you to Italy’s most stylish city: first stop will be at the medieval Sforza Castle. A grand medieval Castle and fortress, the Sforzesco was once residence for the ruling family of Milan and now houses several of the city’s museums and art collections. Visit the splendid Duomo, one of the world’s largest, most striking Gothic cathedrals. Some 135 spires and 3,200 statues are crammed onto the roof and facade of the building.

Walk inside Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II shopping gallery, a 19th century glass vaulted shopping arcade. Brimming with fashionable shops and cafes, it is often called the ‘salotto di Milano’ or ‘Milan’s drawing room’ for its importance over the years as a common meeting point for the people of Milan. Enter Milan’s most famous Opera House, the fabulous La Scala theatre. Founded in 1778 and still in use, some of the world’s greatest musicians and opera singers have performed here including Pavarotti and Giuseppe Verdi, whose famous operas such as Falstaff often premiered in this very theatre. Independent lunch and in the afternoon, free time at your disposal to know more about Italy’s fashion capital, you maybe want to have walk to the Qudrilatero della Moda (Milan’s fashion district). Visitors come from all over the world to shop in the boutiques and showrooms, or just to stroll around and admire the shop windows, often showcases of superb taste and exclusive design. Or you can visit Brera District, the artistic heart of the city. In fact, as you stroll along the streets of this ancient district, you cannot help but be enchanted by its almost surreal atmosphere boasting small artisan’s workshops or quaint stores selling canvases and paints. Additionally, Brera is home to the impressive Accademia di Belle Arti, where visitors can admire Milan’s famous painting collection at the Pinacoteca (the Brera Picture Gallery), the historic Biblioteca Nazionale Braidense (Braidense National Library), the Museo Astronomico (The Astronomical Museum), the oldest scientific research institute in the city and the Giardino Botanico (Botanical Gardens), an evocative green space located. At the end of the day reach your hotel in Milan’s city center, dinner and overnight.


After breakfast at the hotel proceed to Milan Malpensa International Airport to catch your flight back home.

True flavors of Veneto: 9 Days

Arrival Milan Malpensa International airport and be met by your guide for a private to your charming accommodation in Lake Garda area, free time to relax and get ready for delicious Welcome Dinner, at the resort/small boutique hotel’s restaurant

Breakfast at the resort/hotel. The leitmotif of the day are the five castles you will see: Monzambano, Valeggio, Villafranca Veronese, Soave and Montecchio Maggiore along the way to Vicenza. You can visit several castles that are in a frame of vineyards along the rolling hills of Veneto.; often, these buildings shape the landscape in which they are located and become veritable landmark. Next will come Verona, this beautiful city on the Adige river, where you will have a walking panoramic tour. Built in the distinctive local pink marble, Verona has a rosy hue, as if the sun were constantly setting. What was once a thriving Roman settlement is today one of the most prosperous and elegant cities in Italy. Shakespeare’s setting for Romeo and Juliet appeals to lovers of all ages (OPTIONAL: visit the most famous balcony of the world). You can now even get married on “Juliet’s Balcony”. The celebrated Arena di Verona opera season attracts opera fans to the Roman Amphitheatre. The sophisticated center remains a people watching parade, from cafés in Piazza Bràto Piazza delle Erbe, once the site of the Roman forum. Verona is also a citadel of consumerism, awash with sunglasses, shoes and jewelry. Before heading back to the resort/hotel you maybe want to stop for a sweet treat, we can recommend you the best place depending on the flavor you like the most, traditional or contemporary? The flavors of gelato differ by season, with September offering fig and strawberry, and while December brings apples and pear. Return to the resort/hotel, dinner and overnight.

After breakfast at the hotel leave for Padua: its narrow streets open to the grandeur of the main squares in a city adorned with Byzantine domes and statues that line the banks of the Prato della Valle. Your local art guide will lead you to discover the grandeur of Padua and Vicenza. The University of Padua was founded in the 13thcentury and continues to bring a youthful ambiance to the historical streets. Outside of Padua, the plains of Veneto reach the horizon with grass that shines emerald. The morning market at Piazza della Fruttae delle Erbecomes to life with vendors that sell regional specialties and local produce. The eggplants have a bright purple glow and the aroma of fennel sweeps across the cobblestones.

