8 days / 7 nights
Art and history buffs will enjoy a millennial journey that starts in the sixth century BC, the period in which the Etruscan buried cities were built, and continues through the narrow streets of the medieval heart of Viterbo to reach the stunning gothic Dome of Orvieto. We will lead you on an exploration of necropolises, archaeological sites and medieval castles, in verdant, natural surroundings. Tuscia is a unique region not far from Rome and represents the perfect combination with another great “undiscovered” Northern Italy region: the Piedmont. There are many places in life that will catch your eyes, but only a few will catch your heart. This is probably the best way to define this authentic Italy gem situated on the border of France and Switzerland. You will be enchanted by the beauties of Lake Maggiore and Lake Orta, the scenic routes through the rolling Barolo hills and the flavors and tastes of this great wine area that became famous not only for its excellent wines but also for the white truffle-Italy’s most prestigious gastronomic product! Last but not least: the city of Turin - Italy’s first capital - and the Sacra of San Michele, two authentic icons of a pristine, untouched and unspoiled region like Piedmont!
“For us to go to Italy and to penetrate into Italy is like a most fascinating act of self-discovery"
- D.H. LAWRENCE -
DAY 1 - pick-up at Rome Fiumicino airport and drop off in Viterbo
Our driver will pick you up at Rome Fiumicino airport and will drive you to your accommodation in Viterbo (the transfer is about 1hour and 30 minutes). You can choose between urban and rural lodgings: elegant and antique B&Bs or mini-apartment located in Viterbo’s medieval heart or a charming agriturismo located in Viterbo’s countryside. After check in, you will be delighted by a welcoming lunch at one of the local restaurants featuring authentic typical dishes. After lunch, one of our expert guides will lead you to discover Viterbo, the ancient town of the Popes, called so because it was the place chosen by the Roman popes as their abode for several decades. During this period the town knew its great splendor and was enriched by fine buildings and monuments turning Viterbo into a city of worldwide importance. In case of late arrival, the welcoming meal will be served for dinner and a pleasant evening tour of Viterbo will introduce you to the splendors of Tuscia. Overnight stay at antique B&Bs/mini-apartments/charming agriturismo.
DAY 2 - The Teverina Wine Route and the stunning Civita di Bagnoregio
After having breakfast at your accommodation, following the Teverina (Tiber) Wine Route, you’ll reach Castiglione in Teverina, “Tuscia’s wine capital”, to visit the extraordinary MUVIS, the Wine, Agricultural and Food Sciences Museum, housed in an big ancient cellar. The fascinating museum collects testimonies and finds of the agricultural tradition of the Teverina Wine Route. It represents a hub for the development of projects that strengthen the identity of Castiglione. Later, we’ll move to an organic winery, where, after visiting the vineyard and the cellars, you’ll have lunch with wine tasting. In the afternoon, you’ll visit the famous Civita di Bagnoregio. A real gem, this town’s fame reaches well beyond Tuscia. Situated in the verdant Valle dei Calanchi valley, Civita di Bagnoregio is a tiny village perched atop a limestone cliff. Two aspects set this town apart: its isolation (it can only be reached via a long, steep, pedestrian bridge) and the fact that, because the valley and the cliff itself are progressively and naturally eroding, Civita is slowly disappearing, hence its nickname, the “dying city”. Civita is also home to St. Bonaventure’s Cave, the celebrated medieval philosopher and St. Francis’ first biographer. The Saint was born here and the cave was where he would meditate and pray. Later in the afternoon, our driver will take you back to your accommodation. One of Viterbo’ strong points is the local cuisine which you can experience having a dinner in one of its excellent local restaurants. Overnight stay at antique B&Bs/mini-apartments/charming agriturismo.
