9D/8N - 2019 Tuscany and Umbria - private tour

9D/8N - 2019 Tuscany and Umbria - private tour

    Tuscany and Umbria

    private tour

    Rome-Tarquinia-Viterbo-Orvieto-Civita di Bagnoregio-Todi-Spoleto-Trevi-Montefalco-Bevagna-Assisi-Gubbio-Umbertide-Citta di Castello-Anghiara-Cortona-Montepulciano-Pienza-Florence

    09 days/ 08 nights, Rome/Florence

    ** Please contact us for 2019 dates & prices

    Tour extension and pre/post night tour on request. 

     

Day 01 Rome- Tarquinia-Viterbo-Orvieto

Start the tour by discovering the Tarquinia Necropolis and Viterbo, the papal town. Depart to Tarquinia crossing the Dunes where there are spectacular views of Allumiere, Civitavecchia, Tarquinia, the Argentario Peninsula and the Etruscan Necropolis. The Etruscan Necropolis of Monterozzi counts with approximately 6,000 tombs. Among these tombs, approximately 200 contain a series of frescoes representing both the largest pictorial Etruscan art group and the largest proof of the whole Ancient paintings before Roman Imperial Age. This extraordinary series of depicted tombs represents the most prestigious group of the necropolis. The graves include the Tomb of the Panthers, the Bulls, the Baron, the Wishes, and the tomb of Anina's in the neighboring necropolis of Scataglini. This enormous heritage, not only artistic but historic, represents an outline of the daily life of Etruscans and it is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2004. Continue with the visit of the papal town of Viterbo that will give you a feeling of being back in the middle-ages, especially the district of San Pellegrino with its twisting alleys, old houses with the typical external staircases, the cobble-stoned streets, and the workshops. The tour ends with a visit of the nearby cathedral and the papal palace.

Day 02 Orvieto

Today, a pleasant guided tour along a very easy route will take you to Orvieto’s underground world, created by its ancient inhabitants over about 2500 years of uninterrupted digging. You will go on an hour guided tour to discover the millenary, the surprising and unexpected “Underground City” Orvieto, an ancient city suspended halfway between heaven and earth. This place has long kept secret the labyrinth of caves and tunnels hidden in the silent darkness of the cliff. It is an invaluable reservoir of historical and archeological information which has only recently been the object of organic scientific studies. It is an extraordinary journey in time, an exciting itinerary that takes you, with a minimum of effort, to the roots of the city and where the memories of its past are still "alive".

Day 03 Orvieto- Civita Di Bagnoregio- Todi-Spoleto

This morning, visit the “The Ghost” Village of Civita di Bagnoregio and “The silence town” of Todi. From Orvieto to Todi, through the lake of Corbara and Montecastello di Vibio, this trip leads us along some of the most unspoiled Umbrian countryside. Leaving Orvieto, we continue along the tufa rock to Civita di Bagno Regio. Founded by the Etruscans and dating back 2,500 years ago, Civita di Bagnoregio is today desperately clinging to its dear life. Perched precariously on top of a tufa hill and surrounded by a desolate canyon, the town resembles an isolated island at the mercy of a tenacious ocean. The Italians have dubbed it the “dying town” (il paese che muore), and it is at real risk due to natural elements and the soft soil. This town is connected to the outside world by a stretch of pedestrian bridge. Then, we continue on to the lake of Corbara crossing the marvelous landscape to Civitella del Lago, that overlooks the lake, famous for the “Ovo Pinto”, an Easter festival celebrates the ancient traditions of decorating the eggs and in the local museum you can admire thousands of painted eggs made by artists or amateurs. Continuing the journey in the "Sant Francis silent valley" we get to Todi , through country roads crossing the intact heart of rural Umbria. The beautiful and elegant medieval town of Todi, that stands on the top of the hill overlooking the beautiful Tevere Valley, is limited by three rings of walls (Etruscan, Roman and medieval) that contain countless treasures even included the “Bramante’s church” and the crypt of the humanist poet Jacopone da Todi with a beautiful fresco by Masolino da Panicale. If we have time, we will get to Montecastello di Vibio which has been described as a “lost paradise” by American anthropologist Sydel Silverman. It has retained its original Medieval look intact. Once there, we can admire the Teatro della Concordia, the smallest in the world with its 99 seats.