The rainbow colors of the fruit contrast with the pearled arcade of the 13thcentury Palazzo della Ragione, which extends up to nearly 270 feet long. Venture to Cappella degliScrovegni to view the Renaissance masterpiece crafted by Giotto in the early 14thcentury. Lunch on your own, and in the afternoon proceed to Vicenza, a splendid Renaissance city nestled within the Po River Valley, rich with history and art. Vicenza is the “city of Palladio”, famous architect of the 16th century, whom it is bound by a unique and indissoluble bond. The city is silently overlooked by the majestic Sanctuary of the Madonna di Monte Berico, which houses a splendid painting by Paolo Veronese titled “La cenadi San Gregorio Magno”. Legend has it that the Madonna appeared here twice to free the city of a terrible plague. After a panoramic tour of the city center, you will stop for a guided tour of Palladio’s masterpiece Almerico Villa Capra, better known as Villa “La Rotonda”, with its squarebased dome and large loggia, which features Ionic columns reminiscent of an imposing an ancient temple. The city of Vicenza is home to numerous later renaissance architectural works designed by Palladio himself (Palazzo Chiericati, Palazzo Barbaranda Porto –which houses Palladio Museum , Palazzo Thiene), the presence of which has resulted in the city being named as a UNESCO world heritage site. Another masterpiece of the famous architect is Villa Valmaranain Nani, where your local art guide will show you the rooms frescoed by Giambattista Tiepolo in the Palazzina(Owners’ Residence) and by Giandomenicoin the Foresteria (GuestHouse), also, you will see the magnificent historical park with its rose gardens, a “giardinoall’ italiana” with its open air theater and well, a double horn beams alley terminating with a statue of Neptune. At the end of the tour, you would be hungry… so we thought to plan a stop at a local delicatessen famous for its selection of cheeses, meats, and fresh salads. The aroma of fresh herbs, olive oil, and artichokes accompany the unforgettable scent of the variety of cheeses on offer. Taste some authentic food from the territory, accompanied by local wines. Return to your accommodation for overnight.

After breakfast, you will wander through the local wine museum that connects to a historical winery along the slopes of the town’s bordering hills for a different view over the streets and waters of Lake Garda. The museum contains an aroma of cedar and soil to capture the vast history that the galleries display. Each room is dedicated to a different stage of the wine process to enhance the past and contemporary differences of winemaking, from soil to bottle. You will come across clay jugs that are painted with elaborate caricatures, and instruments used to till the land as antique pumps and ploughs that showcase the grafting systems. In the fourth room, you can see the mastery of coopers and their tools that shape the wooden barrels in which the wine rests for months to years at a time to absorb the flavors of the container. The museum provides an all-encompassing tour followed by a tasting of the wines produced on the property. The Bardolino Classicohas an intense ruby hue as the aroma hints at flowers and delicate red fruit. The velvety texture leads to a bold, full flavor that lingers on your palate. Lunch on your own, and in the afternoon proceed to a local olive mill on the banks of Lake Garda. The Olive oil museum attracts 50,000 visitors every year, offering the insight of the Turrifamily, who have been producing highly acclaimed Olive oil for over 50 years. You will learn all about the past and present processes of olive oil making. Of course, you won’t leave the Turrimill, without tasting some delicious Garda extra virgin olive oil, using the appropriate glass, and at the end of the visit you will also have the chance to taste olives and various savories with olive pâté, pesto and other sauces. Return to the resort/hotel in the evening, dinner and overnight.