DAY 3 – Tuscania and the fascinating world of the Etruscans
After breakfast, we’ll catapult you in the world of the Etruscans. You’ll start with the visit of an organic agriturismo near the town of Tuscania. The family run farm follows an interesting agricultural philosophy fully oriented to the preservation of the environment. The visit of the farm comprises the cultivations, the cattle, the pork livestock, and the Etruscan findings. In fact, the farm has on its land plenty of Etruscan ruins. After collecting the products from the garden, you’ll cook your lunch by yourself under the guidance of the agriturismo’s chef. The view of a wonderful green valley will relax you during the lunchbefore proceeding to explore the medieval borgo of Tuscania and its historical sites. Later in the afternoon, our driver will take you back to your accommodation. For dinner, we recommend you to taste the delicious pizza of Viterbo in one of the pizzeria situated in the city center. Overnight stay at antique B&Bs/mini apartments/charming agriturismo.
DAY 4 – Orvieto and its gothic dome and transfer to Turin
Breakfast at your accommodation. Your stay in Tuscia is leading to an end, but before moving towards .... you’ll not miss Orvieto and its spectacular dome. The small medieval town is perched on a limestone cliff and its great gothic dome dominates the valley. The peculiar well of Saint Patrick, built in the XVI century, has a double spiral staircase that never crosses. A network of underground caves testifies the Etruscan roots of the site while the modern Orvieto is a lively town full of shops, handicraft workshops, café and restaurants. After the visit, our driver will take you to Florence train station where you will catch the high-speed train to Turin (Piedmont Capital Region). After your arrival to Turin train station you will be transferred to your preferred accommodation nestled in the heart of Monferrato Valley - one of the most important wine areas in Piedmont and a UNESCO World Heritage Site - (approx. 1 hour from Turin). Your accommodation is an elegant 16th century property has been given a contemporary makeover and is now a beautiful, comfortable four-star hotel with state-of-the-art conferencing facilities, a relaxing spa centre and the restaurant. The dinner will be served at the hotel’s restaurant, the perfect place to celebrate the beginning of your tour in Piedmont. Overnight stay at a 4-star hotel.
DAY 5 - Cheese caves visit with light lunch, Lake Maggiore and Lake Orta
After breakfast at the hotel, you will be transferred by car or minivan to Lake Maggiore in north Piedmont (transfer time in 1 hour 30 minutes). Separating Italy from Switzerland, Lake Maggiore will stun you with small inhabited islands and crystalline waters. Nearby Botanical Gardens give horticulturists an opportunity to explore the unique flora and fauna of the region. We will first venture to the caves of a very important cheese refiner located near Lake Maggiore. These ancient caves, in use since the 15th century, contain an amazing assortment of cheese from different parts of Italy! After the tour, we will provide a light lunch in a private room of the refinery, which will include an array of cheese, salumi, and a main course. After lunch, we will drive across Stresa town—one of the main highlights of the lake. This city’s lively culture values music and conversation, with period hotels overlooking the lake and offering guests the chance to explore the charming area like a local in peace - and from there to another enchanting place located on the opposite side Stresa. Have you ever heard of Lake Orta? The Guardian used to define this place as the Italian lake tourists haven't discovered. It is astonishing how few people – even Italians – know about the place, and it is telling that the Milanese call it La Cenerentola (Cinderella) because they have long considered it the secretly superior sibling to the larger, money-blighted lakes of Como and Maggiore. Lake Orta deserve to be visited and we will stop to one of the most enchantingborghi of this area, Orta San Giulio. The small town of Orta San Giulio is a one of the top destinations for tourists visiting the Verbano Cusio Ossola province. A favourite place for romantic souls, the village is a maze of picturesque streets and narrow cobbled lanes, flanked by old stone walls with doorways topped with triangular architraves. The little squares, reminiscent of the campielli of Venice, are enlivened by the presence of craft boutiques, antique shops and lively cafés. Orta Sna Giulio is a magical place in Italy that cannot be missed! After the visit, you will be transferred back to your hotel. The dinner will be served at the hotel’s restaurant. Overnight stay at a 4-star hotel.