Day 04 Spoleto

Ancient capital of the Lombard dukes, Spoleto will leave you breathless. We will start from Rocca Albornoz that overlooks the city. The Fortress of Spoleto, surrounded by a high perimeter walls alternating system of six square towers, is the symbol of the city and is divided into two distinct areas: the main courtyard, with the National Museum of the Duchy. If you do not fear of heights, get on the Bridge of the Towers which connects the fortress and Monteluco. This bridge is impressive and unique: 230 meters long and 82 high. A few meters away, you will notice a short tunnel that leads to the fortress on the lower part of the historical center, where the elevators are part of a fascinating journey: eight blocks of escalators that connects this area to the neighborhood of the Ponzianina in 8 minutes and 24 seconds. You will then discover the Corso Garibaldi, the Basilica St. Salvatore (UNESCO World Heritage Site), the San Ponziano Church and the Monastery. One of the best things to do in is to soak up the atmosphere of the Roman Empire by visiting the Roman theater that is still used for various shows and performances.

Take Monterone street to the intersection: on your right you will see Mauri Palace (seat of the municipal library) and on the left the Sant'Ansano Church the St. Isaac Crypt (XI-XVIII Centuries) and also the Arch of Drusus and Germanicus. Going beyond the Arch, you will be on Fontesecca Street, before arriving at the Market Square, turn your gaze to the left until you reach the entrance of Palazzo Leti Sensi (it was the Palazzo del Podesta, then historical headquarters of the Consortium of Reclamation Umbra, now used for exhibitions). Finally arrived in Piazza del Duomo visit the Cathedral, a rare example of the synthesis of the Romanesque architecture, with frescoes by Pinturicchio and Filippo Lippi, and the beautiful Roman House attributed to the mother of the Emperor Vespasian Polla to admire the mosaics.

Day 05 Spoleto-Trevi- Montefalco – Bevagna – Assisi – Gubbio

Today, you will visit the mystic Umbria and Medieval towns Trevi, Montefalco, Bevagna and Assisi. Leaving Spoleto, we head towards Valnerina, a landscape marked by hermitages, karstic streams and the remains of ancient Roman roads. After a few more miles, we get to Trevi which is part of the “Italy’s most beautiful towns”, and also famous for his fine olive oil and the Springs of Clitumnus, a crystal-clear pound surrounded by cypresses, poplar sand willows. We will then visit the small towns nearby. The town of Bovara hosts the Abbey of San Pietro, one of the finest examples of Umbria’s XIII Century’s architecture. Continuing we will reach Montefalco: gentle hills, vineyards, olive groves, rural traditions. Montefalco invites to a slow pace: celebrated as “the terrace upon Umbria” for its wide landscape, it retains its medieval structure, with city walls, steep alleys, ancient buildings and traditional workshops, including several wine shops. In the Church of San Francesco, the frescoes by Benozzo Gozzoli (1450-1452) are one of the earliest works by this painter. In the church of Sant’Agostino, a shrine displays the body of the Beato Pellegrino, who was a pilgrim who died in Montefalco and whose corpse is still perfectly preserved according to a legend. It takes less than half an hour to drive to Bevagna, one of the most picturesque towns in Umbria, with its perfectly preserved medieval structure inside the city walls. We then head to Assisi through the majestic landscapes, ancient abbeys, hermitages, lost in the silence of inaccessible places.

Day 06 Gubbio

In the morning, depart to Gubbio which looks like a huge Nativity scene, with its city walls clutched to the rock of Mount Ingino. The maze of Gubbio’s alleys resembles a travel backwards in history: Palazzo del Capitolo dei Canonici, Palazzo del Bargello, the Cathedral, Palazzo Ducale, up to the lovely Piazza Grande, which offers one of the widest and most charming landscapes in the whole Umbria. Gubbio is one of the most beautiful and best preserved medieval towns in Central Italy, starting from the Piazza and the Consoli Palace: resting on a hanging square built in the 13th century, the Consuls’ Palace is a highly impressive Gothic-style public building. It offers a splendid view on the mountain environment from the loggia. You can visit independently the Church of St. Francis which displays the 15th-century frescoes by local artist Ottaviano Nelli, and the Cathedral: easy to reach via a modern elevator. The church is an austere Gothic building offering a distinctive medieval atmosphere. We will end the day in the typical neighborhood of Saint Martin’s District, located along the shopping Camignano River.