Breakfast at the resort/hotel. This morning you will leave Lake Garda area to reach your new charming accommodation in Treviso area at the end of the day. You will make stops on the way to visit the historic town of Asiago and the marvelous Bassano del Grappa.
Located at an elevation of 1001 m above sea level, Asiago is undoubtedly the most famous among the towns of the seven Municipalities Plateau (now 8 from 1796 -Rotzo, Roana, Gallio, Foza, Enego, and Lusiana, and the recently added Conco-), known also as “the Asiago plateau”. The tourist attractions, points of interest, the historical and natural scenic beauty, the events, the slopes, the trails, etc. are distributed throughout the territory of the plateau. After a panoramic walking tour of the town, you will visit the Military Shrine of Asiago: built between 1932 and 1936, it houses the remains of over 55,000 soldiers in Italy and Austro-Hungarians died in the fighting took place on the plateau during the first world war of 15-18. Inside the Ossuary is an interesting Museum open to the public where are exposed explosive remnants of war memorabilia and photographic documents of the era.

One of the best-known delicacies you can taste in the Asiago Plateau is the cheese, prepared in various degrees of ripeness. However, it is not the only specialty of the region: there are also the potatoes of Rotzo, the celery of Rubbio, the dandelion of Conco, cold cuts, honey, jams, and many other specialties of exceptional quality. In the late morning, before leaving this historical town, you will stop at a local farm to see the process of the famous “Asiago” cheese making. The dairy milk is collected from the local farmers and processed according to a strict discipline that respects traditional methods of production. The quality is certified by the D.O.P. and guaranteed by the Consorziodi Tutela del FormaggioAsiago (the “Asiago Cheese Producers Association”). You can try Asiago Cheese of different stages of maturity: cool (or pressed), middle, old and very old. From a few months old up to three years. In summertime, you can also taste the alpine cheese, produced in the “malghe” in high mountains.

Proceed to Bassano del Grappa in the afternoon, a very old town, located near the confluence of the Po and BrentaRivers. Cross over the 16th-century Ponte degliAlpini, a carved wooden bridge that leads into the historical center of town. You will visit the 15th-century Palazzo Ducale, which rises above the shoreline of Lake Garda. The 500-room structure features lavish frescoes, including a trompe l’oeil painting that depicts the court pranksters ready to drop a potted plant atop wandering tourists. At the end of the panoramic tour of the historic center, stop at the local Grappa Museum to learn about the deep roots of the liqueur located inside the Palazzo delle Teste. Follow the steps known through centuries of Grappa making, which was started in the 14th-century and lead to the contemporary process of aging the liqueur in wooden barrels. Much of the flavor is derived from the natural qualities of the grapes, stems, and leaves, however, many producers soak medicinal plants in Grappa to release aromatic properties during distillation. Once you learned everything about “grappa”, it’s time for a tasting: your tour manager will pour you a selection of samples that span the various characteristics, from pale hay hues to molasses. You will find an aroma of licorice that blends with sweet blueberry, and the distinctive flavors offer an unforgettable tasting in the unique historical location.

Arrive Treviso area where your next luxury accommodation is; after checking in, dinner at the restaurant of the resort/hotel or in local restaurants in the surroundings. Overnight.

After breakfast, you will leave for a visit of two of the masterpieces realized by the famous 16th century architect, Andrea Palladio: Villa Emo at Fanzolodi Vedelagoand Villa Barbaroat Maser, both Palladian, and both decorated with Paolo Veronese’s and/or his pupil G.B. Zelotti’sfrescos. Villa Emo, once center or a farming estate, is built upon a high footing, with two porticoed service buildings which are enclosed by dovecot towers. The façade is stunningly plain, with a Doric tetrastyle loggia topped by a triangular tympanum with the family coat of arms, held up by angels. The architect solves the relationship between architecture and environment brilliantly: the overall harmony becomes more evident both approaching the villa and looking around from the loggia. The linearity of the building is opposed to the interior decoration which adorns the rooms with an extraordinary world of people and views. Not far from Vedelago, you will find Villa Barbaro: also known as Villa di Maser, the Villa is located in the middle of a flourishing estate whose Historic Winery produces wines of great quality. Open all year round, it maintains the fascinating character of a home where the owners still live and work, and during the many events staged, its beauty and magic atmosphere can be enjoyed throughout the changing seasons. Climbing roses, wisteria, and begonias adorn the entrance courtyard and welcome visitors to the villa. The visit continues inside with the six rooms with frescoes by Paolo Veronese, which represent his largest and most important fresco works and from where one can see the Ninfaeumwith stuccoes by Alessandro Vittoria. A short walk through the vineyards will lead you to the carriage collection which contains some thirty exhibits of forms of transport from past centuries. Independent lunch and in the afternoon your local tour manager will accompany you in a Prosecco wine tour, visit some of the most famous areas of the Venetian wine tradition and enjoy the luxury of one of the best food and wine trips in Italy. The road of Prosecco and wines from the Conegliano and Valdobbiadenehills.