DAY 6 - Turin and the Sacra di San Michele
After breakfast at the hotel, you will be transferred to Turin, the original capital of Italy! Check in at the hotel, and enjoy a few hours of relaxation. Blending Renaissance, Baroque, Romanesque, and modern Italian architecture, you’ll be treated to imposing spires, regal columns, and meticulously paved pathways as you explore the city. With perfectly tree-lined streets and modern, artsy cafes, your day will be full of chances to explore and immerse yourself in Turin’s unique culture. In the morning, your guide will take you to discover the beauties of Turin. Turin was Italy’s first capital after the unification and one of the most influential cities during the Risorgimento period. It is also the place where FIAT (today FCA) started its business and where several gastronomic events are held each year. Turin is a fantastic mix of art, culture, industry, and gastronomy. In fact, UNESCO declared part of the historical city center a Word Heritage Site in 1997. During the leisurely 3 hour walking tour, you will discover part of this heritage: the majestic castle Piazza Castello, the Royale Palace, Piazza San Carlo and the ancient cafeterias, Via Po, and Piazza Vittorio. Lunch will be on your own and in the afternoon you will be transferred to the Sacra of San Michele, symbol monument of the Piedmont region.Founded on the rocky spur of Mount Pirchiriano in the Val di Susa (Susa Valley) between 983 and 987, the Sacra, also known as the Abbazia della Chiusa, is one of the sacred sites dedicated to the Archangel Michael. Mysteriously, the three most important medieval monasteries venerating Saint Michael in Europe are all located on the same axis, one straight pilgrimage route, known as Via Sancti Michaelis, going from the Mont Saint-Michel in Normandy (France) to Monte Sant’Angelo (Monte Gargano) in Puglia (Italy). The Sacra di San Michele is located exactly at the midpoint of this 2000km long pilgrimage route and is shrouded in legend, mystery and macabre details that will all be revealed by our expert guide, who will bring you to the discover this striking architectural highlights of the province of Turin. After the visit, you will be transferred back to your hotel.The dinner will be served at the hotel’s restaurant. Overnight stay at a 4-star hotel.
DAY 7 - La Morra, Barolo Winery tour and tasting, and the Castle of Grinzane Cavour
After breakfast at the hotel, your tour will start with a visit to La Morra, also known as the Balcony of Langhe. Here you will have the chance to take pictures from the most beautiful panoramic point of the area! Take your time to admire the surroundings and purchase souvenirs from the small shops in the village. After visiting this stunning locale, your guide will drive you to a traditional winery nestled in heart of the Barolo hills. A local winemaker will give you a private tour of the vineyards— then history, people, cellars, and of course iconic wine of the Estate. For lunch (drinks not included), you will have the privilege of dining in a unique location standing in one of the most spectacular settings just 5 km from Alba: the Castle of Grinzane Cavour. Perched on a hilltop overlooking the Langa valley, the castle offers 360-degree views of the village-speckled landscape and sprawling vineyards. The castle has also been home to the International White Truffle Auction since 1999, one of the most important gastronomic events in Italy. Enjoy lunch at the Al Castello restaurant, the perfect destination for an authentic meal tasting the delicacies of Italian cooking. Whether you want succulent ravioli with a rich homemade sauce (refined by centuries of family traditions) or a perfectly seared chop with pan jus - La Morra will deliver. Enjoy a glass of Barolo wine to top off your meal in opulence. After lunch, you will embark on a tour of the Castle of Grinzane Cavour - the home of the famous Count Camillo Benso of Cavour from 1832 to 1849. After the tour, you will be transferred back to the hotel. Thedinner will be served at the hotel’s restaurant. Overnight stay at a 4-star hotel.
DAY 8 - Pick-up at the hotel and drop off to Milan Airport
Breakfast. After breakfast, according to your flight schedule, you will be transferred to Milan Malpensa Airport. Before you leave, don’t forget ...“Italy is a dream that keeps returning for the rest of your life”. Arrivederci and we hope to see you again!
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