10 Days – April 29 – May 9, 2023 $4,499 Double $5,699 Single
This is the Italy you always imagined and heard of. With immense historical, cultural and artistic heritage you will be awed as you stroll within the fortified towns of castles and towers. Be amazed by the expressive churches and expan- sive cathedral domes. And find unique shopping down side streets that open up to breathtaking landscapes. Mostly I choose this tour for our Coco’s patrons because of all the time we spend in Umbria. With my repeated travel to this area I think that several days in Umbria would be a preferred experience for you. It has all the charm, beauty and deliciousness of Tuscany, but far fewer tourists. All of the towns you will visit: Orvieto, Spoleto, Assisi, Montefalco and Perugia are totally unique and photo- genic, with charming local shops and their own regional food traditions. And within these walled towns of ruins and legends is great cuisine and cooking traditions that date back thousands of years. Imagine plate after plate of fresh foods, cured meats, giant mounds of fresh ricotta as well as world famous wines. It’s always a good time for a great glass of wine.
This is a great tour for first-time travelers to Italy, with so many sites that you’ve seen in the movies and travel posters you will love this area of Italy. Plus I will be with you too to and ensure you will have a dream vacation.
Owner of Coco’s Italian Market
Highlights: Tuscany, Assisi, Orvieto, Siena, Florence Cooking Class, Two Winery Visits, Olive Oil Visit Home Hosted Lunch, Private Local Guides
A small deposit reserves your- space-Call Chuck Cinelli at (615) 474-5989
Day 1 Overnight Flight – Rome
Your journey begins with an overnight flight. Buongiorno (Good Morning) Welcome to Italy, a land rich in history, culture, art and romance. Once we settle into the hotel I will help you plan your first evening in the Eternal City
DAY 2 Rome
This evening, join your fellow travelers for a special welcome dinner at a popular local restaurant featuring regional delicacies and fine Italian wines
DAY 3 Rome – Orvieto – Umbria
Have your cameras charged because, after breakfast we take a short scenic drive to the perfectly preserved Orvieto which sits majestically above the valley and is virtually traffic free. Today a local guide leads us on a walking tour. You will marvel upon the Cathedral’s facade of massive mosaics, stained glass, and sculpture dating back to the early 1300’s and it is home to a Signorelli fresco. Behind the Duomo, are medieval palaces called Palazzi Papali with examples of the towns best devotional art. You will have plenty of time on your own for exploration, shopping or perhaps pause for a leisurely lunch, sip on some wine and become a part of the local scene. Since pre-Roman times Orvieto boasts some of Italy’s best Classico wine. The volcanic soil is very rich in minerals and grape vines thrive here. The caves dug out of tufo rock provide the most ideal climate for aging their wines. This early evening we head to our next hotel for the next four nights and have dinner together.
DAY 4 Umbria Spoleto – Olive Oil Mill – Umbria
Have a hearty breakfast as we will have a private guided tour through the medieval town of Spoleto. You will marvel at the ornate Dumo Santa Maria Assunta, and the Ponte delle Torri, an amazing aqueduct from the 13th-century. You will have plenty of leisure time to stroll through the rest of this medieval town. Next we visit personal friends the Carletti family and olive oil suppliers of Coco’s Italian Market. You will fall in love with Carlo and his sons as they demonstrate how their family has produced olive oil on this land over the last 500 years. Work up an appetite because up next is our cooking class. We visit a country restaurant housed in a 16th-century farmhouse. This is the Italy few get to experience. Take a stroll through their herb garden and see how they make their own cheese. Afterwards we join the chef for a hands-on Umbrian cooking lesson and indulge in an early dinner at this countryside abbey.