This tour will meet the needs of the modern wine tourists who, in addition to sample delicious food and wine, want to explore the environmental and cultural components that make up the traditions of the area; you will tour along uninterrupted vineyards and small parish churches from medieval times to savor the delicacies and scents of the famous Prosecco di Valdobiaddene. You will stop at two local wineries to taste this pleasant sparkling white wine, and at the end of the tour you will enjoy a typical dinner at a local restaurant in the area. Return to the resort/hotel, overnight.

Breakfast at the hotel. This morning you will have a half day guided tour of Venice, known also as “La Serenissima”. “Serenissimo” was a Byzantine title, bestowed upon the Doge and the Signoriaat first, then extended to the entire Republic of Venice.

‘Most Serene’ was an honorary appellation and an indicator of sovereignty. The intricate network of canals, alleys, bridges, the elegant architecture and gondolas along the waterway is what makes Venice one of the most romantic cities in the world. The royal ambiance of St. Mark’s Square, St Mark’s Basilica and Doge’s Palace will fill you up with amazement. As you weave your way through the twisting back streets, cobbled courtyards and small arched bridges, your expert guide will regale you with tales from Venice’s colorful past. You’ll discover why the city was built on a lagoon, how it came to be an important center of trade and what events conspired to end its domination over much of the Mediterranean. walk by Marco Polo’s house and hear about how the Venetian merchant set off to sea one day and returned with tales of faraway eastern lands that in those days few had ever seen. You’ll stroll across the church and palace-lined piazzas of Campo SS Giovanni e Paolo and Campo Santa Maria Formosa, where Byzantine, Renaissance, and modern elements fuse together their timeless portraits of the city, and also glimpse the romantic Bridge of Sighs, said to be named after the sighing prisoners as they were escorted across the canal to the cells of the adjacent prison. Lunch on your own and in the afternoon, you will go for a boat excursion to discover the Venetian islands of Murano and Burano! With your expert guide, you will learn about the age-old handicrafts that brought these little islands fame, and you will see fine Murano glass and Burano lace being made first-hand. It’s the perfect trip from Venice for those seeking a combination of history and behind-the-scenes action! The tour will start with a short ride to Murano, you will head straight to a glassblower’s workshop for an authentic, behind-the-scenes look at a Murano glassmaker in action. As the craftsman goes about his daily business, you’ll learn how finished glass is carefully prepared and made. Watch the silica sand turn to glass, discover how the bright colors (typical of Murano glass) are achieved and hear all the highs and lows of working as a glassblower in Murano! You’ll have time to spend at leisure on Murano –a great opportunity to browse the workshop’s impressive glass art collection, simply explore on your own or stop for a coffee and pastry.

Proceed then to the neighboring island of Burano, where you will be greeted by its vibrantly colored fishermen’s houses that line the streets. Just as Murano is famous for its glassmaking, Burano is famous for its lace making. Visit a local workplace to see the island’s craftswomen at work. Almost exclusively made by women, Burano lace is the finished product of a painstakingly precise textile craft. As you watch, your guide will talk about the history of this exquisite Venetian lace and explain how the handcrafted finery is sadly becoming a dying art. At the end of the tour you will head back to Venice for a “Ombre and Cicchetti” tour (Venice’s appetizers and wine tour). Your guide will take you to 3 different enotecas to discover where local Venetians go to drink, eat and mingle. You will visit a nearby bar that occupies the former site of a charcoal store and then stroll over to the Cannaregio neighborhood and visit a 18th-century watering hole on the bustling street of Strada Nuova. The tour will then cross the Grand Canal on a traghetto passenger ferry and stop at the historic, open-air Rialto Market, where many Venetians shop for daily fresh produce and seafood. You will visit one more local bar in central Venice. Each tavern has its unique atmosphere and specialty appetizers (Cicchetti) dishes. Your tour will end at the iconic Rialto Bridge. Return to the hotel, overnight.