Optional: private half day guided tour of Gubbio

Day 07 Gubbio-Umbertide-Citta Di Castello-Anghiari- Cortona

Medieval gems in between Tuscany and Umbria Umbria retains an ancient tradition of spirituality and mysticism. Its history tells us of miracles and mysteries, taking places in hermitages and abbeys, enshrined in its wildest and most secluded recesses. Crossing Appennini through picturesque landscapes, it offers a breathtaking overlook on the Appennini, for miles and miles throughout Umbria and Tuscany. On first Umbertide: Abbey of San Salvatore and Hermitage of Monte Corona. Umbertide offers gems such as the majestic medieval fortress, the Collegiata (an unusually octagon shaped church) and, in the Church of Santa Croce, the wonderful Deposizione. Our journey continues to Città di castello: the splendour of Reinassance. Città di Castello, Umbria’s north-western gate, reached its peak during the Reinaissance, when the leading Vitelli family had its center embellished by some of the most renowned artists of that time. The works of the famous artist Alberto Burri are partly in Albizzini Palace and partly to the Ex Essicatoi. This industrial complex, built between the late 50s and mid-60s of the twentieth century for tropical tobacco drying, has been converted into a museum allowing the exhibition of paintings of unusual size, further donation of the artist to his city. Crossing the Tuscany border we cannot miss the two first Medieval gems: Anghiari and his textile tradition and Citerna with its pottery production.

Day 08 Cortona

Cortona is the town of “Under the Tuscan Sun”. As the legend by poet Virgil goes, Cortona was founded by mythical Dardanus, who lost during a fight his helmet called "Corys", which is probably where the name “Cortona” comes from. However, Cortona was probably founded by the Umbrians more than 3000 years ago and became in the 8th century B.C. a powerful Etruscan town under the name of Curtum. Then, the town was dominated by the Romans and the Goths, before becoming a free commune in the 12th century and before being finally made over to the Florentine Republic. Cortona, a jewel of Etruscan and medieval arts and history, is enclosed by beautiful walls and is characterized by narrow streets with breathtaking views onto Valdichiana and the Tuscan hills, by imposing medieval and Renaissance buildings and many important churches from the historic, artistic and religious points of view. Among the many points of interest of Cortona, we can find the Town Hall, the Palazzo Casali, seat of the renowned Museum of the Etruscan Academy and the City of Cortona (MAEC), the Cathedral, the Diocesan Museum, the Basilica of Santa Margherita and the Fortress of Girifalco. Finally, a few kilometers from Cortona, you can visit independently a unique Archaeological Park with important Etruscan tombs from the historic and archaeological points of view.

Optional: private half day guided tour of Cortona

Day 09 Cortona-Montepulciano-Pienza-Florence

Today, depart for a full day excursion to Montepulciano and Pienza. We will visit a winery and taste some wine and cheese. Montepulciano, the home of “Nobile” wine, deserves a cameo appearance in the gallery of the most intriguing curiosities. A walk along the main street or in the alleyways of the town becomes a curious experience, the wine aroma blending with the harmonious music that wafts through the walls, reminding us that Montepulciano is an artistic city. Then, you should visit the huge cellars that communicate the drowsy vitality of the wine resting in the barrels. Here you will stop in a local winery for the wine and cheese tasting. Then, we will reach the charming Pienza, the ideal renaissance city.

Inclusions: romantic accommodation in double room, breakfast daily, 4 dinners, transfers between cities as per itinerary, full day tour of Tarquinia and Viterbo, full day tour of Civita and Todi, full day tour of Trevi–Montefalco-Bevagna- Assisi, full day tour of

Umbertide, città di Castello and Anghiari, 1 transfer from Cortona to Florence via Montepulciano and Pienza, entrance fees Tarquinia archaeological park and Spoleto Casa Romana, wine and cheese tasting, taxes.

Extensions: 1 extra night Chianti inn accommodation and gourmet dinner + private transfer to Florence and half day tour of Chianti to discover the amazing vineyards and some small medieval villages.

Hotels: Orvieto-Hotel with Duomo view, Spoleto- Hotel in a Historical Palace, Gubbio-Hotel in a Historical Palace, Cortona-stay in a Country Inn.

Note: post-night tour in Florence available on request.

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