DAY 5 Umbria – Assisi – Home-Hosted Lunch
Obviously Assisi is one of Italy’s most famous towns being the birthplace of St. Francis, the 12 century monk that founded the Franciscan order and a popular pilgrimage for the religious Italians. All of that will be expounded upon with our local tour guide. During our free time do yourself a favor and explore the picturesque narrow steps and side streets to find a new surprise, have your camera ready. Next we are all in for a real treat when we are welcomed into the country home of an Umbrian family. They will have prepared a delicious home cooked meal for us to enjoy. This simple act of breaking bread with a local family is often rated as a high point of our tour. By now you will have noticed the pride the residents have in their homes and way of life.
DAY 6 Umbria – Winery – Pienza
Today we leave Umbria and drive through the villages of Tuscany. We will pass many vineyards and olive groves of this historic region and finally stop at one of Coco’s favorite award winning winery’s estate. We will tour the grounds and learn about it’s storied history through a guided tour, short movie and wine tasting in the cellar. After that we will indulge in an authentic Tuscan lunch prepared on site by the chef. Of course perfectly paired with the wines of the estate. Next we will drive to Pienza “the City of Pius”. Imagined and engineered by Pope Pius II in 1459. He attempted to turn his birthplace into Italy’s first model city. I know you will agree he did a great job. This gorgeous town is easy to navigate how it is perched over iconic scenery. You will thank me for making this our homebase for the next two nights.
DAY 7 Pienza – Orcia Valley – Bagno Vignoni
Journey through the Orcia Valley’s rolling hills on your way to the 12th-century Abbey of Sant’Antimo. Continue on to the unique hamlet of Bagno Vignoni, whose central piazza is filled with thermal water. Taste the flavors of the region at a local pecorino cheese farm. Snack on some of the cheesemaker’s creations before returning to Pienza for an afternoon at leisure. Maybe you’ll explore the countryside along one of the many white roads that cut through the farmland.
DAY 8 Pienza – Siena – Chianti Region
After breakfast we journey through the Orcia Valley’s rolling hills on your way to tour the 12th-century Abbey of Sant’Antimo. We will continue on to the unique hamlet of Bagno Vignoni, whose central piazza is filled with thermal water. It’s one of the most unique places you will ever visit! Next we meet our friend Paulo at his local pecorino cheese farm. We have a hearty snack on some of his creations before returning to Pienza for an afternoon at leisure. Ask me about dinner options in town tonight, I have lot’s of suggestions.
DAY 9 Chianti Region – Florence
After Breakfast today’s excursion takes us to probably the Italy’s loveliest medieval city, Siena. During your locally guided walking tour we visit the historic piazza Il Campo, world famous for the Palio Horse Race. Then, the choice is yours! Explore the 14th- century Tower del Mangia, the 3rd tallest tower in Italy at your own pace or join your guide to get to know local life in a Contrada (neighborhood). Each of these small, close-knit communities is unique and has traditions all their own. Ask me for suggestions on restaurants and attractions. An afternoon drive through Tuscany’s Chianti Region takes us to the restored Tuscan villa of San Lucchese where our next hotel is located.
Day 10 Chianti Region – San Gimignano – Chianto Region
Choose how you want to explore the Tuscan landscape because it’s your choice! Join a local truffle hunter in search of the elusive mushroom and sample the goods yourself -OR- take to the countryside on an ATV adventure along winding dirt roads, both tours are followed with a taste of truffle bruschetta. Later, we travel to San Gimignano, known as the “City of Beautiful Towers.” Look up to marvel at the town’s fourteen medieval towers that date back to the 13th century. Enjoy a stroll along Piazza del Duomo and Piazza della Cisterna. Tonight we exchange emails and phone numbers as we gather for a farewell dinner with our fellow travelers and new friends.
Day 11 Chianti Region – Tour Ends
Your journey through Tuscany and Umbria but you can elect to stay a little longer in Italy or Europe while you are on that side of the pond. Ask Chuck for some suggestions and pricing.
If you have more questions, please email or call during regular business hours.
(615) 474-5989 email: Chuck@Cocositalianmarket.com
It’s fun to travel with a friend and family so send our web-page to other enjoyable people. I will be glad to talk to them personally.
Our tours sell out fast, a small 100% refundable deposit holds your spot.