Breakfast at the hotel. Today you will have a full day wine tour: starting in Venice and crossing a huge part of Veneto region, once territory of the Serenissima Repubblica di Venezia, you will arrive in Valpolicella, the land of Amarone.

Its vineyards begin just outside the city of Verona and stretch in two directions from the romantic home of Romeo and Juliet: west towards Lake Garda, at the historic heart of this very traditional wine, and to the east, where younger, more modern winemakers are making their mark. The region produces only red wines, and although its reputation suffered in the past as the kind of cheap vino you’d order in a pizzeria, today it is producing some of Italy’s finest. Discover the charm of this land, admiring the valleys painted with vineyards and breathtaking landscapes. You will first reach the “temple” among Valpolicella wineries, the Giuseppe Quintarelliwinery, an Amarone legend, he is the godfather, if not the parent, of Amarone. Enjoy a guided tour of the cellar and a wine tasting. At Quintarellithere is an obsession about quality: from the product itself, to the quality of the corks, glass and bottle caps. The labels stand out with their charming and idiosyncratic handwritten style. They treat wine with respect and patience, allowing it to develop to its maximum potential before it is bottled.

At lunch time you will stop at a traditional restaurant, in the heart of Valpolicella Classica, and enjoy a traditional lunch on an amazing terrace facing the breathtaking landscape of the valley.
Continue your Valpolicella tour after lunch, and reach Villa della Torre, owned by Allegrini, one of the most renowned wine producers in Italy and in the world, a bench-mark producer of Amarone.
Since Giovanni Allegrinipassed away, the company is now run by the last generation of the Allegrinifamily who was able to renew traditional wine making processes with an interpretation of the Ripasso technique and the re-introduction of the Oseletta, an old Valpolicella grape variety which, despite a modest output, gives a distinct structure and body to the wine due to its high tannin content.
Visit the beautiful Villa surrounded by vineyards and enjoy a tasting of Allegrini’swine, including Amarone. Villa della Torre has been designed to remind of a domus, the typical residence of ancient Rome noble families. In the center of the building there is the typical courtyard where, instead of the Roman impluvium, the tank used in ancient Roman time to collect rain-water, you will find a beautiful fountain. All around the inner courtyard there is an arcade with columns made of local stone.At the end of the tour you will have the chance to taste the most important Allegriniproducts: Valpolicella Classico, Palazzo della Torre, La Poja, Amarone and Giovanni AllegriniRecioto. Return to the resort/hotel in the evening; dinner and overnight.

After breakfast at the hotel, transfer to Venice airport to catch your flight back home.

Gastronomic tour of Sicily: 10 Days

Day 1 – Arrival in Palermo

Arrrival in Palermo airport and transfer to your Hotel where our tour leader will be at the arrival to welcome you – 7.00 pm we will meet all together in the lobby and have an orientation of the tour with an aperitif at the lounge bar of the Hotel – 8.00 pm dinner will be at a fantastic restaurant Villa Zito, inside an Art Deco style mansion.

Day 2 – Arab (Market) and Norman influences in Sicily: Monreale and Palermo

9AM am we will meet in the lobby and go together to the market where we will meet the Duchess of Palma. You will see while Nicoletta is doing grocery at the colorful Il Capo market, where you will find fresh ingredients for our “Gattopardo style” cooking class. The cooking class is held infact by Nicoletta Lanza Tomasi Duchess of Palma in her family palace. Lunch will follow in Nicoletta’s private library! After lunch you will start the guided tour of the exciting city of Palermo and visit the Cathedral, Piazza Pretoria, the Norman Palace and the Palatina Chapel, a jewel of the Arab-Norman art and architecture.

