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 or Cynthia Schutt at
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 Cooking Class
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 leisure time to stroll through the rest of this medieval town and 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. Tonight indulge in an early dinner in the countryside before resting up for our next adventure.
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 pictures 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. By now you will have noticed the pride the residents have in their homes and way of life.
DAY 6 Umbria – Montefalco – Winery – Bevagna – Olive Oil Farm
Today we head to the “Balcony of Umbria.” Montefalco. The charming town received this moniker because of its unobstructed views of the Umbrian countryside. Step back in time as you explore those cobble-stone lanes and rugged stone buildings. Then, it’s on to a local winery to sample some of this region’s most prized wine, Sagrantino and savor a lunch of authentic Umbrian dishes. We continue on to the lovely walled town of Bevagna, where our local tour expert shows us the can’t-miss sights include the 12th-century Palazzo dei Consoli, the churches of St. Sylvester and St. Michael Arcangel, and the Madonna of the Snow. We cap off your day by learning about another locally made product – olive oil – at a family-run ‘frantoio’ (olive-presser).
DAY 7 Umbria – Winery – Tuscany
After breakfast it’s on to Tuscany! The region has everything that visitors to Italy come to see and experience and you will fall in love with the picturesque Renaissance landscape of hills and villages as we make your way through the Val D’Orcia region. Of course we’ll make a stop at a local winery to see the wine cellar, family estate, vineyards and olive groves. The winery’s chef creates an authentic Tuscan lunch for us, expertly paired with wines produced on-site. Later, make yourself at home for the next four nights in the newly renovated and highly rated; Una Palazzo Mannaioni.
DAY 8 Tuscany – Florence
Today it’s Florence, “Cradle of the Italian Renaissance.” Our local guide takes us on a walking tour of the city’s iconic sights. Return to another age as you view the Cathedral of Santa Maria Del Fiore, located in the religious center of the Piazza Del Duomo and the Palazzo Vecchio. Make notes as to where you may want to go back for more shopping, or mu- seums then use your free time to browse the shops and explore Florence on your own. Perhaps stumble in work shops and visit local craftsman. This part of Italy is famous for it’s leather goods. We are on our own for lunch and dinner so get with me for recommendations on foods, more sites and shopping.
DAY 9 Tuscany – Siena – Monteriggioni
After Breakfast today’s excursion takes us to probably the Italy’s loveliest medieval city, Siena. It is said to have been founded by Senius, son of Remus, one of the two legendary founders of Rome. 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. Next we are off to the walled town of Monteriggioni. Stroll its quaint streets, seemingly frozen in time. Take an afternoon break and try some local snacks before heading back to our quiet Tuscan retreat.
Day 10 Tuscany – Volterra – San Gimignano
Roll along the country roads to Volterra, a former Etruscan city perched high above the countryside. We will spend some time at the Guarnacci Museum, one of the oldest public museums in Europe, founded in 1761. Then it’s on to an alabaster carving demonstration at a local workshop. 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. We have a fun and interactive presentation on wine by the restaurant’s sommelier planned.
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