8.00 pm dinner will be at the restaurant Trattoria Corona, a farm to table kitchen in the city center. Overnight in Palermo

Day 3 – Saline and Erice

9.30 am check-out our Hotel in the morning and go towards Trapani Provence

Your fist stop will be in Erice, a breathtaking small medieval town located on the top of a mountain overlooking the west coast of Sicily. Besides the location, Erice is famous for Maria Grammatico, an old pastry lady who was a nun in a convent for over 15 years before opening her own pastry shop in the 60s. You will have a class with her and the chef will teach you how to make the famous Genovesi Vanilla Custard pastries. Lunch will be on your own – 3.00 pm you will go down by the sea to the Saline Ettore Infersa. They are fantastic Salt Pools where the sea salt is extracted. The characteristics are some original Wind Mills still active used for cracking the salt crystals. You will have an incredible visit and sea salt tasting!

After this unique experience we will check -in at the Wine Resort Baglio Soria, owned by Firriato family. This is a luxury boutique farmhouse entirely remodeled five years ago, with infinity pool and Skydeck cocktail bar! 8.30 pm dinner will be at the authentic restaurant Trattoria Caupona, a local trattoria in the historic center of Trapani. Overnight in Trapani

Day 4 – Trapanese Pesto on Favignana’s Island

8.40 am we will meet in the lobby and go to the harbor to take our ferry to Favignana, a beautiful island full of nice surprises. You will take first a hydrofoil (20 minutes ride) and then jump on a private boat for a tour of the island, visiting from the sea the old tuna canning facility, the blue water bays and grottos, and completing your experience with an on-board meal with our chef and the Captain.

Later in the afternoon you will come back to Baglio Soria Resort, have time to rest by the beautiful pool before having the pesto cooking class with Baglio’s Restaurant Chef! 8.00 pm dinner will be at the restaurant of the Hotel

Day 5 – Olive Oil experience

9.30 After breakfast you will go to the very impressive Olive Tree Plantation, where Alberto, the owner, will lead us towards the unique experience of harvesting the olives. This is the starting point of the season, so when you will make the oil you will have a bright green juice coming out from the olives. You will have a nice lunch in the olive farm before going to Marsala and experience a visit at the oldest Marsala Winery Cellar called Florio, testing the finest Marsala Wine ever and have a pleasant walk in the town of the old town. This evening the dinner will be on your own, we will give suggestions of the nice restaurants in the area. We always suggest the local pizza called Rianata! After dinner we will provide transportation to go back to Baglio Soria.

Day 6 – Agrigento, Valley of the Temples

9.00 am check-out and you will proceed to Agrigento and you will visit the incredible Greek Temple Valley. Our guide will entertain you during this incredible visit where you will pushed-back 2000 years in the past! The lunch will be light at the wine bar Enotria Calici in Dispensa, famous for their Sicilian wine selection but also all the farm to table products to pair with.

Luca, the owner, use to select the best local cheese and bakery products. After lunch you will proceed to Ragusa and arrive at Relais Chateaux Hotel Eremo della Giubiliana

This is a charming former convent, turned in a five-star hotel with swimming pool, 5 acres Mediterranean lush garden and its own organic farm.

8.30 dinner will be at their gourmet restaurant with delicious preparation based on the products coming from their farm

Day 7 – Modica – Scicli

8.30 am you will go to experience of the fresh ricotta making!

With the farmer you will see how to make the fresh cheese and you will have an amazing tasting.

Then you will go to Modica, UNESCO Heritage site for the architecture, and visit the famous chocolate producer Antica Dolceria di Bonajuto open since 1796.

With the owner you will explore their history, put the hands on the chocolate preparation and finish with an unforgettable chocolate tasting. You will have time to explore the old town of Modica.

1.00 pm lunch will be at the restaurant Osteria dei Sapori Perduti in a typical local trattoria, tasting one of the best Caponata in Sicily! Later in the afternoon you will go to the close town called Scicli, another lovely and famous baroque site, and after a guided tour you will access to the unique experience at the biggest herb garden of Sicily, owned by Enrico Russino, called Gli Aromi, having a sensorial tour and dinner in the garden. After dinner you will go back to Eremo della Giubiliana.

Day 8 – Food market at Syracuse

10.00 am you will check-out and make a stop on the way in the beautiful town of Noto, and our guide will take you around explaining the history and architecture and also letting you taste one of the best lemon granita ever! Around noon you will go to visit Siracusa, about 40 minutes away, starting from the spice and food market and having a street food experience lunch! After the lunch you will have a walking tour of Ortigia, the old town of Siracusa, with a private guide and then you will proceed to Taormina and check-in at your hotel in Taormina.

You will relax before the dinner will be at the fantastic restaurant Trattoria Nero d’Avola, seated al fresco terrace overlooking the monastery of San Domenico

Day 9 – Mr. Etna and Taormina

9.15 am we will meet in the lobby and go to explore Etna Volcano, the tallest active volcano in Europe. You will first have a stop in Castiglione di Sicilia, half way to the top, and visit a small cheese producer to see how the famous mountain baked ricotta is made, and then taste it with a good locally made fig jam. Right after this local experience you will go to the beautiful Volcanic Winery called Cavanera. You will visit the historic pre-phylloxera vineyard, the 17th century winery and you will end your experience with a great lunch paired with the best wines from Etna. After lunch you will go back to Taormina and have free time to explore and do shopping. 8.00 pm Farewell dinner will be in Taormina to say goodbye to Sicily!

Day 10 – Buon Viaggio!

Check-out and transfers to Catania airport.

Tuscany & Piedmonte Wine Tour: 11 Days

Arrival in Italy (Florence Airport to be confirmed); meeting with you English speaking Assistant and transfer to Siena, in Chianti area, by private bus. Check-in at the Hotel, welcome drink and briefing about the destination and the program.
Dinner; overnight at the Hotel.

Breakfast at the Hotel and private transfer to the Castello di Monsanto winery to learn a lot about the Tuscan winegrowing with a tour through the Castle and the wine cellar (tasting of 3 wines)
Lunch free. On the way back to Siena, stop at Monteriggioni, small town, completely surrounded by defensive walls and towers inviting to linger… Transfer back to Siena and visit this beautiful city with the world-famous Piazza del Campo, one of the most beautiful “piazza” in Italy. In the historic Caffe Nanniniyou will enjoy an espresso with a “dolce” , a pure joie de vivre for Sienna’s gourmets! Back to the hotel to enjoy your dinner. Overnight.

Breakfast at the Hotel. What would Italy be without pasta? Private transfer to BarberinoVal dElsa and get to know the art of pasta preparation during your cooking lesson. From the base dough to the matching sugo. Afterwards you can enjoy the different pasta dishes at lunch. In the afternoon, vist the Fattoria Pasolini Dall Onda Borghese or similar one in the same village and taste different wines. Dinner at an historical “Macelleria” (butcher shop) in PanzanoVal d’Elsawhere you will taste the real Fiorentina with all your senses… Transfer to the hotel and overnight.

Breakfast at the Hotel. Today you will discover the heart of the Chianti Region with the medieval castle and winery Castello d`Albolain Radda. During the guided tour you will of course see the historic wine cellars and enjoy wine and extra virgin olive oil tasting.
Transfer to Florence and guided visit of the pearl of Renaissance of Italy… Imagine with your heart. Back to the Hotel; dinner and overnight

Breakfast at the Hotel. Morning: transfer to Serralungad’Alba Langa Area. Light lunch free on the way to Piedmont.

Afternoon: arrival in Serralungaand accommodation .Free time to relax. Welcome Dinner with briefing about the destination and the program. Overnight

Breakfast at the Resort.
Morning: meeting with our Guide: tour of some villages on the hills where the famous Barolo wine is produced. Arrival in Grinzane Cavour, with its wonderful Medieval Castle, UNESCO site, the Regional Wine Cellar, the Ethnographic Museum and the Langa Museum. Wine tasting in the Regional Wine Cellar. Lunch in the Restaurant “Il Castello” by Chef Marc Lanteri, Michelin Star Chef. Afternoon: Transfer to Alba, famous for its White Truffle International Fair (October/November) “Truffle Sensor Analysis” Experience: Full in-depth experiences guided by the judges of Sensory Analysis of the National Center for Truffle Studies, where you can discover the organoleptic characteristics of Tuber Magnatum Pico. At the end, “Taste Alba” Experience: tour with a Wine Teller, a special personal food shopper, who will guide you in a walking tour through history and food & wine specialties among vinery shops and Truffle specialized shops. Dinner in Fontanafreddaat Guido Restaurant. Back to hotel for overnight.

Breakfast. Morning: transfer to Monforte d’Alba, brief town tour in this little town famous for its Barolo wine production; then proceed to Barolo, the capital of Langhe. Visit the nice Corkscrews Museum, the Fallettidi Barolo Castle with its Wine Museum “WIMU”, with wine tasting. Lunch at Massimo Camia Restaurant (Michelin Star Chef) in La Morra.

Afternoon: transfer back to Serralungad’Albato relax at the hotel. Dinner and overnight

Breakfast and transfer to Santa Vittoria d’Alba. Morning: visit to the important Diageo Glass Collection. Light lunch in Pollenzo at the “Albergo dell’Agenzia” Restaurant, made from a Slow Food idea. Afternoon: arrival in Turin and check-in at your hotel. Free time for relax or Luxury Shopping in the city centreor at the Torino Luxury Outlet Village (private transfer and personal shopper on request). Special Wine Tasting Dinner in the ancient Cellar at the historical “Ristorante del Cambio” the most renowned and gastronomic restaurant in Turin, a real city institution, situated in front of Palazzo Carignano, a symbolic place for the history of the House of Savoy; it was the site for the Piedmont Parliament as well as the first Parliament of Italy. Overnight in Hotel.

Breakfast in Hotel. Morning: visit of the Egyptian Museum, an archaeological museum, specialisedin Egyptian archaeology and anthropology. It houses one of the largest collections of Egyptian antiquities, with more than 30,000 artefacts. It is the second most important Egyptian museum in the world after the Cairo museum and one of the largest museums in Italy. After a pleasant walk towards the historic centre, lunch in restaurant at Baratti & Milano, one of the oldest and prestigious historic café in Turin. Afternoon: transfer to Pessioneto visit the Martini&Rossi Museum of Enology: an exceptional location, home to an iconic Italian brand. Wine experience “Make Your Own Vermouth”, an innovative format that offers an immersion in the art of making Vermouth, a solid Piedmontese cultural heritage. Discovering the principles of preparation and the use of aromatic extracts and distillates to personally recreate the flavours of your Vermouth, playing with aromatic notes and aromas. You will have the chance to experience a real oenological laboratory.
Back to Torino. Dinner at the hotel

Day 10 –TORINO
Breakfast at the hotel. Morning: transfer to Piazza Castello and visit to the Royal Residence hub: Palazzo Realeand its Gardens, symbol of the magnificence and opulence of the Savoy dynasty, where the Royal Collections are held, to show the careful administration by the Savoysand their love for art; Palazzo Madama, the first Senate of the Italian Kingdom, that takes its traditional name from the embellishments it received under two queens (Madama) of the House of Savoy.

Free time for Lunch. Afternoon: visit to Palazzo Carignano, a symbolic place for the history of the House of Savoy; it was the site for the PiedmonteseParliament and the first Parliament of Italy. Visit of the National Cinema Museum, situated inside of the Mole Antonelliana, with its panoramic lift to the terrace overlooking the entire historic centre. Visit to a Chocolate Laboratory with chocolate tasting experience Dinner at the Officine GrandiRiparazioni, an ancient repair and maintenance centre for railway vehicles turned into a meeting and exhibition centre with its excellent restaurant. Overnight at the hotel.

Breakfast in hotel. Transfer to Milano Malpensa. Departure.

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